How to Switch Your Dog's Food the Right Way

Thinking about changing your dog's food? In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the change of dog food. We also give you tips on how to prepare your dog for the new food to make the transition as easy as possible.

Food conversion in dogs made simple 3 valuable tips 1 0
Table of Contents

We humans are changing our diet:

  • when we enter another phase of life
  • or for health reasons.

It is no different with our dear furry noses.

Example: A young dog has reached adulthood. He switches from puppy food to adult food. Thus, in his new phase of life, he gets the nutrients in the ratio he needs for a further healthy and fit life.

What's the best way to make the transition? 

When is a change of feed necessary?

In certain age-related stages of life your dog needs different rations of nutrients. An adult dog needs less protein compared to when he was a puppy. The needs also change when he reaches senior age.

This is also the case with certain Diseases:

  • as, among other things, for problems in the gastrointestinal tract 
  • Diabetes, Leishmaniasis 
  • Allergy 

Here, a diet that meets the needs and thus a change is absolutely necessary.

Some nutritionists recommend that with ready-made food, a change of food to a different brand or variety 1 to 2 times a year is advisable.

These two types are recommended:

Two types are recommended for optimal conversion: 

  1. the direct Feed conversion and 
  2. the Step-by-Step Feed conversion. 

The name actually already defines what these two methods are about. 

With the direct feed change, you change the feed completely from one day to the next. In the second case, the feed is changed step by step. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, which we will now discuss:

1. direct feed conversion

In the case of direct feed changeover, the changeover takes place overnight. The component is to completely and immediately exchange the dog food for a new one. Of course, this is the easiest method.

➡ However, undesirable symptoms may appear as a result of a direct change in diet.

A clear advantage is therefore the ease of handling. A disadvantage is the more frequent occurrence of symptoms. We will discuss the possible symptoms of a feed change later.

2. feed conversion step-by-step

The name suggests it to us. This type of feed conversion takes place step by step. Skateboarding old lining is gradually removed and replaced with the new. 

This method is particularly common among dog owners. After about 6 - 9 days your darling should then be converted to the new food. This type of food change is suitable for all dog characters.

The optimal feed conversion

The direct feed conversion offers easier handling. However, we believe that the step-by-step feed conversion is the ideal and more optimal solution. 

At this point we will give you instructions on how to accomplish this:

Step 1

Mix the old and new dog food. The ratio should be ¼ new and ¾ old food. You can continue this ratio as needed for 2 - 3 days. This will also make it easier for your pelt nose to get used to the change.

Step 2

The next step is to mix the feed in equal parts. This means that you mix half of the old food with half of the new food. You can also give this mixture for 2 - 3 days.

Step 3

Now prepare a bowl with ¼ of the old food and ¾ of the new food. Again, use this mixture for about 2 - 3 days.

Step 4

After 2 - 3 days you can completely switch to the new food.

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The step-by-step change triggers the least symptoms in dogs. However, regardless of the method, symptoms and discomforts can always occur during a change of diet. So that you know what exactly you are dealing with, we will go into the possible symptoms here.

Possible symptoms of a feed change can be:

  • Loss of appetite
  • altered stool consistency
  • Constipation
  • soft stool or diarrhea
These symptoms are completely normal and should subside again on their own within a few days. Diarrhea deprives the body of water. Therefore, we recommend setting up several drinking bowls. So your dog always has the immediate possibility of fluid intake.
Does your dog suffer from these symptoms? Then keep the rations of the new food lower at the beginning with the step-by-step method. You can extend the change up to 6 weeks.
Do the symptoms still not subside? Try a different food. Your dog may not tolerate one of the ingredients in the new food.


As a rule, you should always consider not buying the cheapest food. But expensive is not always the best. However, we are of the opinion: 

Cheaper feed usually contains a high proportion of sugar, cereals and other ingredients such as dyes and flavorings. This has nothing to look for in the feed. 

With high-quality organic food you would be on the safe side in any case.

We have shown you a guide for the optimal food change. Now you can easily change the food and the feeding habit of your dog.

Written by Enrico Bachmann
Written by Enrico Bachmann

I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and founder of Hundeo. My mission is to guide you in the jungle of information with simple and clear recommendations.

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1 Comment

  1. I thank you for your guide. will stick to the food change :step by step. My dog , a miniature poodle seems to love the anifit food. But he only got a little mixed in his organic food until now.

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