On-bowling 101: How to switch your dog to fresh food

Reviewed by our experts. More info
Louise Hawkins
Transitioning 101: How to switch your dog to fresh food

Moving to a fresh food diet is exciting, and we bet your pup is very keen to get stuck into their first bowl!

But before you make the switch, it’s super important to take a gradual approach to encourage a smooth transition.

Avoid tummy troubles and the sniff of disapproval by following this step-by-step guide on transitioning your dog to a fresh food diet.

Whether you’ve got a fussy pup, a sensitive tummy or anything in between, we’ve got all the tricks of the trade to help you and your pup switch up their diet.

Why encouraging a smooth transition is important

Before you start

Prepare for transition success with these six handy hints to help you and your pup make a smooth switch to Lyka:

  1. Prep your freezer: Lyka pouches come frozen, so remember to make some room in your freezer before you receive your first box.

  2. Keep some old food: to kick off the transition process, you’ll be mixing your Lyka portion with pre-Lyka food, so make sure to keep some old food for a gradual change.

  3. Moving away from kibble? A few days before transitioning to Lyka, wet their old kibble down with water or bone broth, then mash it up before serving. This helps your pup adjust to species-appropriate moisture content and get used to a different texture.

  4. How to defrost: simply pop a pouch in your fridge to defrost overnight. If you need to speed up the process, you can place your pouch in a bowl of warm water.

  5. How to serve Lyka: you can serve Lyka straight from the fridge, or heat it in the microwave to release some delicious drool-worthy aromas. Check the temperature before feeding to make sure there aren’t any hot or cold spots.

  6. Avoid new food anxiety: it’s normal for your pup to be wary of change. Feed them in a relaxed and confident way to create a positive association with their new food. Pups look to us for reassurance, so if we’re anxious, they can feel worried too.

How to use our Go-To Gut Helper

A blend of high-quality, live microbes designed to boost your pupper’s intestinal health, our Go-To Gut Helper assists with a smoother transition and comes free in your first box.

Here’s how much you should add depending on your dog’s weight:


For the smoothest transition to Lyka, our co-founder and holistic veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Muir recommends at least a 5-day incremental change.

Standard 5-day transition

We recommend a minimum of 5 days to transition your pup to their new food. Remember: you set the pace!

If your dog has IBD, pancreatitis, or is still a puppy, you can introduce smaller amounts of Lyka to their existing food — checking their poo, and slowly increasing the amount once they begin to tolerate it. Changes in diet can be a lot for sensitive tummies, even if they’re for the better.

Lyka 5 day transition

  • Day 1: 25% of your new Lyka portion mixed with 75% of old and Go-To Gut Helper Prebiotic.

  • Day 2-3: 50% of your new Lyka portion mixed with 50% of old and Go-To Gut Helper Prebiotic.

  • Day 4: 75% of your new Lyka portion mixed with 25% of old and Go-To Gut Helper Prebiotic.

  • Day 5 — Fur-ever!: 100% of your new Lyka portion. Out with the old, in with the new!

8 top transition tips for fussy puppers

If you have a fussy pup who gives you ‘the look’ at dinner time, you’re not alone. Dogs become familiar with the same food, so a period of adjustment is common when switching their diet.

Kibble tends to be high in salt, carbs, and starch — essentially, junk food for dogs. Switching from dry food to a fresh, lightly cooked Lyka diet with different tastes and textures can take a bit of getting used to. Plus, their microbiome has also become conditioned to digest the same food.

A slow and steady approach to transitioning is key for all puppers, especially the fussiest ones.

Our top tips will help your dog chow down their new food with gusto!

1. Start with a lick of approval

Spread a touch of Lyka onto your pup’s front paws. Most dogs will lick it off, which helps them habituate to the new food and texture.

2. Warm Lyka up

Puppers are drawn to food by their snoot and sense of smell. Enhance the scent by making their food lukewarm (just be careful it’s not too hot!). You can also add warm bone broth to get their taste buds tingling.

3. Add treats or toppers

Spark positive association by mixing in some treats or a topper, like cottage cheese or yoghurt (if their tummy is used to these foods). This can also help if your pup is moving away from a more textured diet.

4. Serve Lyka up with love and confidence

It’s normal for pups to be cautious of new food. By serving Lyka up with confidence, your pup will feel supported and less nervous about trying something new.

5. Re-serve Lyka after a few hours

Try leaving your pup’s meal out for 15 minutes, then take away the uneaten food and re-serve a few hours later. This teaches them to eat their original meal, rather than waiting for a better option. Also, make sure to offer a fresh portion for each meal.

6. Change up the environment

Change up your pup’s bowl or try changing locations. Making chow time a bit more exciting can help spark an appetite.

7. Transition one Lyka recipe at a time

We suggest starting with our Chicken Bowl, then Fish, Kangaroo, Turkey, Beef, and lastly, Lamb. If your pup has experienced a previous intolerance to a certain protein, we suggest removing that one from their lineup.

8. Maintain habits and routine

Establish good habits by serving up Lyka at the same time each day and keeping up your pup’s exercise routine can help promote a healthy appetite while maintaining structure in their day. You might find your dog is hungrier in the morning or afternoon, so adjust their portions accordingly and feed fewer treats between meals.

9. Decrease the number of snacks

If your pup is munching on their favourite treats during the day, their daily calorie needs are already being met before their meal time which could be why they’re disinterested in their meals. Try holding back on feeding treats to see if this makes a difference.

10. Serve up smaller meals

If your pup eats some of their Lyka but isn’t quite as interested in licking their bowl clean, their serving could be a bit too big with too many calories in one sitting. Try feeding smaller and more frequent meals to judge if this is the case. You can also test whether feeding in the morning or evening is more successful, as some pups have a bigger appetite at different times of the day.

Still noticing your pup isn't the biggest foodie? Get in touch with our Customer Care team.

Onbowling FAQs

If you have any questions on transitioning, health concerns, serving Lyka, or our Go-To Gut Helper, check out our FAQs below.

All about the Go-To Gut Helper

What is the Go-To Gut Helper in my first box?

Our Go-To Gut Helper is a blend of high-quality live microbes to boost your pupper’s gut flora and assist with a smooth transition to Lyka.

Can I order more of your Go-To Gut Helper?

If you finish the jar included in your first order, you can order more via the ‘Extras’ tab in your online account.

How do I serve Lyka?

Do I serve Lyka warm or cold?

It’s really up to you whether to defrost our meals or warm them up. We have pupper parents doing both, so feel free to serve up how your pups best enjoy it.

How do I defrost the food?

We recommend defrosting each pouch by moving it to the fridge the night before feeding. If you’re looking for a speedy defrost, you can place your Lyka pouch in a pot of warm water.

How long does Lyka last in the fridge?

Once opened, Lyka lasts in the fridge for two days and an unopened pouch will last for seven days before serving. You can cut your first pouch in two, put half in the fridge and the remaining half in the freezer. Remember to defrost this in time to serve on Day 3 and Day 4.

What can I add to Lyka to encourage my pup to eat?

You can add tasty toppers or treats to get those tastebuds going. Different tastes and textures add to the appeal of a meal and create variety in their diet too.

Transitional help

My dog is doing some very stinky farts, what should I do?

During a transition in diet, it’s normal for pups to experience an upset tummy, which can include farts. Their gut microbiome is getting used to digesting a wider variety of ingredients and nutrients. Our general feedback from Lyka parents is that their pups fart less after the switch — your pupper’s tummy will likely calm down after this initial transition period.

My dog’s poo has changed during the transitional process, what should I do?

Softer or firmer poos are normal and are to be expected during their transition as their gut microbiome becomes accustomed to new ingredients. However, if your pup’s poo becomes very runny or loose, stay at the same transitional stage for an extra one to three days.

My pup’s experiencing excessive diarrhoea, what should I do?

If your pup’s diarrhoea is severe, you can pull back to a smaller amount (like a teaspoon of Lyka), or pause altogether until their diarrhoea has stopped. After a few days, try again with a smaller amount.

My pup’s breath has gotten smellier, what should I do?

If your pup has eaten the same diet for a while, their microbiome may be adjusting to the new food. Once their gut bacteria levels have settled, their breath should improve. Plaque can be another cause of bad breath, even before you see any signs. We recommend exploring dental brushing and natural chewing aids (such as bones or Dental Supplements).

My pup is hungrier than usual, what should I do?

Lyka is low GI, unlike kibble which absorbs fluids and expands giving a fuller feeling. Your pup’s hungry feelings should adjust after the initial transitional period. But if they’re still hungry after the transition period, speak to our customer centre to make sure you’re getting the right serving size.

My pup is experiencing an increase/decrease in urination, what should I do?

Lyka meals have a high moisture level which supports your pupper’s hydration and urinary tract health. This may contribute to an increase in urination. You also may notice a comparative decrease in drinking and urination because our meals contain less salt than kibble. If your pup has urinary concerns, we suggest avoiding our high-protein Kangaroo recipe, as an increase in protein can affect the pH of their urine and might not be appropriate for them.

My pup is feeling lethargic during the transition, what should I do?

If your pup is used to a commercial or dry food diet, they may feel lethargic as their body is craving the sugar, salt, and starch they’ve become reliant on. Once they are no longer dependent on these ingredients, they will regulate their digestion and hunger hormones more effectively.

My pup is vomiting during the transition, what should I do?

If your pup has vomited once or twice during the transition it may be because they’re not used to eating a certain ingredient or their microbiome just needs some time to adjust to the new diet. To address this, slow down their introduction to the many healthy ingredients in Lyka by going back a stage in the transition. Take it one recipe at a time to give their system a chance to recalibrate.

If they continue to regurgitate, try another recipe as your pupper may not be able to tolerate a protein or ingredient in that particular bowl such as spirulina, kelp powder or shiitake mushroom.

My pup is experiencing an upset tummy during the transition, what should I do?

Like changes in poo, you might notice a gurgly tummy during the transition, which is normal. If your pup has an upset tummy, we recommend going back a stage to avoid associating feeling unwell with fresh food.

Have a question we haven’t answered? Our Customer Care team is here to help. Send us an email for transitional support.

Contact Customer Care

Life on Lyka


From their first lick of approval to total chow-down transition, your pup is being nourished from the inside out. Look out for some of these amazing improvements to their health, happiness… and poos!

More energy: Eating a high bioavailability diet, you may notice your pupper doing more zoomies and being more playful.

Goodbye gurgly gut and stinky poos: Our low glycemic load recipes can have a positive effect on your pup’s microbiome. This can mean less gas, better digestion and smaller, sturdier poos. But, it’s normal to notice more gas and different poo as your pup transitions to fresh, lightly cooked food.

Nourished skin and coat: You may start to notice that your pup’s coat is softer and shinier thanks to Omega 3’s and bioactive ingredients. If they have skin allergies, their skin may become less reactive.

Optimal weight: Chowing down on customised serving sizes, your pupper can achieve and maintain their ideal body shape and weight! Our serving size is a recommendation and can be adjusted.

Good teeth: While there are no studies to show fresh food is better for teeth, carbs are known to be detrimental to teeth health. It’s a myth that all kibbles assist with oral health, so we always recommend dental brushing!

Improved immunity: High-quality, human-grade ingredients and powerful superfoods, including shiitake mushrooms, blueberries and spirulina, will help reduce the risk of disease and may also help to reduce the chance of infections returning.

Healthy joints: Key vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids help support your pupper’s joints, and you may notice your pup getting up faster or engaging in more play.

Happy heart: Our recipes have the right amount of Omega 3s, vitamin E and antioxidants, and are low in salt for optimal heart health.

Better behaviour: A fresh, high protein, low carbohydrate, wholefood diet helps balance gut bacteria and behaviour. You may notice your pupper is generally more content and sleeps more soundly.

Congratulations! You’ve made a successful transition to Lyka — the start of your pup’s fresh food journey for tail-wagging health and happiness.

This article was reviewed by Lyka's veterinary and nutrition experts

Need a sniff of approval?

Join the pack today with 30% off your first order.

Try out 6 different proteins before committing to a flexible meal plan that meets your dog’s taste preferences and needs.

Get started
A picture our range of Lyka meals

Related articles