I have recently adopted a dog — she is an older (they think about 7-8 years) mix, probably some lab, terrier, and who knows what else. She is about 40 pounds. The rescue organization is keeping her for 2.5 weeks, as I already had a vacation planned prior to the adoption, but before I leave I am preparing my house, buying food, etc.
The rescue org is feeding her some pretty terrible food, from everything I read on here and elsewhere. They are feeding her mostly wet food (I think because she likes it, and they have too many dogs to worry about to force the issue) — they are using Pedigree “meaty ground dinner” (ick!). Depending on who feeds her, they are also mixing in some Science Diet Advanced Fitness (small bites dry).
Clearly, I want to switch her to a new food when I get her. After a lot of research and some recommendations from friends, I have settled on Wellness Complete Health for dry food, and will try a variety of Wellness wet foods to mix in.
My question/concern is this: How best to transition her to the new food? It is tough to do the usual transition “formulas” I have seen online, because she is basically on only wet food now, and I want to switch to a combo. I have heard from several people that they have had success at switching “cold turkey” when adopting a new dog, but others seem to swear by transitioning. I figure as an older dog, her stomach is not as sensitive as a puppy’s would be, but I don’t know whether it’s a bad idea to switch “cold turkey” or whether I should just try it and see what happens. On the one hand, I’m switching to a *much* higher quality product, but on the other hand, I wonder how she’ll handle the different nutritional value.
Any thoughts/recommendations on this? If you suggest transitioning, any ideas how I might do it, given her current diet of mostly wet food? (I was thinking of mixing in some new dry with some old wet, and then slowly transitioning to more new dry and less wet, and then to the new wet. But honestly, I’d love it if “cold turkey” was everyone’s answer — less stressful! 🙂 )
Thanks in advance!
- This topic was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Gregory C.
I find that older dogs are usually more sensitive than puppies. They just aren’t as likely to get into an emergency situation because of diarrhea.
The best is for you to keep her on what she is used to for the first couple weeks, so she isn’t being stressed in every aspect of her life. After she is used to being in your household, then start adding some of the Wellness kibble to her canned food, about 25%. Watch her stool and if she doesn’t show any signs of soft stool or diarrhea after 3 days start giving her half canned, half Wellness. Then watch her stool again for 3 days. If all is still well, then you can start feeding 75% Wellness and 25% canned. When her stool is fine for 3 days, start switching her wet food.
Adding probiotics from the time she comes home and until at least 2 weeks after you are finished transitioning, will help her to transition easier.
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