How-to: Transition Your Dog's Diet | Healthybud Blog
Back to the home page

How-to: Transition Your Dog's Diet

The Healthybud Team

The Healthybud Team Fri Aug 20 2021

6 min read
A dog stands looking at the camera holding an empty food bowl in their mouth nutrition

A very common question we get is: “How do I transition my dog’s diet to raw?” Keep reading to get all the tips on changing up your dog’s diet! 

Transitioning within a diet type

If you are switching your dog from one raw diet to another (say, a different protein), or from one kibble to another, it’s still a good idea to have a transition period to avoid an upset stomach. A good rule of thumb is to slowly transition over a one week period. Feed 75% old diet, 25% new diet for two days, then 50% old and 50% new for two days, and finally 75% new diet and 25% old for two days. If your dog is young and healthy, you may find that they don’t need as much time to transition but if they are older or have a history of gastrointestinal issues, doing this process slowly is never a bad idea! If they frequently switch between different proteins within a raw diet, you won’t likely need a transition period. 

Transitioning from one diet type to another

If you have decided to switch to a raw-based diet from kibble, it can definitely be a daunting task! There are two different approaches to switching from a carbohydrate-based diet such as kibble to a meat and bone based diet (raw). 

Slow Transition

The first is the slow transition and is similar to what we mentioned when switching from one diet type to another. One key thing to note is that it is not recommended to feed kibble and raw food at the same meal. They are digested at different rates, so it is recommended to feed them as different meals. You can still stick to the transition of 75% old and 25% new for the first two days, and then slowly increasing until you are at 100% new food. 

Smell and texture are very important to our pets, as well as temperature! If your dog is switching to raw for the first time, it can be an easier transition for them if you feed food at room temperature. This can also make the smell more appealing for them. It can be an easier transition to switch to a lightly cooked diet as this won’t be as stark a change for your pup. Alternatively, you could feed a freeze-dried raw diet like healthybud’s turkey or beef bites as these have a crunchier texture similar to kibble. 

It can also be a good idea to add a probiotic or the gut booster to give your dog some added GI support during the transition. Especially when going from kibble to a raw diet, the enzymes your dog uses to break down raw foods are different from what is needed for a carbohydrate-based food. Although raw foods are very nutrient-dense, they don’t expand in the stomach the same way that kibble does, which can lead to your dog feeling hungrier during the adjustment period. Lastly, bile production and gut flora in raw-fed dogs is different from kibble-fed dogs. Although your pup will adjust to the new feeding regime, it may take some time for their gut to catch up to the change. A little additional support during this transition won’t hurt! If you do notice some stomach upset, slow down the speed at which you are transitioning. 

Fast Transition

The other option is to use the fast transition method. This is often the preferred method but is recommended for young, healthy dogs. Again, adding a probiotic or the gut booster can help especially if your pup has suffered from gastrointestinal issues in the past. For this method, you should fast your dog from food (not water) for 12-24 hours. Feed the new raw diet as their first meal, but stick to an easier to digest protein to start. If you are feeding a fresh or frozen raw diet, it is a good idea to let it come to room temperature first as very cold meals can cause your dog to vomit. Healthybud’s freeze-dried diets are shelf-stable so can be fed at room temperature right away, or even rehydrated with warm water. Poultry (chicken, duck, or turkey) and rabbit are great proteins to start with that are easier to digest. Feed just half of your pup’s recommended portion, then wait 10-20 minutes, to ensure that they aren’t eating the new food too quickly. 

Remember: not all diets are created equal, and what works for one dog may not for another! Your pup does need more than just red meat to have a complete and balanced diet, which is why we’ve included important fruits and veggies in our healthybud diet. We are always happy to help if you have additional questions about switching your dog to raw! If you haven’t already, check out our previous blog posts about what makes healthybud’s diet different, and why freeze-dried foods are safer and easier to feed.

share this post

The Healthybud Team

Meet The Healthybud Team

The #healthygang

As new pet parents, we were overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting opinions surrounding pet health, and we figured we surely weren't alone. So we decided to take matters into our own hands, do the research ourselves, onboarded an incredible team of vets, and launched the healthybud platform to help pet parents like us 🐾 We're so excited to bring you as much relevant, current pet care and pet parenting information as possible!

more from the bud blog

3 Steps Before Bringing Home a New Puppy4 Must-Know Kinds of Dog Food5 Ways to Get Fit With your DogAre Essential Oils Toxic to Pets?Benefits of Trick TrainingBoosting Your Dog's Mobility with Powerful NutrientsBreaking Down The Berry: Why Your Dog Needs This SuperfoodDental Health and Your Dog Easy Pupsicle Recipes Your Dog Will LoveEco Friendly Pet Parenting TipsMost Popular Essential Oils for Your Pets and How to Use Them Getting to the Root of This SuperfoodHalloween Health SpecialHoliday Gift Guide 2020Homemade Dental Treats for Your PupHomemade Peanut Butter & Banana pupcakesHouseplants to Avoid When You Have a DogHow COVID-19 is affecting our dogs, and how to manage itHow to Celebrate Dog Appreciation DayHow to Choose the Right FoodHow to Clean Your Dog's EarsHow to Clip Your Dog's Nailsthanksgiving safety tips for your dogHow to Get Rid of Tear StainingHow to help a dog with gasHow to Help Your Dog During ThunderstormsHow to Spot Dog Anxiety, and manage it!How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping on PeopleHow-to: Transition Your Dog's DietIs Microchipping My Dog Safe?Leash PullingHow To Manage Leash ReactivityObedience TrainingOutdoor Tips to Help Tire Your Pup OutReliable RecallSocializing Our BudsSummer Heat Safety Tips For DogsWhat’s the deal with my dog’s anal glands?The Benefits of Dried Fish Skins for Our PupsTop 5 Indoor Games & Exercises For Your DogThe Dangers of XylitolThe Scoop on Dog PoopTips To Reduce Dog Sheddingtop 5 spring activities with your dogTop 5 DIY Games With Your Bud On Howl-O-Weentop 5 foods for dental healthTop 5 Most Toxic Foods for DogsTop 5 Swimming Risks For DogsTop 5 tips for healthy teethTop 5 Tips to stop food aggressionWhat To Do If Your Dog Has TicksWhy Goji Berries Should Be Your Dog’s Go-to Berry!Why You Should Be Feeding Your Dog This Seed! 4 Reasons Your Dog Should Try Healthybud Food Our hidden icon page, shhh! This will be a dynamic QR redirect page in the future

Want to get notified about our weekly posts? Sign up for our newsletter below