Switching Your Pet to a New Food
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. What is the best way to switch my pet from one food to another?
A. When feeding your pet a new food, introduce it slowly. If you feed too much too soon, your pet could suffer from stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, excess gas, or constipation.

Normal bacteria in the intestine help to digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes in the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food. Therefore, a pet needs to be switched to a new food slowly to prevent intestinal upset. By 'slowly,' we mean over the course of 7-10 days go from feeding 100% of the previous food to 100% of the new food. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days, then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Then you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time your pet starts vomiting, or has loose stools or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching him over.

Food Ratio illustration

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