Transition to a healthy, natural, raw diet

 

The benefits of a balanced, raw diet (as experienced by our customers)

You have probably already heard about the many benefits of a raw food diet, but here are a few anyway:

  • Improved appetite,
  • Strengthened immune system,
  • Improved mobility in later years
  • Superior dental health,
  • Silkier fur and smoother skin,
  • Allergies have been improved or completely avoided,
  • Yeast infections are no more. No grain – no yeast infections
  • Smaller, more manageable poos and less smelly wind problems,
  • Stable energy levels… the list goes on.

If you have a few minutes, checkout this video from the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society:   Why a Raw Diet is Good for Dogs

Did you know that at Wild Tails you can experience all these benefits and could also be spending less than you are on many dry and tinned foods?

Yes, it’s true!  We are often told that, with our deals and loyalty scheme, we are the cheapest around.

At Wild Tails you can feed your pet for as little as ONE THIRD of the cost, compared with some, often-advertised, raw food retailers.

In store, we have everything in our freezers that you will need to transition your pet onto a raw food diet. We have over 70 varieties and several different textures. 

Defrost overnight in the fridge, spoon into a bowl – simple!

For a plan and starter pack tailored specifically to your furry friend...

…call or text us on 07729 266457 or visit our Wild Tails shop in Tonyrefail, South Wales CF39 8PG

What does ‘Transition to Raw’ mean?

When we talk about ‘transitioning’ to raw, we actually mean taking a few days to allow your dog or cat to adapt gently.  So to be clear, although they transition over a week, day one starts with 100% raw food  – but just pure meat.  It is important that we give your pet a few days for the pH levels in their tummies to adjust so that they can safely get all the nutrition from the 10% bone and 10% offal that’s in normal, every-day raw meals (whether that’s Venison, Beef, Lamb, Duck, Salmon etc).

Therefore, ‘transitioning’ does not mean continuing with less and less of their old dry or wet food. This can stop.

There is a handy feeding guide based on age and weight at the bottom of this page but remember you can contact us for specially tailored advice.

Healthy Tip – Whether you are feeding your dog or cat raw, tinned or dried food, please consider supplementing their diet with probiotics. Vets and nutritionists widely recommend this.   70% of a dog’s immune system is in the gut.  Therefore the healthier the gut, the better they are at fighting disease and digesting their food.  Probiotics also help balance the yeast in the gut, easing nasty yeast infections that make skin, paws and ears sore.  Tasty frozen Kefir Paws from Alexander Natural are one option – feed once a day frozen.  Alternatively, mix Tummy Tastic powder from Proflax into their food. A tub will last a good while.  You can introduce these probiotics at the same time as starting a raw food diet.

Here are the 2 simple steps to transitioning to raw:

 

The First Step – For the first 5 days, feed 100% raw meat. Most owners choose 100% pure Green Beef Tripe as it’s very nutritious and easy on the tummy. It comes in packs already frozen.  Just defrost overnight in the fridge and spoon into a bowl, just like you will with the standard food later on. We have alternatives if your pet needs to avoid beef – please get in touch so we can discuss.

During these first 5 days, expect loose and dark coloured stools as your dog or cat will go through a detox process. 95% of pets absolutely love tripe, by the way.  We humans can find it a bit smelly but don’t worry, there’s a change to a different food after 5 days.

Here are 2 popular 100% Green Beef Tripe products that we sell:

Did you know?    As your vet will tell you, itchiness could be a sign of an allergy to a certain meat.  Soft poos or vomiting could be a sign of an intolerance.  Many owners use the transition to raw as a way of identifying an allergy to chicken or an intolerance to beef (for example). We can help you work through a process of elimination, resulting in a much happier pet!

 

The Second Step – Over the next 2 days you can introduce the first normal raw food, bit by bit.   There are 2 routes you can take:

80/10/10 formulas – This is the most popular route. The food (whether it is Duck, Goose, Venison, Salmon, Rabbit etc) will be 80% meat, 10% ground bone and 10% offal.  Offal is extremely nutritious and is made of secreting organs.   Many customers will add extra goodies themselves every day, like Omega-rich Salmon Oil or superfood powder.  It’s very easy and cost effective and the health benefits are easy to see. 

Complete formulas – These premium, organic formulas were developed by vets and pet nutritionists to include everything your pet needs for a balanced, healthy diet.  These can, understandably, be a bit more expensive as everything has been done for you.

When you are browsing our large range of raw meals, you will notice 80/10/10 or Complete in the product descriptions.

Top Tip – We have found that some dogs love the quite smelly pure Green Beef Tripe that we start them off on so much that they don’t want to change!  Many customers have found that if, over a few days, they mix in more and more of the standard food, then their dog doesn’t realise that you are slowly finishing off the pure Green Beef Tripe. Sneaky!

Expect lighter colour stools now that bone has been introduced, especially if you’re now trying a light meat like Duck or Turkey.  They will be smaller, firmer and easier to pick up.  Don’t be surprised if your dogs take a little longer to go to the toilet. More solid poos are actually good for the health of their anal glands.  If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Did you know?  Pets on a healthy raw food diet don’t poo so much and they drink less water as there’s natural moisture in their food. Owners also happily report that the air smells fresher… if you see what we mean!

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE NOW TRANSITIONED YOUR PET ONTO A HEALTHY, AFFORDABLE, RAW FOOD DIET.

 

What’s Next?

After transitioning, we recommend that you support your pet’s health and appetite even further by introducing different meats and extra goodies.   

Different meats – Feeding a variety of different meats is a great way of ensuring your pet has different nutrients in their diet.  Your pet may find meal-time more interesting too.  However, introduce different new food slowly (whether that is an 80/10/10 or Complete formula).  Stick to a new food for 3 to 4 days. Let them get used to the new meat before changing again.

Oily fish – In time, after 3 or 4 new meats have been introduced, you can start to introduce oily fish, with all its fantastic health benefits! We recommend starting small with sprats as a treat or you can start with a standard food mince that has some oily fish.  It is recommended that fish comprises 15% of your dog or cat’s overall diet.

 

Adding goodies to an 80/10/10 formula to make it a Complete Food

You may prefer to add goodies to 80/10/10  raw food yourself. This is a very popular, cost-effective approach. Here are a few things that you could add:

 

Raw egg – After fish has been introduced, it’s time to introduce raw egg, complete with broken-up shell (just like their cousins eat in the wild).  If your pet is fussy and leaves the shell, we also stock finely crushed egg shell that can be mixed in easily.  Eggs should be fed twice a week for an average sized dog and one every other week for a cat.  Chicken, duck, goose and quail eggs are all fine unless you have discovered that there is an intolerance to one of them of course.

 

Superfoods – There are some fantastic supplementary products that can be added in small amounts to your dog’s dinner.  Here are a few popular examples that we offer:

  • Salmon Oil – REFILLS for their Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  Wild Tails now can refill your bottles, saving plastic and saving money.
  • Dorwest Easy Green – an easy, great source of vitamins and fibre that is easier for pets to digest than vegetables themselves. This particular formula can help with easing irritable skin.  Only a small amount is needed per day.
  • Dougie’s Spirulina – a real superfood – very nutritious and also has a soothing effect on irritable skin

 

Fruit and vegetables – You may also wish to add mixed fruits and/or vegetables to your pet’s food in small amounts.  However, there are definitely ones that we all need to avoid feeding to our cats and dogs as they could be deadly!  

According to the American Kennel Club, NEVER feed them these:  

  • Grapes/raisins, 
  • onions, 
  • mushrooms, 
  • cherries, 
  • avocado and… 
  • avoid tomatoes too, just to be on the safe side.

How much should I be feeding?

Young dogs are constantly growing so they need a higher percentage of food than adult dogs. The easiest way to work out how much to feed your puppy is to feed a percentage of its body weight. We recommend re-weighing and re-assessing every 2 weeks.   We have a full size dog weighing scale available in our shop to use if you wish.

As a guideline, we’d suggest:

Age Percentage (per day)

8-12 weeks

12-16 weeks

16-24 weeks

24-32 weeks

32+ weeks

36 + weeks

8-10%

6-8%

5-6%

5%

4%

3-4%

These percentages are a guide only.  For advice on using your dog’s body shape to establish a healthy weight, please get in touch.

Adult and Senior Dogs

As a general rule, adult dogs should be fed around 2-4% of their ideal adult weight depending on activity levels. Most dogs are closer to 2% than 4%.

For senior dogs (over 7 years), we’d recommend feeding approximately 1-3% of their ideal adult weight.

We have a separate guide for cats so please get in touch.

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