How to change your puppy's food

When making the transition to a new food, your puppy’s digestive system will need time to adjust to any change. It may be the case that you need to switch your puppy’s food quickly, especially if they’re not getting on with their current food. Whatever the situation there are steps that you can take to minimise disruption to your puppy’s digestive system and make the transition with ease.

Some key advice is to give your puppy smaller meals, watching for diarrhoea or other issues. If all is well, continue to feed smaller meals than usual and then slowly get back to your regular feeding schedule. A little tummy upset is to be expected, however if your puppy begins to vomit or stops eating altogether then do seek advice from your vet.

Your puppy’s body adapts its enzyme production depending on what types of foods they’ve been eating. If your puppy has been eating a single food for a while the enzymes produced to digest a new food might not be present in the body.

Remember, changing to a new food too quickly can leave the body unable to cope. It’s important that when a new food is introduced to your puppy’s diet this is done slowly as the body will have time to adjust and produce the correct enzymes needed to break down food.

It’s always best to change the food gradually, over 7-10 days to avoid any unforeseen digestive problems.

Day 1-3: Introduce a small amount of the new food.

 

Start by feeding 75% of the recommended meal time amount of the old diet with 25% of the recommended feeding amount of the new food. This should be carried out for the first 3 days.

Day 4-6: Increase quantity of new food

 

On day 4, further decrease the amount of the old food to 50% and increase the quantity of the new diet to 50% of the recommended amount. This should be carried out for a further 2 days unless your puppy has a very sensitive stomach, in which case you should extend this schedule to last 7-10 days.

It’s important to keep an eye on your puppy’s stools as they are the best indicators of internal health. If you notice that they are getting soft, this could be an indicator that you are moving too fast so go back to the last ratio that worked. Doing so will ensure that there is minimal chance of any issues occurring.

If you reach a point where your puppy is turning away from the food and not eating, then decrease the amount of the new food to a level they will eat and stay at this for a few more days. You can then start to once again decrease the quantity of the old food while introducing more of the new food after this time.

Day 7-10: Continue and monitor

 

Once your puppy is consistently eating the mix of new food alongside the old for at least a week, start phasing out the old food completely and move to 100% of the new food.

Take your time and be patient and you will easily be able to allow your dog to enjoy new and exciting mealtimes!
Following these steps should enable you to transition to the new food without any problems. If you have any issues, then please consult your vet who will be able to offer further advice.

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