When your dog needs a new food:
The single most important thing you can do to help your dog accept a new food is to gradually transition from the old to the new food over a period of at least 7 days.
Although many dogs will readily eat a new food when it’s offered the first time, they may still experience side effects like vomiting, loose stools, and flatulence (gas). Some dogs are finicky eaters and may be reluctant to try something new, especially when it’s offered suddenly. Slowly changing to the food gives your dog time to adapt and greatly increases the chance of a successful outcome.
Patience is the key:
You may be anxious to get started right away; however this is not the best method for a smooth transition.
If you invest a little time initially to help your dog adjust and accept the change, you both will enjoy the benefits of the new food. This is especially important for foods that should be fed for the remainder of your dog’s life.
Our recommendation is to mix the old with the new:
Begin by feeding a small amount of the new food during first 1-2 days and then gradually add more new food (and less old food) until you’re feeding only the new food by the end of 7 days.
For finicky dogs, be patient and continue the transition longer e.g., another 3 – 7 days).
Tips for a successful transition:
Avoid beginning the new food during stressful times or when your pet is not feeling well. Dogs can associate the new food with stressful or unpleasant situations, and may not want to eat it even when they are feeling better.
Provide privacy and a quiet area away from loud noises and other pets.
Hand-feed your dog, at least initially. The person offering the food should have a good relationship with the dog prior to introducing the new food.
For Finicky eaters :
Offer moist food (canned) along with dry food.
If canned food has been refrigerated, warm to body temperature before feeding. Stir thoroughly to distribute “hot spots” that occur during microwave warming. If it’s too warm to touch, it’s too warm to feed.
Feed canned food from a newly opened container since some dogs will not eat refrigerated food even if it’s been warmed. Do not add table scraps or foods other than the food you are transitioning to. This will greatly decrease the benefit of the therapeutic food and make transition more difficult, if not impossible.
If your dog has decreased appetite or other side effects that last longer than 2-3 days, or if you need more help, please call us at 480-488-6181.