Are you considering a raw diet for your dog? In this simple guide to raw feeding we look at everything you need to know to get started.
More people than ever before are considering feeding their four-legged friend a raw diet. However, if you’re considering this option for your dog, it’s important to know how to get started to ensure optimal nutrition for your pet. Read on to discover our ten simple rules for raw feeding.
1.Calcium Is Key
All dogs need minerals in their diet, and phosphorous and calcium are especially essential. If you only feed your dog on meat, he won’t get sufficient calcium to maintain good nervous system and bone health. Therefore, around a third of your pup’s diet should be meaty bones or whole animals like rabbit, poultry or fish. Raw eggs together with their shell should also form a key element of a raw food diet.
2.Feeding Organ Meats
The organs are the parts of the animal that are especially rich in nutrients. Between 10 and 30% of your pet’s diet should, therefore, be made up of these meats. Kidney, pancreas, spleen and brain should make up a third of your dog’s meals, but if you only feed your pet liver, only 10% of his diet should be organs since it has an exceptionally high vitamin A content.
3.Choose Lean Meat
Around half of all your dog’s food should be lean meat. This is the protein-rich element of your pup’s diet and protein is vital for building strong tissue and supporting the enzymes and hormones he needs.
4.Be Wary About Fats
All dogs need some fat to help with immune and nerve function and to boost skin health. However, it’s high in calories and contains minimal minerals and vitamins so be wary when choosing cheap cuts of meat since their fat content could be too great.
5.What About Vegetables And Fruit?
If you wish to add fruit and vegetables into your pet’s diet that would be a good idea since they carry unique benefits that animal products don’t provide. For example, prebiotics are important for gut health, chlorophyll detoxifies the digestive system and liver, and carotenoids protect from disease and aging. However, if you can’t add fruit and veg to your dog’s meals, there’s no major cause for concern as long as they are eating a balanced raw diet.
Starchy food like potatoes, peas and grains aren’t suitable for dogs since they cause dogs to produce insulin constantly. This results in much of the food being stored as fat and could also cause diabetes.
Feed your dog lots of different types of food and sources of protein. This will ensure maximum nutrition and prevent your pet from getting bored of their diet.
Remember, not every meal has to be entirely balanced as long as your pet’s raw diet is balanced over time. There’s no need to work out the precise percentage of minerals, vitamins and protein in each meal your met has as long as you make sure that over the course of the week they are getting enough of all the important dietary elements.
9.Feeding Fish Weekly
Give your pet a whole fish once or twice each week – enough to make up around 5% of your dogs entire diet. Mackerel, smelt, sardines and herring are all good choices to balance out your pet’s fats.
10.How Much To Feed Your Dog
You should begin a raw diet for your dog by feeding him around 2-3% of his ideal adult body weight. So, if for example, your dog weighs 50lbs, give him 1lb of food. Very active dogs may need more, less active dogs should eat less.
Raw feeding needn’t be difficult, and if you follow these ten easy rules, you’ll find that your pet can eat a delicious and nutritious diet successfully and safely.