The 3 keys to be monitoring your dogs health:
- Stool color and consistency
- Clarity of eyes
- Skin and Coat
Occasionally, I get emails asking questions about raw feeding and it makes me conscious about the fact that not everyone understands the nutritional advantage of feeding their dog this way. I guess I have been doing this business so long that I forget that there are new consumers that don’t understand the changes that will happen when they make the switch to raw.
Last week I had a customer that was going to quit feeding the BARF patties to her dog because the dog’s stool turned to a chalky white consistency and she was nervous that the dog was reacting bad to the diet. Wow! I realized that she was not informed from the beginning about the difference in utilization of the nutrients between a dry kibble diet and a raw meat based diet. The nutrients in a raw meat based diet are more readily absorbed by the body and the result is as much as a 30% reduction of stool volume. In addition the stool color and consistency changes because all that is left in the stool is ash and fiber which casts a chalky white consistency to the stool. This is completely normal and should pose no concern to the guardian. It is a sign that the dog’s body has utilized all the nutrients in the food. If the dog receives other table scraps and various treats you will see a change back to what the stool was like on dry food.
It is common knowledge, in the Vet world, that the stool is the barometer and best health indicator. It reflects the digestion and consumption issues and is a visual sign that can indicate good or bad health issues.
There are other health warning signs that one should be aware of as well. The clarity of the eyes is an important indicator of health. The condition of the skin and hair coat is also an indication of nutritional adequacy. Everyday attention to these three areas will be an easy way to monitor the general health condition of your dog. Of course your vet will be the best health generating support for your dog but you can be aware of problems in advance when monitoring these areas.
I must repeat my philosophy and recommendations to feed your dog a diet that is most appropriate for the species. The dentition and the digestion process that this animal species is created with demands fuel that maximizes performance. We believe that a natural, raw meat based diet that duplicates what nature would provide for this animal is the best diet choice. The proof is in the results.