Starting on Raw
Transitioning a Dog to a Raw Diet
Most dogs transition to a raw diet very easily. The high meat content in the food makes it a tasty treat for your dog and they rarely hesitate to eat it. However, older dogs or dogs that are not in good heath, may experience stomach aches and loose stools. Therefore we recommend slowly transitioning your dog to raw by mixing the food you are currently feeding them with the raw food. This transition process should take a week or two and needs to be monitored.
Start by mixing 1 part of Steve’s Real Food with 4 parts of their current food at each feeding. Each day adjust this ratio so that you are feeding more raw. Keep an eye on their temperament and stools. If your dog experiences digestive problems and diarrhea, slow down the transition and continue to mix small amounts of Steve’s with their food. Once your dog is eating all raw and has fi rm, consistent stools you have successfully transitioned them to a raw dog food diet. On a raw diet you will notice your dog will have more energy and smaller stools. So don’t worry if your dog is going less, this is just a sign that he is actually using all the nutrients he is eating.
Transitioning a Cat to a Raw Diet
Cats who have eaten nothing but dry foods are often a challenge to switch to fresh food. They are very opinionated and imprint on food at an early age. Cats who eat other foods (real meat, fruits, vegetables & cheese) will be much less of a project. It might take days or it might take months, but it’s worth the effort! Cat will starve themselves, and they are not good candidates for the tough love approach. Some very serious conditions can occur if cats do not eat for an extended period of time.
The “Slow and successful method”. If you are feeding only dry kibble, introduce canned and reduce the dry. Use dry as a snack only, do not leave it out all the time. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 of a cube of thawed Steve’s Real Food into an entire can of canned food. Gradually add more raw. Offer bits of other kinds of fresh food they like to eat. This slow method has proven to be the most successful method for cats.
This method may be used with dry food too: in that case use an even smaller amount of Steve’s in a small amount of food. The canned approach works better, but if your can absolutely refuses canned food it will be the way you start.
Cat whiskers are very sensitive. If food is served in a bowl that interferes with whiskers it could be enough to keep the cat from considering Steve’s food. We recommend using a flat dish.
Cats also generally prefer their food between room temperature and body temperature. You can add warm water, or warm the food by putting it in zip lock back and submerging it in warm water.
Another factor involved is smell: the food cats are used to eating is designed to be very smelly. They choose food by smell, and fresh food is a lot less fragrant than any traditional commercial food. Warming the food releases the flavors and fragrances.
Leave the food out for no more than an hour after serving. If you have dogs, you know what to do with leftovers! Trickery has been known to work with cats: put the food on your plate or hide it in a location cats know to be forbidden… creativity helps!
That first bag of food might take a long time to use: double bag it or put the food in a substantial freezer container to keep it fresh.