F.A.Q. Regarding RAW FOOD

Raw Feeding - Why do you choose to feed raw?

We believe a raw diet is the way the dog has evolved to eat. Traditional vets will tell you that kibbles are scientifically proven to be balanced. However kibbles are just synthetic representations of what a dog requires in their diet. Most kibbles that do scientific research don't do studies to see what is best for the dogs and cats, they research what by-products of human food production can be used in dog food. For a shocking look into pet food research, read this article: They Eat What We Are by Frederick Kaufman. [Reader discretion is advised. I will admit, I cried the first several times I read this article.]
The dog has evolved from the wolf which evolved for millions of years to eat raw meat. If you actually look inside your dog's mouth, those teeth are the teeth of a carnivore - from the little Chihuahua teeth to an Aussie's teeth. They are sharp right back to the molars (in an omnivore - like humans - the molars are flat, for grinding vegetation). 
Raw feeding allows your dog to benefit from the nutrition that nature provides them and that is balanced. How do I know raw food is balanced for a dog? Because animals evolve to eat specific foot sources - from an ant eater to a giraffe most evolution is fueled by the ability to capture, forage and consume a specific food source. For dogs, that food source is prey species that in the wild would include chicken, deer, rabbit, fowl and other prey animals. The dog's system has been designed after thousands of years of evolution to consume prey species. They receive the nutrients they need from nature. 

How do you raw feed?

To start you would work out the amount of food you would need to feed your Aussie. The basic calculation starts at 2-3% of their ideal body weight in meat per day. For example, Hustle weights 45 lbs. and eats about 1.145 of a pound a day. Which is slightly over 2.5% of her body weight. The calculation you would use is [ideal body weight] x 0.025 = the amount of raw food you feed per day. 
I say "ideal body weight" because if your dog is overweight, you would not calculate the food amount to suit that weight. If you want the dog to drop weight, you feed to the ideal weight. Also in a puppy, you can calculate the amount of food they should eat by using their adult weight. Some people work out 6-10% of their puppy weight in raw food, however we find it more useful to say a puppy should be getting 2-3% of their ideal adult weight a day. However with puppies, adjust the quantity is important - in a growth spurt you feed more. 
Feeding raw food is very simple actually and not as labour intensive as some might think. If we are buying bulk meats (turkey necks, chickens, etc.), we cut them up and portion them out into baggies in an amount that makes it easy to thaw and a quantity that makes sense for their daily rations. 
We then take food out the night before for breakfast and after breakfast for dinner. Thaw, weight into each bowl and serve. 

Is it safe for a puppy to eat raw?

Dollar (now Ivy) from our first litter eats a chicken neck at around 4 weeks. Answer your question?

What do you feed?

Everything - chicken, turkey, beef, rabbit, duck, salmon, green tripe from lamb, venison and beef, venison, lamb. They get both the prepackaged raw foods and DIY/Prey model raw. Meaning sometimes we throw them a lamb shank, venison back or turkey neck and other times they get a meal of a food like Pawsitively Raw. Bones are important because they keep teeth clean and make eating more enjoyable and more work. However, seeing as we are busy with a small business sometimes the prepackaged raw foods are easier for us. 

Do you supplement?

Yes, we supplement, but not for the reasons some people believe it's necessary to supplement. We firmly believe that raw food if done correctly should provide much of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. However, we supplement for reason like parasite prevention or known limitations in the diets. Like we give a fish oil, because we know we don't feed as much fish as we should. 
Parasite prevention supplements include things like garlic, black walnut and brewer's yeast. I will discuss this more in the questions pertaining to natural rearing and parasite prevention. We also use a kelp/alfalfa mix when we are not doing any veggie matter in the food. All in all, we believe in a rotation diet with various protein sources that creates balance. 

What do I need to feed raw?

Here's a few basics:

Stainless Steel or glass bowls - easy to clean. 

A large tupperware or glass dish with a lid - for thawing meats. 

Freezer space - yes, we purchases a stand up freezer solely for the dogs, but that's not necessary if you are a one or two dog house hold. 

A scale - a small digital one from Canadian Tire or a kitchen supply store works very well. 

A set of measuring spoons dedicated to the dogs - for supplements. 

A large clever - for hacking up turkey necks or chicken backs.

A stainless steel serving spoon - easy to clean and dedicated for the dogs. 

We use Benefect cleaner - diluted in a spray bottle to kill germs on the counter. It's all natural and kills everything. It's the same cleaner we use in the kennels, too. 

How do I switch?

Cold turkey is best. Switch onto chicken or turkey, unless those are known allergens. Keep on that for a week or two, until you see solid stools (usually it doesn't take more than a few days as the system builds up the natural enzymes). Then begin experimenting with other proteins. Not every dog is good on every protein, so monitor stools, gas and coat condition. 

If you have any other questions regarding raw feeding, please contact us. We're always happy to help! 

© Ayella Grossman 2016