So after a weekend jam-packed full of raw food nutrition talk at Royal Animal Health University… I left high, but with a spinning head.
I had such a great time “mind-jamming” with the greats as Rodney Habib likes to say. I came home and was hell bent on changing over to raw food like, NOW.
“Hold up girlie”, my good friend Krista at Vibrant K9 said. “There’s a trick to this, and it’s not hard… but you can’t go gung ho all at once.”
“There’s so much advice on how to get started” I said. “I don’t know where to start and I want to give up because it’s so overwhelming.”
So after aggregating all the info I’ve ever read on transitioning and with the very SOUND advice Krista gave me, this is what I’ve heard about 8 out of 10 times: Feed small amounts of raw food as far away in the day as you can to feeding the kibble.
And this is the exact process Krista explained to me:
Feed 25% of raw food and 75% of kibble each day, then 50%, then 75%.
Then I was confused… 25% of what??
When you start, you want to feed raw (ideally) separately and as far away from kibble in the day as you can. They both are digested differently in the stomach and at different speeds. Raw food takes about 4-5 hours to digest, where kibble is digested in longer terms, about 12 hours. This helps to mitigate tummy upset (and a TON of poop).
So you’ll feed food twice a day. One raw meal, one kibble. Once a day feed 25% of the raw food you WOULD feed normally. (in my case it would be a quarter of the 1 ¼ pounds I would feed per day per dog.) So I was at 5.04 ounces for my 25%. (use a kitchen scale). Let’s look at the easy math below.
Here’s the beginner’s math:
Dog’s weight x 2%
(63 lbs x .02)= 1.26 lbs
Then, 25% of total is:
1.26 lbs x .25= .315 lbs OR MORE EASILY 5.04 ounces
Then feed 75% of the kibble you normally feed during the second feeding. For me that’s ¾ of a cup of kibble. And this gets me to 100% of food.
This transition ideally takes 2-3 days, but it can take up to 2 months. When your dog has solid, good looking, not runny poops… you can up it to 50% and 50%.
I’ll keep you posted on how they are reacting to the food, behavior changes and bodily changes so that you can follow along with your dog and know what to expect!
We’re doing really great! We’ve only had one loose poo (Laker) and no pancreatic episodes for Nama. We’re so psyched! Right now they are shedding, which they normally do in the spring time… but I bet you anything that they are going to also grow in supple fur after a few weeks.
Their moods are different. Laker seems to be super happy and less of a grumpy old man that I know him to be. Nama seems a little more agitated (it’s very subtle because she is just so super sweet), but that’s only outdoors. Inside shes my little love bug.
I think in another day or so, we can move to 50%/50%, how exciting! This transition plan worked WAY better than the last time I tried this.
Let me know how you transitioned to raw in the comments below!
So we are transitioning just fine. Laker had a small set back while I was traveling, so I had him put back on the starter plan. That was when we were at 50/50. Nama has been pretty much perfect. Her poops have been small and solid and less frequent. Laker’s have been small and lubricated, so he’s no longer constipated. We’ll see if his belly is okay though because today was the first day they both had 75% raw 25% kibble.
Their fur is still weak. It is shedding season, but I’ll be excited for the day where their fur grows in soft and supple. Their skins are also both a little dry. I’m excited to see what happens once we are fully over to raw.
When we are done with this transition, we are hoping to go into stage two which is crafting some of our own species appropriate and balanced home made raw meals. I’m sure they would love to chew on a whole raw bone!
We went through one detox period which lasted about a day and a half. We had completely normal moods, but our poos were mucous-y. This is good. We are detoxing all the stuff from our bodies. They also shed their old fur and regrew some amazingly soft, thicker fur and it brightened up in color a touch. I’m excited to say we are fully transitioned and on our way to #rawfedliving!!