If you consider changing your dog’s diet, you may be wondering how to transition your dog to a raw diet. The first thing you should do is to speak to your vet. Never change your dog’s diet unless you chat with your vet.
There are many advantages to switching to a raw diet. A lot of processed foods are out there in the market, which, in the long run, could cause health issues. Changing to a raw diet for your dog can be a good idea, providing a healthy alternative for your canine companion.
Remember, never switch to any diet suddenly. The transition has to be gradual. Otherwise, your dog may start to vomit and feel uncomfortable. Here is a guide on how to transition your dog to a raw diet:
Transition to a raw diet slowly
When switching to raw dog food meals, the best thing is to do it gradually over seven days. It may also be possible to transition immediately. In other words, you give them their regular food tonight and you start on a raw diet tomorrow. This may or may not cause problems. However, it is better to make the transition slower to help your dog adjust better.
A raw dog food diet has advantages such as having more moisture than dry kibbles. You will notice that they may start drinking less water. The moisture in raw food is a good thing for them. There are several other health benefits of raw dog food. While the choice is yours, do speak to the vet first if you wish to do it immediately.
Otherwise, most transitions are safer over several days. So, gradually remove their usual diet and slowly add more raw food until you eliminate their usual food and go raw completely.
This option might not be for everyone, especially if you have a weaker disposition. You may feel a little guilty about using this method. After all, your dog is not sick, so by fasting them, there could be a little guilt associated with it for those of us who are a little “weaker.” However, what you can do, if you’re up to it, is to fast your dog for half a day or even 24 hours. Then, you can feed them their first raw diet. Make sure that you follow instructions such as temperatures and things like that.
This is assuming you have a healthy dog. If your dog has a history of gastrointestinal issues or is a senior dog, then provide them with probiotics with their regular meal first. Then when you switch to a raw diet, carry on giving them probiotics. This should help them to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.
Sit at room temperature
When starting to feed your raw dog food, one good tip is to take it out of the fridge and let the food sit at room temperature for half an hour. Some dogs may have a problem scoffing down cold food straight out of the fridge, especially new ones.
After that, when you notice things are going well, you can gradually reduce this half-hour period by 5 minutes every couple of days until you come to a point where you can just take it out of the fridge and feed them right away. Allow your dog time to adjust. Some dogs may be fine, while others may vomit, so why take the chance? Better to do it slowly and avoid any problems.
What to Feed
Most raw dog foods come pre-packaged. You know what meats your dog loves. However, they should enjoy whatever meat they choose from a raw food diet. You can give them poultry, such as chicken, duck or turkey, when you transition. Some also contain rabbits. The proteins in these meats are generally considered to be more easily digestible. As a result, the transition will go much smoother.
You will need to know what the recommended serving is for your dog. One tip during the transition period is to give them half of it, wait a few minutes, then give them the other half. Your dog may be so thrilled that it may just swallow everything and possibly regurgitate. Some dogs wolf things down faster than the speed of light! These are the dogs you should try to calm down by giving them half and when they are OK, give them the rest.
Now that you’ve made a move and transitioned to raw food, some things are to look out for. Transitioning to a raw diet may present transient changes, which is quite normal, so they should disappear. For example, their stools may be different. They may not go as frequently.
Initially, it could have some mucus or be softer than what you are used to. Their stomach may be upset. Their water intake may decrease. Ultimately, if you are concerned, speak to your vet, but some changes will occur and should go away.