(FAQ) (KB) Fooding Guidelines

Fooding Guidelines

Can I feed a natural diet to puppies?

Yes, puppies can go directly from weaning onto a biologically appropriate real food such as the manufacturers we represent. However, puppies need up to 10% of body weight daily at any given time during the first six months and thereafter the portion size is reduced per their weight gain and breed. Please contact [info@rawfoodforpets.com] if you have any queries at all about how to feed the raw pet cuisine diet to your puppy.

Puppies can start eating (or trying to eat) raw food even before weaning. Wings, necks or backs can be an excellent way to introduce solid food to puppies and get their little jaws used to chewing. This will prepare them for later and give some relief to the lactating mom from the puppies biting.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

Will a raw diet make my pet gain weight?

In our experience, many our customers have found that a real food diet such as Raw Love, Doggobone, Simply Pets or Dogmatters diet is extremely effective at helping your overweight dog to lose weight and reach an acceptable weight. It has rarely been reported that dogs have gained excessive weight on the raw food diet. In our experience, if weight gain has been reported we have found that in most instances pet parents were exceeding the recommended daily intake. If you are at all concerned about your dog being overweight or underweight, we can refer you to our veterinary partners ([please see our directory]) who is completely familiar with the biologically specie appropriate diets.

If you are concerned about obesity and your fur kids weight, please read our blog post [here] on this topic. Make sure you also read our post on how to manage your fur kids weight [here].

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

My fur kid absolutely loved his / her raw diets for the first 2 weeks, however, now seems to have gone "off" the food. What do I do?

This is completely normal and is like a detoxification process in huumans. Your pet has gone from eating highly processed, highly preserved foods, to completely natural, real raw food. There will be a detoxification process. It is extremely important that you persist with the food. The correct approach when you see that your dog is not wanting to eat, is to immediately take the food away, store in the fridge and only give at the next meal time. This process may last for up to five days, but it is extremely important that you persist with this process, as the benefits will be abundantly clear later.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

We heard that you should never feed your pet chicken bones. Is it safe to feed our fur kids carcass, bones, wings and other raw meaty bones?

Chicken carcasses, raw meaty bones, necks, wings, and other delicatessens such as ostrich tail, are completely safe to feed your dog if the bone is not cooked. These bone products are important supplements for your dog and besides being recreational; they also provide additional calcium, magnesium and other trace elements. These bone products are also effective teeth cleaners. However, fooding raw bones can be controversial, please ensure to read [Raw Meaty Bones for Cats and Dogs].

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

I heard that feeding raw meat to my dog will make him / her vicious or create a "blood lust". Is this true?

This is an urban myth. There is no causative relationship between eating raw meat and wanting to kill animals or bite people. This behaviour has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with natural prey drive, training and socialisation.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

With no grains or starchy vegetables in the raw diet, where does my fur kids get their energy from?

When our pets eat dry pet food, most of their energy comes from carbohydrates. That is, from starch, and also, from added sugar. Both sugar and starch are damaging forms of carbohydrate that could be biologically inappropriate for pet animals. Together, these two carbohydrates make an enormous contribution to the degenerative diseases in our pets. When your fur kids eat their biologically specie appropriate diet their energy comes principally from protein and fat and very little from carbohydrate. Deriving their energy principally from fats and proteins is health promoting for our fur kids. Grains can cause sugar levels to rise and then quickly fall causing highs and lows in insulin levels.

You can read more about this topic in our blog postings [here].

My dog inhale his / her food!

Dogs tend to do that. The chewing process is very different with carnivores than it is with us (or herbivores). They do not have flat molars that grind the food. Some dogs and cats will chew food only to the point where it is small enough for them to swallow and not necessarily more. Their digestive system is designed to digest bigger chunks of food then ours. If you are fooding ground raw food, such as the brands we represent, your dog may literally skip the chewing part and just swallow mouthfuls. The same is right for small pieces (or large dogs). Keep an eye on your pet when dealing with mid-size bones, they don't always estimate their swallowing capacity correctly and they may seem to choke and then regurgitate for a second try at chewing the same piece. The best way to "teach" chewing properly is to always give them bones that are a size too big.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

Can I feed my pregnant / lactating dog raw food?

Yes, it is the best thing for her. As far as quantities, you will probably want to increase them significantly, some say to no upper limit. When lactating, it is especially important to increase bone consumption and plenty of water.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

How many different proteins should I feed my fur kids?

Variety is the spice of life and the heart and soul of a good raw diet. Each protein has different vitamins and minerals. Limiting proteins can lead to nutritional deficiencies. We suggest a minimum of 4 different proteins per month for a good balance.

You can read more [here] in our post on basic food groups.

My dog is allergic to chicken, is it safe to feed other poultry?

Current research is showing that genomes between avian species have less copy number variants than mammalians. So, the logical assumption that your pet is sensitive to one bird protein and will be to another, is not necessarily true. Each protein is different and you could be denying your pet a vital protein source. They may still have a reaction but, it is best to try each one before crossing it off your list. Many dogs allergic to chicken thrive on Turkey, Duck, Pheasant etc.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

How much of the Raw meal diet should I be feeding my dog?

The recommended daily amount is 2.5 to 3% of body weight split between two meals daily. The variance depends on the weight, size and level of activity of your dog. Please refer to our feeding posters for an estimation. If you are still unsure of how much you should be feeding your dog daily, please feel contact us at [info@rawfoodforpets.com].

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

Should I cook the raw meal before giving it to my pet, or at least, warm it up in the microwave?

You should ideally not cook the raw meal as this contradicts the basic philosophy of the diet, being a natural, raw food. Also, avoid the microwave as even when defrosting the food is being cooked.

Incorrectly cooking would render the food biologically inappropriate in a fundamental way. Incorrectly cooked food can lose much nutritional value, including enzymes and biologically active essential fatty acids. Cooking can cause complexes to form between proteins and starches, between vitamins and trace minerals, and between minerals. Cooking can produce carcinogens and anti-immunogens. Many minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins also become indigestible. So the answer is no – you shouldn’t.

First of all, the act of cooking alters the proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals in a food. This alteration can make some nutrients more readily available and others less available. Cooking can alter fats to the point of being toxic and carcinogenic [Meat Consumption Patterns and Preparation, Genetic Variants of Metabolic Enzymes, and Their Association with Rectal Cancer in Men and Women., 2004], and cooked proteins can be altered to the point where they cause allergic reactions whereas raw proteins do not (Clark, Hypersensitivity and Allergy, in At War Within: The double edged sword of immunity, 1995).

If an animal has an "allergy" to chicken or beef, it may often be cooked chicken or beef and not the raw form. Incorrect cooking denatures protein. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, denaturation is a modification of the molecular structure of protein by heat or by an acid, an alkali, or ultraviolet radiation that destroys or diminishes its original properties and biological activity.

Denaturation alters protein and makes it unusable or less usable. According to Britannica, protein molecules are readily altered by heat: Unlike simple organic molecules, the physical and chemical properties of protein are markedly altered when the substance is just boiled in water. Further: All of the agents able to cause denaturantion are able to break the secondary bonds that hold the chains in place. Once these weak bonds are broken, the molecule falls into a disorganized tangle devoid of biological function.

This, according to Britannica, then leads to the most significant effect of protein denaturation is the loss of the its biological function. For example, enzymes lose their catalytic powers and haemoglobin loses its capacity to carry oxygen. The changes that accompany denaturation have been shown to result from destruction of the specific pattern in which the amino acid chains are folded in the native protein. In Britannica is the acknowledgement that "cooking destroys protein to make it practically useless".

There are two ways to denature the proteins: chemically using digestive enzymes, or through the use of heat. Via heat, the body does not have the recombinant ability to utilize damaged denatured protein components (amino acids) and rebuild them once again into viable protein molecules.

Some Physiologists [ref] claim that cooking and digestion are virtually the same: that cooking is a form of pre-digestion where heat is used to hydrolyse nutrients that would otherwise be hydrolysed at body temperature through digestion. This due to the enormous heat exposure during cooking, that denatures the protein molecule past a point of being bioactive, however, body heat is too low to effect the protein molecule so adversely. When proteins are subjected to high heat during cooking, enzyme resistant linkages are formed between the amino acid chains. The body cannot separate these amino acids. What the body cannot use, it must eliminate. Cooked proteins become a source of toxicity: dead organic waste material acted upon and elaborated by bacterial flora.

When wholesome protein foods are eaten raw, the body makes maximum use of all amino acids without the accompanying toxins of cooked food. It should be well understood and recognized in scientific literature that heat breaks down vitamins, amino acids and produces undesirable cross-linkages in proteins, particularly in meat.

At approximately 43 degrees centigrade, two of the 8 essential amino acids, tryptophan and lysine, are destroyed. When food is cooked above 43 degrees centigrade for three minutes or longer, the following deleterious changes begin, and progressively cause increased nutritional damage as higher temperatures are applied over prolonged periods of time:

  • proteins coagulate;
  • high temperatures denature protein molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids;
  • carbohydrates caramelize;
  • overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene  (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known);
  • natural fibres break down, cellulose is completely changed from its natural condition: it loses its ability to sweep the alimentary canal clean;
  • 30% to 50% of vitamins and minerals are destroyed;
  • 100% of enzymes are damaged, the body’s enzyme potential is depleted which drains energy needed to maintain and repair tissue and organ systems, thereby shortening the life span.

Dr. Kouchakoff of Switzerland conducted over 300 detailed experiments [ref], which pinpointed the pathogenic nature of cooked and processed foods. Food heated to temperatures of just 48 degrees centigrade to 87 degrees centigrade, a range usually relegated to warming rather than cooking which, nevertheless destroys all enzymes, causes leucocytosis in the body. Leucocytosis is a term applied to an abnormally high white corpuscle count.

Dr. Kouchakoff first began researching digestive leukocytosis in 1912 while serving as doctor and expedition chief of the Artic expeditions sponsored by the Russian Academy of Science in Petrograd. Unfortunately all materials related to the expedition were lost during the Russian Revolution. Fortunately the knowledge of the findings survived with Dr. Kouchakoff, and the work was revisited in 1928 and 1930 in France and Switzerland respectively in collaborations with Dr. Kouchakoff. The work is summarized by Dr. Kouchakoff in a 1937 French publication titled “Nouvelles lois de l’alimentation humaine base’es sur la leucocytose digestive” which translates to “New laws of human digestion based on digestive leukocytosis”. The work performed by Dr. Kouchakoff ’s colleagues in 1928 and 1930 was both rigorous and well controlled for the time, involving careful controls of what was ingested, and involving thousands of blood draws. More information at National Enzyme Company (www.nationalenzyme.com).

Second, incorrectly cooked food lacks all the benefits of raw food. Cooked food is deficient in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, because the act of cooking destroys or alters much of them. Exceptions to this are things like lightly steamed broccoli or tomatoes, but these are not appropriate foods for carnivores . This decreases the bioavailability of these valuable chemicals and makes them less available to the animal. This is why these things have to be added back into cooked diets or processed pet foods This is why a variety of supplements need to be added and why a variety of species inappropriate items are utilized as ingredients in these meals.

However, Dr Judy Morgan [ref], base many of her recommendations and recipes on cooked cuisine, using a slow-cooker (or crock-pot) [ref] as the Americans call it, to ensure that the nutritional profile of the meals stays intact. In the following YouTube video, Dr. Judy Morgan and Chef Hue show you three simple, natural, and healthy recipes you can prepare for you dogs.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

I don’t want to serve cold food to my pet. How do I warm the food so that it is not cold when served?

If you are serving the food directly from the fridge, at best it is recommended to add a small amount of boiling water to the food. This is acceptable as it will not cook the food and will simply warm it.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

Should I add rice, grains or any other foods to the raw diet?

The raw meals we source have been formulated to provide a complete meal, and therefore our answer will be no. However, there is a large amount of debate raging on this topic, and some good arguments for and against the use of grains in your fur kids diet.

Refined grains (rice, wheat, oats, corn, barley, millet, oatmeal, and quinoa) are not a natural food for your fur kids, in others, they are not good choices. Grains (there are many articles and research available on this topic, you can start here [ref] to educate yourself) have high levels of carbohydrates which are converted to sugars. It is common knowledge that cancer cells feed on sugars and it is believed that by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer in your pets.

Rice products have long been considered a premium (and more expensive) ingredient in pet food. The reality is all rice is not bad: what matters is what quality you use and where you get your ingredients.

Human grade rice is no comparison to feed grade rice, which is loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Feed rice is also not the whole rice, but the scraps of rice that are left over when rice products are made for human consumption. These are much more likely to absorb toxins during multiple processing stages. Most commercial kibbles and canned food will use feed grade rice; so with this part of the toxin controversy we agree – you should be weary of processed rice in commercial kibble diets, especially the lower quality brands.

We do advocate grain and gluten free diets. We must remember that both dogs and cats do ingest grains whenever they catch and eat live prey. The natural source of prey for dogs and cats is generally herbivores …. plant eaters. When a carnivore catches its prey, it will first eat the gut content of the prey animal, which is full of semi-digested plant and grain material. This can make up almost 30-40% of the weight of the prey animal. Next, the dog will eat the organs, and finally the meat and bones.

The basic controversy has arisen because of the ever soaring cereal content used in processed pet foods. Many canned and dry dog foods can contain up to four times as much cereal content as meat. This cereal is cleverly flavoured with meat render (boiled offal and carcass remains), and is often disguised as “meaty chunks” using food dyes. The simple fact is that dogs and cats are not designed to eat such a high content of highly refined starch (cereals ground into flour). These cereal flours are used as cheap fillers, to bulk out the pet food. Cheap starch has little nutritional value, except for calories, and can result in a diet with too much refined sugar. It is this fact that has led some vets and nutritionists to broaden the issue on cheap carbohydrates, to encompass grains in general. We agree that cheap carbohydrates used in commercial pet foods are not good for health, but this does not mean that dogs and cats do not actually eat grains.

Certain grains can be used, as long as they are unprocessed, cracked or crushed, pre-fermented, and make up a smaller portion of the diet than the meat content – like the fermented raw material in the gut of the prey.

Be sure to also checkout [our blog] for additional articles.

Can I feed processed foods with raw?

We do NOT advocate combining a raw food diet in the same meal as processed foods. The digestive rate for dry processed food is much shorter than for raw foods which could cause digestive disturbances. While acknowledging wholesome foods as basic to their own health, many people still believe their pets will be healthiest when fed processed junk food. Not surprisingly, this simply isn't so. While not optimal, you can feed kibble and raw to pets as long as they are fed in separate meals i.e. kibble in the morning and raw at night.

The Raw Feeding Community blog posted an interesting article titled ["DIGEST THIS: Kibble may actually digest faster than raw"] that is worth reviewing.

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PLEASE NOTE that we cannot guarantee that your pet will like or eat the food we stock and supply. Pets, more specifically cats, get used to eating certain kinds of food and it can be challenging to get them to change to something different. If your pet will not eat the food, after a lot of persuasion, and you feel the food will go to waste, we suggest donating it to a shelter. Please note that we are not veterinarians and cannot diagnose your pet or “prescribe” a diet or a supplement for your pet. Please ensure that you are familiar with our [medical disclaimer]. We can and will gladly make suggestions for your pet based on information you provide to us from a fooding perspective. We recommend you consult with your veterinarian before changing the diet of a sick animal or incorporating any new supplements, specifically in cases where medications or other treatments are already being used. You are strongly advised to consult your vet or health care professional if your animal is seriously ill.