A Guide to Feeding Raw
When it comes to feeding your dog the basic rule of thumb is 1.5 - 3% of body weight per day split over 1-2 meals, a puppy from 8 weeks will need between 2 - 3% of their ideal adult body weight per day, ideally split into 1-3 meals, however this is not written in stone and is largely dependent on your dog's activity levels.
However, the most important thing to remember, is that all dogs are a little different, and only you know your dog best.
Don't worry your dog will not become obese or fade away overnight, most dogs will eat as much as you are willing to give them!
The one thing that must be remembered is that unlike kibble, raw food does not expand in the dog's stomach, so your dog might want more than perhaps it needs to begin with.
This will quickly pass as the food is much more nutritious and will take longer to digest, so your dog will feel satisfied for longer.
Just keep an eye on their weight and adjust the portion size accordingly. If your dog is overweight, reduce the portion size and if it’s underweight, increase the portion size.
What is BARF
The term BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) was coined by Dr Ian Billinghurst in the mid 80's a Vet and Agricultural Scientist, ().
In a nutshell this type of diet is designed to replicate that of a wild predator, the Wolf, ancestor of all of our dogs and any from the wild cat family.
Typically, raw food will consist of meat, 70-80% meat and offal, 10-15% bone, 10-15% fruit and vegetables and is served raw.
Myths and Misinformation
It is only to be expected that raw feeding like many things that are perceived to be new or different has attracted it’s share of myths detractors, it is natural that concerns exist after all our cats and dogs mean the world to us, so I would like to dispel some of these myths and reassure anyone thinking of giving this a try.
Bacteria and raw meat are an understandable concern, however, let’s not forget dogs and cats are equipped to deal with bacteria. They have been eating raw meat for thousands of years and it has not always been fresh!
Our suppliers only use human grade ingredients and free-range chickens. The levels of bacteria are regularly tested and strictly controlled as part of their DEFRA registration requirements, so taking all the normal precautionary hygiene measures associated with handling raw meat is enough.
Increased risk of parasites, that would be true if they used some types of unfrozen wild game (wild boar) in their recipes as some wild animals do have a higher risk of parasites (trichinae parasite) if un frozen, however they do not use these proteins, all of their products are deep frozen and only human grade ingredients from DEFRA approved sources are used. So all of their food carries no risk of parasites.
We could go on and add pages and pages of information. Quote studies, accounts from owners, breeders and experts, opinions from vets and medical professionals, but the information is already out there. So, what is the difference between us and the manufacturers of kibble? Well, all of our suppliers are happy to disclose everything that goes in to their products and how it is made. They have nothing to hide. See if you can find out how the dried food manufacturers make their products and what actually goes into it.
Don't forget to look at the Government food labelling guidelines, 'meaty chunks', beef and chicken, etc definitely does not mean what you might think, chunks of meat, pieces of beef and chicken, anything but!
Bones are often cited as being bad for dogs. Before the introduction of kibble, dog food contained bone, perhaps you can remember 'white dog poo' as a child and wondering why it was white, well that was the bone that had been digested, however kibble does not go white as it has not been fully digested. Provided it is un-cooked, bone is an essential part of the dog's diet. It cleans teeth, provides minerals, helps digestion and keeps anal glands from becoming blocked and infected.