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What's the right way to change a pet's diet?

Any dog or cat can get an upset stomach if you change their diet too quickly, no matter what brand or food you are changing from or to. Yes, it can even happen when you change formulas within the same brand!

Here's how to change your pet's diet the right way...

long haired cat with green eyes licking lips photographed on grey background

Sensitive tums

Getting a sore tum simply due to changing food - even when the food is better than their old food - is more common with puppies &  kittens, and with pets prone to digestive upsets.  

Dogs and cats have a much shorter digestive tract than we do. A small change in diet can be a big deal for them. Even new treats can upset a sensitive tum. When you're changing the main part of their diet, it's even more important not to rush the transition. 

Fussy eaters

Changing foods slowly is important for fussy pets too. Many do not like change, and will refuse to eat a new food if you change their food too fast, but will love it if you just give them time to adjust to the change. 

New puppy or kitten

If you've just got a new puppy or kitten (congratulations!), don't be too quick to change their diet. No matter what the breeder, shelter or pet store fed where your new arrival came from, you should try to continue feeding that food for at least 7 days. After they've adjusted to so much else that's new, then you can consider changing their diet. At least 7 days is recommended but if you notice a change in their stools, extend the transition to 14 days instead, so you more slowly change over 2 weeks instead of 1. 

What to do instead

When changing to any new food, take it slowly.  Mix a little more of the new food in with the old food over at least 7 days, or over 14 days for pets who have a history of digestive upsets. Increase their new food and reduce their old food, feeding a little more new and less old food in each meal, until you’re fully feeding the new food.