Breaking up can be difficult, whether you’re doing it with a job, boyfriend, or significant other. Changing the dog’s food can also be difficult for your dog. But sometimes it has to be done.
“Usually it’s a medical reason,” says Dr. Ashley Rossman, DVM at Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital. She recommends speaking with your veterinarian before changing a dog’s diet for any reason, including personal reasons. For example, you may have heard of a new dog food trend, like grain-free, but it may not be necessary for your dog or well worth the effort for you.
“If you just suddenly change their dog food, they have [have digestive issues]”Says Dr. Rossman, adding that some dogs may initially dislike the taste of a new food.
If you need to change your dog’s food or get approval from your veterinarian, there are a few simple steps you can take to alleviate these digestive issues. Dr. Rossman explained how to change your dog’s food.
Top tips for changing dog food
Dr. Rossman says the biggest key to making dog food changes without a fuss is to take it slow.
“If you know your dog has a sensitive stomach, start with 10 percent new dog food, 90 percent old dog food,” she recommends.
If the dog’s stool becomes firm after a few days, switch to 20 percent new food, 80 percent old food, and so on. Dr. Rossman recommends expecting a duration of two to three weeks.
If your dog doesn’t have a sensitive stomach, you can finish the process in a week and start with a ratio of 30 percent new food to 70 percent old food. Again, make sure the dog’s stool remains firm before moving on to the next step. Chances are your pup has a sensitive stomach and you just don’t know.
Why timing is everything
You should also consider timing. For example, if you are moving or adding a new dog (or human) to the family, it is probably best to postpone your dog’s change of food if you can.
“You don’t want to add too many stressors at once,” says Dr. Rossman, adding that if it is for medical reasons, you may have no choice.
Resolving issues with changing dog foods
Although dogs are known to be more flexible than cats about food preferences, sometimes their bodies can’t help it. Dr. Rossman suggests using a soft, low-sodium broth like chicken or beef to relieve stomach problems.
However, if the problems persist or your dog repeatedly refuses the food, you may need to try something else.
“You may not like this food and you may need to change the taste,” says Dr. Rossman.