Raw FAQ's Before Transition
Raw feeding can be a huge change in both your and your dogs lives. It can feel daunting taking the step. If you are like us then you spend hours reading and end up confused. For many years raw feeding was put to the back of my mind, due to not knowing where to start, what I was getting into and thinking it was complicated and time consuming.
We are here to help for raw feeding to be as straight forward as possible, after all this should be positive step forward for you and your dog.
We have been led to believe that the crunchy kibble is the perfect diet for our dogs. In fact majority of kibbles are full of starchy carbohydrates, which our dogs struggle to digest.
A varied raw diet with many textures, including bone and chunks, will help to maintain healthy teeth.
Is raw feeding safe? I am worried about bacteria and Salmonella.
When feeding a raw diet, common sense is needed. Treat all meal times/ prep areas just as you would with preparing raw meat for your own consumption.
All raw food has to go through stringent testing, including testing for salmonella, when being manufactured. We only stock food from DEFRA/APHA registered manufacturers.
In Fact there are more recalls for salmonella within the kibble industry than within the raw food. – Crazy right?
Here’s some tips to maintain high hygiene.
Store the food in the fridge in a sealed container. – Lower shelves away from cooked meats, like you would raw meat.
Ensure that all utensils used are thoroughly cleaned after use. – Hot Soapy Water, or dishwasher if an option. It is worth having a dog food chopping board and a sharp knife if you are DIY’ing too.
Dispose of packaging once used.
Wash your hands and surfaces.
How much freezer space will the food take up?
TDB minces are packaged in a plastic tray, such as the ones you would buy minced meat in from the supermarkets, mainly 1kg. Chunks are currently packaged in bags.
MVM are in sausage shaped packaging weighing 454g.
Hunters Choice are packaged in smaller cardboard boxes weighing 500g.
Find more about the brands we stock here.
If you are worried about freezer space then you can opt for a weekly or fortnightly delivery at no extra cost, this will mean that you don’t have to take up more than you need for your food.
How should I defrost the food?
Depending on which brand you are using, defrosting in the fridge can take a while, so make sure that you leave enough time to defrost in this way (24-48 hours). This method works well for lots of people who keep a continuous cycle of food defrosting in the fridge, using the replace one once one is finished.
Most raw feeders leave on the kitchen side overnight and then pop in the fridge in the morning.
Keep an eye on the temperature as in the summer food can thaw very quickly. Food should also not be defrosted in sunlight, where the raw may be above room temperature.
How long does the food last once defrosted?
Food should be kept in the fridge and used within 3 days.
Do I need to feed the raw food alongside the current food?
We recommend a full straight transition. Our suggested guide here.
Last kibble meal at night and then follow the raw guide above from breakfast.
The enzymes required to break down a high protein, raw meat and bone diet differ to those required to break down a high carbohydrate processed diet (such as kibble). Therefore by feeding a combined diet of raw and kibble can cause health issues down the line. If you are considering raw feeding then we would recommend a full raw diet.
How many times do I need to feed my dog, per day?
Most dogs thrive on a diet of two meals per day, however we understand that this does not work for all dogs.
Dogs may prefer to eat little and often, and would be best suited to being fed 3 or 4 times per day. Deep chested/large breed dogs may suit being fed smaller meals too.
Some dogs may only prefer to eat in the evening and will self regulate their intake. This is completely fine as long as they maintain a healthy weight.
My dog is still a puppy, do I need to feed puppy food?
Unfortunately, a lot of people get sucked into the marketing of specific raw puppy food.
In fact puppies, do not need anything additional added to their diets. A basic 80/10/10 mix with oily fish and eggs a couple of times per week provides all that’s needed.
Puppies indeed need more food, to enable them to grow. This is reflected in the higher feeding percentages. As your puppy grows the food amount will start to balance out, with a higher weight and lower percentage.
Puppies growth is very important and therefore it is key that they do not exceed 10% bone content, puppies are unable to balance the calcium at higher levels.
We are able to order The Dog’s Butcher puppy food in, which can be used for weaning puppies at 3 weeks old. The ingredients are the same just minced on a finer plate. Message us to arrange for this to be ordered, as we do not routinely stock.
Any dogs over 8 weeks are able to be fed normal raw food.
Do I need to cook the raw food?
No, raw feeding is just that. Feeding food in its natural state.
Can I feed raw along side a kibble diet?
Feeding both kibble and raw together is not advised. For many reasons including causing digestion issues. Raw and kibble are both digested at different rates, the acids in the stomach are different to digest raw. Raw bone requires a more acidic stomach to digest properly, feeding kibble, will make the acid weaker.
Also why would you want to undo the work of feeding a quality raw diet?
Do I need to feed grain or wheat with raw food?
No, with little nutritional value they are not required.
The BARF diet is high protein, low carbohydrate.
The raw food is in 500g or 1kg tubs but my dog needs less than this per day?
It is perfectly safe to defrost your dogs meal to portion and then refreeze. Dogs stomach acids are much stronger than us humans and therefore are able to cope with this.
We advise to keep the food cold in order to do this.
You also have the option to leave the food in the fridge for 3 days, where the food will still be fresh.
Can I feed my dog whole bones?
Yes, raw bones are perfectly safe to feed dogs.
High in moisture, the bones are more flexible and therefore won’t splinter.
Not only that but bones are very nutritious for your dog, with glucosamine, chondroitin and bone building materials.
We recommend that dogs are supervised at all times with bones, and that size appropriate bones are fed.
Don’t forget to balance the amount of bone fed, else your dog could become constipated. More information can be found on our DIY section.
Do we need to feed fruit and vegetables as part of the raw diet?
Whilst in the wild dogs do forage and will occasionally graze on fruits, grass and greenery. Dogs are unable to digest the cellulose properly and therefore the majority of dogs thrive from a diet of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal diet. With the addition of 2-3 eggs per week and up to a days allowance of oily fish on top of the diet. This diet will provide the right balance of nutrition for your dogs.
There are some dogs who require a little fruit and veg for additional fibre in their diets or to bulk their food. We mostly stock foods without veg, as you are paying for meat content alone. You can add fruit and veg to the diet, although we recommend sticking to leafy greens such as spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower. These are low in sugar, the likes of carrots, peas and parsnips etc are high in sugars. The vegetables are best to be blitzed, as this is the way that dogs are able to digest and gain any nutritional benefits. Fruit such as Raspberries, Apple, Blueberries, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Guava, Banana, Mango, Pear, Orange and Pineapple can also be fed, but should be fed in moderation due to the high sugars. If your dog suffers with skin itchiness then we advise not to feed this, due to the high sugars. If you are looking to change due to intollerances, then we suggest that you use the 80/10/10 ratio after transition before adding any fruit and veg.
Additional vegetables should be fed at up to 20% of the allowance, on top of the daily feeding amount (e.g your dog needs 750g per day, you could then feed up to 150g of fruit and veg on top making the total feeding 800g). Fruit and veg should not be used to substitute the meat allowance.
My Vet is against raw feeding, should I still feed it?
Unfortunately, Vet’s do not get a lot of nutritional training, whilst training to be a Vet.
There are also many people who fed a raw diet, but do not feed a balanced meal. Such as feeding chicken carcasses for every meal. Your dog will soon become constipated and will not be getting the balance of vitamins and minerals rom such a restricted diet. Raw feeding is all about the variety and keep a balanced meals to include what your dogs need. This means that Vets see raw feeding when it isn’t done properly.
There (fortunately) are a lot of Vets who now are open to raw feeding.
We go on holiday a lot, what can I do if we don’t have freezer space?
There are many options for feeding your dogs if you were to go camping for instance.
You can continue to feed a raw diet, taking enough food to last a few days. If you pack food into a cool box nice and tightly then food will stay frozen for a few days before thawing out. You will also then be able to thaw out for use, whilst it remains cold.
Taking a few days will also give you the option to look for a local pet store to purchase some more raw food. Whether you find an independent raw stockist nearby prior to your holiday or a high street shop. (We suggest supporting local where possible)
You can also take wet food such as Forthglade as an alternative food. Ensure that this is grain free and your dog will be fine to eat this for a holiday period.
Others decide to feed a high quality kibble for the short period, which maybe more suitable if your dog is to go to a kennels/dog boarding, where they don’t actively raw feed.
If you do need help, with deciding or choosing a brand which maybe available then please contact us and we will help with this.
How much will raw feeding cost?
Whilst this may factor into your decision there are many things which will alter your price when feeding raw.
Weight and age of your dog and condition (over/under weight etc)
Brands you use
You can use our raw calculator to find out the feeding amount and then we will be sure to help.
Note: Feeding a raw diet is about feeding variety, therefore choosing the same food such as Chicken and Tripe for a whole month will not give your dog enough variety.