There are a lot of different options out there but the more you read, the more you can decide what you agree with and what you don’t. Then you can come up with your own way of feeding raw. It’s all about being able to provide the very best food customised to your dogs and with time, you will learn what best for you and your dog. Raw feeding is also often called BARF, prey model etc, however, don’t get hung up on labels – it’s all raw – just slightly different presentations!
HOW MUCH DO I FEED?
Firstly, you need to work out how much to feed your dog. A good place to start is 2 – 3% of the body weight of an adult dog. This can be split over 2 meals
5 -10% for puppies split over 4 meals until approx. 3 months. Then 3 meals, then eventually down to 2 meals.
This will give you a starting point and then you can adjust accordingly, please stay flexible as these are just guidelines and might not suit your individual dog as they are all different and have varying activity levels. Increase or decrease the amount according to how your dog looks after a few weeks on raw food. With a healthy dog you can feel the ribs and they have a waist.
HOW DO I SWAP OVER?
You have 2 choices when swapping over to raw, either just do a complete swap. Stop kibble and go straight onto raw, or if you have some kibble to use up then you can feed raw on 1 meal and kibble on the 2nd meal. Don’t mix kibble with raw as this can cause upset stomach as dogs digest raw and kibble at different rates.
HOW DO I START?
To start with, feed tripe for approx. 4 to 5 days. Your dog’s poo may go a bit black during this time, but that is nothing to worry about. Then you move onto a different protein for example duck & tripe. You can continue to feed this protein for another 3 – 4 days and then go onto another protein and so on. Keep an eye on your dog’s poo. It may go white for a few days as this is your dog’s body trying to digest the bone in the food. After about 3 days this should reduce, and a more normal colour will resume. If your dog’s poo remains white, then contact us and we can talk through other options. You will find that poos will generally become smaller and better formed. Any problems or anything you are not sure of, just ring or text me!
If your dog starts itching more than normal then ring me, he may have an allergy to a certain protein (normally chicken). If this happens, we can eliminate that protein from the raw diet and you will notice a massive change in any previous problems that may have occurred previously, like ear infections, scratching or pinkness on feet or around eye areas.
COMPLETE MEALS OR NOT?
You want to aim to have a good varied diet, the more variety the better the balance and the less likely a chance of your dog missing out on important nutrients.
Complete meals are an average of 80% meat, 10% offal and 10% bone content, so if you feed these you do not have to worry about your dog’s missing out on nutrients, Feeding Complete meals are the easiest way to feed raw as all the hard work is done for you! However, Complete meals aren’t for everyone. Some prefer to make up the meals, so they know exactly what their dogs are eating.
If making your own meals, then 80% should be made up of meat (which includes hearts). Offal (10%) should be split into 5% liver and then 5% of either kidney, spleen, testicles or pancreas. 10% should be made up of bone.
We can help you with this, so just ask. 3 members of our staff are pet nutritionists and we are here to answer your questions!
Bone is an essential part of the raw diet but careful not to give too much bone, which is a common mistake. I still do it!
If your dog’s poo comes out very white, then reduce those bone treats that you give to help keep your dog’s teeth sparkling white. A note here – in the summer loads of people come to me saying, suddenly their dogs’ poo has gone white and they are panicking! Please remember that in the summer, if you don’t pick up your dog’s poo in the garden straight away, the sun will bleach the poo very quickly and make it look a lot whiter than it was when it first came out!!
If you are concerned that there is too much bone in a complete food for your dog, because he is constipated, then feed offal as this gets the bowels moving. However, be aware that on raw your dog will poo much smaller, firmer poos. This is totally normal and your dog should take longer to do this, which is a good thing as its making his/her anal glands to work so you wont have any anal gland problems in the future as they will naturally empty themselves when your dog is pooing. A good dog stool is reasonably small logs or nuggets, roughly the size of a large thumb, though they will vary in size between breeds. They should be firm and easy to pick up.
VEG OR NO VEG?
You can add in vegetables into your dog’s diet to bulk it out a bit. This helps especially if your dog needs to lose some weight. However, be aware that if your dog has allergies, vegetables can make it worse. So, watch if your dog starts scratching or biting his paws, then maybe stop giving veg and see if that makes a difference. Personally, I don’t give my dogs veg as they get the stomach contents of the animals, they eat so they get the nutrition they need from that. Also, my dogs can spot a pea at 100 metres and spit it across the room!!!
I give my dogs eggs 2 – 3 times a week. With the shell is always better as it has calcium and magnesium in the shell. The egg can be raw or cooked. Whatever way your dog prefers it.
My dogs hate fish! But oily fish is good for them. So, I have found a trick that works for mine. Give them frozen sprats on their food every day. They have 2 in the morning and 2 at night. (Mine are 40kg dogs so you can cut down depending on weight). They like them frozen as it’s like a lolly pop and they can’t taste it so much as its frozen!
Kefir is a probiotic that is SO good for humans and dogs. For dogs its best to use Raw Goats Milk to make it. I have a leaflet all about Kefir. Just ask about it if you want to give your dog Kefir. I sell the raw goat’s milk too, so it’s easy.
Sometimes dogs get particularly hungry. This can result in them throwing up bile (yellow foamy stuff). Most of the time this will be overnight or early in the morning. So, the way to avoid this is to feed a ‘supper’ just before bedtime. I feed mine rabbit chunks before they go up to bed. But it can be anything like chicken wings, a few meat chunks or turkey hearts
PLEASE DON’T WORRY ABOUT STARTING RAW – IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS – RING OR TEXT ME!
(07966671335 – Zena)