Transitioning to a new food
Every case is different, but it often seems best to introduce any new food choice to your pet slowly in order to minimize digestive upset. Start with up to 80% old food mixed with 20% new food for the first day or two. If the dog’s poops look ok increase the ratio to 60% old to 40% new for a few days & continue adjusting ratio until feeding only the new food. If poops get loose, back off a bit on the food quantities to allow for the system to balance a bit. A 24-hour fast is ok too if needed. Limit their H2O intake while fasting to avoid overdrinking. Some dogs do fine with quick diet changes & you will learn how your dog reacts over time. We have a few remedies that can help with gastro-intestinal issues if necessary.
We believe it is best to change the diet often, definitely among the protein choices in any one product line, but also by switching among high quality brands. This broad rotational philosophy will provide the dog or cat with a variety of recipes, ensuring that they will not consistently have one set of starches, or one fat source, or one formulation of vitamins & minerals in every meal, every day of their life. By varying the diet, you avoid nutritional deficiencies or food sensitivities to emerge. Plus, when you vacation together, you won’t worry if the food runs out & your brands are not available locally.
Occasionally (& especially when one has switched from a high-carb, high-toxin feed, such as many of those “as-seen-on-TV” or “sold at vet offices”) your pet can have a relapse of gastro issues shortly after adjusting to the new food. This can be a good thing, as it is often a symptom of the body purging the last of the built up toxins from the old diet. All should be fine in a short while so do not stop the progress!
Transitioning to a new raw food from processed food
When transitioning to a raw diet, it is beneficial to prepare the digestive system ahead of time. A kibble fed dog will have a lower pH in its system than a raw fed dog, so it can be tougher to digest raw food at first. You can gently cook the meat on very low heat before feeding for the first few weeks to denature it & make it easier to digest, while transitioning away from the old food. The cooking will kill many of the beneficial enzymes & nutrients beneficial to raw food feeding but, for gentle tummies, it helps the transition & is worth the nutrient loss in the short term. Some avoid the cooking process, but both camps (& all dogs & cats) will benefit from the addition of:
In any event, feeding your pet a variety of high quality foods, with a changing recipe of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, will give them the best shot at reaching their full potential.