Whatever the reason for swapping your dog’s food, changes to their diet should be done gradually. This is because when changing a dog’s food, the microflora (or good bacteria) of the digestive system need time to adapt and adjust. Digestive upsets can happen if this time for adjusting isn’t given.

The bigger the differences between the foods, the longer transition time is recommended. For instance: if the new food is the same range as the current food, and a new flavour variety or suited for the next lifestage, a transition period of 7-10 days is suitable for most cases.

Cases where the new food is very different to the current food, it is recommended to transition the food over a longer time. 10 to 14 days is suitable for most cases. This could be a new food which is a higher protein or meat content. It may contain different ingredients than the current food, or even be a different format. For instance, swapping kibble to wet food, or changing to a raw food diet.

Upset Tummies

If digestive upset occurs during the transition, drop back a step. This means feeding the proportions of new and old food that you did yesterday. Pause at these proportions of the old food and new food until the digestive upset is improved. Then resume the transition to the new food again slowly.

Visualising the Transition

Think of your dog’s food bowl and divide it into segments. The number of segments should match the number of days chosen for the transition. Every day you will move one of these segments of the bowl to the new food, as the infographics show.

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