Transitioning your pet to a raw/home-cooked diet!

Don’t know how to transition your pet from processed foods to raw or home cooked?

questns

Here’s how!

It’s really not that difficult, we promise! *wiggles pinky finger*

Transitioning your pet to raw can be as quick as serving the next meal entirely raw, or as lengthy as 3-6 months, depending on how strong-willed kitty or fido is.

You can test whether your pet likes raw/home cooked food by giving it a small cube to sample!

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Like this!

But if your pet doesn’t take to raw easily…

Here’s what you can do: 

Many companies give a certain time frame to follow for food transition, but we prefer to go at our pets’ pace (please don’t starve your pet into submission!) , following this in general for longtime kibble-fed pets:

1. Entirely kibble
2. 1/4 canned
3. 1/2 canned
4. 3/4 canned and 1/4 kibble
5. Entirely canned! Time to celebrate this milestone by treating yourself to a good dinner!
6. 1/4 raw or cooked meat
7. 1/2 raw or cooked meat
8. 3/4 raw or cooked meat
9. Entirely raw/cooked!

Do note that steps 1-9 should not be completed within a week or two! Take it slowly–aim for up to a month to be safe, especially if your pet has been on kibble for eons.

Here’s a step-by-step video guide for you!

Depending on the health of your pet, you may want to draw out the process of food transition even further, starting with 1/8 raw instead of 1/4 raw after canned.

If your pet is immune-compromised, then transition to cooked meats is safer. Remember, healthy pets can deal with bacteria easily, but sick pets may not be able to.

You may also want to transit your pet to cooked meat first, THEN transit from cooked meat to raw.

Feed about 2-3% of your adult pet’s body weight a day, and up to 10% for puppies or kittens. Again, this is subject to your pet’s lifestyle and genetics. If it’s getting fat, scale down on the amount given. If it’s too thin, give more.

One of our sweet readers very helpfully sent in pictures of how she recently got her cats to switch to raw… it took her a long, long time with the girl kitty, but the boys took to it like fish to water!

She switched them from kibble to canned, then to cooked first. Here are the pictures of her transiting them from cooked to raw.

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Cooked chicken breast meat, canned food & raw chicken

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Mixing the cooked chicken and raw chicken

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Or, you could mix the cooked chicken with the canned food, whichever step you prefer first.

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A mix of canned, cooked and raw. Good for transition periods, not so good for long term feeding (but still better than low-grade horrible kibble)!

DO NOT MIX RAW AND KIBBLE.

Raw is the easiest to digest and kibble is the hardest.

That is why we don’t ask you to switch straightaway from kibble to raw. However,it can and has been done multiple times over, and if your pet fits these criteria, you may try to switch them to raw straightaway the next meal:

1. 12 hours have passed
2. Your dog or cat loves raw at first bite
3. There is no health issue with your pet
4. Your pet has not been on processed/kibble for a long, long time (especially for older animals) !

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This stubborn kitty took the longest to switch to raw!

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This boy kitty had no troubles ! He, like the other boy kitty below, didn’t even need fortiflora or K9 Feline Natural to help them transit.

MONITOR, MONITOR MONITOR your pet when you switch! Runny poo at any stage could mean that you’re going too fast, so scale down and take it slow if that happens.

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If your pet takes to 1/2 canned and 1/2 raw but refuses to eat dinner when it’s 3/4 raw and 1/4 canned, you can:

1.) Sprinkle crushed K9 Feline Natural/ other dehydrated/freeze-dried treats

2.) Go back a step and take smaller steps

Remember also that raw/ home cooked food is far less tasty as compared to processed foods that taste and smell to high heaven, so don’t be surprised if your pet turns up its jaded nose at raw/home cooked food initially.

But soon!

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.

.

.

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With patience, you’ll see empty bowls at dinner and happy, sleepy pets after dinner 😉

Don’t forget that if you aren’t doing prey-model raw, you need supplements for home cooked/raw diets! You may want to read about them here and shop here!

Best Wishes! 

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Categories: The Raw Explorer, Why Raw?

1 reply

  1. Cats can’t be starved, but dogs can. hunger is a very good seasoning and if you can bear to let your doggie go hungry for even a day/18 hours, he will surely be excited to see the raw food. Problems may arise if he doesn’t realise what you are presenting to him (the raw meat) is actually food. If that’s the case, you may lightly cook the outside of the meat so it smells nicer.

    I’m not sure about Feline Natural, but K9 Natural doesn’t have a very good review (except Venison) http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/k9-natural-freeze-dried-raw/ but there are many other brands of raw dehydrated in the market. ZiwiPeak is very expensive, but comes in very small trial packs (good for 1-3 meals depending on the size of the pooch). It looks and smells very palatable, like meat jerky, and is a good alternative. Others include Addiction raw dehydrates and Honest Kitchen.

    One word about raw dehydrates and kibbles though, while kibbles, no matter how good the quality is, is absolutely drying, raw dehydrates are considered processed foods too and however raw they are, they have been dried. Even if they are rehydrated, they still have the tendency to make your furry kiddo more thirsty than if they were just fed fresh raw meat. 😉

    To new feeders, good luck and have fun! The first time you see your kid take to eating raw, be prepared to break out the camera and wait for your heart to burst with joy and pride (and a little trepidation, but that shall pass and you’ll be wondering what took you so long in the first place in no time and you will be a right pro). =)

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