Why I feed my dogs a raw diet
I started raw feeding over 6 years ago, when I took on my little underweight scraggly dot of a collie pup Harvey. All kibbles and tinned foods just came out as awful sloppy messes and a friend suggested raw.
Her dog was raw fed from the breeders so with her help and a week’s sample diet from her freezer, I was sold, his toilet habits changed, no longer did he need to poo continuously, and it no longer came out like Mr whippy!
I had two other dogs at that time so I did some research and got lots of advice and changed my other two onto raw, they were then 6 years old and 3 years old.
What differences do I see in raw fed dogs
I now have 6 dogs who are all raw fed and eat natural dog treats, all have transitioned without any problems.
The main differences in my dogs are reduced amount of poop, better shaped, smelling, consistency of pooh, shinier, brighter, softer coats, better-smelling breath, cleaner teeth, less gas, less ear & eye problems
How to start raw feeding
Anyone that is new to raw or is considering changing over I would say start with a complete from a reputable raw dog food supplier. You need it to be as easy as possible as it is a stressful process changing your dog’s food, and I want you to succeed, like me.
Many groups told me diy from the beginning but honestly, the stress of the figures can be overwhelming!
Complete is usually advertised as 80/10/10 this means 80% meat 10% bone and 10% offal (usually 5% liver and 5% other organs)
DIY involves sourcing all your own components and putting them together yourself (can be very scary & time consuming as a newbie!!)
I would def recommend the elimination diet. This means you introduce one protein a time, so you find out if your dog has any intolerances.
For example, week one you only feed chicken, week two introduce beef so chicken for breakfast then beef for the evening meal, week 3 half chicken half beef for breakfast and turkey for the evening meal.
A food intolerance can be shown in many ways, gas, itchiness, looses stools. But if you dog displays these when on a new protein take a step back, let the problems reduce, and then try a different protein.
As with any food you need to find the correct amount to feed your dog, usually with raw I start at 2.5% of my dog’s ideal weight (always feed your dog to the weight they need to be!) so a 10 kg dog would need 250 grams of raw complete food per day.
Then monitor on your own dog’s shape, Jasper, my older cavalier is fed on 1.5% as he is not that active, Harvey, my crazy collie gets 8%!!! And don’t forget puppies need a higher percentage.
I personally add vegetables to my dog’s diet, this in controversial in the raw feeding world, you can find as many arguments for as against but I think they definitely get some vitamins from the veg although I do like to steam the veg so they digest it more easily.
I like to feed healthy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli and carrots and butternut squash (including the seeds)
And blueberries are great anti-oxidants and I find they really help the spaniels tear stains.
I also straight switch so the next meal is 100% raw and never had any problems.
I switched the 3 above, then also Theo at 1 year old, Dodger at 5 years old and Rebel at 10 weeks old, all with no issues.
My Top Tips For Fresh Feeding
Freezer Space!! You need space as its cheaper to buy in bulk or grab bargains or if you get any freebies you need to be able to accept.
Do not feed fresh raw fish, even from a supermarket, fish have parasites please ensure fresh fish is frozen for a minimum of 2 weeks before feeding raw.
Ask questions, do not struggle, lots of great advice sites out there.
Make raw feeding friends! Online or in person, share tips, hints and stories
And I am on hand to have a chat, just drop me a message or give me a call
Please take a look at the holistic vet, Nick Thompson
Interesting read called Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Read why I believe in natural treats here
I would love to hear your stories, drop in the comments below if you feed raw, why, your experiences, any tips you have, and also what age you switched your dogs.
Or if not, what stops you from trying, drop a comment below.