How to transition your dog from kibble to raw
July 31, 2017
Switching your pet to a raw feeding diet is the most critical step you can take to start improving their physical health and overall wellbeing. You’ll start to notice the benefits right away and long-term your pet will experience a significantly higher quality of life.
We recommend starting puppies and kittens on a raw diet as soon as you welcome them home, but if you have a mature dog or cat, you can still transition them off traditional (and unhealthy) commercial kibble onto a raw diet. Here are our tips to start raw feeding dogs. These tips can be generally applied to cats, but for tips specific to your feline, reach out to us today.
We suggest fasting your dog for 12-24 hours before the first time feeding dogs raw meat. This will allow their body to finish digesting any leftover food and clear out their gastrointestinal tract to allow for a smooth transition.
Allow the food to come up to room temperature before feeding by leaving it out of the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before feeding. In the first week this can ensure that the cold food will not cause a reaction with your dog’s stomach, which will not be accustomed to this temperature. This can be especially helpful for puppies who may have never had cold food. Eating a cold meal quickly early in transitioning may cause some dogs to throw up. Their stomach needs time to adjust to the difference in temperature and after the first week feeding cold meals isn't usually an issue.
Your dog may be unsure at first of what you have put in front of them. This is normal. The food does have a very different taste, texture and smell than what they are used to. Some dogs will try licking or sniffing it first. Some dogs will be hesitant to eat it. No problem. Allow your dog 5 - 10 minutes to eat. If they are still reluctant than cover it and put it back in the fridge. Offer the same food in a couple of hours or for their next meal. Avoid enticing them to eat by adding toppers to their meals.
Dogs that have been on a commercial diet for a number of years or senior dogs transitioning to raw are best started with a probiotic or a digestive enzyme supplement. Although a probiotic or digestive enzyme supplement is great for all dogs to help keep a healthy gastrointestinal tract, most young dogs and puppies will transition easily without them. These supplements will support the resident microflora that are always present in the gut, enhancing digestion and absorption of nutrients, supporting detoxification and elimination processes, and helping to boost their immune system.
If you are thinking about transitioning to raw dog food for your pet, congratulations! You are on the road to making a great decision for both you and your pet. We have helped transition countless dogs and cats to raw food and would love to help you out any way that we can. Contact us today.