MAKING THE SWITCH

Making the switch to Luna & Me dinner patties for dogs and cats

There are a number of ways to switch your dog or cat to our natural, complete & balanced, frozen dinner patties. An important factor to consider is the diet you are switching them from. If they have some experience of eating a variety of home produced foods, both cooked and raw, the switch is usually quite rapid and trouble-free. If they have been eating dry foods then they may require a more gradual transition from their current food to our raw menu, to allow their digestive system to re-adapt to raw foods.

Each cat and dog is an individual and should be switching with his or her needs in mind. Please contact us if you need help. In case of health concerns relating to digestion, it would be best to switch them under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian.

Transition for Dogs

The central principle of our raw menu is feeding a variety of different foods, to provide a balanced diet over time. However, during the transition period you should start by feeding each meat source, one at a time, for a period of a week or more. This allows you to determine which meats work best for your dog and it may help identify any allergies. Once they’ve had a chance to try each protein source, you can rotate foods every day or few days, as desired. Remember that variety is achieved over a period of a few weeks – not every day.

There are two general approaches to switching dogs to our raw menu – rapid and slow. With healthy young dogs, the rapid method is typically the simplest and most successful. However, for older pets that have been eating commercial foods all their life or dogs with gastrointestinal problems, a slower transition is recommended.

Rapid Switch. Most puppies, young and healthy dogs can switch to our raw menu overnight using the rapid method. That is, yesterday you fed them dry or canned food, and today you begin feeding them Luna & Me dinner patties.

Because of the difference in digestive times between our raw menu and dry, we do not recommend mixing the two foods.

Slow Switch. The most successful slow transition method to our raw menu is to begin by switching your dog to two meals a day, morning and evening. Offer one meal of our dinner patties followed by one meal of dry food, i.e. dinner patties in the morning and dry in the evening. Start off with a small amount of our dinner patties and gradually increase the quantity of our dinner patties whilst reducing the number of dry food meals. This method allows time for the digestive system to regain its natural PH level after feeding a dry food meal.

You may find your dog may need anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to make the full transition, depending on age, weight and activity level. If you are noticing loose stools early in the process, cut back on the amount of our raw menu being fed and increase it at a slower rate.

Senior Dogs. For older dogs that have been fed commercial foods most of their lives, adding a probiotic and digestive enzymes to their new food can help ease the transition to their new diet.

Here are some tips for easing the transition for you and your dog:

Serve the food at room temperature.
Always use a clean bowl.
Although unlikely, discard any food that has not been eaten.
Use a bowl stand to allow your dog to eat in a more comfortable and natural position.

Transition for Cats

Cats are creatures of habit and will often resist changes made in their routine. It is natural for kittens to become fixated on the main food they receive during their first year of life. In nature this behaviour ensures that the young cat will know what to hunt and eat when the time comes to become independent from their mother. However, in a domestic setting it means that reviving your cat’s natural taste preference can therefore be quite a challenge.

When transitioning your cat to our natural, complete & balanced, frozen dinner patties, you should anticipate some reluctance on the part of your cat in accepting their new diet. For this reason, it is important that you are comfortable and confident with the new diet. Cats are very sensitive to picking up our anxieties and other emotions so it is essential that any new food is offered with a confident and positive attitude. Be patient! Be creative! Don’t give up and your cat will benefit in the long-run!

Important! Do not let your cat go without food! Cats have a unique metabolic response to fasting that can lead to serious health problems. If a cats’s food intake is rapidly and markedly depressed, they can develop Hepatic Lipidosis – a serious and potentially fatal condition. It is important that the transition be dictated by your cat’s comfort level this means that for some cat’s, the transition can take up to a year.

Rapid Switch. Many cats, especially younger ones, can switch to our raw menu overnight. Try to introduce our dinner patties to them as a meal and see if they will take to it naturally.

Gradual Switch. If your cat does not take to our raw menu immediately, try a more gradual approach. Start by adding a small amount of our dinner patties into his normal food – mix thoroughly into his canned food or crush some dry food and mix it in with the dinner patties. Each day increase the amount of dinner patties and decrease the amount of canned/dry until your cat is only eating Luna & Me dinner patties. If your cat balks at the increase, back off to the previous day’s proportions.

Please note that while we don’t normally recommend mixing our raw menu and dry food, cats can be a little bit more challenging and it may be necessary to do this to help your cat transition.

If your cat is used to free-feeding i.e. having food available all day long, you will need to also switch him to fixed meal times. This needs to be done very gradually: Select specific meal times your cat will follow during the day. During these meal times, call him over to his dish and present him with his food. Try to get him to eat as much as possible during that time. Reduce the amount of food in his free-feeding bowl on a daily basis – do this gradually, not all at once!

Here are some tips for easing the transition for you and your cat:

The whole process may take as much or as little time as dictated by the cat – be patient and flexible. The favourite meat choice for transitioning cat’s is chicken or turkey. Serve the dinner patties at room temperature. Put the dinner patties on a plate, not a bowl. Cat’s whiskers are very sensitive. Cats prefer food to be as fresh as possible, so discard any food that hasn’t been eaten. Wipe a bit of our raw food on your cat’s paw – your cat will have to lick it off and will start to familiarise with the new flavour.

What to Expect After Switching

After switching your dog or cat to our raw menu, you should notice a decrease in water consumption, because our raw menu contains a large amount of moisture that they can easily utilise. Continue making fresh water available at all times. You will likely notice changes in their stool almost immediately. The increased water content in the meat and vegetables may make the stools softer than usual. You will also notice that your animals stools are smaller and less frequent, the stool can be a very firm consistency.

Detoxification

Detoxification is a natural process in which the body releases toxins through the exterior of the body, as a way of cleansing internal organs and tissue. Some dogs and cats may go through a period of detoxification, where their system clears the toxins accumulated from their former diet. During this period they may experience some loose or mucous stool, runny eyes, and excretions through their ears. In some cases, they may lose some of their coat – to make room for a healthier new one; all of these are positive signs that the body is ridding itself of toxins. Each detox period should last for a few days, after which your dog or cat should look and feel much better. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, please contact your vet and have them checked over for other medical problems.

Feeding Bones

Bones are an essential part of the diet for dogs and cats and serve several beneficial purposes. First, chewing on bones provides excellent mental stimulation and keeps their teeth and gums healthy and clean. In addition to their recreational value, bones can be chewed and swallowed, and contain a fair amount of meat and fat which provide a range of nutrients and calcium.