Will my dog detoxify or get "unsick" when switching his or her diet to raw food?
When switching your fur kids to a healthier, raw food diet, some dogs – especially older ones who have been eating kibble for a long time – may experience a detoxification process.
This condition may be a bit unnerving – you may see mucus coating your dog’s stool, excess shedding, dry skin, runny eyes, or other symptoms. Chronic or periodic skin conditions may briefly worsen. These symptoms do not mean that your fur kid is sick – in fact, they are signs that it is getting “unsick”, as the dog’s body purges itself of the various toxins that have built up over time.
The situation will generally resolve itself, usually in a week or two, but it could take a couple months in some cases, as new cells must replace old ones in order for the detox process to be completed. Keep in mind that it takes around 90 days for the skin to regenerate – so you will not see the difference the next day. You may be able to speed up the process with increased exercise, and by having plenty of fresh filtered water available. Dogs may also occasionally choose to fast as their body completes this process.
Note: Dogs that have been on steroids, antibiotics, or other long-term drugs, may experience prolonged detoxification periods. You should always consult with your veterinarian if you believe your dog is manifesting severe problems connected to the diet change. Be sure to also checkout our blog for additional articles.