Here at Pawable HQ, we believe in a species appropriate diet and we'll talk about whenever we are given the chance! So we're really excited to share our first guest blog with you. Esther is the Content and Communications Manager over at Paleo Ridge, and she's kindly taken the time to share with you why it's time to think about switching your dog onto a raw species appropriate diet.
If you’re brand new to the world of feeding your dog a raw diet and would like some information, look no further! We are here to give you all the guidance you need to understand the process and to show you, not only the benefits of feeding raw, but how easy it is to switch your dog to an all-natural, life changing diet.
What is Raw Dog Food?
Raw dog food is made up purely of raw meat, raw bones, and raw organ meat (also known as offal).
A raw diet is usually based on ‘the prey model’. The prey model is also known as 80/10/10 (80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal). This model reflects small prey, such as rabbits and pheasants, that dogs would have consumed in the wild.
Good quality meat is packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients with no fillers, grains, or unnecessary ingredients. It’s 100% natural!
We recommend feeding a variety of different meats. Variety is key when raw feeding as different animals contain different levels of nutrients, which means feeding just one type of meat will have much lesser benefits than feeding a variety.
Dogs are carnivores and have the jaw and digestive tract to consume raw meat and bone, just like their ancestors have for tens of thousands of years. Their stomach acid is much stronger than ours, making it very easy for them to break down raw meat and bone safely.
Why Should I Feed My Dog a Raw Diet?
There are many wonderful benefits to feeding your dog a natural, raw diet. Due to the food being unprocessed and with no unnecessary ingredients, your dog will only be consuming nutritious goodness. Some of the many benefits of feeding raw are:
• Glossy coat with zero or little odour
• Better oral hygiene and teeth
• Reduced itching, licking, and scratching
• Improved behaviour and vitality
• Reduced allergies and intolerances
• Less tummy upsets
• Less trips to the toilet and solid poops
By feeding raw, you are making the best decision to ensure a happy, healthy life for your four-legged companion.
Should I Feed My Dog Fruit and Vegetables?
Fruit and vegetables are not essential for a dog’s diet, but they do offer additional health benefits. The only time dogs in the wild would consume veggies or berries, would be in the stomach of their prey. This would make up roughly, 5% of their meal.
With dogs being carnivores, they do not produce amylase in their saliva. Amylase is an enzyme needed to break down cellulose in plant matter. Herbivores and omnivores produce amylase in their saliva, dogs do not.
If you do want to introduce some fruit and veg into your raw dog food diet, we would recommend 5% of their daily food amount. Some fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and nutrients, as an example:
These can be added to your dog’s food or give as a snack/treat. We offer complete meals both with and without to suit every dog as some cannot tolerate fruits and veggies.
Is Feeding a Raw Diet Safe?
One of the main questions we get asked by those who are new to raw feeding is, ‘is it safe?’. The simple answer to this is yes! It is perfectly safe.
Handling raw dog food is the same as handling raw meat when cooking for yourself. Below are some points on how to safely handle the raw food:
• Always use separate utensils for raw dog food
• Wash your dogs bowl after every use
• Open and dispose of packaging carefully
• Keep raw food in a sealed container at the bottom of the fridge
• Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling
• Clean all work surfaces and utensils after use
As you can see, these would be the same measures you would take when preparing food for your family.
The meat we source is of the highest quality and human grade too; we also have extensive testing and quality control processes in place to ensure your dog is consuming the best diet possible.
How Do I Get Started?
The best place to start is finding out, how much to feed your dog or puppy. You can use our online, raw dog food calculator.
Simply put your dog’s ideal adult weight into the calculator. This will bring up two amounts, one for a ‘Puppy’ and one for an ‘Adult’. If your dog is less than 12 months old, you should feed the puppy amount. For any dogs over 12 months, you should feed the adult amount.
Please note, this is just a guide and where every dog is different with different metabolism rates etc. you can tailor this to suit them. For puppies, the key thing to look out for is, they should be putting on weight every couple of weeks. If their weight stays the same or starts to drop, you will need to feed more.
We have a ‘Switch to Raw’ guide on our website which can be very helpful for those looking to switch over, check it out here.
If you need any help with this, please do get in touch with our customer support team, we are always happy to help you get started: