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Labrador retriever puppy eating the spilled dog food on the floor outside his dish.
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Your puppy is rapidly developing their muscles, bones, cognitive abilities, and immune system and needs food that meets their nutritional requirements. That’s why they should eat a high-quality puppy food that will have the right balance of ingredients and nutritional density to aid their rapid growth. Your breeder may send you home with a supply of the food your puppy has been eating, or at the very least, advise you on what to feed them. If possible, stick to that food for at least two weeks; a change in diet can easily upset your dog’s stomach.

Dogs digest food differently than humans, and changes in diet can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues. To combat any digestive issues your puppy might have, you might want to consider a probiotic supplement. These supplements promote a healthy digestive system and combats issues like diarrhea. Make sure you always speak to your veterinarian to decide what’s best for your dog.

Different foods may have different types of proteins, differences in the type and amount of fiber, and a change in the type of healthy bacteria your dog needs to digest their food. If you’re going to switch to a different puppy food, you should do so gradually over five-to-seven days.

Minimizing Upset Stomach in Your Puppy

Beagle puppies eating from bowls indoors.
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For the first two or three days, mix a greater percentage of old food than new food, about three-quarters of the puppy food they now eat, with one-quarter of their new food. Then give them equal portions of new and old food for two or three days. Follow that with three-quarters new food and one-quarter percent old food. After that, their digestive system should be ready to handle only the new food.

Sometimes owners have to switch food abruptly, due to a recall or other unforeseen circumstances. Even in this situation, you can still help your puppy adjust to a new diet. Try to find a food that closely matches the existing food in ingredients, types of protein, and amounts of fiber and fat.

Give your puppy smaller meals, watching for diarrhea or other issues. If they do well with the first meal, continue to feed them smaller meals than usual. Then gradually get back on your old feeding schedule. A little tummy upset is to be expected, but if they’re vomiting, seem sick, or stop eating entirely, consult your veterinarian.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t crave variety in their diet. High-quality puppy food has all of the ingredients, in the right proportions, to meet their nutritional needs.

If you’re going to switch from the food the breeder has been giving them, you can ask them or your veterinarian for advice on the best puppy food for their age and specific breed.

This article is intended solely as general guidance, and does not constitute health or other professional advice. Individual situations and applicable laws vary by jurisdiction, and you are encouraged to obtain appropriate advice from qualified professionals in the applicable jurisdictions. We make no representations or warranties concerning any course of action taken by any person following or otherwise using the information offered or provided in this article, including any such information associated with and provided in connection with third-party products, and we will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages that may result, including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.

Related article: Expert Tips for Crate Training Your Dog
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