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How to change your pet’s diet

How to change your pet’s diet;

Are you thinking about changing your pet’s diet? Maybe staying on the same brand but a different formula, or even upgrading to a different brand entirely? It’s super important that if you’re attempting a diet change for your pet, that you take your time and be patient with the process. The standard advice is that diet transitions should happen gradually, taking about a week to complete. 

How come my pet’s diet should be slowly changed?

In general, our pets are used to a very structured diet – where every day is mostly the same. Because of this, sudden changes to their diet can make them unwell. Usually, we see diarrhoea but pet’s can also vomit and become listless, or lethargic. The key to keeping your pet’s tummy happy and healthy is a slow transition from one food, to the next.

As well as this, pets can also be exceptionally fussy. Suddenly changing their diet can be a bit of a rude shock and increases the likelihood of your pet rejecting their new food. Take it slow, and be patient with each other.

Which pet’s are especially sensitive to diet changes?

Puppies and kittens are definitely at the highest risk. Their young tummies are still developing and fostering the growth of all sorts of good bacteria. We ALWAYS advise continuing on with the same food your puppy or kitten has been eating with the breeder or shelter, and once settled into their new home. If a diet change is required, waiting a week for them to settle into their new home is the golden rule.

What is the proper way to slowly transition my pet’s diet? 

Transitioning from one diet to another should be done over a 1 week period (Fussy pets may take longer, sometimes up to a month!). So, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure that you have enough of the old food left to mix in with the new food. 

Day 1 and 2 ¾ of your pet’s portion of food is the old diet
¼ of your pet’s portion of food is the new diet

Day 3 and 4 ½ of your pet’s portion of food is the old diet
½ of your pet’s portion of food is the new diet

Day 5 and 6 ¼ of your pet’s portion of food is the old diet
¾ of your pet’s portion of food is the new diet

Day 7 Congratulations – 100% of your pet’s food is the new diet

Dr. Vicky Wade

Veterinarian