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Changing your dog’s food: Tips & tricks for a smooth changeover

The reasons for changing a dog's food can be very diverse. Perhaps the dog can no longer tolerate the previous food due to an allergy/intolerance. Due to an illness, a special diet must be fed. Or you simply want to bring a little variety into your pet's bowl. In any case, the changeover to the new food should be as gentle as possible and a few things should be taken into account. Changing the dog's food: Tips & tricks for a smooth changeover
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Just like for us, we only want the best for our four-legged friends on the plate or in the bowl. That’s why we want to offer our dog a change of diet every now and then. Since every change of food requires the dog’s organism and especially the intestines to adapt, a change of food should not be carried out too frequently and, above all, gently. However, some reasons make it necessary to change to a different type of food or even a different type of food:

  • Allergies or intolerances to ingredients of the previous food.
  • Chronic illness of the organs (e.g. special diet feed for renal insufficiency or diabetes)
  • Change to a higher quality food
  • New phase of life (change from puppy to adult food; change to food for seniors)
  • Overweight or underweight
  • Feed refusal
  • Supply shortages

A food allergy or intolerance is one of the most common reasons for a change in diet. Dogs that frequently show symptoms such as abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhoea or soft faeces, vomiting, itching or flaky fur may be suffering from a food allergy/intolerance. However, as there may be other causes behind these problems, it is worth consulting a vet.

Gentle feed conversion step by step

A food allergy or intolerance is one of the most common reasons for a change in diet. Dogs that frequently show symptoms such as abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhoea or soft faeces, vomiting, itching or a flaky coat may be suffering from a food allergy/intolerance. However, as there may be other causes behind these problems, it is worth consulting a vet.
The intestinal flora and the digestive juices in the dog’s intestine are used to the current food and specially adapted so that it can be digested as well as possible. If the food is suddenly changed without a transition, this can throw the digestion out of balance. Diarrhoea, flatulence and nausea can be the consequences. For this reason, you should give your dog’s gastrointestinal tract enough time to get used to the new food. As a rule, you should allow about 1 week for the food changeover and gradually switch to the new food. This allows the dog’s organism to adjust optimally to the new food. Gradually add the new food to the old food and slowly increase the proportion of the new food:

  • Day 1 – 3: Replace a quarter of the previous food with the new food.
  • Day 4 – 6: Replace half of the previous food with the new food.
  • Day 7 – 9: Replace three quarters of the previous feed with the new feed.
  • Day 10: The entire ration now consists of the new feed.

Most animals cope well with this type of food change. For very sensitive dogs, the adaptation period can be prolonged for a few more days and the food can be changed even more slowly over 14 days.

Change of dry and wet food

Most animals cope well with this type of food change. For very sensitive dogs, the adaptation period can be extended for a few more days and the food can be changed even more slowly over 14 days.
If you want to change not only the type of food your dog eats, but even the type of food (dry food to wet food or vice versa), it is even more important to change the food slowly. In this case, the organism has to adjust even more to the new food and needs enough time to do so. More often than not, digestive problems can occur during such a change, which can be reduced by a gentle adaptation over 2-3 weeks. We also recommend not mixing dry and wet food in the same ration because of the different digestion times in the stomach. During the acclimatisation phase, you can give the portion of the new food at some distance (approx. 3-4 hours). Since wet food contains considerably more moisture than dry food, your four-legged friend’s drinking behaviour will usually change with the change. Since the dogs already absorb considerably more liquid with the wet food, the animals drink considerably less when fed wet food than when fed dry food. So don’t be surprised if your dog drinks more or less after the change of food than before.

What problems can occur when changing the feed?

Typical problems that can occur during a feed change are:

  • Flatulence
  • Pappy faeces
  • Frequent defecation
  • Larger quantity of faeces
  • Vomiting

With a slow and gentle food change, many dogs have no or only very mild problems. However, these problems can occur during and up to 3-4 weeks after the changeover. This is quite normal, as the intestinal flora and digestive juices first have to get used to the new food composition. Especially frequent defecation during walks is not unusual during the changeover phase. After about 3-4 weeks, the frequency and amount of defecation should have returned to normal. The same applies to a somewhat softer faeces consistency or flatulence.

Advantages of the LILA LOVES IT wet food

  • Meat from species-appropriate animal husbandry
  • Healthy organic ingredients
  • Open declaration of all ingredients
  • Natural, healthy & balanced Regionally produced
  • Extra flavour

If you would like to switch to our high-quality organic dog food, we would also be happy to advise you by phone. Simply contact us on +49 8192 9967430.