Transitioning Your Pet to a New Food

If your pet has been prescribed a prescription diet as part of his/her total health plan, it is best to make the transitional gradual unless otherwise directed by your veterinary team. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and have a strong affinity for the familiar. Your pet may react in one of the several ways to new food; suspicious, excited or indifferent. These different reactions to a new food will influence whether or not your pet will make a successful transition to a new food.

Your pet’s digestive system can be quite sensitive and something as simple as a food change can cause gastrointestinal upset i.e. vomiting, diarrhea or he or she stops eating. With the goal of minimizing gastrointestinal upset, the introduction of a new food should be performed over a 7 days period minimum.

For example:

Day 1-2 – 25% new food 75% old food
Day 3-4 – 50% new food 50% old food
Day 5-6 – 75% new food 25% old food
Day 7 – 100% new food

The volume of food recommended is just a starting point. Please monitor your pet’s weight and body condition for the next few months after you transition your pet to a new food. If they are losing or gaining weight, please contact your veterinarian for guidance on how much to increase/ decrease your pet’s food.

If at any point during this transition your pet stops eating or develops diarrhea or vomiting, please stop feeding the new food and call the clinic at 250-374-1485 for directions on how to proceed.