Q: How can I transition my dog to a raw diet?
Most healthy puppies and adult dogs can switch to raw immediately. Which means you feed kibble today, and start raw tomorrow. For puppies and adult dogs that experience regular digestive upset and/or have been fed kibble their entire life may need a slower transition that involves removing a small portion of their current diet and replacing it with raw. This process usually lasts about a week but may take longer depending on the dog.
Q: Can my dog get sick from a raw diet?
Dogs have digestive systems that are designed to handle bacteria much easier than humans can. Dogs are unlikely to get sick from raw food unless they are already compromised.
Q: What are some known benefits of a raw diet?
• Stronger Immune System
• Cleaner Teeth & Gums
• Better Breath
• Healthy Skin & Shiny Coat
• Smaller Stool
• Less odor (body & stool)
• Increased muscle tone
• Reduced risk of allergies
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- Q: What makes up a complete, well-balanced raw diet?
A balanced raw diet is composed of edible bone, organ meat, fat, and muscle meat.
When feeding raw “organ meat”, or secreting organs, such as the liver; other organs, such as the heart and lungs, are fed as muscle meat.
Certain fruits and vegetables are also acceptable to add to the raw diet in moderation.
- Q: Why should I feed organs?
Organ meat can act as a multi-vitamin for your dog. Organs provide vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, iodine, potassium, sodium, zinc, EPA, DHA, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Serving a variety of organs provides a variety of benefits to your dog:
• Brains are high in iron, zinc, and copper
• Eyes are rich in DHA, an important omega-3 fatty acid that fights inflammation
• Liver contains lots of vitamin A, this acts as a powerful antioxidant. It is also a great source of folic acid, B vitamins. Do not feed more than 5% liver as it can cause vitamin A toxicity.
• Lung should be fed as a muscle and is high in protein and a good source of vitamins and minerals.
• Pancreas helps support your dog’s pancreas function. You should not feed more than 2 oz. per 20 lbs. of body weight per day.
• Heart is a great source of protein, B vitamins, iron, and taurine.
• Tripe has loads of digestive enzymes that help cleanse blood and remove toxins, parasites, and fungus.
• Tripe contains essential fatty acids linoleic acid and linolenic acid and has a 1:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Tripe can be rich so you will want to keep an eye on your dog when introducing it into the diet.
• Kidneys provide a great source of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, and zinc.
• Trachea is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Q: Can dogs pick up harmful bacteria like salmonella and e. Coli?
Dogs have short digestive tracts that move much quicker than humans’ digestive systems. Bacteria is generally moved through the system before they have time to colonize; dogs also have very acidic stomachs—a pH of between 1 and 2 — which assists in the breaking down of meat and can help prevent bacteria from growing.
- Q: Will my dog get all of the nutrients it needs?
Dogs get the plant material they need from the herbivores they eat so a balanced raw diet usually gives the dog the nutrients it needs.
- Q: Will raw meat make my dog aggressive?
Dogs often really enjoy their raw diet so they are very eager to eat, but unless the dog has pre-existing resource guarding issues, it is unlikely they will become aggressive just because they are fed a raw diet.
- Q: Will a raw diet help clean my dog’s teeth?
The act of pulling meat off of a bone mimics a flossing action for dogs. While chewing the bone helps scrape plaque and tartar off the teeth. Always supervise your dog while chewing a bone of any kind. Never feed cooked bones. Once the bone is cooked it will become very hard and splinter.
There is a common misconception that because kibble is hard, it helps clean and scrape the teeth. It actually has the opposite effect. Kibble will get stuck in your dog’s teeth and can cause plaque and tartar build up.
- Q: Would raw diet be beneficial for a dog with digestive issues?
If your dog has preexisting digestive issues, it is best to transition slowly. Once your dog is fully transitioned to the raw diet, you will probably start to notice your dog’s digestion improving!
Since dog’s digestive tracts have been historically made to thrive on raw, it should provide your dog with an easier digestive process.
- Q: I just started feeding raw and my dog is not drinking as much water as usual. Why?
A raw diet contains a lot more moisture than kibble alone. This moisture in the diet helps to keep our dog hydrated, usually resulting in less thirst.
- Q: My vet says I shouldn’t feed raw. What do I do?
Not all veterinarians will agree with a raw diet. Your vet should always have an open mind while discussing your personal preferences to care for your dog.
There are also many veterinarians that DO support a raw diet. If you are having a hard time working with your current veterinarian, you can always find a new one.
- Q: What if I buy ground meat from the grocery store? Does this count as a raw diet?
It's best not to feed ONLY ground muscle meat from the grocery store, as this does not provide a balanced raw diet. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies that could form major health issues.
- Q: Is it safe to feed bones to my dog?
Raw bones are soft and digestible. It is important to always supervise your dog with any bones/ long lasting chews.
Bones will harden and splinter when cooked.
- Q: How often should I feed my dog?
Puppies under 6 months should be fed 2-5 times per day. Dogs 6-24 months can be fed 2-3 times per day. Adult dogs can be fed 1-2 times per day depending on activity level.