How soon can I change my puppy’s food?
Quite often, breeders will wean their pups onto a cost effective brand that suits their pocket – especially if they have a large litter of pups. Weaning puppies can be costly, so the driving force behind their food choice may possibly be price focussed rather than nutritionally focussed (this is not a criticism of any breeder, just an observation from dealing with hundreds of new puppy owners). Or maybe they have chosen their brand because it is well known and well marketed (don’t be fooled by flashy marketing, ALWAYS look at the ingredients label).
As a new puppy owner, you will be keen to give your puppy the best start in life so you will probably want to consider switching food. But WHEN and at WHAT AGE can you do this?
The simple answer is: immediately. There is no reason to wait if you want to make a change. (If pup comes home happy with the food the breeder has given you and poo is nice and normal (not sloppy) you may wish to continue with the food for a few days whilst pup settles into their new home but this is personal choice.)
The first question we ask is: what diet do you want to feed? Do you want to stick with dry food or are you condering a raw diet? This does have a bearing on how the ‘switch’ is made so it is important to consider your options at this point.
Feeding a raw diet is a whole article in itself but, the long and short of it is, you can switch immediately. You don’t have to do a gradual transfer over from kibble to raw. We recommend feeding the last meal of kibble at night and then starting your raw food journey the following morning but research into a raw food diet is an absolute necessity. Speak to us or your local raw food specialist about making the transfer
If you want to switch to a new kibble, we recommend gradually transferring across over the course of a week. Day 1 & 2: mix a quarter of the new kibble in with the old kibble, Day 3 & 4, mix half of the new kibble in with the old kibble, Day 5 & 6 mix three quarters of the new kibble in with the old kibble and on Day 7 start feeding the new kibble on it’s own.
Puppy tummies are particularly immature and sensitive. If you make an immediate switch it can easily upset the digestion and your pup could end up with diarrhoea, so take it steady and don’t rush the process.
Your new food should:
- Contain a relatively high meat content (not meat meal or derivatives). Try to aim for around 50-60% or more meat content (our puppy food is 60%).
- Not contain fillers as these have no nutritional content and are just included to fill your puppy up. Wheat, for example, is perhaps the most commonly used filler in lower grade dog foods which can cause wind and sloppy poo
- Not contain rice or cereals. The general terms 'cereals' and 'grains' can refer to any product of any cereal including wheat, rice, oats, barley, maize etc. Because it is impossible to know what 'cereals' refers to, avoiding foods with this ingredient is again the best option
- Not contain meat meal and animal derivatives – we have no idea of what this actually contains and often it is a poor quality powdered mix of vague animal origin
If you are interested in making the switch for your new puppy, we have four puppy options available in Large Breed, Small Breed and Standard Breed. If you would like more advice or guidance before you take the plunge, give us a call 01484 246420 and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
If you are a breeder and are interested in talking to us about using our brand for your litter, please get in touch with us.
Laura, Dolly & Reggie x