Starting out the Right way...
Dog & Cats were both around long before Man made a dehydrator to make kibble.
Kibble was designed to make life easier for man not to make the animals healthier.
Cats and Dogs were both wild carnivorous before we domesticated them and are biologically designed to eat raw food.
Humans are the only animals that cook their foods and we know that cooking breaks down many of the proteins, vitamins and amino acids in raw meat, thus destroying the nutritional goodness.
There is tons of information out there available to read and lots of people who are more than happy to talk about it
There are a lot of differing opinions out there but the more you read the more the more people you talk to the easier for you to decide what you agree with and what you don’t and therefore come up with your own way of feeding raw, as raw is all about being able to provide the very best food customised to your dogs, and with time you WILL learn what works best for you and your dog. Raw feeding is also often called BARF, RMB, prey model etc... However don’t get hung up on the labels it’s all raw just slightly different presentations!
Starters Guide to Raw Feeding
When anyone starts to look at feeding Raw the same questions always come up so lets try to answer some of them here.
How much do I feed?
As a guide you should aim to feed around 2-3% of your dogs body weight a day, or 3% of the expected healthy weight of an adult dog if you’ve got a puppy, these numbers are a guide and as such you need to pay attention to your dog to make sure it is maintaining a healthy weight, If you run your hands gently over the ribs of your dog and if you can feel them but not see them then they should be in good weight range, if you can see the ribs clearly then you might need to increase over the 3% if you can feel a layer of fat over the ribs you might need to decrease slightly, each dog is an individual from its breeding to the amount of exercise it has each day.
How do I swap over?
There are two methods to change ‘Going Cold Turkey’ and the slow and steady approach, both methods have there advocates.
If you choose to go Cold Turkey feed them there last meal of Kibble on an evening and next morning start to feed them raw, Starting first with a single protein, I would recommend Chicken as it is the simplest protein to digest for most dogs. At this stage being new to raw feeding I would recommend getting a complete meal which already has the correct balance of Protein, bone and offal.
Week Two introduce a further protein to the menu, Green Tripe or other simple protein,
Week three and onwards, add another different protein building up so you have a minimum of Five different proteins in their diet, During the transition you may find your dog doesn’t like or has an intolerance to some meats. The best way to check is by watching the poo.
A Guide to Poo.
During the transition period it is normal for the quality of the poo to vary as the dogs digestive system adapts to the new diet and may have a mucus on it for a few days, this is perfectly normal.
White and Chalky means that there is too high a percentage of Bone in the diet, this can be improved by adding in a bone free meal now and then.
Dark and sloppy, normally signals too much offal, a little extra bone will normally correct this.
If you want to take it Slow & Steady, then most people recommend not feeding the raw portion of the diet at the same time as the Kibble as protein and Carbohydrates digest at different speeds in the body, Slowly increase the portion of their diet that is raw then follow the Cold Turkey Method as above.