A raw food diet for dogs is exactly what it sounds like – a diet that is comprised of fresh, raw foods. While there are different ways to create a raw food diet for dogs, one of the most popular and beneficial options consists primarily of meat and raw bones, fortified with some fruits and vegetables or formulated supplements to ensure nutritional balance.
Dogs are primarily carnivorous animals, which means that their bodies are adapted to extracting nutrition from animal-based sources – this means that meat should be the primary focus of a dog’s diet. In addition to raw meat and organs, raw bones provide key minerals like calcium as well as other nutrients.
Known around the world as ‘BARF’ (Biologically appropriate raw feeding), raw feeding aims to give dogs a diet that is appropriate to their digestive systems and as close as possible to what they might have eaten as wild animals. The stomach pH in dogs and cats is much lower than that of humans, meaning they are able to break down raw meat and bone.
Benefits of a Raw Diet include:
1. Better Coat
2. Better Dental Hygiene
3. Better Behavior
Make sure to keep raw meat and poultry products frozen until use, then thaw raw meat in the refrigerator and discard any unused food.
It is important to know what might happen and be ready for it. If your dog is healthy it may go through the transition without any problems at all. Some dogs may be more picky or sensitive then others and there could be some minor issues to deal with. Eventually feeding raw to your dog becomes your routine and you won’t even think twice about it. In the end your dog will enjoy eating the food and will be on his/her way to a healthier life.
Every dog will benefit from a raw diet. Usually, the younger the dog, the easier it is to transition to raw. Puppies have the easiest time, especially if raw is their first diet. It will be natural for them to eat a raw diet. Pets who have been fed commercial kibble and wet food from the beginning may be more resistant to the change and may need help with the transition. Older or sick dogs require a little more effort. If you are concerned about the health of your pet you may want to speak with your veterinarian before converting to raw. Keep in mind, however, that some vets are not that open to the raw food yet so their advice may not be positive. If you are committed to feeding raw, do your own homework and follow your gut. Be sure to monitor your dog during the transition for the best results.
Go Raw Cold Turkey?
You have decided that a raw diet is right for your dog, now what? How do we make the transition? You may find a lot of info on line and several methods to achieve the transition but the usually approaches are cold turkey or a gradual transition to ease your dog in.
Cold Turkey: Going cold turkey is pretty simple. You have made the decision to feed raw food and have selected your raw food such as Bone Appetit. You now simply stop feeding your dog commercial food on day 1 and replace with Bone Appetit raw food. If your dog is a non-picky eater in general he/she may simply gobble it up after checking it out and smelling it. Most dogs will simply eat whatever they are given if hungry. If your dog is resistant to the food give it a little time and see how it goes. If your dog is super resistant, it may be time to try the gradual method below.
Gradual: You can mix the commercial food with the raw food. This way your dog tastes the old food and the new at one time. This gives them something new but also allows the familiarity of the old. It’s good to know that this method could cause more upset stomach because of the difference in digestion times.
Please use the guide below as a guideline of how much Bone Appetit food to feed your dog daily.
Feed your dog daily between 2 to 3% of body weight per day:
10 lbs…..4 oz.
20 lbs…..8 oz.
30 lbs…..12 oz.
40 lbs….16 oz.
60 lbs……24 oz
80 lbs…….32 oz
100 lbs…….40 oz
120 lbs……48 oz