Switching from Soft Dog Food to Hard

"I give sweet kisses with clean breath."

"I give sweet kisses with clean breath."

Hard dog food is beneficial to both you and your dog. Dry food cleans teeth, stores easily, allows firm stools for much easier cleanup and is less expensive than soft dog foods. Fresh breath and compact stools make hard food a winner for both ends of your dog.

Place 75 percent of your dog’s current soft meal in his bowl. Crumble a semi-moist burger-type food into his bowl or prepare his soft food with liquid or gravy and hard food as normal. Read the label to determine the amount of hard food he should eat for one meal. Put a quarter of this amount in his bowl and mix it with the soft food with a spoon. Feed your pet at this ratio for six days.

Watch your dog closely for signs of slight stomach distress including vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and stomach cramps during the meal transition. Follow your dog outdoors on “poop patrol” to observe his actions. If he exhibits any of these signs, leave his meals on the same percentage of mixed foods until they subside. Move to the next mixture of food when he has no symptoms of stomach upset.

Feed your furry friend each of his meals for the next four days with a ratio of half soft dog food and half kibble.

Mix the foods with 25 percent soft dog food and 75 percent dry dog food for the next four days.

Feed your dog entirely on hard food from day 13 of the meal transition schedule and into the future.

Items you will need

  • Soft dog food
  • Hard dog food
  • Dog bowl
  • Spoon
  • Water bowl


  • Choose a good-quality hard dog food that is approved by AAFCO as a balanced and complete diet. This ensures a healthy diet of dog food only without the need for any additional supplements.
  • Supply your dog with a large bowl of fresh water at all times. When changing to a dry food he will need more water to replace the moisture in the soft food.


  • If your dog has extreme vomiting or a rash, take him to your vet for a checkup. He may be allergic to an ingredient in the new food.

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About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

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