Plant-based diets tend to be much higher in fibre and healthy gut bacteria than conventional processed dog meat-based dog food, so when switching your dog over to a wholesome plant-based diet, this is what we advise:
Changes are best made gradually, eg by feeding a 90% old/new plant-based mixture for a few days, then 80%/20%, until gradually over a matter of 2 – 4 weeks, your dog is used to their new food. Some dogs may take even longer.
Gradual changes allow the appropriate changes of digestive enzymes and intestinal microbiome (all those healthy gut bacteria). Transitioning slowly minimises all the changes you may expect such as abdominal discomfort, wind and diarrhoea. We do have to confess that our little Ruff went plant-based from 1 day to the next and he was fine! The other theory is that dogs are natural scavengers and they have gut bacteria and enzymes that will adapt, so it is up to you the owner how you choose to transition.
Not all dogs take to plant-based straight away – especially the fussier dogs who are not very food driven. They may be more challenging to transition, but if everything is made as positive as possible, from the sounds you make when feeding them, to pointing to their bowls or feeding the dry biscuits as treats or rewards, you will get there.
Do not be tempted to heat up the homemade food to make it more palatable, as the vital ‘icing’ or ‘topping’ made with the supplements we recommend must not be heated to protect the valuable nutrients. We do feel however that with the ingredients in our homemade foods, your dog should find their new plant-based diet very tasty and you should not have to warm it up! Our JUST BE KIND supplement contains essential pre and probiotics to support your dog’s microbiome gut health.
What about Probiotics?
Should your dog develop diarrhoea with the change to a plant-based diet, then just like us, probiotics can play a very important role as they at least help to let your dog’s gut adapt quicker to the new diet.
The gut bacteria that we recommend supplementing your dog’s diet with must contain essential probiotics which are beneficial to dogs. We have been able to source one that we use in vet clinics that does contain these probiotics and it contains pectin to help bind the soft faeces.
A very old fashioned recipe is to grate an apple with its skin and let it ‘brown’ or oxidise for 15 minutes. This is a perfect prebiotic and the pectin in the apple helps the diarrhoea (we love that this benefit was discovered 87 years ago!)
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