There will be times in the life of your Yorkie when you will need to change their food. The first time is usually when they’re old enough to move from puppy food to adult food but other things like a recipe change in their food that isn’t agreeing with your Yorkie, or (like now with the puppy food LTY pups have been eating) their food is out of stock or discontinued by the manufacturer can mean it’s time for a change.
Yorkies have very sensitive stomachs so no matter what the reason, it’s important that any change in diet is done by replacing their old food with the new one veeeery slowly to avoid digestive upset.
Here’s how to change your dog’s food without causing an upset stomach ….
*don’t wait until you just have a meal or two left of the old food. You will be changing over slowly by replacing some of their old food with the new over time so you want to be sure to have 2 weeks of the old food on hand.
*to help prevent stomach upset it’s a good idea to use a digestive aid. I give my Yorkies Benebac gel the day before I introduce the new food, the first day they are eating the new food as part of their meals, and then again a few days later if they are experiencing any stomach issues.
*we all know that Yorkies are finicky eaters and many of them will turn their noses up at anything new. To make them think the new food is something special, the day before I start the transition I hand feed a few pieces of the new food in place of their regular treats. Then when they find it in their food dish they think they hit the jackpot by having a dish full of “treats”.
*the next day I start the real transition like this:
It’s important to keep a close eye on your pup to make sure they are tolerating the change well. You will want to be sure that they are still drinking their normal amount of water, not experiencing gas, or having soft stools for longer than a day or two.
If any of those symptoms develop slow down the transition process!!! You can also give them another dose of Benebac or offer pumpkin (found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets) to firm up loose stools (a 3-4 lb. dog gets 1 tablespoon and I adjust from there based on size – smaller pups get less, larger pups get more).
If your pup is not eating their new food try this …
*do not feed any treats during the transition!!! Treats fill their bellies so they are less hungry and less motivated to eat their food.
*grind up the new food in a coffee grinder or mini food processor and sprinkle it on top of their regular food. This prevents them from picking out the old food and just eating that and gets them used to the flavor or the new food even more gradually.
*use a puzzle dish. Your pup will be so focused on getting the food out of the dish they won’t care what they’re eating and it will be harder to pick out just the food they want to eat.
Good luck! Let me know how these tips worked for you in the comments below.