How much do I feed on raw?
The guidance for feeding raw is 2-3% of the ideal adult body weight. So, if your dog weighs 10kg, then 250g would be 2.5% of her body weight and would be a good starting point. This is only a guideline however and it does depend on your dog’s activity level, natural metabolism and how many treats you feed. Watch the figure – you are aiming for a nipped in waist, ribs and hip bones that you can feel, but don’t stand proud.
How do I start?
Simply stop whichever kibble or wet food you are currently feeding on one day, and introduce the raw diet the next day. There is no need to transition, particularly as processed food and raw food are digested at different rates, so it is best to swap straight over.
What training treats can I give?
There is a wide range of natural treats which are all complementary to a raw diet. For simple training treats, try natural biscuits such as Betty Miller or Carnilove. For more complex commands, reward your dog with any of the 95-100% meat treats, such as Pet Munchies, Nature’s Menu, True Instinct, Feelwells and Carnilove.
What chews can I give?
If you are looking for a longer lasting treat to help settle your dog for some quiet time, try any of the dried chews such as pizzles, tendons, tails, ears, trotters. There are also a number of more hard-wearing chews like antlers, wood, No Hide and Yakers. Alternately, you might want to try a raw treat, such as necks, wings, marrowbones, knucklebones or ribs. Never give cooked bones as they are lower in moisture and can easily splinter causing blockage or choking.
Can I change brand of raw?
By definition, all the ingredients in raw food are in their natural state. This means that you can change product without having to transition slowly. If you have a fussy dog, or you simply want to offer variety, you could mix and match a number of different brands in your pet’s diet.
What about going away?
Many people like to take their dog on holiday with them (when travel is permitted!), but don’t have facilities in the motorhome, caravan or tent for raw food. For this period you can either choose a freeze-dried raw option, such as Nature’s Menu or True instinct, or a high quality kibble or wet food. You can then swap straight back to raw when you get home. You can always supplement wet or dry food with a chicken wing to help keep the stool firm.
What equipment do I need to feed raw?
You will need some space in the freezer, although many people with big or multiple dogs often end up getting a separate freezer for their pets. You will need feeding bowls, ones with a lid are convenient if you are putting the food back in the fridge. Tupperware is useful for storing food while it is defrosting. Scales are necessary to ensure you are feeding the right amount. And some people like to use dedicated utensils for their pet food.
Why does my dog sometimes bring up bile?
Raw food is digested much faster than processed food and at first can leave the dog with an empty stomach, and without anything to digest, the stomach acid can then be brought up as bile. This is most likely to happen when you first introduce your dog to raw as it gets used to the new diet. It can also happen if they have not eaten enough and it might be necessary to increase the amount or frequency you are feeding your pet.
Why is my dog drinking less?
Whereas kibble is dry and your dog will require water to re-hydrate, raw food is naturally full of moisture and so dogs will need to drink less to stay hydrated. However you should always make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water at all times.
Why is my dog’s poo so much smaller and harder on raw?
This is a good side effect of raw food, for both you and your pet! The stool production is much smaller, firmer and less smelly, which is great for dog owners to pick up. But your dog will also be happier as a firm stool helps to express the anal glands naturally.
Do I need to add biscuits to a raw diet?
If you are buying a complete raw food, then no you don’t need to add anything. If you are thinking that your dog wants something to crunch, and / or want to help keep his teeth clean, you can add a raw bone, but you might need to reduce the amount you are feeding if this is a regular addition.
Is it a complete meal?
Most of the raw food we supply will be a complete meal, however we do also offer a range of bones, minces, meat chunks and offal. These items are designed to be used to make up complete meals, but can also be given in addition to a complete meal as a treat or snack. The packaging will usually say if it’s a complete meal, or complementary, but if you are in any doubt please just ask.
What if I forget to get food out?
Don’t panic and please do not microwave any food to defrost it as it may start to cook it inadvertently. To speed up the defrosting process you can place the raw food in a container, and place that in a bowl of hot water.
Can I feed raw food frozen?
Yes you can feed raw food frozen, and it’s a particularly nice treat in the heat of the summer for dogs to have a cool meal. You can also feed it slightly frozen if your dog eats too fast as it will help slow him down.