Transitioning Your Dog to a Natural Diet

A dog natural diet can improve health and extend longevity. A raw food diet, also called a biologically appropriate raw food diet or barf, can make a huge difference for even a healthy dog. A low carb diet can help prevent and treat the symptoms of diabetes. It's necessary to transition gradually for best results.

BARF Is Best For Dogs

Many veterinarians agree that a raw dog food diet is very safe and has many advantages for dogs. There are several excellent raw food formulas available from a freezer in the pet store. Dogs not only can tolerate the raw meat and raw bones but thrive on the nutrition that is packed within a few calories. A specially formulated barf diet mimics what dogs eat in nature so it is best for their bodies.

The Components of the BARF diet

This diet is naturally low in carbohydrates and high in lean animal protein. This works best with a dog's physical needs and helps to prevent obesity and diabetes. It also helps the digestive tract work efficiently which in turn keeps other systems including the brain, kidneys, and liver work at their best. Moreover, the moisture infused with the raw meat helps the dog get the hydration he needs beyond fresh drinking water.

Raw Bones

Raw bones are best for dogs. Since they break up into pieces without splintering, the dog is less likely to choke. The raw bones also help to get rid of plaque and keep gums healthy and the breath fresh. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals.

Beginning the Transition to a Natural Diet

It's important to transition very slowly from one food to another. This will help your dog's digestion learn how to work with the new food and will help your dog get used to the taste. It's best to take two weeks to fully integrate the raw food into the diet. Start with a little bit of the new food mixed in with about 75% of the amount you used to feed the old food. Slowly transition until you are at half and half and then 25% old, 75% new. You'll know that your dog is used to the new food if his stools are still solid and yet he's able to move his bowels easily.

Possible Reactions to Natural Food

As your dog adjusts to a better diet, his body will begin to get rid of old toxins. Until he fully eliminates out all the toxins, they will be in his bloodstream, causing symptoms. It's important to remember that these are temporary and an indication that the food change is helping your dog's health improve. Symptoms may include lethargy, loss of appetite, or diarrhea. You may notice old symptoms from previous problems returning. The dog's urine or feces may become darker and stronger smelling. Take your dog to the vet if you notice more severe depression that was not present before or a decreasing energy level that does not improve within a few days.