Feeding Raw 101

Getting Started with a Raw Diet

How much to feed your pet

We recommend 4-5% of their body weight per day for active and younger dogs. 3-4% for older or sedentary dogs.

Example: A 20 lb dog who is young and very active would need 20lb x 5% = 1lb per day

Here is a guideline chart to help you get started

For most pets, faster is better!

Most animals do best with a quick change to a raw food diet – quite simply take away the old cat food or dog food and begin feeding the new Give a Dog a Bone or Cat of the Day Dinners. The food smells and tastes delicious, and most pets instinctively recognise and enjoy it. The quick switch is especially important for dogs and cats suffering from allergies or skin problems. Some pets are fussier, but we have tips and tricks for them, don’t worry!

Experienced raw pet food feeders suggest that you allow your animals a 24-hour fast, or a mini-fast, before their first raw meal. This method helps with the detoxification process. A mini-fast means that you skip their normal food for one dinner, perhaps replacing it with a nice meaty beef bone for dogs or a chicken neck for cats. Then you give them their first complete raw meal for breakfast the next day. Please note that although dogs can tolerate long fasts, cats should never be fasted for more than 24 hours.

Most owners struggle with the fasting idea, so we only suggest it for the very brave! If you don’t want to do the fast, just make sure that you are relaxed about the switch as your pets will pick up on any tension. Simply feed them their new delicious food without any fuss.

Digestive Disturbances

It is best to feed your dogs one kind of meat (Give a Dog a Bone Chicken, Turkey, Beef, or Venison Dinners) for 2-3 days before introducing the next “flavour”. This helps their digestive systems to adapt. For cats, you might stick to either Cat of the Day Chicken or Turkey for quite a while, as changes can cause fussiness.

Either way, if you are switching your animals from kibble (pellets) or cooked food, don’t be alarmed if their stools are a bit mucousy or runny for the first two days. Their systems are just ridding themselves of toxins. If they still have runny stools after this, please check that their de-worming is up to date. (For those who prefer natural methods, we stock a herbal de-wormer).

Persnickety Pooches

For old dogs, young puppies, or sickly dogs, and for some canine fussy eaters, a slow switch to Give a Dog a Bone raw food may be better. With this method, you would change your dog’s diet over four days as follows:

Day 1: 75% of their old food mixed well with 25% raw. (It is important to mix this well, so that it all becomes one “glop” of food – if the old food is pellets, allow time for the pellets to absorb the moisture before you serve)

Day 2: A 50/50 mix of both foodsDay 3: 25% of the old dog food, 75% raw

Day 3: 25% of the old dog food, 75% raw

Day 4: 100% raw food

One disadvantage of the slow switch is that some dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and they can’t tolerate the two vastly different types of food in their digestive system at the same time. It may lead to vomiting and upset tummies – don’t panic if this happens!You know your own dog best, so we trust you to choose the method that is best for him or her. Just be sure that you are not reacting to any of your own fears about the new diet, and feel free to call us if you are feeling unsure in any way.

Other important tips for the switch

It is important to limit treats during the period of introduction to the new food. If you really can’t resist, let your treats be bits of raw natural food: whole food like some chicken portion trimmings, a bone to chew on, a chicken neck, the occasional egg yolk, some dried liver, or a small piece of apple or banana (fruit treats are only for dogs).Don’t forget to always provide plenty of access to clean water, though you’ll notice your pets will drink less on their new moist food.Remember that plastic feeding bowls are dangerous, and must be replaced with stainless steel or a good quality glazed ceramic bowl.One more note about stools. Once your pet has made the switch, their stools will become firm and white. Don’t be alarmed by this, or by seeing them strain slightly to defecate. Both of these are good signs.Lastly, remember that every cat and dog is unique. You know your own cats and dogs best. Read as much as you need to, to allay any fears or anxieties you may have. Talk to us more if you have any questions. Then, trust your instincts, and theirs.

You will want to watch your pet and adjust their food if they seem under or over weight