How to Switch Dog Food Safely

Dog Food

Our staff gets this question a lot; ‘How to Switch Dog Food Safely?’ While the answer can vary, there is a way to do this, so your dog doesn’t end up with an upset tummy. We like to refer to this as our 7-10 day transition, but this can also be extended into a more extended schedule if you have concerns or if your dog has a sensitive stomach. One excellent resource on transitioning a dog to a new food is the podcast by Theory of Pets. 

Switching Dog Foods over a week or more

The 7-10 day transition schedule for switching dog food safely is recommended by vets too. Also, if you see any diarrhea or your dog puts his nose up at his meals, then stop the transition immediately. Sometimes new diets should be tweaked, and our staff can help with any questions. 

*If you want to stick to a gradual schedule, consider the new food as a topper. Using the new food as a topper would mean adding a tablespoon of the new food to your existing food. 

When should one switch dog foods?

  • Puppies become adults at 12 months of age and should transition to an adult dog food to ensure they are receiving proper nutrient levels for adult dogs.
  • Large breed puppies should switch to a large breed adult dog food to ensure that their unique needs are met.
  • Pregnant or nursing dogs need energy-dense foods with increased calcium content, so be sure to transition them during this particular time to puppy food. However, during pregnancy or nursing, large breed dogs should be switched to regular puppy food, not a large breed puppy food.
  • Anytime you plan to switch from kibble to a raw or freeze-dried diet. Adding canned food to kibble is an effortless transition, but if you’re making a switch to a raw diet, you’ll want to take it slower. 

Dog Food Transition Schedule

  • happens over a 7-10 day period or longer. 
  • A typical dog food transition: 
    • Day 1/2 – Mix 20% of the new food with 80% of the old.
    • Day 3/4 – Mix 40% of the new food with 60% of the old.
    • Day 4/5 – Mix 60% of the new food with 40% of the old.
    • Day 5/6/7 – Mix 80% of the new food with 20% of the old.
    • Day 8/9/10 – Feed 90-100% of the new food.

These tips to switch dog food safely will help your dog’s tummy as the transition proceeds.

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