Hi, I started my dog on a raw diet about a month ago and she seems to notably have less energy. I work for a pet food store and my bosses and the other various people I know who feed their dog a raw food diet said the diet increased the dogs energy, not made the dog more lethargic. She’s an older dog, almost 10 years old, but she’s also only 16 pounds so she’s not too old for her size. I’m feeding her about 2.7% of her body weight and I’m unsure if I should be feeding her more or if something else may be wrong. I feel I may have a confirmation bias and am looking for reasons why the raw might be affecting her negatively but I’m nervous that something is wrong with my dog. Any suggestions?
You may find some helpful information at the above site. I would proceed with caution.
PS: Changes in behavior and appetite suggest a visit to a veterinarian may be in order.
Has the dog had a senior workup? Basic lab work/blood tests could detect things that would explain the changes. Then you could discuss treatment options with your vet.
Think about it, how can anyone who is not a veterinarian and who has not examined your dog advise you accordingly?
What precisely are you feeding? How are your dog’s stools. My first thought would be that the bone content is too high so you dog is getting a bit of a bellyache trying to deal with it. Obviously I can’t know that, but it is an issue that is common to small dogs eating raw. They often require less bone and more fiber added to their diet or they get really hard stools that can actually do some damage in passing.
Anonymous- We haven’t been to the vet yet, but I am definitely considering taking her to one. I would have already but we haven’t been able to find a vet we’re happy with yet. I just need to look more into vets in my area. Thanks
theBCnut- I’ve been feeding her beef, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have any bone in it. I’ve been going back and forth from the blue ridge beef kitten grind and the blue ridge beef breeder’s choice. So I don’t think too much bone should be an issue. I’m unsure about the fiber, I just looked up the analysis for both of the types I’m feeding her and they seem relatively low. The kitten grind has 2% fiber and the breeder’s choice has 1% fiber. Do you think I should be putting her on something with more fiber in it? As for her stools, obviously she’s going less but I think they’re relatively normal for a dog on the raw food diet? They’re definitely harder and smaller but from what I’ve been told and what I’ve read that’s typical since their systems use almost all of the raw food in comparison to the kibble. I’ve also just started supplementing her diet with coconut oil, because I read that it is good for dogs digestive systems.
When feeding a raw diet, you must feed meat/bone/organ. You say it doesn’t have any bone in it then say “I don’t think too much bone should be an issue”. I’m confused if the dog is eating bone or isn’t.
Why are you feeding kitten food?
InkedMarie, let me clarify, I meant her eating too much bone shouldn’t be an issue because of the lack of bone in her diet. Also, the kitten grind isn’t necessarily only for kittens. Its beef, but it’s finely ground, it’s made like that so it’s easy for kittens to eat. My dog seemed to really like it so I kept her on it, essentially it’s just beef. Also, the other food I’m alternating the kitten grind with, the breeder’s choice, does have organs in it.
First, I’ve only ever heard bad things about Blue Ridge. They use denaturants in their food, which are used to absorb toxins when the meat has been allowed to go bad. A good raw company should never be adding denaturants. Second, if there isn’t any bone, what are they using for a calcium source? This sounds terribly unbalanced. Finally, my JRT requires a minimum of 3% fiber and as much as 5%. How often is your dog going? When my girl gets constipated, I can always tell. She starts walking differently and holds her stomach muscles tight.
Sabrina: is he getting bone or not?
theBCnut, have you really only heard bad things about blue ridge? I’ve actually only heard good things, but I’d love to have your source for the denaturants because at the store I work at we usually highly recommend the blue ridge so I’d like to show that to my boss. If not blue ridge, what raw company do you prefer? I chose blue ridge because of the recommendation from my boss and because of the fact that they aren’t too pricey. About the balanced diet, when I first started the raw diet I was concerned about that too and I looked it about and apparently it’s arguable about whether the dogs need anything else other than the meat, so I wasn’t sure about whether I needed to supplement her with anything. Also, my dog is going about once a day when I’m with her, I only see her a little more than half a week but she doesn’t seem to have any noticeable tells that she’s constipated.
InkedMarie, no, to my knowledge she’s not getting any bone unless it’s in the food I’m giving to her now and I’m unaware, which is possible.
If you are going to feed raw, you need to know what is in the food. Bones are a must as are organs. I feed grinds with both. You need to do this right. Itjust has to balance over time but it does have to balance out.
About the denaturants, it was on their own website. They had some excuse that they give for using them, but it’s a crock.
When people say dogs only need meat, they mean they don’t require carbohydrates. They do require everything they would eat from an animal, bone, organs, fat, and meat. I prefer Hare Today.
Dog Pack MomMember
It’s a commercially packaged product. You should be able to read an ingredient list or the guaranteed analysis to determine if it includes bone or another source of bone. If your dog doesn’t have diarrhea I’d say she is getting calcium from somewhere.
We have fed a raw food diet to many of our dogs in the past but it’s only been of our own preparation, not commercially prepared. I’d check that first. Have you tried preparing your own? I am not familiar with that brand though.
I guess I’d be concerned with switching foods on a 10 year old dog. Did you cold turkey switch or slowly move over? We’ve found it best to slowly transition from “regular” food to raw. It’s been a process of about 2 weeks of weaning from the old food to the new diet. But again, we’ve never done it cold turkey- or with commercially packaged food.
What kind/breed of dog is she? How much does she weigh?
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