Hey there, pet parents! We all want the very best for our furry pals, including a healthy and delicious diet. If you’re ready to embark on a delightful adventure of transitioning your pet to new pet food, we’ve got you covered! We’ve asked the leading veterinarian, Dr Carra Walters of Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital, for the best tips on switching or transitioning your pet’s food. Here is an easy guide she shared with us on transitioning your pet’s food:
Changing your pet’s food diet
“Unlike human diets, where we can substitute one food source for another immediately, pets require a gradual transition from one type of food to another. Changing your pet’s diet too quickly can cause gastrointestinal upset, with symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea. This is because the new food may have different ingredients, nutrient levels, or fibre content than what your pet is used to, which can be difficult for their digestive systems and gut microbiomes to adjust to.” Dr. Carra Walters Abruptly changing your pet’s diet can lead to digestive issues such as upset stomach, diarrhoea, or vomiting. To avoid these problems, it’s crucial to gradually introduce the new pet food while allowing their system to adjust to the dietary changes. A slow transition minimizes the risk of gastrointestinal upset and helps your pet become accustomed to the new food.
Best practices for changing your pet’s diet
Begin with determining the serving size of your new diet. On day one, start with the ratio of new to old food and feed this over two meals, ideally 12hrs apart (as shown in the image below). On day 2, repeat this ratio. Increase the proportion of new to old food as shown in the images attached over seven days, with day seven as 100% of the new food divided into two meals.
What to do if your pet is not interested in trying the new food
Try premixing the new and old pet food ratios and allowing the flavours to blend overnight in a plastic container. Some pets have a very selective palate, so do not feel discouraged immediately if they do not seem keen. You can also contact Dr Walters here for advice or any other local vet. Dr Walters says that it takes at least a seven-day process for your dog to safely transition to a new diet. “That’s why I recommend starting this switch as soon as possible before you complete the remaining quantities of your existing dog food. If you have any concerns, contact your local vet.” Dr. Carra Walters You can contact Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital here for advice or any other local vet if you have any questions with transitioning your pet’s food.
Signs that you are transitioning your dog’s food too quickly
If you experience signs of transitioning too fast, such as: inattentiveness (lack of appetite), reduced appetite, soft stools vomiting, reduce your ratio to day one of this guide and start again. If symptoms persist longer than 24 hours, consult your veterinarian. When it comes to transitioning your pet to a new pet food, it’s important to plan ahead and be patient. Following a gradual transition, selecting the correct food, and carefully monitoring your pet’s reaction can help reduce the risk of digestive problems and ensure a smooth transition. Your pet’s health and overall well-being are important, and feeding them a nutritious diet is an important part of their overall well-being and long-term success. Struggling to choose between wet and dry food for your dog? Click here to help you decide what’s best for your pet.