Feeding a rescue dog

Written by Zoe Russell, BSc (Hons), ANutr, Nutrition Officer, Skinner’s

Offering a rescue dog a forever home is a happy and rewarding experience, and helps provide a dog with the life they deserve. Rescue dogs come in a wonderfully eclectic mix of shapes, sizes, breeds and ages, each with their own delightfully unique personality. As with any animal, it’s important to provide them with the right training, care and diet to help them live happy, healthy lives.

Bringing a rescue dog home

Bringing a new dog home can be quite a strange and uncertain time for them; there’s often new sights, sounds, smells and people to accustom to. For some dogs, a change of environment can seemingly put them off their food at first. However, providing they are in good health, we would suggest giving them time and space to eat their meals.  Staying patient and maintaining a quiet, calm space for them, will be the best way to help them settle and find their appetite. It’s also important to provide a constant source of fresh, clean water to help them stay hydrated.

Thinking of changing their diet?

If you are looking to change your new dog’s diet, then we would suggest waiting a few weeks for them to settle in first. Once they are settled, you might consider moving onto another diet, such as Skinner’s. When making dietary changes, we would recommend that you transition your dog onto the new diet gradually over a period of ten – fourteen days; we typically recommend doing this in 10% increments. During the transition, it is quite normal for dogs to experience flatulence and/or loose stools but these should diminish as the digestive tract adjusts to the change, which can take up to six weeks.

Making mealtimes fun

Top tip – our wet food is the perfect choice for spreading into Lickimats and Kongs, plus it can be frozen so makes the ideal, longer lasting meal for a warmer spring or summer day.

Once your new dog has settled in, it’s important to not only provide them with appropriate exercise to keep them healthy, but to also keep their minds stimulated. Mealtimes can be a great opportunity to provide some fun enrichment for your dog. Why not use exciting alternatives to ‘normal’ feed bowls such as slow feeders, puzzle feeders, Lickimats and Kongs. This helps to keep their mind active and make mealtimes much more fun and engaging.

Training and treating

Rewarding your dog with a tasty treat can be a great way to positively reinforce behaviour. Using a high value treat can make the reward even better, however for some dogs it’s simply the idea of getting extra food that’s exciting! When treating your dog, it’s important not to overdo it, as too many treats could unbalance the diet and could also increase the likelihood of your dog gaining weight. As a general rule of thumb, treats and titbits shouldn’t make up any more than 10% of your dog’s overall diet.  

Meeting their nutritional needs

Some rescue dogs have very specific nutritional needs, which your vet or rescue centre should discuss with you prior to adoption. If you’d like to see if Skinner’s have a diet that suits their nutritional needs, then our team are on-hand to help. Contact us at or drop us a call on 01379 384247.

Did you find this article useful or interesting? Then please share

Smart food finder

Where to buy

Our products are available to buy online but we would love you to support one of our loyal stockists up and down the country!

Where to buy

Our products are available to buy online but we would love you to support one of our loyal stockists up and down the country!

Search Stockists

You can find the Field & Trial range in pet shops, country stores, agricultural merchants, garden centers and also in some veterinary practices- use our stockist locator to find your nearest Field & Trial stockist!

In fact, if an outlet sells any type of dog food, it can also get Skinner’s Field & Trial – simply ask them to contact us directly.

Our products are stocked in:

  • Pet Shops
  • Garden Centres
  • Country Stores
  • Veterinary Practices
  • Agricultural Merchants
  • Online Stockists
A man throwing a toy into a lake whilst a dog chases

Free Prize Draw!

Every month we give one winner a 15kg bag of their dog’s favourite food. Could it be you this time?

Two dogs looking expectantly


Stay up to date with the latest news from the Skinner's team.

Read more