How to start feeding raw to your dog
Raw feeding is growing in popularity and we have lots of customers who tell us how their dog has benefited in many ways from a diet change to raw food. We also get asked for information on how to start feeding raw, so we asked James Beattie who has a really great Instagram account Pretty Pointers and also writes an informative blog on raw feeding (Rawsome Vizlas) to put together a blog post for us all about the basics on feeding raw!
These days the ‘norm’ is for dogs to eat a highly processed dried diet. Sure they can physically survive on it but in my view they certainly won’t be developing/living to their genetic potential. There is another option so your dog is not just surviving, but THRIVING. A species appropriate Raw diet.
What are the benefits of feeding a natural Raw diet?
I have noticed these benefits in my dogs and from others who have moved over to raw..…
- Improved digestion
- Healthier teeth and gums
- Better weight management
- Less allergenic risk
- Firmer stools with little or no odour
- Healthier looking skin and coat
- Helps to calm down hyperactive dogs
Feeding raw can be as easy or as complicated as you would like to make it, but do not panic – just remember a good varied diet of quality meat is the most important thing
How much food will your dog need?
An adult dog will eat between 2-3% of their body weight per day. Possibly more depending on their activity levels.
So an average adult dog weighing 25kg will eat approx 600g per day.
Puppies are a different story and you need to feed them according to their age/weight.
7-10 weeks = 10%, 10-16 weeks = 8%, 16-20 weeks = 7%, 20-24 weeks = 6%, 24-36 weeks = 5%, 36-56 weeks = 4%, 56-69 weeks = 3.5%
There are many of us raw feeding advocates who love nothing more than hacking into carcasses for the benefit of our dogs. However you can also get the more convenient ‘Raw Completes’. Which are pre-made packets of raw that you take out of the freezer the night before and simply pour into their bowl the next day. These pre-made packets are complete and contain everything your dog needs in term of bone and organ and meat. They have made feeding Raw much more accessible for more pet owners
The other way to raw feed is called Prey Model Raw.
With PMR its up to you to ensure your dog is getting the correct ratio of Meat/Organ/Bone.
This is simpler than it sounds. You don’t need to ensure that each day is balanced. A balanced diet can be reached over time. A general rule to follow to ensure a balanced diet is 80% meat, 10% offal and 10% bone.
What to feed?
Variety is very important to a healthy raw diet! You can basically feed all parts of any animal. This includes the muscle meat from all the usual suspects, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Beef and Pork. But you can also feed game such as Rabbits, Pheasants, Partridge, Pigeon and Venison. Not to mention a range of Oily fish, Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Sardines, Sprats…. High Omega 3.6.9 and low mercury fish is best.
Offal is organ meat, however not all ‘organs’ are classed as offal in Raw feeding. Liver must make up half of the 10% of your dogs offal content. The other 5% should be made up of Kidneys and/or Pancreas, Testicles, Brain, Lungs etc. Heart and Gizzards, although technically organs, are classed as muscle meat so feed these as part of your 80%.
This is what many people have a mental block on feeding. Why? because they have most probably been told that bones can splinter and kill your dog. Which is true FOR COOKED BONES!!! Never ever feed a dog cooked bones! This includes the dried/baked bones which are sold in pet stores and supermarkets. Raw bones are perfectly healthy for dogs! Raw bones are natures toothbrush.
Neither way of feeding is any better than the other you just have to make the decision which you are more comfortable doing and what suits yours and your dogs lifestyle.
Providing you are feeding a variety of meats bone and offal your dogs should be receiving all the nutrients they need. However good quality supplements can have enormous benefits to dogs, my favourite products from the Dorwest range for optimum health are Keepers Mix and Omega Star. Here is a photo of what meal times look like in our house!
Written by James Beattie
My name is James and I’m 26 years old from the West Midlands. I have two Hungarian Vizslas, Hendrix and Luna which are my absolute world.
Nutrition and its effect on health and performance is something I have always been passionate about and spent years researching for my own bodybuilding and sports performance. Many of the same components are transferred to canine nutrition and health.
So my obsession switched to ensuring the healthiest and most natural for my dogs too.
Our Instagram account Pretty Pointers got very popular and I was constantly asked about my dogs diet and how others could feed their dogs the same. So I started a raw feeding blog where I could put all my research into one site to help new raw feeders make the transition and have all the info I had gathered, coupled with my own experiences at the click of a button. https://rawsomevizslas.wordpress.com/howtostartraw/
The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dorwest Herbs Ltd or any employee thereof. Dorwest Herbs Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.