A raw diet does not need to be gradually introduced - mixing kibble with raw is not recommended as they are both digested at different rates. Prepare yourself for the switch by reading, researching, joining forums for support etc.
Make sure you have a good supply of raw food and know how much you're feeding. Raw is fed at 2-3% of the ideal adult weight (puppies at 2-3% of their ideal adult weight) so work out how much you will need to feed. Please refer to our Raw Dog Food Calculator for assistance.
When switching, we advise to feed plain tripe mince for a week. This helps a dog’s digestive system to slowly adjust to their new diet. It also helps by allowing the stomach acidity to gradually increase. Dogs/pups in the wild would have eaten meat and offal as soon as they were weaned. Too much offal can cause an upset but it is essential for nutrition. By feeding Completes, you can be sure you are getting the balance right.
Our Puppy Weaning Paste is designed with input from experienced breeders. They requested offal because if a newly weaned pup at 3 to 4 weeks can handle offal, as can an older pup/dog.
For those switching to raw from processed feeds, we sell a very popular Switch to Raw containing 8 x 1kg packs.
Each week add in a new Complete until a good variety is reached. You should avoid sticking to just one Complete because variety is needed to cover all nutritional needs. You should be aiming to feed at least 5-6 different species ie Lamb, Beef, Duck, Chicken, Pork, Venison, Turkey etc.
Raw fed dogs have much higher stomach acidity than kibble fed dogs. This is perfectly natural and is important in helping dogs to digest meat and bone.
Dogs that are given bone straight away often vomit it back up a few hours later (some don’t and that's fine too). This is because the stomach acids have not increased sufficiently to properly digest bones. Don’t panic! If they're sick and seem fine in every other way, they may just need a little more time for their stomach to adjust.
Raw fed dogs obtain a lot of moisture from their food so you will notice your dog drinking less. This is perfectly normal. You will also notice that stools are much smaller and pellet-like which, again, is normal.
Bone should be fed sparingly and should always be supervised. Too much bone will cause constipation and could lead to impaction. Bone should be fed in small amounts of 10% of daily allowance or 20% every other day. Never give two high bone meals consecutively.
A balanced and nutritionally correct raw diet should consist of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal with half of the offal being liver. It is very important to make sure liver is given at 5% of the overall diet. By feeding these ratios you can be sure your pet is getting 100% of the nutrients they need.
Many people like to add vegetables and/or fruit to their working dog’s raw diet. This does no harm but is not essential. Dogs do not possess stomach enzymes capable of breaking down vegetable matter, so mostly it just passes through! A raw vegetable treat like a carrot or banana goes down well with many dogs and is certainly better than a processed treat.
If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.
PFMA Dog Size-O-Meter