How to Transition to New Dog Food

Charmaine Griffin
October 24, 2020

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Change is a good thing, especially if you’re thinking about feeding your pup a new dog food. 

And we get it… knowing when and how to make the switch could be the toughest part! 

Maybe you’ve noticed your dog is turning their nose up to their current food or another pet parent recommended a new food you’d like to try. 

There are several reasons why it could be time to change their diet:  

  • Your dog has lost interest in their current food
  • Their dietary needs have changed 
  • They’ve developed sensitivities to certain ingredients
  • Their life stage has changed (your pup is now an adult dog)
  • You want to incorporate more protein in their diet 
  • The ingredients in their current food have changed/food is discontinued

After making the decision to change their diet and deciding on a new dog food formula, the next step is introducing the new food to your dog.

When To Make The Switch

Since dogs typically eat the same food for a long period of time, their digestive systems are much more sensitive than their pet parents, who are used to eating a variety of foods throughout the day. 

Fun fact: Dogs have over 1700 taste receptors on their tongues versus humans who have around 9,000. This is why they don’t get as “food fatigued” as we do. 

The last thing you want to do is suddenly feed them a new diet without giving them adequate time to adjust. Why? Because your dog could get sick or leave you with a not-so-fun potty mess to clean up.

If you’re ready to feed your dog new food the best way to start is by gradually incorporating their previous food with their new formula. 

How To Transition 

First, be sure to choose a formula that’s ideal for their life stage: whether a puppy, senior, pregnant, or nursing. If your dog is in any of the stages be sure to consult with your veterinarian before switching.

If the formula is labeled “complete and balanced for all life stages of adult dogs,” any life stage can eat this food. Complete and balanced diets are defined by the Association for American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) as having all the essential nutrients required to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. 

Our transition guide breaks down introducing new food over the course of a 7 day period period.

Transition Guide

 

Some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Monitor your dog during the transition to make sure they’re responding positively to the new food
  • If you notice they are having digestive issues consider extending the transition period or stop feeding the new food. If these issues are severe contact your local vet.
  • Even though your pup might readily enjoy their new food, avoid a “cold-turkey” switch to prevent digestive upset.
  • Continue using any toppers, mix-ins, and wet foods you already add to your pup’s food before and after transitioning. 

Redbarn’s Grain-Free and Whole-Grain line of kibble is a great choice if you’re looking to try new dog food. 

Both formulas start with meat as the first five ingredients blended with functional ingredients like pumpkin, miscanthus grass, probiotics, and prebiotics for healthy digestion; omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, flaxseed, and sunflower oil for healthy skin and coat; and guaranteed levels of methionine, taurine & l-carnitine to support heart health. 

Redbarn also has a line of Air Dried dog food for pups who love meat, with over 90% chicken, fish, or beef in each recipe. Blended with flaxseed, salmon oil, vitamins & minerals, the crunchy taste is great for enticing picky eaters. It’s also a complete and balanced full feed for all life stages. 

After The Transition  

Monitor your pet’s response to their new food during the transition period. Be sure to check for any tummy issues, stool, skin and coat issues, and change in overall energy levels. If you notice these changes haven’t subsided after your dog has fully switched diets be sure to consult with your veterinarian. 

If the new food you’ve chosen is good to go, great! You can now start adding some fun additions like toppers and mix-ins. Redbarn’s Air Dried food is a great option for adding some extra protein, flavor, and texture –– it makes a great topper or mix-in! 

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