How to Switch from Raw to Dry Dog Foodby Amy Davidson
The raw food diet for dogs consists of natural, uncooked ingredients including veggies, meats and grains. Proponents claim the diet is the healthiest you can feed your dog. Raw food, however, can be time-consuming, and contamination from uncooked meat can actually make your pup sick. If you've decided the raw diet isn't for you, switching to a dry kibble requires a little patience that will yield a happy, healthy, well-fed dog.
Prepare your dog’s normal raw food meal, but replace a quarter of it with the dry kibble. Mix it well to ensure your dog starts eating the kibble. Make sure to keep mealtimes the same; you don't want to introduce too many changes at once.
Feed your dog three-quarters raw food with one-quarter dry kibble for seven days, than slowly introduce more dry food by removing another quarter of raw food from the mix and replacing it with dry food. The diet is now half raw and half dry kibble. Feed this mix for the next seven days.
Subtract another quarter of the raw food from your dog’s meal and begin adding another quarter of dry kibble to the diet. Your dog’s meals should now consist of three-quarters dry kibble and one-quarter raw. Continue this diet mix for seven days.
Remove the raw food from your dog’s meals entirely and feed only the dry kibble. With this slow transition, your dog’s system should be ready to take on a diet of kibble alone.
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- Keep an eye out for signs that the food switch is causing health problems. Vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes and lack of appetite can all be signs your dog’s system is reacting negatively. Should this be the case, discontinue the new food and visit your veterinarian, as your dog may have allergies to the new food or need a special diet.
- When looking for a healthy dry kibble, pay attention to the label to ensure you are still giving your dog the healthiest diet. Labels to look for are ones that list meat as the first or second ingredient. Avoid labels with the word “by-product,” as this means poor-quality protein. The label should list a grain, a protein and a vegetable, along with a few preservatives.