July 08, 2019 5 min read
Switching your dog to a raw diet is a great decision: you'll be taking better care of your beloved pet's health and providing them with a healthy diet they will thrive on. It's important to know that making the transition can be problematic if not handled with care — for your pet's comfort, we recommend you transition to a raw diet gradually and slowly.
While raw diets have been shown to promote a healthy gut flora & improve digestion while improving the overall health of dogs, the transition period can sometimes cause temporary loose stool that can often scare people away from the diet.
However, it is normal to experience temporarily softened stool while enzymes in the stomach adapt to the abundant & rich nutrition. Dogs with known sensitive stomachs may also experience softened stool in the process of switching to raw.
There are different opinions as to whether or not you can mix kibble with raw, and it can be confusing as a pet parent to decide which method to take.
You may come across advice that tells you the opposite — that you need to make a sudden cold turkey switch. However, this can be dangerous and may cause your dog quite sick, especially if you have a senior dog or one who has a sensitive stomach already.
We believe that mixing raw and kibble while gradually increasing the raw food intake over 1-2 weeks is a better & smoother alternative to a cold turkey switch.
There are a few ways to switch your dog from processed foods to raw safely, but all of them involve gradually introducing raw meat over several days or even weeks. Remember, every dog is different, and we suggest monitoring as needed.
The most common & safe method of transition is to replace some of the existing diets with fresh raw food in every meal.
We recommend following this 3-Step transition process:
The process will take about one to two weeks, but you can go even more slowly if your dog needs it. For instance, senior dogs who have never eaten anything but kibble may need several weeks to adjust. Puppies may transition to a raw diet quicker.
Ready To Transition? Read Our Raw Food Topper Guide
It may be best to try the most gentle approach of all if:
You can give your dog muscle meat or a safe raw meaty bone (like a lamb femur orbeef marrow), but you should avoid organ meat initially. This involves giving your dog raw meat treats during the day as a supplement to their existing diet. You could even use different treats every day to determine what your dog likes (and responds to) best.
On the first day, give your dog just a treat or two. If their stool looks fine, you can increase the number of threats over the next few days. After about five days of no diarrhea, you can proceed to the 3-Step transition recommended above.
Chicken and turkey are great options to start with during the transition period as they are leaner meats.
We understand that a 100% raw diet is not for everyone & we think supplementing our formulas is still a great benefit to your dog's health.
Our recommendation would be to feed at least 50% of your dog's diet in raw food. You can mix the two foods for each meal or provide one in the morning and the other at night. Either way, it is essential to stay consistent daily once you've transitioned your dog.
In this case of supplementing kibble with raw food, your transition will only be a 2- step process getting to that 50% raw & 50% kibble ratio.
We think that once you see the changes & improvements in your dog's allergies, digestion, oral health, weight management & more, you'll want to get them on a 100% raw diet eventually.