Is My Dog Too Old to Start Eating Raw Food?

March 01, 2019

Is My Dog Too Old to Start Eating Raw Food?

We often look for ways to ease our senior pets’ declining health and help them find the most comfort in their golden years. As part of this, many pet parents often ask if their dogs are too old to be transitioned onto a raw food diet. There is a common desire to want to give the best to our elder pets, but this somehow is aligned with a fear that changing an older dog’s diet may cause harm. We’re here to tell you not to worry – you can happily transition your senior dog onto a raw food diet! Why wait? Here are some tips and reasons to get started today.

Difference in Transition

We often recommend dogs are fasted for 12-24 hours and then offered their first raw meal at room temperature. With older pets, the same steps can usually be followed; however, there may be times where fasting is not an option due to health restrictions. In those cases, we recommend you go as long as safely possible between the last kibble meal and first raw meal. 

A clean switch is always our preferred transition, but if it works better for your senior dog to gradually add raw to their bowl, then that is OK. It will not harm your pet to feed kibble and raw in the same meal – that is an outdated concern. At advanced ages some dogs take better to gradual transitions.

Probiotics are your friend! Especially for tummies that have had to work extra hard breaking down kibble diets for many, many years. Adding a probiotic to your pet’s meal while transitioning will help promote gut health.

 Toothless Grins

Many pets more advanced in age have a decline in oral health and may even be missing some teeth. While we find this only makes them more endearing, it can cause a lot of discomfort to an animal when eating. Often the cold, soft raw meat is much more enjoyable for your old dog to chow down on. Unlike kibble, raw meat naturally helps support oral health because it doesn’t become a sticky substance that adheres to teeth when chewed. The fact that raw meat gently slides off the teeth prevents plaque and tarter to build up. Of course, your senior pal may also enjoy, and benefit from, chewing on appropriate raw meaty bones.

Keeping that Puppy-like Figure

Let’s face it, as we age we all start to get a little rounder, softer and perhaps a little saggier. It’s no different with our canine companions. Overweight pets can have a serious impact on their joints and internal organs. Obesity is also a leading factor in loss of mobility and heart conditions.

But who can resist those grey, senior eyes? Good news is you can feed your pet and help them maintain a healthy weight, too! Raw food helps naturally control weight – just be careful of extra bedtime cookies.

Increased Hydration

A raw food diet, by its very nature, offers more natural hydration than a kibble diet. Hydration helps support healthy organ function and specifically provides kidney and urinary tract support – something that is especially important for senior pets. Hydration also helps support healthy digestion and the absorption of nutrients. So not only will your old pal benefit from more bioavailable nutrients, the hydration in the raw food will help absorb and circulate those nutrients to the cells and organs which need them most.

It’s Yummy!

Whether you’ve had your grey-faced companion since they were a puppy, or your old dog is a new addition to your home, one thing is the same – senior dogs deserve nothing but the best!  So why not give them that excitement and thrill around meal time? We know you’ll love seeing those old ears perk up and those tired feet start prancing as you prepare their breakfast.  

If you have any questions about transitioning your senior pet to a raw food diet, please contact us on Facebook, Instagram, or send us an email at