So you’re ready to take the leap of faith and start making your dog its own food.
But you’re worried. Worried about getting it right.
It’s natural to be concerned. Worry is the other side of love. So let’s tackle what the outcomes might be:
What’s the best thing that can happen?
Your dog dives into their bowls and is excited about mealtime. They start bonding with you as you prepare their meals. They have a very short adjustment period and no tummy upsets.
Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
They might go through an adjustment period. It might involve them rejecting or turning away from their food. And they might have diarrhea.
It’s not the end of the world. Even these things happen to us humans when we eat a new food.
To properly prepare I suggest you have on hand two things:
- Slippery elm to be fed with each meal. Honest Kitchen has a digestive aid with this ingredient and so does Dr. Harveys. I personally feed it its pure form.
- A journal to track their food intake and their corresponding health markers.
What does a cold-turkey transition look like?
Essentially you stop feeding the old food and start feeding the new food. This transition is ideal for:
- Dogs that have normal stomachs (not sensitive to new food)
Fast your dog for twenty-four to forty-eight hours first
Fasting your dog for a short period of time is ideal when transitioning to a new food. That means no food, no treats, just water.
Break the fast by giving your do some raw goat’s milk or kefir. This prepares their stomach for their new home-cooked or raw meal.
Fasting also means they will have a healthy appetite to dive right into fresh food.
After a few hours of breaking the fast, you can introduce their new food.
Feed digestive enzymes and/or probiotics
Feeding your dog supportive enzymes and probiotics can help make the transition easier. I like the two brands Mercola and Four Leaf Rover – pick one and rotate to the other after your bottle or jar is finished.
Monitor your dog’s stools
Their stools should be firm. And it will be less voluminous than if they were previously fed kibble.
If their stools are loose you can feed them slippery elm.
Most dogs generally do extremely well with the cold turkey approach. Almost all of those I’ve assisted have successfully transitioned this way.
Puppies should also be transitioned in this manner as they need their nutrients with every meal and cannot have food with the “balance over time” approach.
If you’re nervous about transitioning and want one-on-one mentoring, feel free to reach out to me to book a wellness call or the whole foods transition.