Raw Diets Frequently Asked Questions

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Raw Diets Frequently Asked Questions Empty Raw Diets Frequently Asked Questions

Post by Steve on Thu Jan 16 2014, 14:50

Frequently Asked Questions

Raw Diets Frequently

Asked Questions

A raw diet might seem daunting and complicated but after a little research you should see, that one of the biggest problem people face is over complicating everything themselves!

Intro To Raw

What is Feeding Raw all about?
Feeding Raw - it refers to a type of diet fed to dogs (and cats) which totally excludes all commercial dog foods.

PMR, BARF, RMB??? What Do They All Mean.
  • PMR - prey model raw
  • BARF - bones and raw food or biological appropriate raw food
  • RMB - raw meaty bones
    They are all just acronyms to describe the different variations of a raw diet, and there are probably many more!

Which Diet Is Right For Me?
There is no right or wrong answer per say, as long as you give a well researched and varied diet the name is irrelevant. However there are normally slight differences in what each diet includes e.g the ratios or extras such as fruit and veg....

Benefits Feed A Faw Diet?
A raw diet provides a range of benefits that commercial dog diets can never hope to even closely match.

These benefits include:
  • no doggy odour
  • naturally cleans teeth - no need for toothbrushes, de-scaling jobs, or gum disease
  • the time it takes for a dog to chew a raw meaty bones give their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving
  • much less stools produced - and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days
  • decreased or non-existant vet bills (your dogs are healthier!)
  • less cost for dog food - commercial dog foods are ludicriously expensive
  • mirrors what a dog would be getting in the wild - and certainly even the modern day dog has a digestive tract exactly the same as a wolf
  • puppies develop at a more appropriate rate - and quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD breeder will want to stop fast growth in any pup.
  • the ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of the dog. Commercial dog foods will never assist in this important muscle development.

What Have People Reported?
People who have switched their dogs to a raw diet from commercial dog foods have found the following:
  • dogs who were previously un-energetic, and sluggish become completely new dogs once the raw diet feeding begins
  • allergies their dogs previously had on commercial foods, disappear once they start with the raw diet
  • arthritis has significantly reduced or disappeared in some dogs switched to raw
  • better weight control
  • no more doggy odour!

Doesn't It Cost A Lot, Make Mess Or Take Up Lots Of Room?
No, no and no! In my experience once you have been feeding the diet for a while and done some shopping round, and have got yourself into a routine you'll be surprised at how quick and easy it is.
On the cost front, if you can find good butchers in your area who will save you scraps and bones you will tend to find it saves you a lot of money, also try finding hunters of game etc in your area and try getting it touch. There is also road kill which of course is free food!
Mess and bacteria? Again no. You may find it easier to feed your dog in the garden if you have one, or empty crate which can be wiped down after. Or another trick is to teach your dog to eat on a towel which you can stick in the wash afterwards.
Room, a small chest freezer can service most people and can normally hold a month of twos food. Try looking on free sites or eBay to get second hand freezers, and the pop them in the shed or garage if there's no room in the house.

Getting Started

What Age Can I Start My Dog On Raw, Or Is There An upper Limit?
Dogs (and cats) can be weaned from their mother straight onto a raw diet, with a mush made up of finely minced foods. So when you get your pup home at 8 weeks old you can swap straight to a raw diet whether they were raw weaned or not.

Is there an upper limit when you can swap or keep your dog on raw to? No a dog can be swapped on to a raw diet at any age and can be on it for life no need to take an older dog off raw just because of their age.

Are There Many Suppliers Of Raw Food?
Yes there are now many suppliers across the UK, with new ones popping up quite regularly. Here's a list which of course isn't exhaustive:


Meat, bones and offal? What is classed as each?
This may seem self explanatory but a lot of people vegetarians and vegans can sometimes get a little confused as to what counts for each section. Meat is basically any muscle meat, which can be on the bone, a lump of boneless meat or minced. Bones are any edible bones, and yes that includes chicken bones (always ensure all bones are raw) it's recommended that large leg bones from larger animals e.g cows are to be avoided as the bone is denser then the dogs teeth. Now offal this is the one that causes the most debates what is classed as offal? After all my research, speaking to many many people, I am on the side of that offal is any secreting organ within the body examples of these are liver, kidney, brain etc. So 'organs' such as heart or lungs (also known as lights) are classed as muscle meat and so fed as such.

Extra Support FAQ's

How Do I Swap I'm Still Confused?
Have a look at these guides for help:

What Should I Expect At First?
The answer is varied. Some dogs switch without a problem and eat with gusto. Other dogs love the food but may have some digestive upsets for a short period of time while their system adjusts to real food.
Then there are the dogs that won't eat a raw diet. In many cases I think these are dogs that have been fed a variety of flavored treats, and processed foods. Raw food has little odor compared to many of the commercial pet foods out there, and I think that some dogs are addicted to the flavorings and additives. Many times there is a lot of owner anxiety over switching to the raw diet and the dog picks up on that.
For the dogs that won't eat 'real' food, you may need to use your imagination at first. Sprinkling parmesan cheese or lightly browning (LIGHTLY) some hamburger may get the dog eating. In some cases I think the dog just doesn't know a piece of raw chicken is food! You may need to be a bit of a cheerleader at first but once they get the hang of it, most dogs thoroughly enjoy their raw meals. I have reports from owners whose dogs are actually excited about eating for the first time in their lives once switched to raw.
A healthy dog won't starve to death, so you may have to just allow the dog to skip a meal here or there until they get hungry enough to try it.
Of course, if you have any doubts about your dog's health please consult with your health care professional!

I've Swapped And My Dog(s) Have Diarrhoea Have I Done Something Wrong?
Here's a good simple guide:

When switching to raw dogs often gets loose stools - to diarrhoea.

  • 1 - feed about 1.5% to start; less food is easier to digest for a new dog building up stomach acids and gut flora.
  • 2 - Be sure the meat is not enhanced e.g added salt and spices.
  • 3 - Make sure their are no organs attached
  • 4 - Feed bony meats with no skin, fat or organ until stools are firm for several days. Then move up to two percent and then start leaving on skin.
  • 5 - If you have done any of the above incorrectly or have a very sensitive dog, feed a good home made chicken, beef, or liver broth for a day and start anew.

My Dogs Just Thrown Up Straight Away After Eating?
Dogs tend to thrown up right after eating if the food isn't sitting right in their stomach or it's still a bit big, their stomach empties itself so the dog can re eat it and crunch into smaller bits to helps with digestion. So yes dogs will (most of the time) re eat their vomit, which yes seems horrible to us but it's natural to dogs and unless they are genuinely ill then I encourage my dogs to re eat any food that might come back up, which after years on raw is seldom.

Help My Dogs Just Swallowed His Food Whole!
First calm down! A choking dog is a very obvious thing, so if they aren't choking don't go sticking your hand in their mouth to find the food! What a lot of people don't realist is that dogs do NOT chew their food. Their throats are known as 'bone chutes' for good reason, basically dogs crunch said bone/treat/meat until small enough to be swallowed whole.

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