So – you have taken the decision to switch your dog to a raw diet. You will change your dog’s life for the better – but what happens when you start the process. What signs will you see and what should you be aware of, and more importantly what should you expect and not be worried about?
Just like in humans, if the body has been used to a poor diet and is suddenly switched to a healthier option the body will go through a period of re-balancing and detoxing. This is totally normal, and is just the body’s way of getting rid of all the badness that has built up. It is normal for the dog to lose some weight, as the toxins that have been stored up in the internal organs are expelled. It is normal for the dog to have some or all of the following symptoms – they may be drowsy and sleep more, run a temperature, suffer from flaky and itchy skin, their coat will go dull, hair loss, smell more than normal, suffer an upset tummy and have loose poo or diarrhoea (spell-check), stools may contain a small amount of blood and mucous. This may sound awful – but do not panic. Imagine why this is happening. The body is ejecting the bad stuff. This is good. Just imagine what this lot has been doing to the internals of your dog. Just like a fever, the short term symptoms of getting over the fever, lead to better times around the corner. Well this is what is happening to your dog. The toxins that have built up over months and maybe years are finally being expelled. It may not be pleasant in the short term – but what a difference it will make, when the body is cleansed and your dog is on a better diet and facing a healthier future.
We always recommend a minimum 24 hour fast before switching the dog’s diet. If there have been previous digestive issues (bouts of diarrhoea and sickness) 36 – 48 hours is recommended. This gives the body chance to start to expel the old and make way for the new. It allows the digestive system to rest and re-set. Your dog may not be impressed, may give you those pleading eyes, whine a little and follow you around and beg for food. However, RESIST. This is important and gives them a great head start on the new healthier way of living. Please note – a healthy dog will not die, if it does not eat for 24 – 48 hours. During this 24 hour fast we would also recommend that you give your dog the following:
- Natural Pet Vitality mixed with a raw egg and filtered water (every 5 or 6 hours during the day). This magical supplement will help in the releasing of the toxins and also prepare the body for the new diet.
- Plenty of drinking water
After the fast you can now start the new “natural raw diet”, and the detox will start in earnest.
For some dogs this will not be very noticeable and may not last for long, but for others the symptoms may be pronounced and last for months.
If your dog has been fed on a diet of commercial dried food, the contents of rice, additives and other unhealthy contents will have resulted in the build-up of toxins in the organs and deposits in the stomach as well as other unwanted side effects. Now the detox has started your dog will start to eject all of these over a period of time. The body will gradually be cleansed and returned to a more natural and healthy state. The detox symptoms will prove beyond doubt that, what you thought was a healthy dog before the diet change, was actually harbouring all sorts of internal problems.
So let us explain the main things you may see during the detox:
- The main exit point for a body is the bottom, so it will come as no surprise that it is in the poo that you will probably see the biggest signs of the detox. It is normal to see loose poo, which has a strong and pungent smell. This is the smell of chemicals being expunged from the stomach. The stools can also contain a small amount of blood and mucus, which is from the walls of the stomach, which has been lined with bad things from the dry feed diet. You may also see worms initially, but only for a short time. Do not worry – this is all quite normal. If in doubt – contact us.
- The detox will also “breath” toxins out through the skin. This will mean your dog may well smell “doggy” – but once again this will subside as the toxins are removed from the body and the new diet starts to show benefits.
- Some dogs may sleep more and be generally more lethargic. This is to be expected as the body is working hard to get rid of all those toxins and badness, but as the workload on the body reduces, the energy and alertness will return, and then quickly show a marked improvement.
- The skin may suffer – with itchiness making the dog scratch, and even short term hair loss. Once again this will only be short term – as one of the benefits of a natural raw diet is the improvement to skin and coat.
- Ears and eyes can also be affected – weepy eyes and ears that are itchy with a smelly discharge can be another sign of the toxins leaving the body.
So this all sounds pretty bad – well no it isn’t. It is good. In fact it is great. Just think of it this way. Think of all the damage and discomfort that all those bad things, which are now being ejected by the body, have been doing to the physical and mental well-being of your dog. For months and perhaps years the dog’s body has been having to cope and even fight against this tide of unwanted things it has been subjected to. A lot of that can be put down to a bad diet, but what about other causes? We have not even mentioned the result of veterinary prescribed medications. Flea & worming treatments, anti-biotics and even steroids are being over-subscribed in alarming fashion. All of these are contributing to the chemical disorder which exists in today’s dog. This detox will expunge them all from the body – so that the properties of the new natural raw diet can start to work its natural magic on the body. Given the right chance, the dog’s body will start to heal itself. The new dietary regime will give the dog the right balance of nutrients and vitamins to do this – and the sooner you start, and the better you stick to this new regime, the more it will help to dictate how quickly the detox progresses and how quickly your dog’s health improves.
We, at Paws Naturally, can help you to plan the detox and help your dog get through it. Once we have started you on the path we are there to reassure you at every step of the way. You must be confident in what you are doing, and do not panic if your dog shows short term, associated ailments, such as we have listed above. A simple call or e-mail to us will be answered quickly to put your mind at rest and advise you. Above all, you should remain convinced that you are doing the right thing for your four legged friend. Sometimes, as we know, the medicine can be awful, but the result is what matters.
What if my dog is on prescribed medication (such as steroids or antibiotics) we here you ask? What if it has a significant condition? Well we can talk to you about that. We are not vets and would never try to replace them, however, we can advise you on the alternatives. Many of the prescribed medications are actually adding to the problems in our dogs today. They may give the impression that they are “curing” your dog, but they can just be suppressing the condition. That is why, in many cases, dogs spend a lifetime on medication. Well surely there must be a better way? A more natural way, rather than pumping its body full of chemicals for a prolonged period. We have a good range of herbal remedies, supplements and shampoos, see the following links:
- Herbal Remedies
- Natural Supplements
- Natural Shampoos
These can be used to combat issues which surface during the detox, as well as after it. So, rather than rush to the vets, because the dog develops an upset stomach, we can offer you a natural remedy that helps the detox to work its magic. Don’t just rush to the vets to be given more of the same chemicals that are part of the cause of the problems that have resulted in the need for the detox in the first place. The cycle needs to be broken – and Paws Naturally can help you do that.
So, to conclude this article, we can say the following:
- If you are feeding a poor diet, it is harming your dog
- Invasive medication such as flea and worming treatments are adding to the problems
- A change to a natural raw diet will help remedy this
- A period of detox will follow the changed diet
- It is natural for the dog to go through this – and should not worry you
- Paws Naturally can help – we are just a call or e-mail away.
- The results will be amazing and your dog will be healthier and happier – for life