Learning the raw diet FAQ
Rawlicious combines the natural fresh whole foods with an absolute commitment to the true nutritional needs of canines. Some of you may ask why Rawlicious pet food is the best choice for your dog. Its all about the food, and the fact that your dogs are carnivores, raw dogs are healthier overall. Canines like your self needs certain essential amino acids and enzymes in order to live a healthy life. For carnivores, these essential nutrients are found in meat. Cooked meat at temperatures greater than 117 degrees F destroys these enzymes and amino acids. Dogs, like their progenitor-the Gray Wolf, have short digestive tracts and a high acidic level in their digestive juices, which enables them to digest raw food easier than cooked food. So forcing a diet of pure processed food has lead to many aliments and sensitivities in the modern canine.
Kibble is usually cooked in excess of 212 degrees F, thereby destroying every essential element and making it harder on a canine’s digestive system. Food manufacturers add these elements back in, usually by spraying them on after the process. Many vitamins and minerals are depleted after being paired with so many dangerous preservatives in kibble. By offering your pet our raw food formulas, you are providing to them a diet that most closely mimics their natural eating habits as they were in the wild. Through better digestion and superior assimilation of food derived nutrients, your pets will live happier, healthier and more vibrant lives.
Each mix is carefully selected for its specific nutrient content and health related benefits. They are then blended together into a ‘convenient to feed’ product, while being preserved naturally in a raw state by freezing, no additional preservatives are added, just like in nature. Below we have compiled (and still add often) our common questions asked and important facts you should know about the raw diet.
The general guideline is 2% to 3% of your dog’s ideal adult weight. This is only a starting point. Each dog is different. Watch your dog’s waist and ribs. If your dog gets too chubby, cut back on what you’re feeding. If your dog gets too thin, increase what you’re feeding. Keep in mind your dogs activity level when portioning. Working dogs, sport dogs, dogs in training often require more food due to expenditure of energy. Many new raw feeders have this great need to measure everything. That need will quickly disappear and you will just know how much to feed. You will also stay in touch with your dogs "build" and adjust his food accordingly.
Most dogs do better on a cold turkey switch rather than half-kibble half raw transition. Best to fast your dog for around 24 hours while providing plenty of fresh water. Remember to keep things simple for the dog when you are starting. Choose from our Puppy Power Formula or Rawlicous Starter for adults. Let their body get used to the new foods before you start changing the formula often.
Best not to use micro waving when thawing Rawlicious Meaty Bone or Rawlicious meal. The safest method of thawing is room temperature or, To begin the process takeout the Rawlicious meal from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator the day before the feeding. You may also wish to plan a two days in advance to be sure the meal is not frozen and ready for lunch, dinner or breakfast depending on your schedule. Should life arise and a meal is forgotten to be placed out, you may use luke warm water to assets in the de frosting without much of any nutrition loss. Easiest way is to thaw slowly in the fridge, or to thaw for a few hours or overnight in a container on the kitchen counter. Just thaw as much as you need for one day at a time. Bones thaw at a very rapid rate, we use the freezer to muzzle method for most med and large size bones, no pre thawing needed.
Basic food safety techniques are really not different for handling dog food as they are for people food. Basically they involve washing your hands after handling raw meat etc, making sure wipe towels are clean and washed regularly (best to use paper towels) and washing down counters with soap and hot water to curb bacteria growth (may use vinegar as well). Some people do additional things, but these are the basics. Any young children in the house should be advised that the dogs dish’s are off limits. Dishes can be picked up and cleaned immediately after dining, for extra precaution. In most cases they don’t leave food in the dish.
Since when does convenience replace the welfare of our pets!!! Yes kibbled foods are very "convenient" but also fill our pets with toxic additives preservatives and carbohydrates they do not need, actually creating many health problems and shortening the life span and reducing the quality of life for our pets. Yes, there is trade off "convenience" for the health and welfare of the very animals that depend on us for their care. We have significantly reduced this "inconvenience" to negligible levels with our products. Defrost and serve, my dogs are worth that and more, as I’m sure yours are. Raising as much of our own meat for our products as possible keeps costs down and quality up. In most case’s we beat the high end kibble in price while providing superior nutrition. In most cases your starbucks coffee stop daily can be a greater charge then super nutrition via our Rawlicious formulas.
While veterinarians perform much-needed services for our pets, these services should not include a) selling pet food, and b) administering nutritional advice. Veterinarians receive very little nutritional training. The training they do receive is often advocated by or even administered by the pet food companies. Their nutritional training comes from the incorrect view that dogs are omnivores (see omnivore myth) and can safely be maintained on a grain-based diet, even when scientific research has proven that canines and felines have no evolved need for carbohydrates and fiber (see the Carbohydrates myth for further detail). That’s right: dogs and cats do not need the carbohydrates that form the bulk of their processed foods. Perhaps that is why pets today are soft, doughy, and suffering from a variety of ailments linked to carbohydrate-rich, processed food (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperactivity, seizures, etc. To read more about epilepsy and its relation to diet, please click here.).
Veterinarians are invariably linked to the commercial pet food industry. They advocate and even market commercial foods, receiving substantial revenue and kickbacks. The pet food companies make sure of this by promoting programs in the universities and by giving FREE FOOD to the up-and-coming vets to sell at their practices. For example, Colgate-Palmolive, the company that manufactures Hill’s Science Diet, spends
"hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%" (Parker-Pope, T. 1997. For You, My Pet. The Wall Street Journal. 3 November 1997. In Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. p266).
The very profession is tied closely with commercial pet food companies at every turn. A tour of veterinary teaching hospitals or vet clinics shows equipment, products, and posters sponsored by and endorsing commercial foods and pharmaceutical companies. Vets are, in essence, paid for by the pet food and pharmaceutical companies, and are hardly in a position to offer sound nutritional advice. They are in direct violation of the oath and creed they swore to uphold: "First do no harm." In spite of this oath they are promoting foods detrimental to animals’ health, advocating a product that will harm their patients and ensure a returning clientele and source of revenue. But remember: this is due in large part to the great lack in the education the universities have administered to them! Nothing but commercial pet food dogma is being repeated in university after university after university; these are institutions of higher learning where people are supposed to be thinking critically and evaluating things analytically, yet in reality are being told to shut off their common sense and ignore the overwhelming amount of evidence against commercial pet foods.
This depends on your schedule and your dog. You can feed in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening. Feed whenever you have the time to let your dog spend 10-30 minutes eating its delicious meal of raw meaty bones. Many raw feeders choose the evening as the mealtime for their pets since they are home for work and it is just easiest for them to feed at that time. Choose what works best for you and your dog.
Some of this depends on your dog, but here are some general "guidelines". Start off with the suggested schedule here, but make adjustments as necessary. Your dog will tell you/show you what it prefers; for example, if you feed twice a day and it starts refusing a meal, feed only once a day.
For puppies under 4-5 months of age, feed 3 times a day. If your pup consistently refuses one of the meals, move to 2 times a day. If your pup needs 4 meals a day, then feed 4 meals a day.
Dogs over 6 months of age can eat 2 times a day. If your dog indicates that it only needs one meal per day, then switch to one meal per day.
A dog can be moved to one meal per day a) when it tells you it is ready, or b) after it has finished its period of rapid growth (usually around one year), or c) never. Some dogs do much better on two meals a day, and some prefer one meal a day. Let your dog dictate how often you feed it. Many raw feeders generally feed one meal a day so that the dog can get as big of a raw meaty bone as possible, but all follow the rule of thumb—KNOW YOUR DOG! Their dogs told/showed them that they preferred or did better on one meal.
A dog that is out of puppyhood and over one year of age can safely be fasted for a day as long as more food is fed on the other days to make up for that day without food. Fasting is implemented by many raw feeders with great results, and mimics a condition seen commonly in wild canids. Fasting is known to have wonderful benefits in cleansing and toning the body while helping the dog lay down muscle, not fat. The fast also allows raw feeders to feed bigger raw meaty bones on the other days and gives the digestive system a "break".
One technique commonly used with fasting is called the "Gorge and Fast" technique. The dog receives a large meal the night before the fast, and then fasts the entire next day. Some people give a light breakfast the morning after the fast, while others just wait until evening to feed the dog its full meal. Some feeders incorporate this technique even further by having several fasts per week, each preceded by a gorge night (where the dog may eat something like a whole chicken or a whole turkey or half a goat in one sitting). This mimics a more natural way of eating and allows the dog to actually eat until it is full, allowing the stomach and intestines to fully function as they were designed to. Regardless of what method you choose, once the dog is old enough/ready, at least one day of fasting should be incorporated. Often the dog will dictate this for you, particularly if it has had a large meal the day before. If your dog eats sporadically—heartily one day, then picking at food the next—incorporate a fast day on the day your dog would usually be picking at its food. Also keep in mind that canids are incredible faster’s and can go for weeks without food (Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.).
This will also vary with your dog. A raw diet more often then not reduces the amount of food necessary due mostly to the complete nutrition and lack of fillers in the food. A dog that is more active and has a higher metabolism will eat more, while a less active dog or one with a slower metabolism will eat less. Puppies will typically eat more than adults, since they need to fuel their rapidly growing body.
The recommended food amount is 2-3% of your dog’s desired body weight per day. So for a 100lb dog, you will be feeding 2-3 pounds of food a day. A highly active dog may need closer to 3%, while a dog with slower metabolism may need closer to 2%.
How do you know if your dog is too fat or thin? You should be able to easily feel your dog’s ribs and even see the outline of the last few floating ribs at the end of the ribcage that attaches to the vertebrae of the spine closest to the hips. You should not be able to see ALL the ribs, or the hip bones, or the vertebrae of the spine, just the outline of the last few floating ribs. If you stand above your dog, he should have a definite waist between his hips and ribcage. Remember that dogs are built differently from each other, so some may have a naturally stocky body that will not give you a waist no matter what you do. Know your dog!
For a puppy, feed 2-3% of his expected adult body weight per day. Puppies under 4 months of age are very good at self-regulating their food intake, and can be given the opportunity to eat at a carcass or raw meaty bone until they are full at each meal. Pick up the leftovers and feed them later. If the puppy starts gorging himself to the point he has a huge, swollen, distended belly, or if he is getting fat, regulate his portions at 2-3% of his adult body weight per day. If the pup is looking very skinny and is not putting on weight, get a fecal sample done to make sure he does not have worms, and then up his food intake if needed. Keep in mind that puppies grow at a slower, more regulated rate on raw food than on commercial foods. This translates to less chance of developing the bone and joint problems seen in puppies fed commercial foods. Do not force feed your pup in an effort to make it grow faster or bigger.
For an overweight dog: determine the desired body weight and then feed 2-3% of that ideal body weight per day. For an underweight dog: determine the desired body weight and feed 2-3% of that desired weight per day. For maintenance: feed 2-3% of the dog’s current body weight per day and adjust the food amount as needed.
Feed outside if the weather allows, its the easiest. Feed in a corner of the kitchen, garage, or laundry room. Feed on a towel in the living room. It is fairly simple to teach the dog to stay on its towel and is a very useful command. In our opinion its mandatory tool to have at your disposal. If the dog is trained to eat on a towel, mat or blanket then you can have it eat anywhere in the house—just move it. Wash as needed, or use more than one and rotate. Or, feed on a plastic drop cloth or a plastic-type table cloth, and wipe it down when your dog is done. The prerequisite to all this, of course, is teaching your dog to stay in one spot. Whenever the dog starts edging off the table cloth or towel, simply pick up the raw meaty bone and place it back on the appropriate spot, repositioning the dog as necessary. You can add a phrase like "Stay on your towel" or "Place" or whatever you wish. After a few times of this, the dog should get the idea that it is supposed to stay on whatever you have it on.
The formula has been thourouhly tested on our working line breeding dogs. In most cases the same balanced blend that has kept our dogs in tip top shape and health will provide the same results for working class to supreme couch potato dogs. Simply choose the activity level of your dog and match it with the appropriate blend, it cant be any easer or more nutritious then rawlicious!