Dog diarrhea: how to avoid it when transitioning to a raw diet | Ziwi Pets
Dog diarrhea: how to avoid it when transitioning to a raw diet - primary image

Stress. Infections. Medications. Parasites. Allergies. Eating part of your couch...

The list of possible reasons why dogs get diarrhea is long and varied!

One of the leading reasons, however, is changing your dog’s diet. Switching from a processed to a high-meat diet is one of the best decisions you can make for your dog’s health, but if you don't give their gut enough time to adjust, diarrhea can quickly become a messy issue!

Dog diarrhea isn't just stressful for pet guardians but can be harmful to your dog’s internal organs if left untreated. So, if you’re thinking about making the switch, 5 min 

Why raw is better 

Processed dog foods are a cheaper alternative to raw foods, but unfortunately both pet guardians and their companions pay the price later. These highly processed foods clog your furry friend’s digestive function by changing the pH of their stomach and altering their gut balance bacteria. 

You only have to look at the long list of ingredients on a bag of commercial kibble to see that it’s packed with low-cost grains and sugars, which dogs can’t metabolize as well as humans (these ‘filler foods’ also wreak havoc on your dog’s teeth!). 

How to transition safely to a raw diet 

If you’re ready to make the switch from processed dog food to a raw diet, you’re making an excellent choice for your beloved pet, but remember - good things take time. 

It’s important to prepare your dog’s digestive system appropriately - and that means transitioning slowly and carefully. Be prepared for a slow transition of approximately 7-10 days. 

On day 1, try filling your dog’s food bowl with 75% old food and 25% new food. You can then slightly increase the ratio of new food every day, but the key here is to stick with a similar protein. If your dog has been eating beef dog roll and kibble, for instance, then choose a beef recipe (such as ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Beef).

Sticking with a single protein is what we call a ‘single protein approach,’ and it’s effective because it gives your dog’s gut flora a chance to adjust to the new diet. Once your dog is comfortable on the first protein, you can slowly start to introduce another, and so on.

Bone broth can also be helpful during the transition phase - it’s easy to make at home and is full of nutrients that ease inflammation, including glucosamine and chondroitin which are two of nature’s most powerful cartilage building blocks.

Parsley (which combats bad breath!) or cooked, pureed pumpkin contain fiber and can assist with ‘cleaning out’ any leftover processed food in your dog’s digestive system. Although dogs don’t actually require fiber in their diet (which is why ZIWI products contain very little of it), it can help to maintain the health of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Adding some extra fiber to your pet’s food bowl every now and then can also prevent (and treat) constipation.

What to expect while transitioning 

How quickly your dog digests their food depends on a number of factors, from age and breed to weight and water consumption. When transitioning to a raw diet, however, most dogs will experience softer stools initially (and more of them). This is completely normal!

After 7-10 days, your dog’s stools should become firmer. If you’re still noticing runny stools, try feeding them a little less or slowing down the transition process. Or ask us for help!

Once you’ve transitioned successfully (congratulations!), this is what you can expect to see in your yard:

The power of green tripe 

Green tripe is the unbleached, cold-washed stomach lining of prey animals and contains natural probiotics which can support gut health, so including it in your dog’s new diet is a fantastic way to reduce inflammation and prevent diarrhea. 

It assists with detoxification, and is full of blood-building chlorophyll, essential fatty acids and gastric enzymes that aid digestion. 

All air-dried and wet ZIWI Peak recipes (except chicken) contain 7% green tripe. If your dog has a particularly sensitive tummy, you might like to try the Tripe & Lamb recipe which has our highest concentration of tripe (a whopping 30-40%!).

Avoiding dog diarrhea - top 3 takeaways

There’s no doubt that replacing processed dog food with a meat-rich diet is the way to go. For a smooth transition, remember:

  1. Slow and steady wins the race! It can take a while for your dog to get used to their new diet, so be patient.
  2. Monitor your dog’s poop. After the transition period, their stools should no longer be runny (if they are, you’re either feeding too much or transitioning too fast - so feed less or slow down).
  3. Include green tripe in their diet. It will nourish their gut and make the transition more comfortable for you and your pet. 

Ready to make the switch to ZIWI Peak? Check out our transitioning guide for more information. 

Sources:

https://www.ziwipets.com/blog/expert-advice/ask-expert-green-tripe

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00248-002-0001-z.pdf

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-soc...

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/digestion/carbohydrates-and-you...

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/switching-dog-to-raw-food-diet/

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/food/the-facts-you-need-before-feeding...

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-constipation-causes-treatment

 

Ziwi air dried pet food for dogs and cats
Slow and gently air‑dried
Air Dried pet food
Inspired by the centuries‑old technique of naturally preserving meats, our slow and gentle air‑drying technology crafts ready to serve raw-inspired foods with nature’s goodness locked in.
WHOLE-PREY RECIPES IN AUTHENTIC RATIOS
Designed to deliver peak nutrition, our recipes feature 96% meat, seafood, organs and bone in authentic inclusions and whole-prey ratios to mirror the natural diet.
Ethical and Sustainable
From grass-fed meats, free-range poultry to sustainable seafood, 100% of our meats are ethically sourced from New Zealand under strict government regulatory standards.
Air-Dried Scoop & Serve
Free-Range Farming
Ziwi Peak pet food with no grains
No Grains Sugars or Glycerins Added
Raised Without Added Hormones or Growth Promotants
Air-Dried Scoop & Serve
Free-Range Farming
Ziwi Peak pet food with no grains
No Grains Sugars or Glycerins Added
Raised Without Added Hormones or Growth Promotants