We don’t recommend feeding kibble and raw in the same sitting. The simplest, safest way is a straight switch, feeding exclusively raw after a 24 hour fast, for instance missing the dogs previous evening meal, then moving to raw, real food the next day.
Because raw is a very satisfying meal, some dogs do well for a few meals then turn their nose up. This could just be because they’re full (even some Labradors!), so throw away that meal and reduce the overall volume of their next meals. Let your dog be your guide and try not to get bogged down with how many grams they should be eating every day.
Obviously this is only if they’re otherwise well. Any sign of illness or secondary symptoms in conjunction with lack of appetite should warrant further attention.
When they’re doing well, gradually add in different protein sources over the next few weeks and months, as different animal meats provide different nutrients. You’re striking a balance over time, which is a more natural way to feed, much like for ourselves. This is the key to balance with raw feeding.
In addition to our meals, many people like to feed their dogs treats, recreational bones such as Duck Feet or Turkey Necks (avoid large weight bearing knuckle bones). Keep an eye on our website for treats from the Southend Dog range in the near future.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW HOW THEY’RE DOING?
The best indicator is appetite. Many dogs will self-regulate on raw food (that previously wouldn’t on kibbles) because of the higher levels of satiety.
Faecal output can be another indicator. If the poo’s very dry, white and crumbly, they could be consuming too much bone. If this happens, you can reduce the bone content, or up the level of offal and heart, or feed our complete meals, balanced for you.
But ultimately, you’re going to be looking at body condition. Look for a good covering of muscle over the hips, shoulders and back, and you
should be able to feel but not see the ribs. This is harder in a dog with a longer coat but familiarity with weekly grooming sessions will help you get to know your dog’s overall body condition.
If they’re starting to add an extra layer of internal insulation, then reduce the amount given daily until you reach a happy balance. Remember, all dogs will vary in what they need, even through the seasons.