Stool – Changes to Expect
When you change your dog to a raw, fresh food diet, right away you will see a very big difference in your dog’s stool with regard to its odor and to its size. Dogs that are fed a fresh food or raw food diet will have stools that are firmer and smaller, as more nutrition from the food is being absorbed in their bodies.
It is important to note that because the stools will be harder, some dogs will appear to strain. A lot of people don’t realize that this is a beneficial size effect, as straining will help the dog to naturally express its anal glands, which in turn reduces risk of infection.
At times you will occasionally see some consistency variations in the stool. This is to be expected with any food change, however if your dog has diarrhea and not just soft stools for a long period of time, you should speak with your vet.
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
Many dogs, particularly older dogs that have been on the kibble diet for many years, will go through what is known as a “detoxification process” when they first start eating a fresh food or raw food diet.
It may seem a little scary at first because the dog’s stool may have a mucus-like coating on it and your dog may experience symptoms such as runny eyes, dry skin or excess shedding. 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.
In about a week or two – but sometimes as long as a couple of months – the symptoms and the situation will resolve itself as your dog’s body replaces old toxin-laden cells with new cells throughout this process. In some cases you will be able to help your dog work through this period at a faster pace by offering plenty of filtered, fresh water and increasing his daily exercise.
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. If you believe that your dog is showing signs of any severe or extremely prolonged problems that are connected to his change in diet, speak with your vet right away.
Health Issues – Tips
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. In most cases these supplements are given for 4-6 weeks during the beginning of the process.
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.
Adding probiotics to your dog’s diet – which are known as “good” bacteria – will help to neutralize the “bad bacteria” and balance your dog’s system, promoting a healthier digestive tract and better overall digestion.
Prebiotics are supplements that provide food to help the “good bacteria” from the probiotics to thrive. Just a small dose each day will help those resident “good” bacteria have the energy needed to help your body.
An excellent source of probiotics for your dog, if he is able to tolerate dairy products without problem, include all-natural yogurt or kefir products. 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. One way to slow down their eating habits is to put a clean rock or other similar object in the middle of their food dish so they have to eat around it.
If your pet has symptoms such as constipation, runny/loose stools or is vomiting even at times when he hasn’t just eaten food, you can help the transition process along by adding some canned or cooked pumpkin to their food. All you need is just 1-2 Tablespoons per cup of fresh food for each meal. Pumpkin is one of those miracle foods that can help with constipation and loose stools by regulating your dog’s system. BOLA TANGKAS