How to Switch Your Pet to a Raw Diet (Part 2 / 3)
Hello pet parents and welcome to Pure Talk, where I, your pack leader Lindsay, will take you through any questions you have.
Today we're going to be talking about raw feeding—part two—how to switch your pets safely from kibble to raw.
If this is something you're interested in, stay tuned! And if you missed the first part, I'll put a link in the bio so you can catch up on that.
There are many many reasons why somebody might switch from kibble to raw. One can be a health concern, like digestive issues. Another can be cost or simplicity. Another one is maybe you've adopted a pet that's used to being on kibble but you'd like to feed raw.
We're going to talk you through how to safely make that transition because kibble is very different from raw. Especially on how it digests in the stomach.
Successfully transitioning to raw food can take up to 3 weeks. Now, this is because there are
significant differences in the digestive process between kibble and raw.
Raw meat and bone digest quicker than the processed food that contain high carbohydrates and Preservatives. So, for this reason, it does take up to 3 weeks to successfully transition a pet from kibble to raw.
How to Make the Switch to Raw
Fast your pet for a period of 12 to 24 hours and then switch them to a raw food.
Now, with this option, you can feed half of the amount—maybe wait half an hour and then feed the rest of the amount of raw food.
During the transitional phase, the first 7 to 14 days, your pet may experience some digestive upset including gas, loose stools, mucus in their stool, and maybe even vomit a little bit of bile. But this is normal. The bile is usually yellow or white phlegm, and that's normal at this point.
I'm going to tell you why ...
Firstly, the enzymes required to break down raw meat and bone compared to a highly carbohydrate and processed diet are very different. The pancreas has to adapt to both the type of food and the enzymes it produces. Adding either raw goat's milk or a digestive aid—something with digestive enzymes—can help with this.
Once you introduce a raw diet, your dog or cat may vomit bile, as their stomach has not yet made adjustments to the amount of bile required for proper digestion. This is because raw food contains 65 to 75 percent moisture, but processed food that is very high in carbohydrates must be rehydrated in the stomach before it can be properly digested. And this is why there tends to be more bile in the stomach when kibble is being served.
The pancreas has to adjust, like we talked about before, to accommodate the different type of moisture level.
Now, dry food expands two to five times its size in the gut during digestion. This process stretches the gut and gives that full sensation. Switching to a raw diet may mean you get more calories with less of the volume. You may notice your pet is hungrier sooner, as the food digests quicker and your pet may be asking for food more frequently, as they don't get the full sensation.
The stomach will adjust and these sensations will be less noticeable within 7 to 10 days.
Another thing to realize is the pH of the pet's stomach will change as well. A high-carb diet results in a more alkaline environment, whereas a raw or bone-based diet will be more acidic. This creates a stronger stomach acid to help break down the foods quicker.
It is more natural for the dogs and cats to have a higher stomach acid. This is healthier and more natural for them.
Option one, fasting your pet for 12 to 24 hours, this is the option where you would just stop kibble obviously for 12 to 24 hours and then feed half of the recommended amount of the raw, wait half an hour and if they're okay feed the next half.
You can gradually transition where you gradually lower the kibble as you're increasing the raw food for one to two days. You can do 25% raw three to five days. You can do 50% raw six to eight days. You can do 75% raw and then after that you can do your 100% raw.
Like I said, if you do want to provide some digestive assistance along with the switching to raw, anything with digestive enzymes in it or a probiotic should be able to help them ease this transition.
Raw Feeding Safety Reminders:
- Please do buy your food from a trusted supplier like we talked about before. There are lots of local companies popping up. Do a google search on what is in your area. We get our raw food from our local farmers market. They pre-package it into portions, and you can keep it in your fridge and cut it into sections as you're serving it.
So, it's usually one cup to 50 pounds of dog. Our dog, Jesse, is about 30 pounds and she gets about a third to half a cup of raw chunk, and then her supplements on top.
Now, depending on the supplier, it's going to cost differently, so do your own research, see what's available out there, read reviews and get a feel of what may be the best option for you and your pet.
- If you're using raw food, please do wash the bowl after every use so there's no bacteria lingering.
We use a plate for jessie and we just wash it like our normal plates. Put it in the dishwasher and we're good to go. She gets a fresh fresh plate every day and we switch out her water bowl weekly as well.
- Also, wash your hands thoroughly after feeding raw meat. This is the same as if you're preparing meat for yourself. Right after you handle the raw meat, you wash your hands so as to not contaminate anything else that's going into the meal. So it's the same for feeding your dog raw, making sure you wash all of the surfaces and your hands so there's no lingering bacteria that can contaminate your kitchen.
Eating a raw diet is the best way to ensure your pet leads a happier healthier life because it brings it down to the simple biological diet. This is what they have survived on, like I said in the first video, this is what they've survived on for so many years. And when we break it down simple enough, then we can see if there are any health issues that we do have to address.
Next week I'm going to show you how to make your own raw food at home, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, if you have any questions about raw food feeding, as I mentioned before, I am Lindsay, and I am a pet nutrition coach as well as a co-owner here at PureForm Pet Health supplements. And I'll be happy to help you in any way that we can.
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Thank you, and this is your pack leader, Lindsay, signing off until next time.