Raw Feeding - What you need to know!

People switch their cats and dogs to a raw diet for a variety of reasons - perhaps you are looking for a healthier diet for your pet, or perhaps your cat or dog is sufferring from digestive or skin problems and a raw diet has been recommended. Read all about it below.

When done correctly a raw diet can be beneficial and very enjoyable for your pet.

In our practice we have seen the wonders of a correct balanced raw diet but we have also seen the damage done by an incorrect raw diet.

Benefits of a complete, balanced raw diet can include:
•  Easily digestible food, great for pets with sensitive tummies.
•  A huge range of single protein diets, great for allergies.
•  Better coat condition.
•  Smaller/firmer stools.
•  The above can mean healthier anal glands.
•  Less flatulence!
•  Less tartar/plaque build up on teeth.
•  Weight loss/weight gain with a correct diet plan.
•  Very tasty and enjoyable for your pet (just ask our dogs!)

Although the list of benefits is large and varied, when not done correctly a raw diet can be dangerous. The below list is the most common cases seen in practice:
•  Bacteria – When purchasing food that has not been prepared properly (from a supermarker/butchers) there is always a risk of bacteria for your pet and yourself! When raw food manufacturers prepare a raw diet they have a strict protocol they have to follow, this includes freezing all food/ingredients for a minimum of 2 weeks to kill any parasites/bacteria. After this they then swab the food for bacteria such as salmonella/campylobacter.
•  Incorrect meat/bone ratio – It is hard to create your on raw diet and we would not advise it. Your pet needs a correct ratio of bone/meat/offal and although you may not see any side effects in the short term, long term it can make your pet quite poorly.
•  Choking/obstructions – Raw bones/chews are an important part of your pets diet, but this MUST be done correctly. You should give your pet appropriately sized bones and they should NEVER be left unattended. Too much bone in your pets diet can cause constipation and in some cases obstructions.

Speak to us about raw feeding in practice today!

Why putting my dogs on a raw diet was the best decision I ever made!

From a young age my Samoyed called Sully has had very irritable bowels! He had countless blood tests and faecal analysis and tried a variety of medicines/diets, none of which really helped. He was losing weight and becoming quite depressed and it was becoming a problem for us too. (Samoyeds are pure white and long haired, it was NOT fun!)

I was scrolling through a popular social networking site when I saw an advert for an all natural food, containing NO cereals, artificial colours/flavours which was at least 80% meat, I was instantly intrigued. I then discovered the diet was RAW, I was shocked and couldn't believe that such a diet was complete and safe! After weeks and weeks of research and contacting raw food manufacturers I then took the leap and swapped Sully over to an all raw diet. After just 2-3 days I was blown away by the change. Sully was actually enjoying his food and begging for more! He passed his first firm stool for months and we all jumped for joy! It didn't take him long to gain the weight he had lost and his coat was in fantastic condition, people were commenting on how soft and glossy it was. After just 2 weeks Sully was completely back to normal, his stools were firm/small and regular, he had no discomfort and was bouncing around like a puppy. From that point I was converted.

Raw Fed Dogs

Elsa my German Shepard x Husky was then swapped over, as she was extremely jealous of Sully's food and was refusing hers! After a few weeks we saw a few changes, firmer smaller stools, less flatulence (an amazing bonus!) and a healthier looking coat.

It wasn't long before we added Rey, my Siberian Husky to the family. She was around 12 weeks when we had her and obviously still growing, this is a completely different scenario and I again did a lot of research into raw diets in puppies. I selected a complete raw puppy food and swapped her over from her normal diet over 7 days (as their young tummies are quite sensitive) She absolutely loved it! I weighed her weekly to ensure she was eating the correct amount and she had a strict exercise regime (as all puppies should). She is now 2 years old and has grown beautifully, I am very glad I started her on the raw diet at a young age. I love the fact my dogs are enjoying a natural diet with lots of benefits. They eat a variety of proteins ranging from fish to venison, they also enjoy a selection of raw/dehydrated treats.

Becki Griffiths RVN, Head Nurse, Rosewood Animal Hospital