I believe that raw feeding is the healthiest way you can feed your dog.
I’m sure of that.
However, there are a couple of issues that put me off switching the lovely Roscoe over…
- Reading about raw feeding for dogs online can be utterly brain-blowing with all sorts of opinions and needless complexities.
- Then to make things worse the billion dollar businesses that control most of the pet food industry like to throw shade and create confusion over what’s good for our dogs.
Because if there’s enough confusion we end up feeling like we need their scientific meal formulas full of cheap and nasties.
It was only after reading Dr Conor Brady’s excellent book ‘Raw Feeding’ and the evidence he painstakingly lays out that I became…
a) Positive that raw 80:10:10 (80% raw meat, 10% offal, 10% bone) was the best complete food for our dogs.
b) Sure that it could be so much easier than it appeared to be.
If you go for a basic pre-packaged 80:10:10 raw food, you are getting a complete diet for your dog that is much much much better for your dog than any other non-raw food available.
Knowing that means that any fresh extras you add to your dog’s dinner are just an added bonus and…
- Add a little more of this vitamin or that mineral – it’s just like us having a bit of extra salad.
- They offer your dog some variety from their usual dinner – giving them something to look forward to and ensuring they really look forward to their food.
- Fresh extras also mean that if you give them your puppy while they’re under 6 months they are much less likely to be fussy because they’ve been imprinted with a wide variety of foods they can enjoy.
What follows are a few quick and easy tips to help you transition your lovely dog over to raw easily and with an absolute minimum of hassle.
Quick and Easy Tips for Raw Feeding
Don’t overthink it!
Raw feeding is so much easier than you think.
Feed them 80:10:10 raw food.
Add some fresh extras as often or as little as you fancy (e.g. sprats, raw egg, your leftovers if made with fresh meat, fish or veg)
Work out your dog’s recommended portion size.
Recommended daily allowance is 2-3% of your dog’s adult body weight.
For puppies, it’s 2% of their expected adult body weight (if you’re unsure of what their adult weight will be, there’s an alternative method here: https://bounceandbella.co.uk/raw-feeding-for-puppies).
Importantly every dog is different, and 2-3% is a mere guideline.
Our GSD Roscoe is currently eating slightly under 2% – that’s absolutely fine – he gets plenty of leftovers, and he’s a bit older and a bit less active than he was.
If you’ve got questions on this, just contact us and the lovely Hannah will leap to your assistance.
Depending on your dog’s size, you may need to prepare portions.
If you need to, defrost one of the frozen raw bags in your fridge, create portion sizes and refreeze.
(NB Always be sure to defrost in the fridge, and be aware that meat should not be out of the fridge or freezer for longer than 2 hours when portioning.)
Unless your dog has a particularly sensitive digestion, it’s easiest to swap from their old food to raw in one go.
Give it 12 hours between their last meal and their new raw meal.
If your dog does have a sensitive digestion, transition gradually over 5-7 days using two separate meals – old food in the morning and new in the evening, gradually decreasing the old and increasing the new.
Once a day feeding for adult dogs is recommended.
Once a day feeding is recommended for adult dogs because it allows their system cleaning time. If feeding more than once a day, a seventh-day fast-day is recommended.
Don’t panic if you forgot to get their food out yesterday and today’s is frozen.
Defrosting is easier than you think – it’s just like mince – defrost in warm water for 30-40 mins.
Feed your dog after you’ve had your dinner.
Our dogs naturally expect us to be getting the good stuff and will hold out for a taste – so get in a great habit of feeding them after you’ve had your dinner.
Don’t overthink extras or leftovers.
Feed yourself and your family, then if there are any leftovers and if it’s fresh (e.g. meat, veg, fish, fruit), add them to your dog’s bowl of raw. If there’s a lot, you can even give your dog less raw – but don’t worry about it.
If you’ve no leftovers and want to add extras – raw eggs, sardines, sprats, a bit of blitzed veg – all can be added to your dog’s bowl for a bit of variety – you don’t have to do this every evening – it’s a bit of something different for them.
Don’t panic if your dog doesn’t eat their recommended daily allowance every day.
All our dogs are different. Roscoe eats under his 2% food amount; however, as I said, he gets fresh, healthy leftovers; he’s not an active dog, he’s nearly seven and not a real foodie – he’s absolutely fine.
Our dogs’ appetites, like our own, also naturally rise and fall when other factors are at play. For example, maybe it’s been a stressful day with many visitors, or maybe it’s been a really hot day.
Adjust as you go.
Raw food is the healthiest way you can feed your dog, and 80:10:10 is a complete food. Therefore by switching to fresh raw food and away from highly processed dog food – you’ve already done the best thing you can possibly do for the health of your dog.
Just as we do with our hooman kids, we keep an eye on them and make portion adjustments if we need to. We don’t overthink it with our mini-hoomans. We try to give them as much fresh food as possible and know the nutrients they get will balance out over time.
Don’t overthink it – It’s easier than you think.
The best possible advice is not to overthink it.
Keep it simple – because it is.
Try and feed them their recommended allowance initially, then adjust as you need to.
Give them fresh leftovers and extras when you can for variety.
It’s easier than you think!
If you’d like to check out our raw dog food line for yourself, then you can find it here: https://shop.bounceandbella.co.uk/collections/raw-dog-food