Updated: Oct 1, 2019
There's an ongoing debate as to whether raw food is the way to go for your dog's diet, or if more traditional kibble is best. New comers may find the idea of feeding raw meat to their canine companion disturbing or disgusting, but isn't it natural? This blog is to try and help you decide if a raw diet is for your pup or not.
A raw diet - what exactly is it?
It's just raw meat, right? Wrong. A complete raw diet consists of raw meat, offal (organs), raw bone, and often some fruit and veg to mix things up a bit. The meat can vary from chicken and duck, to beef and pork.
What about proportions?
It is believed that the best complete raw diet for a dog consists of the 80/10/10 principle for each meal. This means 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% offal. Sometimes fruit and veg is added for variety in texture and flavour, but not always. It can be difficult to home-prep your own meals, so many raw feeders (like myself) turn to already made frozen complete raw meals. You just take these out the freezer to defrost in preparation to feed.
Isn't raw food expensive?
Feeding your dog a raw diet is definitely not the cheapest way to do things; some kibbles are much cheaper. For example, I started Mickey on a kibble diet from Pets at Home which worked out at a cost of about 50p per day. Of course it depends on how much your dog needs to eat every day, do your research and see which raw foods come out cheaper. I first tried Nutriment complete pet food boxes which worked out at about £1.75 per day (closer to £2 if you split the shipping cost between the days). This was the cheapest I could find of the better-known raw food providers.
Fortunately, I discovered a local (to Leeds) seller which works out at about £1.13 per day. They're called Stefs pet pantry and offer a wide choice of different manufacture's raw foods as well as loads of natural treats and chews as we've recommended on previous blogs. I buy the Just Natural Complete Mixed Box for £22.50 and it covers 20 days for Mickey, the selection consists of:
5 x chicken, beef and offal 80/10/10
5 x chicken, tripe and offal
5 x turkey complete
5 x duck complete
What about health implications?
As long as the food is prepped and fed in a hygienic matter, there shouldn't be any issues. One tip is to pour boiling water into your dog's food bowl after feeding, and of course keep it out of reach, as this will kill any potential bacteria. Raw food is the closest to what our dogs' ancestor's ate in the past, so many believe it is the healthiest choice now. Personally, I was put off by the thought of feeding my little one bloody meat, but I had to turn to it as any kibble I tried gave him consistently soft stools. A raw diet seems to have fixed that problem, so if you are experiencing this problem too it may be a good idea to try out.
What are your thoughts? Raw food - yay or nay?
If you have any questions on feeding your pup raw food don't hesitate to send me a message. I'm no expert but I'll try my best to help. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our future blogs and more!