what is a raw diet?
a combination of fresh whole foods consisting of raw meat, raw bones, vegetables and fruit. our pets are supposed to eat these meals in their raw and natural state. please note the information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. consult your veterinarian before switching your pets to a raw diet.
it's mother nature
Dogs are classified as omnivores. This means that they need a wide range of food in their diet, including raw meats, raw bones, organs, stomach contents plus vegetables and fruits. Cats are carnivores. A cat's diet should consist of 95-98% raw meat, including muscle, organs, stomach content and bones.
No other food can replace the nutrient value of fresh whole raw food. This natural diet will boost your pet's overall health, vitality, longevity and quality of life. A raw diet can help with ailments like allergies, arthritis, urinary problems, cancer, dental problems, eye and ear discharge, lethargy, weight problems, poor skin and coat, and a weakened immune system.
During the transition, we recommend you feed your dog a mixture of ground chicken with bone and ground mixed vegetables and fruit. Your cat requires 90-100% raw meat, bone and organs sometimes blended with ground vegetables and fruit.
Use the same protein for 10 days to 2 weeks to ensure your pet's tolerance to the diet. We recommend starting with chicken as it contains superior nutrient value, has natural calcium, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fats. Not to mention it is very easily digested and an affordable option. If your pet cannot tolerate chicken, talk to a member of our staff and we'll work together to find a suitable alternative.
making the switch
There are several ways to make the switch to a raw diet.
Choose one based on your pet's overall health and comfort zone.
The 7 day plan gradually switches your pet over to a raw diet:
days 1 & 2: 3/4 of the previous diet, 1/4 of new raw diet
days 3 &4: 1/2 previous diet, 1/2 raw
days 5 & 6: 1/4 previous diet, 3/4 raw
day 7: 100% raw natural diet
The hard switch is just that, an immediate switch to raw. This can be a stress in some pets' systems and could experience some digestive upsets. If you do the hard switch method, consider fasting your pet for 24 hours prior to the change—but be sure to provide fresh water and bone broth or plain broth (salt free).
Please note: if you're not sure about your pet's overall health, you should have your veterinarian do a blood panel and urinalysis to determine if there are any underlying health concerns. This is a useful tool and recommended yearly for all pets.
scratching the surface
After the transition, there are several ways to feed your dogs and cats. A balanced raw diet consists of raw meats and meaty bones. We also recommend switching proteins frequently to ensure your pet won't develop allergies to a specific protein.
Bones are an essential and necessary part of any quality raw fed program. We categorize them into two: entertainment and meal bones.
Entertainment bones (femur, knuckle, rib, shank) are great for oral health and hygiene. Think of them as a natural toothbrush. They're also loaded with essential ingredients, aid in cleaning anal sacs and provide excellent mental and muscular stimulation.
Meal bones (carcass, backs, necks, wings) are softer, meatier and packed with nutrients. These bones will also aid in dental health and provide a balance of calcium, phosphorous and other vital minerals and nutrients.
Some cautionary notes on bones.
• always choose bones larger than your pet's mouth capacity (at least 1 to 1.5 times the size of the width and girth of the mouth.
• supervise your pet while chewing on bones.
• choose softer bones for puppies, kittens, seniors and beginners.
• feed bones opposite or after the heaviest exercise period.
what to expect
Switching to a raw diet can cause some pets to experience nutritional detoxification from their previous diet. These symptoms could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. This is perfectly normal and a sign that the body is throwing out built up toxins. Some signs of detoxification include:
• runny/weepy eyes
• excess waxy build up in the ears
• loose or mucous stools
• body odour
• bad breath
• itchy skin
• oily coat
supplementing the raw diet
Depending on your pet's raw diet, it may need additional supplements to provide them a full, well-balanced nutrition. Consult with members of our staff to find out what is best for your individual pet.
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Found in an equal blend of kelp and alfalfa. These provide all the necessary fat and water-soluble vitamins and minerals. It's a powerful combination that contains a multitude of health benefits.
Needed if your pet cannot tolerate bones or if the bulk of your pet's diet consists of red meats.
Essential fatty acid oils
For dogs: combination of plant and fish based oils, like flax, hemp, salmon or a blend.
For cats: animal and fish based oils only. Cats cannot assimilate plant-based oils, with the exception of evening primrose oil.
what about greens?
Dogs can eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. These should be fed raw, finely ground or juiced for ease of digestion and maximum nutrient absorption. As a rule of thumb, combine 4 above ground and 2 below ground veggies and avoid starchy and sugary-based fruits and vegetables.
Every pet is different. If you're unsure which veggies are suitable for your pet, consult your veterinarian, animal health care practitioner or nutritional consultant.
how much do i feed my pet?
Our general rule of thumb for adult dogs and cats is their weight in pounds x 10 equals the amount of food in grams per day. Double the amount for puppies and kittens. Begin with this amount and adjust based on age, energy and exercise levels. This measurement is based on the total food intake, that means including mixed meats, vegetables and bones.
Healthy, active adult dogs should be fed once or twice per day and can be fasted one day per week. Puppies, pregnant and nursing dogs will require more food and will need to be fed more frequently and should not fast. Seniors, pets with cancer, diabetes or heart conditions should not fast. Seniors and giant breeds should be fed 2-3 smaller meals a day for ease of digestion. Do not fast cats.
how much does a raw diet cost?
The cost of feeding your cat or dog will vary based on age, weight, and the choices you make for them. It is true that a raw diet can sometimes be more costly than processed pet foods, but the benefits and long-term rewards of a raw diet far outweigh the cost.
Speak to a member of our staff to figure out a diet that works for your pet and your wallet.
• Use proper hygiene precautions when handling raw meat. Wash all contact surfaces with hot water and soap after use.
• Do not microwave defrost or heat raw food.
• Provide ample water for your pets.
• Do your own research. Do not take our word for it, there's ample resources dedicated to raw feeding. We recommend:
• The Forever Dog by Rodney Habib and Karen Shaw Becker.
• Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Pitcairn & S. Pitcairn.
• Your Urban Carnivore by Brenda Hagel.
• Four Paws, Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz.
• Give Your Dog A Bone & The BARF Diet by Dr. Billinghurst.
• Grow Your Pups with Bones by Dr. Billinghurst.
• Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog by Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown.
• Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet by Kymythy Shultze.
• Reigning Cats & Dogs by Pat McKay.
Should you have any questions, concerns or comments, our expert staff can point you in the proper direction.
The information contained on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Consult your veterinarian before switching your pet into a new diet.
© 2023 In The Raw Pet Food, ltd.