change your dog's food

5 Vital Signs: It’s Time To Change Your Dog’s Food!

Updated 05/17/2024 by Ava Jaine

Has your dog been eating the same food year after year?  Many dog owners feed their pups the same food over and over again out of convenience. 

But, that dog food of choice may not be meeting your canine’s nutritional needs.  Over time, feeding them a dog food that doesn’t supply the right amount of vitamins and minerals can negatively affect their health.

Below are 5 vital signs it’s time to change your dog’s food and how to do it correctly.

Why Should I Change My Dog’s Food?

Many dog food brands contain toxins and fillers that can make your dog sick – and you may not notice until it’s too late.

Not all dog foods are created equal.  It helps to change things up a bit to make sure your dog is getting all of the nutrients their body needs to be healthy.

Unfortunately, some dog foods contain toxic ingredients that are not safe for your dog to consume daily for a prolonged time.  By switching up their regular dog food once in a while, it can help minimize the damage it may be doing to your dog.

change your dog's food

Signs That It’s Time To Change Your Dog’s Food

  • Dull, Dry, Flaky Coat: Look for a dog food that contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to make your dog’s coat shiny.

  • Low Energy: Dog foods with high levels of antioxidants can help boost the immune system and increase energy levels.

  • Weight Gain: With the proper amount of vitamins and minerals, a change in your dog’s diet can help reduce obesity.

  • Stomach Issues: Switching to a dog food for sensitive stomachs may be the solution your dog needs.

  • Itching: If your dog is allergic to an ingredient in their dog food, transitioning to a low-allergen diet can reduce the number of allergens they are exposed to.


Can Changing A Dog’s Food Make Them Sick?

Yes, changing to a new dog food can cause an upset stomach if it is done too quickly.  Sudden changes to your dog’s food can cause changes to the dog’s bacteria in their stomach, which can cause diarrhea or vomiting. 

It is best to always change your dog’s food gradually to avoid issues.  

See our easy to follow chart below to help you change your dog’s food correctly.

How To Switch To A New Dog Food?

Follow these steps to help your dog transition without an upset stomach.

  • Change Slowly:  Gradually changing your dog to a new food can take up to 2 weeks.  Whether it is wet or dry dog food, to avoid stomach issues, always take it slow.
  • Mix The Food:  Combine your dog’s regular food with the new food by mixing it together. When you stir it all together, it won’t be as easy for your dog to just pick and choose the new food from the old food. 

See Our Dog Food Change Chart for mixing the proper amount of dog food each day.

change your dog's food

Dog Food Change Chart

I recommend transitioning your dog to their new food over a period of 11 days. I know, I know, many other sites say it can be done in 6 or 7 days. 

Well, yes it can, but why rush it?  If your dog has been eating the same dog food for a long time, it’s best to take it slow when introducing a new dog food diet.  This will help adjust their stomach gradually with a lot less GI issues.

  • Day 1,2: 90% old food, 10% new food.

  • Day 3,4: 75% old food, 25% new food.
  • Day 5,6: 50% old food, 50% new food.
  • Day 7,8: 75% new food, 25% old food.
  • Day 9,10: 90% new food, 10% old food.

  • Day 11: 100% new food.

Note: During this transition, if your dog develops stomach issues or is acting lethargic while introducing the new food – Stop!

The new dog food may contain ingredients that your dog is intolerant or allergic to.

Slowly transition back to the original food and start again with something else after they feel better.


Transitioning From Dry Dog Food To Wet Dog Food

Most dogs that have been exclusively on dry dog food will be very interested in wet dog food.  Canned dog food is usually more tasty and smells more tempting to a dog.

Your pup may gobble up this new wet dog food in an instant, so be careful to still use the steps above to slowly transition to the dog’s new food to avoid an upset tummy.

If your pup tends to eat their dog food way to fast, check out these awesome Slow Feeder Bowls, they are super helpful.

change your dog's food

What Dog Food Should I Switch To?

It is best to do some research on the various dog foods available in stores and online. I love to use Dog Food Advisor before I try a new dog food.  They have some great research and reviews for tons of dog food brands on their website.

Every dog requires a different diet to meet its needs.  I also recommend working with your dog’s veterinarian to find the best diet that will work for you and your dog. 

What is your dog’s favorite food?  Let us know below.