Starting out right.
When transitioning your dog onto raw, regardless of their age, we would advise starting slowly. It’s very important to prepare your dog’s gut for the transition onto a fresh, raw diet.
Probiotics are fantastic for gut health and for getting your dog’s stomach ready to transition from a processed/kibble based diet to a fresh, raw diet. Specifically, Kefir is a great probiotic and contains lots of lovely healthy bacteria to set your dog up well.
These healthy bacteria also need feeding so it’s a good idea to add in some fresh fruit & veggies too (organic if possible).
You can add some of the following things in very small amounts (1-2tbsp in total, and feed a range of the different colours):
Asparagus, courgette, cabbage (red or white), red pepper, broccoli, artichoke, okra, cauliflower, kale, dandelion leaves, pumpkin, butternut squash, raspberries, apple, blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate, guava, banana, mango, pear, orange & pineapple.
There’s two ways to transition, cold turkey. A straight switch starting off In the morning with raw and no mixing.
The other way is too slowly transition over 10 days. Mixing 1/10th raw to 9/10th’s kibble (or normal food). We take each individual pet and work out what’s best for them. After all you know them best.
Week 1 - White Meat & Bone
At this stage we recommend chicken mince with around 10% bone.
White meat options include chicken, rabbit, quail, turkey etc. These can be difficult to balance at the start if you’re not using our recommended product, although this might be necessary if your dog has allergies. Introducing your dog to raw white meat proteins will be easiest on their digestive tract.
This should be timed with kefir. Include 1 tablespoon per 10kg (ish).
Also include the veggies mentioned above.
If need be, slippery elm bark and/or digestive enzymes can be added during this stage.
Once your dog is having consistently firm stools for one week, move onto week 2.
NOTE WE ARE NOT INCLUDING OFFAL AT THIS STAGE.
Week 2&3 - Tripe With White Meat & Bone
At this stage we recommend adding tripe whilst keeping 90% and 10% bone, no offal.
Continue with the kefir and veggies these weeks too. Stools should be formed, and not loose.
Week 4 - White Meat, Bone & 5% Liver
Organ meat is rich and can cause diarrhoea which is why we only advise introducing 5% at this stage.
Aim for 85% meat, 10% bone & 5% liver.
If your dog’s stool is loose and dark, reduce the amount of liver until it stabilises, then slowly work back up.
You may find you need to temporarily increase the amount of daily bone content. Some dogs handle the addition of organs very well, others take time!
Continue with kefir and veggies at this stage too.
Week 5 - Introducing Red Meat
By week 5, you should have introduced a couple of white meat proteins and tripe, and offal. However, a raw diet requires variation and red meat has nutrients that just aren’t found in white meat.
Once your dog is having consistently firm stools with the addition of a red meat, continue to increase variation and proteins.
At this stage you will be feeding 80-10-10. Just like last week, decrease the amount of second secreting organ if your dog’s stool loosens (or becomes explosive), then slowly work back up.
Once your dog is having consistently firm stools (dark, firm stools are okay), then continue on.
At this point, you’re probably a Certified Poop Inspector. Congratulations! Keep up the good work. You know what to do – if something in this step triggered a bout of loose stool, dial it back. Feed a little less organ, or add a smaller amount of that second red meat.
How Much Should You Feed?
These guidelines are for puppies up to an age of approximately 9-12 months. For large breed puppies, they can be used up to 24 months.
Because young dogs are constantly growing, they need a higher percentage of food than adult dogs. The easiest way to work out how much to feed your puppy is to feed a percentage of its body weight.
As a guideline, we’d suggest:
Age Percentage (per day)
8-12 weeks 10-8%
12-16 weeks 8-6%
16-24 weeks 6-5%
24-32 weeks 5%
32+ weeks 4%
36 + weeks 3-4%
These percentages are a guide. It’s important to regularly weigh your puppy and keep a record of their weight so you can increase/decrease their food as and when necessary.
As a general rule, adult dogs should be fed around 2-4% of their ideal adult weight depending on activity levels.
For senior dogs, we’d recommend feeding approximately 1-3% of their ideal adult weight.
We also highly recommends that you join the Holistic Dog Care Facebook Group. It’s a brilliant group for discussing all aspects of fresh feeding.