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Research Shows A Raw Diet Can Help Dogs With Digestive Issues. Here's How
Image by Samantha Gehrmann / Stocksy
September 24, 2021

Just a brief spell of digestive issues will show you how central digestion is to feeling our best. And yet, digestion can feel anything but simple—especially for the estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults1 diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Digestive woes like IBD are much more common than we tend to realize... 

And not just for humans, but pups too! According to the CDC, humans experience IBD as "a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract [that] is divided into Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis2." For our pups, however, IBD is less defined and harder to pick up on. So the more we learn about this condition, the quicker we can get our furry friends started on supportive solutions like Instinct Raw. So let's dig in!

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Dogs and digestion — here's the DL.

If dogs could speak, we think all the world's problems could be solved—including their digestion. But instead, us pet parents are left playing a guessing game. Is our pup vomiting because they ate too much grass? Is that midnight diarrhea because they dug through the trash when we weren't looking? Or is something more serious going on? 

Let's start with the basics. For dogs, IBD can show up as recurring chronic vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or all of the above3. And why? IBD in dogs tends to occur as an immune response to an abnormal gut microbiome, thanks to genetics. But recent studies3 also suggest that environmental factors like pollution, stress, and diet also strongly influence IBD. As it turns out, what your dog is regularly eating has more to do with their digestive distress than we once realized.

Image by Kate Ames / Stocksy
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The raw research.

It doesn't matter whether we're talking about humans or dogs—we always turn to the science where we can. And in 2021, a paper3 was published on a study done with 7,015 dogs (woof) to examine the link between early-life factors like diet and IBD reported later in life. Interestingly, the researchers found that puppies on a raw diet (of uncooked meat, veggies, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients) were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing IBD later in life. Compared to raw-fed puppies, puppies on a kibble diet at the same age were associated with a higher risk of developing IBD later in life. We'll throw you a bone and make it simple: The earlier we start our pups on a raw diet, the better their digestive health may be in the future.

Paws up for raw.

Pet parents tend to think that a raw diet looks like going Michelin on their pet's evening meal. But Instinct Raw makes a raw diet easy and safe for you and more enjoyable for your tail-wagging pal. In addition to being made of responsibly sourced meat and non-GMO ingredients, their recipes are treated by high-pressure processing, a 100% natural and USDA-recognized process that eliminates harmful bacteria. Because the ingredients are never cooked, these formulas stay nutrient-dense and full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Just one scoop from the freezer, and your pup is instantly happier at mealtime.

But more importantly, their bellies are happier on a raw diet. And that's because of a theory researchers3 call the "Old Friends" hypothesis, which suggests that our pups' immune system benefits from early-life exposure to environmental elements like microbes, pollens, and molds (which raw food helps to do). A raw diet helps "educate" our dogs' immune systems to help foster a healthier microbiome for years to come. Just like our own gut microbiome plays a vital role in overall health—the canine microbiome4 similarly protects against pathogens and supports immunity.

The real raw benefits.

We don't always get clear signals about our pup's well-being, but we can stay proactive by choosing a raw food diet (as early as possible) for digestive health. After all, pet parents have reported the real digestive benefits of a raw diet, starting with smaller and firmer No. 2s. But the benefits extend beyond digestion, too, like increased energy levels, improved skin and coat, weight management, and of course, more mealtime excitement over the Instinct Raw Frozen Bites in beef, chicken, or lamb flavor!

Digestion woes can show up in many different forms—for humans and our pet pals alike. No matter the species, getting more intentional with diet is always a step in the right direction. Like us, our dogs deserve what's real: real food and real benefits. One easy scoop of Instinct Raw at a time!

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