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Bianca Major

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Transitioning your dog to a raw diet

You have finally decided to make the leap and change your pet’s food to a more species appropriate diet like RaaW pet food – well done!

Correctly switching your pet’s diet is an important process to ensure the best, optimal transition so your pet can thoroughly absorb all the beneficial nutrients from its new diet.

The first thing we want to remember when switching our pets’ diet is not to rush! I recommend this since our pets have very individual microbiomes, so we need to support these via addressing gut flora and gastric acidity. When changing diets, especially from a dry food kibble, we often find many of our cats and dogs have a more alkaline gastric acidity due to these diets having an un-natural, elevated level of carbohydrates; naturally dogs and cats should have a high gastric acidity.

There are many reasons correct gastric acidity is important for health. A high acidity assists in sterilisation of food, correct protein digestion and activation of pepsin, a proteolytic enzyme necessary for the body to effectively metabolise protein. Correct stomach acidity also triggers the release of bile from the liver and gallbladder and digestive enzymes from the pancreas to assist in food digestion. Intrinsic factor, responsible for B12 absorption, is also activated by the correct stomach acidity. As you can see, ensuring your pet has the correct stomach acidity is highly important to ensure they are correctly absorbing all the nutrients from their food, so take the time when moving from a dry or highly processed diet to Raaw pet food.

I recommend transitioning slowly over a period of 7-10 days as our pet’s gut flora needs to adapt gradually. The best way to support the gut flora during this time is by using digestive enzymes and probiotics.

It’s very simple to switch, just like switching with any other type of diet, take a spoonful of the current diet out (roughly 10-15% per day) and replace with a spoonful (or 10-15%) of Raaw pet food. Continue this over 7-10 days until you are no longer feeding the old diet and only feeding Raaw. In general, this is the only time I would recommend mixing raw and dry food due to the foods having different digestion rates. If you notice your pet begin to have a slightly looser stool during the switching process (this might occur if you switch using a bone free range or if your pet is coping with other health issues), simply slow the transition and once stool firms in a few days continue the switching process. If you are having issues switching to Raaw contact their team for further support.

Ensure you are defrosting the raw food in the fridge for optimal texture and nutrient quality. Once moved onto a Raaw diet, sit back and watch your pet’s health dramatically improve. For a happy, healthy pet, nurtured from the inside out!

Bianca Major
Written by Bianca Major

Bianca Boulton-Major BSc (hons), PGDip Nutrition & Canine Nutrition, MSFTR, CPN. Member of the American Association of Veterinary Nutrition, FNTP, RFVS, prov APBC, GODT & CHC Major Referrals- Nutritional Consultancy Service

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