As pet owners ourselves, we know just how important it is to manage your pet’s diet, so here are a few tips to manage the transition if their regular food isn’t available.
Wet foods, which are sold in cans, trays and pouches, can be a great add to your pet’s diet. Wet and dry foods are equally nutritious and feeding a combination of wet and dry foods is known as ‘mixed feeding’. This method of feeding provides a pet with taste and texture variety and enables them to get the benefits that each feeding format offers. In other words, mixed feeding provides a pet with the best of both worlds, so it's a great choice.
If you’re new to wet food, some of the benefits include:
- Provides variety to a pet’s diet through aroma, flavour and texture
- Food is sterilised through cooking, so no preservatives are added
- Easy to chew texture can help puppies and kittens, as well as senior pets
- Provides additional moisture, especially beneficial to the pet when the weather is warm
- Aromas and texture can help tempt fussy eaters
- High moisture content helps support lower urinary tract health
- Less calorie dense than dry food, so can assist with weight loss and healthy weight management
Changing a pet's diet too quickly could make their tummy unhappy, which can cause a stomach-ache and diarrhoea. That's why the food transition period may take about a week. To make the process as smooth and pleasant as possible, please follow the simple steps in this guide.
If your pet is on a special diet, please consult with your veterinarian before switching to a different type of food.
Mixing your existing pet food with the new food for about 5 days is the ideal approach to transitioning your pet's food. This enables your pet's digestive system to adjust without experiencing gastrointestinal problems.
- Day 1: Start the adjustment phase for clean digestion by feeding 75% of your pet’s current (old) diet and mixing in 25% of the new food in each meal.
- Day 2: Switch to feeding 60% of your previous food and 40% new food in each serving.
- Day 3: Mix 50% of your old food with 50% of your new food in each dish.
- Day 4: Feed 40% of your old food every serving, combined with 60% of the new food.
- Day 5: Mix 25% of your old food with 75% of the new food in each serving.
- Day 6: Serve 100% of the new food – you should be nearing the end of your pet’s digestive transition period at this point, and can fully feed the new food!
Note: Divide the daily serving amount into two meals: one in the morning and the other in the evening.
What are the symptoms while transitioning pet food?
When changing a pet’s food, make sure to keep a close check on your pet during this period. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure it doesn't have an upset stomach or any other health issues.
- Verify that your pet continues to drink the recommended amount of water.
- Your pet's gas should ideally remain low. So, if your pet is constantly passing gas, that means it is not being able to process the new diet properly.
- Your pet’s stools should be normal. Although it may sound a bit gross, it's critical to keep an eye on your pet's poop to ensure it's not too runny. The presence of runny stool raises fears of diarrhea and dehydration.
- In general, diarrhea caused by switching diets should last no more than 3 or 4 days at the most. Some pets may take up to a week to adapt to the new diet but that is pushing it. In most cases, pets acclimate to their new meal in two or three days.
What to do if the pet is not able to adjust the change in dog food?
Slow down the process and give your pet more time to adjust to the new food if you notice a lot of change in these areas. The majority of symptoms connected with an upset stomach should be alleviated by this progressive process of transitioning pet food. Consider gradually reverting to the old diet if the food transition isn't working, no matter how gently you go with the meal shift. It's possible that your pet is allergic to the new food. Consult your veterinarian if more significant problems emerge during the changeover.
Keep an eye on them
Once your pet has taken to their new diet and is no longer being fed any of their old food, you should keep feeding this new diet for at least two months so your pet can feel the full benefit of their new nutrition, and you can better gauge how well they are responding to it.