Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Transition From One Food To Another: A Function Of Kibble-Fed Dogs?

It is a common recommendation to take at least week when transitioning your dog from one food to another.

An abrupt switch leads to GI distress.

Roxy was on Wallmart chow because that was all we could afford then. She did all right on it but if she just got a whiff of something else everything went haywire.

At first I liked getting her a bit of a can food every now and then just to make things more interesting for her. But I had to stop because the outcome just wasn't worth it.

So this is one of the things written in stone.

Must switch foods gradually.

Here is the interesting bit, though. This seems to only be necessary with kibble-fed dogs. Dogs who are on raw or home-cooked diets don't have this problem at all.

Even Jasmine, who had irritable bowel disease, did not.have any problem going between different foods. She could be on turkey and green beans for a while, then have beef and sweet potato, then pork and cabbage or anything under the sun she wasn't allergic to and have no adverse reaction to any of that.

Cookie eats a broad variety of things.

She gets chicken, beef, turkey, pork, eggs (and whatever she catches on her own) combined with cabbage, carrots, broccoli, kale, green beans, sweat potatoes ... and, again, never gets any digestive issues from any of the changes.

Variety is natural. Eating the same thing, particularly in a highly processed form, apparently is not.

Why are we feeding most of our dogs that way, then?

What do you feed your dog? Do you have to transition slowly from one food to another?

Related articles:
"Natural" With Regard To Dog Nutrition (Part I): What Does It Mean And Does It Matter?
The Whole Food Philosophy: The Nutrients, And The Mojo
The Whole Food Philosophy And The Tale Of A Giant Sugar Beet
A Rant About Breast Milk And Dog Nutrition
Trying To Make "Bone Meal" From A Wild Duck
Cookie Is Transitioning Herself To Raw


  1. I'm not sure I would consider it a function of kibble feed dogs as much as I would consider it a function of being fed a diet that has little variety. I feed kibble and it has been my routine for the last 15 years to switch brands of food when it's time for a new bag. I have done this with 6 dogs and none of them have any issues when switched without a slow transition.

    My current crew has been fed this way since they were young, but 2 of my dogs were older and their systems adjusted.

    1. Yes, you can provide variety with kibble too. Most people don't, though.

  2. What I've found interesting is that I can't always jump swiftly from one protein to another with Rodrigo. The other dogs are fine, but Rodrigo struggles with is; now he has digestive enzyme that helps.

    1. Interesting. Of course, he's the exception in the pack because he has issues, right? With kibble-fed dogs it's a rule, not an exception.

      I was a little worried when Cookie munched up her first squirrel (she ate the entire thing, tail and everything). But no upsets of any sorts from that either.