Although not very glamorous, stool consistency and color can speak volumes about a pet’s diet and health. Monitoring a pet’s stool can help pet parents determine how well the raw diet is tolerated and if any adjustments are needed.
Raw foods added to a dog’s or cat’s meal can directly affect stool production. It is recommended to monitor stool production and consistency throughout the transition and when introducing new foods. This enables the pet parent to identify any problem areas that 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 pet is tolerating the new diet without any digestive complications.
Identify Stool Outcome
The ingredients fed in a raw diet will directly affect the outcome of the stool once digestion is complete and the pet eliminates the waste. The color of stool may be alarming if pet parents are not prepared with what to expect.
Stool color and consistency 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, adjustments to the diet are necessary if the pet’s stool consistency is frequently too loose or too hard.
Dogs and cats alike may occasionally get loose stools which can be caused by a variety of factors. When pets have loose stools, be sure to consider all variables that may have resulted in diarrhea.
There are several steps to address diarrhea. However, it is important to seek veterinary care if the pet has loose stools for more than 24 hours paired with lethargy, pale gums, and refusing to drink water.
A feeding diary is ideal for dogs and cats who frequently have diarrhea. This allows the pet parent to document each meal fed, all ingredients, and the stool consistency to follow. Tracking the diet and stool provides an avenue to pinpoint any 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 cause loose stools.
Constipation instead of diarrhea may also occur in raw fed pets. Overfeeding calcium-based foods such as raw meaty bones will result in hard, crumbly and chalky stools. Many pets are capable of eliminating hard stools. However, constipation is possible when too much bone has been fed.
More often than not, stool consistency will become extremely hard when pets have consumed too much calcium. Stool may also resemble small pebbles or rocks and it may be light grey or even white.
There are a few steps to address constipation. However, seek veterinary care if the pet has been straining to defecate without success for more than 24 hours.
A feeding diary is ideal for dogs and cats who frequently have constipation. This allows the pet parent 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 several supplements which are beneficial in aiding with digestion to prevent diarrhea as well as treat constipation.
These supplements are not requirements for raw diets. However, they can be beneficial for pets who need additional digestive support to achieve the perfect poo.
Diarrhea and constipation can happen to any pet and 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 in order to achieve the perfect poo.