New Dog Food - Can You Switch Quickly?

New Dog Food: Motivated to Make the Switch? Here Are 4 Steps to Know How

As a dog owner, you love your dog more than anything.

You also strive to give your dog the best, so you find yourself in a dilemma when you stumble across a new and better brand of dog food.

You want to change your dog’s food but you do not know how to. Here, I will share how you can get your dog used to new dog food and the possible side effects!

Stay with me till the end to find out some interesting and useful information.

two puppies eating dog food from a bowl outdoors
Changing to a New Dog Food

Is It Okay to Change Dog Food?

Yes, it is. However, owners should try to do it as little as possible.

For instance, only consider it if the old food gets discontinued or a medical condition requires your dog to change up its diet. Try to avoid changing dog food just because a certain brand is on offer this week.

Your dog’s stomach is more sensitive than ours and a sudden switch in its diet will cause intestinal upset.

What Are the Potential Side Effects If I Change My Puppy’s Food Too Quickly?

By suddenly changing your dog’s diet, it messes up the delicate balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut.

Will Switching Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

This will result in your dog being unable to digest food well, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, or gassiness.

Why Should You Change Dog Food?

There are certain reasons as to why you should vary your dog’s diet. Here are some of them:

  1. Variety to ensure nutrition
  2. Food recalls/discontinuations and ingredient changes
  3. Food intolerance or allergies to certain ingredients
  4. A chronic disease that requires a change in diet

How to Choose Your New Dog Food

Choosing a new type of food for your dog may seem daunting. You want it to be happy and healthy, so it is important that you understand the best types of food for your dog.

Firstly, pick a brand of dog food that lists meat or a vegetable as the top ingredient. Meat like beef, lamb, or chicken is recommended. It is advised that you avoid dog foods that list corn or soy as the top because they are less nutritional.

They are usually commonly used to just make your dog full. One good piece of advice is that if the lead ingredient is something you would eat, it will most likely be good for your dog too.

Secondly, take note of the food’s target consumer. Some foods are made specifically for old dogs or for puppies.

Some are made for those with weak stomachs while others are made for sensitivity or allergies. Hence, always read the label and do your research before purchasing a new food.

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to spend more money on your dog. Don’t choose foods based on the price as they may not be right for your dog. Feeding your dog the wrong food just because it was cheaper may backfire in the future.

The expenses spent on their potential medical treatment for eating the wrong food won’t be worth it. Furthermore, seeing your dog in pain cannot be healed by any sum of money. If you love your dog, learn to treat it right.

Lastly, always read the label to be on the lookout for artificial preservatives, fillers, and poultry by-products. Also, you should know what kind of ingredients that your dog is allergic to. Check the labels to ensure that those ingredients are not in the food.

Tips on Changing Dog Food and Dog Treats

Always buy the smallest bag available when you purchase a new brand of dog food. Dogs are just like humans where they have their own tastes and preferences.

For instance, I personally dislike foods like tomatoes so I should not expect my dog to like everything I give him. Buy a small bag and observe your dog’s reaction when you feed him.

Let your dog taste the food. Give him a small amount to let him try the food. Do not give him too much as it may ruin the feeding schedule and cause an upset stomach.

If your dog wags its tail and tries to get more, it suggests it likes the food. However, if it walks away without finishing the food, it’s likely that your pup dislikes it.

Some stores have exchange policies where they can take back opened bags of dog food. Try buying your dog food from those places to reduce your costs of finding the perfect food for your dog.

Cute puppy eating dog food from the bowl
Finding Your Dog’s Food Preference Involves Trial and Error

How Long Should You Try a New Dog Food For?

The most common advice to switching dog food would be to do it gradually to allow your dog to get used to the new food. This will prevent your pooch from getting stomach problems. Remember not to rush him too much.

The advised duration would be to take one to two months to fully complete the transition. Find out from your vet about your dog’s stomach conditions. Dogs with sensitive stomachs would usually require more time; approximately six months. This prevents illnesses from popping up.

Here are 4 steps to go about doing so:

Mix the Old and New Dog Food

The way to start the transition would be to mix the old and new food together. Mix them very well to ensure that your dog will eat both.

Sometimes, your dog may still prefer the old food and end up only eating the old. Thus, he neglects the new.

Mix the two foods well and your dog will thus be forced to eat both. This allows him to get used to the new food while still fulfilling his usual dietary requirements.

To do this, start by mixing 7 parts old food to 3 parts new food. It is normal for your dog’s stools to be relatively wet and loose right after starting his new diet.

Hence, continue feeding him the 7 to 3 mixture until the stools turn firm again. This typically takes around 3 to 4 days. Don’t panic if it takes longer than that as each dog is different. Just be patient and take it slow. Remember, your dog’s wellbeing is the priority.

Mix the Food in Equal Portions

Once the stools turn firm, you are ready to go to the next step. Now, you can move on to equal parts. Here, you will mix the food in equal portions. This means feeding half from the old food and the other half from the new food. As usual, monitor your pet’s stools until it turns firm. Once it turns firm, maintain this percentage for one more week.

Switch It Up 7:3

Following that, move up to 7 parts of the new dog food and 3 parts of the old food. One small tip states that since this is your dog’s last time eating the old food, let him enjoy this a while more and feed him this mixture for 2-3 more days even after the stools turn firm. The time taken for the stools to turn hard should be about 3-4 days as well.

Use Only the New Food

Once this is done, use only the new food. Your dog is now accustomed to it and will consume the new food happily and healthily.

Changing Wet to Dry Dog Food

It will be easier switching from dry food to wet or canned food. This is because canned and wet food tends to be more flavourful and tasty. Your dog will thus take more interest in the food and be more receptive to the change. However, you should still follow the same tips to prevent stomach issues.

Can You Switch Dog Food Quickly?

However, sometimes disaster strikes where the old food is discontinued or recalled. Hence, you do not have enough old food to conduct the gradual switching process.

Now, you have to switch foods rapidly or your dog will go hungry. This process is doable but should be generally avoided unless in dire circumstances.

Firstly, if possible, pick a new dog food that has ingredients that generally match that of the old food. For instance, your old food consists of beef and rice, try to find a new dog food that is the same. This prevents your dog from having a large reaction towards it.

Start by offering your dog a small meal of the new food. If he eats it without any stomach trouble, offer another small meal around 4-6 hours later. Don’t worry about your dog getting a little hungry.

Gradually increase the portions of the food and increase the time between feedings until you are back to your normal schedule. Do this for 48 hours and you should have successfully switched your dog to a new food.

puppy having a meal of dry dog food in a bowl
Switching Dog Food Quickly

Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?

Dog food for puppies and adult dogs are different. This is because puppies and adults have different biological needs. Puppies need more nutrients than adults as they are not fully grown yet.

They require more protein, vitamins, and minerals. Hence, it is not recommended to feed your puppy adult food.

This would result in them lacking sufficient nutrients to grow and might prove dangerous for your dog as a result.

What Kind of Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Some owners would like to share their fruits with their dogs. However, which kinds of fruit will be suitable for your dog?

Bananas are a good source of potassium and other nutrients. However, due to the high sugar content in bananas, you should feed it to your dog in moderation.

Try not to feed your dog too much. In Singapore, durian is a popular food. However, can dogs eat that? Unfortunately not – try not to feed your dog durians as it may cause an upset tummy.

However, one fruit that dogs can definitely eat is strawberries. It is perfect for warm weather. Never feed dogs strawberries in cans or in syrup due to the high sugar content.

Dogs can eat mangoes too! However, remove the seed first as your dog might choke on the seeds.

This is the same for apricots. Papayas can also be enjoyed by dogs but remove the seeds as well. This is because papaya seeds have cyanide in them and should not be consumed.

Where Can I Find Good Dog Food?

You can always go to your local supermarket or pet store to pick out a brand of food. Alternatively, online stores are getting more popular as the prices are lower and it is more convenient. Here, you can find great brands of wet dog food or dry dog food.

Remember, choose the brand that best suits your dog, and do not be stingy towards them. After all, a dog is man’s best friend and they deserve nothing but the best.

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