With interest in dog health and nutrition greater than ever before, more and more dog owners are switching their pets to a raw diet. The benefits are well worth the time and effort, even though it may seem scary at first. While there are many people who disagree with raw diets, we want to encourage you to get all the facts before you fall for the scare tactic. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that pet food in large bags can contain very unfavorable ingredients. Learning more about raw feeding will open a new door to health and wellness for your dog.
#1 – Bones
For decades, people have been told not to feed their dogs’ bones, especially chicken bones. Although cooked bones are very dangerous and should be avoided, raw bones are actually quite soft. This makes it easy for your dog to take them apart and chew them and they don’t splinter like cooked bones. Raw bones are very safe for dogs to ingest. When feeding a raw diet, you’ll want to focus on raw, meaty bones – that is, bones that your dog can break and chew (think drumsticks, chicken necks, etc.). This is unlike recreational bones, such as beef knuckles, which cannot be digested in one meal. The type of bones your dog can chew while sitting depends on your dog’s size, age and health.
#2 – Balance over time
Many people are focused on creating the optimal meal every time their dog eats. Commercial food products have long promoted fully balanced meals, but when feeding a raw diet the goal is to balance nutrition over time. Think about the way you eat: are you eating a fully balanced meal with the right nutrients every time you eat? Probably not. Instead, focus on getting your nutritional needs met in your entire diet. Supplements can be added if you think they are necessary, but many raw feeders do not use any.
#3 – Foodborne Illnesses
One of the biggest scare tactics against raw diets is foodborne illness. Yes, there’s a chance that handling raw meat will put you at risk, but if you follow basic food safety, you won’t have to worry about foodborne pathogens. Furthermore, dogs have evolved with very strong courage. This means they can digest salmonella and other pathogens without getting sick. Think of wildlife: they often eat rotten meat and don’t miss a beat!
#4 – All food
The nice thing about raw feeding is that you can give almost anything your dog likes. You want to feed raw, meaty bones, muscle meat, and organ meats. Some people take fruits and vegetables with them, but not everyone does. The more variety your dog has, assuming he can handle it without allergies or other ill effects, the better. Consider varying the proteins available to you, such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork, duck and fish. If there’s something your dog really enjoys, feed it to him! You can also keep freeze-dried raw mixers on hand to throw in your dog’s food bowl without worrying about shelf life or freezer space.
#5 – The right amount
How much you feed depends on a number of different factors. For adult dogs, the general rule is 2-3% of your dog’s body weight (or target body weight if your dog is over or underweight). Puppies and pregnant and lactating females will need more, seniors will probably need less. You should also consider your dog’s breed (giant breed vs. toy breed) to ensure you are getting the right amounts of nutrients. But without any math, you just want to feed the amount of food that will keep your dog at a healthy weight!
As with any new diet, there is a learning curve when switching to raw. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks and it is likely that your pup will experience little more than an occasional stomach upset. Once you get everything sorted out, you’ll both experience a whole newfound love for dog food.
An easy way to get started
It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed when considering putting your dog on a raw diet. The good news is that by substituting any amount of raw food in your dog’s diet in place of the current food, you are providing him with better nutrition and taking a small step in the right direction.
We feed raw is an excellent choice for pet parents looking to transition their dogs to raw food. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your pet, and We Feed Raw will create meal plans that meet your dog’s needs. This company offers raw dog food in a variety of proteins, including chicken, beef, turkey, duck, lamb and venison, all USDA certified from farms in the US and New Zealand. All We Feed Raw formulas are created by a Ph.D. animal nutritionist with over 30 years of experience in the industry. The food will be delivered to your home at no extra cost.
We Feed Raw is the healthiest way to feed your pet, shipped conveniently to you! Save now 25% discount with a subscription with code IHARTDOGS25!
Best Raw Dog Food Delivery
If you’re not ready to prepare all the food for your dog at home, there are numerous home delivery services, but choosing the right one for your dog can be tricky. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the best Raw Dog Food companies for you.