Making the switch to raw dog food can be a daunting and challenging task for some pet owners. The transition process can take several days to several weeks, but it is well worth the effort to give your pup a healthier and more nutritious diet.
Fresh fruit, including oranges and cantaloupe, is necessary for addition to raw dog food diets. Iodine and zinc are provided by kelp powder, while vitamin C comes from fresh fruit such as peaches and strawberries. Probiotics can be added by purchasing freeze-dried fermentation products that contain beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophil.
These directions will work for any raw diet, including frozen or freeze-dried diets as well as home-cooked recipes that include the supplements listed above.
Read on as we will discuss how to make that transition into raw dog food successfully!
How To Transition To Raw Dog Food
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of making raw dog food yourself at home or don’t have time to do it all yourself, your pup can still benefit from a raw diet. You will need to choose a retail pet store that offers frozen meaty bones and fresh fruits & vegetables for dogs.
Along with the supplements listed above. This is not ideal since commercially available diets may not be nutritionally balanced and contain harmful ingredients.
They are also costly if you are feeding a larger breed dog. However, this is still better than buying kibble-based dog food with harmful ingredients.
There are many ways to make your pup’s transition to raw meals more manageable, but they all require some preparation and planning!
The following guide steps will help on how to transition to raw dog food:
When transitioning your pup to raw dog food, the first thing you need to do is find a high-quality, balanced recipe.
It should contain meat and organs such as chicken or beef heart, liver, gizzard, and kidney; bone-like ground turkey neck or whole trout bones; green tripe for digestive enzymes; vegetables like carrots and blueberries; eggs (with shells) — all in roughly equal proportion.
Make sure you are committed to switching your pup! You need to fully understand what you are getting into and how it will require time, patience, and effort on your part.
Gather all of the necessary tools and materials needed to prepare raw dog food properly. Finding a reliable supplier of high-quality organ meats and bones is also crucial.
Buying more meat in bulk, having adequate freezer space (or pre-freezing some space), choosing a reputable meat vendor. Investing in superior kitchen knives that will be used exclusively for raw dog food preparation.
When transitioning your pup onto raw dog food, prepare the necessary items by soaking them overnight or boiling them on the stovetop briefly before feeding them to your pet. This includes cutting grains out of their diet cold turkey!
Grains like oats, barley, and brown rice are not part of a carnivore’s natural diet, so they must be eliminated immediately upon making the transition into RAW feeding. You can use these ingredients overnight in filtered water to soften them for your pet.
Eliminating grains from a commercial diet is not as easy as it sounds! Many of these kibbles are jam-packed with carbohydrates and sugars. Two ingredients that should be eliminated by all raw feeders immediately upon making the switch!!
Carbohydrates break down into sugar, leading to an imbalance in blood glucose levels (aka hyperglycemia).
At the same time, too much sugar consumption may also cause food allergies or yeast infections outside of the digestive tract, such as ear infections, hot spots, lick granulomas, and skin conditions like eczema.
It’s important to read those labels before you buy any dog food! The first ingredient on every bag must be either meat-based or another named protein source.
Meat is an essential ingredient to look for, so if you see “chicken” as the first name on the label, then you know there’s at least 50% of the protein in that bag! If meat or an animal-based protein isn’t listed within the top three ingredients (i.e., chicken, liver), don’t buy it!!
Prepare your pup’s meals by feeding them twice a day, once in the morning and again around dinner time before bedtime. Some people like to feed their dogs large bone-in meats such as whole chickens or beef ribs.
These are fed along with some organ meats like tripe, but this may not be ideal for every pet owner due to cost constraints. The most important thing to remember is that you should feed your dog as much variety in meats and organ meats as possible for optimum health.
You can’t go wrong with chicken wings, necks, or legs since they are all-natural treats that increase palatability!
Make sure you have a clean food bowl available throughout the day but don’t leave it out constantly because bacteria may form if left out too long between meals. Wash bowls regularly with anti-bacterial dish soap before reusing them!!
Plastic bowls are not recommended because certain nutrients from raw foods like red meat may stain these materials over time. This can lead to your pet’s potential ingestion of harmful chemicals, so always use stainless steel instead!
Never mix different kinds of raw meat in the same bowl to avoid possible food-borne illnesses like Salmonella and E. coli since raw meats carry these potentially deadly bacteria!
Store all foods (both commercial and homemade) in a clean refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or use an airtight container to keep excess portions frozen until ready to serve!!
The transition period is critical to your pet’s health so make sure you give them lots of love and attention during this time. If they are starving, they will eat! Once their stomach gets used to digesting raw foods like bones and organ meats, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore!!
The best thing about feeding dogs RAW food is that there are no additives or preservatives which can cause seizures in certain breeds over time.
Your dog may have gas at first, but once their system adjusts to all-natural proteins along with fresh produce from vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or sweet potatoes. Afterward, everything should go back to normal again!
Overall, switching your pup onto RAW food takes some getting used to, especially for new owners who don’t know much about dogs in general. However, once you get the hang of it, your pet with thank you for making this life-changing decision!!
Once your pup is fully transitioned onto RAW food, you’ll notice a difference in their white blood cell count and overall health!!
Most dogs will experience diarrhea during the first few days of transitioning, but this should only last for about three to four days, so don’t be alarmed if they have a runny stool. Once it’s over with, you should see your pet’s stool turn to a normal, healthy color, indicating that their digestive system has stabilized!!
How To Defrost Raw Dog Food Properly At Home
Once you have done transiting your dog to raw dog food. You may need to learn how to defrost raw dog food properly. Unlike dry or wet feeding, the preparation is long and the process may take hours
The best method is always putting the raw meat overnight in the fridge.
- Put the meat into a tight container and try to put it on the bottom shelf the night before.
- This is to prevent any dirty mess or cross-contamination with your own food. A 500g container can take 9-11 hours to defrost.
- The best thing to do is take out 1-3 days worth of meals which depend on your fridge size.
- If you forgot to take out the night before, you may need to do cold water defrosting Place your dog’s meat in a waterproof bag and submerge it into a pail of cold water. Avoid hot water as you may accidentally cook the outside of the meat if it is too hot.
- Change the water every 20 mins and repeat the process. It should thaw within few hours
It’s not as simple as it sounds to switch your pet from kibble to RAW dog food. However, following this straightforward, step-by-step approach contains detailed information on what tools you’ll need.
Also, you can seek advice from other pups owners who succeeded in making the transition!!