My partner Gill and I recently decided to change our gorgeous but can-be-fussy Roscoe over to raw food.
Roscoe doesn’t have any digestive issues, so we were able to transfer him over from dry to raw in one go (more below).
The first day went better than we could have ever hoped, with Roscoe adoring the food and spending the rest of the evening coming over and nudging us in thanks.
However, things got rockier from then on as we made all sorts of rookie mistakes that could have easily been avoided – you can find out more about our ups and downs in Roscoe’s dairy of a changeover to raw feeding.
What follows are a few quick and simple tips specifically aimed at fussier dogs so you can help give them in the changeover to raw feeding.
12 Quick Tips for a Fussy Dog’s Changeover to Raw Feeding
- Unless your dog has a particularly sensitive digestion, it’s easiest to swap from dry food to raw in one go.
Simply allow 12 hours between their last meal and their new raw meal.
If your dog does have a sensitive digestion, transition gradually over 5-7 days using two separate meals – old food in the morning and new in the evening, gradually decreasing the old and increasing the new.
- Once a day feeding for adult dogs is recommended.
Once a day feeding is recommended for adult dogs because it allows their system time to clean up. If feeding more than once a day, a seventh-day fast-day is recommended.
- Feed your dog after you’ve had your dinner.
They naturally expect us to be getting the good stuff, so dogs will often hold out for a taste of what we’ve got on our plates.
- Without fuss, put your dog’s food down, turn around and walk away without looking back.
When feeding, the lead dog in a pack will eat, finish, then turn around and walk away without looking back. That is the signal for other dogs to have their turn.
- Avoid Stresses at and around their Dinnertime
Don’t ask your dog to sit before popping their dinner bowl down or hang around watching them eat. That can stress your dog, leading them to decide it’s best for them not to start eating.
- Allow 20-30 minutes and then go back to their bowl. If they’ve not eaten it all, take it away.
If they’re being fussy and not eating, they get no more food or treats until their next meal the following day. A healthy dog will never starve when food is available; however they may try and manipulate you into getting what you eat.
- Don’t panic if your dog doesn’t eat their recommended daily allowance.
All our dogs are different. Roscoe, our German Shepherd, eats just below his 2% food amount, however as he’s not an active dog, he’s nearly seven and not a real foodie dog – he’s absolutely fine.
- Don’t panic if one day they suddenly don’t eat their whole bowlful.
Our dogs’ appetites, like our own, naturally rise and fall when other factors are at play, e.g. It’s a hot day, they’re tired after a lot of exercise, or it’s been a stressful day for them.
- Look for Differences in Environment.
Roscoe had been eating his raw and loving it for a while and then one day he walked away from it – a full sniff and walk.
The next day he refused again but it dawned on Gill that it might be because he was worried by the new washing machine right next to his food.
We moved his food and he was straight into it.
- Once they’ve been eating their new raw for a few days then begin adding extras or leftovers.
No hard and fast rule here, but we found it easier to begin the raw diet, allow Roscoe to get used to the new food, and only then begin adding in the extras.
- Don’t overthink leftovers and extras
Feed yourself and your family, then if there are any leftovers and if it’s fresh (e.g. meat, veg, fish, fruit), add them to your dog’s bowl of raw.
If you’ve no leftovers and want to add extras – raw eggs, sardines, sprats, a bit of blitzed veg – all can be added to your dog’s bowl for a bit of variety.
You could do this every evening or a couple of times a week – it’s up to you and your circumstances.
- Don’t overthink it.
The best possible advice is not to overthink it.
Try and feed them their recommended allowance initially, then adjust as you need to. Give them fresh leftovers and extras when you can for variety.
It’s way easier than you think.
If you’re interested in checking out our raw dog food line for yourself, you can find it here: https://shop.bounceandbella.co.uk/collections/raw-dog-food