Tips to help your pet transition to a raw food diet

Tips to help your pet transition to a raw food diet
Graph courtesy of Bravo - New Beginnings by Melinda Miller.

Slow and steady does more than just win the race, it can also be a key to success when you are introducing a new pet food to your pet. This is especially true if you’re introducing the raw food diet to your cat or dog. Since sudden changes disrupt your pet’s digestive system, it’s important to gradually change your pets diet by slowly introducing new food mixed with the old.

It’s highly recommended when changing your pet’s food that you supplement current food with 25 percent of the new food to start, then 50 percent and 75 percent. This should be gradual and take about 10 days to two weeks to be complete. If your pet is very finicky, you may need longer for the change over.

Beginnings gives tips for transitioning your pet to a raw diet.

Beginnings gives tips for transitioning your pet to a raw diet.

Melinda Miller, author of the informational booklet – Beginnings has these tips for transitioning your pet to a raw food diet.

For dogs –Miller suggests to ease into the transition in advance by adding probiotics (acidophilus) and digestive enzymes to your pet’s normal food a day or two in advance to making the switch. These support a healthy digestive cycle and help your pet transition comfortably to a raw food diet. Look for these helpful ingredients at high-quality pet product stores.

For cats – Don’t be surprised if your finicky friend initially rejects this unfamiliar food. Cats may have become accustomed to the unnatural flavorings in conventional cat foods. For the first few meals of the raw food diet, try their preferred protein source, and then begin rotating protein sources to add variety and to keep their interest.

BravoWhen thawing – You should be just as cautious as when you prepare food for yourself. Keep meat and poultry separate and make sure working surfaces, utensils, hands and other items that come in contact with the raw food food are cleaned with hot soapy water. A two-pound Bravo! Chub will defrost in the refrigerator within 24 hours (three to four hours on the counter). Refrigerate leftovers within a few hours and serve the remainder in one to two days.

When serving – Raw food should be fully thawed and served at room temperature or slightly chilled. This enhances the meat’s flavor and makes it more palatable for your pet.

Clean up –Remove and clean the pet’s bowls thoroughly within 30 minutes time. Raw foods should never be left for the pet to graze over long periods of time. Pet parents should also note that because a raw food diet is moister than kibble, your pet is likely to consume less water. Regardless, plenty of clean, fresh water should always be made available for the pet.

Every pet reacts a bit differently to a change over in food. With time and patience your pet will soon be on their way to a healthy, carnivorous lifestyle. Some of the health benefits of raw include improved digestion, cleaner, whiter teeth, fewer stools, better weight control and muscle tone and a Glossier coat.

Check out Miller’s booklet Beginnings or view the instructional videos available on the Bravo website and view the complete line of products here.

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Filed under: Pets

Tags: cats, Dogs, pet diets

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    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

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