A change of feed can be necessary for many reasons. Sometimes the previous food is no longer tolerated, it no longer tastes good or there are health issues where a different food would be advisable. With some animals a change of food is no problem, others are very fussy or take longer until the body gets used to the new food.
What to look for when changing feed
- Changing between the flavours of the same food is usually no problem and can be done without a changeover phase.
- However, you should proceed slowly if you want to change between very different types of food, such as from dry food to BARF, or from dry – to canned food.
Instructions for changing the feed
- Start mixing a handful or a few spoons of the new food with the old one. Dry food can also be offered as a treat first.
- Then increase the amount of the new food and reduce the amount of the old food continuously over 3-4 days.
- For particularly sensitive animals the changeover can be extended to one or two weeks.
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What “problems” can arise?
- Slight digestive problems, such as soft faeces or flatulence, can occur in the first few days, as the intestinal flora first has to adapt to the new food. However, if your pet has watery diarrhoea or vomiting, the new food should be discontinued naturally and a vet should be consulted.
- The drinking behaviour can also change with a different food – with dry food the animals must of course drink considerably more water than with canned food or BARF.
- The calorie content probably differs between old and new food and also how the food is used by the body. It is therefore possible that your pet will gain or lose weight with a different food, even if the calorie content is the same – but this will only become apparent after a few weeks. Then the amount of food should be adjusted. Ask a nutritionist in case of doubt
- If the new food is not accepted immediately, you can be consistent. Take the food away after ten minutes and offer it again at a later time. As soon as your animal is hungry it will eat. Don’t try to “persuade” him with treats and don’t run after him with the food – this way you will raise him to be a fussy eater. Attention: Especially overweight cats should never be allowed to go hungry, as hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) develops quite quickly.
- The choice of food can also play a role. Especially plastic bowls are less popular with some animals than ceramic ones.
- Behave normally. Animals notice immediately if something is different. So if you are worried that the new food will not be accepted, your pet will know. Offer him the food as usual.
A change of feed can be necessary for various reasons, but don’t worry, it is not that difficult. Most animals tolerate the new food well when it is crept in. With a few tips and tricks, your pet will eat his new food quickly. Bon appetite!