Transitioning your puppy to raw food is easy to do when “going raw”. You also have the added ability to track and monitor ingredients and nutrients in raw food which is much safer than kibble. There are a few things to keep in mind when you transition your dog to raw food. First and foremost is just do it! Be sure to never mix raw food with commercially prepared kibble. This is because kibble requires a different pH in the dog’s stomach in order to be able to digest it. By mixing both together, you will make your dog much more susceptible to the naturally occurring bacteria’s that your dog’s system is normally capable of handling. These bacteria are perfectly fine in normal conditions, but once mixed with kibble, which is an artificial food, your dog’s digestion is slowed down and the raw food then sits in the digestive track two times as long – which can cause a much greater chance of harmful bacteria building up and making your dog sick.
A good rule of thumb is that when you transition your dog, make sure you start with one protein source at a time. Pick something simple like chicken or turkey and feed for at least a week. If your dog shows no signs of any type of digestive upset then you can move to the next protein like beef or venison and so on.
Balancing calcium and phosphorus is much easier to do with a raw diet. Store bought kibbles are much harder, which is why many kibble manufacturers tout their products as being “nutritionally balanced”. A raw diet should be one half to two thirds meaty bones and one half to one third organ meats. Don’t fret because there are many commercially prepared raw diets available on the market now and they are all balanced with calcium and phosphorus (my personal choice is www.rawpetfood.com – foods are shipped in insulated containers on dry ice). There is a wider margin of error with raw food for your dog despite what the kibble manufacturer’s claim.
It is very important for small dogs, toy breeds and puppies to receive smaller frequent meals. Small dogs can become hypoglycemic if meals are spread out too far apart because they do not have the nutritional reserves to draw from. This is why my French bulldog gets fed two times a day as an adult. When transitioning, make sure to not overdo the organ meats like liver. Organ meats can cause loose stools in puppies who haven’t had those types of organ meats before. It’s best to wait 2 to 3 weeks of solid stools once you have switched your dog to a raw diet before adding organ meats. Then, when you do, do so gradually. Don’t skip organ meats altogether because they are important and they are full of nutrients not found in muscle meat. Bones supplements also have a place even if you’re feeding free range organic food to your dog in the form of a raw diet because the earth is not what it used to be. So supplements help. You should also add fish or krill oil, coconut oil, nutritional herbs, probiotics and bovine colostrum for a healthy dog!
Freshwater Plus Other Good Stuff
Make sure that fresh non-chlorinated water and lots of it is always available to your dog. Water is beneficial to all bodily functions and all mammals. Also lots of fresh air, sunshine and play are all great things – for obvious reasons – for a growing puppy and even an adult dog.
Bones & Muscle Meats
Some really good choices for variety in a raw a diet for your dog are meaty bones, turkey tails and necks, chicken backs and necks, veal ribs and tails, and venison bones of any kind are excellent choices. Muscle meats offer variety as in any animal, and include the heart and the tongue. Organ meats like liver, kidney, spleen, brain and lung have some vital nutrients for your dog. There are also some great balanced foods like green tripe and eggs with shells. As an extra, you can feed chicken feet and beef wind pipes and beef neck bones. All of the things that I mentioned here are wonderful in supplying glucosamine and chondroitin in a natural form to your dog and helps to build strong muscles and strong bones in a growing puppy.
My Final Thoughts
Don’t be afraid to help your dog to become healthier, whether a new pup and starting them right or an adult dog (it’s NOT too late!). Teeth will develop healthier or become healthier – so will minds and bodies!
I would love to hear your comments, feedback stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us