A number of our clients are transitioning their dogs from kibble onto a raw diet for the first time. Understandably, they can be apprehensive about whether or not their pet or working dog will accept a new feed. We are often told that a particular dog is fussy, and asked for advice on how to transition diets. This does not need to be a difficult process, and with a little persistence very achievable
As a first step, we recommend offering your dog their new feed as a complete meal. Often, it will be immediately accepted and enjoyed without any issues. Raw feeds smell more appetising to dogs than kibble because of their unprocessed meat content, and this alone can make any transitions an easy process. If this is not the case, owners should go down the more gradual introduction path. Initially, a small amount of the new feed can be added and thoroughly mixed into normal meals. This will usually be accepted, and after a few days increase the ratio until the old feed has been eliminated and replaced with the new one. Gradual changes are key here, and a successful transition can take weeks if an individual dog is particularly fussy.
If the gradual approach is too slow, then another option is carefully reducing the food available to your dog at specific times to artificially increase its hunger levels. Hungrier dogs are less likely to refuse unfamiliar foodstuffs, and while not ideal can be a last resort if raw feeds are consistently being rejected. Artificially inducing hunger should not be casually attempted, and only if discussed with and recommended by your vet.
For more information or advice on how we have successfully transitioned dogs onto a raw diet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help you.