Welcome to the beginning of your raw feeding journey. If you're here, you are wondering how to take your dog from eating an ultra-processed diet to a nutrient-rich, healthy, fresh raw diet. Great start!
You're new to raw feeding, and that's OK. This guide will help you successfully (and safely) transition onto raw food. We will go through the two transitioning methods, explain the version that our in-house Nutritionist advises and why, and let you decide which one is going to be best for your dog.
Once you start your transition, the next few days may look quite different from your usual feeding regimen, but it will be well worth it in the long run, and your dog will thank you.
Method: Cold Turkey
(No, this isn't the name of one of our products!) As you might have guessed, this is an immediate switch from the existing processed diet (kibble or wet) to raw. An example would be providing a kibble meal on a Sunday evening, and then beginning the new raw diet on Monday morning. Cold Turkey means no gradual transition, just a straight-up switch.
This method definitely isn't for everyone, but some pet parents may feel comfortable with it if their dog doesn't have a sensitive stomach, or maybe they have tried some fresh foods (raw) before without issue.
Cold Turkey is straightforward but carries the most risks for developing gastrointestinal issues, such as loose stools and/or vomiting. If attempting this method and gastro issues arise, vets recommend a slower, gradual transition once the gastro issues have been resolved. This brings us to the next method.
Method: Low and Slow
Recommended by Junior Hudson, our in-house Nutritionist
Days 1, 2 and 3
Choose a protein source your dog is already familiar with for this method. Take the food and mix some into your dog's current diet. There is some controversy regarding mixing raw and kibble. However, there is little evidence to suggest that this is an issue that should prevent you from carrying out a Low & Slow transition to raw.
The amount of raw to start mixing in can vary from just a teaspoon (if particularly concerned about sensitivity) to around a quarter of raw to three-quarters of their existing diet.
The overall transition process will obviously take longer than the ten days mentioned here when mixing in particularly small amounts. Build up at your own pace and time, with gradual increments in quantity.
Professional tips from Junior
Remember, the calorific content of fresh and dried food will differ. Dried can often be 50% or more of the calories of fresh per weight, so ensure you are still feeding your dog enough calories per day.
To be extra safe or if you have a fussy eater, it may be ideal to start adding fresher foods, such as some lightly cooked meat, into your dog's kibble before commencing the transition to a fresh raw diet. It will help get them accustomed to the fresh/kibble mixture before introducing the raw by preparing the microbiome for the coming changes.
Days 4, 5 and 6
If your dog's stomach is happy with the transition in the past few days, it's time to up the ante. Try half raw mixed with half of their current diet.
Your dog's health is the most important part of this process, so remember to watch out for any signs of sensitivity. If necessary, you might want to change course and opt for an even slower transition.
Day 7, 8 and 9
Now it's time for mostly raw and little processed food at all. Up the raw portion to three quarters, mixing in only one quarter of their old food.
If the other steps have gone smoothly and there's no signs of gastro issues, today it's time for 100% raw food in your dog's bowl.
Congratulations! You've made it — it's your dog's first meal which is completely raw.
For your dog's enjoyment and optimal health, you may want to rotate multiple meat choices once fully settled with the transition.
Well done on choosing to feed your dog a more natural, biologically appropriate diet. You can now expect to see smaller stools (which are less smelly!) and improved vitality and condition. Overall, you should have a healthier, happier dog with increased longevity.
Welcome to the #rawmeatrevolution.
With the added quality benefits of Ethically Raised, you can feel assured your dog is on a truly optimum diet! Each dog food product is complete and balanced to FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry Federation) guidelines with regenerative meat sourced from Pasture for Life and A Greener World certified farms.