If you are contemplating switching your pet to a raw diet, we are so happy to hear that! Feeding them what nature has intended is the way to go and it is the best decision you can make for them.
Or if you are currently feeding your pet raw food but you just want to find out a little bit more, you are in the right place!
Below you will find some frequently asked questions and concerns. By all means, we do not claim to be experts and we always recommend that you do your own research. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power”!
If your pet has been on a dry food diet for some time, you may want to try incorporating small quantities of the raw food in the diet as a ‘treat’ so the transition is easier. You can then slowly decrease the amount of kibble until your pet is on a fully raw diet. It is recommended not to mix the kibble and raw together because it could lead to digestive confusion. Raw food digests slower than kibble due the fact that kibble is over-processed and easier to break down. The presence of bones in raw food will also decrease the digestion rate. A slow transition allows your pet’s stomach to adjust to the necessary pH balance.
On the other hand, many customers of ours have used a fast transition by basically switching their pets to raw and didn’t experience any issues!
It’s best to start off your pet with one protein so they can get used to it. We usually recommend introducing the leaner options such as chicken, turkey or rabbit. You may start with a smaller portion and then check that their stool is not too loose or firm. If your pet has never had organs you may notice that the stool is on the looser side, but this will quickly subside. If the stool is fine then you may continue to feed that one protein for the next two to three weeks before slowly introducing another one. Take your time to introduce variety!
It is important to understand that there are no concrete rules regarding canine nutrition and even specialists may have varying opinions. For our general guidelines, please visit our Feeding Guidelines Page.
The majority of manufactured dry pet food contains additives, preservatives and grains as fillers since they are an inexpensive way to fill your pet up. If you look at the back label, you will notice a long list of ingredients that are not naturally-occurring. In fact, grains, additives and preservatives are the main cause of dog allergies so once you switch to raw you will notice many of these allergies vanish!
The sooner you start your pet on a raw diet, the sooner it will form a healthy lifestyle and the transition is always smoother when your pet is younger and healthier.
You would be surprised that puppies are able to eat raw immediately after breastfeeding from their mother. We fed Leo and Pai ground raw food from 3 weeks old! Puppies adjust very quickly. Once they reach six weeks you may also introduce raw meaty bones.
You may use our raw feeding calculator as a general guideline for how much you should feed your pet per day.
You should always pay close attention to your pet’s health and weight and adjust their food accordingly! If your pet is active, you may need to feed it a little extra. On the contrary if your pet is inactive you may want to feed it a little less. Just make sure your pet is at a healthy weight.Also, if your pet does not finish their meal in one sitting, then perhaps you can split their food into two or three servings.
Most often transitions go very smoothly, but there are some rare cases where your pet may experience some symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation or vomiting as part of the detoxification process. Always make sure that these symptoms are not excessive and do not persist, otherwise you may want to consult with your vet. Luckily we have not experience any of those cases!
Keep in mind that during the transition you may notice that your pet is less thirsty, due to the moisture content in the raw meat, and less hungry, due to the fact that they need less food since it is rich in nutrients!
Dogs and cats are designed to eat raw food. Their sharp teeth and strong jaws allow them to rip, tear and eat large quantities of meat, bone and organs. More importantly, their digestive system is more acidic which doesn’t allow any bacteria colonies to survive. In other words, you don’t have to worry about your pet catching salmonella from eating raw meat. Us humans, need to be careful about that and practice safe food handling and avoid letting your pet kiss you within 30 minutes to an hour of eating raw food!
Raw food will not make your pet blood-thirsty or aggressive. This is the type of food carnivores were designed to eat. Our dogs and our customers’ dogs have been on the raw diet their whole lives and they are super friendly and loving!
The only scenario where your pet may become aggressive is if it feels that its food will be taken away from them by another dog and they guard it by growling. Think of someone trying to steal your favorite meal from your plate, you won’t be too happy about that. However, this behavior should be corrected and keep in mind that your dog should never growl at you, their owner.
On the contrary, your pet will likely become calmer after switching to a raw diet as it feels satisfied and receives all the nutrients that it needs without any of the negative effects from additives or preservatives.
A homemade raw diet is usually made from store-bought meat and potentially organs. However the main issue that arises with homemade raw food is the fact that it could be unbalanced and lack some proteins/organs and therefore nutrients. For example, it’s virtually impossible to purchase unbleached tripe from the grocery or butcher and tripe is one of the most nutritious meals for your pet. The meat from most grocery stores is usually not pasture-raised or grass fed, which is also reflected in the prices. Making your own raw food can also be very time consuming, heavy on the pocket and it can be very challenging to meet the species appropriate raw feeding guidelines.
Commercially available raw food is a lot more easily accessible and is more affordable because raw food companies buy their meat in large quantities. Recently, there has been a rise in raw pet food companies but there still remains a handful in Ontario that source and manufacture their own food from scratch. We are one of those companies.
However, finding a raw food company that is honest, transparent and ethical is a challenge. Many raw food companies make claims that are untrue or take shortcuts in the ingredients they use. For example they might claim to use 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ, but in fact they use minimal meat, meat scraps or meaty bones such as necks, additional bone/carcasses, fat and organs in their mixes in order to lower their cost. This isn’t obvious to the buyer but the effects will show on your pet, through constipation, weight gain and nutrient deficiencies. Also, many companies do not source their food locally which does jeopardize the quality and freshness.
It is important as a pet owner and customer to be aware of where your pet’s food is sourced from, where it is made and what it contains. Always make sure that the information you receive makes sense and can be justified. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the food!
Our company’s aim is to have full transparency, honesty and integrity and on how our food it made and the quality we use!
Now that you have hopefully decided to feed raw or if you are wondering whether your pet’s current raw diet is balanced, complete or optimal – look no further.
The unfortunate truth is that not all raw diets are the same and neither are they all equally nutritious. Although feeding your pet raw is definitely more healthy and nutritious than feeding it processed food, you must still ensure that the raw food is biologically appropriate and you should also know where it comes from.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, after all this is for your pet’s health and let’s face it, it’s also coming out of your pocket.
Quality definitely matters. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. In fact, you are what your food have eaten! The way animals are raised in the farm and the food they eat has a tremendous effect on their health and their nutrient composition which in turn has an effect on our health and our pet’s health.
Conventionally fed animals are usually confined and raised in harsh, unsanitary living conditions and could also be fed hormones and antibiotics. Their diet is grain-based with a base of soy or corn so that they grow at a faster rate, which makes it more profitable for large industries. However, this has dangerous consequences to our health. On the other hand, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals have free mobility and are not fed hormones, antibiotics and their diet is mainly or entirely composed of grass.
Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, so is your pet’s stool. You can tell a lot about your pet’s health just by inspecting their poop!
“The normal-and-healthy” raw-fed poop – brown, passes comfortably, moist, firm with mild odour.
“The too-much-bone-content” raw-fed poop – white, passes with difficulty, chalky, hard.
“The Kibble” poop –passes easily, large quantities, softer, stinky.
The colour of your pet’s poop can also tell you if it has any health issues. For example, yellow mucus usually indicates a food intolerance, especially due to a recent diet change.
It’s highly recommended to add a variety of proteins to your pet’s diet as they each carry a different nutritional profile. If you only feed your pet one protein, not only will they eventually get bored of it but they will be missing out on the benefits of other proteins. The levels of protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids vary between proteins. We recommend to mainly feed your pet a leaner protein (chicken, rabbit, turkey) and add a richer protein (beef, lamb, tripe, duck, water buffalo) 2 to 3 times a week. It is also good to add raw meaty bones and dehydrated treats as they promote dental hygiene keep those jaw muscles working!
Many people feel bad fasting their pet for one day but in fact fasting your pet once a week or once every two weeks has many health benefits. However, do NOT fast puppies as they need to be fed regularly. When you are fasting your adult pet, make sure they have lots of water available. Benefits of fasting include enhanced cell activity which ingest and destroy bacteria, viruses and infectious agents leading to increased immunity to diseases. It also gives their body a chance to flush out any toxins.
If the raw diet is properly balanced using the appropriate ratios of meat, organs and bones and the quality of meats is high – no hormones, antibiotics, grain-free – then your pet is taking in all the vitamins and minerals through the various meat sources. Meats contain a variety of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E, K) and minerals(calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc). In addition, if the farm animals are grass-fed all the nutrients will be present in their bloodstream which will then reach your pet.
That being said, if your pet requires additional nutrients due to poor immune or thyroid function or if you just want to give them an extra boost, you may consider supplementing their diet with herbs and vegetables. Dogs generally eat small amounts of plant matter which they usually find in nature. If you want to add extra vegetables to your pet’s diet it is not recommended to mix it with meat as protein takes longer to digest and the fruit may start to ferment into traces of alcohol.
If you do give your dog vegetables, first make sure they are not toxic for them! Vegetables should be blended or steamed in order for your pet to easily digest them and get the full nutritional value. Raw eggs with their shells are an additional source of calcium ,phosphorus, magnesium, iron, folate, vitamins A, E, and B6. But always make sure the eggs are fresh from the farm as commercially available eggs are likely sprayed with wax.
Cats are carnivores and the raw food is suitable for them. Cats are natural hunters and tend to eat their whole prey. Although you can feed your cats the same food as your dogs, cats require taurine which is why we make a special chicken mix for cats. Cats also have smaller teeth than dogs, so the bone content should be more finely ground.
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