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How to Change Your Dog's Food

Learn techniques for making dog food changes.

Abrupt changes in diet can result in gastrointestinal irritation for dogs. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are common occurrences when a dog's food is changed quickly.

Of course, sometimes it's necessary to change your dog's food type, either because they've advanced to a new life stage or for some other reason. Luckily, you may be able to minimize GI distress from the diet change. Follow these steps if you need to change the type of food your dog eats.

  • Check with your veterinarian first to ensure your new diet choice is appropriate and safe.
  • Start the switch by giving your dog 25% new food and 75% old food. Mix the two together well to discourage your dog from picking out only the kibbles he or she wants. Watch closely for any change in appetite or any sign of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If all is going well after four or five days, start giving your dog 50% new food and 50% old type of food. Watch carefully for any change in appetite or any sign of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If all is going well after four or five days, start giving your dog 75% new food and 25% old. Watch carefully for any change in appetite or any sign of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If all is going well after four or five days, start giving 100% new food.

If at any point in the process, your dog shows signs of GI upset, go back to the previous step and move forward more slowly.

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