Transitioning a Sensitive Dog


Here We Go!

Hello, Pet Parents!

My name is Aspen, and I am thrilled to become a part of the Steve’s Real Food family on the Operations team. I will be overseeing social media, customer service, editing, newsletters, and operations.

Over the next couple of months, I am going to be blogging about my experience transitioning my baby, Baxter, over to a Steve’s Raw Food diet.

To start, let’s talk about my dog’s current diet and issues.

Baxter is an 8-year-old Norwich Terrier, male, and un-neutered. When he first came into my life two years ago, he was eating kibble – didn’t much matter what kind. He had no problem eating people food, and the worst reaction I saw was when he snuck a bite of a taco with some hot sauce on it that gave him some belly trouble. His previous owner had, at times, spent a great deal of money on Baxter’s diet to ensure high quality, but never used a raw food diet.

Over the past year, however, Baxter seems to have been transitioning to middle age. He is less agile, more docile, and tires out more easily. He is showing signs of incontinence – loads of fun. In addition, we have had to get rid of our box spring and place our mattress on the floor because he struggles jumping as high as he used to, and gets depressed when he can’t reach his parents on the bed.

More importantly, however, Baxter has started having tummy trouble. We started noticing that table scraps or changes in his kibble could give him diarrhea, blood in his stools, painful stools, etc. It was not a fun few months constantly cleaning up after his explosions in the house (thank heavens we don’t have carpet) and watching him scream like an Ewok when he did his business outside because it was so painful, poor boy. We finally began forbidding family and friends from feeding him and began maintaining strict consistency about the brand we bought him so there would be no changes for his poor tummy. We consulted a vet, who prescribed him some diarrhea medicine, but didn’t have many answers beyond that. Baxter has balanced out since then, but I want more for him. We lead a healthy organic life, and while Baxter’s food is a decent quality, I know we could do better.

Enter Steve’s Real Food. I’m hesitant to make any changes to Baxter’s diet, but the logic behind Steve’s approach makes too much sense not to try. My dog has been an emotional anchor in some really rough times, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him to reward him for what he has brought to my life. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

I plan to do a really slow transition to minimize the effect on Baxter’s insides as we go through this. I want to start with a little goat milk on his regular food and see if we can’t start waking up his stomach and helping it adjust gently to something he’s not used to – I picture it like sprite when you have the flu; goat’s milk sounds like a gentle way to start. Then I will slowly, slowly start adding the tater-tot sized raw food mixed with his regular food and monitor his behavior, energy, and stools.

The best part is, I am inviting all of you to come along with me on this journey. Maybe you haven’t started transitioning your pet yet, maybe you are worried like I am that changes in the diet will lead to messy, smelly accidents to clean up. But I will be testing it out to see how things go, and documenting my findings and results here. So check back on occasion to see how things are going with Baxter and I.

What worser place can I beg in your love,—
And yet a place of high respect with me,—
Than to be used as you use your dog?

— A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Google Review

  • My dogs LOVE their new food!! I used to feed them dry kibble and they would leave their food in the bowls for 2 days before they would eat. Now they wake me up in the morning ready to eat. They also have so much more energy, they act like they are puppies again. The customer service is awesome! Too bad all companies don't have this kind of service. I will continue to buy Steve's Real Food for my dogs.

    Kelley Dillon Avatar
    Kelley Dillon
  • CONVENIENT, RELIABLE, DOGS LOVE THE FOOD I switched my dogs to a raw diet about 2 months ago. My older dog was panting a lot and he had a potato sized growth on his shoulder. The growth is now the size of an egg and his excessive panting has stopped. My younger dog was overweight despite the fact that she was very active and on a strict low calorie diet. She has slimmed down quite a bit.

    Trish C Avatar
    Trish C
  • We were skeptical of feeding raw. Finally we decided to take the plunge. The first surprise was, my dogs loved it. And the goat milk yogurt is a complete hit! They all love it. We had one small issue with the shipping and after one email everything was taken care of. But now that it's been several months we have noticed many other things. None of my dogs chew on their feet anymore. None of my dogs have itchy flaky skin anymore. And they are all pretty and shiny with tons of energy.

    Denise Moitoza Avatar
    Denise Moitoza
  • My dog was a picky eater and overweight. After 4 months of eating this raw diet he is almost at his recommended weight. I no longer have to coax him to eat by doctoring up his kibble. He eats the food as is and empties his bowl right away.

    Carrie Thompson Avatar
    Carrie Thompson
  • I wanted to give a shout out to Tara at the corporate office. She really went above and beyond! I had several questions about switching my dog over to raw food and the transition that's involved. She met with me in person and took the time to listen and gave me some great suggestions/feedback to my questions. She shared what her own dog went through and how raw dog food helped. Tara made me feel comfortable and was so kind and thoughtful to take the time out of her busy day to be so helpful. My dog is LOVING the food and has been transitioning very smoothly. Thanks so much for being so awesome, Tara. It meant a lot to me and because of the experience I had and the kindness you showed to me, I will continue to be a grateful customer and will recommend Steve's to all my fellow dog moms and dads.

    Susan Romney Avatar
    Susan Romney

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