Hi guys, I have heard many good things about raw diet - right now we are feeding Nutro - Lamb and Rice formula for large breed. We only got Chocolata in the summer so all this is new for us. She is my baby - so I want the best for her. My homework for Christmas break from school is to educate myself on the raw diet, and eventually go for it. When I know enough, and are ready to start with it, how do I switch from kibble to raw?
i think most switch cold turkey, although I've read that some go more slowly (especially with an older dog). with the different enzymes needed to digest raw food its best not to mix. start with very few protein sources, b a r f and raw meaty bones diets are quite different, there is alot of info on the web with many different opinions, some say carnivore, some say omnivore, its somewhat confusing, but very informative,happy reading.
Most people say to pick one proteins source and start with only that for at least a week. Then you can try adding in new ones.
My dog has a very sensitive stomach. I was really nervous about just switching cold turkey. But I did and she was fine. She had absolutely no issues with it. Whenever I serve raw I also include a probiotic (bought at the health food store -- for humans). Many people also use digestive enzymes when serving raw food. I have never done that.
I congratulate you on your plans to really research raw feeding before jumping in. I do think that's very important.
We switched cold turkey. The reason? Ender was having trouble on kibble and I wanted to see what RAW would do for him, without any other factors (no treats, no snacks, no kibble). Within 24 hrs his troubles went away. Of course we wouldn't go back.
A lot of people just start out with one meal... see how it goes and then gradually introduce it more and more into the diet. Some people go half and half... meaning they feed one meal kibble (usually breakfast) and one meal RAW. This is great too... it is generally accepted though that you should not give kibble and RAW in the same meal as the two are digested at different rates.
We started with pre-packaged raw... Bravo! is a very good company and I found their prices to be pretty reasonable (considering how expensive pre-packaged is). Gradually we moved into feeding half pre-packaged (blended, ground up) and half RMBs (raw meaty bones) like cornish hens and chicken quarters. The first few meals of RMBs we watched Ender like a hawk to make sure he didn't choke.. but he quickly picked up on chomping down and eating his food slowly (for a lab it's slow LOL)
Feel free to ask as many questions as you like in this forum. This part of the Jl board was recently created so we don't have as much stickied info in here as I'd like... but we are working on it.
After introducing it, how do you watch the amount they eat daily? When we first got Chocolata (in July) she had diarrhea for almost two months. We wanted to switch food, but later figured that she was stressed out going from a shelter (kill shelter) to a rescue and then to our home. She is doing great, but I figure since my husband and I try to buy high quality foods, and try to eat mostly organic - the love of my life should also eat good, no?!