A Guide For Transitioning Your Dog To A Raw Food Diet

Fluffy dog eating raw dog food from bowl

If you’re still on the fence about switching to a raw food diet for your dog, there are several accounts of formal and anecdotal evidence detailing the benefits of raw dog food, including cleaner teeth, smaller and firmer stools, improved gut health, and overall well-being. Raw diets are also higher in natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and some flavonoids which are beneficial to your dog’s health. 

The idea of switching your dog’s diet from processed food to raw may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry – The Grateful Pet is here to help! In this guide, we will discuss the various options for diet transitioning, and provide some tips to ensure the process is smooth for you and your furry friend. Tails will be wagging in no time!

What Are the Options for Transitioning to Raw Dog Food?

Depending on your pet’s health condition and life stage, there are various approaches to take in transitioning your dog to a fresh raw dog food diet. Here are 4 such methods:

  • Cold Turkey: suitable for healthy puppies                (> 6 months old) and healthy young dogs

This fast method works best for young dogs who are not predisposed to stomach intolerances and are usually happy to eat anything offered to them. This method is generally not recommended but can be an option if you feel confident to try it out. Should your dog show signs of not accepting the raw food straightaway, you may want to adopt a different, more gradual approach.

  • Mixing Kibble with Raw Food: For healthy adult dogs, young dogs and puppies

This method consists of mixing 25% of raw dog food into your dog’s regular diet to familiarise them, and then gradually increasing the amount of raw food by another 15-20% every few days. In approximately 10 days, your dog should be able to consume a 100% raw diet.

This gradual approach is likely to increase the acceptance of your dog to raw food and allows their stomach to be acclimated to the new food while reducing the chances of them having loose stools.

  • Alternating Kibbles & Raw Food as Meals: For all dogs (including healthy seniors and dogs with digestive sensitivities)

This method entails alternating your dog’s meals between raw food and their regular food whether it is freeze-dried patties, kibble or canned food, for 1-2 weeks. For dogs that are fed more than once a day, you may also consider feeding raw food in the day and regular food at night or vice versa.

This approach is a good way to gauge if your dog can adjust to a raw food diet without mixing it with their regular diet. If your dog enjoys the variety, you may also consider alternating meals as their new feeding schedule.

  • Using Raw Food as a bite-sized snack: For all dogs (including healthy seniors and dogs with digestive sensitivities)

If the first three methods are not working for your dog, there is a fourth approach you can take to ensure your dog receives the added benefits of a raw food diet.

You may start with feeding your dog small, bite-sized portions of raw food outside of their regular feeding schedule, to trial out if there are any signs of digestive discomfort and also to allow them to perceive the raw food as something new and exciting. If there are no observable problems, you can then increase the frequency and portion size of raw food gradually. Over time, should your dog be more familiar and comfortable with raw food, you can start feeding raw food as a regular meal as well.

How Long Should The Raw Food Transition Be?

For healthy dogs, the transition to raw dog food could be as quick as 3-5 days, while senior dogs and dogs with sensitive stomachs should take a more gradual approach of 1–3 weeks. Do remember to monitor your dog’s response and adjust feeding proportions as needed. You should monitor the changes in their stool, which is a good indicator of how well your dog is adjusting to the raw diet.

Expected Changes Due To Raw Food Transition Include:

  • Your dog may drink less water after switching to a raw food diet. This is because raw meat naturally retains around 65% of its moisture due to minimal processing, so your pup is getting a lot of water via their food at meal times.
  • Your dog’s stool may become lesser due to fresh foods’ digestibility, resulting in lesser waste and better absorption of nutrients.  
  • Your dog might eat less, or be full faster than before, depending on the portion size as protein type and product varies.
  • Your pet may gain or lose weight. Higher protein diets will promote lean muscle gain and fat loss. It is important to monitor their body score. 

At The Grateful Pet, We Believe Every Dog Is Different

Switching your dog’s food may cause some digestive discomfort at the beginning, regardless of the brand. It doesn’t mean the new food is better or worse. Every dog is different – some may adjust to a raw diet more quickly, while others may need more time and experience initial digestive symptoms.

The Grateful Pet offers high-quality, AAFCO complete and balanced raw dog food that’s made from 100% unprocessed, biologically appropriate raw food (BARF), based on their ancestral diet. Our products are always hygienically prepared and balanced with the right mixture of whole muscle meat, organs, fresh vegetables, botanicals and superfoods, for your dog’s raw food diet. With The Grateful Pet, you can rest assured that your pet is getting only the best. 

Start transitioning your furry friend to a raw food diet today!


[1] One veterinarian’s experience with owners who are feeding raw meat to their pets – National Library of Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515799/#:~:text=Owners%20feeding%20RMBDs%20report%20that,pets%20(7%2C8)