Our own (Naturally Healthy Pet) changeover guide, formulated with a Qualified Canine Nutritional Consultant and Holistic Vet Approved.
The chart below gives you an approximate starting point for working out approx daily feed amount based on current weight and age – tweak up/down to suit individual
7-10wks : 8-10 %
10-16wks : 7-8%
16-20wks : 6-7%
20-24wks : 5-6%
24-36wks : 4-5%
36-68wks : 3-5%
68wks+ : stabilising to the 2-3%
To Lose weight = 1.5-2%
To Stay the same = 2-2.5%
To Gain weight = 3-3.5%
Elderly dogs may only need 1.5%
*Smaller breeds may be ready to have food reduced sooner as they mature faster.
*The ‘ideal’ condition to aim for, is to be able to feel and count every rib, but not feel spine or in between ribs, or see ribs.
3 Day Prep
Prior to the changeover we have 3 days where we integrate some boneless raw mince into your dogs normal daily food to prepare the stomach acid in strength. This raises the protein content in the diet, which triggers the stomach acid getting to full strength, so is preparatory for moving onto a full raw diet including bone.
Day 1: Replace ¼ daily food with 1/4 daily amount of bone-free raw mince (which we will work out for you).
Day 2: Replace ½ daily food with 1/2 daily amount of bone-free raw mince.
Day 3: Replace ½ food with 1/2 daily amount of bone-free raw mince.
We suggest you use only minces for the first month until your dog is settled and therefore less likely to gulp, and you have had time to get your head around, and feel comfortable with feeding raw. The minces we suggest for changeover are all 10-15% bone content to enable us to guage your dogs individual bone tolerance levels over the 1st month.
You now no longer feed any kibble, and we recommend you change over to natural less highly processed treats, such as we have, to lower starch levels and eliminate unsuitable ingredients and fillers that will stress your dogs digestive system.
Wk 1: You now move over to be fully on a balanced raw diet, with No more dried/cooked foods. Feed Chicken & Tripe mixed mince for a week, watching stools. If stools are still immediately crumbly/white/like stones by day 3, give some of the bone-free mince used in the first 3 days for next meal or add Psyllium Husk to meal, 1tsp:5lbs body weight.
Wk3: bring in Oily Fish & Chicken mince for 3 days, then feed Chicken & Tripe for the remaining 4 days, watching for any sign of issues from the first 3 days new protein.
End of wk 3‘If All Is Going Well’ we suggest you add the extra supplements needed to make your dogs raw diet as complete as possible. Many find the specially formulated dehydrated ‘Smartbarf’ or Hedgerow Hounds ‘Natures Bounty’ mix, and Salmon/Flaxseed Oil the simplest and best way to do this.
Very Important – WATCH STOOLS!
*Small, formed, holds shape, barely leaves a trace when picked up = perfect
*Vsmall and hard, crumbly, white = too much bone, bring in some plain tripe or heart, or if dog is struggling, extra Offal to prevent constipation.
*Soft, not holding shape = too little bone/too much offal
Introduce some high Bone Items (Wings, Neck, Spine, Carcass, Sternum/Ribs), and review offal amounts if using chunks
Your dog is going to drink much less on a raw diet as all the moisture is still in the food so do not be alarmed, they are getting plenty, just more from their food.
From now you can introduce further minces, at a rate of 1 or 2 a week, Turkey, Fish, Duck, Venison, Rabbit etc. – we suggest you leave pork until after trying Duck, if you want to give it, and give small amounts the first time as it is a mince some do not cope well with.
If you have a Large breed or larger, we recommend at the end of the first month you look at adding a meaty bone to their food to bring the bone content up as larger breeds do need more bone.
*When you’re ready, you can look into meaty bones and chunks, but then need to be remembering to balance out the ratios of meat/bone & offal that suits your dog.
*There is no rush.
*We also have natural and herbal products for fleas, worms etc. to help minimize the amount of toxic load on your pet.
*Dogs may appear to lose weight in first couple of weeks, this will be excess fat reserves being dropped, then their body will ‘muscle-up’ being heavier but more trim and shapely.
Veterinary weight charts may now no longer be reliable, as they are based on kibble-fed dogs who have a higher ratio of fat, and muscle is heavier than fat, so we now recommend moving forwards you check your dogs condition by, when they are standing straight, running your handsover the ribcage, and ensuring you can always feel and count every rib, but not feel skin-on-bone, in-between ribs or see spine.
If possible to give 1 meal a day is best, if this does not work for your dog feed 1-2 times daily, unless a puppy.
For puppies they should be on 4 meals at 8wks, going down to 3 at around 12-16wks, and go down to 2 from around 6-9mths, but let your dog guide you as to when they are ready to do this.
Toy breeds & Sight-hounds may need up to 4 meals daily and higher % of food due to higher metabolism.
Nervous/anxious/working/high-energy dogs may burn up energy more and need more food, dogs who don’t do much may need less.
If you choose to give your dog a bone, Always stay with them whilst they eat it, to be safe.
This is the main guide we tweak from for each individual according to sensitivities, issues, size etc.