Times may arise that require you to alter your dog’s diet. Of primary importance is knowing how to do so without making the transition difficult for your dog.

A number of considerations may oblige you to make the switch. Age is one such consideration. (For instance, weaning a puppy entails replacing milk with solid food, while feeding an aging dog calls for a diet that is fit for senior dogs.) Physical well-being is another.

When deciding to make a switch, weigh all your options and take things one step at a time. Do not underestimate the advice and opinion of the expert. Consult your dog’s veterinarian about the switch. Once you have reached a decision with the concurrence of the veterinarian, gradually begin introducing the changes to your dog’s current diet.

Do not try anything drastic. Making a full switch in as little as a day’s interval can leave your dog afflicted with diarrhea. A transition is not a 180-degree turn.

Allot two weeks to make the complete switch. As you begin introducing the new diet, cut back a portion of the original diet. The quantity of the new diet must compensate for the reduction of food in the original diet. Regardless of the number of feedings you will give your dog in a day, apply the same principle throughout.

Consider this example. Your dog’s original diet is 3 and ½ cups daily. On Day 1, reduce the original diet to 3 and ¼ cups, and introduce ¼ cup of the new diet to compensate. On Day 2, further reduce the original diet to 3 cups, and increase the new diet to ½ cup. By Day 14, your dog will be eating 3 and ½ cups of the new diet already.

Yes, the process may be gradual. However, it is the best method that will work for your dog. Unlike humans who prefer a lot of frequent dietary variations, dogs welcome and thrive on diets that are consistent. Therefore, spare your dog and his digestive tract from any frequent experimentation on feeding methods and kibble brands. Once you’ve hit the sweet spot that suits your dog’s fancy and health, stick to it.

With a few exceptions, assessing if the new dog diet works well for your pet may take time. You may have to wait for weeks or months even to observe results.

Should you have concerns, remember to consult only the best person to tell you if, when and why you should alter your dog’s diet: the veterinarian.