2nd November 2018

renderedTransitional Feeding

Changing from another brand of food…

When changing across form another brand food – you will need to do this slowly and over the period of 2-7 days – known as the transition phase. ( change in diet may be made for many reasons including: age, life stage or special needs )

While many animals transition easily, some may have an adjustment period. This may include vomiting and Diarrhoea or loose stools.

Days 1-2  75% existing food and 25% new food

Days 3-4  50% existing food and 50% new food

Days 5-6  25% existing food and 75 % new food

Day   7     100 % new food

Causes of Diarrhoea or loose stools

Some animals experience diarrhea and loose stools for a few days when there is a change in diet, however Diarrhoea and loose stools can be caused by many factors other than a change in diet, and other potential causes should be reviewed before concluding that diet is the reason.

Unlike humans, who continually consume a variety of different foods, animals often spend multiple months or even years on a single diet. As a result, their system becomes used to processing a set  diet, and when something new is introduced their system can be slow to adjust.

Causes of vomiting

While vomiting is most often caused by other issues than a dietary change, sometimes it can come from the introduction of the new food. Often animals will ingest the new food very quickly and will not slow down to chew the food. This can generally be evaluated by seeing if there is  undigested food in the vomit.

Dogs vomit for a number of reasons; some are relatively insignificant, while others can be quite serious. If your dog’s vomiting is more than just an isolated incident, seek veterinary attention to rule out a critical health concern.

  • Small breeds and puppies/kittens should always visit a vet when vomiting as they can quickly become dehydrated
  • If they are lethargic, lose appetite or depressed
  • If they have vomiting 3 or more times in a 24 hour period – Remember, 3 strikes and you are out!
  • If they are continuing to vomit longer than a 24 hour period
  • If vomiting and diarrhoea are both occurring as the fluid losses quickly lead to dehydration


Your veterinarian may ask the following questions (so have the answers handy). 

How many times has he/she vomited?

  • Is there any diarrhoea? (check the backyard; you may also find more vomitus, or better still, evidence of things possibly ingested!)
  • A list of what has the dog eaten in the last 48 hours
  • Is he/she up to date with worming and tick medications?
  • Has there been any possible exposure to toxic substances, for example slug or snail bait, rat bait poison, or anything considered non-edible?
  • Is he/she a scavenger ie. likely to go through the bin, pick up odd things on walks etc.?
  • Have you noticed any weight loss? Your veterinarian may have a record of your dog’s last weight to compare to.
  • Are there any other symptoms? e.g. off food, lethargy (not as active as normal), not wanting to exercise, coughing.



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