The Proper Way to Switch Your Dog's Diet
Throughout your dog's lifetime, there may be several occasions when you need to switch your dog's diet. It is important to know the proper method to change your dog's diet to ease your pet through the transition.
Many reasons exist that may cause you to feel the need to switch your dog's diet. A puppy, for example, must change from milk during nursing to dog food. Your adult dog may need to transition to a dog food diet specifically designed for senior dogs. Health reasons may be yet another cause for a switch.
After consulting with your vet about the change to your dog's diet, you will want to consider all of your options. Upon making the final decision, you will want to make the change gradually and over time. Do not stop feeding one type of diet on Sunday evening and begin a completely new regimen on Monday morning. Such a drastic change will undoubtedly create some serious results.
Switching your dog's diet too quickly can result in your dog having an upset stomach. Diarrhea is likely to result.
The proper way to switch your dog's diet takes several days. Over two weeks, gradually reduce the amount of the original diet and slowly increase the food for the new diet. For example, if you typically feed your pet a diet of 3 and 1/2 cups of kibble per day, you will only want to change the diet at the rate of 1/4 cup each day. Keep in mind if you feed your dog's diet twice daily, divide the amount in half at each feeding.
Day 1 of the switch you would feed your dog 3 and 1/4 cups of the original kibble and 1/4 cup of the new dog diet. This total amount should be portioned between the number of meals during the day. Day 2 you would feed 3 cups of the original diet and 1/2 cup of the new diet. On day number 14, your dog's diet will have been completely changed over.
This gradual process may seem slow at first but be assured, it is for the best. A dog's diet is not like a human's diet. People vary their diet daily. Sometimes we stir things up from meal to meal. Your dog's diet is best when it is consistent. Do not change brands or feeding methods frequently.
Once you find a dog diet that works well to promote the health of your pet, it is best to stick with it. You should allow several weeks, and preferably months, on a new diet before assessing the results. This is true unless otherwise directed by your vet. Some instances may arise when this is not a plausible plan.
Your vet can best educate you on when and why to switch your dog's diet. Unless otherwise directed, the proper method for changing your dog's diet takes time. The gradual change will reduce the stress and change your dog's system and digestive tract. Whenever a diet is working well for your dog, it is best to leave your dog's diet alone. Consistency is helpful to maintain your dog's ultimate health potential.