There’s no doubt, feeding an ancestral natural grain-free diet high in meat & organ content is the way to go, and is a choice that your furry friends will thank you for. It’s an approach that provides all the nutritional goodness your pet needs at every life stage. There is no need to add expensive supplements as you are already feeding every morsel of goodness & the nutrients that your dog and cat requires from its food. And you can avoid those expensive vet bills that come with feeding a lower quality kibble diet. So, you’ve decided… Feeding natural is the way to go. Good choice! You’re in good company. Increasing numbers of pet owners understand the value of a high quality, raw-meat-based diet. You may initially encounter some resistance from your dog or cat when you make the switch, but here’s how to make it easier.
Transitioning your DOG – Some helpful hints:
- Calculate feeding amounts on a daily basis using our feeding calculator. This will provide you with an accurate starting point specific to your dog’s activity level, weight, size and age.
- Take a gradual approach, introducing ZIWI® Peak over a minimum of five days. At first, swap 15% of your dog’s old diet for ZIWI® Peak. Then each day increase the amount of ZIWI® Peak fed by 10-15% until after 8 days you are feeding 100% ZIWI® Peak. Remember to decrease the existing food by the same amount. Slower is better than faster.
- For smaller dogs weighing less than 5kg (11lb) it is important that you weigh the food on reliable scales as any mistake caused by eye judgement can result in overfeeding or underfeeding. We know from experience, it can be tempting to want to put more in your dog’s bowl as it looks like they are getting such a small amount of food - however, rest assured, there is sufficient protein and energy (kcal) in the recommended amount to give your dog all its daily needs. Why? Because our air-dried food is made from over 90% real raw meat and organs, with the moisture gently removed using our unique air-drying process.
- It is normal for your dog to experience soft stools during the first 1 to 2 weeks. This is completely normal as the dog’s flora and fauna in the gut “cleans” itself out and adapts to the new diet.
- Once the transition period has completed the stool should be firm and you will notice less volume than before. If the stool remains soft or runny, it is usually an indication that you are overfeeding. We advise at this point to reduce the daily feed amount to suit your dog. For dogs with really sensitive tummies, it may take a couple of goes to get the feeding amount perfect. However, overfeeding is not always the cause of soft stools. It can also mean that your dog’s gut & bowel health is not balanced and a probiotic may be required.
- Treats count! You must add up all food and treats your dog gets in 1 day. Too many treats given on top of the food amount will result in over feeding. So calculate treats as a part of the total daily feed amount.
- Is your dog a picky eater? You can feed a combination of the ZIWI® Peak air-dried or wet food if you wish to. Just reduce the amount fed of each by half. For example, feed 50% air-dried and 50% wet. If your dog is an especially picky eater, a helpful hint is to rotate proteins. Each time you purchase a new bag of ZIWI® Peak air-dried or wet food, buy a new recipe… This works for us!
- The older the dog (or the longer it has been eating a kibble processed diet) the longer the dog may need to transition to the new diet. So you will need to be patient with your dog and persevere. You may need to extend the transition over a few weeks, introducing a little more ZIWI® Peak each day. It’s normal for your dog to take a while to become accustomed to new food.
- It’s as important as anything. Your dog should always have access to fresh, clean water. Drinking plenty of water is normal and aids your dog’s metabolic function.