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Changing your dog’s food

When changing your dog’s food, some teething problems can come up. Dogs’ digestive systems are slightly different from us humans, so they can’t always enjoy the varied diet we eat. 

Our mouth and jaw structure means we break down a lot of our food in the mouth first, making it easier to digest in our stomach and intestines. However, for dogs, their mouth is more about killing bacteria and less about breaking their food down.  This is what lets them wolf down food that would be quite harmful to us. 

This means that a dog’s food will arrive at the stomach in more of a chunk form. But that’s OK, because a dog’s stomach acids are about three times stronger than ours, meaning even hard foods, like bone matter, break down in no time

Your dog’s strong stomach can also be their downfall when their diet suddenly changes. As their digestive system adapts to new proteins, this can cause vomiting and diarrhea to happen. 

So what is the best way to change your dog’s diet? With a portion of quality food and a transition schedule, you can make changing your dog’s food, a walk in the park. 

How to change your dog’s food

The best way to change your dog’s food is to gradually increase the amount of the new food over a one-week period. Start the week by replacing 25% of your pooch’s current food with their new food. Then, every 2 days, increase the amount another 25% until, by day 7, your dog has fully transitioned on to their new food. 

With new kibble, you can always use it as a treat to start off with so you know your furry friend likes the food. 

If your dog does start vomiting and/or have diarrhoea, stop the transition. If this does happen, you can either go back to the old food or start with a smaller percentage of the new food. 

When you change your dog’s food, you need to check how much of the new food they need. Different dog foods have different calorific values so even when you’re switching to the same type of food (like dry, wet or raw) you may need to adjust the amount you’re feeding. But with very vague feeding guidelines from dog food manufacturers that don’t account for your dog’s age, breed, weight, or activity levels, how do you know exactly how much to feed your dog? 

Enter PitPat. We’ll give you a feeding recommendation tailored to your dog that takes into account their age, weight, breed, sex, and even their activity levels if they have a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor. Just download our free app to get started. 

When to change your dog’s food

Puppy – Adult. Depending on their breed, puppies can move onto adult food between 10 and 18 months. Generally, the larger a dog is, the longer they will take to mature. For example, a Great Dane will stay on puppy food until they are at least 18 months old, whereas a Westie could move onto adult food as early as 10 months old.

When your pup does move onto adult food, you want to give them a kibble that goes beyond the basic requirements, right? PitPat Adult is the complete, premium food for active dogs. It’s gentle on tummies and promotes healthy joints, skin, and coats with a recipe that will delight even the fussiest eaters. Why not try a free sample?

Adult – Senior. Dogs can move to senior food between 7 and 10 years old, depending on their breed and mobility in later life. Knowing exactly when to change over to senior is difficult as every dog is different. 

Not only can PitPat tell you when to change your wise pup’s food, but our Senior food is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and Selenium to help counteract cell ageing and filled with amino acids to support their cardiovascular functions.    

Throughout their lives, you’ll probably change your dog’s food a number of times, whether to move them to a food suited to their life stage, because they’ve gone off their current food or because you want to try them on a new diet. 

But whilst we, quite rightly, pay a lot of attention to what we feed our beloved pups, we don’t always pay enough attention to how much we feed them. But we should. Overfeeding is all too easy, and not helped by the vague feeding guidelines on the pack of food bags. 

That’s why we looked at the data of 100,000s of dogs to figure out exactly how much your dog should be fed, taking into account their age, weight, breed, sex, whether they are neutered, and their activity levels. After all, your dog is an individual.

To get your free-feeding recommendation, just head to the PitPat app.

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