(FAQ) (KB) Transition Expectations

What to Expect during Transition?

Detoxification: Getting “Unsick”

When switching your fur kids to a healthier, raw 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. Chronic or periodic skin conditions may briefly worsen. These symptoms do not mean that your fur kid is sick – in fact, they are signs that it is getting “unsick”, as the dog’s body purges itself of the various toxins that have built up over time.

The situation will generally resolve itself, usually in a week or two, but it could take a couple months in some cases, as new cells must replace old ones in order for the detox process to be completed. Keep in mind that it takes around 90 days for the skin to regenerate - so you will not see the difference the next day. You may be able to speed up the process with increased exercise, and by having plenty of fresh filtered water available. Dogs may also occasionally choose to fast as their body completes this process.

Note: Dogs that have been on steroids, antibiotics, or other long-term drugs, may experience prolonged detoxification periods. You should always consult with your veterinarian if you believe your dog is manifesting severe problems connected to the diet change.

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Changes in Your Dog's Stool

Stools from raw-fed dogs tend to be smaller and firmer, as the dog is absorbing more nutrients from its food. Some dogs will strain slightly at the hard stools. This is acceptable, and even beneficial, as the harder stools help the dog express its anal glands, reducing the likelihood of infection.

There may be some variation in the consistency of your dog’s stool. This is also acceptable, although you should consult with your veterinarian if your dog experiences prolonged diarrhoea (soft stool is not diarrhoea).

You may also occasionally see a film around your dog’s stool, especially during transition. This is also acceptable as it is evidence of your dog’s body cleansing and detoxifying itself of harmful toxins.

We have created a page on dog poop here that you should read. As with any change of diet there could be direct effect on the stools.

  • Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea or mucusy stools are very common during the transition, and occasionally afterwards as well. Loose stools can also be attributed to dairy, or just too much veggies for a transitioning pet. A process of elimination could be the next course of action. The idea is to start with one type (chicken is usually a safe and a good overall option) of raw meaty bones. Higher concentration of bones (wings, necks, backs) will also yield more firm stools. After a few days of stabilizing other meats, veggies treats and supplements can slowly be added.
  • Constipation: Keep in mind that a pet on a raw diet will normally have relatively dry, light coloured stools, due to the bone content of the diet. Those will also be smaller and less smelly then what commercial food produces. If it seems too much of an effort the easiest way to soften the stools is to increase the veggie content of the next few meals. For more extreme situations some recommend giving pumpkin (cooked or canned) or steamed butternut. Again, if symptoms are extreme or persisting, a chat with a pet health professional or even taking a stool sample may be comforting, to rule out other reasons.

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Vomiting & Regurgitating

There are a few NORMAL instances when your fur kids may vomit or regurgitate (sometimes hard to distinguish). He may be really hungry, in which case the stomach is empty and the vomit will be yellowish, or he may have had too much water on an empty stomach, producing a white foamy vomit. In both cases large feeding him will probably solve the problem. Some pets do better with more meals of small quantities rather than one feeding a day. If there is undigested food in the vomit there can be a couple of reasons. The more common is dogs' habit to swallow chunks as big as they can fit down their throat. They may then regurgitate and eat it again. The other reason may just be rejection of something that did not agree with their stomach (in which case they will probably not eat it again).

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Lower Quantities Of Food Consumption

Because a raw food diet is what your pet's stomach was designed for, it will digest much better than a processed, grain & carbohydrate based diet. Therefore lower quantities of food may be necessary while still providing all the needed nutrition. If your pet seems to want more, unless he needs to gain weight it is better to stick to the recommended quantities and observe him after a longer period of regular feeding. Only then adjustments should be made to the quantity.

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PLEASE NOTE that we cannot guarantee that your pet will like or eat the food we stock and supply. Pets, more specifically cats, get used to eating certain kinds of food and it can be challenging to get them to change to something different. If your pet will not eat the food, after a lot of persuasion, and you feel the food will go to waste, we suggest donating it to a shelter. Please note that we are not veterinarians and cannot diagnose your pet or “prescribe” a diet or a supplement for your pet. Please ensure that you are familiar with our [medical disclaimer]. We can and will gladly make suggestions for your pet based on information you provide to us from a fooding perspective. We recommend you consult with your veterinarian before changing the diet of a sick animal or incorporating any new supplements, specifically in cases where medications or other treatments are already being used. You are strongly advised to consult your vet or health care professional if your animal is seriously ill.