Nothing beats proper food
Your dog’s digestive system will need time to adjust to proper food. This particularly applies if you’re transitioning from nutritionally-compromised dry food to a nutritionally-rich homemade diet. To avoid unnecessary tummy upsets, it’s best to effect any change gradually over the course of a week or so. One week is sufficient for many dogs. But bear in mind that every dog is different. If your dog tends to have a sensitive tummy anyway, take things more slowly. Perhaps double the dog food transition time. It’s not the time that dog food transition takes that’s important. The fact that you make the transition to real food for your dog is what really counts.
And by the way, this applies equally to homemade or raw dog food.
The stools have it
Check your dog’s stools. It’s not everyone’s favourite pastime I know, but it is the best indicator of how your dog is coping with the change. Your dog’s digestive system will need to produce different enzymes to manage his or her new food. If your dog’s stools start to become much softer than usual, slow down. Once they become firm, press on. (Trust me, the rewards will be well worth the effort)!
Once this initial transition is completed, you’ll find your dog’s digestive system can happily cope with anything you throw at it. Or, better still, cook for it!
Start off by feeding your dog 75% of its normal meal mixed with 25% homemade food. Mix the food together so your dog can’t just pick out the new food and leave the old. This is not an exact science, by the way. It won’t matter greatly if you are slightly over or under at this stage. My Homemade Diet Plan has a suggested transitioning diet offering an easy introduction to home cooking for your dog.
Feed this combination for a couple of days before introducing a 50/50 combination for a day or two. After a further day or two, feed just 25% of your dog’s old food and 75% homemade food.
At the end of a week, your dog’s tummy will be fully adjusted to his or her new diet. Dog food transition complete, feed 100% homemade food and be amazed at the difference good food makes to your dog.