Switch to raw guide

Switch to raw guide

Guide to Switching Your Dog to a Raw Diet

A raw diet can offer numerous benefits for your dog, from shinier coats and healthier skin to improved digestion and increased energy levels. If you're considering making the switch, here's a guide to help you get started:

Go for a Straight Swap:

We recommend a direct transition to raw food. There's no need to gradually mix in kibble or other processed foods. Your dog's digestive system is designed to handle raw meat, so a sudden change is usually well-tolerated. In fact, you should notice the benefits of a raw diet quickly; after just a day or two, you may see a significant reduction in stool odor and a much firmer consistency.

Start with Bland Proteins:

Begin with milder protein sources like chicken or turkey. These are easier to digest and less likely to cause any stomach upset during the initial transition.

Introduce Variety Gradually:

After a week or two of feeding chicken or turkey, start introducing other proteins like beef, lamb, or pork. Introduce one new protein each week to monitor your dog's reaction and ensure they are adjusting well.

Don't Get Stuck on One Brand:

Feel free to explore different raw food brands. Each brand offers unique recipes, textures, and packaging. Don't hesitate to switch between brands from day to day, or even within the same meal, to provide your dog with variety.

Embrace Individuality:

Every dog is different, and their preferences may vary. Some dogs might thrive on a specific brand, while others might enjoy a mix of different options. Experiment to find what suits your dog best.

Choosing the Right Food for Your Pet

The 80/20 recipes we stock are carefully formulated by nutritionists to provide a balanced diet with plenty of healthy vegetables, while our 80/10/10 option focuses on the natural prey model diet of meat, bone, and offal.

There's no right or wrong choice, and the best option for your pet might depend on their individual needs and preferences. Some pet owners find it beneficial to switch between the two diets, offering a wider variety of nutrients and flavors.

Ultimately, the most important factor is to choose a food that your pet enjoys and thrives on. In any case, variety is key so feeding as many different flavours as you can is always best.

Optional Extras for Added Variety and Enrichment

For an extra treat or to provide additional enrichment, you can choose from a variety of optional extras like chunks of meaty goodness or raw bones.

  • Chunks: These bite-sized pieces of meat are perfect for adding some extra flavour and textures to mealtime.
  • Bones: Raw bones are a natural way for your pet to clean their teeth and exercise their jaws. They can also provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation.

Remember to always supervise your pet when they're enjoying bones and choose a size that's appropriate for their breed and chewing habits.

Kibble & Raw:

A common misconception is that you can't feed kibble alongside a raw diet. While a 100% raw diet is our go to choice, it's perfectly acceptable to mix in some kibble if that's what you prefer. Just ensure the kibble is high quality and doesn't contain any low quality ingredients. Whilst we don't stock kibble, we are happy to suggest kibble brands, just give us a shout!


Thawing Your Raw Dog Food

Your raw dog food will arrive frozen, and the thawing process is simple. Different brands package their food differently, so here's a quick guide:

  • Cotswold Raw: These come in a plastic tray, and you can defrost them right in the tray.
  • Bulmer's: We recommend slicing the food before defrosting, score a line down the full length of the sausage. You can even remove the packaging completely, usually after leaving on the side for around 20 minutes it is easy to remove. 
  • DAF: The easy-peel sleeve makes it simple to remove the food for defrosting.
  • Dougies: These come in easy to open packaging similar to a long packet of crisps.
  • Paleo Ridge: Remove the food from the recyclable cardboard packaging before defrosting for a mess free experience.

General Thawing Tips

Regardless of the brand, we recommend the following:

  1. Remove from Packaging: Take the food out of its original packaging before defrosting.(except for cotswold where it can stay in the tray)
  2. Sealed Container: Place the food in a sealed container to prevent leaks and keep your fridge clean.
  3. Refrigerate: Defrost in the refrigerator. Thawing times vary, but it's best to plan ahead and give it at least 24 hours to fully defrost. In the colder months, its ok to leave on the kitchen sink overnight depending on temperature.
  4. Portioning: If you're only feeding a portion, you can weigh into portions and refreeze.

If you forget to defrost your dog's food, there are quicker methods like placing the sealed container in cold water, but thawing in the refrigerator is the safest and most convenient way to ensure your dog gets a fresh, nutritious meal.

 Feeding Guidelines

In general, an adult dog should be fed between 2-3% of their bodyweight daily in raw food. This number is much higher however for growing puppies, and senior dogs are fed as little as 1.5%. Check out our raw dog food calculator for a more accurate number.

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