Switching to the raw diet for many raises quite a few questions. To make it go smoothly we are addressing some of these below for you. Switching to raw doesn’t need to be difficult at all but how you go about it can make a big difference. We suggest you make a straight switch to raw starting on a morning. If you are for some reason combining processed foods with raw keep them in separate meals, do note that Nutriment is a complete formula and does not require any supplementation.
Try our starter packs or mixer boxes first, get the dog accustomed to the food for a few weeks. Then, if you want to start introducing meaty bones then do this gradually too… don’t try too much soon – keep it simple for yourself and your dog.
Q1. My dog doesn’t seem to drink as much…
This is normal! Raw contains a lot of moisture – it’s totally normal to see a reduction in water intake in your pet.
It should only be a worry if your dog is for example not urinating – this would require professional veterinary investigation.
Q2. My dog is struggling with poos…
A change in poo (i.e. sloppy, mucous-y etc) initially is quite normal and to be expected. Not all dogs would have this but some do. As a one-off it shouldn’t be a concern. It can help however, especially those with sensitive digestive systems or on medications, to provide probiotics alongside your switch initially for a smoother transition.
If you dog is struggling with poo it might be that your dog has a lower than average bone tolerance; mix in some of our beef formula (which doesn’t contain bone) with the meals to reduce the overall bone intake.
The poo should be pellet like, firm and formed, not rock hard or soft. Because you will be feeding a variety of meats it is totally normal for poo to have different colours.
Q3. My dog doesn’t seem keen…
Most processed foods contain salt and a variety of other additives (read more about this) to make it extremely tasty, almost addictive… It’s a little like being used to eating pizza and then deciding a rocket salad with pine nuts and feta is better… you might also need some persuasion.
Don’t be disheartened, basically you are trying to break an addiction. If needs be mix some of the flavours up, few dogs will turn up their nose to something mixed with the salmon formula.
Q4. There is no crunch to the food, how is this going to keep their teeth clean?
Most of pre-mades do contain bone and is abrasive enough to clean teeth. Raw also doesn’t stick to teeth like starchy processed food does (the cause of much tartar and teeth issues). Once you have gained your confidence with the raw diet you can of course start introducing meaty bones. In the meantime, if you are missing the crunching sounds, then a healthy treat like the fish bars, fish bites or even pizzles will give that crunchy chewing action.
Q5. My dog is throwing up…
Commonly dogs who do really take straight away to this scrumptious raw diet become gobblers, they eat faster than before and then can regurgitate the food as it went down too quickly. Try and slow down your dog, get a slow feeder or feed partially frozen for example.
Dogs can also throw up if they are too hungry due to the acid build up in their tummies. This is also part of the adjustment process; instead of having an expanding mass of food sitting in their stomachs struggling to be digested, raw is digested faster due to it being more natural to the digestive system. Play around with your dinner times, perhaps give a mid-day or just before bed (but substantial) snack – like a lump of mince.