When transitioning your pet to a whole foods diet, we suggest giving non-supplemented all-meat pet food first.  This way, you can determine if your pet is allergic to any specific meats.

Transitioning your pet to a whole foods diet should be done gradually to prevent digestive upsets.  A history of eating the same commercial pet food makes your pet’s digestive system weak.  Your pet needs to slowly build up its digestive capabilities, redeploying enzymes to digest real food.  We recommend giving your pet 1-4 weeks to adjust.

Sample 4-week transition schedule:

 Cats and Small DogsMedium to Large DogsCommercial Foods
Week 1Add 1 TSP to each normal feeding; Mix completelyAdd 1 TBSP to each normal feeding; Mix completely
Week 2Add 2 TSP to each feeding; Mix completelyAdd 2 TBSP to each feeding; Mix completelyReduce by ¼ of normal serving
Week 3Add 3-4 TSP to each feeding; Mix completelyAdd 3-4 TBSP to each feeding; Mix completelyReduce by 1/2 of normal serving
Week 4Serve all whole foodsServe all whole foodsNo commercial food

Monitor your pet’s stool.  The stool will be smaller, firmer, and less odorous.  If your pet’s stool is looser than usual during the transition, introduce the whole foods more slowly.

How Much to Feed Daily

As a starting point, use the food-to-body weight ratio rule:

2%Seniors
2-3%Adult
4-6%Kittens/Puppies 8 weeks to 1 year
5-8%Kittens/Puppies 4-8 weeks

For example, if your kitten is 6 weeks old and his weight is 4 lbs, then you can start by feeding her 3 oz of food daily (5% of 4 lbs).

You will need to eventually vary the amount you are feeding. Adjust the serving sizes depending on your pets activity level. Because we do not grind the bones in our food to a pulp, we do not recommend feeding our food to pets that are below 5 lbs.

Transitioning Kittens and Puppies

Most of the time, pets under 6 months of age can be transitioned rapidly, perhaps in 1 week.  Younger pets still have a fully functional digestive system and thus can adjust to the change in food relatively faster.  It is always good though to follow at least some form of transition plan even though it’s an accelerated one.

Because we do not grind the bones in our food to a pulp, we do not recommend feeding our food to kittens and puppies that are below 5 lbs.

Transitioning Cats

Transitioning cats can be a challenge. Oftentimes, the longer the cat has been on dry food, the harder it is to have her transition.  Cats after all are creatures of habit.  (Kittens can warm up to new food easily.) Here are some tips in helping your cat shift to the new food:

  • Always follow a transition plan.
  • Cats want their food warm, not cold, so serve the new food at room temperature.
  • Bribes such as yogurt, freeze-dried meat/fish crumbles may help.
  • If absolutely necessary, allow your cat to fast.  Hungry cats are more likely to eat new food.  (Cats are desert animals and can fast for a long time and in fact benefit from doing so.  However, do not fast your cat for more than 2 days. Provide water at all times.)
Healing Crisis

It is almost a certainty that any pet transitioned from a commercial to a natural diet will go through some detoxification.  Vomiting, mucousy stools, or diarrhea can be signs of detox.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to distinguish detox from digestive upset or allergies.  If the symptom persists for more than 36 hours, or recurs frequently given the same diet, most probably it’s an allergy.

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