Should I transition my dogs cold turkey or slowly?
Once you have decided to go forth, comes the question: how do we make the transition? There are probably as many answers to that question as the number of pets who have made the switch, but there are two main methods: “cold turkey“and “slow“.
- The fast method: The ‘cold turkey’ (fast) method is simple: up until yesterday your fur kids ate commercial food, from today he or she will find raw food in his bowl. Countless are the stories of a dog sniffing and licking, and after some hesitations gobbling it all as if there is nothing more natural .. and there isn’t… The fast method works best for dogs who are habitually omnivores. If you have the kind of dog who will munch on anything you throw his way anyway, he will probably not even think twice about some raw meaty bones. Most hungry, healthy pets (hungry being the operative word) will give whatever is given to them a chance. Now, letting your fur kids be hungry, although against your “parental” instinct, is not cruel, it is something they are naturally built for. Wild animals cannot order their prey on regular hours and may go days if not weeks without food. We do not advise to starve your pet, but a day of fast is in many cases even advisable. In fact some will say that a day of fast every week is good practice for a healthier digestion system. Most pets are in the habit of eating more then they need and the problem of pet obesity is the best evidence. A day of fasting will let your fur kid, literally, get that commercial food out of his system, and, make him much more receptive to trying a new menu.
- The slow method: This involves some kind of gradual transitioning from one type of food to the other. One way is give both at the same time, either mixed to one consistency, or side by side. The idea behind this is that the taste of the old food will still be there and therefore will seem familiar. The portions of the mix will slowly shift towards the raw until it will all be raw. The downside of this method is that you are feeding two foods with very different digestion times and may cause an upset stomach, more than just switching “cold turkey”. If doing this DO NOT try to wet the dry kibble, it will make it into a soup of bacteria and fungi in a very short time. A second way is to alternate meals: One meal of, whatever he is used to, and one raw. The objective is to slowly eliminate the old meals and stay with the new. If your fur kids does well with this method, chances are he would have been fine with going “cold turkey” anyway and it was mostly to YOUR benefit. A third, for people who feed home-made cooked food, is to slowly reduce the cooking time until it is eliminated altogether.
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