Making the Switch to Raw
Posted on January 20 2021
A wholesome, raw diet has many amazing benefits for your pet. By eradicating fillers, preservatives, chemicals, and unhealthy additives from the diet your pet’s immune system will be able to function optimally and bring back health and vitality. A raw food diet brings noticeable improvement in your dog’s skin and coat, cleaner teeth and fresher breath, and more energy. As an added benefit, your pet’s stools will become less smelly, smaller, and easier to clean up.
How to Make the Switch
Making the transition to a raw diet can be done in a variety of ways. For puppies and young dogs, a cold turkey approach may work just fine. However, for adult dogs we recommend a more gradual transition to ease your dog into raw feeding with the least likelihood of challenges. Taking a gradual approach can reduce the incidence of digestive upset and loose stools. These are very common during the change to a raw food but as many veterinarians remain concerned about raw food benefits, pet parents who experience these challenges and reach out to their vet may be discouraged from moving forward.
If you are feeding your pet once a day, you can plan to transition over a 10 day period. For the first 3-4 days, you should replace about ¼ of your pet’s food with a complete and balanced raw food. Watch for changes in stool and digestive issues and move forward according to your pet’s own response. By day 5, you should be able to increase your pet’s food to ½ raw, ½ your usual food. Days 8-10 should be ¾ raw food, with ¼ your usual food. By the end of day 10 your dog should be ready for a fully raw diet.
If you feed multiple times a day, you can follow the above plan using the gradual proportionate switch or you can begin to make one meal partially raw and keep the other meals in the usual food until you achieve a fully raw feeding. In either case, it may happen that your dog will begin to refuse their regular food in favor of the raw option. In this case, if you are not seeing any digestive challenges, you can expedite your transition schedule.
A few notes if you are new to raw:
Be sure to feed a complete and balanced diet. Homemade raw diets are a wonderful option but it takes careful planning to make sure your nutritional profile is balanced. When using a complete diet such as Longevity, you can ensure that your pet’s full nutritional needs are being met for growth, vitality, and wellness.
Select a raw food with food safety protocols and testing in place. Raw food critics are quick to point out the potential risks of pathogens to your pet. Reputable raw food manufacturers take many precautions to ensure a safe food supply and to test their final products for a series of pathogens that could be dangerous for your pet.
Don’t be surprised to watch raw food disappear before your eyes! It is not uncommon for our Longevity customers to report their dogs virtually inhaling their food and licking their bowl clean. If your dog has some digestive issues, you can use a slow feeding bowl to temper the consumption speed. However, in most cases, this is not problematic.
Find your groove. Once you create a new habit of defrosting and feeding in rotation, raw feeding will become familiar and easy. Like all new healthy habits, it takes a little preparation and adjustment time, but the benefits will soon be apparent!