Transitioning to Raw Dog Food Guide
We know that making any change to your dogs food is a big decision, as pet owners we always want to make sure we're doing the best for our dogs.
A raw food diet is the best choice for your dog, both for their wellbeing, health and their enjoyment.
We've put together this transitioning guide to give you some reassurance when making the switch to raw dog food.
How to Transition to Raw Dog Food
We recommend a straight switch from your existing food to Benyfit Natural raw dog food. This is not only the quickest option for the owner, but causes less confusion for your dog and is actually the easiest on their digestion.
- Do a straight switch onto a gentle complete recipe (anything with tripe, chicken or turkey is best)
- Add our Animotics probiotic to each meal for the first 3 days of your switch - this will help to ease any possible digestive issues as they transition.
- Feed your dog the same protein for a few days. After this feed your dog a new protein every week and monitor for potential intollerances or allergy reactions.
- When your dog has tried all proteins you should then aim to feed at least 3-4 proteins per week, changing each day where possible.
- After 2-4 weeks on raw food you can start to introduce raw bones up to 4 times a week.
If you have a very fussy dog who doesn't take to their raw food immediately, you can try a gradual transition, introducing more raw food, and reducing their previous food over a week until they are only eating raw food.
How to Prepare Raw Dog Food?
All our delicious raw dog food recipes are delivered frozen. After delivery store in the freezer until needed.
- Defrost your dogs food overnight in the fridge (this may take up to 18 hours for a 1KG tub). This is the safest way to slowly increase the temperature of raw food. We do not recommend defrosting in the microwave or in warm water. You should defrost their food in a small tub to catch any water that comes from the tub during defosting.
- Once defrosted, simply serve with a spoon into your dogs bowl the required amount of food. Serve your dogs food in a secure and quite place, perferrably on a wipeable surface. This allows the dog to focus on their food and ensures easy clean up if any spillage.
- Once your dog is finished, wash their bowl and the serving spoon in warm water and wipe the surfaces used to serve.
- Pop their food back in the fridge for the next day, simple.
What to Expect During Transition?
It's important to be completely aware of what is 'normal' for your dog during a transition to raw dog food.
We find that the majority of dogs transition without experiencing any of these symptoms, but be assured if they do experience any of the below this is completely normal.
- Diarrhoea - As your dog switches food, as with any food dry, wet or raw they may have softer stools. This is just their digestive sytem adapting to the change. Adding a dose of Animotics to each meal will ease this and it should only last a couple of days.
- Constipation - Many dogs won't be used to having bone in their diet if not raw fed. The introduction of bone may cause your dog to struggle to poo in the first couple of days as they adjust. Adding Animotics will ease this or adding a bones less mince to their meals like Just Tripe to reduce the percentage of bone.
- Reduced water intake - this is normal for all raw fed dogs. Raw dog food has a higher moisutre content that dry or wet food, so it is normal for your dog to drink less. This will continue while they are raw fed, but be assured they are not dehydrated as they are being hydrated through their raw food.
- Refusal to eat - For some dogs the new texture of wet, cold raw food is very different to dry food. We recommend feeding you dog in a quiet, secure place with low distractions to allow them to focus on their food. If they're refusing to eat, simply pick up their food after 10 minutes, pop in the fridge and try again later. Eventually they will taste their food, and once they get a taste for raw food they'll be no stopping them!
- Smaller Portions - If you're feeding wet or dry food, you'll be used to a very full dog bowl, however as raw food is much more nutrient dense, higher protein and has no fillers or carbs, you don't need to feed quite as much. If your dogs bowl looks emptier than normal that's totally normal but they'll still be getting exactly what they need.
- Hunger Pukes - As they transition to a smaller portion, it may be normal in the first week for your dog to do a small vomit in the morning. This will just be bile, but we recommend giving them a small biscuit of natural treat an hour before bed to ease this. Within a few days they will adjust and this should stop.
Ronnie the Westie
"Ronnie has been fed Benyfit Natural for almost 2 years and he's never left a meal since!
The difference in him swince switching to raw is amazing. His coat is so silky and his allergies have cleared up - he has the perfect skin now.
Highly recommend raw food and Benyfit Natural to anyone! "
Frequently Asked Questions
Is feeding raw dog food safe?
Similarly, to humans eating raw meat, raw feeding is perfectly safe if all hygiene protocols are followed.
Ensuring you wash your hands, surfaces and utensils after serving your dog’s food and making sure to keep their bowl and the area they eat clean.
I don't know which products to buy first?
If you're unsure where to start with raw feeding then we can help.
We always recommend starting your dog on gentle proteins such as tripe, chicken or turkey.
You could start with Chicken & Tripe then try Tripe Complete before moving onto Tender Chicken and Tasty Turkey. These are all complete + balanced meals so you don't need to add anything else to their meals.
After this you can start to introduce all the other proteins, week by week making sure to take time to look for any signs of intollerances.
Can I mix dry food and raw dog food?
We do not recommend mixing Benyfit Natural raw dog food with dry dog food or biscuits. All our meals are nutritionally balanced to meet your dog’s nutritional needs so they don’t need any additional food to balance their meal.
It’s also worth knowing that dry food and raw food digest at different rates. Kibble can take up to 16 hours to digest, while raw only takes up to 6 hours. Feeding both together could put unnecessary strain on your dog’s digestive system.
If you do decide to feed a mixed diet, then we recommend doing this as two separate meals (e.g. dry food for breakfast and raw food for dinner).