Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
How to transition dogs from kibble to raw food

How to transition dogs from kibble to raw food

Easy guide for switching healthy or sick dogs to a raw diet

In the past week or two I have had more time to go through questions in my mailbox and I’ve noticed that one of the most common questions is about how to switch puppies or adult dogs to a raw diet.

If you are still feeding kibble, I gather you have your own reasons and I don’t want you to feel badly. At the same time, if you intuitively feel that a diet as nature intended makes more sense than heavily processed heated food made with ingredients of untraceable origin, the next question is how to make the switch.

But before we dive right into this, let’s take a look at human nutrition and health. We live in times where many people are trying to eat healthy wholesome foods, and most of us are able to adjust to a change towards a healthier diet quite easily and quickly.

When it comes to healthy eating, and perhaps even losing a few pounds, there is one misconception that I hear people talking about. Most people believe that exercise is the main way to lose weight, but it has been confirmed that overindulgence is almost impossible to make up for with exercise.

Also, many people restrict their whole fruit intake because they are concerned about fructose from fruit, but fruit is actually not a common cause of weight gain. Most whole fruit contains a lot of water and fibre which is helpful in preventing the high glucose surge in the body that occurs when we eat things like candy, white flour baked goods, sugary soda or even fruit juice that is missing the whole food components and fibre.

But getting back to switching puppies and adult dogs to raw food.

I often hear new puppy “parents” say that the breeder told them to keep their puppy on kibble to provide complete nutrition, or to make sure their puppy doesn’t get digestive upset. Such concerns are not only unfounded, in fact, it’s quite the opposite as I have seen hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other bone and cartilage deformities occurring mainly in puppies fed kibble.

Processed food is about ten times as calorie dense as raw food which means that puppies consume a greater number of calories per feeding. This unnaturally high caloric intake combined with species inappropriate ingredients, such as grains, leads to fast growth and weaker bones and joints.

This situation can be compared to over-fertilizing a plant which will make it grow tall, but structurally weak.

Some people may object that hip dysplasia and other bone and joint deformities are the result of genetics, but this isn’t exactly correct. Genes are only a small part in the evolution of these problems. It is epigenetic (non DNA) factors that play a role, such as species inappropriate food, excessive calorie density, and nutrient deficiencies that make a huge difference.

Good news for those of you if you feed kibble and want to switch

If you have been thinking about switching your puppy to a raw diet, you can do so as soon they start eating solid food. If you are a breeder, you can give puppies raw blended meat and vegetables while they are still nursing, and you can also let them chew and gnaw on bones which also helps their teeth and nervous system development.

Fast or gradual switch?

There is really no need to gradually introduce your puppy, or even your adult dog, to a raw diet unless your dog has been diagnosed with a condition that compromises the digestive tract and the immune system. Only in such cases should you make the switch gradually by stopping the kibble, introducing cooked meat and vegetables, and eventually feeding 100% raw.

Note: If you do not feel comfortable with raw meat, cook it and add raw blended or chopped veggies.

Bones should only be fed raw, click here for more info.

If you are concerned about bacteria in meat, you can learn more by clicking here.

If your dog has had diarrhea, click here.

You can learn more about how to feed a natural raw or cooked diet by watching this short video.

To create healthy recipes for your dog or to learn how much food to feed, refer to the Recipe Maker — a tool that is free for every caring dog lover, which I am sure you are!

The Recipe Maker will help you build balanced meals with the ingredients of your choice, and it does all the math for you when it comes to the essential supplements and their dosages to make your pup’s diet complete.

To summarize, all you need to do is copy nature. Wild canine puppies switch from milk to raw food by learning from their parents. They never eat processed food or cook their food.

I know you are here because you love your dog and want to make sure that you do all you can to keep them healthy longer.

It makes me happy to know that I can help. 🐶❤️

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.



Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping