WHY, WHAT & HOW?
- STARTER GUIDE TO RAW FEEDING DOGS -
There really are only a few hard and fast rules in canine nutrition, however no one person has all the answers. What you will learn as you see the health of your dog improve and your dog’s coat begins to glisten is that raw feeding improves the health and vitality of your beloved fur baby.
The key point to remember with a raw diet is balance over a certain period i.e. over a week. One meal could have more bone content, another more meat or organ.
The approximate ratio to aim for overall is:
80% meat, sinew, ligaments, fat
10% edible bone
5% other organ meat e.g. tripe
Other Feeding Guides:
NEVER feed cooked bones of any type as when bones are cooked, they become harder and are dangerous for the dog as they can splinter. Raw bones are soft enough to bend and digest easily. Dogs are carnivores (their DNA is 99% wolf) so dogs are designed to digest raw meat and bones.
Feed your dog’s chicken feet, they are loaded in natural chondroitin and glucosamine which help to build healthy joints.
Avoid the weight bearing leg and knuckle bones of large animals such as beef - also the vertebrae as these are too dense and dangerous to teeth.
Carbohydrates, in particular grains, are not a natural part of the dog’s diet and we do not recommend they form any part of the diet. Dogs do not have the ability to digest grains properly, instead it puts extra strain on the liver as it must produce more bile to break down the insoluble fibre found in grains.
How Much to Feed:
Most dogs eat around 2 - 3% of their ideal weight per day. For example:
10kg dog 200g - 300g
20kg dog 400g - 600g
30kg dog 600g - 900g
Initially when starting your dog on raw, it is recommended starting with 2% of body weight and splitting the daily amount.
Over 6 months old, split into 2 meals per day
4 - 6 months, 3 meals per day
Under 4 months, 4 meals a day
Dogs over one year should be switched gradually to one feeding per day as it is better for their digestion when on a raw diet. If your dog regularly does not eat all of their meal in one go, then you know you are feeding too much and should adjust accordingly.
Once established on raw, then you can increase the amount of food to 2.5% - 3% of adult body weight depending on your dog. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more than 3%, or if your dog is a couch potato, you may need to feed a little less than 2% - all dogs are different. Run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, yet not see them, your dog is at a good weight.
Natural Food equals Natural Health and helps provide the building blocks of a strong immune system.
Benefits we have experienced with our 3 dogs are:
Enjoy their food
Much cheaper vet costs
Shiny healthy coats
Sweeter smelling skin
Pearly white teeth, healthy gums, better smelling breath
No tooth decay or periodontal disease
These are just a few of the benefits there are many more. In general dogs that eat raw are more balanced, even their characters improve. Any raw feeder who has switched from commercial will tell you this.
No matter what breed it is .....No matter what their size....
- STARTER GUIDE TO RAW FEEDING CATS -
Thinking about feeding your cat raw food?
Personally, we believe a raw food diet is the best option for cats. Cats are natural hunters and carnivores, so eating raw meat is the closest to what they’d actually eat in the wild.
Benefits of Raw:
Cats are obligate carnivores with acidic digestive systems that are designed to efficiently process a meat-based diet. Cats who have food sensitivities often do well on raw food diets that contain a single protein. Commercial pet foods (dry and canned), often include grains which are much harder for cats to digest. Consumption of carbohydrates is also linked to a range of medical conditions such as diabetes and urinary crystals.
Healthier Skin and Coat
Your cat’s skin will benefit from the fatty acids found in a raw food diet, and their fur will be softer, shinier and less prone to shedding. You’ll probably notice a reduction in hairballs too.
Better Teeth and Dental health
The action of chewing meat or small raw meaty bones acts like a toothbrush — so a cat on a raw food diet will have stronger jaws, clean teeth and healthier gums. No more ‘stinky’ cat breath!
The high-quality protein that your cat gets from raw meat will provide much more energy than commercial pet food enhancing your cat’s overall vitality and quality of life. If you have a cat who is a ‘couch potato’ don’t be surprised if they suddenly become more active and want to play more.
Better Smelling Poop and Less of it
If your cat is getting the perfect balance of nutrition, their body makes use of almost all of it, meaning that they won’t need to poop as much to eliminate waste. Raw feed cats poop less often, their poops are smaller and it has the added bonus of hardly smelling at all!
Fears and Answers
Some people are reluctant to introduce their cat to a raw food diet, it’s often because they have legitimate fears and concerns.
Fear of Bacteria like E-coli or Salmonella
One of the biggest fears with a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. You can minimise this risk by following safe meat handling procedures and purchasing raw meat only from reputable sources. If you don’t think you’re going to use the raw food straight away, freeze it in meal-sized portions.
Remember too, cats have highly efficient and acidic digestive systems and food passes through their system quickly, reducing the risk of bacteria taking hold.
Fear of Feeding Raw and Myth Busting:
Perceived High Costs
A raw meat diet can be expensive, especially in the beginning when you’re trying out different things to see what your cat likes and doesn’t like.
But it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune! You can save money by buying meat in bulk or taking advantage of discount offers.
Handling Raw Meat and Organs
Fear of handing raw meat can be a major factor in decision making when it comes to feeding your pet a raw food diet. Some people just don’t like the idea of handling raw meat and offal.
We can help, by dividing your pet’s weekly requirements into daily portions. All you do is remove it from the freezer thaw and serve. No need to even touch the meat!
Hard to get the Nutritional Balance Right
Ensuring your pet gets everything they need in a balanced raw diet can be challenging at first, but it gets easier.
One of those concerns may be: “What if I make a mistake and don’t get the nutritional supplements right? Will I cause harm to my pet?”
There are lots of online resources to help you get it right and we can support you during the process. There are also options to ensure your pet’s raw food is nutritionally balanced.