The Right Way to Change Your Dog’s Diet
Changing your dog’s diet too suddenly can make them sick.
There are so many reasons as to why you might want to change your dog’s diet. Maybe they are getting too heavy and it’s time to switch them to a lighter food. Or maybe the food makes them overly gassy, or the manufacturers plan to discontinue the line in the near future. Whatever the reason, it’s important to take precautions when you change their food, and that you don’t do it too suddenly.
When you change your dog’s food too quickly, it leads to changes in your dog’s gastrointestinal flora — the bacteria and microorganisms in their gut that aid with digestion. This usually results in diarrhea and, sometimes, vomiting. And, that’s true no matter what kind of new food you are giving them. Even when your veterinarian recommends that you give your dog a new kind of food, it can still make them sick if you give it to them too suddenly.
Keep your dog healthy by switching up their food the right way.
It takes time for your dog’s body to acclimate to a new type of food. And, if you want to keep your dog healthy and avoid nasty accidents in your home, it pays to take precautions and switch their food up the right way. Here’s how:
Change to the new food gradually.The last thing you want to do is to give your dog a new kind of food all at once. Instead, gradually change their food over the course of five days to a week, adding in a little more of the new food each day. Here’s an example of the feeding ratios to give your dog per day to ease them into their new food:
- Day 1. 20 Percent New Food - 80 Percent Old Food
- Day 2. 40 Percent New Food - 60 Percent Old Food
- Day 3. 60 Percent New Food - 40 Percent Old Food
- Day 4. 80 Percent New Good - 20 Percent Old Food
- Day 5. 100 Percent New Food
Pay close attention to how your dog reacts
Regardless of how slowly you make the switch to a new type of food, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your dog over the next several days. Pay attention to how much your dog eats and drinks. Also, make it a point to actually look at their stool each day to watch for any abnormalities. If your dog appears to be doing okay, stick with the ratios above. But, if your dog has diarrhea or shows any signs of stomach upset, try slowing down the process even more to give your dog the time they need to adjust.