How to transition your dog to a raw diet. Primal Pooch by Amy Marshall. Raw feeding transitioning guide.

But somewhere along the research process, the wind was blown right out of your sails. You heard (or read) several different – and opinionated – theories about how to transition your dog to a raw diet.

Now you’re not sure which one to follow.

Don’t abandon the hoorah attitude.

Let me guess, you were…

Are you eager to switch your dog to raw?

Transition options are plentiful. You can choose an approach that works for your dog, but also your schedule, lifestyle, and comfort level.

And in today’s article, I’ll break down the options, share pros and cons of each, and explain how to do it step-by-step.


Now that you understand why raw foods are better for your dog, let’s talk about transitioning. 

The most important thing to grasp is that transitioning to raw dog food does not have a “one size fits all” approach. Each dog may handle the following options in a different manner.

But we’ll discuss everything you need to know so you can determine the best option for you.

You have two choices:

Let’s tackle them one-by-one.

A gradual switch

A cold turkey switch

Options for Transitioning Your Dog to a Raw Diet

The Cold turkey Switch

Compare this to smoking or eating junk food. Should you wean off the potato chips or throw out the bag and start fresh? The latter is how many dog owners feel.

Granted, it can be more complicated than that…

But once their eyes are opened to the shortcomings of processed pet food, these dog owners chuck the old food. They march straight to the store, buy prepackaged raw dog food (or set out to make their own) and never look back.

No instruction is needed. Throw out (or donate) your old food and start with raw ASAP.

Some people believe the transition to raw dog food should happen immediately.

Young dogs

The cold turkey switch is also for confident dog owners.


Changing your dog’s diet too quickly can result in diarrhea. Some dogs may be sick after a few days. This sends many concerned (yet unprepared) dog owners to the vet’s office.

And because many vets are unsupportive of raw, they may blame raw. 


But before using the cold turkey approach, you must determine if your dog is a fit for a quick transfer of diet. If not, diarrhea, digestive distress, and GI upset can occur.

A rapid switch is a simple, no-nonsense approach.

Pros & Cons

Best suited for:

Vets commonly misdiagnose the problem. They fault diarrhea or GI issues on the bacteria in raw food. When in reality, the sudden dietary change sparked the problem.

Don't get me wrong:

Many dogs do fine with a cold turkey switch. My dog was one of them, he was 4 months old when I switched him to raw.

But for other dogs, it can be different. The experience may send their unprepared caregivers running for the hills. Panicked, pet parents return to processed foods.

Back to the same old problems…

And we don’t want that.

The Gradual Switch


You transition to raw dog food, gradually.

For most dogs, this is a one – two-week period. But for others, it can last up to 4 weeks or even 6 months, depending on the circumstances.

Understand, some dogs have sensitive GI tracts.

Changing from one food to another may cause minor to severe GI upset. This could be caused by age, disease, or a life of kibble and overexposure to chemicals and toxins.

Your dog has been eating artificial, grain-based foods for a long time. Not only are they difficult to digest but also, they’re quite different from real, fresh, raw foods.

Many dogs need time to get their system up and running again.

By slowly introducing new foods, you can decrease the risk of GI upset. What’s more, a slow switch helps you gauge your dog’s personal preference for certain foods and helps you determine if any food intolerances exist.

After polling many raw feeders, I’ve determined 4 general game plans for a gradual transition.

Poor gut bacteria and diversity
Suppressed digestive enzymes
Weakened immune system

What’s more, most dogs on processed diets have:

1. The “treat first” switch
2. The “combined” switch
3. The “separate meals” switch
4. The “cook before raw” switch

This is a healthy median between the rapid and gradual switch. Fans of the “treat first” transition want to switch to raw quickly but prefer to test the waters first.

The “Treat First” Switch

• Day 1: Use the new raw food as a treat. Keep an eye on the condition of your dog’s stool.

• Day 2 – 4: Increase the number of raw food treats over the next several days. Continue to monitor stools.

• Day 5: If the stool is normal, replace one whole meal of old food with the new food.

• Day 5 – 7: Do this for several more days. If the stools remain normal, stop the old food and feed the new food permanently.


Young dogs

Healthy Dogs

The “treat first” switch is another simple approach. But be aware the potential for stomach-upset stills exists. That’s because you’ll be transitioning from treats to a full meal in one swoop.

Pros & Cons

Best suited for:


The "Combined" Switch

Senior Dogs

All Dogs

Best suited for:

Dogs with sensitive digestive systems

Some dog owners choose to start at 1/4 to simplify things but if your dog is hypersensitive, start at 1/8th (or an even smaller amount, like a Tablespoon). 

Feel free to extend the transition time to two weeks or longer if you feel it will make it easier on your dog and your household.

Each day, you’ll offer less kibble and more raw foods.

The ratios are adjustable for your dog. Consider the following as a starting point:

With this approach, we offer both types of food at the same time. 

• Day 1: feed 1/8th of the new food, 7/8th of the old food
• Day 2: feed 1/4th of the new food, 3/4th of the old food
• Day 3: feed 1/2 of the new food, 1/2 of the old food
• Day 4: feed 3/4th of the new food, 1/4th of the old food
• Day 5: feed 7/8th of the new food, 1/8th of the old food
• Day 6: feed 100% of the new food

The “combined switch” is a solid choice for reducing stomach upset. It also seems to work well for dogs that refuse raw food in a cold turkey scenario since it’s being mixed into their old food, which they’re more familiar with. 

But it requires measuring and mixing food and that might be inconvenient for some people.

Pros & Cons

This is a myth.

Plenty of people feed their dogs a mix of fresh, raw foods and processed foods at the same time. In fact, this is recommended if you can’t make the switch 100%.

Want proof?

Raw meat and bones digest within a few hours. Yet, kibble or cooked foods take between 12-24 hours. The “rates of digestion” between the two foods is what causes GI irritation.

Were you told to never combine raw and cooked/processed foods?
The rumor claims:

Debunking an Outdated Rumor

Additionally, don’t let this rumor stop you from supplementing with fresh foods if a complete raw diet is not possible.

As for the rumor, these are the real facts:

Mixing fresh and processed foods will not cause harm to your dog.

This post mentions a study. It cites a decrease in the risk of canine cancer by adding fresh, raw foods to processed diets. What’s more, raw dog food research carried out by Finnish veterinarian, Dr. Anna Bjorkman reveals:

A dog’s diet had the ability to increase or decrease the odds for disease. The turning point for a decrease in odds for disease is when 20% of a dog’s diet (or 1/5th) is raw. See her discuss it in this video.

The takeaway:

Raw food digests slower than kibble. Not faster (see the data here). That makes sense. What moves out of you quicker? Low quality foods or healthy foods?

Dogs do digest raw food differently than kibble. But it’s not the timing you should be hung up on.



Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker explains raw food is processed as a protein. It’s held in the stomach for an acid bath, where kibble is viewed metabolically as a starch. Digestive confusion can occur, which results in gassiness or belching. But for most dog owners, there’s little to no issue.

The moral:

Any kind of sudden diet change can cause digestive upset. This is not exclusive to feeding raw and kibble together.

The "Separate Meals" Switch

For the people that can’t shake the “never combine kibble and raw foods” rumor, we have a solution for you too. 

This approach is almost identical to the “combined” gradual switch. The only difference is you’re going to feed the old food and new food separately.

It has the same breakdown:

• Day 1: feed 1/8th of the new food, 7/8th of the old food
• Day 2: feed 1/4th of the new food, 3/4th of the old food
• Day 3: feed 1/2 of the new food, 1/2 of the old food
• Day 4: feed 3/4th of the new food, 1/4th of the old food
• Day 5: feed 7/8th of the new food, 1/8th of the old food
• Day 6: feed 100% of the new food

Except, the portions of new and old food are separated. Provide one in the morning and one in the evening. Feel free to start at ¼ if your dog isn’t overly sensitive.

Senior Dogs

All Dogs

The “separate meals” approach is a great candidate for reducing stomach upset. It’s also perfect for people who are uncertain if they want to feed raw foods and processed foods together. One drawback is the mixing and measuring of both foods.

Pros & Cons

Best suited for:

Dogs with sensitive digestive systems

The "Cook Before Raw" Switch

It works equally as well for picky dogs that aren’t interested in raw foods. But “cook before raw” is even better for chronic illness and dogs that are unhealthy. It allows more time for your dog to build up their stomach flora and pH.

This is a good choice for pet owners who have always fed a homemade, cooked diet but who want to transition to raw. 

How fast you transition from cooked to raw depends on how your dog is handling it. You many need to extend this transition schedule.

If your dog has issues with a decrease in cooking, wait until digestive upset resolves before moving to the next step. You can wait it out at the current level or return to the previous level for a few days.

If you’re unsure how long to cook a percentage of your dog’s daily serving, time how long it takes to cook through on the first day. Then, use that time frame as a guideline for reducing cooking on subsequent days.

Only cook meat, NEVER edible bone. Cooked bone is prone to splintering and should not be fed to dogs.

With that said, you can cook a premade, ground raw dog food if the bone in that formula is small enough. Dr. Peter Dobias says, “In this situation, you can cook packaged meat with ground bone in it. The ground bone fragments must be smaller than 1/2 cm (or 1/4 inch to be safe). Such small fragments of cooked bone… do not pose a threat to your dog if fed mixed in the rest of the meat.” If you’re unsure, ask your raw food manufacturer. I know a lot of premade raw brands will, like Darwin’s, for example will instruct new customers (and new raw feeders) to initially cook their food


• Day 1: introduce the food in a cooked state
• Day 2: cook the food ¾ of the way
• Day 3: cook the food ½ of the way
• Day 4: cook the food ¼ of the way
• Day 5: serve the food in a raw state


Dogs already eating cooked, homemade diets

Senior dogs

The “cook before raw” switch is a safe option for sick dogs. It also provides the best protection against digestive upset. But cooking meals require more prep time than the other methods.

Pros & Cons

Best suited for:

Picky dogs

Dogs with chronic illness

Dogs with an impaired immune system

Raw Transition Considerations for Life Stages

Puppies tend to have a healthier digestive system, which is why they can tolerate a rapid switch in diet. 

Some puppies can handle a raw transition in 1 or 2 days with little issue. Young dogs and puppies can be transitioned with any method (unless they have a health condition) and are great candidates for the cold turkey switch.

With that said, if your puppy is not healthy, I recommend a gradual transition option.


Consider life stages when choosing a raw dog food transition method.

Healthy dogs are in a similar boat. They’re able to transition faster than older dogs or dogs with digestive issues. Again, any transition method works for healthy dogs.

Healthy Dogs

Move slower with older dogs.

Their age makes them less robust and more fragile to dietary changes. Give senior dogs plenty of time to adjust to a new food. The transition process may need to be extended for several weeks or months. 

Most senior dogs have eaten processed pet food their entire lives. And the same brand!

The older the dog (and the longer they’ve eaten kibble) the longer you should take to transition them to raw.

Senior Dogs

The raw transition for most dogs is smooth and straightforward. But some cases—especially dogs with GI disease—will be more complex. 

You’ll need to proceed responsibly and carefully. 

According to veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, dogs acquire GI issues from dietary transitions for two reasons:

• The speed of the change
• Dysbiosis

Dr. Becker explains dysbiosis as “an imbalance of gut bacteria – too few friendly bacteria and too many opportunistic or pathogenic (bad) bacteria.”

This is why dogs with GI Disease need:

1. A gradual switch
2. Additional support during the transition.

Switching a Dog with GI Disease to Raw Dog Food

• The acidity level of the stomach begins to decrease
• The stomach becomes more alkaline
• The dog is less effective at handling raw meat, bones, and bacteria

According to Dr. Bruce Syme, dogs that consume diets high in carbohydrates and plant proteins notice a few symptoms:

Naturally, dogs have a highly acidic gastric PH (2 or lower). This acidic environment is suitable for the breakdown of meat, raw bones and is effective at killing pathogenic bacteria.

Stomach pH plays a Role in Digestive Upset

This can result in the “rejection” of bone or meat through vomiting. It can also cause a bout of gastroenteritis, or loose stools.

No need to worry.

Dogs can handle a switch in food if it’s introduced gradually and the gastric acidity is allowed to normalize. 

According to Dr. Syme, it takes 7-10 days on a meat-based diet for a dog’s gastric acidity levels to drop down to normal. 

“Feeding a raw food diet will actually protect your dog or cat from bacterial contamination and food poisoning, and greatly reduce the chance of an obstruction from eating raw bones. It is a fact that dogs that eat processed foods are even more likely to shed salmonella bacteria in their feces than are dogs that eat raw food”

He goes on to say:

The moral:

A slow transition gives the body time to adjust and adapt. This is especially important for dogs with GI disease.

Additional Support May Be Necessary

• Food should be thoroughly ground
• Bones and bone meal should be excluded at first
• Food should be gently cooked for many months in the initial transition phase
• Begin with only two ingredients in a homemade diet.
• Slowly add nutrients one at a time as you dog’s health improves
• Provide probiotics (to build up good bacteria) and digestive enzymes to aid in the transition

Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or an overactive immune system may need both a detoxification and leaky gut protocol to transition.

Consider these tips from Dr. Karen Becker for transitioning dogs with GI disease:

Along with a slow change in diet, an additional medical protocol to treat dysbiosis and an inflamed GI tract is recommended. Thomas Sandberg echoes the concern:

Remember, dogs that eat kibble and dogs that eat raw have different gut microbe populations. When you’re first transitioning, it’s likely your kibble-fed dog may not have the gut microbes and “healthy” bacteria to get the most out of raw food.

This is why supplementing with probiotics is a good idea.

Gut microbe transitions will also take time. It takes about a week to decrease the microbe population we don’t want and increase the ones that we do want. 

According to dog food formulator, researcher, and author Steve Brown:

“After about a week the microbes that feed on real meat and real dietary fiber will proliferate and those that feed on dry dog food will dramatically reduce in numbers. Your dog’s gut will be healthier, and so will your dog!"

The road to recovery may not be linear. In fact, you’re bound to experience ups and downs and bumps in the road. But gastrointestinal health is critical if you want your dog to thrive.

Lots of patience is necessary.

Some dog owners argue that this transition approach is not natural. They say starting slow and taking a long period of time to complete the process is not what nature intended.

They’re right.

But Dr. Karen Becker says:

“With gastrointestinally debilitated animals, we must “meet the patients where their bodies are at.” Many animals must be on special protocols initially to assist in healing.

But is Such a Slow Transition Natural?

Make sure you find a vet that supports real-food diets. Any vet that recommends you continue feeding processed pet food may not be the best choice. 

According to Dr. Karen Becker:

“If a seasoned holistic veterinarian isn’t participating in the dietary transition, it can go so poorly for some of these animals that they end up being hospitalized. These unsuccessful attempts at a dietary transition are why traditional vets will say, “Some pets just can’t tolerate raw foods or fresh foods. You just need to leave well enough alone and continue feeding kibble.”

But it’s important to recognize that with good effort and professional guidance, these animals, too, can be transitioned to better, healthier diets.”

This is critical for a successful switch to raw, so you don’t negatively affect your dog. 

Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker explains:

Working with a veterinarian who understands GI disease is key.

Finding the Right Veterinary Partner

Unsupportive vets may say things like: “I guess your pet wasn’t meant to eat human-grade food.” Or I’ve heard them say, “Some animals just can’t tolerate a diet change or healthy food.”

The truth:

Dogs with GI disease will take more time to successfully transition to raw. Some can take up to a year. But the results are worth it. 

Sadly, many dog owners see it as too much trouble and give up. They continue the same lifestyle that caused the problem.

But consider this:

Your dog is either moving towards health or away from it.

In a year from now, do you want a healthier dog? Or, a dog just another year older with the same (or worsening) health issues? 

Put the time and energy into making a lifestyle change that will heal you dog’s body from the inside out.

All dogs are different.

Some will take a few days, and some will take several weeks. As a general guideline, allow a minimum of one week for your dog’s digestive system to adjust.

What to Expect When Switching to Raw Dog Food

This will occur mainly through the bowels and skin. During detox, your dog will act normal, be happy, bright and alert. But you may notice the following symptoms:

• Runny Eyes
• Earwax or debris produced from the ear
• Dry skin
• Excess shedding
• Chronic or periodic skin conditions may briefly worsen
• Mucus coating your dog’s stool

Your dog may experience a detoxification period when switching to raw dog food.

The Detox Process:

Don't panic.

This is normal. In reality, you should celebrate. Your dog is on the right track. In the raw feeding community, we call this getting “unsick.”

While it may seem unnerving, understand your dog is not sick. In fact these are signs your dog’s body is purging itself of the various toxins that have built up over time.

The detox process may resolve in a week or two. But it could take a couple of months, as new cells replace old ones.
Dogs that have been on antibiotics, steroids or other long-term drugs may experience longer detox periods. Consult your vet if detox symptoms don’t go away or if you believe your dogs is experiencing severe issues from the diet change.

Dogs on a fresh, raw-food diet will drink much less water than dogs eating a processed diet.

This is normal.

Your dog is eating real, moisture dense foods now. Their diet will provide much of their water needs.

Be prepared to notice your dog drinking less and less. But, let’s be clear that your dog still needs access to clean, filtered drinking water even if they consume less of it.

Another harmless but sometimes alarming change for new raw feeders is water intake.

Water Intake Decreases:

• Provide plenty of fresh, filtered water
• Increase exercise
• Clear ears of debris and wipe eyes as needed
• Brush or groom your dog to help them shed old, dull hair so a new, soft and shiny coat can grow
• Some dogs may choose to fast occasionally as they go through the detox period, let them.

If you’d like to speed up the detox process:

But after your dog has transitioned to raw foods, stools will be smaller and firmer. They may even turn white and crumble in a day or two if you forget to pick them up.

Your dog may pass them with ease or may strain slightly when passing. This is normal and beneficial. Harder stools help your dog express their anal glands. This reduces the likelihood of infection or needing to have them expressed at the vet’s office.

Again, this is nothing to worry about.

Note: Consult with your veterinarian if your dog experiences prolonged diarrhea. And remember, soft stool is not the same as diarrhea.

What some new raw feeders do not know is raw-fed poop is quite different from kibble-fed poop.

You’ll notice variation in the consistency of your dog’s stool while transitioning at first. This is a normal part of the process.

Your dog’s poop will change – for the better.

Stool Changes

Be excited.

Heaping, messy, smelly piles of poop will be a thing of the past when your dog is on a proper raw diet.

Obviously, being on a raw diet does not make your dog immune to diarrhea or “less than ideal” stools. Especially, if they ate something they shouldn’t or when they’re trying to new foods. 

But when fully transitioned, a quality raw diet will produce smaller, harder stools.

I’m telling you this, so you know what to expect.

Believe it or not, some dog owners have returned to kibble because no one explained their dog’s stools would change so drastically.

Tips for Raw Transition Success

Fast your dog before their first raw meal – This gives their digestive system a chance to reset and detox. Plus, it ensures they’re hungry and will have greater interest in their new food the next day.

Fast adult dogs for 24 hours – (12 at the very least) and don’t fast a puppy under a year of age.

Choose a transition method that supports your dog’s potty schedule. – I recommend a more gradual switch if you’re limited in your ability to let your dog out throughout the day. If you’ve opted for the cold turkey switch, start over a weekend or when you’re off from work. That way, you’re available should additional potty trips be needed.

Before the Switch:

Do you want to know how to transition your dog to a raw diet successfully

Follow these tips below:

Stop (or at least limit) treats during the transition – Particularly flour/grain-based ones. We want to increase your dog’s appetite for raw meat and decrease their desire for junk food.

Provide access to plenty of clean, filtered water.

Be positive!
 – Dogs are sensitive to our emotions, like apprehension and skepticism. Confidence will reassure your dog about their change in food.

Be smart about accidents.
 – Consider where your dog stays when you’re not home. Diarrhea and digestive upset are possibilities. Avoid messes on the carpet or in other areas of your home by crating your dog.

During the Switch:

Start with one protein. – Unless you’re feeding premade raw dog food, we’re not aiming to provide a balanced, long-term diet at this step. Variety is important but when transitioning to raw, start slow. This makes it easier on your dog’s digestive system and ensures a gentle and positive introduction to raw feeding.

Feed one protein for at least a week.
 – Some spend 2 weeks or more getting adjusted to a new protein source, it will depend on how your dog is handling it.

Add other protein sources gradually.
Give each new protein a week – several weeks to adjust. This way, we can ensure your dog is doing well with the addition of each new item.

Consider starting with poultry.
 – Most dog owners begin with chicken or poultry sources since these proteins are easiest to digest. Bland meals help your dog adjust as too many rich foods can cause diarrhea and digestive upset.

Next, add red meat to the diet. – Red meat is essential to a raw diet. But it should be added following a successful transition of white meat. Try pork, beef, or lamb. Introduce in small amounts and gradually increase.

Introducing Proteins:

Feed bone (or a bone replacement with muscle meat)

Add extra bone (if your dog eats it safely
) – It’s recommended to add some extra bone for the first couple of meals and while transitioning. This helps keep stools firm during the transition.

Make sure edible bone is introduced properly. 
– Ensure you know how to introduce bone before blindly giving it a whirl.

Feed correctly sized raw meaty bones – Make sure the RMB you’re providing is suitable for the size of your dog.

Monitor your dog while eating bone. 
– Most kibble-fed dogs have never eaten a raw meaty bone and may not know how to do so properly. Choking can happen if your dog eats too fast or tries to gulp his/her food.

Start by hand feeding if you don’t know what to expect.
 – If you’re uncertain if your dog will try to gulp, start with a ground raw diet, hand feed edible bones to your dog, or provide RMBs larger than their head so you can remove them before they become a choking hazard.

Introducing Edible Bone

Add organ after your dog has adjusted to muscle meat. – If your dog has adjusted to several protein sources and can eat edible bone (or a bone replacement), it’s time for organs.

Slowly introduce liver and other secreting organs
– Organs are super rich so start small and gradually build to requirements. Understand organs are most likely to cause loose stools and diarrhea. Be mindful of this when feeding. But don’t skip them, they’re essential to the diet. Just take it slow.

Feed organs with bone.
 – Organs have a natural laxative effect so make sure they’re fed with bone and to avoid loose stools and diarrhea.

Next, try offal. – Now you can experiment with more of the other, unique ingredients like green tripe. The same rules apply, start slow and give your dog time to adjust.

Introducing Organs and Other Ingredients

Observe your dog’s reaction to raw. – Increase the ratio of new food based on their tolerance. Do they seem fine or do they appear to be in discomfort or digestive distress?

Poop holds the answers. – The general guideline is to look for firm or solid stools before making any new changes

Gauging Progress:

Dark Stools. – If you feed mainly poultry, pork and beef and notice that stools are very dark (almost black), too much organ was likely added. But if you feed mostly exotics, wild game, and dark red meats like kangaroo for example – dark stools will be normal.

Loose stools. – If stools are soft or loose, add a little more bone to firm them up and slow down when adding new items.

Treat digestive upset.
 – If your dog experiences digestive upset or diarrhea for 2 or more days, increase the bone content. And provide slippery elm bark until stools have firmed. Dosage instructions in this article. Buy Slippery Elm Bark in powder form here (organic & non-GMO) or here, and here for just organic. Buy the capsule form here (organic, non-GMO) and here and here for non-GMO only.

Troubleshooting the Raw Transition:

Tips for Transitioning with Commercial Raw Dog Food:

The same transition tips still apply for premade raw dog food brands.

It’s worth noting that some dog owners prefer to switch to prepackaged raw dog food first. This allows them to gain confidence while getting their feet wet.

With this approach, dog owners can focus on the switch. They don’t have to worry about sourcing ingredients and providing the right item at the right time. They can hold off on buying supplies and committing to a homemade raw diet until ready.

Some dog owners choose to stay with premade raw dog food. Once comfortable, others begin learning how to feed a raw diet at home. They may switch to a 100% homemade raw diet or feed a mix of both.

Whatever you decide to do, consider these tips:

Introduce new formulas slowly. Because premade raw dog food is a ground mixture, you can’t isolate ingredients. So anytime you feed a new protein recipe (even if it’s the same brand) – move slow. Prepackaged raw is a great option for the harder-to-source exotic and novel proteins. But make sure to give your dog time to adjust to an unfamiliar protein. After a slow introduction, your dog should be able to bounce between recipes without issue.

Switch between different raw dog food brands slowly. 
Each brand (and their individual recipes) differ. The ingredients used and the quantity of those ingredients vary. Knowing this, proceed slowly when switching between brands. Some brands might contain the perfect percentages of ingredients for your dog. While another brand’s recipe may cause a bout of loose stools.

Consider bone percentages when transitioning from commercial to homemade raw dog food
. Most premade raw dog food has a high bone content. If switching to a homemade raw diet, you may notice diarrhea, loose stools, or stomach upset. No need to panic. The bone percentages in your new, homemade diet might be too low. Or you may have increased rich foods too quickly. Take new proteins, red meats, and especially organ slow. And increase bone content until stools resolve.

Be smart when switching from ground bone to raw meaty bones.
Commercial raw diets contain ground bone. This doesn’t require your dog’s teeth. Raw meaty bones do. Make sure you understand how to properly introduce bone and how to feed it safely before jumping in.

Some dogs never make the switch completely. Many pet parents leave their dogs suspended between kibble and raw.

Perhaps they’re:

• Still uncomfortable with the idea of raw foods
• Alarmed by digestive upset and detox symptoms
• Afraid they’ll leave important nutrients out

Unless you can’t afford to feed 100% raw, avoid this.

Too many dog owners start the transition; make it halfway and remain there. Sure, some fresh foods are better than none. But you’ll see the most benefit if you transition your dog to a complete raw diet.

One More Thing: Don’t Stop Halfway

Don’t be afraid to reach out for support.

Join an online raw feeding group. Raw feeding forums and Facebook groups are an amazing support network. Members consist of veteran raw feeders who have years of experience, but also newcomers in the same position as you.

Regardless of experience level, these groups share two things in common:

1. Members are eager to do what’s best for their pets
2. They’re happy to help and share their knowledge.

A raw feeding group is an invaluable tool for beginners, so you don’t feel like you’re at this alone. Plus, you have quick access to other raw feeders should you have a question or run into any bumps in the road.

Lean on Other Raw Feeders

Are You Ready to Transition Your Dog to Raw?

One last thing

Remember, a single “correct” way to transition does not exist. Choose a method that suits your dog. But also, consider your lifestyle. If you got some value from this guide, please remember to share on Facebook

At this point, you know how to transition your dog to a raw diet. Now it’s in your hands. You have everything you need to ensure a smooth and successful raw dog food transition.

1. Review the pros and cons for each transition option along with considerations for life stages.
2. Determine if a cold turkey or gradual switch is appropriate for your dog
3. After you’ve made a decision, brush up on what to expect along with tips for success.

Questions about transitioning your dog to a raw diet?

Thank you for your feedback!