Making the switch to a raw diet is one of the best things you can do for your pet's overall health and well being. Whether you have a puppy, adult, or senior dog, they will reap many benefits of a raw diet.
When it comes to making the transition from kibble to raw, there are two options:
- Rapid Switch
- Gradual Transition
Most puppies and healthy adult dogs can switch to a raw diet using the "Rapid Switch" method, also known as fasting.
To do a Rapid Switch, you do not feed their evening meal (fasting 8 to 12 hours), then introduce their new raw food in the morning.
We suggest starting with a simple and lean protein like our Pure Chicken or Pure Turkey for the first three to four days. From there, we recommend introducing the same proteins but in our Gourmet Blends - which have Kale, Kelp, Spinach, and Tripe - for another three days. Once you have completed the above white meats, we recommend introducing red meats such as Pure Beef and Gourmet Pork for another three days.
This process allows your dog to adjust and build a tolerance to a variety of proteins. You will now be able to mix and rotate proteins daily or weekly.
NOTE: Doing a rapid switch with a cold meal early in the transitioning stage may cause some dogs to vomit. We recommend bringing it close to room temperature by allowing the food to sit out for 20 to 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can add a little warm water, which also enhances the raw food's smell and flavour. After four days, you'll be able to feed straight from the refrigerator without stomach upset.
Here's the summary:
- Skip your pet's evening meal.
- After fasting for 8 - 12 hours, introduce raw for breakfast. Start with a pure turkey or chicken for three to four days.
- After three to four days of the pure chicken and turkey, try gourmet chicken and gourmet turkey for three days.
- After those three days, introduce red meats like pork and beef for three days.
- From here, continue to provide a variety of proteins on rotation daily or weekly!
The most successful gradual transition method is to begin switching your dog gradually over seven days. You may find your dog may need anywhere from three days to two weeks to make the full transition, depending on age, weight, and activity level.
Start the process by separating each meal into two parts: 75% original diet, 25% raw, for two days. Be sure to keep each feeding separate as both products are consumed and processed at different rates and should never be mixed.
Over the course of a few days, gradually decrease the amount of dry food and increase the amount of raw until your pet's diet consists of 100% raw food.
Note: If you notice loose stools early in the process, cut back on the amount of raw food being fed and increase it at a slower rate. The result should be small and firm stool consistency, which results from better nutrient absorption.
Not all dogs will need the full seven days. Once you see a nice firm poop, you can completely transition them to the raw food. To help you switch your pets over, you can follow the seven day wean chart below.
- Day 1 & 2 – 25% Raw, 75% Original Diet
- Day 3 & 4 – 50% Raw, 50% Original Diet
- Day 5 & 6 – 75% Raw, 25% Original Diet
- Day 7 & on – 100% Raw
Things To Consider Before You Begin:
If you have a senior dog that has been on a commercial diet most of their lives, we suggest adding a probiotic and a digestive enzyme to help with the transition and ease stomach upset.
When switching to a raw diet, your pet may experience some digestive upset, loose stools, or mucous in their stool. The enzymes required to break down a high-quality protein diet vs. a commercial-based diet are incredibly different. The pancreas needs time to adapt to both types of enzymes. Adding a pre/probiotic or goats' milk can ease the transition.
The amount of bile to break down raw food is substantially less because it contains 75% moisture. Dry food and kibble-based diets expand 2X-5X their size during digestion, stretching the gut and giving the pet a "full" sensation. Raw food is a calorie-dense diet with less volume. Your pet may look at you like they are hungry as a raw diet digests faster than a kibble-based diet. This behaviour is part of the adjustment period, and by the 7th day will reduce.
Have further questions on how to transition? Feel free to reach out to us via email at email@example.com or message us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RawPerformanceDogFood/