It is pretty typical for the raw feeding section to be full of ”is it normal?” threads, so I thought I’d go ahead, and list out some things that while not typical on kibble, are not uncommon in a raw diet- especially for a dog newly transitioned. These are questions that very frequently pop up on dog/cat nutrition forums and lists. This particular post was written by a very good friend of mine as well as a raw feeding guru!
Is it normal for my dog to have runny stools?
Yes, and it indicates that you need to feed more bone for that time, and strip the chicken of all skin, fat, and organs. It can also be a good indicator that you are feeding too much, or moving too fast with introducing new proteins. Cut portions down, up the bone, proceed slowly.
Is it normal for my dog’s stools to be crumbly?
Yes, and it indicates you are feeding too much bone, and not enough muscle meat.
Is it normal for my dog’s stools to be yellow?
Yellow stools are pretty typical for dogs eating all or mostly Chicken.
Is it normal for my dog’s stools to be dark and like tar?
Dark or tar-like stools indicate that you are feeding too much organ meats at a time, and you need to cut the amount down. Sometimes darker, looser stools happen after boneless red meat meals, and that means you shouldn’t feed quite as much boneless at a time. It’s a classic sign of moving too fast.
Darker colored stools that are solid are of no significance, unless there’s a decent amount of blood present or something that is chronically happening not due to above reasons. If this occurs contact your veterinarian.
Is it normal to see bone pieces in my dog’s stools?
For some dogs, it takes a little more time for their bodies to re-learn to digest the denser parts of bone. In the beginning, you may see small fragments of bone in the stools. DO not worry about it. The digestive tract is far more durable than what you may thing. In time,your dog’s body will be accustomed to the raw bones, and you won’t see this anymore.
You may see them again when adding in more dense bones, like beef or pork bones, and just like with chicken bones, their bodies will learn to digest them.
Is it normal for my dog’s stools to be very small?
Yes! This is one of the many endless benefits to a raw diet! Your dog’s stools will be much smaller and firmer on a PMR diet than on any other diet. Small stools do not mean your dog is constipated! If your dog is constipated, they won’t poo at all.
Is it normal for my dog’s stools to turn white and crumbly?
Yes. In a couple day’s time, your dog’s stools, if left untouched outside, will dry up, turn white and crumbly, and turn to dust. Enjoy not having to do poo duty!
VOMIT VS REGURGITATION
Is it normal for my dog to regurgitate right after eating?
Yes, generally it means they didn’t chew the food enough, and their bodies told them to bring it back up, and try again. *Some puppies may even be dramatic and yelp and cry right before/ during/ after regurgitation* Most dogs will willingly re-eat the food. Let them. Sometimes dogs will act ashamed when they regurgitate, rightly so but just go about your normal business and there’s a chance your dog will re-eat it if you don’t make it a big deal at all.
Is it normal for my dog to vomit yellow bile between meals?
Affectionately known as the “hunger pukes” sometimes dogs with an empty stomach will vomit bile. Raw digests so much faster than kibble, so most dogs fed kibble are used to having residual “gunk” sitting in their bellies from their last meal long after it’s been eaten. A raw fed dog will digest and utilize their food much faster. You can feed more meals per day, which will remedy the hunger pukes, but in time their bodies will become accustomed to not having a constantly engorged belly. Also, feeding at random times of the day can help a great deal as well.
Is it normal for my dog to vomit bone chunks?
Dogs who are still getting used to eating bones may bring back up chunks of bone. It is their bodies way of telling you they can not quite digest it, and is a good sign your dog might need a slower transition. As their digestive juices work to the best of their ability, you will see less and less of this, but be aware you may need to go through this as bones of differing density are introduced.
Once a dog has been introduced to bones of all APPROPRIATE densities and is accustomed to their raw diet, you won’t see this anymore.
BODY HEALTH AND CONDITION
Is it normal to see poor side effects of a raw diet?
Some people while in the transition phase will see things like increased dandruff, eye goop, slight hair loss, etc. These are generally indicators that the built up toxins and whatnot from a previously sub par diet are coming out. You may see a slight flare up in existing problems, and then they get much better.
Is it normal for my dog’s gums to bleed on a PMR diet?
Just like when people with poor gum health chew on crunchy things, or brush their teeth and see blood, dogs with poor oral health may experience bleeding of the gums at first. You are in luck, the raw diet will greatly improve the overall condition of your dogs gums and teeth!!
PMR can improve any dog’s teeth and gums, but do not have entirely unrealistic expectations. For some, the plaque buildup and periodontal disease is so advanced, a full dental cleaning by a vet is necessary, to start with a clean slate, and then a raw diet will maintain the clean teeth and gums.
Is it easier to maintain a healthy body weight on a raw diet?
YES! With raw, you know exactly what you’re giving your dog or cat, and that it is highly digestible. For overweight pets, just feel less. It’s that simple! For underweight dogs, feed more. If you are unsure of how much to start with, calculate what 2.5 percent of your dog’s ideal adult body weight is, and go from there. Adjust accordingly.
Dog’s ideal weight x .025= good starting amount
INTRODUCING NEW PROTEINS
What can I start a raw diet with?
Chicken! You’ll want to start your dog off with bone inclusive chicken for the first week. Backs are a popular choice, but quarters are a good alternative if backs are not available. Wings and Chicken Necks are good for smaller dogs.
Even though some dogs have confirmed allergies to chicken, just try giving raw chicken a chance as most dogs do fine with raw chicken as it’s isn’t denatured during the cooking process.
How do I know when it’s ok to introduce something new?
DO not move forward with adding anything new until your dog has had at LEAST 7 days in a row of firm, solid stools.
I recommend adding new protein sources in much smaller amounts than a typical meal, and always with bone. If you know your dog is more sensitive, it’s always a good idea to strip skin and fat to start.
How Often I introduce new foods?
I don’t recommend adding more than one new food in a week’s time. SO for two weeks, feed just chicken. Week three, add a meal of bone in turkey, week four, add a meal of bone in pork, and so on. Moving faster might be ok for some dogs, but rather safe than sorry to make your transition as smooth as possible.
What do I feed after chicken?
It is recommended after chicken, to move onto bone-inclusive Turkey. Then onto pork. Then onto gutted fish (whole contain too much other stuff at this point, but if your dog has a iron gut, go ahead and try it out!) and beef, and other richer red meats.
There aren’t many edible bones for things like beef and venison, so I generally introduce them as “half” meals, with the other half being something very bone heavy, like turkey neck, and work my way up to less bone.
When do I introduce organ meats?
Don’t even think about organ meats for at least 6 weeks or so, generally even a bit longer.
You can start giving them only when your dog has been introduced to a variety of proteins (at least the ones you intend to feed regularly) and is doing well with meals that are not bone heavy. At that point, add them in very SMALL amounts. Start with a quarter-sized sliver of liver. Just as with introducing other things, only proceed to add more if your dog is first handling the small amount fine. Be on the lookout for tar-poo.
FEED WITH CAUTION OR THINGS TO AVOID
Are there any parts of an animal I should not feed?
Weight-bearing bones of large animals, such as femurs and knuckles from cows, buffalo, etc. should not be given, especially to large “aggressive chewers.” The reason being: these bones are designed to carry hundreds, if not thousands of pounds and are therefore much more dense than your dog’s teeth. This proposed a risk of cracking, chipping, or downright breaking off a tooth.
[url=http://preymodelraw.com/2010/09/17/why-ill-never-give-a-dog-a-marrow-or-knuckle-bone/]Why I’ll NEVER give a dog a marrow or knuckle bone | Prey Model Raw[/url]
There are plenty of people who argue that they’ve given these bones for years without having any bad things happen. To this argument I will say: There is never a problem- until there’s a problem.
Are there any foods that require special preparation?
Wild caught salmon from the Pacific Northwest can carry a parasite that can effect dogs, and should be frozen for a few weeks before feeding. Most salmon is farmed, and canned salmon is no issue whatsoever. Other salmonoid species can also carry the salmon poisoning disease parasite, so use caution when feeding any fish from the Pacific Northwest.
Also, bear and wild boar can carry a form of trichinosis. I suggest further researching the topic and making a decision for yourself, I’m an experienced raw feeder and wont feed either one of these proteins.
What about “enhanced meats”?
Quite a lot of the meat on the market, particularly poultry, is enhanced with up to 10% saline solution. Non enhanced meats are strongly preferred. That being said, most enhanced meats are more affordable, and if that’s all you can do- you are STILL leaps and bounds ahead of ANY commercially diet. Stray away from enhanced meats as much as possible, but don’t sweat the occasional enhanced meal. You can try soaking them to get some of the solution out.
If your dog (or cat, or ferret) is having a tough time making the transition, try using un-enhanced chicken and you may have better luck.
course you want all the meats you feed to be as close to their natural state as possible.