Why do I Need to Introduce Darwin’s Food Slowly?
Taking Time to Build a Healthy Gut Microbe Population
If you are changing your dog’s diet from dry (kibble), canned or raw foods without vegetables to balanced, lean raw diets with vegetables like Darwin’s, it’s best to slowly introduce the new food. Over a period of seven to ten days, slowly increase the amount of Darwin’s food until your dog is eating Darwin’s full time.
Kibble vs. Raw
Why? Dogs eating kibble and foods without vegetables have different gut microbe populations than dogs eating lean raw meat-based diets with vegetables. When a dog eating kibble is first introduced to lean raw diets with vegetables, she may not have the gut microbes (mostly bacteria) to get the most out of the food, and will still have a large population of gut microbes that feed on high-carbohydrate grains or starches that are not in Darwin’s or in the dog’s natural diet.
Restoring a Healthy Gut Balance
It takes time to increase the gut microbes we want and decrease the microbe population of those we don’t want. So, introduce Darwin’s slowly. After about a week the microbes that feed on real meat and real dietary fiber from the vegetables will proliferate, and those that feed on dry dog food will be dramatically reduced in numbers. Your dog’s gut will be healthier, and so will your dog!
Steve Brown is a dog food formulator, researcher, and author on canine nutrition. The developer of the first AAFCO-compliant raw dog food, and one of the leading low-calorie training treats, Charlee Bear® Dog Treats. He is also the author of two books on canine nutrition (See Spot Live Longer, and Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet (Dogwise Publishing, 2010); and a 40-page booklet, See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way.