(FAQ) (KB) Raw Food Diets
Raw Food Diets
What does the typical raw food diet consist of?
The typical diet is 60% base product, either chicken wings, beef, chicken breasts, turkey, game or ostrich, 10% organ meat (liver), 25% vegetables and 5% fruit. These ingredients are finely minced together and then small amounts of fresh garlic and kelp is added. The fruits and vegetables are a variety of suitable, fresh and in-season mix which provides important fiber, vitamins and trace elements.
What do you mean by human-grade suppliers?
All our suppliers source their ingredients from companies who supply food to humans.
How should I store my Raw Diet food?
The frozen raw product should be handled in the same manner as you would handle the purchase of other fresh products. If you are not going to use the product on the day that it is purchased or delivered, we advise that you store your raw meat products in the freezer. Defrost when you plan to feed your pet i.e. defrost the food and feed to your dog on the same day.
How should I store my Raw Meals food after I have opened it?
Once defrosted, the correct amounts of food should be given to your dog as a meal. If there is left over from the 1kg packet, this food should then be stored in the fridge until the next meal. We advise that this should never be left in the fridge for longer than 48 hours. Many users of Raw meal foods prefer to decant the leftovers into a Tupperware and then store in the fridge until the next meal.
Once opened, how long is it “safe” to leave in the fridge before feeding to my pets?
It is quite safe to leave the food in the fridge for up to 48 hours. The food should never be left opened out of the fridge for longer than 15 minutes.
How long have people been feeding the biologically appropriate raw diet to their pets?
Dr Billinghurst formulated his world renown diet philosophy almost 30 years ago. Technically, people have been feeding their pets raw food for hundreds of years. In fact, processed / commercial dog food such as kibble is relatively new. This form of pet food was only sold commercially during the latter part of the 20th century.
What are the benefits of a raw biologically appropriate diet?
One of the first things you will notice about dogs being fed the biologically specie appropriate diets is better quality of life! Living enzymes are proteins found in raw foods which help the body function. Enzymes are only beneficial to the body if they are living. Once food is cooked or processed, it no longer contains living enzymes. Foods without living enzymes can put stress on your pets’ pancreas to produce the necessary proteins to function. Living enzymes in a raw diet will assist in the restoring, repairing, and maintain health. Animals typically replenish their enzymes systems by eating raw unprocessed foods. Convenient packaging retains the living enzymes, along with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and unprocessed amino acids.
Your pet’s long term health depends upon these factors to ensure a long and healthy lifespan.
- Healthy Teeth & Breath - Your pet will have much-improved breath, minimal tartar build-up, and beautifully clean and healthy teeth; all without having to visit the pet dentist or brushing the teeth. In addition, we have observed that periodontal disease that is so prevalent with pets fed grain-based diets is almost non-existent in those fed on biologically appropriate raw diets.
- Healthy Skin & Coat - Typically, this will be one of the first changes you will notice when you start feeding on a biologically appropriate raw diet. If those persistent skin problems suddenly disappear or improve, and you no longer need vet visits, medicated washes, antibiotics, cortisone shots and cortisone tablets, it allows us to draw to conclusion that the natural, healthy, and raw diet is supplying nutrients that other diets are missing.
- Optimum Immune System - Biologically appropriate raw diets will assist your fur-kid to normalise and strengthens the immune system. The immune system is a wonder of creation. Because our biologically specie appropriate raw diets contain a good balance of essential fatty acids and other immune normalizing and strengthening nutrients, it will assist in reducing inflammatory conditions and waves good-bye to infections.
- Degenerative Disease - Pet parents that switch their older pets to biologically appropriate raw diets usually find that whatever degenerative disease their pet has contracted becomes less of a problem. Biologically appropriate raw diets are not a wonder drug, but it has assisted in containing aggravating degenerative conditions and has given relief to a variety of diseases. One should only read the various testimonials to see the dramatic changes that a biologically appropriate diet can make. Even arthritic conditions can be improved and you can expect to see greater mobility in your fur kids.
- Stool Volume & Odour - Reduced stool volume and odour is a typical sign of an improved and healthy digestion cycle. Biologically appropriate raw diets are more readily absorbed than grain fed diets in the digestive system, and the result is less stool volume and odour. Odorous stools typically are a result of improper or incomplete digestion of nutrients.
- Healthy, Lean Body Mass - By feeding biologically appropriate raw diets and regularly exercising your fur kids, your pet will lose unwanted fat and gain that much desired increase in muscle mass. The effect will be more rapid if you combine the biologically appropriate raw diet with some normal exercise. This not only makes your fur kids look better, it increases your pet’s metabolic rate, its activity levels, and its healthy life span.
And my cat(s)? Some Changes to Expect – and the rewards for all your patience!
- After a full transition to a raw diet, cats typically will drink less water. Cats in the wild get most of their water from their food. A raw meat diet naturally contains more moisture than dry or canned food, so your cat may be less thirsty, yet be getting plenty of water.
- There may be a change in the volume, odour, and colour of faeces. It will stink less! It may also be somewhat harder and dryer and be coloured shades of dark and light brown. Much of the crude protein and crude fibre in most commercial dry and canned cat foods is not digestible and contributes to a higher volume of stool. Along with the assurance of knowing that all the food that is ingested is being digested, the reduction of odour is a nice side-benefit.
- Overweight cats tend to lose weight. However, weight loss must be closely monitored. Rapid weight loss can lead to serious health problems. A holistic veterinarian who is skilled in transitioning to raw diets can provide the best advice, especially when transitioning a cat with chronic health issues.
- Lethargic cats start to play more and may even exhibit hunting behaviour. Cats are healthiest when fed a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. When cats aren’t experiencing the metabolic highs and lows associated with high carbohydrate intake from grains, they will use protein as their energy source, as they were designed by nature to do. This tends to provide more sustained energy throughout the day and reduces the need to "graze".
- Allergies tend to clear up, which may be a result of less exposure to potential food allergens. Many cats have allergies to grains that can range from very mild to severe. These allergies can manifest on the skin, can affect digestion, and also contribute to runny nose and eyes. The reduction in allergic symptoms may be a result of not only a reduced exposure to allergens from a higher quality food, but also from a stronger immune system. The more nutritious the food, the stronger the immune system will be.
- Fur becomes incredibly soft and shedding is reduced. This can be the result of better nutrition and is typically one of the initial benefits observed after changing cats to a raw diet. There may also be a reduction in human allergic reactions to cats due to the reduction of dander.
There are bones in Raw Meals!
It is natural for both dogs and cats to eat bones. Both a dog's body and a cat's body are designed to use bones as its main source of minerals - including calcium and phosphorus. Our pets' bodies have been doing this for millions of years. Your pet will not suffer mineral deficiencies, imbalances or excesses, when raw meaty bones make up a portion of its diet. This applies to all ages, and all breeds, including puppies and kittens. This is because bones are the storehouse of all the minerals your pet requires in perfect balance, and in the perfect form for optimal absorption. The bones in the raw meat products are very finely minced making them very safe to feed to your pets.
Why so many green leafy vegetables?
Domestic pets should be getting their carbohydrate in a similar manner and balance to their wild ancestors. That means feeding fresh, raw (non-starchy and low glycaemic) vegetables (and some fruit). The green vegetables contain only small amounts of starch and some simple sugars. More importantly they are chock full of enzymes, nutraceuticals (supplements and functional foods), phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Some of the Raw Meals contain garlic - I thought this is bad for doggies?
As many dog owners know, very large doses of garlic can be dangerous for dogs - a fact that has led to garlic being omitted from most dogs' diets for decades, but what most dog owners don't know is that small amounts of garlic can be extremely beneficial. Basically, garlic helps to keep your dog free from all sorts of nasties: it is an effective anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, it helps to eliminate intestinal worms and it acts as a deterrent to skin parasites like ticks. For these reasons, garlic can be a real help for dogs with all sorts of ailments and infections caused by bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection. And its benefits don't stop there. Garlic has been linked with lowering blood sugar in diabetics, to aiding joint mobility and even to lowering blood cholesterol! Some dog foods are now starting to include garlic in their recipes but if you would like to add your own, roughly one clove per 10kg of body weight per day is a good place to start. Toxic doses must be quite huge (as much as two whole bulbs per day for an extended period) so don't be too concerned about over feeding garlic.
Are there any guidelines for feeding bones?
"If a dog’s prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky"
Giving raw meaty bones to your fur kids is one of the best things you could give him / her for many reasons. Not only are they nutritional (which of course is a large part of their value) but they are an excellent toothbrush, meal replacement, and mental stimulant.
Benefits of Giving Raw Bones
- Raw bones clean teeth like no other chews in the world;
- Raw bones can take a long time to chew and when your dog has eaten all the meat, the bone can last for weeks!
- Raw Bones are rich with minerals such as calcium and phosphorus;
- Raw Bones remove plaque naturally and helps to keep gums and teeth strong;
- Chicken cartilage such as wing tips, feet, and carcasses are great for added glucosamine in your dog’s diet;
- Meaty bones can be used as a meal replacement;
- Raw Bones are a great mental stimulation / chew therapy for your dog or puppy.
Types of Bones
- Toothbrush Bones: Bones such as knuckles (the knee bones), or ribs are best for cleaning teeth because of their shape and the meat on them acts like floss!
- Recreational Bones: These bones can also be knuckles, shanks, or femurs that due to their shape and composition, provide hours of chewing action.
- Meal Replacement Bones: Bones such as Ostrich tails, Lamb necks, Turkey necks, and Beef meaty femurs have tons of meat so your dog’s get a tasty and stimulating meal!
What to Watch Out For
- Aggressive chewers should be given softer bones in case they over chew and grind their teeth down. Soft bones include knuckles, chicken bones, turkey necks, rib bones, and other small animal bones.
- Remember to ALWAYS supervise your dog with a bone until you know what kind a chewer they are.
- Dogs will attempt to hide their bones by burying them so that they ferment. This completely normal and healthy for your dog!
Choosing The Right Bone
Choose the right size bone for your dog: If you are not sure which size of bone to get for your dog, choose a larger size to be safe. A bone that is the size of your dog’s head is a good start and once you know what kind of a chewer your dog is you can head to smaller sizes.
First time bone chewers such as puppies should be taught how to eat a bone. Choose a stick shaped bone such as a turkey neck, or beef ribs. Hold one end of the bone and let your dog chew on the other and pull away if it seems like your dog will try to swallow the whole thing! Through this process, much like a mother wolf might, you teach your dog how to patiently enjoy a bone.
Given enough time, your dog will eat the whole bone! If your dog eats too much bone however, their stools may come out chalky and hard or if the bone was too rich they may have loose stool. If you suspect they ate too much adding pumpkin to their meal will do the trick. To avoid eating too much bone, you can give it to them in several sittings so that they don’t eat the whole thing at once.
Should I Cook The Bones?
Cooked bones are dangerous as they become very hard and brittle which increases the likelihood of them breaking and splintering into sharp pieces. Cooked bones are also very difficult for dogs and cats to digest as the bones lose all of their nutritional value.
Smoked Bones are also dangerous as they often have additives such as artificial flavouring and preservatives.