Why feed raw?
My reason for switching to a raw, species appropriate diet, was for the health of my dogs. Healthy shiny coats, white teeth (that I don’t have to brush), less “doggy breath, longer life, less physical illness, I could go on, but I suggest you do some research and make this decision based on your own knowledge. Think of it this way: Chewing on bones exercises the jaw and cleans the teeth, much better than lets say, your favorite pair of shoes?
What about bacteria? Isn’t raw meat bad for my pet?
I ask pet owners to think about what your pet would eat if he lived in the wild? There are no convenient foods out there for them, so they eat what they catch. How many times has your cat brought you a mouse? Why do dogs chase squirrels? Because, this is natural to them. Kibble has only been around for a short time, and was made for convenience. I want to also address concerns about the possible presence of salmonella and e.coli in raw meats. Your pet is a carnivore. Carnivores digestive systems differ from humans quite a bit. Our carnivorous companions are able to handle very high levels of bacteria as carnivores have hydrochloric acid in their stomachs. We have this same acid in our stomachs, but it is not nearly as strong (because we don’t have any need for it to be that powerful). This acid can take care of just about anything, including parasites or germs that may be encountered in the food. Carnivores also have a much shorter digestive tract than ours. This means food passes through their systems quickly, leaving less time for bacteria to get a foothold and cause problems or illness. Have you ever seen a dog bury a bone, just to dig it up a few days later when it’s “ripe”, but you don’t see them get sick, this is why. They are able to handle all kinds of wonderful things that we humans cannot.
Did you know that the only documented cases of animals becoming sick from dog food involve a dry, packaged dog food that contained salmonella? There have also been recalls of several dog treats, such as pig ears, again for salmonella contamination. And lets not forget, dogs and cats lick their back-ends (and other body parts) routinely, as well as rolling in or even eating dead birds, rodents, fish, garbage, etc., without contracting illnesses.
What do I do if I don’t want to handle raw meat?
No problem. My business is made for you. You want all the benefits of feeding raw without the hassle? I custom make your food based completely on your pet’s needs, weight, activity level and food intolerance’s. I make feeding raw just as easy as kibble. You get pre-portioned meal sized patties or portions and all you have to do is thaw and serve!
What goes into your foods?
Meat, Bones, Organ meats. Fruits or veggies too if that is what you prefer, like I said, It’s custom, up to you and your pet. There are different schools of thought on whether cats and dogs require veggies and fruits in their diet. This decision is up to you to make, I support either way of feeding. No two of my clients ever have the same ingredients in their meals, as each of our pets are unique. My diets are as unique as your pet!
How much will I feed my pet?
Generally we base the amount fed on 2-3% of the animal’s adult weight. This is just a ballpark however. For example I feed my Jack/Pug Frankie 2 oz twice a day and my Bulldog/Beagle, Chewbacca, 10 oz twice a day. It depends on activity level and how they look. I rarely weigh my dogs; just go by how they look. If they are getting chunky I cut back a bit, if they are too lean, add a bit more!
Can I feed Kibble and raw food at the same time?
No. Kibble and raw are digested at different rates in your pets system. Kibble contains grains and carbohydrates that take much longer to digest than raw food. If you must feed both kibble and raw you should give your pet’s digestive system 12 hours between.
I don’t have a lot of space to store a lot of frozen food. What can I do to provide variety?
No storage space? No problem. I deliver your food right to you and work with you to set up timing that works both for your schedule and your storage space. Allowing you to be able to feed a wide variety without having to have extra freezer space.
My Vet said I need a low protein diet, isn’t raw meat 100% protein?
On the contrary, many kibbles that claim they are low protein, are not. Yes raw meat is protein, and some think that raw meat is 100% protein but, for example: Chicken breast is around 25% protein, 4% fat and the rest is water. Lamb around 27% protein, 12% fat, the rest water. It’s much more beneficial to your pet and easier to digest to feed a high quality protein than a “low protein” kibble diet.
Will raw food make my pet blood thirsty?
No. Meat is natural to our pets. As mentioned before, kibble has only been around for a short number of years. Companion animals were generally fed kitchen scraps or whatever they could catch before kibble was introduced, but companion animals have lived with humans for hundreds of years.
How do I get started?
I always recommend that you start slowly. Too much, too fast can cause stomach upset. It’s best to start with one meat source that has a good bone to meat ratio – such as chicken, until your pet is used to raw, and then slowly introduce meats one at a time. Very gradually. How long a switch can take with very much depend on your pet, their age, health, intolerances, etc. Switching to raw is not something that should be done without thought and research. It is a big change for both you and your pet. It may seem overwhelming as there is a lot of information out there, both on positives and negatives on what is best for your pet.
You will need to make a commitment to feeding raw, as going back and forth from raw to kibble can be hard on the belly.
What is Detox? You may see some, not all pets experience nutritional detox. Detox happens when the nutrients going into the body are of vastly superior quality than what was previously being fed. The body is literally throwing out the built up poisons and toxins to make way for healthy new tissue. Don’t worry, all is well, the body is curing or healing itself. Sometimes there can also be levels of detoxification depending on the overall state of your pets immune system when they began the raw diet. You may see a few signs and then none and then a few weeks or months later you could see other signs or symptoms. Learn to really “look” at and analyze your pet, some signs can be subtle. Some of the most common symptoms can include:
Runny or weepy eyes, extra wax buildup in the ears, loose or mucousy stools, gas, bad breath, itchy skin, dandruff, body odour, sores.
Don’t be alarmed, like humans, pets need to detox the unwanted things out of their systems and they sometimes show through in the above symptoms. I tell you this so that you are prepared for the change in your pet. These symptoms can last from one day to several months. If your pet is healthy, you may not see any thing at all.
It is recommended to fast your dog once a week to allow the gut to have a break. In the wild an animal may not eat every day, and this allows them to process anything left in their systems, promoting gut health. Fasting is not recommended for cats.
My pet is drinking less since I switched raw food. Is that OK?
Yes. Kibble is processed, cooked and dehydrated to allow a long shelf life. Raw food is 60-80% water, reducing the amount your pet requires to drink on a daily basis. But always remember to always keep fresh clean water out for your pet.
Won’t my pet choke on bones?
Sure, pets choke on bones. They choke on kibble, balls, sticks, rocks…….pets will be pets. Always monitor your pet when they are eating and playing. It is amazing what one can choke on. Some pets “gulp” their food as they have been fed kibble their whole lives and haven’t learned how to chew. They usually quickly catch on. A couple of solutions to teach your pet to chew include giving your pet a large meal, bigger than their head so they have to chew and rip to get smaller pieces off, or, hold on to one end of the meat you are feeding (I suggest using an old towel, those things can get slippery!) this teaches your pet to chew pieces off before swallowing.
Never feed your pet cooked bones. When a bone is cooked it becomes hard and brittle, causing it to break into sharp shards when eaten. Raw bones are soft and pliable, easy to chew, swallow and digest.
My pet’s poop is small, hard and crumby. Is this ok?
One of the best things about feeding raw is the cleanup. What little they do leave behind is dry, chalky, and biodegrades quickly. The best part is there is little to no smell to it. I often loose it in the grass it’s so small, and I don’t worry about that as it disintegrates within a day or two! Having a firm bowel movement also helps express the anal glands promoting better gland helath and less vet and grooming visits!
Please note that a raw diet once in your hands must be handled properly as to not cause food borne illness. Treat a raw diet like you would treat meats you were preparing for your family. Don’t leave meat out for more than one hour, if your pet does not eat their meal within 5-10 minutes, take it away and place in the refrigerator to feed at the next meal time.
The information on this website is not meant to replace the expertise of your veterinarian. Some vets are not supportive of the raw diet and this is something that you will need to discuss with your vet. Always check with your vet before switching your pet’s diet.