At some point in your dog’s life, it may be necessary to change their diet, whether due to cost, food sensitivities or allergies, or even for medical or health reasons. As your dog ages, you may want to switch to life stage-specific food containing more tailored nutrition.
Whatever the reason for the change, it is important to transition gradually in order to avoid having a big mess on your hands. Make sure you reserve some of the old food for the transition, as you’ll need to combine this with the new food to get them started.
When changing the food, start off with a feeding ratio of 75% old food and 25% new. Adjust the ratio with every serving so, at the end of the week, you are close to feeding 90-100% of the new food.
Changing too quickly, or without incorporating any of your dog’s old food, will lead to digestive upsets and symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and lack of appetite.
Our recommend guideline:
Day 1: feed 75% of the old food, mixed with 25% new food.
Day 2: feed 60% of the old food, mixed with 40% new food.
Day 3: feed 50% of the old food, mixed with 50% new food.
Day 4: feed 40% of the old food, mixed with 60% new food.
Day 5: feed 25% of the old food, mixed with 75% new food.
Day 6: feed 90-100% of the new food.
Aim to keep feeding times and routines the same, as you only want to be changing the diet.
During the transition period, monitor your dog’s reactions and if you notice any side-effects, you may have transitioned too fast. Refrain from increasing the ratio of new food given until symptoms subside. If you are worried about the severity of side-effects exhibited by your dog, contact your vet.
Written by: Hannah Dyball