What you Need to Know About Changing your Fur Baby’s Diet

Two cats eating kibble from bowl

Is it time to transition your kitten to adult cat food?  Did you find a new brand of pup food worth trying?  Most kitties and doggies are unlike humans when it comes to their daily diet.  They are generally fed the same food for every meal, with the occasional snack or treat.  If a slow transitional process is not followed to change the existing food, digestive upset is likely to follow and that’s not fun for you or your fur baby.  Here’s a basic guideline, which I’ve found to help ensure an uneventful transition. 

Preparation:

  • Ensure you have at least a week’s worth of the current food remaining.
  • Purchase a small quantity of the new food in case the transition in unsuccessful.

The Transition:

  • Day 1 – Day 4: Provide 3/4 of current food and 1/4 of new food
  • Day 5 – Day 7: Provide 1/2 of current food and 1/2 of new food
  • Day 8 – Day 10: Provide 1/4 of current food and 3/4 of new food
  • Day 11 +: Provide 100% new food

Pretty simple right, but what if it doesn’t go as planned?

If you’re noticing some changes in your fur baby’s potty habits (yes I’m talking about the consistency of their poo), consider the following:

  1. Did the brand of food change?  While pet foods are required to meet minimum health requirements, their contents can vary significantly.  Try switching to a product within the same brand and line of food.
  2. Did the protein source change (chicken vs fish, etc.)?  Your fur baby may have a sensitivity to the new source. Try something more similar to what they are currently eating.
  3. Going from dry to wet or the reverse?  Try slowing the progression down as this can be a big adjustment, especially for those with sensitive stomachs!
  4. No obvious issue?  Consider trying another brand of food as there may be an ingredient that just doesn’t agree with your fur baby.

Before changing your fur baby’s diet, it’s best to first consult with your Veterinarian. It’s also a great idea to stay on top of recalls.  You would be surprised at the batches of well-known brand foods have been found unsafe for consumption.

Have you ever transitioned your fur baby’s diet?  Any recommendations?  Any horror stories?

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