During the first week of feeding a raw food diet to your pets, you may notice a few things changing. Hereunder is a list of things you may observe that might raise a concern but, are actually quite safe and normal when introducing a fresh, raw diet to your pet.
1. Possible variation in the consistency of the stools
Our transition guide provides the recommended way to switch your dog onto a fresh, raw diet. This should ensure that loose stools do not occur. However, from time to time you might observe some variation in their stool texture, the following explains why.
- All types of food allow for a certain type of beneficial bacteria, also called gut microbiome, to live in the gut system.
- When a new food type is fed the gut microbiota changes and some of the previous bacteria can be sort of ‘flushed through’ by the gut system as they die off.
- This can appear as soft or loose stools. The dogs’ system is clearing old un-needed bacteria and replacing with the newer healthier ones.
- The stool usually hardens up within a couple of days. Continue with their Raw Cut Meals and allow your pet’s body to get accustomed to the fresh, raw diet.
- If the loose stool persists or the stool has a blood content then consider visiting your vet. Although, this rarely happens unless the pet potentially has other underling health issue.
2. Your dog’s poop may turn white!
This is safe. It is due to the bone content included in the raw meals. In nature, a loose stool is not great for the environment, whereas a harder, drier stool carries less bacteria or worms and is less damaging to plants. It is a product of natural evolution that carnivorous animals eating correctly for their digestive system will have less and drier stools that crumble more easily back into the earth.
If you observe your pet slightly straining due to harder stools, you can consider this to be normal. In fact, this can be beneficial to the pet as the harder stools help them express their anal glands, reducing the likelihood of infection. If the straining is stronger than slightly please contact our customer care team for our support and advice.
3. Your dog may regurgitate or vomit their raw food
If a dog is genuinely sick from a food type this is usually accompanied by a warm nose and tiredness or lethargy. If you are worried you can visit your vet. Usually though it is what we call regurgitation. Which whilst horrible to clear up, is safe. Regurgitation is where a dog either eats too much in one go or simply cannot digest the food new food quick enough. They will bring the food back up part digested and then look to eat it again. This speeds up the digestive process for them and makes the food easier to digest.
It is actually what their mothers do for them as puppies to enable them to eat raw meat as a puppy. If your dog persistently regurgitates it could be due to a food intolerance or an underlying stomach issue. Please do contact Raw Cut Customer Care to find a meal option that will work better for your dog.
4. You may worry you are not feeding your dog enough
Raw feeding is your opportunity to get to know what works for your dog. During your first week you will definitely not leave them with less nutrition than they should have simply because there is such a higher amount of bio-available nutrition in their first bowl of fresh, raw food in comparison to the processed they were eating before!
5. Your dog will drink less water!
This is safe, and normal. Real meat has around 60-70% water content. with such high moisture percentage in the food, dogs can be less thirsty as they are getting the hydration what they need from the food too.
If it is hot weather you can encourage them to drink more water by dropping healthy treats into a little water (we call it Treat-bobbing!). It is also safe to add Cucumber or Melon to your dog meals, if your dog likes them. They are both high in water content.
6. You may worry about balance
Berries: Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries or Strawberries. These provide extra gut healing prebiotics and can provide antioxidants that support eye health, heart health, slow aging and can even reduce inflammation.
Leafy Greens: These are also anti-inflammatory and packed with anti-aging antioxidants. The best is Kale, or Broccoli. Spinach is not toxic but can have too much of a compound called Oxalate which are not good for a dog’s kidneys.
Hydrating Vegetables on a hot day: Cucumber or Melon (any type). Cucumber is better in most cases as it contains less sugar.
7. Your dog may suddenly stop eating, or appear to be fussy
There are a few reasons for this, explained below. We want to reassure you it is safe, for an adult dog, not to eat for up to 72 hours. As long as they are drinking water. In nature wolves and other canids do show periods of fasting, either because food is in short supply or simply through choice. Your dog will have an inner knowledge of the nutrition they have eaten. Processed food has less bio-available nutrition than fresh food and so fresh food can make them fuller quicker, and satisfied for longer.
Fresh food also balances blood sugars levels better than a processed food, and thus a dog can appear less hungry. Some dogs also do have preferences. As you begin to feed fresh food your dog will find out what different meat types taste like and will have preferences just we as do. Processed foods tend to use flavorings which make the food taste similar every day, by feeding raw you get to find out what your dogs’ favorites really are. You can then tailor make their menu and help them to be even happier.
You may have to play around with the meat types to find what is your dog’s favorite. This is quite normal and safe to do. We have a good variety to choose from our offerings for Dogs.
If your dog has not eaten (but has been drinking water) for 3 days we recommend checking they are not de-hydrated, and if need be calling your vet.
Raw Cut is always here for you should you have any queries regarding your dogs’ transition to the raw diet or further questions on what is discussed in this blog.
Pet Industry Nutrition Consultant
Author | Speaker | Shelter dog owner | Founder of Canine Flow
Author, The Best Dog Diet Ever and Imperfectly Natural Canine - Caroline has been working in the pet industry & feeding real, fresh food to pets for over 25 years, her aim is to make the vast choice of pet products, pet foods and varied opinions easy to understand and navigate through.
At Raw Cut, we believe that every pet deserves to live a quality life; therefore, we make it our goal to produce the best raw food you won’t find elsewhere. We hope this article that pet industry nutrition consultant, Caroline Griffith has put together will help you have a more informed approach to feeding fresh, healthy meals for your dogs.
Learn more through Caroline’s books. Click here to find them.