Benefits of Raw
Raw feeding has many benefits and is taken from the primordial diet of the animal before human intervention and domesticated the wolf.
Over time the dog has evolved, in order to please man and to acquire the desirable traits of the breed, whether it be temperament, colour, size or ability achieve a specific task.
The benefits of raw are both physical and biological. The main physical benefits of raw are:
Cleaner teeth and fresh breath.
Better weight control.
Shinier, healthier skin and coat.
Reduction of allergy symptoms.
Harder, smaller, less smelly stools.
Increased mobility in older animals.
More energy and stamina.
Reasons to feed raw
Commercial kibble is full of mycotoxins – toxic substances produced by fungus that can cause everything from allergies to digestive upset to cancer.
Dry food can also include lot of plant based protein which is not as beneficial for your dog.
Most kibbles contain between 25% and 45% carbohydrates, which dogs have no nutritional need for.
In order to meet the standards, dry food manufacturers also have to add synthetic vitamins and minerals because of nutrients that are lost when the food is cooked at high temperatures.
Dry food is dead food so it’s missing those essential enzymes your dog needs for a healthy gut.
Raw feeding is not only better for your dog’s digestive and immune system, it’s also great for healthy teeth, skin and coat.
“Replacing kibble, and with it starch, leads the way toward healthier gut bacteria, balanced blood sugar and a better endocrine system- and that’s just the beginning.” (DMN, 2020)
There are many myths that lie around a raw diet in dogs, here are a few that have been debunked
"Raw feeding will make my dog aggressive"
This is not true, in fact it is the complete opposite. One of the reasons for aggression in dogs is a lack of the essential nutrients and minerals that are included within their diet. Raw food contains all of the essential nutrients that your dog needs. In fact tripe is the main source of essentials nutrients, which is why many have fed this to their pets for years!
Food aggression however will need to be carefully managed.
"Biscuit fed dogs get everything from their dry food"
Whilst dry fed dogs do get their nutrients from their complete food. The way in which dry food is processed kills the natural nutrients which then have to be replaced by artificial ones. The use of synthetic nutrients is all well but research has shown that the body is unable to absorb, or process them in the way that it would with the real thing! Therefor although your dog is eating the same amount of nutrients and minerals, they are not benefitting as much as they would naturally.
"Raw feeding is unhygienic and dangerous for your dog"
Dogs’ bodies are built to prevent harmful bacteria like salmonella from invading the body and upsetting the healthy balance of intestinal flora. Dogs have highly acidic stomachs as well as natural digestive enzymes and bile that help them process Salmonella and other bacteria without becoming ill.
Dry food doesn’t contain those live enzymes, so your dog’s digestive system can become overrun.
"Bones aren't suitable for dogs"
True - not all bones are!
Small fine bones that may splinter and cooked bones can be brittle and these may pose a risk to your pet. However, these bone are not included within a raw meat diet for dogs. Small, fine bones that may splinter and cooked bones that are brittle can pose a hazard to your dog’s health. Providing that you choose dog-safe bones and prepare them correctly to match your dog’s size and life stage, they make up an essential, healthy, highly palatable addition to your dog’s diet.
Bones provide essential calcium and to help to keep their teeth clean and strong. It is also advised to avoid weigh baring bones as these are strong and may cause damaged to teeth. Check out the list of 'dog safe' bones.
Raw Feeding Guide
In order to work out the amount of food to give your raw fed dog, you need the weight and age of the dog.
Puppies from 8 weeks need 9% of their body weight per day, usually split into 3 meals.
From 10-15 weeks this reduces to 8% of their body weight.
16-19 weeks the daily amount is 7%
20-23 weeks the daily amount id 6%
24-35 weeks the daily amount is 5%
36-55 weeks the daily amount if 4%
56+ it is recommended between 2.5 - 3.5% (lower to lose and higher to maintain).
Example - a 10kg dog aged 16 weeks would be:
10,000 / 100 = 700 x 7
Therefore you would feed 700grams (per day)
Once raw feeding you are able to judge the right amount for your dog on body shape.
The raw diet consists of a balance of 80/10/10. This is made up of 80% being a protein, 10% offal and 10% bone.
Don't worry if you're new to raw feeding as complete meals are available and do all the work for you. The guides below show you how to make your own meals for raw feeding your pup.