Skin – Do you raw feed your dog?
It’s become the biggest change in dog feeding for many years as more and more owners turn to feeding raw meat to their pets. Here at Dorwest we feed our dogs this way and have done so for more years than we care to remember, and so we are ideally placed to understand the concerns of owners who want to change to raw feeding but may be a unsure about it. This feeding regime is often known as the BARF diet, which can mean either Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food – either way it’s a natural diet that your dog was designed to eat in the wild.
Fortunately with the growth in demand there are now a whole range of companies who can offer you a range of raw meats and who have excellent websites and advice lines to answer any queries and provide the food direct to your door. There are also many books on the subject, with some of the most useful and popular being those by Dr Ian Billinghurst – “Give your Dog a Bone” and “The BARF Diet”.
Often people say “I really want to change to raw feeding but am a bit apprehensive, can you advise me?” We understand that making the change can be concerning to begin with, but almost everyone who has done it will tell you that it was so much easier than they thought and also that their dogs had benefited from it both in their general health but also in their enthusiasm for eating their new diet. We really do believe it is not only the most natural and healthy option for most pets but also simple to give and not expensive either.
The one thing that people ask about when moving to a raw feeding regime is “How can I be sure that I’m providing a balanced diet with the right amount of minerals and vitamins?” This concern mainly comes from having been told repeatedly by feed companies offering complete diets that we must make sure that we feed a balanced and comprehensive diet. Of course, as well as being an excellent source of protein, raw meats contain a wide selection of minerals, vitamins and trace elements in varying quantities and as with all things giving a variety of different meats provides a wider mix of these additional nutrients. So we believe that feeding wholesome, unprocessed food which includes a variety of meats along with appropriate supplements is the healthiest and most natural form of feeding and just like ourselves, having a varied diet of fresh nutritious food is the best way to ensure optimum health.
But, you may ask, “What supplements should I give to make sure of this?” Many years ago we developed our now renowned Keeper’s Mix® which is based on a supplement passed down to us by a Dorset gamekeeper and kennel man, that we brought up to date with the benefit of modern herbal knowledge. It contains 8 different herbs, in a fine powder form that is able to be easily digested by dogs, and each of these herbs not only has a benefit for different parts of the body but each one naturally contains minerals and vitamins in their own right – so Keeper’s Mix® provides a good base of additional nutrients to complement a raw food diet.
Many raw feeding pet owners also use our Easy-Green® to supplement these diets. Customers often remark about its vibrant green colour which comes from the ingredients of Spinach, Parsley & Watercress, and this too is an excellent addition to raw feeding regime and is especially rich in iron, vitamin C as well as a range of other valuable micronutrients. Easy-Green® is particularly popular during the warmer summer months as these three plants help to cool the system and so reduce heat irritation during hot weather.
While everyone has their favourite supplement, our own research shows that the majority of our customers using these two fantastic mixes to supplement raw diets, tend to give Keeper’s Mix® during the Winter and then change to Easy-Green® when Summer arrives. Either way, you can be sure that the extra vitamins and minerals they contain, in a natural and easily assimilated form, will provide your pet with a wide range of essential compounds and along with the raw meat diet will keep them in the best of health – and most importantly of course they will absolutely love the food and thank you for choosing it for them.
So join the thousands of people who are choosing this diet for their pets, and do make use of the large amount of information available from raw meat suppliers and through the internet – you and your dogs will be glad you did!