By Chantelle Dawson, Treks 4 Pets owner
There is a lot of chatter about raw food diets for cats and dogs these days, but what does it all mean, and how does it benefit your pet? I will try and keep it simple in this post, explain why it is so beneficial, and give tips on how to feed your pets raw!
Raw food is beneficial for your pet because it is what their bodies are naturally designed to eat. The digestive system of the average cat or dog can withdraw minerals and nutrients from raw food much easier than they can from kibble. They also get much more of their daily water intake from a raw diet. Have you ever noticed how much water your pup has to drink when eating a diet comprised of kibble? In contrast, raw fed pets don’t drink as much water, as their food isn’t dehydrated. Other benefits of a raw diet include a more lustrous coat, and smaller, less stinky stool. This is due to the lack of added carbohydrate in raw food. Just like in humans, dogs are not designed to eat grains such as wheat and corn, and when kibbles use them as fillers, the result is large, stinky poops! So now that you know that raw food can help your pup be healthier both inside and out, let’s look at how to feed it!
First and foremost, finding a quality raw food product is important. There are raw pet foods on the market that are literally comprised of the scraps found on the butchers’ floors. These will not benefit your pet any more than the processed meal will in kibble. As the owner of Treks 4 Pets, I wanted to find a product that I felt comfortable feeding to my 3 cats and 1 dog, and also supplying my clients with. Red Dog Blue Kat was the answer for me. They’re a local company that produces their premium products right here on the North Shore, using only blended organic veggies, and meats that are hormone free and non-medicated. You can find this wonderful brand at the local pet store, Van Pet, and also at other reputable stores like In The Raw and Korna Natural Pet Supplies. You can also order it from me and I deliver right to your freezer!
Secondly, knowing what and how much to feed your pet is important. Protein rotation is important in a raw diet, as your pets get different amino acids and nutrients from different proteins. Feeding a rotation of fish, poultry and red meat for dogs, and poultry and red meat for cats, is best. In regards to how much to feed, just like with any food, if you overfeed your pet, then their weight will become an issue. Below is the most simplified chart of how much to feed your pet:
PET’S WEIGHT IN POUNDS
HOW MUCH TO FEED IN POUNDS
¼ pound per day
½ pound per day
1 pound per day
1.5 pounds per day
2 pounds per day
Lastly, many of my clients have asked about the safety of feeding raw in a household with children. If you are using a quality product like Red Dog, then the meat is actually human grade, and therefore you simply follow the same precautions that you would with the raw chicken that you’re cooking for your family’s dinner. With our pup Sophie, we rinse her bowl straight after she eats, and then I wipe her face with a wet wipe. I also use a doggy toothpaste foam, ensuring that her mouth is clean after meals. Following routines like this helps keep your pet healthy and your house clean!
Hopefully this article has helped answer questions that you may have had in regards to feeding your pets raw. If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.