Help please kibble vs raw query ( sorry lots of poo!)


Would welcome some advice - sorry long post!

I have a 14month old miniature golden doodle who has been fed raw since we got her at 8 weeks ( and was weaned onto raw by her breeder).

We have been having some problems with her being very overexcitable and a dog trainer suggested trying her on kibble as it would calm her down.

we have weaned her over to the kibble ( wainwrights) and whilst she is difinately calmer her poos are awful and she is realy flatulent. We are used to nice hard dry poos with little smell, whilst now they are soft, difficult to pick up and smelly. 2 questions: 1 Is this normal with kibble - will it settle down ( we are in week 3) 2. has anyone else experienced behavioural issues with RAW feeding?


I will try to help…(sorry - longer post :slight_smile: )

Firstly I would say that I would want to be very confident in the pet food nutritional awareness of my dog trainer before I acted on their suggestion & changed my dogs food. I also might have spoken to my breeder before switching to kibble, (you don’t indicate if you did this).

To answer your questions :

A1: Based on my experience, kibble stools tend to have greater odour, volume & moisture content than stools from from same dog when fed Raw. Whilst many kibbles have similarities they can vary hugely depending on composition. If you are intent on staying with kibble, iyour dog might do better on other kibble type, however, working out the correct amount to feed can be key (regardless of food type &/or product).

A2 : I have never experienced any behaviour issues feeding raw complete, however, as with any food it is important that energy output is relative to energy input…(exercise should ideally be appropriate to bowl content).

Hope this helps…f you want more assistance then please answer all the questions below

Q1 : What is the exact name of the Wainwrights kibble you are feeding?

Q2 : What caused you to buy this specific product over & above other kibbles ?

Q3 : How much are you feeding daily (state total daily food weight in grams) ?

Q4. How many feeds per day ?

Q5 : Do you feed it dry, dry in water, pre-soaked ?

Q6 : Dog weight ?

Q7 : Dog body condition ( ideal, underweight, overweight ) ?

Q8 : Daily exercise amount (on & off lead etc) ?

Q9: Describe the transition process from raw to kibble ?

Q10 : Was Raw diet a complete product or D.I.Y Raw etc ?

Q11 : How Much raw food weight were you feeding per day ?

Q12 : How old was dog when you switched to kibble ?

Q13 : Did you try reducing daily amount of Raw before changing to kibble ?

Q14 : Any known health issues before or after change ?

Q15 : Any weight loss, gain or health changes since food change ?

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Hello and welcome to the forum. We had a discussion on the subject of hyperactivity and high protein here. Your trainer is not alone in believing that it can contribute to behaviour problems. Trainers see a lot of dogs and may form their opinion on experience. There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence but unfortunately we do not know for definite whether high protein = hyperactivity. The other problem is the owner’s perception of hyperactivity. What some would see as normal for the age and breed of the dog, others would find unacceptable. This is particularly true of people who are first time dog owners as they have no yardstick by which to measure the dog’s behaviour.

You do not say what the composition was of your raw food i.e. whether it was complete or home mixed so it would be useful if you could let us have more information. Having said that, it does seem a shame that you changed the food that your dog was used to and presumably doing well on. It sounds like the Wainwright’s is not really suiting your dog but unfortunately you did not say which product you are using. Is it the rice version or the grain free?

It is interesting that your impression is that the dog is calmer with a lower protein food. If the behaviour of your dog is a priority then you need to look for a food that has this but which also suits your dog’s digestion. However, remember that your dog’s poo will always be more bulky on a dry, commercial food and that it is something you will need to get used to. There are some links here which might be useful:
What You should Know About Your Pet’s Poop
Poop Points

If you would please let us have some more information then we can try to help you source something more suitable for his behaviour issues and his digestion.

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thankyou for the helpful replies - hers some more info

Q1 : What is the exact name of the Wainwrights kibble you are feeding?

Wainwrights light turkey and rice

Q2 : What caused you to buy this specific product over & above other kibbles ?

It had the highest fibre, and was a low fat option ( see below re weight issues) it is also one several friends use without any issues. Also on a practical note it came in a small bag and i didnt want to commit to a huge bag without knowing if it would suit her or not

Q3 : How much are you feeding daily (state total daily food weight in grams) ?

200g over 2 feeds

Q4. How many feeds per day ?

Q5 : Do you feed it dry, dry in water, pre-soaked ?

dry - she didnt like it soaked

Q6 : Dog weight ?

13kg - should be 12
Q7 : Dog body condition ( ideal, underweight, overweight ) ?

Slightly overweight. We have really struggled to keep Milies weight down, she was on 200g day of raw, which she used to gulp down, she has lots of exercise and we use tiny kibble ( piccolo) for training

Q8 : Daily exercise amount (on & off lead etc) ?

45 minutes off lead every morning, 30 ins lunchtime and 30 mins evenings ( sometimes off lead sometimes on depending on no of children in the park!)

Q9: Describe the transition process from raw to kibble ?

over 2 weeks with kibble mixed with the raw ( which she has had in the past wthout difficulties) with increasing ratios of kibble to raw

Q10 : Was Raw diet a complete product or D.I.Y Raw etc ?

complete - natural Instinct

Q11 : How Much raw food weight were you feeding per day ? see above

Q12 : How old was dog when you switched to kibble ? 13 months

Q13 : Did you try reducing daily amount of Raw before changing to kibble ? yes

Q14 : Any known health issues before or after change ? no

Q15 : Any weight loss, gain or health changes since food change ? slight weight loss

Also - another reason for trying kibble is we take her camping i France and the logistics of taking and storing the raw food is difficult. We had been toying with the idea for some time, but the behavioural concerns tipped the balance.

Apart from the poo issues Millie seems fit and well. she is not as hyperactive in the evening, and is able to settle herself more easily than before. She still has lots of energy but we havent had so many manic episodes

THankyou for taking the time to reply - hope this gives a fuller picture


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That is a very good post - lots of information there so thank you for that. Aside from the behaviour issue, I can now see why you have discontinued the raw. If you have to go much below the 2% of body weight to keep their weight in check then arguably it is not the right food for the dog, not least because it is probably going to have an empty stomach fairly quickly and be hungry. Also, as you say it would be difficult to continue the raw when on holiday in France although there are freeze/air dried raw products now.

Because your dog is young, but easily gains weight IMHO you should be looking for a product with 10% to 12% fat although up to 14% would be OK as long as you are careful with the quantity. As you are looking for a moderate protein level, perhaps 25% to 30% would be suitable, digestibility being the important factor. If you go over to the Dog Food Directory you will see the filters on the left hand side. You can choose the things that are important to you in order to narrow down the search. Here is an example, based on your comments:

Type of dog - pet
Type of food - dry (extruded/baked/cold pressed)
Food properties - natural and clearly labelled
Rating - 4-5 stars
Avoid ingredients - all red
Nutrient levels - protein slider 15% to 30%, fat slider 10% to 12%

I removed the ticks from the other boxes and click ‘go’. This returned 8 products and one of them was Wainwright’s grain free adult version so that might be worth looking at. Six of these products are cold pressed and if you care to study the reviews on these you will probably see that there are a lot of owners who report that their dog seems to be calmer on this type of food so one of them could be a good choice. The other extruded one was Nature’s Way Light but it has a low protein level so I would not advise that long term, especially as your dog is so young, although you could top up with a protein food.

You can play with the filters yourself to set different parameters - for instance, if you lower the rating to 3.5% you will get more results, as will removing the tick in the red ingredients box.

Please let us know what you decide and if you need more help. We would be interested to hear how you get on with your dog’s food.

Edit - if you want to know about cold pressed products, we have a thread here that might be of interest.

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Thank you for taking the time to individually respond to the questions I posted. Considering the now provided fuller picture my comments & observations are as follows…

My first comment would be that Turkey as a protein source can sometimes cause some issues for some dogs. Certainly in this household when feeding Wainrwights wet trays with turkey I noticed looser stools & dog rear end related smells. That is not to say that Wainrwrights &/or Turkey should be avoided but it may be worth considering other foods or protein sources if your aim is a more settled digestive system is desired. That said I don’t think Turkey is that high in protein so it should make the dog less energetic assuming that is the ultimate goal.

Do bear in mind that with higher quality working dog foods the clue is in the title. Sure you can buy a sack of sawdust quality foods branded as suitable for working dogs but in the main the better working dog foods are usually designed so that dogs have appropriate available energy day to day…think of a good working dog foods as performance fuels & expect to have energy on tap accordingly !

Considering the weight of your dog & current exercise routine the amount fed doesn’t seem significantly high although sometimes loose or relatively large outputs can indicate a dog may be suited to a downwards adjustment of daily feed amount…you could perhaps try say dropping feed amount by say 10% albeit I suspect this may leave the dog over hungry.

Water intake may be a factor to consider. I didn’t ask how much water the dog was taking on board via an independent bowl. Certainly I would want my dog to take in plenty of water if solely on dry extruded kibble of any type.

Your dog weight & condition reporting don’t indicate you have been massively overfeeding either raw or kibble, however, if feeding a raw complete, stool output was good, the dog was otherwise healthy & only issues were dog overweight & restless then I might have been first looking at a slight reduction in feed amount &/or an increase in exercise activity. I say this as i am a firm believer that dog behaviour & body condition (plus stool output) can be key indicators in helping owners decide if the dog would suit a reduction in food or an increase in daily expelled energy…in basic terms if I was otherwise happy feeding raw complete, for your dog I would have tried reducing bowl amount or providing more off lead or other more demanding exercise.

Whilst on the subject of energy levels, exercise & your specific dog… As you know your dog is a combination of two breeds. Golden retrievers really benefit from exercise and I would expect this breed to have an abundance of energy at a young age such as with your dog. I don’t know a great deal about minature poodles and their metabolism but they are a very intelligent breed that benefit from variety & stimulation. I have met plenty of Labradoodles, Golden Retrievers & toy, standard & giant poodles.

I would actually expect a young dog of your dogs hybrid breed type to be a bit of a handful by genetic default , ( intelligent, energetic & often on the go). Adjustment of exercise, stimulation, training & maybe tweaking daily feed amount of a good food would be my routes to balance out unwanted energy levels before I tried to make the dog more docile by downgrading food quality.

Analysing & interpreting individual & specific percentages of fat, carbs, protein may assist but personally I would be paying more attention to metabolised energy figures when provided. I started looking at these figures first when I was feeding “Millies” Wolfheart (MWH), dry extruded kibbles. Millies make these figures openly available for their products as do Nutriment with their raw complete foods. Very useful, particularly for owners who want to fine tune (up or down) , the food to suit desired energy available in a specific dog

If you decide on a conventional dry extruded Kibble from a UK brand then Mark at MWH is knowledgable & usually happy to assist in helping find a product that might best suit your dog & importantly its diet needs (relative to what you & the dog want to do if you tell him this). Mark has a very good understanding of energy levels & the different factors involved in selecting a specific food. Despite all this he accepts that some foods might not suit a particular dog.

On the subject of brands it is really important to recognise that there are significant differences between specific foods under one brand heading. Natural Instinct Natural chicken for example is a different product than say their Natural Beef & Tripe. Same can be said for other food brands where the ingredients & protein sources vary.

One thing I noted was your additional reason for changing from Raw complete, travelling to France etc & convenience in feeding. I really cant comment here as I don’t know how often you go, what storage, whether you d.i.y. source raw abroad etc. It may be the case you choose to feed something else when abroad, it may be best that you move away from Raw complete for now…Last word on Raw complete is that quality &/or composition of raw completes can significantly vary between brand products & brand names.

I know that cold pressed has been mentioned before, however, I really do think that decent cold pressed foods are worthy of real consideration for owners looking to avoid raw but also keen to avoid traditionally dry extruded kibbles. If looking at cold pressed do take some time looking at ingredient differences and decide whether you want potato or rice etc…Once again Gentle would be my 1st port of call & not least for aftersales & customer service.

Mindful I have posted a lot of content but hope some of the above of use.

Please get back if any questions & please DO keep us updated if able…(others may benefit from you sharing your experience(s) & dog food journey).

Good Luck


Dear all

Many thanks for taking the time to give such comprehensive feedback. Lots to look at and try, will let you know how we get on.