WHAT AGE CAN I TRANSITION MY DOG TO A RAW DIET?
You are interested in raw feeding your dog, but are wondering what age is the right age.
The answer is simple…right now!
You can transition a dog of any age onto a Raw Food diet. They are born ready to eat meat. The benefits of doing so are massive.
A healthy puppy can be transitioned onto a raw diet as soon as they are ready to be weaned off their mother, at approximately 4-8 weeks depending on the litter size and depending on how Mum is coping with the litter. Here at The Pet Parlour, we have a great selection of delicious fresh Raw Food diets for your pup. We feel that it is essential for our pets to have variation and choice in their diets, just as we do. Would you like to eat dry biscuits every day of your life? Bet not. Would you feel satisfied and healthy eating them? It is very unlikely and we think the same for our pups. They need and love choice. They also need and love meat. Especially fresh, uncooked meat. It’s what Dogs are designed to do, and they will be considerably happier and healthier when fed a “species-appropriate” diet.
Is a raw diet good for a puppy?
Just as a growing baby needs the correct nutrients in their diet to grow properly, your pup is the same. They have incredible growth spurts, often doubling in size in a month! A well-balanced diet is essential for any dog to grow and be healthy and a fresh raw diet will definitely reduce the amount of visits to the vet. If left to their own devices, an adult bitch feeding her young pups would regurgitate her own food (probably raw) and leave the pups to eat it – not great for us, but precisely what dogs would do! Delicious!
- A raw diet has more digestible protein than kibble and is full of essential oils and nutrients needed for your pup to develop, including bone and brain growth.
- Feeding your puppy a raw diet will contribute to a calmer pup as a fresh diet it is not full of processed ingredients such as artificial colours, preservatives and of course grains, which have been increasingly found to contain high
- levels of toxins like glyphosate..
- A fresh raw diet will help to build a healthy microbiome as it is packed with healthy bacteria that your pup needs.
Some of the benefits of transitioning your dog to a raw diet;
- Smaller, less smelly poop to pick up
- Your pup will drink less as raw food is approximately 70% water
- Fewer skin problems
- Better gut health
- Less anal gland problems
- Happier, more contented pup
- Better dental health
The sooner you change your pup to a more natural diet, the sooner you will see the incredible benefits it has. As we know, our pups were not designed to eat a highly processed diet, and the health benefits of changing to a “species- appropriate” diet can help with many things, such as:
- Kidney disease
- IBD issues
- Eye staining
- Liver disease
- Heart problems
How long does it take to transition my dog to raw?
We suggest transitioning your pup’s diet over about a week. Some pups can change to a fresh raw diet overnight and have no problems. Others may need a little time as they can go through a detox period depending on what they have been eating previously. Think of eating a highly processed diet for months and then changing to salad overnight – your body would need to adjust, and the same applies to our pups, folks.
A few nutritional benefits a fresh raw diet gives your dog:
- Protein is the number one ingredient in fresh natural food and the building block for growth and healthy muscles, plus it aids nerve function and with healing wounds. It’s also full of amino acids, including alanine, arginine, tryptophan and methionine.
- Bone in fresh raw food provides essential calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E and blood-forming nutrients such as copper and iron that are found in the marrow.
- Offal is a nutritional treasure trove full of vitamins E, D and K2, plus trace minerals such as iron, zinc and B-complex vitamins.
Should I be concerned about hygiene and raw food?
There is a great deal of conflicting (and often false) information regarding hygiene and safety regarding Raw Food. Applying these sensible suggestions below are what we always advise. As with any meat products you use for your family, the same rules apply when preparing and feeding a Raw Food to your pup.
- Place the pet food in a Tupperware container with a sealed lid in the bottom of your fridge. This will help if there is any leakage.
- Label any tubs or drawers, containing pet food “Pet Food”
- Rotate and wash these containers on a regular basis.
- Defrosting food in the fridge takes up to 24 hours, depending on the size of the packet.
- The food will last for 2-4 days once fully defrosted.
- Safety and your pet’s bowl
- Always use a clean bowl – preferably stainless steel or ceramic. These types of bowls are the safest to use with raw food, as plastic bowls can scratch, and this can increase bacteria growing in the crevices.
- When your pup has finished eating, wash the bowl in hot soapy water, or simply put it in the dishwasher.
- Do not leave leftover food in the bowl on the floor if your pup doesn’t finish the food – either cover it and put it away till the next meal or throw it out, however…. they rarely leave ANYTHING so this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after handling raw food, as with any raw meat you ever handle.
- Wipe down any counters used for food preparation with your usual counter cleaner.
- No kissing your pet immediately after they eat!
Conclusion – The Pros & Cons
Our conclusion here is that a fresh raw diet will have an enormous impact on your pup’s health and longevity. Dogs who are fed what they are designed and love to eat, will thrive – give it a go folks and you will never look back!
Whatever you decide, The Pet Parlour has your covered:
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