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In 2014, I decided to start sharing my journey as a raw feeder.  I had been feeding my dogs a raw food diet for a year and wrote about what I had learned as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.  Looking back, I cringe at how little I knew about raw feeding and decided to update each of those blog posts in 2018-19.


Raw Feeding A to Z - Will Raw Feeding Naturally Detox My Dogs - Keep the Tail Wagging


Raw Food Detox Symptoms

When I initially transitioned my dogs to a raw food diet, I was warned that my dogs would go through a detox period that could be pretty scary.  People warned me because they didn't want me to freak out and race back to kibble because I thought the raw was harming my dogs.  Dogs go through a detox as the body sheds the accumulation of toxins in their system.  A few detox symptoms include the following:

  • An increase in goopy eye boogers and runny eyes
  • Loose stool and diarrhea
  • An increase in shedding
  • The coat may look terrible
  • Increased doggy odor
  • Mucus covered poop

So when Rodrigo and Sydney started eating raw, I was prepared for the worst.  But nothing happened.  I don't know if they went through a mild detox and I just didn't notice, if there weren't symptoms because I started with premade raw dog food, or if my dogs were lucky and didn't go through a detox.  Scout and Zoey started eating a raw diet at six weeks old; I think they were too young to experience a detox.

How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Detox?

Despite the fact that my dogs didn't go through a detox or the detox period was so short that I didn't notice – people always want to know what to expect and how long it'll last.  Based on what I've been told and things shared by others, a detox period can last from a few days to a week, to several months.  If the period lasted more than a month, I'd speak to my vet to make sure that I was doing everything right.

What About an Ongoing Detox for Dogs?

Today, two of our dogs have been on a raw food diet for more than five years.  And the other two have been on raw for most of their lives.  I don't know if feeding a raw diet (the 80/10/10) is providing an ongoing detox.  What I do know is that some of the foods and supplements I add to my dogs' diet help to detox any toxic buildup in their system.  For example, I give my dogs Spirugreen because it's a great source of spirulina and chlorophyll, which detox the system while improving the immune system, among other benefits.  Other foods that naturally detox the system include:

Foods that Detox the Liver

  • Milk Thistle
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Dandelions
  • Golden paste

Foods that Detox the Kidneys

  • Water (keep plenty of fresh, clean water on hand)
  • Parsley
  • Alfalfa
  • Cranberries

Foods that Detox the Gut

Foods that Detox the Skin

  • Blueberries
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Sunflower Seeds


If you are feeding your dog a raw food diet and your dog seems to be going through signs of detox that are concerning, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.  If your veterinarian doesn't support raw feeding and you don't feel that they will help you, please consider a consultation with a holistic veterinarian.

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