Raw Dog Food for Beginners.

Raw dog food diets have exploded in popularity over the last several decades. So what is raw dog food? What are the benefits of a raw dog food diet? Can raw dog food make my dog sick? Raw dog food for beginners can be confusing at first! To better understand it, let’s dive into the history, standard terms, and common questions beginners have about raw pet food!

raw dog food for beginners

History of Raw Dog Food

Dry dog food, also known as kibble, was invented in 1860. Kibble proved to be more convenient so pet owners started feeding kibble instead of raw food. In 1993, Dr. Ian Billinghurst published his findings in Give Your Dog a Bone. In this book, he discussed the benefits of raw feeding that he had seen during his veterinarian career. He has written many books since, but this was the one that kickstarted the current raw dog food movement. It is still one of the most well-known books on fresh raw dog food diets to this day!

How to Transition to Raw Dog Food

Cold Turkey

You can switch your dog’s diet cold turkey with no transition period. This process may be the best for some dogs, but not all dogs can handle it. Young dogs and healthy puppies will have the least issues with this transition. Changing with no transition period will have a worse effect on older dogs accustomed to kibble.


You can combine kibble with raw food and gradually reduce the amount of kibble. We do not recommend this approach since it is difficult for pets to digest the starchy proteins and the raw food simultaneously. We recommend only trying it with healthy young dogs, adult dogs, and puppies if you want to try this approach.

Alternating Meals

With this approach, you alternate meals of kibble and raw meat. This approach is excellent for all dogs, including senior dogs and dogs with digestive problems.

Random Treats

Start by giving your dogs small treats of raw dog food. Observe your dog for any digestive discomfort. If there is none, increase these treats’ frequency and portion size until it is a complete meal. This approach is suitable for all dogs, including dogs with digestive problems and seniors.

Can Raw Meat Dog Food Make My Dog Sick?

Dogs are carnivores designed to eat meat. However, there are some risks. Raw dog food diets are more likely to be contaminated with salmonella and E. coli bacteria than kibble. But, If you buy correctly packaged and processed raw dog food, this will not be an issue. We understand this is a big concern, so in the sections below we included common health questions about raw dog food for beginners.

Can Raw Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

It can if your dog has a short transitioning period. Dogs are carnivores, and their digestive tracts are designed to process raw meat so their digestive tract has to work overtime to absorb nutrients from kibble. An older dog’s digestive system accustomed to working harder to digest kibble will need some time to adapt to raw meat. Visit our raw feeding calculator for meal size recommendations if you need some help transitioning to raw dog food. Raw dog food can confuse beginners, so we wrote an in-depth guide on transition periods. Visit our guide on transitioning to raw.

Can Raw Dog Food Cause Blood In Stool?

Dogs who abruptly switch to the raw diet may have blood in their stool for the first week or so. The blood is usually from an irritation in the intestinal tract. This condition is called hematochezia and clears up in a few days. If it continues over several weeks, consult a vet. Cancer in old dogs and parasites in younger dogs can also cause hematochezia. A slow transition from kibble to a raw diet will significantly reduce the likelihood of this.

Can Raw Dog Food Cause Constipation

A few things can cause constipation. Over-feeding, too much plant-based fiber, or a raw dog food blend with too much bone added to the mix can cause constipation. A tablespoon of cod liver oil will help loosen your dog’s stool. Also, make sure your dog always has plenty of freshwater to drink.

Can Raw Dog Food Cause Worms

If the raw food was correctly processed, your dog will be safe from worms. Ensure your vendor processes fresh meat and is still frozen when it arrives—exercise caution when handling the raw meat and don’t let it sit too long in the bowl. If leftovers have been sitting out for two hours after mealtime, it is best to throw them away.

Can Raw Dog Food Cause Liver Problems?

Not likely. It can actually help the liver remain healthy because animal protein is needed for liver health. Also, dogs’ digestive systems are designed to digest meat proteins better than processed plant proteins. This means raw dog food is better for the dog’s liver than processed food!


Why subscribe to BJs Raw Pet Food?

BJ’s Raw Pet Food subscriptions save precious time, energy, and money while keeping your precious animals happy and healthy. Our subscription system allows you to set up a recurring order, based on your timetable, for any of the products in our store. Not only does this make sure that your pet food will always arrive on time, but we also offer a 5% discount on all subscriptions, giving you ongoing savings on all subscription orders!