Transitioning a dog to raw food can seem scary to some people. Although it doesn't have to be. Our dog Tahlia started on kibble as a pup and we had to switch her to raw food. My parents dog Milo was transitioned from kibble to raw as well. I have also helped many new owners transition their dogs to a new raw food diet with great success.
The wording transition your dog to raw isn't exactly appropriate which is why I chose the title switching your dog to raw. It isn't really a transition.The methods I recommend are closer to a cold turkey switch over. This is because the rate at which kibble is digested is different than the rate at which raw is digested. This can create an upset stomach for your dog or expose them to bacteria longer than needed. Dog’s have a short digestive tract which allows them to eat foods we cannot. But it works more efficiently when its cleansed and not blocked up.
Dogs can digest certain bacteria much better than humans because of their short digestive tract. That is why raw can be totally safe for your dog. That being said some people have seen small difficulties when first introducing the raw. So we will discuss these worries and how to overcome them for a healthier, happier and better dog.
My Dog Wont Eat The New Raw Food.
This happens, don't be to surprised. Many dogs can be weary of new food whether it's raw, cooked or even a new kibble or canned food. I highly recommend working your dog through this and not giving up. The first thing we do with dogs who are hesitant is try to hand feed them the new food. You're their leader, they trust you. If this doesn't entice them to at least try the food don't give up yet.
The next step if your dog isn't devouring their food yet is to not give in. By this I mean don’t give your dog something else to eat. If you give your dog something else to eat like his original food again, your dog will not try the raw food. If however you take the food away from your dog and give him nothing else until his next meal odds are they will try the raw food at that meal. Keep that process going for upto 24 hours to give your dog a fair chance to change his health and life. Do not fret, your dog is a feast and famine animal meaning he/she will not starve during this process. Ensure your dog still has access to water and they will be fine.
Good your dog is eating raw food now, let's move on to other potential worries for people.
My Dog Is Drinking Less Water.
This is absolutely normal. Your dog is getting a much higher concentration of water in their raw food diet than they are in a dried out kibble. Animals in their natural environment get a lot of their hydration needs from the animals they hunt.
As long as your dog is still drinking some water and urinating healthy. You have nothing to worry about. Most dogs on raw diets drink less..
My Dog Is Acting Hungry.
Well this one definitely isn't a surprise. Your dog has adjusted to the raw now and is loving it. Most dogs don't love their current food but eat it for survival. My dog tahlia when on kibble barely even finished a bowl of it, but now that she’s on Back 2 Raw she licks the bowl clean then keeps licking.
You should definitely watch your dog to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight as knowing how much to feed a dog is not an exact science but varies from dog to dog. If your dog is maintaining a healthy weight and is acting hungry it is almost certain they just love the taste of their delicious new raw dog food.