The Golden Rules of Raw Feeding
Rules of Raw Feeding
When it comes to feeding your dog a raw dog food diet, the main objective is to feed them a species-appropriate diet. What would they eat in the wild? Owners should endeavour to recreate the same diet using similar ingredients for their dogs regardless of breed, size or age. Feeding a BARF diet which doesn’t include dry or tinned foods, is as close to nature as it gets and helps to satisfy the needs of a dog that are physiologically and anatomically inherent. A raw diet is exactly what nature intended and is the best that you can give your dog.
The Optimum Diet for Dogs
The optimum diet for dogs consists of raw muscle meat, raw bone, raw offal, raw vegetables and some raw fruit. Some people also like to add additional nutritional ingredients such as eggs, fish, goats milk or yoghurt, oils and herbs however it is extremely important to get the balance and ratios right in order to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. Some dogs will have a preference for what they will eat while others will eat whatever you put in front of them. This is no different to the way in which we pick and choose what we like.
Give Them a Variety of Ingredients
It is crucial to include variety in the diet and to ensure that your dog receives all of their necessary nutrients from many different sources. We recommend feeding a minimum of 3 different proteins per week so use meat from different animals including chicken, turkey, duck, salmon, beef and tripe and use different parts of the animal. Also add seasonal vegetables (leafy greens are best) superfoods and berries. For dogs that are overweight, you can use more water-based low-calorie vegetable such as cucumber or courgette.
Balance Their Food Over the Course of a Week
When hunting and foraging for food in the wild, dogs do not attempt to meet all of their nutritional requirements in one meal or even in a day. As long as you balance their food over time, they will be getting the range of nutrition required. Choosing a raw food supplier that offers a variety of foods is a great way to know that you are giving your dog exactly what they need rather than the DIY approach which can be quite time consuming and complex to get spot on. Don’t just stick to one type of food. Giving them chicken every day, while easy for you, can be quite boring for a dog and it doesn’t provide them with the proper nutritional balance. Variety is key!
The Foods You MUST NOT Feed Your Dog
Never feed your dog raisins, sultanas, dried fruit, avocado, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, persimmons, peaches or plums as these are extremely dangerous to dogs. Garlic is only recommended in very small quantities (and not just because of their breath). If you are unsure about what is safe and what isn’t then consult with an expert in canine nutrition. If in doubt, air on the side of caution. If you are feeding treats, be sure to include these in the daily recommended amount for your dog. Over feeding can lead to your dog becoming overweight and fussy with their food.
Introducing Your Dog to a Raw Diet
If you are introducing your dog to raw food for the first time, or after an extended period of not eating raw, you may prefer to make the switch slowly as this allows the dogs gut time to adjust to the new ingredients. For more information about switching your dog to raw and how it should be done, please refer to our comprehensive guide.
Knowing How Much to Feed Your Dog
It is important to feed your dog the right amount. Like humans, feeding too little will mean that they are not getting what they need and feeding too much will lead to them gaining weight. How much you feed them will depend on a number of factors:
- Their age and size – growing puppies will need more than a fully-grown dog
- Whether it is a working dog and gets more exercise than a household dog
- Dogs that are recovering from illness or injury
- Dogs that need to gain weight or lose weight
For information and guidelines on how much you should feed, please refer to our raw food calculator and by-breed recommended feeding guidelines.
Don’t Mix Different Types of Food
What we mean by this is not to mix different types of food such as raw and kibble. If your dog is transitioning to raw you must not feed them other foods. DO NOT mix raw and kibble together in one meal even during transition. Once the dog is fully transitioned to raw, don’t give them any other type of processed dog food. It doesn’t add to the raw and is not a substitute should you forget to defrost their raw or if you run out. The digestive enzymes required to digest the two types of food are completely different and you could cause stomach upsets or worse..
Consider Nutritional Supplements
If you have a dog that needs additional nutritional support in order to for example, gain weight, keep their active bodies in good shape, boost performance or assist with recovery/prevention of illness then we have a range of outstanding organic nutritional supplements that are scientifically formulated by experts to deliver a number of specific benefits.[one]
Make it Easier for Yourself
ProDog Raw offer a range of recipes which are DEFRA approved, lab tested and use only British sourced, human-grade ingredients designed to fulfil all of your dog’s nutritional requirements. These include beef & offal, turkey, duck and green tripe. Our complete range includes meat, bone and vegetables along with oils while our pure range offers meat, bone and oils. Most of our recipes include ground bone which is extremely important to a dog’s diet, offering a variety of benefits including
improved digestion. If your dog prefers the pure range, you can include some of the vegetables mentioned above to ensure they are getting everything they need.
For any advice or assistance with raw feeding for your dog, the team at ProDog Raw have extensive knowledge and experience in canine nutrition. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you to decide on the best range of products for your dog.[/one]