Species Appropriate Diets and Pet Nutrition
How to Switch to a Raw Pet Food Brand from Dry Pet Food
Disclaimer: This is a post is sponsored by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter
I am so happy you are looking to switch your dog or cat from a dry, highly-processed pet food to a fresh, natural raw pet food diet. Yay! You should be extremely pleased with yourself that you are ready to make the leap. Your dog or cat’s health will improve dramatically after you change to a raw pet food, such as Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. But the big question is always, HOW. SLOWLY.
If your pet has been eating dry dog food for most of his life, his gut may not be in the best shape. But don’t worry, by switching to a raw dog or raw cat food, you will be working at restoring his gut microbiome, which is essential to good health.
Transitioning Your Dog to a Raw Dog Food Brand
Plan on transitioning your dog full time to raw over about 7-10 days. By changing your dog’s food from dry kibble to raw slowly, you will help prevent gastrointestinal upset. However, don’t be surprised if your dog’s stools change. You may even notice a little mucus coating as your dog goes through a detoxification and his body eliminates toxins he has built up over time. As your dog eats more fresh food, he will also start to utilize the nutrients and eventually his stools will likely become firmer and smaller. This is all good!
- Raw dog food should be served at room or body temperature
- Days 1-3: Start your dog’s transition with a 75/25 split of his old food and new food.
- Days 4-5: Increase the raw food to a 50/50 split.
- Days 6-7: Increase the raw food to a 25/75 split.
- Day 8: You did it! 100% raw.
Transitioning Your Cat to a Raw Cat Food Brand
Oh, the finicky cat! It’s not necessarily that your cat is finicky; it’s just that cats can be leery of change, especially when their cat food is changing. But changing your cat from a dry cat food or a canned cat food to a raw cat food diet is worth the time and effort it may take.
No More Free-Feeding Cats
If your cat is used to having a bowl of food available 24/7, that’s the first thing to change. Start with four regular feeding times per day. Place your cat’s current food down for about 30 minutes, then remove what he doesn’t eat until his next feeding. Be patient with your kitty. However, it’s important to realize that cats will starve themselves, so do not allow more than 24 hours in between meals.
Once you have established a cat feeding schedule, add about ½ tablespoon of the raw cat food to your cat’s current food. At this point, you just want your cat to start getting accustomed to the taste, smell and texture of the food. Just like raw dog food, the food should be at room temperature, not cold. If your cat refuses, add even less raw with your cat’s regular food.
Once your cat is eating his raw and dry cat food, very gradually increase the amount of raw and decrease the dry. SLOWLY. You can expect this transition to take about four weeks. If your cat is eating a mix of raw and kibble, but not quite making the 100% switch, that’s okay. Just keep going, but a bit slower. Your patience will be worth it in the end!
Pro Tip from Darwin’s Natural Pet Products– “Feed you cat on a small plate. Put their usual food in the middle and dab half moon shapes of Darwin’s around the lip of the plate. The cat will eat it. We don’t know why, It has zero scientific backup, but has worked for most customers in the past.”
Transitioning Tips, Concerns and Reminders
- Raw pet food should be served at body or room temperature. To achieve this, stir in a little warm water.
- Most prepared raw diets can be lightly cooked (raw), which can help during the transition period. Once transitioned, lessen the cooking to get back to raw.
- Use a flat plate to feed your cat.
- Not all pets tolerate a raw pet food diet. Some pets have a weakened immune system and they cannot process raw food. In this case, consider lightly cooking a prepared raw or a home-cooked diet.
- If you are concerned, speak to a holistic vet specializing in fresh diets.
- Be patient, but don’t starve your cat. Cats must eat every 24 hours.
Once you have successfully switched your dog or cat from a dry pet food to a fresh, raw pet food brand, you should start to see your pet’s health improve. His coat will likely get shiny, his energy will improve, and he will be so happy he is eating a fresh and healthy pet food. But don’t stop at one protein source; it’s important to rotate proteins and other ingredients to ensure optimal health and nutrition. More on that topic soon!
If you’re looking for a fresh, healthy pet food, check out Darwin’s Natural Pet Products! Try Darwin’s for Only $14.95 for 10lbs. Darwin’s has an introductory offer that an assortment of our premium raw pet food meals – free-range and cage-free meats (with organic vegetables in our dog meals.)
Do you feed your pets a fresh diet? Tell me in the comments.
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