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How to do a smooth food transition

Are you thinking about trying a new dog food brand? Then you should read this guide first. When introducing a new feed to your dog, it’s important to do it carefully and progressively in order to prevent stomach problems. A smooth food transition = a happy and healthy dog!  

Why change dog food? 

Most dogs change feed at least a couple of times in their lives. The most common reason is the transition from puppy-feed to adult-feed, but it can also be a change in brand, composition or variety because of changed nutritional needs. Sometimes, the dog owner is just curious to try a new kind. Regardless of the reason, it’s always recommended to carefully introduce the new feed to your dog. 

A smooth transition

Unlike humans, dogs’ bodies are sensitive to quick changes in diet. Their intestinal flora is constantly shaped by the feed that they’re eating, so if a quick change in diet happens, there’s a risk for stomach problems. Therefore, it’s important to let their digestive system to progressively get used to the new feed in order to digest it properly. It also means that a new bacterial culture needs to be built-up over time, which is why many quick changes in diet should be avoided. 

Our 16-day guide

Together with veterinarians, we’ve made a food transition guide that will guarantee a smooth transition. In this way, you will be able to separate reactions caused by a food change and reactions caused by intolerance or allergy. This guide builds on the idea to progressively mix the new need with the old feed during a longer period of time until the dog’s body is fully accustomed with the new feed. 

Day 1-5
20% new – 80% old

Day 6-10
40% new – 60% old 

Day 11-15
75% new – 15% old

Day 16
100% new ☺ 

Always make sure to mix the two feeds properly and that your dog has access to drinking water. This method eliminates any bad reactions caused by a hasty food change, but if your dog still reacts badly – throws up, have diarrhea or skin issues – it could be signs of food sensitivity, intolerance or allergy. If this happens you should consolidate with a veterinarian.  

If you are changing from dry food to wet food, you can mix some of the wet food in the dry food. This works well if your dog eats at regular hours, but could work less well if your dog always has access to food. If the latter applies to you, then it’s a good idea let the dry food stay put, but place the wet food out during short periods of time. If you are planning to change feed in the opposite direction, from wet food to dry food, you can use the same method but reversed. You simply mix some dry food with the wet food and let your dog progressively get used to it.

Good luck! 

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