Transitioning to a Healthy Diet

How to Transition:

  • A gradual transition to a new, healthier food can be done over a period of 1 – 3 weeks. Gradually add in the new food while proportionately decreasing the old food.
  • When transitioning to a raw food like Answers, Steve’s, Stella & Chewy’s, K9 Kravings or Primal, probiotics with digestive enzymes such as Nature’s Farmacy Probiotic Digestive Enhancer can be added to help stabilize pH levels. Answers Raw Goat’s Milk or Cow’s Kefir and Primal Raw Goat’s Milk are also great supplements full of probiotics, live enzymes for nutrient absorption, and vitamins and minerals.
  • If combining raw food with a dry food diet during your transition, try adding some organic Apple Cider Vinegar to the mix in order to assist with pH level of your pet’s stomach while processing two different types of food. Add 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp of organic Apple Cider Vinegar, per 50 lb. of body weight, to your pet’s meal.
  • Cats are imprint eaters, and do not always recognize a new food as edible, which makes them appear picky.
  • For cats, try running the food container under warm water, adding a little warm water, adding a topper like Parmesan cheese or Cat Sushi Bonito Flakes, playing with the food to peak their interest, or even smearing a little on their paw – they will clean it off and have a chance to recognize a new food as edible.

May require less food:

  • When switching your pet to a higher quality food, your pet will utilize this food more efficiently and may need less each meal than with their previous food.
  • At The Wild we have a customizable food chart for all the foods we carry, and would be happy to enter your pet’s information to give you an idea of how much to feed your pet per meal.
  • If you do notice your pet gaining or losing weight on their new diet, slowly cut back or gradually increase the amount of the new food being fed.

Potential issues that may accompany their transition:

Diarrhea

  • If your pet does experience looser stools or diarrhea during their transition, Nummy Tum-Tum’s Organic Pumpkin can be added to their food to soothe their GI tract and help firm up stools. If diarrhea persists you can also try Animal Essentials Colon Rescue.
  • Also keep in mind that when our pets are able to utilize the nutrients in their food better, they may have smaller, firmer stools overall.

Loss of Appetite

  • Your pet may just be a picky eater, or need time to recognize a new food.
  • Most commercial pet foods contain a lot of sugar to entice your pet to eat, which can create a habit which may take some time to break – just like with humans and junk food.
  • Your pet’s digestive system is getting used to new food as the bacterial flora in their digestive tract adjusts to new material.
  • You can try warming up their food (if feeding a canned diet), adding some warm water, or adding Stella & Chewy’s Cage Free Chicken, or Grass-Fed Beef, Broth Toppers or Honest Kitchen’s Beef Bone Broth to entice them.

Cleansing Reaction

  • Symptoms of this can include: a brief aggravation of symptoms, hairballs being thrown up, worms being passed, or your pet may feel generally out of sorts for a few days. These can all be signs of natural healing as your pet’s health improves and they adjust to their new diet.

https://www.truecarnivores.com/finicky-cats-transitioning-raw/

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/can-you-mix-raw-dog-food-with-kibble/

Source: Pitcairn, DVM. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale, 2005.

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  • This sheet is for basic technical information only.  We encourage you to continue your own research on these subjects.
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