Making dietary changes
Transitioning your dog from one diet to another is a straightforward process. Dog food transitioning just takes a little time. But if you’re switching from commercial dog food to a fresh diet, the effort will be amongst the most worthwhile things you’re ever likely to have done. I’ve done it and I know first-hand the difference it made to my dog Marco all those years ago!
The digestive systems of my dogs Marco and Ava are rock solid. They are used to variety so nothing phases them. But if your canine companion is used to eating the same food all the time, his or her digestive system will take a little time to adjust to a new diet. If ever you’ve had tummy troubles at the start of a foreign holiday you’ll know what I’m talking about!?!?!
It really doesn’t matter here whether you’re transitioning from one brand of dog food to another, or to an altogether different diet. Your dog’s little (or not so little) tummy will take time to adjust either way. Perhaps more in some cases, maybe less in others.
Beginning the transition
Either way, the rule of thumb is the same. Begin by feeding your dog 75% of its current food. The food that its digestive system is familiar with. Combine this well with 25% of your dog’s new diet to ensure he or she cannot pick out the old and leave the new.
These percentages don’t need to be precise by the way. Slightly over or under won’t make any difference.
It’s advisable to check your dog’s stools during this food changeover. If they start becoming too lose, go a bit slower with the transition. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it will give you a good indication as to how things are going.
Assuming all is well though, after a couple of days, introduce a little more of your dog’s new diet until you have roughly a 50/50 consistency.
If all continues to go well in the stool department, move on to a 75/25 combination after a further couple of days. And if all is still well by that time, complete the changeover a few days later by feeding 100% of your dog’s new diet.
And there you have it. Dog food transitioning 101!
If you now have your dog on a homemade diet, introduce new ingredients slowly at first. Perhaps one or two new ingredients at a time. In a matter of weeks though, it will be plain sailing.
Once your best friend is used to variety, your dog’s digestive system will be as robust as yours. You’ll be able to mix and match ingredients and phase in new recipes without giving it a thought. Today for example my dogs are having sardines, tuna, potatoes, broccoli stems, spinach, carrots and hard boiled eggs together with pinto, haricot, kidney and cannellini beans.
Not that they’re spoiled or anything!