Raw Food and Your Dog
Dog lovers know that no two dogs are the same, and because of this, there isn't a single answer when it comes to weaning your dog off of dry kibble and into a natural, raw diet. You can still employ some basic techniques which can get you moving in the right direction, though.
1. Stay positive. Your pets can be extremely perceptive, and they'll know if you have any doubts about this transition to a raw food diet. If you are confident, your pets will feel more certain about this alteration of their usual diet.
2. If you have an older dog who has been eating the same food for a long time, it will take more time to establish this raw diet.
3. It's important to employ variety when introducing a meat-based, raw diet to your dog, but it's usually best to use only one kind of meat to begin your transitioning with - usually the type of meat which is already in your dog's kibble. By doing this, your dog's digestion will be made simpler.
4. Don't feed your dog prior to beginning this change. If your dog is hungry, it will be far more interested in what's in their bowl, and it will also provide some down time for their digestive system.
5. As this transition is happening, don't give your dog too many treats. This will prime your dog's appetite for its new food.
6. Give your dog lots of clean, filtered water to drink.
Raw Diets for Puppies
A puppy will usually be able to make this dietary transition in just a couple of days, as their digestive systems are able to process new foods with greater ease than older dogs might. To begin, switch out a quarter of your dog's food with Darwin's. As time goes on, increase the amount of Darwin's and decrease the amount of kibble, until all that's left is the new, raw diet.
Healthy, Young Dogs & the Raw Diet
Younger dogs will have a simpler, more rapid transition when compared to older dogs, or dogs who might be unhealthy. Transitioning within a week is generally possible, providing that your dog doesn't show symptoms of being sick, such as vomiting, constipation or loose stools. By making this transition slowly, your dog's digestive tract will have more flexibility to adjust to new foods.
1. Start out by switching out 1/8th of your dogs usual meal with raw food.
2. Once your dog has eaten three times, try switching out 1/4 of your dog's food.
3. Repeat this again after three meals, introducing a mixture which is half kibble and half raw food.
4. Finally, after three more meals, give your dog a completely raw meal. Ideally, your dog will not show any signs of distress. If your dog seems okay, you've successfully made the switch!
Old Dogs & Choosy Eaters
Dogs who have old habits might not accept the texture or scent of a raw diet. This is not uncommon, especially with smaller breeds of dogs. There are a few simple steps that you can take.
1. During the change, don't allow your dog to have treats.
2. Don't feed your dog prior to switching their food.
3. Raw meals can be lightly cooked in order to activate their flavors and smells. Be sure to only cook these slightly. A quick poach on the stove or a pass through your toaster oven should do the trick.
4. Present this meal in a way which will make your dog comfortable, such as a secluded spot in your home or kitchen.
5. By adding extra flavor to their meals, like egg yolks, cheese or garlic powder, most dogs will give in and try out their new food without much trouble!