Some people think that regularly changing their dog's food means their dog gets some variety.  Changes in diet can lead to upset tummies though - so some care needs to be taken when making a considerable change to your pet's diet.  This includes changing from one dry dog food brand to another. 

The key to introducing your dog to a new food is to do it slowly - even if your dog appears to like the new food.  This will help to reduce the chance of any stomach upsets.  Changes to diet can affect different animals in different ways, so its important to manage the change carefully.

Some tips on how to transition to a new food

  • Gradually introduce the new food over a period of a week.  Start will a small amount of the new food (say 10%), mixed in with the old food.  Increase the proportion of new food to old food over the week until you reach 100% of the new food.
  • For soft or wet foods, consider warming slightly to body temperature.  This can improve the smell and feel of the food in the mouth.
  • Avoid feeding chilled foods.
  • Add a small amount of water to dry food to soften it.  Some dogs will prefer their dry food with water added.
  • Keep a bowl of clean fresh water available at all times.
  • Dont be tempted to add human food tidbits to the diet.  Most dogs will end up eating the human food instead of the dog food and this can develop into a bad habit long term.
  • For fussy eaters, try hand feeding the new food as a treat.  This will reinforce the food as a positive reward.

Changing variety within the same brand of dog food

Some premium dog food diets - such as Hills Science Diet Dog Food - have different varieties of food that you may wish to use to alter your dog's diet.  Sometimes switching to a mix of adult maintenance and adult light can be good for keeping any weight issues under control.  Science Diet Oral Care is used at few times a year to help maintain oral health.

Switching foods within the same brand of dog food will minimise any stomach issues - as they are predominantly made with very similar ingredients and receipes.  If you're concerned at all then you can still transtion slowly using the method outlined previously.

Feeding different types of treats is not an issue - as these should be given in moderation.  If you are swapping a considerable portion of your dog's diet then these tips can help.