Switching dog food can be tough for some pups, but sometimes it’s necessary. Your dog may have food allergies or sensitivities or need to lose weight. Or maybe your pup is simply tired of the food they’ve been eating and need a new flavor. Whatever the reason, it’s important for your dog’s well-being and comfort that you transition gradually to new dog food.

Switching dog food abruptly can cause your pup gastrointestinal discomfort, which is bad for everyone involved. Your furry friend may experience an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, bloating, vomiting, and may even lose their appetite. Gradually changing your pup’s diet helps your dog adjust to new food over a period of days. This makes gastrointestinal issues much less likely.

Your dog may be ready for all Puppo, all the time, but their digestive system needs to adjust to any new food. By transitioning slowly, you can help them avoid uncomfortable tummy troubles.

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How to Transition Dog Food

We recommend using a gradual five-day approach when transitioning your dog to a new type of food. This step-by-step approach will give your dog’s system a chance to adjust. To ensure your dog has a stress-free transition when you are switching dog food, follow these steps.

The rough rule is to increase the amount of new food by 20% every day while decreasing your old food. The schedule would look like this:

Transitioning to PUPPO

Day 1: 20% PUPPO, 80% old brand
Day 2: 40% PUPPO, 60% old brand
Day 3: 60% PUPPO, 40% old brand
Day 4: 80% PUPPO, 20% old brand
Day 5: 100% PUPPO, goodbye to old brand!

This gradual transition is generally a good idea for many reasons. Your dog might have a delicate gastrointestinal system that needs to be “trained” to digest the new food. The bacteria and other microbes in the gut are used to digest certain foods, and a sudden change to a completely new food can cause gas or loose stool. Also, picky eaters may be more receptive when new foods are first introduced in small amounts. 

Your dog might be just fine with going “cold turkey.” But since it is often hard to tell what is or isn’t causing them distress, it’s recommended to gradually ease them into the new chow. By making the dietary changes gradually, you can monitor your pet to ensure that your pup is feeling good. This allows you to make sure that your pup’s diet is ideal for your furry friend.

When to Switch Dog Food More Slowly

If your pet is super sensitive to change or you’re making a big diet switch such as transitioning your pet from a wet to a dry kibble mix or from one protein to another, your pet may need a more gradual transition. 

To make the transition more slowly, try doubling the five-day approach by spending two days at each stage. This will give your pet more time to acclimate to the new food while avoiding sensitivity issues and discomfort.

If at any point when you’re switching dog food your pup starts to display symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting, it’s a good idea to slow down on the dietary transition. At that point, consider doubling the number of days for transitioning your pet’s food. 

If you’ve slowed down on the dog food transition and your pup is still experiencing issues of gastrointestinal upset, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian. A vet can tell if there are other issues occurring, such as food allergies or sensitivities.

Adverse Food Reactions and Sensitivities in Dogs

Adverse food reactions is a blanket term that refers to a wide variety of food-related illnesses in dogs. These include food intolerances and allergies, as well as stomach upset. Actual food allergies are rarer than reactions and sensitivities. 

If your veterinarian discovers that your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity, you may be instructed to do an elimination diet trial. If you determine that your pup has sensitivities or allergies, there’s a good chance that a Puppo diet can help.

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