Changing Diet...

I have a 6 year old Boxer, we feed him on regular dry dog food but are thinking of changing to raw dog food, but whenever we change his diet it really upsets his stomach, any advice would be grateful.

Our local pet shop sells Natures Menu raw dog food, what is this like?


Hello and welcome to the forum, Often a change of food can upset the digestive system a bit. I have always been lucky with my dog and she seems to change without much upset even to a raw diet. If you have a look at This article from the site you will find some advice about making changes to your dogs diet. I hope this helps.

ETA I tried Natures menu for a bit and my dog did okay on it. She did lose weight however so I put her a different food. I know of others who’s dogs have done well on it and I would possibly feed it again if she needed to lose weight. The one which comes in frozen cubes is very convenient as you just need to get out the required number for your dogs meal.


Hello and welcome to the forum. Please can you tell us what brand of dry food you are giving to your dog, how much he is having and why you are wishing to change to raw feeding? What is his general health like?

Regarding transitioning to raw, some people say just stop kibble and start feeding raw while others recommend a transition period. In view of your dog’s sensitive digestion if you decide to change to raw complete I think it would be best to contact the company for advice.

You asked for opinions about Natures Menu. Their products score well on the Dog Food Directory and like Tinyplanets, I have used the Country Hunter nuggets and they are indeed very easy to feed. I found that my dogs enjoyed the food but they are not fussy eaters. This, and another type of raw complete proved to be unsuitable for my dogs so they are no longer raw fed but there are many animals who do very well on such a diet.

I only have limited experience feeding natures menu…only fed mince & not nuggets so in honesty I can’t properly review same.

I currently feed Nutriment & sometimes feed wolftucker…both good raw complete brands IMO…dogs seem fine on these & no issues seen - stool output fine on both but I have yet to feed all flavours. Paleo Ridge also worth a look perhaps.

Mail order worth considering if local sourcing negatively restricts product choice.

Some advocate a gradual phased change from kibble to raw…I personally am happy with a quicker change although I would keep daily feed amounts towards lower amounts initially .

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I am currently feeding him Bakers…yeh yeh yeh i know i have had lots of stick because this is in effect junk food but he eats it and doesn’t upset his stomach. But this is one of the reasons for changing and Pets@Home is 15 miles away from my house which is a bit of a pain.

Our local pet store now sells Natures Menu and i had a look at the website ( and the range is superb. If its just a case of persevering with his upset stomach until he gets used to the new food this has to be worth the change for both him and my petrol hasn’t it? Whenever i change food i always go back at the first sign it is effecting his stomach instead of persevering.


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Thank you for posting. Lots of pet owners are not aware of food quality and that is why this website is here so well done for having a look and learning more about this subject. As he has a sensitive digestion any alteration in food needs to be handled with care.

Changing from Bakers to raw is a big leap as they are at opposite ends of the dog food spectrum. There is no reason why your dog should not do well on raw food and in fact it might help his sensitive digestion. However, in your case it would probably be best to have a gradual transition and the Natures Menu nuggets would be a good choice because you can take a few out of the freezer as required.

If you are minded to transition to Natures Menu, perhaps just buy one flavour for the time being. There are a few but maybe the rabbit one would be suitable as it is a novel protein for your dog and it is digestible. Use this for the whole of the transition period if possible. It would be best not to mix the Bakers with the raw so maybe just give one or two nuggets between meals as a snack. Over a period of time, this could be increased and the Bakers correspondingly decreased. Eventually you will reach the stage where you could replace one meal per day with the raw food then two. It does not matter how long you take to transition but be patient and hopefully your dog will not have any problems.

It is recommended that you give different varieties of meat so when you are sure your dog is alright with his new diet, you can begin to try others but again, take your time so that you can properly assess his response.

Natures Menu helpline telephone number is on their website and they will give advice about transitioning so I would recommend that you contact them. We would be grateful if you would keep us updated on this as it is of interest to us and would be helpful to others contemplating a similar thing.

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On walks my dog sometimes eats horse faeces…this seldom upsets his stomach, however, I would not put it in his bowl.

If travelling to source is an issue it may also be worth looking at mail order options too…Not advising you to look further afield than natures menu, however, by considering mail order you will have more choices going forward.

Welcome to the forum Andy H!
It sounds as though you have been hearing rather negatively about the food you currently feed your boxer viz i have had lots of stick because this is in effect junk food … and yet there are plenty of people who feed their dogs on foods which others may disagree with, even ‘disapprove’ of - some fed unknowingly, and some albeit deliberately - for reasons not always apparent to others. Amongst other reasons are limited cost considerations which reduces choice, or breeders who affiliate with a specific manufacturer, more commonly particular foods being donated to charities and sometimes working dog sponsoring by manufacturers; and in these cases food choice is limited to dogs.

Indeed in times past pet dogs were given food that was absolutely the norm, and nowadays would be thought of as perhaps ‘junk’ food. Trends change, and together with our greater understanding of what we feed (and what we learn from each other) we are able to become better informed when choosing what to feed our dogs.

Firstly I’d ask you to think about which of the Nature’s Menu you’d want to feed him as some are complimentary raw foods and some are complete raw foods.

It may also be helpful to look at the nutrients of the food you are currently feeding to your boxer, and Bakers Complete Adult has borderline average to low protein, and borderline average to low fat, borderline average to low fibre, mid average ash, and high above average carbohydrate as shown in the allaboutdogfood (useful) nutrient dials here:

Also to consider is the nutrients profile for the food you want to change to. So if this is Nature’s Menu Adult Nuggets (a raw complete food) the nutrients are mid average protein, borderline above average to average fat, mid average fibre, borderline below average to average ash and borderline average to above average carbohydrate, as shown in the nutrient dials here:

You can see, and as you might suspect, the nutrient profiles of the 2 foods are completely different, and together with different ingredients, plus moisture levels of approx 8% vs 70%, I’d advise a slow, gradual transition.

Hopefully, he will enjoy his new diet and do well during the transition period. Though may I also add that If you find his stomach is really not settling (& if he were mine I’d re-evaluate after 2-3 weeks) then it may be that his new food is not suiting him, as undoubtedly there are some foods that suit some dogs and some foods that simply don’t.
Will you please let us know how you get on as this may help others too.

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In the FAQ the first paragraph ‘Do I need to change food?’ is worth reading, particularly with reference to some dogs being suited to lower rated foods. I know someone who is on a very limited budget and has fed Chappie for years and her dogs seem fine on it. Years ago I had spells of feeding Chappie although today it would not be my choice.

Changing food, especially when the dog has a sensitive digestion, can be problematical so it needs to be done for a good reason. One way of enhancing a dog’s diet when a lower quality food is used is to reduce the daily allowance by 25% and top up with suitable home cooked food, if the budget allows it. In this case, perhaps at least 50% of which should be protein. Dog foods are labelled ‘complete’ but topping up can be a good way of providing extra nutrition and variety without risking upsetting the dog’s digestion. Needs a bit of research to identify the correct foods to give.

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I acknowledge the recognition that cost can be a factor.

According to info on this site…a male Boxer weighing 33kg might cost around 3 times more per day to feed the Natures Menu product linked over the Bakers product linked.

There are other kibbles out there for prices closer to Bakers.

If Raw was genuinely desired over & above all other food types then raw meals could be put together cheaper with d.i.y approach, sourcing direct from raw suppliers…be warned though d.i.y. raw sourcing can be a bloodier experience & need some trial to find right products &/or cost.

I’m aware that owners possibly will feel the food for their dog may not be ‘up to the mark’, perhaps not least due to ‘opinions’ that people feel they may ‘freely’ mention … :o … (as ably demonstrated by your situation Andy H of “lots of stick”) unsurprisingly leading to owners virtually feeling compelled to change their dogs diets.

Nevertheless, it is prudent to ask the question (as Dottie mentions), of should the diet be changed? And if an owner believes it should, and that is a personal decision, then to think carefully about how the diet might alter - be changed completely? or be partially changed?

Andy H whatever you decide, be that changing your boxer over to another food - or changing his existing diet in some measure, or not, please will you let us know how things progress as this may help others later.

Andy H

Any update appreciated :slight_smile: