So we recently ran a poll on Instagram asking whether or not you feed your dogs a raw meal and the results we received really shocked us. Therefore, in addition to the poll to get a better understanding of why so many of you don’t feed your dogs a raw diet, we asked a few questions to see why and what their previous experiences are.
So in this article, we will be writing about the poll, questions and answers we received. We will also be writing about a raw diet too, how to get your dogs on one, the cost of it, some brands we recommend, and of course the benefits aw raw diet has.
We hope you enjoy the article and it opens your mind on choosing the best diet for your fluffy family member.
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What is a raw diet?
For thousands of years wild canines ate raw meat, they didn’t have anyone to cook their kill for them, therefore, why should we take away the wild side to our cute fluffy friends? A healthy raw diet should follow BARF (Bones And Raw Feeding) which gives your companion the highest quality but yet a balanced diet.
How raw meals work:
You pay a monthly rate which is determined by the weight and age of your dog and how much food you need throughout the month. You’ll get a delivery of the food which will be frozen, therefore, you’ll either need to get yourself a little chest freezer like we did or find a huge fridge freezer (for hooman and fluffy family). You need to defrost the food before you feed it to your pet, we normally keep 3 trays in the fridge that way we always have some defrosted.
What were the poll results and the answers to the questions asked? An explanation of each answer.
Not long ago we conducted a questionnaire asking how many hoomans provide us with a raw diet. The results most certainly shocked us, especially being part of the dog niche I thought everyone would be all for feeding their fluffy companions the best food they can get. This most certainly got us wondering about so many questions and has pushed us to write this article. The main question being: Why don’t people feed there dogs raw food? Is it bad? Is it just because it’s expensive? (Hopefully, my research will shed some light into this.)
As you can see from the image above, 18% of voters say they feed their dogs a raw diet and a massive 82% of voters say that they don’t. We then asked the questions of:
Why don’t you feed your dogs a raw diet? What have your experiences been? Here are some of the responses:
Some words which are highlighted are, ‘Expensive’, or ‘I don’t know’ (lack of knowledge of it) and also ‘allergic’. We will try and answer these throughout the article so keep reading.
What are the benefits of a raw diet? Also, what are the negatives to a raw diet?
So looking at some benefits of feeding your dog a Raw Diet, I will bullet point them to make it easier. This is just a guideline, they all may not have the same effect on your dog.
- Cleaner teeth, fresher breath
- Better weight control
- Improved digestion
- Shiner coat
- Healthier skin
- More energy
- Strengthened Immune system
- hardened, smaller and less smelly stools
However, where there are benefits, there is obviously going to be some negatives.
Cost – You can’t really sugar coat this, a Raw Diet is expensive, especially if you have more than one dog. You can work out the price of a raw diet on any raw dog food site. For ease, I’ll post a link to Bella & Duke food calculator for you to get an insight: Food Calculator
Bacteria – Good food hygiene is a must, at the end of the day your handling raw meat. in regards to your dog as long as the meat has come from a good source it will not affect your dog’s health. Dogs are natural scavengers so their body is well equipped to deal with bacteria.
Travelling – If your one who takes your doggo around the world, it’ll be difficult to keep the raw meat frozen. However, you can feed your pooch cold pressed food which is compatible with a raw diet just whilst your away on holiday.
What is wrong with processed food?
So, you may be thinking what is wrong with the canned food? Canned food was introduced by an American man in 1860 and before that dogs would eat scraps from their owner’s dinner tables or scavenge.
Throughout the years we have found that processed food for humans is unhealthy, so why would processed food for dogs be any better? We have come accustomed to convenience, therefore our pets suffer from convenience food also.
So this convenience diet we are feeding our beloved pets is now taking a toll on their health. Processed food is unnatural and certainly something your dog wouldn’t have eaten in the wild. Processed food is cooked which destroys some valuable nutrients which your dog needs to help digest his food properly.
Feeding your dog a canned diet can increase the chances of obesity, dental problems and cancers.
How do you get your dog onto a raw diet?
So let’s try and move your dog onto a raw diet after they have been eating processed food diet can be tricky. They’d be like, ‘what the heck is that in my bowl?’
There are many ways to get your dog onto a raw diet, but here are some tips to get you started.
- Don’t feed your pet any treats during the transition
- Start by making there meal 75% old food & 25% new food, this gives them the taste for the new food.
- Your dog may have a bit of diarrhoea, this could be due to the food digesting at different rates. However, once your dog starts to get a solid stool again, increase the amount of new food by 25%
- After a few days, increase the new food amount again by another 25%. Some pets may take up to 3 days to transition, but some may take up to 3 weeks.
When moving from a canned food diet, it will detoxify your pets immune system, therefore, their stools may increase in size temporarily. This is a good thing, shows that their immune system is kicking out all the processed rubbish.
If all fails, you could always try your dog with a cold pressed diet, which is much healthier then canned food and not as expensive as a raw diet. We would like to recommend Guru Pet Food which is what we feed Snap when we don’t have access to his frozen raw meals.
How to find out whether your dog is allergic to raw food?
From our questions on Instagram, someone said that their dog is allergic to raw food, so here is what to look for when you are transitioning your dog onto a raw diet.
- A runny nose
- Runny eyes
- Poor skin conditions
- Hair loss & Poor coat
- Ear infections
- Obsessive licking
- Inflamed, red paw pads
If any of these occur, visit your vet to prevent them from itching, and move back to your old diet unless you can pinpoint the ingredient your dog is allergic to in the raw food.
What brands we & some popular Instagrammers have used
This article is not a promotion in any way. I just wanted to write about raw diets, the benefits & negatives and increase your knowledge in the field. We have used UberPet raw meals before, we worked with them on a promotion a while back and have written a review on them: UberPet Review
However, UberPet isn’t what we feed Snap, ever since we got Snap he has been fed Bella & Duke. Our friends who bred Milly (Snaps mother) also feed her Bella & Duke and the breeder in Wales where Snaps dad is from also recommended it. Snap hasn’t had any issues whilst he has eaten Bella & Duke, we have had a few issues regarding the Lamb being super dry however but it doesn’t happen very often. We are yet to write a review on Bella & Duke, so stay tuned for it.
My Instagram friends The Cotswold Spaniels feed their cuties CotwoldRAW and they seem to have no problems with it. There is also natural Instinct but I have no experience of their brand so I can’t comment on it.
Please see our friends, ‘The Cotswold Spaniels’ blog as they have recently done a questionnaire regarding raw food diets answered by professionals.
I hope you enjoyed our article and it has answered some of your questions. If there are any other questions you would like to ask, you can always ask your local vets. They’re going to be the best neutral answers.
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Mark & Snap