The Transition to Fresh Food and What to Expect
The transition from a kibble-based diet to a whole food cooked diet is the first step in taking better care of your furry companion. When you switch from highly processed food to one that is fresh, long-term benefits can include a shinier coat, renewed enthusiasm for eating and improved energy.
Making the switch to a fresh diet can cause a disruption of the good bugs in your dog’s gut – called the microbiome – but if you transition over a period of time, their microbiome will adapt. A gradual transition is best – especially if they are used to eating kibble (imagine how your stomach would react if you ate the equivalent of cereal puffs every day and then had a steak!).
All dogs are unique, and some may transition faster than others, so monitor them closely and use your own judgement. It is very normal to notice a change in their #2’s as they’re transitioning and once their tummy adjusts so will their stools.
The following is a small guide on what’s normal during this transitioning time, and what may be a sign of another digestive issue.
What’s normal in general
If your dog’s stools are generally firm, log-shaped, easy to scoop, and a chocolate-brown colour, those are all good signs and point to a healthy digestive tract.
Stools in transition
As your pup is switching away from a dry food diet, it’s important to realise that it’s common to see effects in digestion. The short-term effects may look ‘worse’ than normal, but just know your pup’s poop will change for the better!
At first, you’ll notice variation in the consistency, they will become more runny and soft. This should last a few days, depending on your dog, and how rapidly they’re transitioning.
As your dog’s tummy adjusts and their digestibility improves, their poop’s too will improve. The result is smaller, firmer and less stinky number 2’s – reflecting that your dog is actually getting the important and beneficial nutrients that fresh food (and Fetchit) provides.
What to be wary of when it comes to poop
Transition aside, most dogs generally will have the occasional bout of diarrhoea. It’s also normal to see a small amount of mucus in your pup’s stools.
Indications of something more serious include diarrhoea lasting longer than a few days, and unusual colour changes. If diarrhoea persists, and is accompanied by other changes in behaviour, like lethargy, or loss of appetite, this warrants a call to your veterinarian. Stools of other colours also aren’t always cause of concern, particularly if they’re reflecting something your dog may have eaten. However, pay attention to colour changes that last for more than one poop, or colours you can’t explain. For example, bloody stools or of black or red colour can point to a number of digestive conditions that you should consult your vet about.
The journey and transition to fresh food is worth it!
The transition period and dealing with these short-term issues are a great trade off for the long-term benefits seen in the switch to a fresh food diet. Your dogs will thank you for it!
If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s digestion while transitioning to a new diet, we at Fetchit are happy to help!
Easier for you. Better for them.