Transitioning Your Pet to a New Food
Why Transition When Changing Your Pet’s Diet?
Your dog’s or cat’s digestive tract is sensitive and needs time to acclimate to changes in diet. At CANIDAE® Pet Food Company, we recommend the following transition guidelines based on customer feedback, advice from veterinarians, and our own experience with our family pets.
Our CANIDAE® Life Stages and CANIDAE® Grain Free PURE dog food and cat food formulas contain more meat and less carbohydrates than most other brands. While a higher meat to carbohydrate ratio provides a healthier diet, those pets who are used to eating a different diet will transition easier if the old food and new food are mixed together at varying ratios for a short time. We recommend a 7 day transition period to smoothly make the switch as gentle as possible on your pet’s digestive system.
Our formulas are also more nutritionally dense than many other brands. As a result, your dog or cat will feel fuller and need fewer servings per day than what you may have been feeding previously. Many pets find our food to be more palatable than other brands, so some will want to eat more than their recommended daily amount. Please pay close attention and follow the daily servings guidelines on the back of the bag! And make sure to always offer plenty of fresh water to your pet.
Any abrupt change to a different diet can cause some pets to experience gastro-intestinal upset (for example: loose stools or vomiting). While this upset usually disappears in a matter of days, it can often be avoided by following these simple transition guidelines. Unlike humans, dogs and cats often eat the same diet for months or years and their digestive systems are not as used to change as ours are!
How to Transition Your Pet’s Diet
We have found that the smoothest transition from one dry pet food to another is to simply mix the foods together. This process should usually take about seven days until you are feeding your pet 100% of the new food. You can increase the transition time if your dog or cat is particularly sensitive to menu changes.
Additional Tips for Food Transitioning
- In most cases we realize transitioning slowly is not possible. In that case, feed smaller portions more regularly. We suggest breaking up the daily intake to 3 to 4 feedings per day. Adding warm water to the food will also decrease the chance of your pet eating too quickly and not chewing thoroughly. Gulping a highly palatable product could cause vomiting.
- If at any time during the transition, your pet experiences gastro-intestinal upset, keep the ratio of new to old food the same for several days. This will allow time to adjust to the new ratio before you incorporate more of the new food. In the event you are not transitioning with your old food, withhold food for 1 day and then start re-introducing 3 to 4 feedings per day mixed with warm water. All other treats and supplements should be withheld until fully transitioned.
- You may notice a change in the appearance of your pet’s stool even after the transition period. This can often be a result of a change in the amount of fiber and protein in the new diet and is normal.