Transitioning Your Pet To a Raw Diet
Transitioning your cat or dog from commercial pet food to a raw diet is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get. I usually recommend taking it easy, starting off at a 25% - 75% mix of raw to kibble for the first two weeks, then doing 50/50 for the next two weeks and repeating this pattern for two week intervals until you’re at a 100% raw diet.
That said, many pet owners like to take their own approach. Some try it at a slower pace, like those with senior pets or ones with allergies or sensitive tummies. Others, particularly those who have what I'd call "iron dogs," (like huskies, terriers, country dog mixes, some cats like Bengals), go at it commando style, that is, 100% raw from the get-go. It all boils down to knowing your dog or cat. I went commando and had no problem. My dog was a seven year-old lab, a great eater, robust and healthy as they come and he took to raw as if he was raised on it.
The other day one of our customers who has been transitioning her two cats, dropped in and explained her holistic approach on going raw. She calls it, “at their own pace.” She started out by giving them both 25% raw and 75% canned food, but noticed that one cat ate all raw, while the other only ate some of it. Instead of coercing the finicky cat to finish all the raw he left, she simply took it away and made up the difference with the canned food.
Every day or so, she would add a little more raw to the mix and picky cat gradually started eating more raw each time. Cat 1 had no problem eating all the raw that was put out, so her transition to a full raw diet went right on schedule until she was on an all raw diet. Picky Cat however, went at it at her own pace. And while it took a bit longer, (with a few hiccups along the way), she is successfully on her way to a complete raw diet.
I like that idea, giving the animal just the amount of raw that it feels like eating and let nature take its course. Makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, a raw diet is about feeding your pet more naturally, which is essentially the concept behind “at their own pace.”