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Health & nutrition

A Guide to Changing Your Dog’s Food: How to Transition to Wet or Dry Foods

When it comes to our pups, we want to make them happy just like they do for us, but sometimes health or other restrictions get in the way. When these situations occur, it usually means a change in food. No matter the reason for this change, here are a few ways to make the shift easier on you and dog.

Transitioning from Dry to Wet Dog Food

Although kittens often start on wet food, puppies typically start with a high-quality dry food kibble. However, sometimes our pups don’t love the dry options we are providing them. As our dogs age, they may also need the transition to a softer food option. No matter the reason, if you’re looking to switch up meal time offerings, trying wet dog food can be a great choice.

There are some considerations with wet dog food. Wet food is a great way to keep your dog hydrated due to the moisture content. This can help aid your dog’s digestion and overall health. Most dogs also prefer wet food to dry because of the texture and the flavorful taste. You do want to ensure you choose a high-quality, natural wet dog food option to avoid unnecessary fillers or excess calories in your dog’s meals. To help keep your pup’s teeth clean while feeding wet food, work in a natural daily dog dental chewy like WHIMZEES.

When transitioning your dog to wet food, introduce the food slowly. Just like humans, sometimes new foods can upset our stomachs. Add a little wet food each day to your dog’s bowl while slowly reducing the amount of kibble. Within a week, you should have fully transitioned to their new diet.

It’s also important to remember that unlike dry food, wet food cannot be left unrefrigerated. Be sure to refrigerate leftovers and toss excess food after a short time if your pup doesn’t finish the bowl. If that’s the case, reduce the amount given. You can always give them more at the next meal if they’re hungry.

Transitioning from Wet to Dry Dog Food

  • When shifting from wet to dry food, similar tips apply. Make it a slow transition by gradually mixing in the new food while removing the old to avoid any digestive upsets. However, the shift to dry food can be a bit tricky depending on your furry friend’s tastes. If your dog dislikes dry food, there are a few tricks of the trade to help get you both on the same page.
  • Add some water to your dog’s dry food bowl to help soften the kibble.
  • Add a mixer or a topper such as Wellness CORE Simply Shreds or Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters
  • Supplement with healthy, natural treats to keep them happy, but be sure not to overindulge your pup. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s total daily calorie intake.
  • Hand feed your dog the dry dog food as a treat to get them on board with the new flavor and texture.
  • Try different flavors to see if your dog simply doesn’t like the flavor option you’ve selected. It may not be the texture at all!

A Few Things to Remember

Like all things, transitioning food may take some time. Be patient and slowly ease into the new routine with your pup. Start the transition by putting the new food at the bottom of the bowl and give yourself a good 7-10 days to transition. It’s a good idea to begin with 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food. Each day reduce the old food’s percentage by no more than 15% while increasing the new option in the bowl. The transition could look something like this:

  • Day 1: 75% old/25% new
  • Day 2: 65% old/35% new
  • Day 3: 50% old/50% new
  • Day 4: 40% old/60% new
  • Day 5: 30% old/70% new
  • Day 6: 20% old/80% new
  • Day 7: 10% old/90% new
  • Day 8: Full transition (based on your pup’s reaction to each day’s change)

It’s important to remember that dogs will never starve themselves. They may put up a fight at first when their diet is disrupted, but ultimately, they will head to the bowl and finish their meal. If you find you’re unable to make the switch or your pup is reacting poorly to the change, call your vet and set up an appointment to ensure there are no underlying health issues involved.

Changing your pup’s diet will look different for each dog as we want to ensure we select the right products for their age, health and our budget. If you’re not sure how to proceed, we recommend a chat with your dog’s veterinarian.

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