Transitioning Tips and Tricks
If you are transitioning your cat or dog for the first time, here are some tips and tricks from those who have gone before:
First, you shouldn’t go home and just throw out their kibble and replace it with raw. If the dog has stomach issues or trouble with switching foods, this can backfire and some people will blame the food, not their ignorance, and become distrustful that Raw can benefit. So be aware that you should take anywhere from 1-6 weeks to fully transition your pet.
The length of time will depend on a few things:
- How sensitive the animal’s stomach is
- The quality of food they have been feeding
- The age of the pet
- The pet’s interest in food variety
If the animal has a sensitive stomach, IBD, or otherwise has trouble with changes in their diets, you will want to transition nice and slowly. For a sensitive dog, it can be good to have them start with the very basics – with our gentle goat milk yogurt. A little of that introduced to the stomach can go far in preparing the body to handle stronger foods.
If you have been feeding a grain-based food, your animal’s stomach may go a little berserk when they find out what they have been missing. You will want to take it slowly, so they don’t cause any diarrhea or stomach upset.
The general recommendation is to start with ¼ of Steve’s Real Food and ¾ of their regular food. Then you should monitor the stools of your companions, and as long as the poop stays nice and firm and no diar-rhea is present, you can continue to slowly add more Steve’s and reduce the amount of theold food until the process is complete. For dogs, this can take anywhere from a few days to 6 weeks, and for cats it can take up to a year (finicky little dears).
Tricks for Picky Dogs
The human’s attitude helps, too. They shouldn’t go for a tough love approach; they should be positive and encouraging to help their dog know the new food is a good thing!
Cats who have eaten nothing but dry foods are often a challenge to switch to fresh food. They are very opinionated and imprint on food at an early age. Cats who already eat other foods (real meat, fruits, vegetables & cheese) will be much less of a project. It might take days, or it might take months, but it’s worth the effort!
The most important thing to remember about cats is that you CANNOT use the tough love approach. Cats will starve themselves, and some severe conditions can occur if cats do not eat for an extended period.
The “Slow and successful method” If you are feeding only dry kibble, introduce canned and reduce the dry. Take some Steve’s Real Food and mix in the regular canned food you know your cat will eat. Test it on your kitty and increase the canned food until they are willing to eat it. Every time you feed, do this, and you will find you can gradually add more raw though again it might take several months.
In the meantime, Offer bits of other kinds of fresh food they like to eat – bacon, milk, salmon, etc. This slow method has proven to be the most successful for cats. However, if you have a cat that needs a little more work, consider the following tricks: