When you get a new puppy, bring home some of the same meal he's been eating. Over the course of about a week, you'll switch from this food to whatever food you plan to feed him during his first year. A gradual process avoids indigestion, diarrhea and other temporary afflictions.
Step #1 - Measuring out 75 percent of your puppy's old food in a measuring cup and place it in your puppy's dish. Measure out 25 percent of the new food and add it to the old food. Mix the two together and feed the mixture to your pup for two to three days.
Step #2 - Measure equal amounts of the new food and the old food in your pup's dish. Mix the combination together and feed this blend to your pup for the next two to three days.
Step #3 - Increase the new food to 75 percent and decrease the old food to 25 percent. Mix the two foods together and -- you guessed it -- feed him this combination for another two to three days.
Step #4 - Feed your pup 100 percent of the new food from this point forward. Watch him for a few days and see if he has indigestion or diarrhea. If so, add in some of the old food for a few more days. When your pup reaches adulthood -- about a year old for most breeds -- you'll want to follow this gradual switchover process to transition him over to adult food.
Warning: Avoid giving snacks while you are switching foods. Your pup needs time to adjust to the new food.
By Pauline Gill
ASPCA: Transitioning From Puppy to Adult Food
Dog Breed Info Center: Basic Feeding Guide: Puppies and Adult Dogs
Health Guidance: When Can Puppies Be Weaned?
The Kennel Club: Feeding Your Puppy
About the Author
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.