Before you start any new diet for your dog, it’s important to plan a transition week before your dog only eats the new food. This minimises any possibility that your dog might not react well to it.
The tip is to transition to the new food over a week, however if you have a lot of the original dog food available, just make the process slower.
How to transition your dog onto new food
- Days 1-3: mix ¼ the new food, and ¾ the old food
- Days 4-6: go to ½ and ½
- Day 7: 100% new food
Now you are probably wondering how to serve all the different foods to maximise your dog’s enjoyment and nutrition.
The food pyramid for dogs
The best way to think about it is as a pyramid as in the diagram below.
The bulk of your dog’s meals should always be a main of dry or kibble, as this provides most of the nutrients. A topper will give your dog the new tastes, textures, and variety it will love to explore, and should be the smaller portion of the meal. You may wish to choose to serve the wet (in trays or pouches) as a topper in the morning, and a slice of the chilled roll as a topper for the evening meal. Mixing the topper in with the dry main will makes sure your dog eats all the food (and not just the tasty bits!)
Treats are to be used less often for training or special rewards, and dental sticks should be used after a meal.
How to determine portion sizes
To help determine the portion sizes, you need to consult the instructions on the pack, making sure you are calculating portion sizes for your dog’s ideal weight as well as the fact that they are receiving a combination of food types.
Dogs moving from a dry only diet to a combined diet of dry and fresh cooked foods, will be very happy to have a new world of tastes and textures introduced to them, however as these foods contain more moisture, you may notice your dog’s poops becoming less rigid. Please also be aware that if at any time your dog experiences very loose stools or vomiting you should go back to the old regime, and if symptoms persist or are extreme, go to the vet.