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How to start raw feeding
You’ve heard about the benefits of raw feeding (if not click here) and now you want to know how to make the switch. Absolutely anyone can feed raw (Jess here is a life-long vegetarian!) and see their pets thrive from it, but it’s important to know a few basics first.
A couple of things to note from the start.
Firstly, raw feeding isn’t quite as simple as just feeding raw meat, it’s very important to feed the right amount of the right things but it needn’t be daunting. This guide will hold your hand as you get started.
Secondly, every dog (or cat) is different. No one raw diet suits everyone, so don’t be overwhelmed or put off by all the different methods, names and opinions you will come across. What’s important is that eventually you find the balanced raw diet that fits your pet perfectly.
As long as you follow a few basic rules it should be plain sailing, we’ve put together this quick guide to help you get off on the right paw.
5% Other Offal (Kidney, Spleen)
In terms of how much to feed – 2.5% of their IDEAL body weight is a good starting point.
This is just a guide, all pets are individuals, we feed a wide range to our gang: 1.7% to Louis our 54kg Rhodesian Ridgeback and 4% to Daisy our 14kg Welsh Springer Spaniel, The 9kg & 10kg Border Terriers Alfie and Reg are fed and 3% and Ada our 35kg Ridgeback gets 2.5%. Puppies need a higher percentage as they are growing, see below for guidelines.
What to start with
In most cases we recommend starting a full week on our specially developed Mild Chicken mince which is specially formulated to gentle on the tummy and contains no offal.
Then slowly introduce another variety, mixing with the Mild Chicken mince to start, slowly adding more variety. Its always great to have a few tubs of the sensitive mince in the freezer in case of any tummy upsets, vet visits or any other occasion where a mild and bland food is called for.
DIY feeding – making up the balance yourself
Feeding the balanced minces full time is more than adequate and provides all the nutrition required. However if once you have gained confidence in feeding raw you want introduce meaty bones to the diet then here are some tips. Bones are great teeth cleaners and also provide a great deal of mental stimulation and make mealtimes even more exciting!
We use a wide variety of bones alongside boneless meats, approximately 30% meaty bones, 60% boneless minces/chunks and 10% offal.
Favourites are: Chicken necks (for the smaller dogs only), turkey neck, lamb ribs or necks.
Feeding puppies on raw
For puppies switching is more straightforward than adults who can take a little more time to adjust. For pups it is important and usually easy, to introduce a variety of meats more quickly and ensures all vitamins and minerals different meats provide are catered for as they are growing fast.
The balance if you DIY
Dont fret about getting the balance right on a daily basis. Plan a weeks worth of meals and as long as the percentages are right on average then you should be fine.