Transition to Raw Diet - Learn how to transition your pet to a raw rabbit diet and avoid the pitfalls.
Rabbit meat is regarded as a healthy and natural choice for pet feed, but transitioning your dog or cat to a raw diet can sometimes be difficult for pet owners. Rabbit meat is often recommended in pet diets because of its natural and nonallergenic qualities, but transitioning your pet cold-turkey can cause stomach and digestion problems, as their digestive system may not yet be accustomed to the ingredients in wet food.
Luckily, this is not necessarily a deal breaker for natural rabbit meat!
Some pets transition more quickly than others, so watching your pet’s symptoms and droppings for diarrhea, signs of gas, or any digestive issues is very important to watch for as you switch their foods. You may see more maldigestion if your furry companion is transitioning from a boneless diet to a product with bone. If this is the case, you may need to be more careful of your portion ratios, and how quickly you transition your pet to a raw diet. Cats are smaller than dogs so they only need about 5% of bone or less. Rabbit meat can hold up to 15% bone, so if you own a cat, be wary of how much bone is in the diet.
Rabbit meat alone should not comprise the pet's sole diet; the main reason being that it is quite low in fat. Depending on your pet and how much fat it needs, you may also have to mix certain supplements with their new raw diet including rabbit meat. We highly recommend oils such as fish oil, and other supplements that are rich in omega-3s to go along with your pet’s new diet.
It is usually better to transition your pet slowly, gradually mixing in their new food with the old. Don’t worry if switching your pet food takes up to a week or longer. This is perfectly normal, as different pets transition at different paces. For the first couple of days, start your pet off with small increments of the raw food in proportion to the original diet.
If your pet shows sensitivity, decrease the amount of food, and do not add any more until their sensitivity goes away. Some pets may refuse to eat the new food at first. Starting with very small amounts and gradually building up the raw food may trigger your pet's appetite again.
Over the next few days, change the ratio to half of the new food, and half of the old. Again, if your pet shows sensitivity during the transition, decrease the portion of raw feed. Slowly increase the raw rabbit food over the span of a week or longer, depending on how your pet reacts, until all of their diet consists of the new, raw food, including raw rabbit.
Chewy. “Tips for Transitioning Your Pet to a New Food.” Pet Central by Chewy, 25 July 2019, petcentral.chewy.com/transitioning-your-pet-to-a-new-food-tips-to-ensure-success/.
Wikipedia. “Raw Feeding.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Aug. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_feeding.