(FAQ) (KB) General Questions

General Questions

Where / how do I learn more?

Taking responsibility over your pet's feeding is a big step for many pet parents. We encourage everyone to seek information, listen to views (both for and against), read books and generally educate yourself. We can provide books, information and other resources for learning. There is a lot of information out there, and many people with good intentions and strong convictions, who may absolutely contradict each other. Eventually YOU should decide what is best for yourself and your pet. Feel welcome to call us at Raw Food for Pets to ask questions or have a chat on a specific subject. Of course, we are biased, we feed OUR pets a raw diet.

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Which raw pet cuisine products can I purchase from you?

We offer Doggobone, Simply Pets, Dogmatters, Raw Love, various organic organic bits, and raw frozen wild caught sardines to our customers.

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What can you freeze?

You can freeze almost any food. Some exceptions are canned food or eggs in shells. However, once the food (such as a ham) is out of the can, you may freeze it. Being able to freeze food and being pleased with the quality after defrosting are two different things. Some foods simply don't freeze well. Examples are mayonnaise, cream sauce and lettuce. Raw meat and poultry maintain their quality longer than their cooked counterparts because moisture is lost during cooking.

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Is frozen food safe?

Food stored constantly at -18°C (0 °F) will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and food-borne illness.

According to the USDA, all frozen food is safe to eat, provided it was safe to eat at the time it was frozen. “Because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only,” says the USDA. “Food stored constantly at 0 degrees Fahrenheit will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage.” [ref]

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Does freezing destroy bacteria & parasites?

Freezing to -18°C (0 °F) inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to food-borne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food. Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites.

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What about Nutrient Retention in Frozen Foods?

The freezing process itself does not destroy nutrients. In meat and poultry products, there is little change in nutrient value during freezer storage.

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My packaging shows freezer burn! Is the food still safe?

Freezer burn does not make food unsafe, merely dry in spots. It appears as greyish-brown leathery spots and is caused by air encountering the surface of the food. Cut freezer-burned portions away either before or after cooking the food. Heavily freezer-burned foods may have to be discarded for quality reasons.

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Why is there a Colour Change in the frozen versus thawed raw food?

Colour changes can occur in frozen foods. The bright red colour of meat as purchased usually turns dark or pale brown depending on its variety. This may be due to lack of oxygen, freezer burn or abnormally long storage. Freezing doesn't usually cause colour changes in poultry. However, the bones and the meat near them can become dark. Bone darkening results when pigment seeps through the porous bones of young poultry into the surrounding tissues when the poultry meat is frozen and thawed. The dulling of colour in frozen vegetables and cooked foods is usually the result of excessive drying due to improper packaging or over-lengthy storage.

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Are there safe thawing guidelines?

Never thaw foods in a garage, basement, car, dishwasher or plastic garbage bag; out on the kitchen counter, outdoors or on the porch. These methods can leave your foods unsafe to eat. There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. It's best to plan for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator. Small items may defrost overnight; most foods require a day or two. For faster thawing, place food in a leak proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. (If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Tissues can also absorb water like a sponge, resulting in a watery product.) Check the water frequently to be sure it stays cold. Change the water every 30 minutes. After thawing, cook immediately. Please do NOT thaw your frozen meal packs using a microwave.

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How do I incorporate feeding raw into my schedule?

Many of us are intimidated by the process and preparation of raw food in the beginning since we feel like it will be a lot more work than simply pouring food into a dish and being done with it. In an age of fast paced everything with little time to spare, adding in a new task to your routine can seem daunting.

Truth be told it’s really easy! Once you have a system going for thawing out the food prior to feeding it is extremely simple and quick. For some, one meal out of the fridge and into the bowl means one meal out of the freezer and into the fridge to thaw for the next feeding. For others who feed vacuum sealed packages of food, it’s as easy as pulling a meal out 15 minutes before feeding and submerging it in warm water until it thaws. Feeding raw food will become part of your daily routine, as easy as your morning coffee, walking your dog, or brushing your teeth!

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Is it an economical choice?

One way or another you can make it work! Each of us have varying degrees of economical circumstances. At Raw Food for Pets, we are here to assist in tailoring a feeding plan for your fur kids that will not only be extremely healthy, but also within your means. We want every dog and cat to have the opportunity to thrive on a diet that is biologically specie appropriate, without breaking their pet parent's bank, however, we do realize that raw food diets are known for being more expensive than conventional dry food. Let’s also consider the long term health benefits of feeding your fur kids raw food that can end up saving you thousands of Rands over your fur kid's lifespan!

The results of feeding raw food long-term can prevent many common ailments that may leave you with hefty vet bills. All of those benefits considered some still have budgets that cannot be exceeded on a monthly basis. Don’t let this deter you from exploring the possibilities! Chat with us at Raw Food for Pets and we’ll share with you all the tricks to lowering your overall feeding costs and fitting in with your budget. We are able to accommodate most budgets.

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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.