Every pet is different, and before switching your dog or cat to a natural raw diet, it’s important to look at their nutritional history and needs in order to make their transition to raw as painless as possible. If your pet already has experience with raw or cooked food, the switch should be fast and easy, but if it’s a wholesale change from kibble to raw, the transition should be a bit more gradual to allow their digestive system time to adjust to the new food.
We are not veterinarians. True Carnivores staff are educated, our writing is researched and are practiced on our own animals, but neither the advice of a True Carnivores staff member nor reading True Carnivores written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian, especially those in the practice of holistic methods. We offer carefully chosen, natural products that can benefit your pet, however we do believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.
Making the switch to raw with your dog is an exciting and fun adventure. At the beginning we recommend choosing one meat source to give to your dog in a period of around a week and then gradually expanding. Typically we recommend starting with something simple such as turkey, we find it easiest to work with and it’s high in bone content. Once your dog has sampled it’s new protein sources, begin rotating different proteins every few days or so as this ensures your dog’s diet has plenty of variety.
Cats are more reluctant than dogs to make large changes in their diet, and this should be expected when trying to wean them onto raw food. Ideally it would be introduced as early on as possible so that the cat learns what to look for and eat, but don’t let a challenge stop your cat from getting the proper nutrition!
Your pet should be drinking less water after switching to raw food. This is a good thing! Raw food itself contains lots of moisture that your pet puts to work without needing to drink more from their water source, but it’s also important to keep fresh water available. This increased water intake means that your pet’s stools will be softer than before, but also less frequent and smaller in size – overall, a much less offensive experience!
Dogs and cats, from time to time, release toxins and unwanted substances through various areas of their bodies. This is completely natural, and when switching to raw food, it can show itself through runny eyes, loose stool, stool with high mucous content, losing parts of their coats, or even a smelly discharge from the ears. This should be taken as a sign that their body is getting rid of toxins, but if a detox period lasts longer than a week you should have a vet check for signs of other medical issues.