What is raw feeding?
Dogs are carnivores so raw feeding is about feeding your dog as they would naturally eat (no grains, pellets, additives, chemicals and no added colours), this includes fresh muscle meat, organ meat (offal) and bone and of course some natural treats, such as Sprats, rabbit ears, chicken feet... and more.
Completes (meat/ offal/ bone) – we recommend these as they have everything in them to start with which is 80% muscle meat,10% offal, and10% bone. We offer a variety of brands which give a great selection of different proteins/ flavours. This gives you more choice when providing the 5 minimum proteins/ flavours per week.
The advantages of feeding raw food:
Health: fewer digestive problems (less tummy upsets), healthier skin, generally leaner and more muscular build (reduces obesity and having an overweight dog which can lead to a number of related conditions)
Hygiene: less poo to pick up, nicer smelling breath, generally nicer smelling (reducing wind!)
Appearance: happier and more content, shinier coat and whiter teeth
Taste: a greater variety of food, full of flavour, nutrients and texture
Financial: costs less in vet bills and it is not as expensive as you may think… we have a variety of options to suit different budgets
Body function: you are optimising your dog’s bodily functions by feeding them what they are naturally meant to eat which has a great impact on their well being and vitality.
How to swap to raw...
We recommend the following:
Option 1 – A complete swap following our diet planner
Option 2 – If you have kibble left over you can feed kibble one meal and raw the next meal
but do not mix the two as they digest at different rates and can upset the stomach.
We will run through your exact needs at the unit or over the phone but generally we recommend:
Day 1-3/4 - Green Lamb Tripe (sorry this does stink and you may need to hold your nose).
Day 4-6 – Introduce a new protein, such as tripe with Turkey. This is to see if you dog has any allergies.
Day 7-9 – Introduce a new protein, such as tripe with duck.
Continue introducing new proteins in this way.
How much to feed...
We will help you with this, but for future reference please see the "how much to feed tab"
Your dog’s poo may change. The tripe can cause the poo to become black, but this is nothing to worry about. It may go white as your dog adjusts to digesting the bone. After 3 days a more normal poo colour should resume and it will become generally smaller and firmer.
Dogs can have allergies to some proteins (chicken is a common one) which can cause itching, pink around the eyes/feet or ear infections. If you dog starts to itch more than normal or shows any of these signs we can eliminate this from their diet. If your dog had any of these symptoms on kibble the raw diet should improve these.
Optional raw treats & natural toppers...
Eggs (raw or cooked, as your dog prefers)
Eggs can be fed with the shells as these are a good source of calcium and magnesium. Our dogs have 2-3 a week cracked over their food.
Oily fish is great for a dogs as the oils promote heart health, a silky coat, reduces itchy and flaky skin, can help relieve allergies, joint pain and can even help strengthen their immune system. Sprats are an easy way of introducing this into their diet and can be fed frozen, deforested, cut up… to your dog’s preference.
The dog friendly fruit and veg can be added to bulk out the food, which is good for dogs that need to lose a bit of weight. Please note that they do not offer them the same nutritional value as they would to us and also be mindful that veg and fruit contains sugars which can increase the risk of yeast infections/ itching etc… My dog loves broccoli (I think she just likes winding me up by creating a mess on our floor) and we give her a few heads every now and then.
Goats Milk/ Kefir (Kefir grains mixed with milk)
My dog loves goats milk and Kefir. These are great pro-biotics packed with essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes to aid the digestive system as well as improving the immune system. I freeze in an ice cube tray and give her a few cubes every other day.
Expect changes in the poo colour and consistency (see the “expected changes” above) during the transition period.
White poo – this can be caused by too much bone in the diet/ added treats. Try to reduce the bone treats. If you are concerned there is too much bone for your dog in the complete food (as every dog is different), because they are constipated, then you can add offal.
Smaller & firm (easy to pick up) – This is normal for dogs on raw food once settled into raw feeding and a great benefit with helping to empty the anal glands naturally
This is bile like sick which can occur overnight/early morning if your dog is particularly hungry. Some of us at KRDF give our dogs “supper” before bed which can be things like chicken wings, a couple of meat chunks…
Defrosting & Storage….
I personally defrost my dog’s food by putting it on the side overnight in a Pyrex dish (as some of the packaging will leak) and I then portion that protein/ flavour up and refreeze the portions (the dog meat can be defrosted and re-frozen a few times, unlike food we eat… as long as it is not left out in between). I then get the portions out of the freezer the night before for the next day making sure she has the minimum of 5 different proteins/ flavours per week. I have also found ice cream tubs are good for storing food.
We get many queries about what to do with dogs that are fussy eaters and the main cause of this most of the time is us letting them be fussy or over feeding them. I would first check the quantity being fed as this is the most common cause. If the quantity is correct then I would leave the food down for your fussy dog for 10 minutes and if they do not eat it then pick it up (refrigerate) and give it to them for their next meal. Do not worry about starving your dog as vets will agree a dog is ok without food for 4-5 days. Before this time they should eat what is put in front of them (as long as they are not also given sneaky treats in between).
Raw feeding facebook groups….…
These are great to gain a further support network but sometimes the advice can over complicate things and can sometimes be miss-leading. Keep things simple and feed how you feel your dog should be fed to your budget and lifestyle, you know your dog best.