Stool – Changes to Expect 

An improvement in the smell and decrease in the size of your pet’s stool will be one of the first welcome changes that you will notice when you put your dog on a raw dog food diet. Stools from fresh-food fed dogs tend to be smaller and firmer, as the dog is absorbing more nutrient from it’s food. 

Some dogs will strain slightly at the hard stools. This is OK, and even beneficial, as the harder stools help the dog express its anal glands, reducing the likelihood of infection. 

At times you will occasionally see some consistency variations in the stool. This is also OK, although you should consult with your veterinarian if your dog experiences prolonged diarrhea (soft stool is not diarrhea). 

During the transition between kibble and raw food you might also see a sort of film formed around the stool. This is normal as well and is an outward sign that your dog’s body is removing all the harmful toxins, a sign of the detoxification process. 

Detoxification – What it Means 
When switching your dog to a more healthy, natural fresh food diet, some dogs – especially older ones who have been eating kibble for a long time – may experience a detoxification process. 

This condition may be a bit unnerving – you may see mucus coating your dog’s stool, excess shedding, dry skin, runny eyes, or other symptoms. It is important to know that these symptoms are not signs of an illness, in fact, they are actually signs that your dog is getting “unsick” of all the toxins that have been building up in his body over the years. 

During detoxification, your dog’s body is substituting new cells for the old ones, which means that the symptoms of this procedure may continue for anywhere from a week to several months, until the detoxification phase is over. You may be able to speed up the process with increased exercise, and by having plenty of fresh filtered water available. 

It is also important to know that if your dog has been on any long-term prescriptions or has been taking antibiotics or steroids, the detoxification process will take longer. You should always consult with your veterinarian if you believe your dog is manifesting severe problems connected to the diet change. 

Dogs Who Have Existing Health Problems 

If your dog suffers from digestive disorders or a sensitive stomach, there are supplements that can be added to the diet before and during the change in diet. You should continue to include these supplements in your pet’s diet for up to 6 weeks after beginning the new diet routine. 

Supplements that contain digestive enzymes will help your dog to digest foods easier and absorb nutrients faster. This is an important part of the process when you change from kibble to a raw, fresh diet as your dog’s system will need some time to adjust to the enzymes that are required in order to digest the new raw foods. 

The digestive system maintains it’s health with the help of good bacteria, known as probiotics, which live in the digestive area and offset the bad bacteria present in your dog’s system. 

Prebiotics provide food for resident microflora. A small dose will provide resident bacteria with the food they need to flourish. 

Adding kefir or yoghurt to your dog’s meal can be a source for some probiotics – provided your dog tolerates dairy products well. Many dogs that have problems tolerating cow dairy products will be able to tolerate goat dairy products much easier, which also offer a wider spectrum of good bacteria. 

If your pet is prone to vomiting immediately after a meal or experiences various digestive upsets should be stopped from gulping their food down too quickly. Slow them down by placing a clean rock or other object in the middle of their food bowl or plate so the food is spread out. 

You may need to give your dog more time to get used to the new raw food diet if they are having bouts of constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.  Giving your dog some cooked pumpkin, either fresh or canned, along with their other food, will help this issue. Use 1-2 tablespoons per cup of food. Pumpkin is one of those miracle foods that can help with constipation and loose stools by regulating your dog’s system. 

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