Tips for Changing Your Dog's Diet
Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. They, like us, become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. Here are some useful dog feeding tips to help you keep your pooch's pooch happy.
Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food
Introduce the new food gradually. This is the most successful way to ease your dog into the change in diet. Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry—a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.
Watch your body language. Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog's bowl, and declaring that he had better eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It's better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.
Don't give in to demands. Don't give up too soon! For the first two days, don't give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.
The biggest challenge. Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes. This prevents spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto the dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions as outlined above.