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changing food

Vale Pet Foods: changing foods

Our guide to safely transitioning your dog onto new food

Changing your dog’s diet can be daunting as you want to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, and to avoid any tummy upsets that could be caused as a result.

There are some important steps to take when changing your dog’s food, and these steps can be more or less simple depending on the food type you are transitioning your dog to. Below I will explain some general steps to take to ensure the diet change you are choosing to make is as smooth and stress-free as possible!

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Transition from dry food to new dry food:

Generally, most pet owners that choose to change their dog’s dry food diet to another kibble, is choosing a more nutritious, high quality product. If you are one of these people, congratulations! I am sure your dog will love you for it even more. Just follow the steps below to ensure your dog’s diet transition is as smooth as possible.

Always ensure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean water available at all times. Having a kibble diet means that your dog will need to drink more and so it is extremely important that they have access to it.

On the first day, mix 1/4 of your dog’s new food with 3/4 of their previous food either split into 1 or 2 meals per day.
On the second day, mix 1/3 of new with 2/3 of old…and so on until your dog’s diet is just their new tasty food!

If you find that your dog is displaying symptoms of an upset tummy e.g. diarrhoea, loss of appetite etc, then mix less of the new food in each day, which will in turn slow the transition time to enable them to get used to the change. Every dog is different so it’s up to you to keep an eye on your dog and monitor how they are coping. If symptoms persist then stop feeding the new food and take them to a qualified veterinarian as they could have developed an allergy or intolerance that will need attention.

Transition from dry food to raw food:

Transitioning your dog to a raw food diet should be approached in a slightly different way compared to a dry food change. Raw and dry food have different digestion rates and therefore we do not recommend mixing the two together. Most dog owners will either start feeding raw straight away, or gradually introduce it without mixing it with old food during mealtimes. I will explain these two options in more detail, and you can decide which is best for your dog. .

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Option 1: Start feeding raw immediately

Option 1 is a good choice for younger dogs and puppies, as their digestive systems can adapt to changes more quickly and effectively compared to older dogs or those with sensitive tummies. The steps to take for this option are quite straight-forward, simply skip your dog’s evening meal and the next morning start feeding them raw. Most dogs cope with this transition method very easily

Vale Pet Foods: changing foods

Option 2: Gradual introduction of raw

If you have an older dog, or one with a sensitive stomach, then option 2 might be the best choice for you. Option 2 gradually introduces raw food into your dog’s diet by using it as ‘treats’ between mealtimes, and therefore the body can digest your dog’s previous food separately to the raw, which in turn helps to prevent stomach upsets.

Start by giving the raw as small treats between meals and monitor your dog’s reaction and especially their stools. Slowly increase the raw treats and reduce normal food accordingly, over a few days. After 5 days, if your dog seems to be coping well with the introduction and has normal stools, then try replacing one full meal with a raw, easily digestible complete meat meal, such as chicken or turkey. Do this for several days and if your dog’s stools are normal then you can replace both meals with raw.

Do not introduce new meats too quickly as this can cause stomach upsets, try introducing a new meat every week and if your dog is coping well then you can slowly increase the variety in their diet over several weeks.

Option 2: Gradual introduction of raw

If you have an older dog, or one with a sensitive stomach, then option 2 might be the best choice for you. Option 2 gradually introduces raw food into your dog’s diet by using it as ‘treats’ between mealtimes, and therefore the body can digest your dog’s previous food separately to the raw, which in turn helps to prevent stomach upsets.

Start by giving the raw as small treats between meals and monitor your dog’s reaction and especially their stools. Slowly increase the raw treats and reduce normal food accordingly, over a few days. After 5 days, if your dog seems to be coping well with the introduction and has normal stools, then try replacing one full meal with a raw, easily digestible complete meat meal, such as chicken or turkey. Do this for several days and if your dog’s stools are normal then you can replace both meals with raw.

Do not introduce new meats too quickly as this can cause stomach upsets, try introducing a new meat every week and if your dog is coping well then you can slowly increase the variety in their diet over several weeks.

When you change your dog’s diet to a raw one, you might find that their stools are much smaller and firmer – this is normal, and a good thing! It means that their body is digesting the raw diet appropriately and converting very little into waste material. You may also notice that they will drink a lot less, this is because raw food has a high moisture content and therefore less water is required through drinking.

If you have any questions or queries regarding transitioning your dog to a new diet, then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

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Vale Pet Foods Dry Range

DRY

Our range of dry dog food is manufactured in the UK and is an incredibly high-quality, grain-free and complete diet for dogs of all life stages. Our incredibly tasty varieties of dry food are packed with vital nutrients that are essential for maintaining great overall health.

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Vale Pet Foods Raw Range

RAW

Our raw dog food range has been specially formulated to provide natural, wholesome nutrition for your dog by using fresh, quality ingredients that provide essential minerals and vitamins. Our raw food uses human graded fresh meat, and it is manufactured in the UK.

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