Transitioning any animal to a raw diet can be challenging as every animal is unique, and doubly so if they are transitioning from dried kibble, or other foods engineered for attractiveness.
Don't give up! You can succeed no matter how stubborn your #furfam members may be!
Neophobia - The fear of new things
Animals, like humans, have a natural distrust of new things, which from an evolutionary perspective is usually a good thing as it keeps them fixed on a routine that works, as opposed to introducing a new routine with potentially negative implications.
The downside is that when the status quo is less than ideal it can be very challenging to introduce something new into the animal's routine.
There are two primary ways to overcome neophobia.
Add attractants such as cheese, nutritional yeast, or bonito flakes that overpower the animal's natural reluctance. Be careful not to unbalance the diet or get your furfam hooked on any attractants you might use to help them switch. Commercial pet food is typically treated with a variety of proprietary attractants to make their dinners attractive and overpower the animal's natural neophobia. We believe in providing a naturally balanced healthy diet free of any special attractants.
We recommend following the "Confident patience" approach which requires:
Confidence: Your furfam is very tuned in to your confidence surrounding food, and will associate any fear or doubt with the new food thereby reinforcing their neophobia.
- Patience: Even with confidence it may take a while to transition your furfam to the new food. Habits take a while to form.
Confident Patience will succeed!
We recommend beginning your transition with our simple Transition Guide
or other resources on the web.
For strongly neophobic members of your furfam, we recommend the following advice for both dogs and cats from:
Remember, if your furfam is struggling with the transition, you aren't alone - don't give up!