If your pet turns their nose up at the smell and texture of their new food, you're not alone. If this happens don’t be concerned and don’t give up - this is a battle you will win!
Like humans, dog and cats are all different and may require different approaches to transition them to fresh, balanced species appropriate diet. There are a variety of reasons why your pet maybe reluctant to make the change to raw food and these challenges can be overcome by following these simple steps:
- Eliminate treats during the transition (especially flour/grain based ones), in order to increase your pets’ appetite for meals.
- Serve the meal in an appealing manner in a new place or “safe” area of your kitchen away from foot traffic.
- Add flavour “bribes” by sprinkling ‘kibble powder’ on the raw food to give it a familiar scent. The sprinkling method or any other form of making raw smell like something they recognize as food is recommended by many leading pet experts. Another tip is to occasionally add some superfoods like organic eggs, oysters and sustainably sourced sardines. It's great for them and wil make them even more interested in their new fresh food. Cats tend to be particularly picky about their food and may need to be tricked into their new diet.
- Transition to wet food like canned pet food or moist pet food will help picky eaters (especially cats) before introducing Furchild’s meals.
- Be aware of serving temperature because while some pets will eat meat straight out of the freezer, others will not. Food served at room temperature is generally preferred but DO NOT use a microwave to thaw or warm Furchild meals. Another option is to gently cook, or sear Furchild meals. You can try this approach in the beginning and reduce the amount of time heating the meals until you can serve it to your pet raw.
- Hunger is probably your best tool of persuasion for a stubborn pet and that is why a day of fasting dogs is recommended by many experienced raw feeders. Dogs can go days without food and not suffer any ill effects. We do not encourage starving your dog but a day of fasting after years of commercial food will usually be of benefit to the digestive system.
- DO NOT fast a puppy that is not yet a year old or a cat at any age.
- Do NOT fast old, underweight or sick pets either.
- Cats who are used to an all day buffet should be limited to meal times in order to create actual hunger. Cats should not be denied food for long periods as it could develop into a health condition.
If your pet initially loved their new raw food for a couple of days and then suddenly stopped eating, don’t be alarmed. This happens sometimes. You have just fed your animal the most nutritious meals it has ever had and so for the first time in its life your pet is satisfied and full. They don’t want or need any more food and so might refuse to eat for a day or two. This is perfectly normal and is in fact excellent for your pet’s health. Giving the digestive tract a rest is fine for a short while.
Most pet parents will have their dog and cat on a raw diet without any glitches in the transition period. However if your pet is uncomfortable with change, especially fussy eaters, take it slow and be patient. Your effort will be well worth it!
If your pet is experiencing an upset tummy or he/she is eating dry and canned pet foods, supplementing their diet with probiotics is an essential way to help maintain and promote your pet's optimal gastrointestinal health.
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