There are a host of reasons why you may need to move your dog onto a new food. Nutritional requirements alter as dogs get older. A medical condition might require a special diet or you may acquire a new pet and want to move from their previous diet to a new one.
Because dogs can often be sensitive to changes in their diet, try to make the transition as smooth as possible. A slow transition process will help your dog to digest the ingredients of the new brand more easily, by adjusting the enzymes in his or her digestive tract.
Start by mixing the new food with your usual type, then gradually increase the proportion over one week to ten days, until your dog is only eating the new food.
Add 1 part of the new food to 9 parts of your dog's usual food.
Add 2 parts new to 8 parts of the old food.
Add 3 parts to 7 and so on until…
You are only feeding the new food.
Changing from wet food to dry
- If you switch from a wet to a dry food, your dog will chew it more actively, may take longer to eat and will certainly require more water. Dry foods can contain more energy than wet food so you will not need to provide as much food, volume-wise.
Changing from dry food to wet
- If switching from dry to wet, expect your dog to drink a little less, and eat more as a meal, in less time. As dry foods are in general more energy-dense than wet foods, your dog may need to eat proportionally more wet food to gain the same calories. You may want to add a few dry biscuits to the wet food to provide some crunch for dogs used to eating dry food.
Changing from puppy to adult formulas
- Move puppies to an adult formula at approximately 12-24 months, depending on breed. Larger and giant breeds take far longer to mature.
- Don't be tempted to switch too soon.
Changing from adult to senior
- Dogs 7 years old and above (depending on breed) may be fed a specially formulated senior food, designed to provide the optimum balance of key nutrients.
If your dog refuses to eat the new diet, contact your vet. There may be a medical reason for this, and he or she may be able to advise you on alternative formulations.