Today we are going to talk about transitioning your dog from one food to another. A lot of times I hear how people just change their dog food over right away and then they complain because their dog is having bowel issues. If we do a transition instead of all at once it can help the dog avoid tummy trouble and digestive upset.

Why Transition your Dog Food

Now there could be several reasons why we are changing food over. It could be your dog has been diagnosed with a dietary responsive disease. Or perhaps it’s time to switch from puppy to adult food or from adult to mature food. It could be that you think the current diet isn’t the right diet for your dog. Whatever the reason, we must transition the food slowly rather than all at once.

Now you may ask, “Why does it matter how I change my dog’s food?” It may not matter if you have a dog with a very strong stomach.  So you may be able to just go ahead and change it and not have to worry about a sick dog. For you people that have dogs with sensitive stomachs, transitioning your dog slowly is ideal for you and the dog.

How to Transition your Dog’s Food

So I have seen most owners transition the food in 5 days. I have never done this personally. I feel that is too fast and still might warrant some upset stomachs and gastrointestinal problems. So the 5 day deal is done like this:

  • Day 1: Mix 20% of the new with 80% of the old
  • Day 2: Mix 40% of the new with 60% of the old
  • Day 3: Mix 60% of the new with 40% of the old
  • Day 4: Mix 80% of the new with 20% of the old
  • Day 5: 100% of new food

My vet has never told me this, the way that my vet recommends switching food is by taking a longer approach to ensure that the stomach will not be as upset. I also have dogs with sensitive stomachs so I don’t think I could transition them as fast as the transition above. My vet recommends my transition be weeks rather than days! Here is how I transition food:

  • Week 1: Mix 25% of the new with 75% of the old
  • Week 2: Mix 50% of the new with 50% of the old
  • Week 3: Mix 75% of the new with 25% of the old
  • Week4: Full transition to the new food 100%

Purina suggest a little bit longer than the 5 day transition. They recommend a 10 day transition. I’ll leave the link here for you to check it out if you’re interested.

Wrapping Up

We just wanted to give you this info today because we want to help. I hear so many stories that xyz product dog food is so bad for your dog. They always go in to tell me that my dog started having diarrhea and an upset stomach as soon as I went to it. I always ask them if they transitioned them or if they just went ahead and started feeding them the whole thing. 95% of the time, they never transition their dogs. You may be lucky. You may have a dog that has an iron like stomach. If you’re like me though, probably not.

We hope that this article was helpful. We here at Amare Canis are happy to help!