So, the much anticipated raw diet starts tomorrow... I hope. I have all of the necessities for raw soup and my guys have (mostly 😐) been eating soupy kibble for the last few days. My girl currently weighs 1.6lbs and my male weighs 2.3lbs. But to start the process, when should I take their old food away? I'm guessing that they should at least be hungry first. Do I start in the morning? What if they just won't eat it? Or they won't eat enough? And my major concern is that my male just had surgery on Monday and he lost 5oz in the last 5 days. He seems to not be too interested in food lately and kind of depressed. He hasn't played with us since the surgery and spends most of his time rearranging his toys, smelling the drain in the bathtub and trying to crush our heads with his thoughts when we try to give him his medication or his soupie kibble. I think our trust is at an all time low with him 😰 Anyways, what do you guys suggest?
It's best/safest to only fully remove old food once and for all, only after they are eating the raw soupie of their own volition, meaning without you needing to finger or spoon feed them to encourage. That way you know they see it as food and will eat it by themselves when they are hungry and you don't have anyone that may try to starve themselves if you can't be there to encourage them to eat it. At that stage, to the trash with the kibble! Until then, you may wish to hold on just a bit in case anyone has a struggling transition where you can't get enough food into them in the day and may need to provide kibble to eat from later. Remember the rules of kibble and raw together, take kibble away a few hours before offering raw, and only give back a few hours after or you risk a stomach upset or at worst a bacterial overgrowth in their insides. Just a safety precaution.
If you have kits though, this whole process shouldn't be too hard or a big concern. I've started kits off on raw the exact day I got them. Again, if they're willing to eat the raw by themselves, you know you're safe and goodbye kibble. If you have older ones, you may need to resort to the above, and hopefully nobody will be a little stinker and just try to hold out for kibble instead.
Hmm, as for your boy, he may take a bit of extra work. If he doesn't want to try the raw soupie, you can put him in your lap and try to gently finger feed him. If he really seems to not want it, you may have to resort to going slower. The Grab'n'Dab method is helpful in introducing new tastes to them. Grab your fuzzy, dip a finger in the soup and dab gently onto the gums/nose/mouth. This should make them lick it off and get the taste in their mouths. Don't be discouraged when they shake their heads and try to run off. Kids don't like veggies either. You just remain patient and keep at it. You can do this through the course of the day on and off or in a timed session of say 20-30 minutes, dabbing every 5 minutes.
Medicines are nasty in taste, especially some of the ones fuzzies need to get and due to the horrendous taste, you want to give it with something other than their usual food, so they don't associate it negatively with that taste. You can put it with a bit of meat baby food I believe (katt, is that correct?), but do not use the raw soupie with the meds, that way he won't feel the need to avoid it due to bad tastes or experiences.
If he is eating a kibble soup already, just use that to introduce the raw ;-) Start adding a half tsp of the raw soup to the kibble soup, blend well, and feed that. Increase by 1/2 tsp daily.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
So what are chicken hearts/livers supposed to smell like? The ones I got from the grocery store smelled... pungent. The expiry date said that they were fine but no thank you. I'm not sure why I didn't just go to the butcher downstairs first but he is going to have some FRESH free range, natural fed chicken parts for me tomorrow. So I've been continuing to fed my guys kibble soupie. Missy needs a bit of encouragement still but will eat it off of the ground once I remind her that it's food. Both my guys really like eating and drinking from the ground instead of the bowl. Flint, on the other hand, will still only eat when scruffed and pretends that I'm trying to poison him. He's also started biting my finger when I'm feeding him and trying to run away with it. I'm not sure why, is he mad and actually biting me? Is he trying to stash it? He hates it anyways so why bother?
Haha, oh dear.. you have a good nose on you, huh? The smell of organs.. they be nasty at best. It's the exact reason my kids get them as a puree or tiny, tiny slivers... because I DO NOT wish them to stash those and have them go even nastier.
You get more used to it as you work with it.. but it's not exactly ever going to smell like roses, to me I feel they will always reek. Some days I am okay handling them, some days I make hubby do it because I just can't stand the smell at that moment or get nauseous from it.
It may take a bit for them to realize it isn't actually poison you are giving but food instead.. because in their minds, they may well see it as poison right now. Don't be discouraged, you just keep at it. Patience and persistence are your best friends during a switch.
Do you use deep bowls? I've come to realize that at least of my lot, they all prefer flatter dishes.. I use flat stainless steel serving dishes from a restaurant supply. I'll show a photo below of what I use, they are quite flat. Some fuzzies eat better on flat things like plates than deep bowls.