How do I introduce my dog to raw food?
Most dogs transition from kibble/pellets to raw dog food without any issues. Some dogs, however, may have an upset tummy (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) during the transition. This is due to the change in diet and does not mean there’s something wrong with the food. The trick is to make the transition as easy as possible on the GI system. Here’s how we recommend you approach the change:
- If you’re currently leaving dry food out for your dog/s all day, remove this 24/7 pellet buffet and start introducing mealtimes.
- Feed the raw food on its own, not mixed with pellets or any grain-based carbs, introducing a little at a time – give it like a treat at least 2 hours after his/her last meal.
- Protein needs an acid environment to digest, and carbs an alkaline environment. Giving both at the same time can cause digestive confusion resulting in an upset tummy.
- Introduce a single protein source and stick to it until the tummy has settled. This means not using our Potluck meal, which contains 4 different proteins (chicken, beef, ostrich and venison). Our 4 core variants (chicken, beef, ostrich & venison) are pure, that is, each only contains a single protein.
- Once your dog is used to the raw food, remove the kibble completely and feed only raw. We recommend feeding twice per day.
- Also, once your dog is used to the raw food, we recommend feeding different variants to ensure they get a balanced amino acid profile and a balance of meat cuts.
Dogs usually love our meals, but if your dog won’t try it, add a bit of his favourite meat sauce, or tinned sardines if that’s what he likes, to entice him to try it. Be careful not to make this the norm though, or he’ll be training you how he wants his meal served!
If you’re interested in more detail, we highly recommend this video by Dr Karen Becker, well-known veterinarian who did extensive research into pet nutrition. In this video she discusses the transition from kibble to raw in a very practical and helpful manner – if you want to skip straight to the transition, it is 1:43 min into the video