Tips for Switching Your Dog to a Better Dog Food

When to switch a puppy from puppy food to dog food? What dog food should I buy my new dog? How to switch dog food? Is it okay to buy a different brand of dog food every time, or should you keep your dog on the same brand of dog food for a longer time? Will dogs get bored of eating the same dog food? How to change my dogs food? Signs that a dog is not eating a good dog food?

There are several times a dog owner may have to switch the food their dog is eating. While some dog owners buy any dog food that happens to be on sale at the time this is generally not a good idea and can contribute to the dog developing food allergies. By switching foods too suddenly a dog is likely to suffer from tummy aches or diarrhea.  Dogs eating good food usually do not get bored as we think of it.

When buying a new puppy, or dog, you should keep it on the food it was already on, but you may want to switch. Wait at least a week before you do so.

The other times when you are likely to have to switch your dog's food is when it goes from puppy food to adult food. For small house dogs this might be as early as 10 months of age, but for large breed dogs, being fed large breed puppy food, it may be more like 18 months, or even 24.

If a person has selected a good brand of dog food, and all goes well, the dog can remain on that food for most of its life, only having to switch to a senior food when it is older.

Otherwise a person may switch foods at any time if they notice their dog is having issues with the food it is on. Some common problems associated with a dog food that may result in the owner selecting a different food are:

  • Hot Spots (often an indication of food allergies)
  • Yeast Infection in the Ears (often food allergies)
  • Excessive shedding (low quality ingredients)
  • Owner Notices Low Quality Ingredients in the Dog Food (BHT, BHA, by-products, food colors)
  • Dog Becoming Obese (too much food, or wrong kind of food)
  • Regular Diarrhea or Vomiting (dog has a sensitive stomach)
  • Too Much Smelly Flatulence (can be health related, or diet)

How to Switch Dog Foods

You need to buy the new dog food before you run out of the current food.

Mix the new dog food in with the current food at a rate of ¼ new food to ¾ current food, feed this for a week. Assuming there are no problems with diarrhea, continue.

Mix the new dog food with the current one half and half for a week.

Mix the new food with current food, ¾ new dog food, ¼ previous food, feed this for a week.

If all goes well you can feed the dog only new food at this point.

Some concerns are that the dog may have some diarrhea. You can give Petpo Bismol, or Immodium, for this and be sure the diarrhea is not related to other problems. If your dog has diarrhea, go more slowly when changing the food.

Another concern is that the dog can be fussy and will not eat the new food. This is common especially when going up or down in quality. If the dog was on a poor quality food, one with lots of filler, it has become accustomed to eating junk food and does not want to eat “healthy”. You can help your dog by putting the new food in the microwave for a few seconds to bring out its oils and make it smell yummy.

If the dog was use to eating top quality food and is now being offered poor quality food it simply is not eating because it does not recognize the new food, as food. Mix half and half for longer, or keep the dog on a good quality food.

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