Perfectly Raw Feeding Do’s and Don’ts

DO – Feed the best, freshest products available, and ensure the overall diet is complete and balanced. You need to feed bone as well as meat, fat, organs and fiber. Our Perfectly Raw meal plan will provide all of the above.

DO – Treat and handle all raw pet foods just like you would handle any raw human foods prior to cooking for your family. Always use glass or stainless steel bowls and wash and sanitize daily. In addition to good old fashioned common sense, here is a link to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website for basic tips on how to handle all raw foods safely: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

DO – Have patience during the transition period. While most pets switch over quickly with no issues, some may initially balk at eating raw food. There are many different philosophies on how to switch pets from kibble to raw. We like the idea that you skip a day of feeding after the pet’s last meal of kibble. That ensures that all the kibble is out of their system, and that the digestive enzymes can begin to adapt to the new diet. It also leaves your dog a bit on the hungry side, and they will be more inclined to eat the new food.

DO – Consult a holistic veterinarian before feeding raw if your dog has any health issues. While feeding raw can alleviate a lot of health problems, you should discuss your pet’s medical condition with a holistic vet. A veterinarian who is informed about nutrition can help you through the dietary change and suggest appropriate supplements for specific health problems. BUT, remember that only you can make the final decision on how to feed your pet. Holistic vets and raw pet food manufacturers can offer general guidelines and suggestions, but it is the pet owner’s responsibility to monitor their pet’s health, and feed accordingly.

DO – Feed beef or pork bones of a suitable size for your dog, and under careful owner observation. These are great for cleaning teeth and strengthening jaw muscles. Raw chicken and turkey bones are also fine, again under supervision, but only raw! Cooked chicken and turkey bones are small, dry and brittle and can splinter.

DON’T – Mix kibble with raw at the same feeding. They each digest at different rates. Raw only takes 4-6 hours to digest while kibble takes 8-10 hours. If fed together, the kibble will slow down the digestive process, causing the raw to be held in the digestive system for twice as long as it should be. This can create gas and other issues. If you want to ease into raw while still feeding some kibble, feed the raw food in morning and kibble at night so the raw has a chance to pass through before the digestive tract has to deal with the slower digesting kibble.

DON’T – Feed small dogs (under 15 pounds) raw food that is completely frozen. A small dog has small internal organs, and if it is a “gorger” that chews and swallows the frozen food quickly, it can do some damage to those organs due to the cold temperature of the food. Always thaw your small pet’s food before feeding. Larger dogs can be fed their food frozen, partially thawed or totally thawed, depending on where you are feeding them and how they prefer it. If you are feeding inside, at least partially thaw the raw food, as some dogs may drag this “bone” of food elsewhere to chew, leaving a mess behind.

DON’T – Get lazy after a few months and go back to dumping a bag of kibble into your dog’s bowl every couple of days. Stick with it – the health benefits, lack of cleanup in the yard and money saved in less trips to the vet more than make up for the little bit of extra work and thought that feeding raw requires.

** View a sample Meal Plan – Medium & Large Dogs