I'm switching my 5 year old lab's food. I forgot to mix the old with the new. Can I just start giving him the new, or shall I make a run to the pet store to grab some old????? Is it bad to just switch them over so quickly?
I don't recommend just switching over from one thing to another. It will upset your dog's stomach and probably lead to some loose stools.
Switch the food gradually, over a period of about a week. Start with a mixture of 25% new food and 75% of the old stuff and try that for two or three days, then try 50-50 for a couple of days. Then go up to 75% new, 25% old for a few days. Then you should be good to switch to just the new food by itself.
Obviously if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might take longer. Just to be safe, I gradually switch Abbey over to a new food over a couple of weeks.
I thought you might say that! Out I go to the pet store. Thanks for the advice.
Don't go buy more food. The worse that will happen is your dog will get the poops for a day or two. And that's only if they have a sensitive stomach. I chang my food every two bags and have zero problems. In the end it depends on your dog.
Take a look at this article for more info. >http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/how-o...nge-foods.html<
Last edited by captaincool; 03-24-2009 at 09:32 PM.
Do I need to change the food gradually?
It is usually wise to effect a change gradually. Not every dog is sensitive to food changes, and many will handle cold turkey changes without issue. But many won’t, and the upset tummies and loose stools that can come with changing foods too fast are such an annoyance (for the dog too!) that it makes sense just to change gradually, unless you know for certain that your dog has the sort of cast iron stomach that won’t be upset by a sudden change.
The simplest way to change foods is to blend the old and new foods together for a week or so. Start with a mix that is 25% new food and 75% old. Feed that for two or three days, and if there are no upset tummies or loose stools, increase the blend to a 50/50 mix. Again, feed that for a couple of days, then increase to a 75/25 blend, and finally to 100% new food. If at any stage there is a tummy upset or the dog’s stools become loose, then hold off on increasing the amount of new food in the blend until that problem resolves. If there are no problems at all, it will take a week to ten days to accomplish the switch.
Most dogs will do fine with an abrupt switch, even if it's not ideal.
I think it also depends on what you're switching from and to. For example, if you were switching from Ol' Roy to Orijen I would advise a VERY gradual switch, but if you were switching from EVO to Orijen, not so much. Caloric density of the food is what will effect the dog the most in a switch, so if the old and new is similar caloric density or even just pretty close, I wouldn't worry about mixing as much as I would if they were far apart.
Long-ish answer to your short simple question.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
I have to say that whenever I have switched my dogs food I have done it cold turkey, but they have iron digestive systems. Obviously if your dog has a sensitive stomach you should do the gradual approach.
I always switch cold turkey.
I always switch cold turkey also. But my dogs are use to different things in there diet so a food change is no big deal to them.