Transition to raw pet food diet is one of the best things you can do for your cat and dog’s health and overall well-being. Natural pet food diet is not only beneficial to puppies but also for adult or senior dogs. Indeed, it helps them have better and healthy ealthy digestion, better dental hygiene, a stronger immune system and fewer allergies. In this article, we have given you some tips that you need to consider if you plan to switch to a raw pet diet.
From Weaning to Raw Feeding
There is no specific age to start introducing raw food to your pet, but it is recommended to gradually start giving raw food to a puppy eating processed food for a long time. You can introduce your puppy to raw food as you are weaning your puppy at about 8 to 12 weeks. Also, since the permanent teeth appear and grow rapidly between four to six months of age, giving fresh raw meaty bones at around 12 weeks of age can help puppies chew actively while the permanent teeth erupt. This chewing is essential to mitigate “teething” problems and provides several health benefits, such as keeping teeth and gums healthy.
Solid Stool is a Good Sign
Switching from dry to raw food can be done for about 1-6 weeks, and it is better to start with ¼ of raw food and ¾ of their previous food. Try to monitor your pet, and if you see that he is staying nice and firm and not experiencing diarrhea, you can continue to slowly add more raw food and reduce the amount of the previous food until the process is complete. The solid stool indicates that the puppy responds well to the natural food and adds a more significant portion. However, Loose stool means that you need to reduce the amount of raw food until the stomach gets used to it and then continue the regime after a couple of days.
Start with One Protein Source
Whether you’re preparing your raw pet food or are using a prepared raw food from the pet store, it’s best to start with one protein source. Keep on giving that one protein for a good week, and if there is no sign of a digestive problem, you can start feeding your puppy a second source of protein, and so on.
Balance the Calcium and Phosphorus
It is pretty easy to balance calcium and phosphorus, although kibble manufacturers say it can be challenging to balance these two nutrients. Also, there’s a wider margin of error when feeding raw since calcium that comes in a synthetic powder is impossible for a puppy to excrete. This means that an excess of calcium is more concerned with synthetic products than calcium naturally existing in bones. Adult dogs require less calcium. So as long as your dog’s raw diet includes raw meaty bones, the adult dog’s body will absorb the calcium it needs.
Remember that there is no specific formula since every puppy is different. If you consider a turkey neck an excellent meaty bone, your puppy’s regime should include ½ to 2/3 meaty bones and ½ to 1/3 of meats and organ meats.
Some of the good meaty bones that you can try (50% to 65% of the diet) can be turkey tails and necks, chicken backs and necks, veal ribs and tails, beef neck bones (it can be a great chew that won’t break teeth) and whole animals (rabbit, quail, etc.)
Some Additional Tips
- It’s recommended to have your veterinarian’s support and guide in feeding a raw food diet.
- We recommend that you don’t feed a combination of kibble/cooked with raw in the same meal since the processed/cooked foods digest at a different rate than raw food. If you wish to include kibble as part of your rotation, it is better to feed as a separate meal.
- Always supervise your pet while bone chewing as bones represent a choking hazard