If you are a devoted pet parent looking to enhance your furry friend’s well-being and vitality, you’ve come to the right place. We believe that a wholesome diet is the cornerstone of a happy and healthy pet, and we’re here to guide you on the journey of raw feeding.
Raw Feeding In A Nutshell
Raw feeding is a dietary approach that involves feeding pets, such as dogs and cats, a natural and unprocessed diet consisting of raw meat, bones, organs, fruits, and vegetables. This feeding method aims to mimic the diet of their wild ancestors, promoting optimal health and well-being in domesticated animals.
The key principles of raw feeding include the importance of a balanced diet, incorporation of raw meaty bones, avoiding processed foods, grains, fillers, and artificial additives found in commercial pet foods, proper handling of food to prevent contamination and spread of harmful bacteria, and gradual transitioning.
Dogs and cats have different dietary needs due to their evolutionary backgrounds and physiological characteristics. Different nutritional requirements can be categorized into the following:
- Carnivorous nature: Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet predominantly composed of meat and cannot thrive on a vegetarian diet. Dogs, while also carnivorous, have evolved as omnivores and can derive some nutrients from plant-based sources.
- Taurine requirement: Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats but not for dogs. Cats must obtain taurine from their diet to maintain good heart health and overall well-being.
- Protein levels: Cats generally require a higher protein content in their diet compared to dogs. Protein is a crucial component for cats’ muscle maintenance and overall energy levels.
- Vitamin A: Cats cannot efficiently convert beta-carotene (found in plants) into vitamin A, as dogs can. Therefore, cats require preformed vitamin A from animal sources.
- Arachidonic acid: Cats require a direct source of arachidonic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in animal tissues, while dogs can synthesize it from other fatty acids.
Pet owners need to understand the differences in providing their dogs and cats with a nutritionally appropriate raw diet that meets their needs and promotes their overall health. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist before making dietary changes is always recommended to ensure the best possible care for your pets.
Preparing For The Transition
Transitioning your beloved pets to a raw food diet requires planning and consideration to ensure a smooth and successful shift. Here are three essential steps to prepare your pets for the transition:
1. Consult With A Veterinarian Or Pet Nutritionist
Before starting any dietary changes, it is important to consult a veterinarian or a certified pet nutritionist. They will be able to assess your pet’s current health condition, address any particular dietary requirements or health problems, and offer personalized suggestions for a raw food diet.
Relying on their expertise, you can develop a well-balanced and nutritionally suitable meal plan that ensures your pet’s health and well-being during the transition.
2. Gather The Necessary Information & Resources
Gain knowledge about raw feeding by exploring credible sources, books, articles, and dedicated online forums focused on pet nutrition. This will help you grasp the fundamentals of raw feeding, like the various types of raw food choices and the specific nutritional needs of your pet, based on their breed and size, ultimately boosting your confidence when transitioning to this feeding method.
Also compile essential resources like reliable raw food suppliers, local farmers, or pet stores that offer top-notch raw food products. Be sure to equip yourself with the necessary tools, such as stainless steel bowls, food scales, and food storage containers, which will facilitate the preparation and serving of raw meals.
3. Choose The Right Raw Food Products
When choosing raw food for your pets, make quality and variety your top priorities. Opt for trustworthy brands that offer complete and balanced raw food formulations tailored to meet your pet’s nutritional requirements based on their species and life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior).
Look for products that incorporate a diverse range of proteins, including muscle meat, organ meat, and raw meaty bones, ensuring a well-rounded and nutritious diet.
Take into account your pet’s specific preferences and dietary needs when selecting raw food products.
Some pets may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients, so carefully examine the product labels and select options that align with their requirements.
Transitioning Process For Your Pet Dog
The transition process for dogs involves gradually shifting from one diet type to another, such as transitioning to a raw food diet. This gradual change is crucial since a sudden dietary shift can cause digestive disturbances and other health problems in dogs.
A well-structured and gradual transition allows the dog’s digestive system to adapt to the new food, ensuring a smoother and more successful overall transition.
Phase 1: The First Five Days
For the first three to five days of the transition, offer your dog a combined meal of RAW K-9 and their previous diet. At each mealtime, your dog will be offered a well-balanced combination of 20% raw food and 80% of their usual old dog food.
Phase 2: The Half And Half
Over the next three to five days, you should slowly increase the RAW K-9 transitioning meal of raw food while still including their old dog food to facilitate a smooth transition. The feeding schedule will involve providing your dog with a balanced mix of 50% raw food and 50% of their previous food at each mealtime.
Phase 3: The 80/20
During this phase, you will gradually increase the proportion of raw dog food while decreasing the amount of their old food. You will know that your pet has successfully transitioned by the firmness of their stools.
At this point, usually in the third or fourth week, you can offer the RAW K-9 Basic meal options. Feed your dog 80% raw food from the Raw K-9 Basic PMR range or Basic BARF range and 20% old food during every meal.
Phase 4: The Final Stage
During this stage, you can exclusively feed your dog a complete and balanced raw food diet of RAW K-9 Basic meal options without any inclusion of their previous food. By this stage, your dog should have gradually adapted to the raw food, making the complete transition a smoother process.
Transitioning Process For Your Pet Cat
If you’re transitioning your beloved pet cat to a raw food diet, it’s essential to approach the change with care and consideration. While a raw food diet can offer numerous benefits for feline health, making the switch too abruptly can lead to digestive discomfort and potential resistance from your finicky feline friend.
To ensure a successful and stress-free adjustment, gradual transitioning is key. This process allows your cat’s digestive system to acclimatize to the new diet, making the transition smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your furry companion.
Phase 1: Quitting The Dry Food Grazing Table
Stop leaving the dry food out all day. Instead, pick up the dry food bowl and only provide it at designated mealtimes. Stopping the dry food grazing table for your pet cat is an important step in promoting healthier eating habits and ensuring their overall well-being during the transition.
Phase 2: From Dry To Wet Food
Transitioning your cat from dry to wet food marks a crucial stride in improving its diet with greater health and balance. Shifting from a dry food regimen to wet food yields numerous advantages, including enhanced hydration, better urinary tract health, and improved weight management.
Phase 3: Introducing Raw Food
During this stage, you can start introducing your cat to the RAW K-9 transitioning meal of raw food for breakfast and their usual meal from their previous diet for dinner for the first two weeks. You can calculate the success of your pet’s transition by observing the firmness of their stools.
Typically, around week three or four of the transition, you can start introducing the Raw K-9 Basic PMR meal options. It is advisable to continue with the Basic meal options for a few weeks to ensure a smooth adjustment and monitor your pet’s response to the new diet.
What You Can Expect After Switching
According to BMC Veterinary Research on raw meat-based diets for dogs, owners have reported health improvements in their pets. The majority of the owners reported no abnormalities, while the remaining owners described their pets’ attitudes as calmer or livelier.
Switching to a raw food diet can bring about various changes in pets, and owners can expect alterations in behavior and health. Here are some common changes to anticipate:
- Reduced water consumption: Raw food diets have higher moisture content, leading pets to obtain more hydration from their food. Consequently, some pets may reduce their water intake from the bowl.
- Changes in stool: Pets often experience smaller, less odorous, and firmer stools due to the higher digestibility of raw food. However, during the adjustment phase, loose stools or constipation might occur as their digestive systems adapt to the new diet.
- Improved skin condition and vitality: Owners often observe improvements in their pet’s coat and skin condition, along with increased energy and vitality.
- Healthier dental hygiene: Chewing on raw bones helps reduce tartar buildup and maintains healthy gums, which results in better dental health.
- Weight loss or gain: Some pets may experience weight loss or weight gain after switching to a raw diet. It is important to monitor your pet’s weight and body condition, adjusting portion sizes as needed to maintain an ideal weight.
- Fewer allergies and improved digestion: Pets with food sensitivities or allergies might experience relief from their symptoms after switching to a raw food diet. The removal of common allergens found in commercial pet foods can help alleviate digestive issues and skin irritations.
Monitoring Your Pet’s Health
When transitioning a pet to a raw food diet, it is crucial to closely monitor and assess their health to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Here are some ways to do so:
- Pay attention to your pet’s stool. Healthy stools on a raw food diet should be smaller, less odorous, and well-formed.
- Monitor your pet’s energy levels and activity. A balanced raw food diet should provide the necessary nutrients for increased vitality and activity.
- Observe changes in your pet’s coat and skin. A proper raw food diet can lead to healthier skin and a shinier coat. Any signs of excessive shedding, dry skin, or coat issues should be discussed with your veterinarian.
- Keep track of your pet’s weight and body condition. While some pets may experience weight loss due to the higher digestibility of raw food, others might gain weight if portion sizes are not appropriately adjusted.
- Monitor your pet’s water intake. Ensure that they still drink enough water to stay well-hydrated.
- Watch for signs of allergies or sensitivities. Some pets might develop new sensitivities. Any adverse reactions should be evaluated by your veterinarian.
- Regularly check their teeth and gums to ensure good dental hygiene.
- Monitor your pet’s behavior closely. Changes in behavior or temperament could indicate underlying health issues or discomfort with the new diet.
- Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian during the transition. They can provide professional guidance, assess your pet’s overall health, and offer valuable recommendations to ensure a successful transition to a raw food diet.
By being proactive in monitoring and assessing your pet’s health during or after the transition to a raw food diet, you can address any issues promptly and provide the best possible care for your furry companion.
Keep a record of observations, communicate with your veterinarian, and make necessary adjustments to ensure a smooth and positive experience for your pet on their new diet.
The Best Raw Food Diet For Your Pet
After successfully transitioning your dog or cat to a raw food diet, you’ll have a range of options to choose from within our cat and dog diet offerings.
Our range of raw dog food diets follows the recommended ratios for a Biologically Approved Raw Food (BARF) diet, incorporating fruit, vegetable, and seed ingredients for added nutritional value. Here are the options within our dog diet ranges:
- BARF Basic: This is our entry-level diet, designed for dogs that have successfully transitioned to raw food or are new to our diet range.
- BARF Intermediate: Our next level offers protein-packed meals, perfect for fit and energetic dogs who have already taken to our Basic meals.
- BARF Game: This diet range is ideal for dogs with sensitivities or allergies to common muscle meats like chicken or lamb. It is also suitable for highly active dogs.
- BARF Deluxe: Our premium vitamin-packed raw meal is recommended for established raw feeders, due to its richness. It may cause digestive upset in dogs new to raw food, so we advise caution for them.
Each diet option caters to different needs and preferences, ensuring a variety of choices to suit every dog’s specific requirements and provide them with the best possible nutrition.
For both dogs and cats, we offer a prey-based range that follows the recommended ratios for a Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet, incorporating chunky meat, bone, and offal or organs. Here are the options available:
PMR Basic: This entry-level PMR diet consists of easily digestible proteins, organ meats, and edible bones. It is designed for dogs and cats that have successfully transitioned to raw food or are new to our diet.
PMR Intermediate: Our next level offers protein-packed meals, perfect for fit and energetic dogs and cats who have already taken to our Basic meals. It includes green beef tripe and a mix of other raw goodness.
PMR Game: This diet range features easily digestible game meats, making it ideal for dogs and cats with sensitivities or allergies to common muscle meats like chicken or lamb. It is also well-suited for highly active pets.
PMR Deluxe: Our premium vitamin-packed raw meal is recommended for established raw feeders, due to its richness. As it can cause digestive upset in pets new to raw food, we advise caution for them.
Each diet option in our prey-based range caters to different needs and preferences, providing a wide selection to suit every dog and cat’s specific requirements and offering them the finest nutritional benefits.
Your Pet’s Wellbeing Matters – Switch To Raw Food Today
Making a switch to a raw food diet is one way to ensure your pet’s overall health and happiness. Raw food diets offer numerous benefits, such as improved digestion, healthier coat and skin, increased energy levels, and better dental health.
Don’t wait any longer- switch to raw food today to give your beloved companion the gift of optimal nutrition. Your pet will thank you with a wagging tail and boundless affection, reminding you that your efforts in caring for their well-being truly matter.