Tops tips, advice and info about feeding your dog raw food...
Please remember this is just a basic guide, every dog has different requirements & we are more than happy to have a sit down and work out something that works for you. There are lots of books and groups on raw feeding for research, good ones to start with are:
This is a really great first book, easy to follow and written by a nutritionist:
There are also handy printable guides HERE
Time to switch!
This can be done in two ways, add in a little raw food to the existing diet and gradually reduce the existing food with raw over a two week period.
OR our preferred method
A straight swap. The reason we prefer this is that some dogs don’t do well if their digestive system tries extra hard to work out foods that digest at different rates.
Some are fine with it, but particularly dogs with sensitive tum’s don’t always do well, and people may then think it is the raw when really it is just an internal battle.
We have a sensitive plain protein without offal that is an ideal starter and lets you gradually add in different proteins gently. Four different proteins over time once settled into raw is our rule of thumb, this will ensure a varied vitamin and mineral base. More than four is also great over time but sometimes there are dogs that have food sensitivities & you will have to work within their range.
Foragers Digest is proving to be a huge help for a much calmer food swap. Foragers is a herbal blend which is mostly organic, and is made for sensitive digestions, reflux (among other lovely attributes), & can be found on the website and in the shop.
If the whole bone side of raw feeding has stopped you going ahead fear not, the minces that have bone ground in them will provide the needed nutrients. Bones are super for teeth releasing emotional tension and anxiety, but if it’s a deal breaker there is no point getting worried & just stick to the minces and meaty chunks.
Weight bearing bones such as cow legs (chicken are ok as they are soft) can break teeth so not recommended but great for a bone broth!
Cooked bones are a huge NO NO! Cooked bones can splinter and cause a lot of damage.
We start with duck, chicken wings , necks and then carcasses followed by ribs. Never leave a dog unattended with a bone. I have been raw feeding for a good twenty years with no issue but I always keep an eye out with bones just in case.
Our guide is using the 80% Meat, 10% Bone, 5% Liver & 5% other offal such as kidney, spleen, brains etc.
Tripe is as smelly as it gets, BUT, is jam packed full of goodness so grab an industrial strength peg for the nose and go to it! Try feeding it in the garden. I feed it 3 times a week. Tripe is classed as a meat, as is oily fish and heart, all stinky but all highly beneficial.
The ready made minces with everything done for you are a fantastic start and have been all taste tested by our own pets. We also have straight proteins & mixes, chunks with the line growing over time.
The guide is 2 to 3% of the animal’s perfect bodyweight daily, so a 12kg dog on 2% would be getting 240g daily. (This can be split into two meals if needed of 120g each)
It will all depend on metabolism and energy levels, as you are changing, it may take a short time to adjust the weight up or down but most lose at first, don’t panic just adjust till it comes right.
Veg isn’t a bad word!
There is many a raw feeder that will say veg won’t be digested, it can get very heated sometimes. You will see many dogs naturally foraging for berries, herbs, fruits and veg over time and yes some may not do very well with them, while others will tolerate them without an issue.
So it’s a very individual thing. As nature’s bounty becomes leeched of vitamins and minerals we cannot simply just add more meat. Vegetables can provide some added nutrients, especially if you are growing them with no chemicals or they are organic. We try and feed veg grown above the ground as these are less starchy & blitz them up to make them more digestible, either cooked, raw, or our leftover veg, mine are happy with any.
For your convenience we have alongside our raw minces, specially put together seasonal veg & herbal mixes formulated by Caroline of Hedgerow hounds no less.