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Raw feeding.

How to start raw feeding…

Start by emptying your freezer! Eat all that ice cream, and serve frozen peas for days on end, as you will need freezer space! Then do some research, so that you understand what a balanced raw diet is – this is very important! Most pets will thrive on diets of roughly 10% bone, 80% meats, 5% liver and 5% kidney. Then you can order the food. Make it easy for yourself to begin with, and try some pre-made food first, like Nutriment or Natural Instinct as this takes the worry out of things like how to deal with bones, and how to achieve a nutritionally balanced diet. Stick to something most pets like, for example chicken or turkey initially. Defrost it, spoon it into a bowl, and enjoy! No really, it is that simple, and you might even discover that your dog absolutely loves it, and loves you all the more for it, and is more healthy, shiny, clean-toothed, small-pooed, and less gaseous. And it doesn’t matter whether your dog is 8 weeks, 5 or 12 years – just give it a whirl – you’ve everything to gain, and nothing to lose!

Why are some vets against raw feeding?

Some vets are against raw feeding, but many sing it’s praises and realise that a good diet is a vital building block for promoting your pets’ good health – “you are what you eat” counts just as much for our  furkids. Some vets are cautious about raw feeding because very little nutritional advice is given whilst they’re studying to become a vet. They simply don’t know enough about raw food and diets to be able to make a judgement or give advice. Most of the education they do receive, is focused upon processed foods, because that’s what most of their clients feed. Another reason why some vets might be cautious about raw feeding, is that many vets are sponsored by processed pet food companies and sell their products. There are risks associated with all foodstuffs, but they appear to be very small. There is no evidence that raw food is more risky than processed food, but there is plenty of evidence that raw food is more healthy than processed food.

How much does it cost?

Raw dog food freezer

As you might expect, the cost of raw feeding varies according to what you feed. Minced chicken obviously costs a lot less than rump steak! Adult dogs and cats should be fed around 2 – 3% of their weight each day, puppies and kittens have different guidelines depending on age. So a 20kg dog should be eating around 500g per day, and you can buy pre-made minced poultry i.e. chicken, turkey and duck, and beef, at prices comparable to dry and tinned food. Nowadays there are so many raw feeding options that there is something to fit everyone’s pocket.

Costs can be greatly reduced by buying in bulk, sourcing locally from friendly butchers, and some even go as far as getting it straight from the abattoir.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that many raw feeders have significantly lower vet bills, so the health benefits of raw feeding also mean lower costs

Raw feeding is a different way of feeding your dog, based on a diet of raw meat and bones. There are many “models” of raw feeding, like BARF (biologically appropriate raw food), RMB (raw meaty bones), and the Prey Diet, but the basics are all similar – as the word “raw” suggests, all the food you give is raw and uncooked. And it’s up to you to decide whether you want the “blood, guts and gore” or not! If you see yourself like Don Corleone then, after some research, you could raw feed based on carcasses, raw meaty bones, and lumps of meat. However, if you do not feel so brave, as many don’t, then you can buy “pre-made raw”, which is pretty much the same as scooping food out of a tin, as it’s basically mince, which you store in the freezer and fridge instead of the cupboard. As to what can be served up, whether whole, chunked or minced, think chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, rabbit, pheasant, venison, goat, and even wood pigeon, which is a firm favourite in my house!

raw dog food

 

    Posted on:
  • Sunday, July 5th, 2015