Making the Switch

If you are considering a raw diet for your pets or if you’ve just started one and want more information, look no further.

Here, at Hoven Farms Healthy Food for Pets, we would love to help you make the transition and look forward to working with you and your pet on their way to a species appropriate diet.

No matter how young or old your pet is, no matter what type of food they’re eating, it is never too late to switch to a raw food diet.

Springer Spaniel

Making the Switch

**Please note that the following articles are suggestions and guidelines only and should only be taken as such.**

Transitional Methods

When switching to a raw food diet from a canned or kibble diet, there are two main trains of thought on how to make the switch. One is the quick and easy “cold turkey” approach, where you simply feed your pet the last meal of what it’s been eating, and the next meal you feed them raw. Most people find this approach to be the easiest and most effective method for them and their pet. Because raw food and kibble digest at different rates, in order to avoid any gastric upsets, you should plan to leave 8-12hrs between their last kibble meal and their first raw meal. With the “cold turkey” approach, some dog parents also consider fasting their dog between their last kibble or canned meal and their first raw meal. A dog would typically be fasted between 12-24hrs in order to remove toxins from their body and, with picky eaters, it will give dog owners the edge of hunger on their side.

Important note: Fasting is NOT done with cats due to their unique metabolism, if you were to fast your cat it could develop “hepatic lipidosis” more commonly known as fatty liver disease. For more information on fatty liver disease in cats, check out this link – http://www.petmd.com

Another transitional method is to do a gradual transition with your pet, in which you could take a period of several days to a few months to switch your pet to raw. Some owners would mix raw with kibble, slowly increasing the amount of raw and decreasing the amount of kibble. Others may go from kibble, to canned pet food, to raw pet food over the course of a few days to weeks. As kibble and raw digest at different rates, if you decided to mix kibble and raw I would recommend speaking with your raw food savvy veterinarian as they may be able to suggest ways to avoid any gastric upsets during said transition.

If you would like to read more information on how to make the transition from kibble to raw pet food, please follow this link – http://www.barfworld.com

For most pets and their parents, making the transition to a raw food diet is easier than a walk in the park. For others, it can be downright difficult. Have you ever watch the movie, “Supersize Me”? It’s a documentary about a man who eats only fast food for a few weeks straight and then attempts to go back to eating healthy meals. He goes through cravings and withdrawals, having a really difficult time trying to not keep eating fast food. Now, if your pet doesn’t want to eat their raw food, picture that your pet could be experiencing what the man in Supersize Me experienced. Your pet is going from basically eating “junk fast food” (kibble – especially certain brands) to eating a much healthier and more nutritious diet. Some pets really like their “junk food” and will fight during the transition. This is more likely to happen with pets that also get a lot of treats, because if they get a lot of treats they may not be as inclined to try a new healthy food, since they aren’t hungry. If you give into their stubbornness, that will likely make them fight even harder, since they now know how to get the food that they want poured into their dish. If you become confused after you’ve started feeding your pets raw, I would strongly encourage you not to go back to feeding your pets a kibble or canned diet. Instead, realize that you are feeding them a species appropriate diet, which is the healthiest thing for them. And then follow up your troubles, concerns or queries by asking questions to your raw supportive veterinarian or other knowledgeable resource or by doing some thorough internet or library research of your own.