How Much Raw Food Should You Feed?
On average you should feed about 2% of your dog’s body weight (dog’s weight x 0.02). Larger dogs will generally eat proportionately less than that and small dogs will generally eat proportionately more. This is just a guideline; you should monitor your dog’s waistline on a regular basis. You should be able to easily feel ribs along your dog’s rib-cage. Obesity in dogs causes the same types of problems that it does in people (higher incidence of cancer, bone disease, heart, kidney, liver problems etc.) Keeping your dog thin is one of the best things you can do for their health.
How Often Should Raw Food be Fed?
Adult dogs are generally recommended to eat once a day. This allows the digestive system to fully stretch and utilize all of the glands in the digestive tract. Dogs, like wolves are designed to take on lots of food at once and then fast for a period of time. Wolves have been documented eating as much as 20lbs in one meal, but who knows when he will get to eat next. Use common sense when feeding your dog, twice a day is not bad for them, do what works best for you and your pet.
Puppies and Raw Feeding
Proper nutrition for puppies is extremely important! Bone disorders begin in puppy-hood. Feeding raw meaty bones to a puppy does two very important things for their health. First it allows them to grow slowly, this is crucial to avoid bone and joint disorders. Raw food is biologically appropriate and the levels of protein, fat and calcium are suitable for their growing bones and muscles. Kibble often contains too much fat, protein and synthetic calcium. This causes fast uneven growth, and too much synthetic calcium interferes with the absorption of other essential vitamins.
The raw bone in a biologically appropriate diet provides essential calcium and will not interfere with vitamin absorption. If the pup ingests too much bone, it is just eliminated in the feces. Secondly, raw meaty bones provide tooth cleaning at an essential time. If bacteria are allowed to grow in the mouth of a pup, when they lose their puppy teeth there is a greater chance that the bacteria will get into the puppies system when the tooth falls out.
Pups can switch over to a raw diet just like adults, just remember to not allow your pup to gorge their self. Remember slow growth is the best; everyone wants their puppy to grow the fastest and be the biggest healthiest looking puppy around. However by doing this you could be causing irreversible bone damage. If people comment on how “lanky” your puppy is, take it as a compliment on what a great job you are doing growing your pup slowly. Puppies should eat between 4% and 6% of their body weight (puppy’s weight x 0.05). Alternately, you can feed 2-3% of their expected adult weight, and make sure to adjust the amount you are feeding based on the pups body condition. You should be able to easily feel your pups ribs with the palm of your hand. Puppies should eat 3 times a day until they are about 6 months of age. From 6 months to about 1 year they should be fed twice daily. Once they are fully grown they can then be switched to one meal a day. Also remember that your pup’s bones are still very soft, so avoid too much exercise and any high impact activities.
Are There Any Problems With Bacteria?
Unless your dog or cat is severely immune compromised (in which case I suggest you seek the advice of a holistic vet) bacteria should not be a problem for them. They have a stomach with an extremely low pH (1 or 2). This is an inhospitable environment for salmonella and other forms of bacteria. However we humans, unlike our pets, are not designed to eat raw meat and these bacteria can be harmful to us. Handle your pet’s raw food like you would handle your own. Wash your hands after contact, clean any surfaces that have come in contact with raw food, do not leave raw food out for your pet for more than an hour or two. It is best to have a designated area for your dog or cat to eat raw meaty bones, during the summer outside is great; during the winter have them stay in an area that is easy to clean, such as a mat or towel, the bathroom or their kennel. Dogs have been shown to shed salmonella in their feces, so ensure you wash your hands after cleaning up after them.
Switching Your Dog Onto Raw Food
It is highly recommended that when you switch to raw you put your dog on something plain and easy to digest for one to four weeks. The Chicken mix I sell is perfect for this and you can continue feeding this indefinitely.
Often times when switching a dog to a raw diet they will experience detox symptoms such as lethargy, soft stool, watery eyes, itching, “doggy smell” and generally not feeling well. This is totally normal! It can last anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on the age of the dog and the quality of food they were eating previously. It is important that you feed the same thing until your dog is past this, and once they are doing well, you can add more variety to their diet. For example, we also feed Ghost chicken necks and occasionally if we find cheap meat at the grocery store we will give it to him as a treat (pig feet, chicken hearts and gizzards or raw marrow bones)
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