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Switching Puppy Food Cold Turkey – Is It Worth It?

The number of people adding a puppy to their family increases every year and the popularity of keeping dogs as pets is showing no signs at all of slowing down anytime soon.

With many of the people who are adding a new puppy to their family often being first time puppy owners, we constantly see people asking a wide range of different questions about offering their pet puppy the best care possible.

Now, some puppies may refuse to eat their food after a couple of weeks due to them getting bored of the tastes, sometimes your normal puppy food may be out of stock forcing you to switch so it is easy to see why we see so many people reaching out and asking for advice on switching puppy food, especially switching puppy food cold turkey.

Before we go any further, we just want to quickly say that if you do notice any potential problems with your pet puppy when switching puppy food, you should always take them to a vet for a check up as soon as possible.

Is It Easy To Switch Puppy Food Cold Turkey?

Although you can often switch puppy food cold turkey as in get your puppy to eat a new puppy food, it can be difficult to get your puppy to switch over to a new puppy food without there being any unwanted side effects.

The two main side effects are vomiting and diarrhea but excess gas can also be a common problem too.

This is usually due to a puppy needing time for its gut bacteria to switch over from being able to quickly digest the old puppy food mix to it being able to digest the new puppy food mix.

In addition to that, you also have to realize that over half of all dogs have at least one allergy to a primary food source in their food and puppies can have a heightened sensativity to this.

The most common allergy is beef protein but pork, lamb, chicken, and fish can also cause allergies in puppies causing them to vomit and have problems with diarrhea in addition to the potential problems with gut bacteria.

How Long Do Puppies Take To Adjust To New Food?

The time it takes for a puppy to adjust to new food can vary and is often different from one puppy to the next.

Switching over from dry kibble food to canned wet food, for example, will take a lot less time than if you were switching your puppy from chicken based food to fish based food.

As we briefly touched on above, it can often take a week or two for a puppy to fully adjust to new food but this is only if you are slowly transitioning your puppy from their old food to the new food.

If you do switch your puppy over to new food cold turkey then the time it takes for them to adjust will obviously be a lot shorter.

A lot of people choose to start by mixing the old food with the new food and then slowly increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food over a period of around 10 days.

This seems to be the sweet spot for most puppies but, again, some may take longer while others may be fine after just a few days.

Will My Puppy Get Sick If I Change Their Food?

If you do decide to switch your puppy’s food cold turkey, then there is always the potential for them to get sick.

The most common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea but as we mentioned above, excess gas can often be a problem too.

These problems are usually caused by one of two things; either a change in the ingredients or a change in the quality of the food.

If you are switching your puppy’s food because you are unable to get their usual food, then it is important that you choose a food that has similar ingredients.

For example, if your puppy normally eats chicken based food, then you should try and find a chicken based food with similar ingredients.

The same goes for if you are switching your puppy’s food because you want to upgrade to a better quality food.

It is important that you find a food that has similar ingredients to their current food so that their bodies can easily adjust to the new food.

How Long Will A Puppy Have Diarrhea After Switching Food?

The duration of diarrhea in puppies after switching food can vary but it is usually only a temporary problem that lasts for a few days.

If your puppy does have diarrhea after switching their food, then it is important that you make sure they are drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

You should also contact your veterinarian as they may recommend switching your puppy back to their old food or adding a probiotic to their diet.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that you can switch your puppy’s food cold turkey but there is a greater risk of them experiencing some problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.

If you do want to switch your puppy’s food, we recommend slowly transitioning them from their old food to the new food over a period of 10 days or so.