It's Never Too Late To Switch Your Senior Dog To A Raw Diet

November 30, 2020 5 min read

Healthy Senior Dog Living a long life with a senior personMany pet owners might think switching your senior dog’s diet this late in their life might be too big of a change for them. Dog parents think that their dog’s bodies won’t react well to it, but it's actually the complete opposite. There is no better time or reason to switch your dog to a raw food diet regardless of their age.

And it's never too late to switch your senior dog to a raw diet!


Raw Food For Senior Dogs

A healthy and fresh diet will give your dog a lot more benefits than any other type of dog food. For example, feeding your senior dog raw food will give their bodies access to antioxidants which will help slow down the aging process!

Some other benefits from this also include:

  •        Improved coats
  •        Reduced scratching/itching
  •        Improved dental hygiene

The raw diet will also include whole food vitamins and enzymes which are key for a dog to living longer!


Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Although there are many options for dog food for senior dogs, none are as good as feeding raw.

Types of dog food:

  •         Dry
  •         Wet
  •         Cooked
  •         Raw

Dry is considered the most economical choice of dog food because it tends to be the cheapest and most uncomplicated way of feeding your dog. Dry food would be considered as kibble and would be the choice of dog food that will have the least influence on your dog’s health in terms of nutrients and vitamins.

Kibble is  very harmful to a dog as it tends to contain preservatives in it and lacks all the nutrients necessary for your dog to be healthy.


Wet dog food is commonly packaged in a can which contains about 75% water. Although wet dog food is an upgrade from kibble because it doesn’t dehydrate your dog like kibble, it still lacks several nutrients.

Canned food is mostly made up of water. For a dog to receive a beneficial amount of nutrients with this alternative, they will have to be fed way more cans, which will eventually lead to weight gain and other health problems relating to heaviness.


Dog food that is cooked is an option that will get your dog the right nutrients and is a good choice. Although, when the food is cooked, the heat is said to destroy many of the key nutrients for the dog.

Although cooked dog food is a better option than wet and dry, it will still lack the complete nutrients for your dog.


Feeding raw to your dog is the best option of the four. A raw diet has amazing benefits for your dog, such as healthier skin, cleaner teeth, and an overall health improvement with the many nutrients it will be receiving! 

Feeding your dog fresh food allows their body to properly absorb nutrients since it´s biologically appropriate.

A raw diet is better than kibble, canned, and cooked foods due to the significant increase in nutrients it provides to your dog.

Switching Senior Dog To Raw Dog Food

There’s never a wrong time to switch your dog to a raw food diet. Switching when your dog is older will still allow him to benefit from the great perks of a fresh food diet. 

Feeding your senior dog a raw diet will boost their energy and strengthen their immune system. Senior dogs on a raw diet will be less prone to get sick and be able to live longer, healthier lives. The best raw dog food is biologically appropriate so their bodies will have an easier time breaking down and absorbing the nutrition compared to that in other diets. 

What To Expect During Transition 

Detoxification is defined as the natural process in which the body releases toxins through the exterior of the body as a way of cleansing the tissue and organs. Some dogs may go through this during the transition to raw food, especially if they have been fed kibble before the switch. 

Compared to younger dogs, older dogs are more likely to have a longer detoxification period because they have been on kibble or canned food diet for the majority of their life. Side effects during detoxification may include:

  •        Loose or mucous stool
  •        Runny eyes
  •        Excretions through their ears
  •        In some cases, loss of some coat

However, don’t be scared when this is happening. All these effects are a positive sign of their body getting all of the toxins from their previous diet out of their system.  Just like us, their body is simply making room for the new and improved! The detoxification period may last for a few days, after which your dog will feel better than before.

Follow our Transition Guide to make the switch safely. 


Expectations After The Switch

Since this switch will be a gradual process for your senior dog, here are some things to expect immediately:

  •        A decrease in water consumption because the new fresh raw diet won’t dehydrate your dog in the way that kibble does.
  •        Stool will most likely be smaller and less smelly because your dog is absorbing all the goodness
  •        More energy! A lot of dog parents who switched their dog to raw even say that their senior dog is acting like a young pup again

How To Make The Switch 

Before making the transition,suspend any unnecessary vaccinations, steroidal, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. As an older dog, the transition is recommended to be about three weeks long to have it be as smooth as possible.

There may be many ways to make the gradual switch into a raw diet, but most importantly, it should be a slow transition. Rapidly switching (kibble one day and raw food the next day) isn’t recommended, especially for older dogs, because the sudden change might shock their stomach.

We recommend, for older dogs making this first-time switch, to add probiotics and digestive enzymes to their new diet. This will very likely ease the transition for them. The probiotics will boost their stomach health and help the proper absorption of nutrients. 

If you are considering this switch for your senior dog, now is the perfect time to do so! Although there may be many different raw food choices you may have, we encourage you to give Cali Raw a try!

Cali Raw’s James Pendergast, a very renowned pet nutritionist, working behind the scenes on our raw dog food formulas. James knows all the ins and outs of dog nutrition which is why our raw food is the best option on the market for a whole and balanced diet. He created a great recipe that will allow your dog to have the best chance of achieving optimal health.

Give us a try!