Home Raw Feeding Feeding Puppies Switching Puppies to Raw How to Switch

You just brought home your new puppy and you have decided to switch them to a raw diet.  You already know that you can switch them right away (as long as they are healthy and over 4 weeks of age) but exactly HOW do you switch them.

Well, here’s what I do.

I find out the puppy’s feeding schedule from the breeder (rescue or shelter) and then I have the puppy MISS their next scheduled feeding.

I want the puppy to be good and hungry the first time I offer them their new raw food.

I start by getting the puppy worked up about feeding time.  Since I have other dogs and they are already raw fed they KNOW what meal time means.  Having them excited helps get the puppy excited – even if they don’t know why yet.

CAUTION – unless you are 100% positive your other dogs will not be upset having the puppy around them while they are eating, please do NOT let the puppy run up to them during feeding times.

I know that all my dogs except Sasha will accept a puppy trying to steal food from their bowl.  When I bring a new puppy into the house I make sure to feed Sasha first, so she can finish before the puppy is allowed loose in the kitchen (where everyone eats).

If you don’t have other dogs you can just work on getting your puppy excited by talking in an excited voice and encouraging them to get worked up.

I make their food, place it in the puppy’s designated feeding spot and let them at it.

Some puppies dive right in and eat without even thinking.  Others may be confused.  They are used to their food (kibble) smelling strongly.  Kibble is sprayed with fats and aroma enhancers in order to make it appealing to dogs.  Raw meat as little scent to it and your puppy may not understand that it IS food.

Let them think about it for a few minutes.  If they walk away from the bowl right away, call them back and try hand feeding them a piece of the food.

If they still show no interest, put the food away and try again in about 30 minutes.  The longer you make them wait the hungrier they will be.

Do not let a young, small breed puppy go for more than 12 hours without eating.


If you have tried several times and your puppy still isn’t interested, here are a few things you can try to make the food more appealing:

If you brought home some of the kibble the puppy was being feed before, run it through a blender or food processor (or put it in a bag and use a hammer to smash it up) and then sprinkle it over the raw food.  This should help the puppy try the new food since they were used to the kibble scent.

If you are feeding ground you can try mixing some canned food in with it.  Find a canned food that has little (if any) grains or carbs in it.  Evo makes a canned food that is 100% meat.

Try warming up the raw food.  For whole pieces you can run them under very hot water for a minute.  For ground you can put it in a pan on the stove on low heat.  Warming the meat will help bring out the aroma.

 

For very stubborn puppies you can start with ½ kibble and ½ raw mixed together.  Over the course of the first week you should be able to lower the kibble content while increasing the raw.