Ready to Start Raw Feeding
General guidline. But remember that dogs like humans are individuals and might require more than the average. There are no prizes for the plumpest dog either and overweight dogs add strain to their joints and ligaments.
For adult dogs weighing 10 kg and above you will start on 2.5% of their ideal adult weight. High activity will require 3% of their ideal weight.
For adult toy breeds weighing below 10 kg you will start on 3% of their ideal adult weight
For puppies you can start on 10% of their current weight or 2.5% of their ideal adult weight.
Once used to raw most dogs self regulate and will step back when full.
Days 1- 4
When a dog changes from eating pellets which are a grain based food to raw bones and meat, the gastric ph changes from alkaline to acidic. This acidic environment is designed to break down meat and bone. However this change may cause digestive issues for some dogs. We suggest feeding a probiotic and for the first 4 days keeping the diet bland and avoiding excessively fatty proteins.
We recommend starting on chicken and ensuring that it’s not too fatty.
After 4 days if the stools look good and there are no digestive issues, different cuts of meat can be added of the same protein group. After a week, you can introduce a different protein. Pork should be introduced to the diet last.
- For the first 4 days feed a bland protein
- Give a probiotic
Prey Model Days 7- and On-wards
Once your dog has settled into their new food. Now you can start looking at providing the ideal balance of proteins and bone. Think along the lines of what your dog would eat , if he/she had to hunt and pulled down a deer.
When wolves are observed in the wild, they will eat the stomach and organs (secreting and non secreting) first and then they move on to eating the meat and the bone is eaten last.
|70%-80&||Meat*||Muscle meat, heart, gizzard, lung, skirts, gullets,|
|10%-15%||Bone||Carcasses, wings, thighs, sheep or small game ribs, brisket, necks, tails, etc|
|5%||Liver||If liver is the only organ fed, this can then be increased to 10%|
|5%||Secreting Organ||Spleen, Kidneys, Testes, Pancreas, etc.|
|—-||Fat||There should not be more than 10% fat in the diet.|
*Though lung and heart are seen as meat, it is important to get actual meat in the diet, especially any form of red meat.
Feed vegetables if you want to, however the amount should be over and above the daily meal. So if your dog requires 1kg of raw then feed 1.xkg i.e. 1kg raw meat and xx gram veg. To ensure that vegetables can be utilized and not come out the other end as they went in, the best is to cook the vegetables to completely break down the cellulose walls.
Balance, scientifically formulated, vet approved are all buzz words in the pellet world and this has transferred across to the raw feeding world. There is a trend to ensure that each raw meal is balanced and/or meet the AAFCO minimum requirements.
AAFCO standards are based on cooked or processed foods (processed in order to be evaluated), foods which already have a decreased nutritional value because of being cooked or processed. Cooking denatures proteins and collagen, destroys important nutrients, and generally makes the food less digestible and less bio available (the exception being grains and vegetables, which we have already determined are not necessary ). This means essential vitamins and minerals must be added back in. But how much? In what amounts? When your dog is fed raw unprocessed food, it is not consuming a single nutrient as in the case with synthetic vitamins, but rather a whole range of vitamins, minerals, co-factors and enzymes that allow for optimal use by the body. Without these additional compounds, synthetic nutrients are unlikely to be used by the body in the same way as their natural counterparts. For example studies show that natural vitamin E is absorbed twice as efficiently as synthetic vitamin E (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9537614). Commercial pet foods should contain all of these nutrients, but are they contained in the proper amounts? And just what is a ‘proper amount’? Do they have methods for monitoring the complex interactions of all these nutrients?
To pass an AAFCO feeding trial the dogs need to maintain body weight and or lose less than 15% body weight then the food is balanced. If it can sustain 6 dogs over a 6-month period without significant weight loss or blood change then the food is good. Since feeding trials simply look at palatability, survival, and the appearance of health, these complex interactions are ignored. Cooking and processing food also kills enzymes that may help with the digestion of the food and the processing of nutrients, so the bio-availability of vitamins and minerals in cooked foods is further reduced (Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. Chapter 4.).
With raw feeding nutritional needs are met over time, and balance is achieved through time as the animal eats what it needs at the time it needs it or whenever it can get it. The nutrients the body MUST have and cannot synthesize for itself are supplied in sufficient amounts in the food the animal eats. Nutrients are stored within the body when they are eaten and are not needed, but when the need arises, they are essentially pulled out of storage and used. They not only have fat reserves and protein reserves in their muscles, but stored up nutrients and vitamins in their tissues (fat soluble vitamins, for example, like A, D, and K).
In a nutshell, how do you achieve “balance”? Feed a variety of proteins and ensure that organs are always included as they are your vitamin and mineral factories.