What to expect when switching your dog to raw food

Raw feeding is officially on the rise, and it’s easier to make the switch than you’d think – with these simple steps

What to expect when switching your dog to raw food


More dog owners are caring about how healthy their dog food is than ever before.

32% of dog owners said they prioritise health and wellness when deciding what to feed their pets.

While nearly half said they prefer giving their companions a natural diet, based on what they’d be eating in the wild – all according to Mintel’s 2023 UK Pet Food report.

And, it’s not surprising considering that scientific and owner-led evidence proves the many benefits of raw feeding dogs.

The good news is that switching to raw dog food is easier than you’d think, using the simple steps below.

How to switch your dog to raw food – simple steps

“There’s no need to find the process daunting. It can be as simple as counting out our ready-made nuggets, defrosting them and feeding your dog,” says veterinary nurse and educator for Natures Menu, Melanie Sainsbury.

And switching to a raw dog food diet can be done in just a week. “We recommend a 7-day transition onto raw with your dog, as this helps to prevent any digestive upset.”

Melanie’s simple steps for switching to raw:

  • Feed your dog 2 meals a day.
  • For days 1-7, serve them one meal of their usual food, and the other of raw food. Try to space the meals out by 12 hours to allow each one to digest.
  • After the first week (day 8+) you can feed your dog raw 100% of the time.

So, you could choose to feed kibble in the morning and raw in the evening, or vice versa for these 7 days.

If you feed your dog 3 or more times a day, start by replacing one of these meals with raw food for 2 days.

Around day 4, replace 2 of the meals – changing one extra meal every 2 days until all the meals your dog is enjoying are raw ones.

The main thing here is a gradual approach to ease the transition for your pooch.

What to expect when switching to raw

Most pets will transition to a raw food diet without issue, and switching to raw dog food gradually will help that.

However, some dogs might show some temporary symptoms as their body adjusts to raw food. There are also many benefits you might start to notice, too.

Potentially some stomach upset

A very small number of pets get an upset stomach or looser poos during the switch. This should just last for a couple of days.

However, if you’re worried about your dog, always speak to a vet to check.

Less thirsty

Raw food has a higher water content than kibble – it has a natural moisture content of around 70%.

So, your dog might need to drink less as they’re getting more hydration from their food.

Fewer poops

On a raw food diet, your dog may poop less too. This is because raw food is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and is likely to produce less waste coming out the other end.

In the long-term, there are a whole host of potential benefits which will start shining through, including fresh breath and good digestion.

What if they’re a fussy eater?

While a lot of dogs take instantly to raw – the flavour and texture is usually irresistible – it’s not a given.

Over the years, your dog may have gotten used to the food they’re currently on.

When you’re switching to raw dog food, try to be patient and give your dog time to adjust. You could add something familiar like their favourite treat on top to encourage your dog.

Or, you could opt for a selection of different meats to see which is their favourite – we have everything from chicken and goose to beef and salmon included in our meal plans.

Which is the best raw food to choose?

We’ve been making raw dog food for over 40 years. So, we think our Natures Menu range really is some of the best out there.

Not only do we use the highest quality ingredients, but we also have the highest hygiene and quality standards at our dedicated manufacturing facilities in Norfolk.

We have two Complete & Balanced ranges to make things easy for you, or you could sign up for our tailored meal plans.
  • Complete & Balanced 60/40 - made up of 60% meat and offal, blended with 40% vegetables and brown rice, vitamins and minerals.
  • Complete & Balanced 80/20 contains 80% meat and offal, and 20% fruit and vegetables, plus superfoods, vitamins and minerals.
  When serving, all you need to do is:
  1. Weigh or count out the amount of nuggets you need
  2. Let them defrost for a couple of hours in a covered container either on the side or in the fridge overnight
  3. And serve!
You can also create your own raw dog food diet at home with our Ready to Mix range – perfect if you want to skip certain proteins or ingredients and add your own fruit and veg.

Switching to raw food – FAQs

Can I mix raw food and kibble?

Mixing kibble with raw food in the same bowl could potentially cause a stomach upset in more sensitive dogs.

Feeding kibble in the morning and raw in the evening as part of the 7-day transition helps to clear your dog’s stomach of any previous meals before they eat the next one.

Can you give raw dog food to puppies and senior dogs?

Yes! A raw diet can suit all dogs at all life stages, and it’s never too late to start.

You can transition them following the steps mentioned above over 7 days.

Your dog’s age might affect which nutrients they need more of. Check out our Puppy Nuggets, or think about lower-calorie options for older dogs to avoid them putting on excess weight.

How much raw food should I feed my dog?

The general rule for deciding how much food to give your dog is calculated using their body weight. Check out our simple raw food calculator.

Always follow the recommendations of the raw food brand.

And now you can try our personalised meal plans with high-quality ingredients to keep your dog healthy and happy.