April 19, 2021 3 min read

Can I Switch My Senior Dog To a Raw Diet?

The answer is YES!

Many pet owners think switching their senior dog’s diet late in their lives might be too big of a change for them and that their dog’s bodies won’t react well. In fact, it's actually the complete opposite. It is never too late to switch your dog to a raw food diet.

As dogs age, they experience more injuries and health issues/conditions, which are often amplified by a processed diet that contains bad fats, fillers and low protein. Over time this will lead our dogs to slow down & show signs of poor health such as:

  • Dental or gum disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Liver, kidney, & hormonal disease
  • Weakened immunity

Switching your senior dog to a high quality and balanced raw diet, can help prevent many of these issues or stop further damage. Feeding a natural & balanced raw diet to your senior pet, they will experience the same benefits as a young or middle age dog, improving their overall health & vitality. Some of the benefits of a raw diet include:

  • Fresher breath
  • Healthy skin & coat
  • Healthy digestion & bowels
  • Stronger teeth, bones & joints
  • Reduced stool size & easy clean up
  • Resilient immune system
  • Leaner body
  • Better organ function
  • Reduce or halt to allergies
  • Boosted energy levels

What to expect during the transition to a raw dog food diet.

Detoxification is defined as the natural process in which the body releases toxins through the exterior of the body, as a way of cleansing the tissue & organs. Some dogs may go through this during the transition to raw food, especially if they have been kibble fed for a most of their lives. 

Compared to younger dogs, older dogs are more likely to have a little longer detoxification period. If symptoms occur, do not worry. This is usually a positive sign their body is releasing toxins. Just like humans, the body needs to make room for all the new & improved nutrients.

Symptoms of detox your dog might experience include: 

  •        Loose or mucous stool
  •        Runny eyes
  •        Excretions through their ears
  •        Loss of fur (very rare)

Transitioning Tips 

  1. We suggest starting with a nice simple protein like our Pure Chicken or Pure Turkey for the first 7 days. This allows their stomach to get back to its natural digestive state before switching to any other proteins.

  2. Skip one meal before feeding raw, allowing the body to fully cleanse of kibble.

  3. Serve the first few meals at room temperature as the stomach environment is warm & senior dogs tend not to like their food very cold. You can also add some warm water or bone broth to take the chill off.

  4. Adding a good quality probiotic and digestive enzyme will help to aid in the transition and establish a healthy gut flora, preventing diarrhea. Some good additives for digestive care are K9 Power - Digest Forte or add a tablespoon of Pure Pumpkin.

  5. If your dog chooses not to eat it at first, don't worry, they are most likely just unsure of the new texture and smell. Simply put it back in the fridge and offer it again at their next mealtime.