Benefits of Raw Feeding:
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller stools
One of the great benefits of feeding whole raw food is that it requires some work on the part of the jaws and teeth to hack away at fleshy fibres and bones, and this takes some time. The time it takes to gnaw away at whole meaty bones to the point where swallow-able sized hunks have been torn off, gives the gut time to activate its gastric juices so that when the food finally does hit the stomach, it has a much better chance of being properly digested. Conversely, feeding commercial or even ground food encourages speedy gulping, because it requires no effort or time to consume it, so it arrives so rapidly into the dog’s stomach, that often there's no time for its necessary digestive acids to be fully excreted resulting in poorly digested meals. Such meals may end up causing irritation or indigestion, which can mean a greater chance of them either being vomited up, or coming out the other end in a less than desirable form.
The psychological and physiological challenge of tackling large raw meaty bones is invaluable for the dogs general satisfaction, increased vitality and quality of life. Feeding raw, particularly large pieces, gives our dogs the opportunity to really get a mentally stimulating experience as it takes a lot more mental and physical work for a dog to rip and tear meat off and crunch through bones, often they have to stop and work out exactly how to tackle it. Anyone who feeds raw will know the enjoyment alone from watching their dogs eating and enjoying their meal.
Improved Skin and Coat
This can be one of the first changes you will notice when you start feeding a raw meaty bone diet. If those persistent skin problems suddenly disappear or improve, and you no longer need vet visits, medicated washes, antibiotics, cortisone shots and cortisone tablets, it has to mean something. It is really difficult to ignore the deeply colored, lustrous, thick and healthy coat on a raw fed pet!
Stronger Immune System
A raw diet normalises and strengthens the immune system. Because the raw meat and bone diet contains a good balance of essential fatty acids and other immune normalizing and strengthening nutrients, it reduces inflammatory conditions and eliminates infections.
Leaner Body Mass
By feeding a Raw meat and bone diet, your pet will lose unwanted fat and gain that much desired increase in muscle mass. This not only makes your pet look better, it increases your pets metabolic rate, its activity levels and its healthy life-span. The effect will be more rapid if you begin a routine exercise program with your dog.
Improved Stool Volume and Odor
Once again this reflects the improved health of the immune system and the remarkable difference that bone eating makes in the production of firm stools which are essential for normal anal sac emptying. In addition, since commercial dog food usually contains a high percentage of carbohydrate based ingredients such as grains, corn and soy which are unnatural to a dogs digestion, the waste product is unnatural, smelly and takes considerably longer to decompose.
A raw dog food diet typically consists of:
- Muscle meat, often still on the bone
- Bones, either whole or ground
- Organ meats such as livers and kidneys
- Raw eggs
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery
- Apples or other fruit
- Some dairy, such as yogurt
Raw Feeding Guidelines:
The key points to remember with a raw diet are:
· Balance over time – one meal could have more bone content, another more meat or organ. The approximate ratio to aim for overall is:
80% meat, sinew, ligaments, fat
10% edible bone
5% other organ meat
· 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 have a balanced ratio.
· Organ meat should not exceed 10% of the diet overall and 5% of that should be liver (beef liver has the highest nutrient levels). Feed liver once a week (or several small servings per week) and try to find an organic, free range source if possible because the liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the body.
· If feeding pork or salmon, be certain to freeze the meat for two weeks before feeding to reduce the small risk of parasites.