In this blog piece I'll discuss our preference along with why we prefer this method and other known methods all which have a proven success rate.
My first tip would be, if you’re planning on feeding raw foods to your puppy, do your research and buy a puppy from a licenced breeder who weans onto raw, this way you won't have to go through a “Transition” period.
If you are that lucky enough to find such a breeder ensure you ask them for any known allergies/intolerances for the dam and sire, this will help you tailor your own puppies diet, you can also use the current proteins as a foundation to build upon as time goes by and incorporate more protein into their diet.
However, you know as well as me that not everyone is this lucky and will have to “Transition” their puppy from dry/tinned commercial foods to fresh foods, We say “Transition” because the body will go through a stage of adjustment on a cellular level which can result in an upset stomach temporarily. (don’t be alarmed should this happen when you’re transitioning, it’s perfectly normal)
There is two ways you can transition and this applies to adult dogs as well as puppies, you can either do a straight swap or a phased transition, i’ll explain both:
Straight Swap Example
Monday: Dry Food Meal at 18:00
Tuesday: Raw Meal 7am.
As simple as that, however some deter from this method as they believe it causes dogs an upset stomach and might make an owner heed caution and go back to dry foods.
Phased Transition Example
Monday: ¾ Dry Foods with ¼ Raw Foods
Tuesday: ½ Dry Foods with ½ Raw Foods
Wednesday: ¼ Dry Foods with ¾ Raw Foods
Thursday: 100% Raw Meal.
Now this is a fast phased transition, you can run each phase longer if you wished. People have experienced a reduction in an upset stomach this way, however there’s also many that have said this way has caused constipation too.
This next question always crops up and it also causes a lot of controversy and that question is “What protein/animal part to introduce first” and the common answer or go to is Tripe(Green not bleached) for the first 3-7 days, the idea behind this is that it’s bland and easy to digest with the perfect ratio of calcium:phosphorus, but other than that it’s nutrient sparse.
We would recommend Lamb Tripe to be an ideal choice if you're doing a phased transition for a puppy as there are still nutrients in the dry foods although be it synthetic, it’s still better than nothing, however if you're doing a straight swap then don’t pick tripe in our view.
We suggest picking an 80/10/10 if you’re doing a straight swap, this ensures the puppy is getting the much needed nutrients they need, your pup may experience an upset stomach for the first 3 days while the body adjusts, but as previously mentioned this is perfectly normal but remember it might not be the food that’s causing an upset stomach, a brand new bubble wrapped puppy from a breeder will more than likely of just received chemical flea/worm treatment and vaccinations, these contribute to inflammation as the body has just been shocked on a cellular level due to the pharmaceuticals running through the system, these can lead to leaky gut/digestive distress, especially if you combine that with the psychological stress of being in a new environment , away from your mother and siblings with new humans, it’s a daunting experience for any pup.
This is another reason why i’d also suggest a third option of transitioning initially and that’s flash frying meals for the first 7 days, Offering cooked meals/flash fried can help with digestion, i’d also look to incorporate something like Tummy Tastic (Pups 8 weeks +) this will help soothe the digestive tract and fight inflammation, then after the 7 days cook for less time over the next 3 days until fully raw or you can just continue with cooked meals, it’s up to you. The key is fresh foods although raw is more appropriate for most, it doesn’t suit all.
Note: 80/10/10’s can be flash fried, yes they contain bone but there is no risk of splintering the bones have already been obliterated in a grinder.
So what protein would we recommend starting on?
Well we’d recommend starting on Rabbit if affordable, as it’s lean protein we’d suggest adding in some cold pressed olive oil(½-1 tsp) for energy. If rabbit is out of your budget then i’d choose from Venison, Lamb or Turkey. The world is your oyster really, just avoid Chicken and Beef initially as allot of dog’s are intolerant to these so if you can avoid them then please do, but after you’ve managed to incorporate a minimum of 5 proteins (1 being fish) then you can trial and error other proteins such as chicken and beef (opt for grain free versions) the more proteins you can cycle the better.
We do sell chicken and beef inclusive grinds as some dogs are fine with them so we will cater to them. If you need a specific protein and we don’t stock it, please get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do.
Instead of an 80/10/10, if you can source whole prey such as rabbit or squirrel inclusive of fur (Ideally) that would be great too, you may have to dissect the rabbit/squirrel into portions or buy them pre-ground and portion out.
Other areas to consider, Worming!
We would heavily recommend doing a worm count when you bring your puppy home as a peace of mind, then running worm counts every 3 months, if you get any positive results then speak with your Vet or research things like pumpkin seeds or grapefruit seed extract(GSE) if you wish to take a natural approach.
So there you have it, Raw Galore Ltd’s view on how to transition puppies.
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a Great New Year.