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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?
 

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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.
 

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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-often-should-i-change-foods.html<
Well your website you suggested says the same thing I suggested:

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.
 

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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. :D
 

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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.
 

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Just curious - what is the rationale behind switching every 2 bags?
The rationale is that one food is complete no matter what the bag says. And prolonged exposure to one protein source can cause your dog to develop allergies. If you can find 3 or 4 different foods of similar quality that have different proteins it is a good idea to switch it around IMO. And even if it didn't make a nutritional difference would you want to eat the same thing every day for the rest of your life? I don't cycle in order normally. I go from Orijen Adult, to Orijen 6 Fish, to Acana Grassland and then I might go back to fish or back to adult. Sometimes I can get bags that the pet store ripped (the girl calls me when they rip one and I go buy it :p ) so this helps make my decision as well. I find it better to feed 6 fish when they are throwing a coat as it provides more oils for the skin and coat.
 

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Well your website you suggested says the same thing I suggested:
I agree with mixing it gradually if you have to, if my dogs had terrible diarrhea when I switched foods I would have to mix it over time. I was just saying that you shouldn't go out and buy another bag of food if you don't really have to, but it won't hurt (just the wallet).
 

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I always change abruptly......I fast them for a day and then start the new food. I only do it three times a year......and my dogs never have any problems.

It depends on the dog.
 
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