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The Method We Recommend to Easily & Safely
Transition Your Dog onto a Raw Diet
www.naturallyhealthydogs.co.uk
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We have experience behind us of having fed raw, and helped others
feed raw and change their dogs over for many yrs, and have also seen how often problems arise from different methods used, and where
those methods do not cater to safeguarding the owner who is new to raw-feeding, and their dog(s), and do not allow for the fact that studies show that it takes 5 days just for the body to 'begin' to adjust to new dietary changes, and can, in some cases, take up to a month for a dogs stomach acid to fully adjust to digesting bone, so we use a variable method which we adjust to suit the individual dependent on their digestive history, and have found it highly effective for a smooth, simple, successful transition, where owner and dog are stressed and worried as little as possible, and they don't end up with constipation issues, or digestive issues, and owners don't end up feeling so overwhelmed that they give up.
We have used the method we advise, for many dogs over a number of years, tweaking slightly where necessary for sensitive dogs aswell as non-sensitive, and never ever had any problems when this has been followed.

First thing, which is Very important, is to ask your food supplier what
% of bone is in the minces they are supplying for your dog.
Too many times owners assume all mince is the same wherever it has come from, but this could not be further from the truth, and each raw food supplier decides what the level of bone in their mince will be, and
it can vary greatly, which is a risk factor; this is why we like the DAF (Durham Animal Feeds) range, as not only is it quite specific and lower than many in the bone %, but contains offal too.
Our guide below is based on using 80:10:10 Balanced minces, if you are Not using these then please work with your supplier to ensure your dog is getting a dietary balance from the start, we do Not
support leaving offal until week 3, or using just chicken for weeks/mths on end - your dog should have balance from the start as their body still needs those nutrients for normal bodily process's, that doesn't stop just because you change their diet.
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When you come and see us, we will discuss your dogs history and needs with you and formulate a simple changeover guide specifically tailored to your dog and their needs.

When the simple steps we give you for your dog/s are followed, it is a very rare thing that there are ever any problems, but you will need to discuss with us any digestive issues your dog has before launching into transitioning, as it may be we would slightly tweak the diet for them, or recommend inclusion of specific herbs or supplements to help support their system.

We suggest all dogs are transitioned onto minces for the first month, as sometimes dogs become very eager when changed to raw as they love
it so much, and so it is safer to transition them to minces, then actual bones once they have settled down and stopped gobbling their food so eagerly, it also makes it easier to judge over the first month what your dogs approximate bone tolerance levels are.
Because these minces are balanced with bone, offal and meat measured out for you already, you can relax knowing that all basic nutritional needs are covered whilst you get your head around the raw diet and become more comfortable with it, then you can progress your dog to chunks, bones etc. at a comfortable pace for yourself, and them.

The basic template we use for changing dogs to raw, which is tweaked
to suit each dog, is:

* In preparation for changing to a raw diet:
Feed last dried food one day, if possible give your dog/s a 'fast' day the next day for lowest risk of digestive upset.
If this is not possible, feed last dried one evening, skip morning meal, then start raw that evening (this is different for young puppies as they should not go without meals).

Days 1-7: 'Chicken & Tripe' minced mix.

Days 7-14 (If all is going well - go at your dogs pace): Alternating days
of 'Chicken & Tripe' and 'Beef & Chicken'

Days 14-21 (If all is going well): Alternating days of 'Chicken & Tripe' and 'Fish & Chicken'

Days 21-28(If all is going well): Alternating days of 'Chicken & Tripe' and 'Lamb and Chicken' or Turkey if lower fat options are needed.

If all is going well at the end of Wk 4, we suggest all the above proteins can be fed each week, adding 1 or 2 new ones also depending on how well your dog is doing, so they can have Chicken, Tripe, Oily Fish, Beef, Lamb/Turkey, with 1 or 2  new proteins added a week.

We recommend a minimum or 4-5 different proteins be fed over the course of a week for optimum nutritional coverage.

It is Vital you watch stools closely during the 1st week especially, and if stools are still looking white/crumbly/v hard by end of day 3, start day 4 with a meal of totally bone-free, like 'Chicken Meat/Only' without delay.

This will not impair the changeover at all, but your dog will not be digesting the bone for at least 5 days when they start raw, and whereas for up to 3 days the bone will facilitate a bowel clearout, which is good, but after that it will cause constipation and discomfort for your dog which if left untreated will need a visit to the vet. By day 5 most dogs have made the digestive adjustments needed to be digesting the bone, but some may still need the odd bone-free meal if their bone tolerance level does not enable them to cope with 10% bone.

You NEVER want your dog to have to strain, stools should be firm enough to hold their shape, and be picked up with just 2 fingers, leaving barely any trace behind, BUT they should NOT be so hard that your pet takes much longer to 'Go' or needs to be walked, 
or fed boneless or offal to soften them.

Once your dog is settled on the minces, and you're happy with the range they are on, then you can look at bringing in chunks, bones and/or whole prey to replace some mince meals, increasing until you are happy you have found the diet that suits them.

We do encourage up to 5% (on top of the meat:organ:bone amounts) suitable fruit/veg/herbs be included in your dogs diet to give valuable extra antioxidants but to have least chance of digestive upset, leave adding any vegetable supplements until week 3 or 4.
Vegetation in the diet can also provide a good source of roughage if you are not feeding any fur, but for those not feeding whole prey, we do have dried fur treats we would encourage you to feed, which will not only provide that roughage, but also acts as a natural wormer.
Suitable fruit/veg for dogs are Berries, Dark Leafy Greens, Seaweeds and Herbs.
Avoid anything from the Allium family other than garlic, and avoid the nightshade plants.

Puppies

If you are getting a new puppy and changing them onto raw food, you are very lucky,
as your road couldn't be simpler, puppy's can usually go straight onto a full range of about 4 different proteins from the word Go! (just not all at once!)
The only thing with puppies (other than stool-watching) is that plain Tripe, and Liver on their own might be too rich for them when they are young but are fine in our balanced minces.




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