Successfully Switching Your Pet to a Prescription Diet

When it comes to your pet, the only care good enough is the very best. Whatever kind of cat or canine you have, they're guaranteed to have special nutritional needs, and it's as important to us as it is to you that those needs are met. 

Why Should I Switch Foods? 
Here are a few reasons why you might consider a switch: 

  • Better Nutrition

  • Allergic Reactions

  • Weight Issues

  • Age Related Issues

  • Pet Health Issues


All of these are health-related reasons, and considering how hard a food change can be on animals, it's best to stick with only changing their food as necessity—and their health—demands it. If your pet is not receiving adequate nutrition, has developed issues with its current diet, or should be losing weight to promote better health, then it might be time to consider a change. 

As your pet ages, it's important to make sure you age up its usual food as well. It's important to check with your vet about this sort of change, and any other changes as well, as a food prescription from vet will point you towards what foods would best cover your cat or canine's special dietary needs. 

Why Prescription Diets? 
Every animal is different, and it only makes sense that their diets would be different as well. A prescription diet can be tailored to your pet's nutritional needs better than something "off the rack" can, even if it's designed for animals of a certain age, physical condition, or level of health. 

By working with your vet on a prescribed diet, you and your vet will be able to work together to track reactions to food changes over time, which can eventually help you paint a better picture of your pet's overall health and what affects it the most. Keeping your vet in the loop on major changes is a must for medication, so why not food? The things that go into your pet's body are important, whether they're veterinarian prescribed or store bought. 

How Do I Make the Switch? 
Once you've decided to go for a prescription diet, the next step is actually making the switch. Giving your pet a bit more time to adjust to the food is a good idea, and not just because you'll need to use up some of the old food in the bag. 

We've made a basic time schedule that covers about a week. When your vet gives you a special prescription diet, they will generally have their own suggestions for a successful timeline, so it's a good idea to have a detailed discussion about food transitions with them before you begin. 
Daily Amounts: 

  1. 75% Old Food, 25% New Food

  2. 75% Old Food, 25% New Food

  3. 50% Old Food, 50% New Food

  4. 50% Old Food, 50% New Food

  5. 25% Old Food, 75% New Food

  6. 25% Old Food, 75% New Food

  7. 100% New Food


A slow transition will ease your pet into the food, and give you a chance to spot potential issues with the new food before your pet is 100% on it. In some cases, a pet might be a little hesitant to try a new food, or might outright dislike it. If they're hesitating, try mixing in some other food that you know they enjoy—preferably wet food or cooked meat—after clearing it with your vet. If they still won't eat the new food, check in with your vet again, as your pet might be trying to tell you something. 

Pet Express Cares 
At Pet Express Animal Hospital, we know that it's important to you to get the best care possible for your pet. That's why we offer our own line of prescription food—instead of giving you a recommendation for a brand that we've "heard works well," we can give you a recommendation for a line of food that we trust enough to put our name on it. 

Having our own prescription food line means that we can tell you what will be going into your animal's food before you even buy a bag. We're better able to tailor our own products to your animal's needs, as well as anticipate any issues that might arise based on current medications. 

Having a pet is a commitment, and it's one that we know you take to heart. For us, having your pet as a patient is a commitment as well. You're our family, and we want to ensure that our family members are receiving the level of care that they deserve.