Switching Your Dog to a Raw diet

 

Making The Switch

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Just a few years ago, raw feeding for dogs and cats was the best-kept secret of many of the top breeders and show people but was not a diet considered by the mainstream pet owners.

In recent times, the benefits of raw have been recognised and, with the increasing number of producers of complete foods, it is now becoming the choice of those pet owners who want the very best for their loved ones.

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HOW DO I MAKE THE CHANGE?

The answer is relatively easy.

The younger and healthier dogs can move over to a raw diet straight away but you may want to do a 2-3 day weaning process with dogs who are older or who are not in the peak of health.

We would not suggest mixing a wet and dry food in the same bowl and so it would be preferable to feed the morning meal of raw and the evening meal of the old food.

All you need to do then is see that there are no stomach upsets and the dog seems happy before changing both meals over.

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MY DOG IS NOT KEEN

Usually dogs instinctively like raw meat and so there are not too many problems with introducing the change. However, if he doesn’t seem to take to it the first time here are some helpful hints:

• Form the food into small mouthful sized balls

• Add warm water from the kettle to bring out the meaty smells

• Add some low-fat natural yoghurt to the food

• Feed on a plate rather than a bowl as this can help the dog deal with a new consistency

• Put some gravy juices on the food or some oil from a can of tuna

• Try a different flavour

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DETOXING

When switching from a highly processed food to a raw diet there can occasionally be a detoxifying process which can show itself in tear staining, loose poos, shedding or coat imbalances.

This should not last more than a week so do consult your vet if they continue.

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WILL I NOTICE ANY CHANGES?

Some changes are immediate.

The amount of poo your dog produces should significantly reduce as there are no grains, carbs or fillers in raw which can increase ‘output’ by up to 75%.

Remember the white dog poo we used to see as kids? This is what you will see again in the summer months. Poo should be firm, dryer and smaller.

Coats should start to feel soft and shiny. Any greasiness or dandruff will clear within just a few days and all ‘doggy’ odours from the coat should disappear.

And talking of smells, and particularly windy dogs will become much more socially acceptable within 24 hours, as there is no residual material left in the gut with raw as there is from processed foods.

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CAN I TRY BEFORE I BUY?

Trying your dog on raw for one or two meals will not affect its health in any way and so you may wish to make a meal for your dog first to see how he likes it.

 

 

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Here is a basic recipe for a DIY meal.

For one meal (half daily allowance) for a 10kg adult dog:

Feeding guide for dogs fed twice a day:

10kg dog - 100g per meal

15kg dog - 150g per meal

20kg dog - 200g per meal

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You will need:

90g of diced chicken or turkey

10g of ground or pureed vegetables. We recommend carrot, broccoli, pumpkin, squash or leafy greens. Avoid other root vegetables and peas. No onion.

x1 Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

x1 Dessertspoon of raw egg and half the egg shell - the eggshell is replacing the calcium that you would normally get with the ground bone you find in commercial raw diets and complete home-made diets.

x1 Dessertspoon of a low fat live natural yoghurt or the same amount of goats milk

x1 Teaspoon Coconut oil - if this is not available a teaspoon of salmon oil or olive oil.

Try adding some parsley as it is great for fresh breath or a quarter teaspoon of turmeric.

Once you are happy your dog has enjoyed the food with no ill effects then you will want to have a look at a more balanced raw diet which contains bone and offal, but this is a great way of seeing how it works for you and your pet and a really easy enjoyable occasional meal too.

This can be frozen but will stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days.

 

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