What to Do if Your Dog Has Digestive Upset During the Transition to Raw
As much as we all want the transition process to go as smoothly as possible for our pups, sometimes switching from a lifetime of kibble or another cooked brand to a raw diet can be a little bumpy. What should you do if your dog has digestive issues while transitioning to raw? Here are our top tips.
Loose stool during the transition period is completely normal and nothing to worry about. It doesn’t mean your dog got sick from the food or that they will never adjust. Their digestive system simply needs some time to adjust. While loose stool can be messy and frustrating, it should clear up within a few days as your pup’s system gets used to the new food.
Slow Down the Transition
While we generally recommend a 10-day transition period, some dogs may need as long as a month to change from a highly processed kibble to a species-appropriate raw diet. If your dog experiences digestive problems at a ratio of 25% raw and 75% kibble, you can take a step back and try 10% raw and 90% kibble, then proceed with the transition from there.
Add Gut-Healthy Toppers
While We Feed Raw is nutritionally complete and balanced so it can be fed as-is, certain whole-food toppers can help ease the transition process and stop loose stools. These are our favorite products for smoothing out the transition to raw.
Kibble isn’t the best diet for building up a healthy gut microbiome, so dogs fed a lifetime of kibble may struggle to eat any new foods their system isn’t used to. While a raw diet will eventually build up a colony of healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut, a good probiotic can help the process and ease any stomach troubles your dog is having during the transition.
Dogs aren’t designed to process raw vegetation, but food in their vegetarian prey’s digestive tract—and this whole superfood topper from Gussy’s Gut—is fermented, meaning it’s already partially digested, making it easier for dogs (and other carnivores) to extract nutrients from. Containing over 180 nutrients and phytochemicals, Gussy’s Gut acts as an antioxidant, vitamin, enzyme, probiotic, and vegetable all in one.
Not only can Gussy’s Gut help stop or prevent loose stools during the transition, but its intense aroma can help attract picky pups to their new raw diet, as well.
100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) is a high-fiber topper that can halt loose stools, diarrhea, constipation, or any other tummy trouble your dog may be experiencing. Simply add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin puree for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight to their food each day until your pup’s stools firm back up again.
Packed full of probiotics and easier to digest than cow’s milk, goat’s milk is another excellent addition to help your dog through their transition to raw. The key is to find raw or unpasteurized goat's milk since pasteurization kills off the good bacteria that you want your dog to get by drinking the milk. Goat’s milk is commonly sold either as a powder or as a frozen liquid, so you don’t need to worry about it spoiling in your fridge.
Try a Different Protein
Just because your dog doesn’t do well on one “flavor” of We Feed Raw doesn’t mean you should give up entirely. Some dogs are sensitive to certain proteins, which is why we offer 6 different meats to choose from. If one protein causes your pooch to have digestive upset, try another one.
Loose stools are a normal part of the transition process. After all, your dog’s body has to get rid of all the fillers, toxins, and junk in their system from the species-inappropriate diet they had been on previously. Although the transition process may be bumpy, you and your pup will be rewarded in the end with smaller, firmer, less smelly, and less frequent stools than they had on kibble.
The end result is worth the wait, so hang in there, and use these tips to support your dog during the transition process. You’ll be glad you stuck with it!