Transitioning to Raw Dog Food

Transitioning to a Raw Dog Food Diet :   You can choose 1 of 2 ways… gradually transition or cold turkey.

Gradual Transition: If your dog has a sensitive digestive system or if you would just feel more comfortable easing in to it.   I would recommend a transition over a 2 week time period.

  • Feed kibble in the A.M and Raw Diet in the P.M
  • 75% kibble in A.M /25% Raw diet in P.M day 1-6
  • 50% kibble in A.M /50% Raw diet in P.M day 7-11
  • 25% kibble in A.M /75% Raw diet in P.M day 12-14
  • Feed raw natural diet A.M and P.M going forward

Cold Turkey Approach: Fast your dog the night before introducing them to a raw diet. Do not give any other food or treats during this transition.

Feeding Chart Guideline:

This may vary depending on the breed, metabolism and activity level.

The percentage of body weight being fed is for total daily consumption. This total should be split up between all suggested servings.

Age Food % of body weight Servings
2 -10 months 4-8% 3-5
11-24months                                                               4-8% 2
Two years & older 2-5% 2

Feeding Raw Meaty Bones: Feeding raw meaty bones is recommended for a minimum of 10-20% of a dog’s diet. Providing a variety of necks, backs and other skeletal parts is highly beneficial to the dog’s teeth and overall health. Offering meaty bones also creates a natural tearing and ripping exercise that mentally stimulates the dog.   Dogs of all ages and size should be consuming meaty bones.    

Feeding and Handling: All raw food should be kept frozen until ready to defrost.

Defrosting Food: Take food out of the freezer and put it in a sealed container in the refrigerator until defrosted.   Serve food cold or preferably room temperature. Raw food can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. All meat can be refrozen if needed.

Human and Animal Safety: Serve raw natural food using stainless steel or ceramic bowls. Make sure to clean work area and all bowls thoroughly.

Don’t forget to always provide clean fresh water!

Tips / Pointers :

Supplementing raw meat into a kibble based diet is okay as long as you feed separate. Feed kibble in the Morning and raw food in the evening.  You will still get partial benefits of raw feeding.

Supplements and Additives:   While not mandatory, some nutritionists, holistic vets and non holistic vets recommend adding supplements to your dog's diet. Some dogs need this because of deficiencies, allergies or digestion issues. Others take supplements for enhancement purposes. Maximum K9 Nutrition offers all natural supplements to complete and enhance the performance of your dog. We recommend that all dogs should be given a multivitamin, a digestion support formula and fish oil to obtain the maximum benefit of their diet.

Garlic: The use of garlic in small amounts can be very beneficial for our dog’s health. It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Garlic contains at least 30 compounds that have been found to be useful in treating a variety of conditions such as skin disorders to cancer. Some of the benefits of garlic use are: boosting immune system, enhancing liver function, lowering blood cholesterol, fighting bacterial/viral/fungal infections, cardiovascular tonic and flea/tick repellent. One clove of fresh garlic should be given for every 10-30 pounds of weight per day, 5-6 times a week.

Live Culture Yogurt: As long as your dog can tolerate dairy products, yogurt is a good source of probiotics. Goat dairy products are more tolerable then cow dairy products.

Feeding Pumpkin: Pumpkin is really simple to feed to your dog. All you need is canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is just as packed with nutrients as fresh pumpkin, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Canned pumpkin is a puree so it is easy to mix in your dog’s food, give it to your dog as a treat or use it as an ingredient when you make dog treats. Look at the back of the label to make sure you are getting 100-percent pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix.

Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin A and potassium. In fact, you can tell the pumpkin is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, just by looking at its bright orange color

  • Dog diarrhea and constipation: Pumpkin has high fiber and water content, which are good for correcting and preventing constipation in dogs, plus can help bulk up your dog’s stool. Start with feeding your dog 1 or 2 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin a day, depending on your dog’s size. Pumpkin may not help your dog with diarrhea or constipation if there is an underlying medical condition. Call your veterinarian for advice if the diarrhea or constipation persists.
  • Helping your dog lose weight: Some dogs needs      to lose weight, but their owners don’t want them to feel hungry. Pumpkin      is a great low-fat dog treat that fills a dog up due to its being high in      fiber. The proper amount of pumpkin to feed depends on the size of your      dog and dietary needs.

Fast Eaters: It becomes an obvious problem when dogs eat too fast and throw up. To help them slow down try putting a large, clean rock in their food bowl during meals. They’ll have to eat around it, which will naturally slow them down.

Picky Eaters: Some dogs will not dig into their new diets like expected. This tends to be more common with smaller dogs but I ensure you, it is not a problem. If this happens, fast your dog the night before and do not give them anything to eat. Then serve. If the dog still doesn’t eat remove the dish until their next meal time. Do not feed them anything else in between. Repeat if necessary. If needed, add a little cheese, garlic or cooked egg yolks. This should do the trick.

Stool Changes:   Within a few weeks of feeding raw you will notice your dog’s stool may go through some changes. The stool will decrease in size, eventually becoming firmer. This equates to your dog absorbing more nutrients from his food.   If your dog has loose stool, it is okay as well. If your dog experiences prolonged periods of diarrhea consult your veterinarian.   Most likely you will see a film around your dog’s stool, this is mucus associated with detoxification. The body is cleansing itself of harmful toxins. Some dogs will have days of this and some weeks. This is not a problem either way.