You might have been swayed by your vet to try a new diet or a friend who's transitioned her dog onto a new food brand, but now you're ready to switch up your dog's food and you need to figure out how to transition your dog to this new food properly. The key word here is properly. It would be really nice if were as easy as you fill your dog's bowl with the old food one day and the new food the next, but it's not as simple as that. That said, it's not that hard either to transition your dog to a new food, so let's get into how to transition your dog successfully.
Why is it imporant to properly transition your dog to a new food?
Dogs are really incredible: the bacteria in their gut and their internal microbiome become tailored to whatever food you are feeding her at that time. This aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. Abruptly switching your dog's food though can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, decreased appetite and diarrhea if their microbiome and gut bacteria haven't had time to properly adjust. A targeted, day by day approach to transition gives your dog's internal gut composition time to gradually adjust.
How do you then transition your dog to a new food?
Ideally, you'll transition your dog's new food over the course of a few days and gradually incorporate more of the new food by mixing it in with the old food you've been feeding. Here's an example of what that might look like:
Day 1 - 25% of the new food, 75% of the old food
Day 2 - 50% of the new food, 50% of the old food
Day 3 - 75% of the new food, 25% of the old food
Day 4 - 100% of the new food, 0% of the old food
Is there anything else I should keep in mind?
You know your dog best and some dogs have more sensitive stomachs than others, so if you notice your dog's stomach is getting upset, stretch out the same transition plan over a week or two and extend the mixing in of the new food over a longer period of time.
(and PS - if you're ready to make the transition onto a raw food diet for your dog, we make it super simple. Your first box has four bowls labeled (1) (2) (3) (4) and have the exact portions you need to successful transition your dog without disturbing his digestion or triggering any gut sensitivities)
Specific questions about your dog? Text '411' to 29071 and we'll have someone on hand to answer your questions!