Dogs and cats may go through a period of detoxification when starting a new raw diet, especially if the animal is over two years old and has been eating a lower quality dry food. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘healing crisis’ when the body must dump toxins it has stored in the cells of tissue and in organs such as the liver and skin. The bodies of humans and animals are constantly trying to rid themselves of toxins accumulating from non-nutritive ingredients in food, pollution in the air, and chemicals in water. When toxins are no longer being introduced with the food, the body has more of a chance to rid the built-up waste. There can be symptoms such as waxy build up in the ears, intermittent diarrhea and/or vomiting, lethargy, mild fever, bad breath and skin irritations. This doesn’t last very long and it is actually a good sign to see some detox symptoms. Some younger animals or those that have been on higher quality foods may not have symptoms.
When your pet has been eating a raw food diet for a period of time there will also be a change in stool color and consistency. Stools will become lighter in color, often covered with a white chalky powder. This is the digested bone that is ground into the poultry varieties of our foods. This is an excellent sign that your pet is digesting raw bone and getting the calcium and other minerals that it needs. An added benefit from this new diet is that the stools will also have less odor, become smaller with less volume, and become consistently solid and easier to clean up.