How To Transition Your Pet’s Diet

Pet parents go through this at least three times in their dog’s life. While the same does apply to cats, dogs are more likely to go through a transition of diet in their lifetimes. You need to know when and how to transition your pet’s diet to cause the least amount of stomach upset.

Why Change Your Pet’s Diet

As your pet grows older, its nutritional needs may change. This is an example of life stages diet alterations. In other words, a puppy, an adult and a senior pet require different types of nutrition in order to live a healthy life. This is why many pet food companies manufacture pet food that falls into the following categories:

  • Puppy food
  • Adult/maintenance food
  • Senior food

You can also purchase breed specific food within these categories. Other sub categories include:

  • Small breed
  • Medium breed
  • Large breed

These lifestyle foods, however, are not the only reason why you may need to change food. Other reasons involve the health conditions including weight, skin allergies and stomach sensitivity.

Taking the Right Steps

For some dogs, changing from one brand or type of food to another creates no intestinal system problems. For others, a sudden switch results in upset tummies and diarrhea. If you want to avoid stomach and bowel problems, you need to chant the mantra: “Gradual.” You want to ensure the new food and the old diet merges in a gradual fashion.

The process of introducing new food to your pet may take between 5 and 7 days. Professionals disagree on the length of time. It is up to you to understand which period will work best for your pet.  If you want to know the specifics of how to transition your pet’s diet, look at the steps provided below for a 7 day switch.

  • Day 1: Combine thoroughly 10% of the new food with 90% of the old diet
  • Day 2: Combine 20% of the new food with 60% of the old diet
  • Day 3 – Mix 40% of the new food with 40% of the old.
  • Day 4 – Mix the two together in equal portions
  • Day 5 – Increase the new food to 60%
  • Day 6: Decrease the old food to 20%
  • Day 7: Switch over entirely to the new food

Be sure to monitor how your pet reacts to the new food. If, at any stage, he or she refuses to eat, vomits or has diarrhea, stop the process. Make sure the symptoms relate to the food and not the ingestion of something else. If it appears the food and your pet are not compatible, talk to your vet or pet supplies store about your options.

How to Transition Your Pet’s Diet

If you have a pet, during his or her lifetime, you may have to change the diet. At Pupsicles Dog Care, we understand this could be because of age or a health condition. It is important you accomplish this without causing your pet any discomfort. Talk to your vet and remember – the best way to transition your pet’s diet is by adopting the gradual approach.

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