Transitioning To Raw Feeding
New to raw? We know it can seem a little bit daunting, but we've got a simple, easy to follow feeding plan and plenty of tips to help you on your way.
A raw diet does not need to be gradually introduced - mixing kibble with raw is not recommended as they are both digested at different rates. Prepare yourself for the switch by reading, researching, joining forums for support etc.
Make sure you have a good supply of raw food and know how much you're feeding. Raw is fed at 2-3% of the ideal adult weight (puppies at 2-3% of their ideal adult weight) but, you will need to monitor their weight and consider their age and activity levels. A dog that spends a lot of time outside may need a higher percentage.
If you have a working dog, we recommend feeding 3%-6% when working, reducing this amount to 2%-3% when not.
To work out how much you will need to feed, please refer to our feeding guide below for assistance.
It is important to feed a variety of meals including, chicken, lamb and beef. We have a number of tripe meals that are lower in calories and mixes of offal which is a very important part of a dogs diet and you should try to feed this twice a week.
The lamb meals are also ideal for dogs that need to gain extra weight.
Quantity to feed neutered dogs
Neutered dogs and bitches have a tendency to increase fat stores from before they were neutered. A dog that may have once required 3% to maintain their ideal weight may only now require 2%. As ever, we recommend keeping a close watch on your newly neutered dogs so that you can adjust their intake as necessary.
Transition To Raw
We advise to start with a gentle protein, a protein of our choice would be tripe which contains natural pro-biotics and enzymes which will help your dog transition smoothly, if however tripe puts you off we have a great alternative which is the combined chicken and tripe mix. You would use either of these proteins for a week. This helps a dog’s digestive system to slowly adjust to their new diet. It also helps by allowing the stomach acidity to gradually increase. Dogs/pups in the wild would have eaten meat and offal as soon as they were weaned. Monitor your dog for any changes or digestive issues.
The easy transition 4 week plan
Week 1: Plain Tripe Mince or Chicken and Tripe mix
Week 2: Lamb Tripe and Chicken Complete or Beef Tripe and Chicken Complete
Week 3: Lamb Tripe and Duck Complete or Beef Tripe and Duck Complete
Week 4: Beef and Duck Complete or Pork and Chicken Complete
Each week add in a new Complete until a good variety is reached. You should avoid sticking to just one Complete because variety is needed to cover all nutritional needs. You should be aiming to feed at least 5-6 different species ie Lamb, Beef, Duck, Chicken, Pork, Venison, Turkey etc.
Raw fed dogs have much higher stomach acidity than kibble fed dogs. This is perfectly natural and is important in helping dogs to digest meat and bone.
Dogs that are given bone straight away often vomit it back up a few hours later (some don’t and that's fine too). This is because the stomach acids have not increased sufficiently to properly digest bones. Don’t panic! If they're sick and seem fine in every other way, they may just need a little more time for their stomach to adjust.
Raw fed dogs obtain a lot of moisture from their food so you will notice your dog drinking less. This is perfectly normal. You will also notice that stools are much smaller and pellet-like which, again, is normal.
Bone should be fed sparingly and should always be supervised. Too much bone will cause constipation and could lead to impaction. Bone should be fed in small amounts of 10% of daily allowance or 20% every other day. Never give two high bone meals consecutively.
A balanced and nutritionally correct raw diet should consist of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal with half of the offal being liver. It is very important to make sure liver is given at 5% of the overall diet. By feeding these ratios you can be sure your pet is getting 100% of the nutrients they need.
Fruit & veg
Many people like to add vegetables and/or fruit to their dog’s raw diet. This does no harm but is not essential. Dogs do not possess stomach enzymes capable of breaking down vegetable matter, so mostly it just passes through! A raw vegetable treat like a carrot or banana goes down well with many dogs and is certainly better than a processed treat.
If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.