Below are some explanations as to why a gradual transition is recommended:
Introduction to raw
Initially start your dog on one protein source for a three week period. This allows your dog’s digestive system to adapt and makes it easier to spot if your dog has a particular intolerance to a certain protein. Ensure over time you introduce a range of different proteins to your dog to maintain variety in their diet.
Easing your pet in to a high protein raw meat and bone diet is easy and convenient. Simply follow the steps below:
Things worth noting;
We do not advocate feeding pets a diet of both raw food and processed kibble on an ongoing basis. This is due to the differing ways and speed the diets are digested (see above), which in turn will compromise your pet’s digestion. If you feed a high carbohydrate food (kibble) alongside a high protein diet, any excess calories will be readily converted to fat and thus can lead to obesity.
Kibble is not necessary in either a cat’s or dog’s diet. In nature both dogs and cats get variety in the texture of their food components and have a means of maintaining healthier teeth. This variety in texture is not however achieved with starchy, grain based kibble, but with crunching and chewing on raw meaty bones, as nature intended.
When dealing with a dog, generally speaking, the switch in diet is easier as our canine companions will, nine times out of ten, eat whatever you put in front of them. Our feline friends however, tend to be slightly fussier about changing food.
For some dogs who have been on a high carbohydrate diet for a long time, if the switch over to a higher protein low carbohydrate diet is made too quickly they can initially appear hungry as their bodies have been adapted to carbohydrate as the main source of instant calories. Adding a small amount of additional carbohydrate initially in the form of for example sweet potato. Soluble fibre foods can also help by making your dog feel fuller, the addition of slices of butternut squash, a few carrot sticks between meals can help to bridge this gap (Avoid adding grain based carbs such as rice or pasta). In addition many kibbles will have been fed in a relatively large volumes compared to a raw diet to provide the same number of calories and again in the early days of converting your dog to raw food feeding the smaller volume can leave some dogs not feeling full enough. This is where feeding raw bones (once the dog has settled on raw food) can keep them occupied and help bridge this gap while the stomach volume adapts.
It is important to be careful at this point, that you are not misinterpreting a dog who now relishes his food as hunger. With many kibble diets dogs do not rush to the bowl and eat with relish unless there is a lot of feeding competition from other dogs. This can be very different when feeding dogs a high quality raw natural diet. A dog wanting the food without having to be tempted with a little bit of this and that is what we all want for our dogs. Make sure you monitor your dogs weight in the early months of feeding raw, to be sure that you have the amount right (note the feeding guides are simply guides and amounts fed are dependent on numerous factors). Most importantly enjoy seeing your dog loving his food!