Starting your pet on a RAW Diet
Before anything else, if your dog has health issues please talk to a vet or pet nutritionist before embarking on your raw feeding journey. The sole reason for this is to make sure the food is adjusted to take into consideration anything specifically needed for their individual dietary needs, e.g. low fat, food allergies or medication. Most health issues do improve with this way of raw dog food feeding but it is wise to take current health issues in to consideration.
The following method is a simple but effective way to get your pet successfully started on a raw food diet. It is a very simple method and easy to understand. Don’t worry about getting all the nutrients needed in the first couple of weeks, it will even itself out over time.
So, firstly a few important things to remember:
- Dogs can and often do lose weight in the initial stages. This is due to the body's natural detoxification of all it does not need but has built up in the system from previous feeding regimes.
- They can get the 'tummy gurgles' and/or can bring up a yellow frothy liquid. Feeding 3 meals instead of 2 can help with these symptoms should they appear in the early stages. This can soon be dropped down again to twice a day. Both 'tummy noises' and any yellow frothy liquid are nothing to worry about unless continual for more than a couple of days and your dog is obviously appearing to be unwell. We would of course advise a visit to your Vet because of course an unrelated problem could be coming up.
- They may seem to more hungry than normal, again this is nothing to be concerned about and is actually to be expected. Remember the food is not in their stomachs for as long as kibble or commercial pet foods and pure raw pet food is not bulked out with fillers!
- Every dog is different, what suits one may not suit another. Don’t worry - this diet is easy to adjust to suit your dog's individual needs.
- We don’t recommend mixing raw with kibble/dry pet food because commercial dried diets have a transit time through the body of approximately 12 hours. Raw pet food in comparison only having approximately 4 hours. Kibble/dry pet food also affects the PH in the stomach, making it more neutral, when dogs need a naturally acidic PH of 1-2 to safely and effectively digest the raw meat.
- If you have any concerns at all or need guidance and advice please contact us and we will be happy to offer assistance. We are responsible suppliers of raw pet food and as such stock a good variety for your dog’s diet. Some prefer meat chunks, some mince etc. It doesn’t matter as long as you and your dog are happy with it.
- A freezer is really helpful so you can keep a stock of your pet's food needs because it is important to keep raw food frozen until it is needed. Of course you can always come shopping every couple of days but you can save so much time as well as money with the help of a freezer! Look on all the free sites and you can usually pick one up pretty cheaply.
- NEVER EVER FEED COOKED BONES! Why is it such a big NO, NO? Well simply because they can splinter and could pierce the gut and bowels. Obviously we wouldn’t recommend cooking bones for this reason alone. The safety of your pet is most important.
- Chicken Mince in raw feeding is usually minced chicken carcass and when starting to feed a raw diet is probably the most useful meat to start with. However as it includes bone so you need to know the percentage to effectively help start your pet’s digestive system working properly after being suppressed due by previous commercial dried foods and kibble. It may be necessary to reduce the bone content percentage initially by adding some chunks in to the meal achieving any reduction needed in the percentage of bone being fed.
- Don't forget to calculate the amount of raw food needed for each meal - we usually suggest that between 2-3% of your pet's weight is a good starting point.
2% of adult weight:
|2.5% of adult weight:|| |
3% of adult weight:
30,000g x 0.02 = 600g of food
|30,000g x 0.025 = 750g of food|| |
30,000g x 0.03 = 900g of food
20,000g x 0.02 = 400g of food
|20,000g x 0.025 = 500g of food|| |
20,000g x 0.03 = 600g of food
10,000g x 0.02 = 200g of food
|10,000g x 0.025 = 250g of food|| |
10,000g x 0.03 = 300g of food
So now you are ready to start and we recommend the slow introduction of raw dog food over 10 days as follows:
Day 1 We recommend that you ensure the first meal is at least 12 hours after their last kibble/dry meal. This helps rid the body of all kibble residue.
- AM Feed: Give approximately 1/3 of the dog’s meat requirement for the day. (If you are adding vegetables don't use much at this stage). Vegetables can be a good filler should your dog need to loose weight and does help to provide varied nutrients.
- PM Feed: Again just feed approximately 1/3 of the dog’s total daily requirement.
Days 2 and 3: Repeat what you did for Day 1.
Day 4: Slightly increase the amount of meat for both meals, again adding vegetables if using it.
Days 5, 6 and 7: Repeat what you did for Day 4.
Fantastic you have made it! A whole week as a raw feeder!
Day 8: By now you can increase to the full amount of meat your pet should have per day, split between 2 meals. Still keep to only chicken mince though at this stage.
Nasty subject fact coming up now - sorry but you need to know! Raw feeders all become avid/obsessed pooh watchers (don't worry we all do it!) because this is how we know there is not too much bone in the diet so we can avoid constipation, which of course can be life threatening in very extreme cases of impaction. Simply explained - if your dog’s pooh is very white and crumbly, cut down the bone content and increase the meat percentage. Add more vegetables if you are using them and eventually liver which will also help resolve this problem.
Day 9: Continue as you did on day 8
Day 10: Now the menu starts getting a little more exciting. You can now start introducing different meats. Try one new meat introduction at a time keeping the chicken as a base, as this keeps the diet simple enough for you to pick up on any allergy issues starting or upset tummy. Try the new meat with chicken for approximately 3-4 days before being sure you can move on with confidence. This way also ensures that you don’t overload your pet's diet too quickly and end up with a rather nasty mess to clear up!
Chicken is an easy way to have a ‘reset button’ to use. If you find you have over fed or perhaps have gone in too quickly with a new meat, simply stop feeding the new food and revert back to chicken only! Then once everything has re-settled start introducing other meats again.
Eggs can be introduced after a minimum of 1 week and are a great addition 2 - 3 times a week. The shells contain calcium so you can also include these. Eggs are a great food for growing puppies, however for dogs not used to them maybe introduce smaller amounts initially.
Whole bones shouldn’t be introduced until at least 2 weeks after starting. This is because stomach acids need to build and the body needs to adjust to this new, healthy way of eating first.
- Meal bones should be meaty – Lamb, chicken or duck wings or chicken and duck carcass.
- Beef Bones can wear down teeth and should only be used for recreational exercise and for very short periods of time. They are not a meal bone. We don’t recommend feeding beef bones as a meal as they are too tough.
Fish should be introduced after 2 weeks. Fish is an important part of the raw food diet as it contains great, health giving oils. However some dogs don’t like fish so instead you can use salmon oil to keep the Omega 3 in the diet. Another oil that has numerous health giving properties is coconut oil - we recommend the organic one. Although some dogs don’t like fish, a great tip is to try them on it hidden a meat partner eg Salmon and Chicken with added Kelp. Feed fish or fish oil approximately 2 or 3 times per week.
Offal shouldn't be introduced until after the first 3 weeks. In raw feeding terms offal is kidney, liver and other secreting organs. Lungs and heart is a muscle meat (quite rich so don’t overload). All are great to include in the diet and Offal MUST be included as it contains very important vitamins in your pet's raw meals.
There is so much information we could give you, but, we would be at risk of overloading you and may even put you off trying a raw dog food diet to the detriment of your pet. As you gain confidence and want to learn more we recommend you research and maybe join some of the many RAW feeding pages on Facebook to help you and give you an alternative source for asking questions when they arise, although of course we are very happy to assist you.
You may also want to have a look at this - http://www.rawfeedingrebels.com/raw-feeding-dogs-starter-guide/ and also http://www.rawfeedingrebels.com/feeding-puppy/