How Do You Change Your Dog’s Diet?

Dogs are creatures of habit, and usually prefer to stick with their current food. But sometimes it’s necessary to disrupt the routine, and transition to a new food. Here are some smart strategies for giving your dog a brand new menu without much resistance.

  • Introduce New Food Gradually 

Gradually introducing new food is the most successful way to ease your dog into a change in diet. Start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% old food. Slowly change the proportions over three days or so by gradually increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the original food.

How Do You Change Your Dog's Diet thedogdaily.com

Slowly change the proportions over three days or so by gradually increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the original food. At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. You may encounter some difficulties, such as your dog choosing to eat only the old food, or not eating at all. Not to worry, a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.

  • Make Your Body Language Positive 

Bringing a new food into your home, placing it into a bowl, and declaring that your dog had better eat it might cause your dog to go on an eating strike. Changing your dog’s diet is not the time to show who the boss is. It is better to introduce the new food to the dog using a pleasant tone of voice. Gently encourage the dog to try new food.

  • Handling Resistance From Your Dog 

It is essential not to give up too soon! During the initial two-day period, do not give your dog treats or table scraps! Dogs train us as much as we teach them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more challenging to make a nutritious dietary change.

  • Going From Moist To Dry Dog Food 

Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from moist food to dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix a little warm water with the food. You may even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you combine the food with water, it is essential to discard the uneaten portion after 20 minutes. Discarding any uneaten food prevents spoilage. The same rule applies to canned food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean them onto the dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.

Feeding Your Dog For Lifestyle or Life Stage

As you change your dog’s diet, it’s a good time to think about portion sizes. Recommended feeding amounts are shown on every package. The guidelines are general suggestions for the amount of food you should feed your dog. Every dog is different and does not require the same amount of food. Your dog’s activity level and individual metabolic makeup are the determining factors. Start with the amount given in the feeding guidelines, add or subtract food, and observe your dog’s eating habits and weight.

When changing your dog’s diet, it is also an excellent time to review your current feeding method to make sure it is still appropriate for your dog’s new diet. One feeding option is called Portion-Controlled Feeding. To do this, divide the daily amount and feed at specific time intervals. It is essential to remove all remaining food after 15 to 20 minutes. This practice establishes a pattern for your dog to follow. The portion-controlled feeding method is recommended for giant and large breeds and also for overweight dogs. Portion-controlled Feeding is also a suitable method for dogs with special needs.

Another option is called Free-Choice Feeding. Free-Choice Feeding requires feeding the daily amount at one time and allowing your dog to eat at its own pace. This method is recommended for use only with dry foods. Remember, dogs eat to meet their energy requirements. Most dogs will quickly define their daily portions when eating free choice.

What Every Dog Needs

Regardless of which food you choose to feed, your dog must have plenty of fresh, clean water available at all times. Place the water three to five feet from the food. Keeping the bowls separate will help prevent your dog from gulping water and air in addition to food. Dogs need a routine. Feeding at the same time and place every day establishes a comfortable eating pattern.

And remember, your dog needs to visit the veterinarian regularly. Regular visits help to keep your dog happy and healthy!

Article written by Author: Mary Kirkland

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