Feeding Guide

How Much Raw Food Should You Feed?
How Often Should Raw Food be Fed?
Puppies and Raw Feeding
Are There Any Problems With Bacteria?
How To Feed Raw Meaty Bones and Balancers
Feeding Full Meals and Essentials Formulas
Switching Your Dog onto Raw Food
Switching Your Cat onto Raw Food


How Much Raw Food Should You Feed?

On average you should feed about 2% of your dog's body weight (dog's weight x 0.02). Larger dogs will generally eat proportionately less than that and small dogs will generally eat proportionately more. This is just a guideline; you should monitor your dog’s waistline on a regular basis. You should be able to easily feel ribs along your dog’s ribcage with the palm of your hand but hip bones should not protrude. Obesity in dogs can lead to several serious health issues including a higher incidence of cancer, bone disease, heart, kidney, liver problems etc. Keeping your dog thin is one of the best things you can do for their health. Back to Top

How Often Should Raw Food be Fed?

Adult dogs are generally recommended to eat once a day. This allows the digestive system to fully stretch and utilize all of the glands in the digestive tract. Dogs, like wolves are designed to take on lots of food at once and then fast for a period of time. Some dogs do better eating once per day, we often reccommend once a day feeding for dogs that experience grumbly tummies, bile vomiting and other digestive issues. Feeding once per day can often alleviate many of these issues. Some dogs however, do better eating twice per day, we suggest trying both and sticking with what works best for you and your pet. Back to Top

Puppies and Raw Feeding:

Proper nutrition for puppies is extremely important! Bone disorders begin in puppyhood. Feeding a balanced raw food diet to a puppy does two very important things for their health. First it allows them to grow slowly, this is crucial to avoid bone and joint disorders. Raw food is biologically appropriate and the levels of protein, fat and calcium are suitable for their growing bones and muscles. Kibble often contains too much fat, protein and synthetic calcium. This causes fast uneven growth, and too much synthetic calcium interferes with the absorption of other essential vitamins.

It is essential to proper growth and development to feed a balanced raw food diet to puppies. All of our foods are tested by a third party lab to ensure that they are ideal for growing puppies (including large breed puppies.) Calcium content is extremely important for puppies, too much or too little can cause life long ill effects on the musculoskeletal system. Fat and protein content are also extremely important for puppies in order to have proper organ development and function, we make sure that all of our foods fall within the ideal ranges so that you can feel confident that you are feeding your growing pup the best thing possible during this important period.

Pups can switch over to a raw diet just like adults, starting with Chicken Meal and slowly adding new proteins and meaty bones to the diet. Remember slow growth is the best; everyone wants their puppy to grow the fastest and be the biggest healthiest looking puppy around. However by doing this you could be causing irreversible bone damage. If people comment on how “lanky” your puppy is, take it as a compliment on what a great job you are doing growing your pup slowly. Puppies should eat between 4% and 6% of their body weight (puppy’s weight x 0.05). Alternately, you can feed 2-3% of their expected adult weight, and make sure to adjust the amount you are feeding based on the pups body condition. You should be able to easily feel your pups ribs with the palm of your hand but hip bones should not protrude. Puppies should eat 3 times a day until they are about 6 months of age. From 6 months to about 1 year they should be fed twice daily. Once they are fully grown they can then be switched to one meal a day. Also remember that your pup’s bones are still very soft, so avoid too much exercise and any high impact activities. Back to Top

Are There Any Problems With Bacteria?

Unless your dog or cat is severely immune compromised (in which case I suggest you seek the advice of a holistic vet) bacteria should not be a problem for them. They have a stomach with an extremely low pH (1 or 2). This is an inhospitable environment for salmonella and other forms of bacteria. However we humans, unlike our pets, are not designed to eat raw meat and these bacteria can be harmful to us. Handle your pet’s raw food like you would handle your own. Wash your hands after contact, clean any surfaces that have come in contact with raw food, do not leave raw food out for your pet for more than an hour or two. It is best to have a designated area for your dog or cat to eat raw meaty bones, during the summer outside is great; during the winter have them stay in an area that is easy to clean, such as a mat or towel, the bathroom or their kennel. Dogs have been shown to shed salmonella in their feces, so ensure you wash your hands after cleaning up after them. Back to Top

How to Feed Raw Meaty Bones and Balancer

When feeding a diet that consists of meaty bones and balancers, you need to feed about half raw meaty bones and about half meat/organs/veggies. The Raw Meaty Bone Balancer is designed to be 50% of the diet, with meaty bones such as chicken bakcs/necks, turkey necks, pork hocks/necks, lamb necks, duck necks, etc making up the other 50% of the diet. You can adjust the amount of balancer vs. bones according to your dog’s specific needs; some dogs will do better with a 60/40 ratio either way. A good way to monitor your dog’s needs is by paying attention to their stools, meaty bones tend to harden stools and meat/organs tend to soften stool.

You can feed meaty bones and Balancer in the same meal or alternate meals, such as bones for one meal and balancer the next. Remember to feed variety; the more protein sources you can rotate the better (once your dog has been weaned onto a raw diet).  Raw feeding is all about balance over time; you can balance out nutrients and portion sizes over a week or two. Not every meal needs to be the same size or "complete." Back to Top

Feeding Full Meals and Essentials Formulas

These are designed to provide everything in one convenient package. All of our meals and essentials formuals are tested by a third party lab to ensure that they have balanced calcium/phosphorus, protein/fat and other essential nutrients, you can feel confident that you are feeding the best diet possible to your best friend. We reccommend alternating 4 or more protien sources for optimal nutrition. You can also feed meaty bones once or twice a week for dental health while feeding meals. If you are going to feed lots of raw meaty bones, I suggest you do a diet of Meaty Bones and Balancers (see above). Back to Top

Switching Your Dog Onto Raw Food

It is highly recommended that when you switch to raw you put your dog on something plain and easy to digest for one to four weeks. Chicken Meal is the easiest for dogs to switch onto, since it is fully ground it has a greater surface area which makes it easier to digest, and chicken is not as “rich” as some of the other protein sources. If your dog has a chicken allergy you can start with Beef Meal instead. Feed the same thing until your dog is doing well and has had no loose stools for one week. After one week you can slowly add in more protein sources, and once they are handling that well you can introduce bones into the diet. Check out our New to Raw Starter Pack for a convenient, premade pack designed for getting your dog switched to a raw food diet.

Often times when switching a dog to a raw diet they will experience detox symptoms such as lethargy, soft stool, watery eyes, itching, “doggy smell” and generally not feeling well. This is totally normal! It can last anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on the age of the dog and the quality of food they were eating previously. It is important that you feed the same thing until your dog is past this, and once they are doing well, you can add more variety to their diet. If you have any questions at all about switching to a raw diet please do not hesitate to contact us. Back to Top

Switching Your Cat Onto Raw Food

Cats are naturally suspicious of new foods, so be patient and realize that it may take a little time to complete the switch to a raw diet. Cats should be fed once or twice a day.  If you are free feeding kibble, your first step to switching to a raw diet should be to make meal times for your cat.

Some cats will take to raw right away and some will take some convincing. Try to test your cat’s interest by placing a small amount of raw food in with their regular food. If your cat takes to it you can begin adding more until you no longer include any kibble. If your cat avoids it, try mixing a small amount of raw food in with the regular food to disguise it and gradually add more and more. If your cat doesn’t take to raw right away, be patient - this does not mean that your cat will never eat raw, it just may take some time.

Once your cat is used to eating fresh, raw food you can begin to incorporate raw meaty bones like chicken wings and necks. If you feed raw meaty bones 3-4 times a week you will keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy. Following is a link to a great site that has a lot of information about feeding cats raw and many suggestions to make the switch:  http://rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm. Back to Top

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