Frequently asked questions
Why feed raw?
Ultimately it comes down to the face 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, 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' vs DIY
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 already balanced 80/10/10. They are the most popular form of feeding raw. However the term 'complete' is misleading- you cannot feed alone in just one flavour as it is not nutritionally balanced enough to meet all of your dogs needs. Dogs need a minimum of 3-4 different meat proteins plus extras. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Some more experienved raw feeders prefer a DIY approach, putting together their own bowls with meaty bones, offal and additional meat. We wouldn't suggest this to complete raw beginners as it can be a bit confusing until you get your head around it all. We're happy to guide you if you want to move from pre-made mince to DIY!
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 the dog.
e.g. a 20kg dog, in good condition, fed at 2.5% body weight
20kg x 2.5/100 = 0.5kg = 500g
This should ideally be fed over two meals, so around 250g per meal.
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!
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, sprats, herring or sardines. If your dog won't eat a whole fish, try fish-based minces. Mussells 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, duck eggs - whatever you can get your hands on.
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 always recommend feeding fresh, but we also stock dried fruit, veg and herb mixes you can just sprinkle on top of your pets meal.
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.
Supplements- you can buy supplements that contain mixes of all the above. We love Proflax as it's Flaxseed oil based with a blend of herbs for a variety of issues e.g. heart health, older dogs. We also like SmartBarf which is an all-in-one mix to complement your pets raw diet, much like an all-natural multi-vitamin!
Making the transition... how do I do it?
We reccomend 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 meat for yourself.