Raw feeding is easy and not hard or intimidating to do IF you do your raw feeding research.
Considering feeding a raw diet, raw feeding research is key! It is however more complex than pouring a cup of dry food into a bowl. I, along with many others, raw feed because I believe its appropriate for dogs as they are carnivores. I also want them to have a healthy long life. I care for each of my dogs immensely. We need basic information to feed correctly as a badly fed raw diet CAN be damaging to your pets health. You need to take feeding a raw diet seriously. It’s not simply a matter of buying a chicken and feeding it to your dog.
Therefore, raw feeding research is important learning to do it correctly is a must. In this day and age, the internet makes researching easy. The first thing to decide is whether you want to follow a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet (BARF) or a Prey Model Raw diet (PMR). Then research ONLY that and join Facebook groups that pertain to only that diet.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #1 – Food: How Much to Feed?
Raw fed dogs are fed according to a percentage of their body weight in relationship to their age and activity level. There are feeding applications and calculators available online. Calculate what amount you need to feed your dog per day, then adjust accordingly from there. Make small changes at a time, nothing drastic.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #2 – Slow in the Beginning is the Key
Keeping things simple is the key to making a successful switch to raw feeding. When you rush into raw feeding you will create issues as it’s tempting to add new things to soon. This is especially true when you read conflicting information and give way to temptation. Switching to raw is a step by step process. There are reasons for introducing new proteins gradually.
It isn’t a race to see who can feed the most proteins in the least amount of time. There’s no need to rush towards a next protein, no rush to move on to organs, let the diet do its work. Your dog needs time to adjust to the natural food. The pH level needs time to lower to what it would naturally be.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #3 – Adding Variety: Don’t Over Do It
Over-doing raw feeding usually creates some issues like vomiting or diarrhea. Raw feeding is as new to your pet as it is to you, so he needs time to adjust to the new food (proteins). It is recommended that one protein be “tested” at a time for a period of at least a week to ten days to allow the pet’s system to get used to it. Once your pet is able to eat 4-5 different proteins it is time to begin to slowly introduce organs.
Organs are the last to be added to a new raw diet. Offal consists of liver and other secreting organs. Liver is a rather easy organ to find so there’s no real reason once the switch to raw is complete for it to be lacking in the diet. Feed the correct amount of liver to meet your dog’s needs while you search for your ‘other’ organs: kidney, spleen,pancreas, testicles, brain, is essential.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #4 – Adding Organs/Offal
Sources for those hard to find other secreting organs can include: Asian or Latino markets, butchers, farmers, and online suppliers. Organs are essential! Try to find as many different parts and from different animals as possible. Secreting organs are a vital nutrient source for raw fed pets and can not be be omitted.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #5 – Adding Bones
Bones are essential to the raw diet. The guideline is that 10% of the total diet should consist of edible bone. Fed too much bone leads to white, crumbly poo and possibly constipation and potential compaction. Poo watch is important.adjust bone accordingly. Bone fragments in vomit or poo can be a sign of too much bone at one feed.
Listen to what your dog is telling you. Only raw bones should be fed as these bones are edible, digestible and safe. Make no bones about it, they are important in a balanced raw diet as they supply calcium. If they are not fed you dog will be deficient and the body will search for calcium elsewhere. Calcium will be taken out of his/her own skeletal system in the body’s attempt to have a usable source.
Brittle bones and other issues will occur. Bones firm the poo. Remove the bone or don’t feed enough of it, you will be cleaning up a lot of messy poo. Don’t be afraid of feeding bones, they are needed and give them in correct amounts to keep your dog healthy and poo firm. Remember raw bones are natural to canids.
Raw Feeding Research TIP #6 – Protein Variety
Variety is the key to proper nutrition in the raw diet. A variety of different animals, and varied body parts of those animals, will create a picture of health and wellness. Don’t rely on any single protein, or even any two or three proteins, always mixing it up with new things and search for more variety, or you can leave your dog lacking.
Keep searching for new things you will be surprised at what you can find. Remember that your dog doesn’t know the difference between one cut of meat from another and things you might not consider eating yourself, your pet will think is a delicious delicacy, If you don’t offer enough variety over time, it will lead to nutritional deficiencies, which in turn leads to health issues.