Why is transition time necessary with storebought dog food?

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You can't catch- me!
Barked: Mon Aug 12, '13 7:05am PST 
Koorazh was on commercial dog food for many years until he developed tummy problems (possibly acid reflux) that led me to a homemade diet. (The homemade diet seemed to solve the problem at first, but now we have the same problems, so I don't think it was the commercial food.)

When he was on commercial food, and we tried a variety, I always transitioned him very carefully and whenever I didn't he suffered from loose stool. Now he's on homemade and what is in his bowl changes on a regular basis and he has no loose stools whatsoever. Now I wonder why he had issues transitioning on commercial food?

Related, we are traveling tonight, and this is a real problem because of his diet. I'd like to throw a can of his old food in the car, but without transition I'm afraid he will end up with the runs . . .

Barked: Mon Aug 12, '13 9:08am PST 
I think it depends on the dog. My two have sensitive stomachs and I never transition slowly. I either fast them for 8 to 12 hours and just switch them to the new food cold turkey or do a quick switch over a few days. Whenever we tried switching slowly the dogs always ended up vomiting or having diarrhea or really bad loose stool. Fast switch or cold turkey switched usually results in soft poop for a few days then it's normal or no change in stool in my experience.
Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
Barked: Mon Aug 12, '13 1:28pm PST 
Depends on the dog and the length of time they eat each food. If you buy 50lb bags that last 2 and half months between transitioning, then it's much more apt to cause tummy trouble than if you buy a new 5lb bag every week.

It also depends on what you switch between. Switching between different types of Orijen and Acana likely won't cause much of a disturbance, while switching from Orijen to Pedigree to Nutro to ToTW may cause problems. I think this may be the bigger issue, actually, since we tend to fall into a pattern with DIY diets. We use the same sources over and over once we have them, and tend to stick with similar ratios.

As far as acid reflux goes, Vance had a tumor that cause excessive bile production. I homecooked for him and used dramatically higher fiber than is recommended for dogs (at the instruction of our holistic vet). 40% fiber was low, I tried to stay at 50% and if he was having a super bile-y day I'd up it to 60%. He pooped a lot, and I had to feed him to 3 - 5 smaller meals a day to get enough usable nutrition in him (although this is good for acid reflux too), but he was much, much more comfortable for it. Mostly I used a base of beans and I would blend cooked veggies (always cooked for an acid problem) into it for extra flavor and nutrition.

Edited by author Mon Aug 12, '13 1:30pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Sun Oct 13, '13 11:05pm PST 
It seems to me that Koorazh may have a sensitive stomach?

In either case, I highly recommend that he still sticks with homemade meals (I don't know whether the commercial dog food caused his acid reflux, but I DO know that there are some rather nasty ingredients that go into the making of commercial dog food...I only recently learnt about this myself and have since steered CLEAR of that. I wrote about it on my site if you're interested: http://dogfoodnomore.com/).

Maybe try changing the recipe? Again, I've written about this on my site, you might want to check out a sample recipe there - does that sound like something you've tried? (http://dogfoodnomore.com/ - Click on the video and scroll down to the bottom.)

Hope this helps smile

Owner of a Golden Retriever big grin

Edited by author Sun Oct 13, '13 11:05pm PST