Transition Guide

As raw-feeding becomes increasingly popular, with more and more pet pawrents researching all the health benefits it brings, we thought we'd do a little piece on an often overlooked aspect- transitioning.

We know that it happens- you have a 'eureka' moment and you excitedly order some raw food for your pup, thrilled that you've made possibly the best decision ever for their health. The time arrives, you put it into their bowl and they look at you like "yeah, nah"! It can feel disheartening but it's important to not give up at this early stage.

I thought they would 'wolf' it down- why not?

The vast majority of dogs will take to it straight away- particularly young pups. It's so natural to them, most won't even think twice. However, like us, they are creatures of habit and sometimes won't be keen on change. This is particularly true for older dogs who have been fed a certain way their entire lives. They may also have become addicted to the high carb (sugar!) content of kibble- a bit like feeding your kids Maccas every day and then expecting them to relish a healthy stir fry! However, a bit of patience here can go a long way.

What can I do?

This is where a transition plan comes in. If they don't immediately take to it as expected, a more gradual approach is required. A transition plan would look something like this:

75% of their old food mixed with 25% raw for a few days, then
50% of their old food with 50% raw for a few days, then
25% of their old food with 75% raw, before
100% raw!

This is a rough guide and you will be guided by them whether to take it slower or faster. However, once they get used to the new taste/smell/texture, we usually find they're pushing the old food out of the way to get to the good stuff pretty quickly!

Okay, this still didn't work, what next?

Oh, you have a stubborn one, do you? Yep, we've had them too! Again, it's important to not give up. This may be more about a battle of wills rather than the food itself and giving in will only create bad habits. In order to encourage eating, remove their old food and perhaps add some of their favourite toppers to the raw. We find that natural yoghurt, a tin of tuna (in springwater rather than brine) and peanut butter (without xylitol) work well for this, but you may have your own ideas.

One magic ingredient that we've yet so see a dog refuse (and is so so good for them is raw green tripe). Yes, it stinks, but that's part of the appeal to them!

It's important to remember that a dog can go several days without food and if a dog is hungry they WILL eat. So there's nothing wrong with sticking it out for a day or two. We know it's hard to resist those puppy-dog eyes and it can feel like you're being hard on them, but in the long-term their health will benefit. It's also okay to not move over to 100% raw- any is better than none at all.

What mix is recommended for a transition?

While all mixes would be suitable, we usually recommend starting our Complete Digestion Support mix. It's nice and easy on their system so perfect for transitioning. Similarly, this is the one we recommend starting young pups on- it's a little higher in fat than the other Complete mixes , which they need for growth and development. It also contains no chicken, which would be the most common culprit for an allergy in an older dog so it works across the board.

We are always available to help you through this and give more personalised advice so please don't hesitate to contact us on team@cdk9raw.com.au and we can work together on your individual pup's needs.

All the usual order cutoffs for our fresh-to-order range apply this weekend and don't forget that the Express frozen is always available. (You can have this within a couple of days of ordering so perfect to start your transition quickly!)