Are you ready to switch your dog’s food from puppy chow to adult maintenance formula? Maybe you bought a new dog food for your maturing canine companion. Learn how to switch dog food without causing gastrointestinal upset.
Discuss New Dog Food with Your Vet First
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make, when learning how to switch your dog’s food, is to jump from brand to brand, looking for the one that the dog is likely to favor. Trying out a new dog food may lead to stomach cramping, runny stools, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal upset. If this process is repeated needlessly, you are doing more harm than good to your animal.
Start out your quest for a new dog food by visiting your vet or at least making a phone call. Discuss the reason why you want to transition from one dog food to another, and ask for recommendations. Be honest if cost is a factor, since this may make it impractical to switch your dog’s food to Science Diet or associated brands. Moreover, discuss if the new dog food will be dry food or wet food.
Learn about the ingredients your dog needs to have in its new dog food, the percentage of protein and fat content your vet believes to be right for your animal, and also which kinds of dog food s/he suggests you avoid. When you discuss how to switch dog food, you may be surprised to find out just how candid your vet will be, naming brand names, and even going so far as to revealing some insider info you might not have thought of when perusing the bags of new dog food available to you.
Switch Dog Food Gradually
Remember that last time you ate a whole meal at a restaurant you never tried before? Was the food so rich that it caused you gastrointestinal upset? Did it contain ingredients you did not notice right away, but which made the night a bit uncomfortable? The same holds true for your dog if you suddenly switch to a new dog food.
Avoid this mistake by gradually changing to the new dog food. Continue feeding the old brand, but mix in some portions of the new dog food. Over time, increase the portion of the new dog food as you decrease the portion of the old. Within a few days, you switch your dog’s food without shocking its gastrointestinal system.
If you switch dog food from store bought to homemade, please be sure to check out Associated Content’s own Jamie K. Wilson’s article “How to Safely Switch Your Dog’s Diet to Homemade Dog Food.”
Remember: even if you switch dog food from dry to wet, your canine companion still needs plenty of clean, fresh water available at all times!