What is Raw Feeding?
It is the practice of feeding your dogs and cats raw meat, edible meaty bones and organs. Natural food equals natural health and helps provide the essential building blocks of a strong immune system.
Health Benefits of Raw Feeding
There are numerous arguments over the health effects of feeding commercial pet foods, and many raw feeding pet owners claim to have noticed a significant increase in overall health after switching to a raw food diet.
After a few weeks on raw you will start to see an improvement in their health. After a few months, the benefits are incredible and the list of health benefits are endless!
- No more allergies, this is due to cereals and preservatives in kibble.
- More mental stimulation: When they have to figure out how to attack their food – helps stop boredom.
- Smaller, less smelly poops: The meat/bone is broken down in the dogs and cats acidic stomachs more easily than kibble (which requires a more alkaline stomach) which equates to less waste.
- They enjoy their food and look forward to meal times with excitement.
- Stronger immune system: Helps create a stronger, healthier immune system so more resistant to disease and ill health.
- Shiny healthy coats.
- Pearly white teeth: Healthy gums and sweet breath (no tooth decay, or periodontal disease, therefore no infection on the gums and no bacteria swallowed with every gulp of saliva, this in turn leads to reduced chances of heart, kidney and liver disease).
- Better concentration with commands and less hyperactive, yet more energetic.
- Easier to keep at the right weight.
- Better muscle tone.
- Less vet visits.
Why Raw Meat and Not Kibble
Dogs and cats have sharp teeth designed for grabbing, ripping, tearing, shredding and shearing meat. Their jaws work up and down, not side to side like a cow chewing grass.
Kibble manufacturers enrich their products by adding vitamins and minerals after drying. The heating process used reduces the level of naturally occurring nutrients.
Commercial pet foods, dry foods in particular, often contain a large amount of grains. Grains are not a natural part of the dogs or cats diet.
Dogs and cats do not have the ability to digest grains properly, so instead extra strain is put on the liver as it has to produce more bile to break down the insoluble fiber. Grains suppress the immune system, they are mucous forming and provide an ideal environment for parasites to thrive in. Grains also contribute to the formation of dental plaque and tartar on the teeth, as well as bad breath and flatulence. Dogs and cats have no dietary requirements for carbohydrates, nor are they equipped with the teeth to process them.
Because cats are obligate carnivores, it is believed that a switch to a predominantly meat based raw diet is beneficial due to cats inability to digest grains.
The corn based protein found in kibble (which is cheaper to manufacture) is not as good as the protein found in meat, meaty bones and offal.
You may find that if your pet has allergies, this may be due to the grains or the preservatives in the kibble.
You may also notice that your dog and cats gains weight easily even though it may have plenty of exercise. With raw meat/meaty bones and organ meat, they will get all the nutrition they need and none of the stuff they don’t need. A healthy weight should be maintained when eating raw food.
Dogs are Carnivores
What is a Carnivore? Carnivore is the Latin word for “meat eater”. A carnivore is “an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue whether from predation or scavenging”.
Although dogs must also be recognized for their significant omnivorous abilities, preference should be given to feeding them meat-based products as their bodies are optimized for eating meat.
Herbivores and omnivores have one powerful digestive weapon which carnivores typically lack and that is that Carnivores do NOT produce amylase in their salivary glands. Amylase is a specialized enzyme that most herbivores and omnivores produce in their saliva. It helps begin the breakdown of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars — before they enter the stomach.
Although dogs do produce amylase, the enzyme is added further down their digestive tract — in the small intestine.
So, without salivary amylase, a dog’s carbohydrate digestion can be decidedly more difficult.
Cats are Obligate Carnivores
What is an Obligate Carnivore? “An animal that depends solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements”.
Cats “guts” are much shorter than ours. They do not have the ability to fully digest and utilize the nutrients in plant material. Although theoretically, they might get enough protein from plant material to exist, they need taurine in order to thrive. Taurine is found primarily in the muscle meat of animals, and is most highly concentrated in the heart and liver.
In the wild, cats may get a small amount of grain and other plant material from the stomachs of their prey, but our domestic cats really do not need large amounts of grain. Corn is a good example. Corn is a cheap source of protein, and many of the “supermarket brands” of dry cat food are packed with corn in various forms, e.g., corn bran, corn germ meal, ground corn , corn gluten, corn gluten meal . It is not advisable to feed your cat or dog food containing corn. Cats and dogs are designed to digest their food quickly due to the acidic nature of their stomachs and dry foods require an alkaline stomach in order to break the food down. This makes digestion of kibble type dry foods much more difficult for them.
What nutrients are in Meat, Meaty Bones and Organs?
Raw meaty bones are living tissue composed of living cells and just like any part of the body, they are a complex source of biologically balanced protein, minerals, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese.
Meats are high in phosphorus, bones are high in calcium. When meat is fed with 10% bone you have the exact ratios of calcium to phosphorus required by a dog. Whole prey, fish, eggs and tripe also have a balanced ratio.
Don’t be afraid to feed your cat or dog different or unusual things. Try chicken feet, venison trachea, tails, lung, kidneys, testicles and pizzles (penis). These are loaded with chondroitin and glucosamine which help to build healthy joints.
Organ meat should not exceed 10% of the overall diet and half of that should be liver.
Liver – Has a vast range of important nutrition. It has the most concentrated source of vitamin A as well as vitamin D, E and K in substantial quantities. It is also an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains vitamin A, all the B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, biotin, folate (B9) and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the Omega 3 and Omega 6 type. It is a fantastic food for your dogs and cats. Feed only two or three times a week.
Kidneys – Supply good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.
Heart – Is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. It contains some essential fatty acids and a little vitamin A. Heart contains good levels of taurine which is important food …. For the heart. Remember, the heart is muscle meat, not offal.
Taurine – is important for cats’ wellbeing and is found in animal based protein (i.e. meat, offal). A lack of taurine causes eye problems (from eye degeneration to blindness), hair loss, tooth decay and a weak and enlarged heart.
Raw Whole Eggs (free range) – with shells (a perfect ratio of phosphorus to calcium) can be fed two or three times per week. Feed the whole egg to your dog. Egg yolks are an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin A, E and B6 and free range eggs have lots of Beta Carotene.
Raw Green Tripe – has long been quoted as being “the finest of all natural foods”. It should be unprocessed and unbleached. Raw green tripe is creamy light brown/slightly green in colour and is straight out of the animal and is a great food. It is the edible lining and accompanying content of a cow or other grass eating animals’ (venison and lamb) first or second division of the stomach. Paunch tripe comes from the large first stomach division and honeycomb tripe comes from the second division.
Both dogs and cats benefit from eating tripe as it contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including digestive enzymes, Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, vitamin B, probiotics and phytonutrients. Raw green tripe has a very good calcium to phosphorus ratio, it is not an essential part of the diet, yet it is extremely nutritious. Tripe should be from grass fed herbivores not grain fed to get maximum nutritional benefit.
Most dogs eat around two to three percent of their ideal adult weight per day. Please see chart below.
Cats will eat between half and one cube of our minced cubes per day.
Every animal is different, so use your own judgement when feeding your animal.
|Dog Weight||2% of adult weight||3% of adult weight|
|10kg||10,000 x 0.02 = 200g of food||10,000 x 0.03 = 300g of food|
|20kg||20,000 x 0.02 = 400g of food||20,000 x 0.03 = 600g of food|
|30kg||30,000 x 0.02 = 600g of food||30,000 x 0.03 = 900g of food|
Puppy and Kitten Guide
Puppies under 12 months will need to eat more as they are more energetic. Feed up to twice the amount per kg you would feed an adult dog. For kittens up to 12 months, feed up to twice the amount you would feed an adult cat and more often.