Noticable Changes On Real Foods Diet

Avery in the backyardI talked previously about switching Avery over from a kibble based diet to a real foods diet.  Our previous dog, Rocky, I switched over to real foods within the first couple months that we adopted him.

He then was on this diet the rest of his life so it’s been awhile since I’ve been with a dog who was on kibble.  The two things I noticed right away with Avery was gosh he pooped a lot.  I mean a lot.  Upwards of 7 times a day and the stools were gigantic!  And this was when he was eating “good quality” kibble.

He also drank a great deal which when you’re trying to teach a dog bladder control, trust me when I say that huge water intake doesn’t help with training.

Once I made the switch those two things decreased dramatically.

He probably has a bowel movement twice to three times a day which is completely normal on a real foods diet.  And the stools are small and don’t usually have too much of an odor to them.  I say “usually” because if a dog is anxious or nervous about anything, chances are that’s going to reflect in their stools, causing them to have more odor.

When dogs are on a real foods diet, they are able to absorb and utilize the nutrients much easier and efficiently, resulting in the body producing less waste.

If you saw how small his stools are, you probably wouldn’t believe me when I told you they came from a boxer.

His water intake is also down because his food now contains a lot of moisture.  He only drinks if he’s been playing hard, he was out in the sun, or when he gets out of his crate.

It’s not unusual for him to not need a drink all day.  I realize that probably doesn’t sound like it’s okay but I promise you that is totally normal for a dog on a real foods based diet.

His coat is also very smooth and shiny.  Dogs with a dry brittle coat aren’t getting enough good nutrients in their diet nor are they getting enough good fat.  With a real foods diet, he benefits from better absorption of nutrients along with getting healthy fats.

This is reflected in his shiny soft coat.

Avery also doesn’t have an “odor” or smell “like a dog”.  In fact, Avery doesn’t smell at all.  He’s able to go months without needing a bath.  Dogs who smell or need baths often, their skin and coat is exhibiting distress.  This can be greatly reduced once a dog is switched over to a real foods based diet.

This might come as a shocker to you, but Avery also doesn’t pass gas.  Oh sure, on occasion he’ll toot or if he needs to go out to the bathroom he might toot but for the most part, no gas.

Even on good quality kibble he had gas.  Boxers are said to be notorious for stomach problems and issues with gas.

Dogs shouldn’t have gas all the time.  And they certainly shouldn’t be “clearing a room” or “causing tears” because their gas is so strong.  That’s a problem and means that they are not digesting the food they are given very well.

Real foods diet ended the issue of passing gas and tummy gurgles.

Avery mid-run

A couple of other things I noticed were that Avery has more energy now and he’s also mellowed out a great deal.  He’s not as anxious in the house any longer.  Oh, I’m sure some of that has to do with him getting more comfortable living here and more comfortable with us, but I also think it has a lot to do with him being more satisfied with his meals and his body responding to them in a positive way.

I highly recommend at least providing your dog with some fresh fruits and vegetables so that they are getting some fresh whole foods in their diet.  Even if you just give them some apple slices on occasion and some veggie mix in with their kibble.

I have a Resources page that can help you get started with your nutrition research.

I know that a real foods diet can be intimidating at first!  But if you are at all interested in it, I highly suggest talking with someone who feeds their dogs that way and ask as many questions as you can.  Always research as much as possible to make the right decision for you and your dog.



  1. You are so right on this. When I started feeding Anna real food she was so much better.
    I would cook some carrots, sweet potoes and rice for her and she was so happy. Add in some real peanut butter and she was over the moon. She loved it.
    Andi really helped me learn what to feed Anna and what to not feed her (Soy milk – silly me).

  2. I’ve been feeding my dog a raw diet on and off since 2011 and almost completely raw these days. Sometimes he still gets kibble on weekends, and sometimes I feed him cooked food. One of the most obvious changes with him is the decrease in the amount of water he drinks. He was one of those dogs that would just chug water. It took awhile, but I also noticed his coat getting thicker, shinier and just healthier looking. His itchy skin went away. His ear infections went away. He still has a doggy odor and smelly breath, though! :)

    • Lindsay, Avery was the same way and he would just chug water all day long while he was on kibble. Thankfully that has changed because he was then having to go out to potty almost every two hours!

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