I’m a HUGE fan of raw diets for dogs and I encourage them to anyone with a younger dog, or an adult dog for that matter. However, my problem has always been with whether or not it’s safe to switch an older dog, or a dog with health problems over to a raw diet.

This article is meant to shed some light on this very topic for those out there that are struggling with what to do with regards to feeding your older dog a raw diet.

A Book for Those Who Would Rather Home Cook

questioning raw diet for dogsAre My Feelings Outdated?

Because many dogs live lives of continuous vaccinations, monthly chemical heart worm and flea and tick applications and kibble fed diets, their body’s lack EVERYTHING they need to flourish.

A dog who has lived through eating a diet that is completely against his nature, is over vaccinated, poisoned monthly through parasite treatments, receives zero oral care on the teeth and gums and gets little exercise and/or social interaction, without a doubt has an immune system that is completely shot by the time the dog is a senior!

The chronic skin, stool, lumps, bumps, ear problems, joint pain and finally disease, ARE in my opinion all related to what the dog endured over his life time.  It’s just common sense.

While I have always shied away from starting a senior, or sick senior dog on raw due to a weakened immune system, many say this is just what they need to recover, regardless if the dog has health concerns.

Opinions From Holistic Veterinarians

In an article from Whole Dog Journal, Veterinarian, Dr. Ian Billinghurst (considered the father of raw feeding for dogs), shares how his experience with feeding raw food to immune compromised animals actually accelerated the immune system back to normal.

He indicates that was the reason that he wrote his book “Give Your Dog a Bone” which was  how the movement for feeding raw began.

Other holistic vets weighed in with their opinions as well.

Dr. Jean Hovre shared how she wouldn’t feed dogs with a weak immune system, leaky gut or dogs that are debilitated, raw diets.

However, one of my favorite vets, Dr. Becker shares in one of her articles that by removing processed foods from a sick dog’s diet and adding a species-appropriate diet (this means raw), plus the appropriate supplements to target any inflammation and/or yeast (as necessary) and assist organ function, can eliminate symptoms and target the root cause and heal leaky gut.

She also mentions that every dog is individual and the needs vary from dog to dog.

little older dogMore opinions…..

In the article, Dr. Wynn shares that elderly dogs, dogs weakened due to chronic illness or disease, dogs who suffer with pancreatitis and dogs already suffering with “dampness” in the body (TCM which relates to Chinese medicine believes that certain foods cause blockages in the body) should not eat raw, in her opinion.

Dr. Newkirk who is a huge fan of home prepared raw meals, stated that his biggest concern with raw has to do with dogs who have serious bowel issues. In the article, he recommends feeding cooked meals for a short time only.

Dr. Silver: Another one of my favorite alternative vets.  🙂 Dr. Silver likes to take it slow for older dogs when they are compromised in any way.   Here’s what he had to say when I talked with him:

“I’m not a raw food nut. I think there are values to having the food raw or minimally processed, but there also are values to cooking the food, in terms of increasing its availability. For instance, broccoli is more available for absorption of its micronutrients when its steamed, versus serving it raw.

Gentle cooking, as compared to the brutal high temperatures and pressures used with manufacturing kibble and to a lesser extent canned, doesn’t destroy many nutrients. This is why we eat food that is both cooked,  and raw as with salad and fruit, to have all of the benefits of cooking where appropriate and raw where appropriate.

I don’t believe that raw feeding is what improves dogs and cats health, its the feeding of wholesome food, gently cooked or raw, as compared to the highly processed manufactured pet foods.”

Dr. Kollath’s study on raw vs cooked/processed food for dogs: I’m not sure exactly when the study was done, but it took place at Karolinska Hospital in Sweden where they fed animals a cooked and processed food diet.

While the animals were young, they looked healthy, however, as they matured into adulthood, they started to age faster than normal.  The animals also showed symptoms of  chronic degenerative diseases. Osteoarthritis, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease are just a few common degenerative diseases in dogs.

This should tell you something since all three of these diseases mentioned are rampant in pets today!

They then selected a group of animals that were to be raised on a raw food diet.  These animals aged slower and were free of the the symptoms of degenerative diseases.

Eliminate Skin Issues Permanently

If you’re thinking of changing your dog’s diet to raw due to skin problems and yeast infections, please see our Anti-Yeast & Allergy Kit here that is GUARANTEED to provide instant relief and solve your dog’s skin issues permanently.  

 conclusion on dogs and reaw feeding image

At this point, I definitely would NOT rule out feeding raw to an older dog.  (Read the comments from others below).  However, for dogs with a serious illness such as cancer, I think that I would lightly cook the meat (which is something that I have always recommended to my readers) at a lower temperature, or switch over to a partially raw diet slowly by adding a little complete raw to some lightly cooked food.

There’s nothing wrong with doing both.  Maybe you’re uncomfortable with a complete raw diet; that’s okay.  You can do one or the other, or both.

*READ THIS IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT RAW BEEF: If feeding beef, make sure that it is frozen for several days before feeding due to the Neospora intestinal parasite often found in cattle.  So, don’t just purchase beef from the grocery store and feed.  Freeze it first for several days before feeding it to your dog.  Learn more about Neospora here.

I also like the idea of adding nutritional supplements that contain antioxidants like this one, or this powder form along with additional calcium and toxin free fatty acids which are all critical when home cooking.  Then slowly replace the cooked meat into the cooked meal (or a dehydrated meal for awhile) with raw, vs simply jumping into an all raw diet immediately.

References: Whole Dog Journal – The Evolution of The Raw Dog Food Diet, HealthyPets.Mercola.com, Wikipedia, Janie’s Own Experience 🙂

Recent Posts
Showing 90 comments
  • Monica Kelly

    Hello! I started a raw diet with all three of my dogs in 2014; then they were 4 years (25lbs), 9 years (135lbs) and 10 years of age 84lbs overweight). I actually made one dog fat on raw (was learning as we went). I eventually got my overweight dog down to a happy 64 lbs. In 2015, one of my oldsters (135lb) was labelled in kidney disease and our then Vet blamed me for having put him on raw. I tried the KD diets, but he just went further down hill, maybe if he was switched over sooner it would have been different? Or the supplements and hydration added sooner. I wish I used an internal medicine vet as well. Again I was learning as I went, and learned that some Vets just leave you on your own when they diagnose kidney failure in your pet, the attitude I got was just enjoy and euthanize. You can’t cure kidney failure; but you can stabilize further damage if you move quickly. There were many supplements I just couldn’t get into the dog because he was always queasy. I mastered subQs but eventually I sent him to heaven feeling of a failure. In the past years, I got better with the raw diet feeding with the remaining dogs who are now 6 years and 12 years. Recently my 12 year old dog (unrelated to the one who died) was labelled in kidney failure Dec 27. Her blood work numbers were high and I was given 3 weeks to bring them down. So I jumped into a mode I was in previously by pulling out the supplies I had from previous dog, (SubQs, aluminum hydroxide, standard processes supplements, liquid iron supplement, and multi vitamin B) have been re-reading kidney dog info. She started out queasy, so I cooked her dishes, lightly microwaved green tripe juices and all (gag) poured over sticky rice helped as one of the dishes, binder is added to every meal, 20 mg pepcid 2x a day, even included ACV and gradually replaced with raw meats (pork, beef, lamb) and (low phosphorous foods) steamed veggies, sticky rice, macaroni or soaked rolled oats. I could tell by her appetite and attitude that she was improving. At the 3 week mark, Her blood and urine numbers had dropped!!! Internal med vet didnt ask what I was feeding; but she said to keep it up 😉 I am still at work with the daily routine, my dog’s attitude has returned to the want of dog walks and ball throws! So I can only assume we are stable for now. (which makes me nervous! Don’t want to mess things up!)

    • janie

      Hi Monica:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and how your dog went downhill once placed on the prescription KD diets for kidney disease. Like many, including holistic vets, I don’t believe for one minute that a raw diet caused kidney disease.

      You did really well for learning as you went and most people find themselves in that very same position Monica. We tend to beat ourselves up pretty good when our dogs cross the rainbow bridge; feeling we didn’t do all we could, or we did the wrong thing. This same scenario is true for many instances in life and the good that comes out of it is that these experiences give the us the ability to do better next time. “Live and learn” if you will.

      I’m assuming that your dogs were fed kibble most of their lives? If this were the case, then like you mentioned, starting them on a raw diet earlier may have helped your one oldster. There’s a good possibility that his kidney function was already limited due to years the wrong diet, chemical flea and tick products, vaccinations, etc. For the dog that was diagnosed with kidney failure on Dec 27th; have you vaccinated her recently or when was the last time?

      I will send you a private email Monica. Your story is very inspiring and “thank you” for taking the time to share what you’ve done here which will help others.

      You did GREAT!


    • sandy

      hi, my 15 1/2 yr old pomeranian mix was diagnosed last month w/ kidney disease. His BUN is 32 and creatinine is 1.8. He’s been eating homemade organic food for the last 10 years or so. His vet is telling me to feed him prescription kidney food which is kibble and canned. I don’t feel comfortable feeding him that but the other problem is he’s now so picky about his food. I’ve been reading up on homemade diets for kidney disease and am relatively familiar w/ the foods that are low in phosphorus, the problem is getting him to eat it. There’s also so much information I’m not sure what supplements to give him. The dogaware site recommends that I give him eggs and organ meats too and to also feed raw meat. I’ve never fed him raw meat before so I’m not sure if now is a good time to start. Could you help to let me know what supplements you include w/ the homemade diet? I’m saddened everyday watching him refuse every food I give him. Thank you.

      • janie

        Hi Sandy:

        I’m so sorry to hear about your little old boy.

        We recently edited our cookbook and included this type of information. It includes recipes, ideas, the best supplements for the disease and other helpful tips. You can learn more here if you like. We did this because we receive soooo many questions.

        You can easily follow the recipes in the book for kidney disease to include some raw meat (not RAW fish though). Again, the book includes some of the best supplements for the disease.

        You can also take a look at the supplements here in our store Sandy.

        I wish you and your little old timer the very best Sandy.


    • Brigitte

      I was reading your post and like me I went with no experience in switching my dog from dry kibbles to raw . I tried to read has much has I could , I was in a raw group on Facebook after 4 months of raw feeding the best I could I had my Rottweiler blood work drawn for a piece of mind . The blood work came back with high fat , his numbers were pretty high for pancreatitis . I was shock and I was so happy I could compare the blood work from a previous blood work . So now I bought books I am still learning but I follow recipes from a raw book . I still need to incorporate supplement better like vitamins . Raw feeding is not simple , some people just throw bones and meat with no supplement well their dogs will eventually suffer from and imbalance diet . Dogs need vitamins , supplement and a balance fat and calcium in their diet otherwise they will be deficient . You want to do the best for your dog and sometimes you can hurt them by not knowing the right balance diet.. I feel for you that your dog passed away , but you tried to give them the best , but it’s more complexe than it is .. i give my dog both now raw in the morning and kibbles at night and for now he is doing better . His energy is back and i will have blood work done again to see if his numbers are going down . Good luck with your dogs

  • mhikl

    I started my Corgi on the BARF diet just as she turned ten; she is now sixteen and three months old. That is old for a Corgi; most die or get illness such as cancer by age ten or a little later. My previous dog, that looked like she had Corgi Pem in her, got liver cancer at age 14. It was a heart ache as she was so dependent upon me, having been abused for the first few months of life before I took her out of hell. I have so many regrets for her; I thought I was doing the right thing with the vet food. But indoctrination is so insidious. Now I have no time or patience for authority medicine or claimed authority of any kind. But it takes time to slough-off old indoctrinations from our life journey.
    My Corgi began to lose her hindquarters about two years or so ago. Now she has to be assisted with walking with a pair of leotards I found that I hook round her hind quarters to keep them up (and now she can only drag her hind end, so I keep it from doing so). Her front quarters are not as strong as they were three or four months ago; but she still can do short, slow walks.
    On the BARF diet her poops are tiny and quickly dry and turn to a fibrous powder when I stomp on them (when dried). I have been feeding her mostly lambs liver and heart, chicken feet for her calcium and minerals and I have a mix of vitamins and minerals that I grind together and then add a quarter tsp to her food. I have only been feeding her once a day, in the evening. She seems to need quite a bit of food, to my taking, to not whine in complain. But I can feel her ribs, even though she weighs 31~32 lbs. For her breed she is supposed to be 24lbs. But she has no fat on her ribs.
    Up until she began to lose her hind quarters, I played a game called ‘fishing’ with her. I had done this since she was a few months old. I have a golf driver without its head. I have a good bungie cord duct-tape to its end, and then about 2.5 ft of heavy sailing cord duct-taped to the bungie. When I would say “Let’s go fishing.” She would get so excited. I know I over exercised my previous dog on this as she had an enlarged heart (and was on low cal kibble-bad me) so I limited the exercise to twice a day, about seven to ten minutes each go, with occasional short rests. When she was about a year old, a new vet was amazed and said she had the heart of an athlete.
    I gave my Sadie a small bowl of lamb liver and heart around noon, and then she would whine for more. I will give her the rest of her meal around 6pm.
    I want to do the best for my little girl; so tomorrow it will be back to one meal in the evening. I was just wondering if I should spread her meal out, maybe feed her half at four pm, and the rest at seven pm; or would this not be healthy for her. At bed time she gets a handful of pork rinds which she is crazy about; so I guess she really is being fed twice a day.
    Any suggestions if you have experienced the declining years of a dog would be much appreciated. I want to keep her going as long as she is a) happy, b) not in pain, c) and doesn’t decline her food.
    Namaste and care,
    PS. My next dog has to be smaller, as I am in my sixties and she is now too heavy to lift and carry. And my next pup will start out on the BARF diet.

    • mhikl

      I forgot to add that she also gets a little more than a tsp of quality hemp oil a day. It has all the essential fatty-acids in proportion for humans, and I am hoping for a dog, as well. She also gets a little Celtic Sea Salt; and she gets magnesium water that I make myself and mix into her drinking water. Magnesium is essential for human heart function, and I am assuming for dogs. And she gets one egg yolk and the egg shell crushed (about every other day).
      Magnesium water: 2L chilled Club Soda water+ 90ml room temperature Milk of Magnesia: lasts 3 weeks for one person using 90ml of concentrate in their water for the day. Last months for a dog.

      • janie

        Hi Mhikl:

        I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. We were away on vacation and we’re trying to catch up with all of our comments and questions.

        It sounds like you’re doing a great job with little girl. 16 is pretty good. I agree about the indoctrination you mentioned. I like that you’re including organ meat, etc. If you want to try and bulk her up a bit, I recommend including a little home made tapioca with her diet (make the tapioca with water and DO NOT add sugar – water, tapioca and egg). I would also include some steamed greens if you’re not doing this already.

        Do you know what caused her to lose mobility in her hindquarters? Is it arthritis or something spinal, etc?


        • mhikl

          Jamie, thank you for getting back to me.
          Sadie may have a degenerative disease that many dogs breeds get, German Shepherds are noted for it as are Corgi Prems.
          But another source by a woman who was most concerned that this problem is sited too quickly as degenerative says that only after death can it be truly be proved by inspecting the brain. Regardless, Sadie is happy.
          Now, the past three or four days her late night walk to pass her urine is not enough and she is waking me in the very early hours of the morning for a walk-out, or she will wet herself. She already drops the occasional poo but they are not messy. She also sleeps most of the day and only becomes ‘rambunctious’ late afternoon, when she knows food must soon be coming. She has her priorities straight!
          I do add fine chopped and grated veggies to her diet, more to bulk up her bowl so she thinks she is getting more. Celery is a major one as it helps with passing urine for humans, so I was hoping it would help with a dog’s as well. She has only been getting fine grated raw carrots the past few days, so that may be the problem. Shall get on the celery waggon again to see if that will help.
          Funny about her hind quarters, which would just drag when I walk her, without the leotard rope holding up her hind end. When she is lying down and I tickle between her toes, across the foot bones, many places on the hind legs, they kick like crazy. I do this to try to keep the muscles somewhat strengthened. And when she is dreaming she can still kick like crazy. So is this a spinal thing? or what? I don’t know.
          Janie, have you ever heard of the Electric Universe? “The Thunderbolts Project” is an interesting study of new science beyond BigBang theorists, led by electrical engineers and scientists from other disciplines. It is challenging The Big Bang Hypothesis; and recently BBT has been making mention of electrical possibilities for the first time. There may be a connection of consciousness exterior to the body and brain, and this may be the cause of her kicking. Just guessing. The idea of consciousness is mentioned in the studies of EU; so if electricity rules our universe, it could then be a possible answer.
          Regardless, she is not in pain.
          Another interesting study you might like to take for yourself and for dogs is Borax. But that will be in a separate post following this. It needs a lengthy (chatty) presentation.
          Namaste and care,
          mhikl (and Sadie)

          • janie

            Thanks for sharing Mhkl and Sadie. You really gave me something to think about “The Thunderbolts Project” aka electric universe! You take good care of your girl Mhkl. She is happy and although she may not get around like she used to; she may be dreaming of running through valleys of green grass with her friends, romping and playing and this is what all the kicking is about. Haha… 🙂

            Sadie is a lucky pooch and I’m sure you feel pretty lucky to have her too.

            I’ve heard of the Borax approach, but I’ve never used it though. Thanks for sharing all that valuable information and how you use it for your old girl. The heart definitely needs magnesium. I was getting some fluttering and magnesium did the trick.

            Stay well Mhikl and Sadie and don’t be a stranger!


    • C.J. Radel

      That describes my scenario to a T.. I too did my research on raw food feeding , and did a 3 or 4 month out blood panel and all number s were great in my 10 yr old Alaskan Malamute, except for high cholesterol and elevated BUN. His blood work from 10 months prior was completely normal, so I switched back to kibble one feeding and a mix of veggies and raw or lightly cooked one feeding. I will retest in 4 months.

  • mhikl

    Borax and Magnesium for heart, teeth and bone support.
    I put both Magnesium water and Borax into my ageing Corgi’s drinking water. An interesting read on the internet is “The Borax Conspiracy” by Walter Last. I have been using it myself and for my Corgi for years. It strengthens bones and teeth; unfortunately my Corgi had bad teeth due to the Vet diet she was on for the first 10 years of her life.
    1/8th tsp once a day or even two or three times a day to growing puppy will give the dog very strong bones and teeth. And it will strengthen bones to older dogs. Not sure about teeth after maturity.
    A visit to a new dentist for a very painful tooth had him amazed at my bones. A root canal would be the solution. But after he saw the X-ray he kept exclaiming throughout the preliminary examination, “You have Extremely strong bones!” At the next visit for the work to commence, I was embolden to ask him if he meant ‘strong’ for my age, I was 64. He barked back, “No! For Any age!” Yet our bones are supposed to begin losing their calcium after age 30? With a bad hip since age 30, and leg problems since childhood preventing intense exercise where else could I have got the ‘extremely’ strong bones.
    Here is a site to visit: Walter Last, naturopath:
    When taken, borax breaks down into boron and common table salt in the intestines. Studies found that even at twice the dose of table salt that would kill a person, Borax had no negative effect on humans. If every one and every dog got Borax daily, all would have extremely strong bones and teeth for life. The down turn would be that in short time, most dentists would be panhandling on the streets.
    And here is a site for for making and using Magnesium water. I double the size to make a large 2L Club Soda which lasts nearly a month. Magnesium is “The Great Regulator” of the electrolyte system. All other electrolytes are balance or out of balance when Magnesium is deficient. Sadly, the medical industry does not understand the electrolytes and the role magnesium as the Great Regulator of them all, plays.
    I add both to Sadie’s water and she gets the Borax 1/8t in her supper. The vet is amazed at the strength of her heart for such an old girl.
    Last note on Borax. Thirteen months after my root canal, the pain came suddenly raging back. Not wanting to waste another $700, I thought I would try Borax. I took 1 tsp and in less than 10 minutes the pain subsided by 80+%. Four hours later the pain returned so I took another tsp. This went on all day and I ended up taking it every four hours, 5 tsp full a day. It took 3 months and then another for good measure but it has now been over a year and the pain has not returned. I also began giving my Sadie 1/8th tsp in treats throughout the day. She does not seem to have pain in her teeth any more; before she used to sort of snap her jaw, indicating pain, I suspect.
    Namaste and care,

  • pauline

    oh gosh so much to take in here.
    my 10 year old Sheltie has just been diagnosed with kidney problems, and perhaps liver also.. so I am looking for what I can to help her.
    not 100% convinced vets know best..

    I am in the UK

    • janie

      Hi Pauline:

      I’m very sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis.

      This page here discusses some helpful tips for dogs with kidney problems. I would pay close attention to the paragraph discussing bentonite clay which I think you should definitely consider as part of your dog’s diet and regimen since the liver may also be involved.

      Kibble MUST be eliminated Pauline. Home cooking, raw and/or a dehydrated food or a blend of all three is recommended. Since you’re in the UK, you might want to look into the PurePetFood which offers a nice line of dehydrated foods. This means you add WARM (VERY WARM) FILTERED WATER and you have a home cooked meal. Watch the treats as well. I suggest you look into their treats as well. But only feed the treats sparingly at this point. 1-2 daily. Here’s a link for PurePetFood.

      If you can get Chinese Herbs, then I would also use Rehmannia 8. You might be able to get it from Amazon UK. I’m not sure. You can read about here though on our product page.

      I hope this helps you Pauline!

      All the best my friend.


  • Layna

    Hi, excellent article! I just wanted to share my dog’s story. She was on a raw foods diet for the first 14 years of her life. For 10 of those years she did great. Then over time she started having chronic bowel issues-namely diarrhea. She also started having arthritic issues. To make a long story short, last December she became extremely sick with puking, diarrhea, loss of balance and severe pain throughout her body. I didn’t think she was going to make it but an excellent holistic veterinarian diagnosed her with severe dehydration brought on by adrenal fatigue. I was advised to take her off the raw foods diet and start cooking her food. I also added in a daily gravy with a dash of sea salt. The dog is now almost 15 and she has more energy than she has ever had. I believe that the raw foods became too much for her old body to digest. Possibly from microbes or e-coli- causing her adrenal fatigue.
    For the record, my younger dog also did great on the raws food diet but I recently switched him over to the homemade cooked diet as well. It became too much work to do make both diets. They both do well on home cooking.

    • janie

      Hi Layna:

      Thank you so much for sharing! I love your story. It’s actually a lot like mine. I love the raw diets, but I think you have to really pay close attention to your dog. There is nothing wrong with home cooking. You just can’t overcook their food.

      I’m soooo happy to read your story Layna about your old girl! 15, I LOVE it! Great to hear they are both doing well.


    • janie

      Hi Layna!

      This response is a bit late, but I wanted to say “thanks” for sharing you’re awesome story!

      Your story will most likely help others with their decision. The sea salt is outstanding. I often share how Celtic Sea Salt is not only good for the thyroid (a little) but also good for arthritis as well!

      Thanks again for sharing and I’m so glad to hear that your pups are doing awesome.


  • Shelby Sauer

    I just thought I would add to this. I have a 9 year old corgi who went they disc surgery this year (was totally paralyzed). He’s now walking again, but about 8 months after had some sickness and we found a mass in his tummy. The decision was made to put him on palative care until it was “time”. My friend had been pushing me to raw food for some time and I thought why not – let him live like a king till the time comes. Fast forward a month and a half and no mass, swelling or pain. He is now walking better than he had in years and has the energy of his 6 year old self. I’m totally in shock. Do your research but I would totally recommend trying raw!

    • janie

      That is AWESOME NEWS Shelby! Thank you so much for sharing.

      The power of food and the power of feeding the RIGHT FOOD for your dog!

      Glad to hear this…..


  • Kelly A Miyake

    I’m reaching out here to see if anyone has a clue with what is going on with my 8 y.o. Bernese Mtn Dog/Pyrenees mix. Healthy as a horse with zero issues, then 5 weeks ago, it was as if someone turned off a switch. He stopped eating, developed urgent, mucusy diarrhea with little to no fecal matter in them. Was dehydrated for a week or so but he got subcutaneous fluid injections twice. Over the past 5 weeks, he has lost 15 pounds, has had almost every test run imaginable and neither the regular vet or the internal med vet can say they have any idea of what’s causing this. They have ruled out prostate via a fine needle biopsy, all organs look normal on sonograms and xrays. no bloody stools or vomiting. No worms, parasites, etc. His bloodword is “pristine”, urinalysis shows only slighty elevated proteins due to dehydratration. I “force feed” him through a diner-style kechup bottle to get some fiber in him to try to bulk up his stools. (I blend up rice or potatoes with chicken or beef and add metamucil.) The diarrhea has gotten better since I started squeezing the food into his mouth 3x a day. The only other thing going on is that he is now urinating on his way to the door. He went from dehydrated to not being able to get out fast enough. He is drinking a lot and urinating about every hour to two hours. Unless I see him get up to go to the door, he ends up urinating on his way there, usually about 4-6 ounces of urine. He’s up 2-4 times a night as well. He has bouts of heavy panting several times a day. Again, this came on suddenly but nothing has turned him around. The only tests left to run are too expensive (I’ve spent over $2K ruling out all the “usual suspects” to no avail.) He is losing muscle mass, esp in his hind quarters and no struggles to get up quickly. 5 weeks ago, he was running through the yard like a dog half his age, keeping up with my 4 year old lab/hound. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • janie

      Hi Kelly:

      I’m so sorry to hear this. When was the last time he was vaccinated? When was the last time any chemical flea and tick medicine was used? Was he tested for Lyme Disease?


  • Jordan

    13 year old golden retriever. He was already slowing down and got pretty severe acute pancreatitis. Has been on a high quality kibble all his life. I feel driven to go raw, but am worried it’s not the right thing to do. Have about 1/2 dozen books on the way and have been scouring the internet. I have this vision that he is going to get some energy back and be a happier dog if we go raw, but not sure if I would be doing more harm than good if I make this major change so late in the game. Comments are appreciated.

    • janie

      Hi Jordan:

      Are you giving him any supplements? Would you be willing to home cook and include a little raw as well?


      • Jordan

        I have him on glucosamine and a probiotic. Yes I would be willing to home cook some meals. I started giving some raw chicken necks to test the waters from local farmers market.

        The BM’s have gotten much bigger and more frequent since the pancreatitis. Hoping Raw or gently cooked might help normalize.

  • stephanie

    Hi, I wonder if you can help? I switched my dogs to raw about 8 months ago and all has been going well particularly for my older dog (11 year old GSP) who has been behaving younger and looking so much healthier on it. However, he is getting weak in his hind quarters (getting stuck on the sofa etc) and finding it increasingly hard to pass his stools (which are too hard for my liking). He has access to fresh water, gets a leafy green & root vegetable meal one a week, sardines once a week and glucosamine supplements every day as well as coconut oil and seaweed powder daily & ACV 3-4 times a week What else can I do to improve things? Is a raw diet too much for him? Should I try something else? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • janie

      Hi Stephanie:

      It’s nice to hear that for the most part your old boy is doing well on a raw diet. However, I’m a little confused on what his actual meal consists of daily. Is he getting fresh greens daily or weekly with the root vegetables?

      What does his actual daily meal consist of for the most part?


Leave a Comment


Start typing and press Enter to search