One component of raw feeding, although not very glamorous, is to oversee stool production. Monitoring a dog’s or cat’s stool outcome helps pet parents determine how the pet is tolerating the raw diet and if any adjustments are needed.
Raw foods added to a dog’s or cat’s meal directly affect stool production. At the beginning of raw feeding, it is recommended to check stool production and consistency throughout the transition and when introducing new foods to identify any problem areas that may need adjustments. Achieving the perfect poo relies on multiple factors:
Once multiple variables are identified and adjustments are made for individual requirements, achieving the perfect poo is a sure sign the dog and/or cat is tolerating the new diet without any digestive complications.
Identify Stool Outcome
The food ingredients fed in a raw diet will directly affect the outcome of the stool once digestion is complete and the pet eliminates the waste. Sometimes the color of stool can be alarming if you are not prepared or knowledgeable on what to expect.
The color and consistency of the stool will assist in determining if the pet is tolerating the raw diet. Stool consistencies may vary day-to-day depending on the ingredients fed prior to elimination. However, if the pet’s stool consistency is frequently too loose or too hard, adjustments to the diet are necessary.
It happens, dogs and cats alike get loose stools which can be caused by a list of factors. When pets have loose stools, be sure to consider all variables that may have resulted in diarrhea.
There are a few steps to treat diarrhea. However, it is important to seek veterinary care if the dog or cat has loose stools for more than 24 hours, paired with lethargy, pale gums, and refusing to drink water.
A diet diary is ideal for dogs and cats who frequently have diarrhea to document each meal fed, all ingredients, and the stool consistency to follow. Tracking the diet and stool provides an avenue to pinpoint ingredients in the diet that may be causing digestive upset. Always adjust to the pet’s individual needs and eliminate all foods from the diet that consistently causes loose stools.
In contrast to diarrhea, constipation can also occur in raw fed pets. Overfeeding calcium-based foods, particularly raw meaty bones, will result in hard and chalky stools. Many pets are capable of eliminating hard stools. However, if too much bone has been fed, constipation is possible.
More often than not, the stool consistency becomes extremely hard when dogs and cats have consumed too much calcium. The stool production resembles small pebbles or rocks and they may be light grey or even white.
There are a few steps to treat constipation. However, if the dog or cat has been straining to defecate without successful stool production for more than 24 hours, seek veterinary care.
A diet diary is ideal for dogs and cats who frequently have constipation to document each meal fed, all ingredients, and the stool results. Tracking the diet and stool provides an avenue to determine how much raw meaty bone the pet can tolerate. Always adjust to the pet’s individual needs and reduce the amount of raw meaty bones or change the type of raw meaty bone being fed if the diet consistently causes constipation.
There are a few supplements beneficial to helping aid with digestion to prevent diarrhea as well as treat constipation.
These are not requirements for raw diets but are beneficial for dogs and cats who need additional digestive support to achieve the perfect poo.
Diarrhea and constipation can happen to any pet but it is best to be informed and prepared for when it happens. Like humans, dogs and cats have individual needs that may differ from the next pet. It is important to identify these needs and adjust the diet which will assist in achieving the perfect poo.