Just found a new food for fido? Before you throw his old food away, read our tips here on how to transition your dog's diet the right way.
Reasons for Switching your Dog's Food
Apart from just wanting to give your dog some variety and a change of pace, there are several reasons why you may want to think about finding a new diet for your dog. Typical reasons for making such a change include:
Food Transitioning Timeline
If you aren't careful, giving your dog a new food can result in digestive upset and issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. To avoid this, it's best to shift your dog's diet over 5 to 7 days to allow her time to adjust to her new food. Many brands will include instructions on their food packaging, but if yours doesn't or you don't have the packaging anymore, you can follow this guideline.
Days 1-2: 25% new food, 75% old food
Days 3-4: 50% new food, 50% old food
Days 5-6: 75% new food, 25% old food
Day 7: 100% new food
This is a general guideline, and if your dog is prone to digestive issues, you can always extend the transition period to suit his needs.
What to Watch For
To make sure your dog's diet transition goes as smoothly as possible, it is helpful for you to be aware of the signs that things might not be going so well. You'll want to watch out for adverse food reactions, which can be indicators of an allergic reaction to the food, a food intolerance, or even gastrointestinal disease. Things that may signal an adverse food reaction are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. You might also notice symptoms like itching, skin inflammation, and hair loss. If these problems continue after the transition period to your dog's new diet, a trip to the vet can help you sort things out and get to the root of the problem.
It's important that your dog has a food that will promote his overall health and wellbeing, and with these tips and guidelines, the transition to your dog's perfect food can be a smooth and successful as possible!