Frequently asked questions
Why feed raw?
Ultimately it comes down to the fact that dogs are carnivores - it is a biologically appropriate diet.
Despite their visual differences, dogs are genetically derived form wolves, and their digestive systems are built to eat meat. Despite being domesticated, there's no evidence to suggest their digestive systems have evolved to cope with what humans now feed them. They do not possess the enzymes to break down carbohydrates like rice or corn, so it's only going to come out the other end (as large, smelly poo!)
There are many benefits to feeding raw, as long as it's balanced appropriately.
- Firm, smaller poo (which doesn't smell!)
- Shiny coat and healthy skin
- Clean teeth with less problems with plaque build up
- Less allergies - you have greater control over what you're giving your dog
- Shown to prevent health problems such as diabetes, obesity and arthritis
If you'd like to learn more about the problems in the processed pet food industry, a starting point, would be to watch the documentary "The Truth About Your Dog's Food" which originally aired on Channel 5.
Whatever commercial dog food you use, be it kibble or tinned, ultimately it's highly processed 'fast' food, that came to the market purely for human convenience, not for the benefit of the dog. It's cooked at very high temperatures, which destroys most of the nutritional benefit, and usually contains high portions of carbohydrate.
What to feed: Completes, DIY or both?
A balanced raw diet should be based on the principle of roughly 80/10/10 ratios.
"Complete" is the term some companies use to represent a mince mixture which is an already balanced 80/10/10. They are the most popular form of feeding raw. Dogs need a minimum of 3-4 different meat proteins a week. This is to ensure they get a fully balanced nutritional diet. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Some more experienced raw feeders prefer a DIY approach, putting together their own bowls with meaty bones, offal and additional meat. We wouldn't suggest this to raw beginners as it can be a bit confusing until you get your head around it all. But we're happy to guide you through it as and when your ready.
DIY gives you a more diverse menu and dogs love it!
80% muscle meat
10% offal (5% liver, 5% other organ)
How much should I feed?
An adult dog should be fed at 2-3% of their body weight. These percentages are only a guide - you should adjust according to the body condition of your dog.
e.g. a 20kg dog, in good condition, fed at 2.5% body weight
20kg x 2.5% = 0.5kg = 500g
This should ideally be fed over two meals, so around 250g per meal. But don't worry, some dogs prefer just one meal a day, if thats the case for your furry friend, just go with it.
Puppies are a little more complicated and it depends on their current weight and age. Roughly speaking;
1-2 months = 10%
2-3 months = 9%
3-4 months = 8%
4-5 months = 7%
5-6 months = 6%
6-9 months = 4-5%
9-12 months = 3-4%
12+ months = feed as adult
Under 4 months- 4 meals per day
4-6 months - 3 meals per day
6 months + - 2 meals per day
As always, if you have any questions at all, please get in touch! We're always here to help and advise.
What extras can I feed?
- Fish - The best source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D for your pet is whole fish! It's suggested a couple of fish, a couple of times a week is a reasonable amount. We suggest mackeral and sprats. If your dog won't eat a whole fish, try fish-based minces. Mussels also provide an excellent source of trace elements such as manganese which meats are not rich in.
Eggs - Yes, raw, shell and all! Feed no more than twice a week, and this would count towards the 80% muscle meat portion of the diet. Chicken, quail, goose or duck eggs - which ever you can get your hands on will do.
Fruit & Vegetables - There is debate as to whether there is a nutritional requirement in the diet for fruit and veg but they can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, and variety in taste and texture. We would recommend feeding fresh, but we also stock dried fruit, veg and herb mixes you can just sprinkle on top of your pets meal. These are a fabulous way to get some of the fruit and veg goodness into your furry friend.
Herbs and seeds and oils -
A great source of nutrition! Sunflower seeds, turmeric paste, salmon oil - just a few examples of things you may notice people add to their pets meals, and super easy to use.
Supplements- We have a wide range of supplements for a wide range of health benefits. For example: Bone and joint supplement, flea and tick, immunity and vitality, organic spirulina powder, turmeric, bee pollen, and liver love, just to name afew. Supplements are a great way to keep your pets in tip top condition!
Making the transition - how do I do it?
We recommend a straight swap from traditional commercial dog food, to raw. We strongly advise against "gradually introducing" as the dog will struggle to digest both types of food and it can cause issues.
Although your dog can swap straight onto raw, it's advisable to gradually introduce each element, and introduce only one protein source at a time, which will allow you to ensure the dog is tolerating each new product you introduce.
Often this process can take several weeks, but puppies can be transitioned a little quicker.
Drop us a message on Facebook, Instagram or via e-mail we can e-mail over a copy of our own transition guide!
What about bacteria?
Dogs and cats are well equipped to deal with low levels of bacteria in food. Their saliva has anti-bacterial properties, and the PH level in the stomach of raw-fed dogs is so low (1-2) that it kills the majority of pathogens. Healthy dogs will not get 'food poisoning' from being fed raw.
We stock DEFRA approved manufacturers, who regularly submit their product for testing for a range of bacteria (including salmonella, e-coli and listeria). If there are any concerns about contamination, the product is recalled from the market - the risks here are the same as in any food product you see in the supermarket, and if you take a look on the Food Standards Agency website, you may be surprised to see that there are many more processed food recalls than raw!
Just ensure you observe good hand and surface hygeine as you would when handling raw meat for yourself.