11 signs it’s time to change your dog’s diet

Written by Nigel Simpkins

There’s certainly no shortage of options on the market when it comes to what to feed your dog, so how do you know that you are feeding him the right food? Generally, there are certain signs to look out for which tend to indicate that your dog could require a change of diet. Weight gain or weight loss is the most obvious, but there are other subtle signs that you might not immediately put down to what your dog is eating. Keep your eye out for any of these signs, which could be an indicator that it is time to change your dog’s food. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your vet to discuss any dietary needs for your dog and rule out any underlying medical issues. 

Bowel Issues

A looser poop every once in a while doesn’t normally cause concern, but if your dog is regularly suffering from diarrhoea or is suffering from constipation and struggling to go at all, these can be sure signs that the food your dog is eating isn’t right for his digestive system. Many dog owners are turning to a raw food diet due to its digestive benefits. What is raw dog food? Simply put, it’s food that dogs would have eaten before they became domesticated and kibble was invented, like raw meat, bones, organ meat, and vegetables. If you are considering switching your dog to a raw food diet due to digestive issues, Bella and Duke are a great company to start with. They provide pre-made, freezable raw dog food that’s designed to give your pet the right nutrition. You can learn more about the raw dog food diet on their website. 


Although some dog breeds do tend to be more prone to gassiness than others, their flatulence shouldn’t be so excessive that you can’t stand to be in the same room as them! If your dog is experiencing a lot of gas that isn’t normal in terms of how often they are passing gas and what it smells like, it’s usually a sure indicator that something isn’t quite sitting right in their system. 


If you’ve noticed that your dog is scratching or itching more frequently than normal, this could be caused by an allergic reaction or similar to the ingredients in their food. However, diet is not the only factor that can lead to itching in dogs, so it’s important to rule out other causes before you go ahead and change their diet. Make sure that your dog is given regular flea treatment and determine if it could be due to another factor – itching more than usual after a bath, for example, could be down to a reaction to the shampoo you use on them. It’s also worth taking your dog to the vet to rule out any underlying skin conditions. 

Weight Changes

If you’ve noticed that your dog has lost or gained an unusual amount of weight, this is usually down to their diet. If they are getting their regular amount of exercise and haven’t undergone any other major changes in their routine, it’s likely due to not getting the right amount of nutrients or an excess of carbs. However, there could also be other underlying causes, so again, a vet visit is worth it. For example, a dog that’s eating a lot but does not seem to be gaining any weight, or is rather losing weight, could be suffering from worms. 


If your dog is acting uncomfortable particularly after eating, his food might be bothering him. If your dog tends to seem fine at all other times but is acting sick and lethargic after eating or even vomiting up his food, it’s usually a sure sign that a dietary change is in order. Speak to your vet to determine if there is a specific ingredient causing this reaction, as it could be that your dog is allergic to something, and you will need to keep this in mind when changing his diet. 

Low Energy

If you feel that your dog should be more energetic for his age, temperament or breed, then you’re probably right. If your dog has started to seem more sluggish after you switched to different food, or he’s been eating the same food for years and his energy levels are deteriorating quicker than they should be, it may be because he is not getting the right nutrients for his diet. 

Behavioural Problems

When it comes to dogs, food really does have an effect on pretty much every aspect of their lives. And if you’ve recently switched foods and your dog has begun to behave in a manner that he did not previously, it could be due to the diet change. For example, if you’ve switched to food that simply isn’t filling your dog up as it should be, he might start stealing food off your plate or begging more, which will be unusual behaviour for him if he never felt the need previously. 

Loss of Appetite

Has your dog never said no to a good meal before now? If you’ve switched his diet and your dog suddenly isn’t hungry, there’s probably a good reason. However, it’s worth noting that some dogs are reluctant to change, and it may well be simply because they are not used to the food that you’re putting in front of them. If it’s only been a day or two, it’s worth waiting a little while longer to see if your dog is tempted and eventually gets used to their new diet. You can also try adding bone broth to his food to make it more tantalising. But if the problem persists, it’s time to try something different and visit your vet to ensure that the loss of appetite isn’t down to something more serious. 

Always Hungry

Most dogs probably wouldn’t refuse an extra meal or a treat! However, if your dog is normally satisfied after being fed and has recently begun acting hungry all the time, it might be because he isn’t getting the right nutrients from his food. This might be the case if you have just switched your dog to a different diet, or if he is still developing and his dietary needs are changing as he grows. 

Ear Issues

If your dog tends to suffer from chronic ear issues that just don’t seem to go away no matter what you try, it could be due to an allergy to something in their food. If this sounds like your dog, then it’s definitely worth speaking to your vet about getting him tested for food allergies, as this could be the root cause. 

Poor Coat Condition

If your dog has an unhealthy looking, dull coat, their food might be to blame. A good diet will provide your dog with all the nutrients that he needs to be in perfect health, including his coat. If his fur lacks that healthy shine, he could be missing out on certain nutrients in his diet. 

Some signs that your dog needs a different diet are obvious, while others might be more subtle. If you notice any of these changes in your dog, it could be time for a dietary switch. Always schedule a visit with your vet to rule out any health problems, too.