Dog Foods, How to Switch
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

When feeding your pet a new food, introduce it slowly. If you feed too much too soon, your pet could suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, excess gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

Intestinal Bacteria Play An Important Role

Normal bacteria in the intestine help your dog or cat digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes to the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, your pet must be switched to a new food slowly.

A Gradual Change is Best

We recommend switching to a new food gradually over the course of 7-10 days. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for three days. Then make it 50-50 for three more days, then 75% new food and 25% old food for three more days. If your pet seems comfortable with this progression, you can start feeding 100% new food.

If at any time your dog or cat starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching the food. And as always, if problems continue to occur, consult your veterinarian.