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The Ultimate Guide to Transitioning Your Dog to Raw Food 

Embarking on a journey from kibble to raw food for your canine companion may seem daunting. Yet, the multitude of health benefits that this switch promises makes it a worthy voyage. If you're ready to set sail, we're here to guide you through a smooth transition to raw feeding.

dog with one bowl of fresh meat with vegetables and one bowl of kibble.jpg

From Dry to Raw: Making the First Move

You might expect your dog to salivate at the sight of fresh, raw food. But don't be surprised if they don't.

Many dogs have grown accustomed to dry, kibble food. It's familiar and has powerful, enticing aromas (thanks to spray-on flavours used by manufacturers). Swapping this with a raw meal can be a shock. It looks, feels, and smells different. So, patience is key when transitioning your dog from kibble to raw food. Remember, they're learning about a completely new food, and that takes time.

 

Making Raw Food Irresistible

To help your dog develop a liking for raw food, try making it more appealing. Add a bit of cheese, a sprinkle of their favourite treat, an egg, canned sardines (in water), bone broth, goat's milk, or other appetising flavours.

A great tip is to lightly cook the meat to release mouth-watering aromas. Gradually reduce the cooking time until your dog is happily munching on completely raw meals.

 

The Kibble to Raw Journey: A 10-Day Plan

A successful transition to raw feeding involves baby steps over a 10-day period. Start by serving 75% kibble and 25% raw food. Gradually increase the raw food by 25% every few days.

 

For instance:

Days 1-3: 25% raw, 75% kibble

Days 4-6: 50% raw, 50% kibble

Days 7-9: 75% raw, 25% kibble

Day 10: 100% raw

Remember, every dog is unique. Some might adapt quickly without any digestive hiccups, while others may need a longer transition period. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, introduce raw food in smaller amounts to closely monitor their reaction.

happy dog running to bowl of fresh meat.jpg

The Raw Diet Detox: A Heads-Up

Switching from kibble to raw food might cause your pet's body to expel toxins and impurities as it adapts to the intake of proper nutrients. This "detox" phase varies among dogs, ranging from a few days to several months, or in rare cases, it might not happen at all.

You may notice vomiting, loose stools, bad breath, and flatulence.

 

For loose stools, consider adding cooked pumpkin to their meals, which helps firm up stools and regulate the digestive system. A probiotic supplement during the transition can also be beneficial. This detox phase is normal and indicates that your dog's digestive system is adjusting to its natural diet.

The Raw Effect: Changes in Stool and Water Intake

As your dog embraces the raw diet, you might see changes in their stool and water intake. They may poop less as their body is absorbing most of the nutrients, resulting in less waste. The bone content in their new diet may cause the stool to turn white.

You might also spot mucus-covered stools. This is generally no cause for alarm and could signal that the digestive tract is eliminating junk.

Since raw food is about 70% moisture and low in sodium, your dog might drink less than before. However, it's crucial to ensure they always have access to fresh, clean water.

Every Pooch is Unique

In the end, every dog is unique. Some might take to the raw diet immediately, while others might need more time and experience digestive symptoms. However, with patience and persistence, your furry friend can successfully transition to a raw diet, unlocking a world of health benefits.

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