There are a lot of reasons why you may want to switch dog food, whether it is saving money or you find a better product with more natural ingredients. Any dog owner should know that deciding to switch dog food should be something you do over a period of time, because just changing out foods in one day can cause digestive issues for your dog. As a dog owner, here is the best method I have found when it comes to switching out dog food without upsetting your dog, and it happens over 10 days.
Mix one-quarter of new food for three days
When you first begin switching dog food, you want to mix one-quarter cup of new food in with the old food each meal. This means that if you give your dog one cup of food each meal, 75 percent of the food should be old, so that the dog gets a small taste of the new food. You should not eyeball these amounts, it is much better if you just grab a measuring cup that way you are precise and know for sure how much new food you are giving your dog.
Use half-cup of new food for three days
When you get to day four, you should begin mixing one-half cup of new food in with the old food during each meal. It is best when you do this to use a spoon or fork and stir the new food and old food together, because you want your dog to get a taste for both when eating. If you do not stir it up, then you have old food on top and new food on bottom or the reverse, and it does not help the dog adjust properly to the new food. You should be keeping an eye on your dog during this step to make sure that the dog is eating the new food, and to make sure that there is no digestive issues such as gas or vomiting. If you do notice digestive issues, you should stop the new food immediately and consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Move to three-quarters cup of new food for three days
On day 7, you should begin to use three-quarters cup of new food mixed in with one-quarter cup of old food during each meal. By this point, your dog has probably gotten used to the new food taste and smell, and should be just as receptive to meal time as before. Again, you want to make sure you are watching for any digestive issues to ensure that your dog is not having a bad reaction to the new food.
Begin using new food only
On day 10, you should be replacing the old dog food with the new food completely. You should not have to guide your dog or encourage your dog to eat the new food, since most of the food for the past few days has been the new food.
If you want to make the process a little quicker, you can also cut down one day on each step, making the total process one week instead of 10 days. It is pretty much up to you how you want to handle that, based on how receptive you feel your dog has been to the new food. Either way, you should not make the process any shorter than a week due to the fact a fast transition can be upsetting for your dog.