It is essential to switch your dog food progressively to avoid digestive upset or tummy trouble.
Frequent reasons to change your dog’s diet:
- Puppies should transition to an adult dog food when they reach adulthood to guarantee they receive appropriate nutrient levels for adult dogs
- Large breed puppies and small breed puppies should switch to a large breed or small breed adult dog food, respectively
- About the age of 7 years, dogs should transition to a mature adult or senior dog food. In the case of larger breed dogs, this transition should be around 5 years of age
- Pregnant or nursing dogs need energy-dense foods with increased calcium levels. In these cases, you should do the transition to a puppy food.
- If your veterinarian has suggested a therapeutic dog food for a specific health condition (e.g. diabetes, liver problems or kidney disease)
No matter what the reason for the change, you should change your dog’s food gradually.
A slow transition method will help your dog’s intestinal tract to digest the ingredients of the new food smoothly and easily.
Guidelines – 7-day transition schedule:
- Day 1: 20% of the new food with 80% of the old
- Day 2: 30% of the new food with 60% of the old
- Day 3: 40% of the new food with 40% of the old
- Day 4: 50% of the new food with 20% of the old
- Day 5: 70% of the new food with 20% of the old
- Day 6: 80% of the new food with 20% of the old
- Day 7: 100% of the new food
When changing from a dry food to a canned food you should expect your dog to drink a little less, and eat more as a meal.
Because dry dog foods are in general more energy-dense than canned foods, your dog may need to eat proportionally more canned food to get the same calories.
Even if your dog’s stomach adapt easily, the change of food should always be gradual.
A dog that doesn’t have a gradual transition from a food to a new one may present a few negative reactions that can include:
To prevent these adverse reactions, you should follow the above guidelines doing the transition in at least a 7-day schedule.