How To Change Your Dog’s Food (So He Doesn’t Get Sick)


If you’ve recently read my post “8 Red Flag Dog Food Ingredients To Avoid” and noticed your dog’s kibble contains some of those ingredients, then you may be looking into switching brands. While transitioning your dog to a different kibble is perfectly fine, there are a few things you should know first. 

First and foremost, you should never do an abrupt food change. If you do, your dog is more susceptible to experiencing an upset stomach and diarrhea. Rather, you should gradually replace your pup’s old food with their new food. Some manufacturers recommend a 10-day process. If you are switching to a food that specifies this long of a transition period, then plan for the full 10 days. If not, usually between 5-7 days is sufficient. Check out this helpful infographic by PetSmart

change your dog's food

Photo Credit: PetSmart

The Formula

If you are happy with your current dog food formula and changing because of age or medical reasons, then look for another food that contains similar ingredients. Switching to a food that’s similar to the one your dog is already used to will make the transition easier.

During your transition period, keep a close eye on your dog’s appetite, energy level, and overall attitude. If your fur baby shows signs of an allergic reaction during his food transition, call your vet. 

Top Reasons To Change Food

1) Age 

Dog foods are designed for specific ages groups. Your dog will eat a puppy formula until he’s 1-year-old. After that, your pooch will make the switch to an “adult” formula. Lastly, your pup will transition to the senior formula. 

Even if you are staying with the same brand of food, you should still plan for a transition period (refer to the infographic above).

2) Medical Condition

If your dog develops a certain medical condition, they may need to change food brands/formula. For example, there are specific foods for overweight dogs or dogs that suffer from kidney issues. 

3) You Don’t Like The Ingredients

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, some dog foods contain questionable ingredients. Some foods also contain potentially harmful ingredients.  If you notice something in your dog’s food that makes you uncomfortable – you may want to consider switching foods.  Click here to see 8 red flag ingredients you should avoid.