Changing to a raw, cooked or premade diet? What’s the next step?
First of all, congratulations on taking the next steps in giving your pet a healthier and better quality of life. Many opinions vary on changing over, so I say, as a pet parent, review your options and do what is comfortable for you.
Transitioning Your Pet to Raw
When making the change, you have options. Mix kibble with raw or cooked and slowly wean out the kibble, lessening the amount with each meal.
Example: 75% kibble to 25% raw, Day 1–2
65% kibble to 35% raw, Day 3–4
50% kibble to 50% raw, Day 4–5
35% kibble to 65% raw, Day 6–7
25% kibble to 75% raw, Day 8–9
By the 10th day, you’re on a complete raw, cooked or premade diet!
Tip when transitioning – If transitioning with kibble, soak the kibble in bone broth as it helps with an upset tummy, helps boost joint and immune health and makes it easier to digest while pumping natural, fresh nutrients into their system.
How We Did It – Tyson’s Story
Tyson had been on every kibble imaginable, from grain free to salmon to Royal Canine prescribed by the vet. Our last shot was Honest Kitchen Whitefish that we were on when we made the switch. We didn’t even think twice about making a change or even how to transition. For us, it was do or die! If this didn’t work, nothing would. Allergies were out of control and the Calcinosis Cutis was taking over his body and our life.
For the record, we like Honest Kitchen, so it would have been one we chose to stay on if raw didn’t work out, as some dogs don’t do well on it for various reasons we’ll discuss later.
There are things to look out for when switching to real food. Some dogs detox when making the switch. This means that the chemicals, carbs and crap in kibble are being expelled through the body. Some things you may notice would be:
- Loose stools (keep organic pumpkin on hand)
- Mucus filled diarrhea
- Itching ears
- Scratching skin and fur
- Goopy eyes
Know that all of this is normal! It means the toxins are being expelled from the body so it can therefore properly absorb the nutrients from the real food diet. None of it happened with Tyson, but all dogs are different. A probiotic and digestive enzyme will help too if you wanted to add that along with the new meal plan. We have some favorites.
Our Starter Diet
We started with a diet of whitefish (Tilapia, Halibut, etc.). It is best for itchy, yeasty dogs with staph. It is the most non-reactive meat source.
We cooked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350˚ F until golden brown. We steamed/boiled green veggies in bone broth (use 2-3 varieties such as kale, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, spinach, celery, etc.). We used zucchini, green beans and spinach. We did 80% fish to 20% veggies. We did this for a month. Tyson lost weight, which was okay, because overweight bulldogs are not healthy bulldogs and the extra weight isn’t good for their joints. Kibble contains tons of carbs and filler whereas real food is a healthier option. We also added a digestive enzyme, Golden Paste, Goat Milk/kefir, a probiotic, Garlic, Colostrum and Ultra Oil (Omega 3’s).
We feed twice a dog. For dogs with major immune issues, or a lot of suppression with drugs, we suggest adding Transfactor (classic human kind). Golden Paste was added into both meals. After a month, and when he was doing well, we started giving little small chunks or real raw beef. He loved it and nearly took a finger off when it got close to his mouth. Once we knew he was okay on beef with no reactions, we started feeding beef with the green veggies, then after a few weeks, tried pork, then lamb, then duck and rotated so he got used to various proteins. Organs, green tripe, raw bones, marrow are other options for feeding we’ll talk about later on.