dog lying on ground in front of a bowl of raw food

Easy Guide to Feeding Pets a Raw Food Diet

Feeding a raw food diet has gained popularity as pet owners seek to provide their furry friends with a more natural and nutritious diet. However, it’s essential to follow proper safety guidelines to ensure the well-being of both your pets and your family. In this article, we’ll explore essential safety tips and proper handling techniques when feeding your pets a raw diet.

1. Choose Quality Ingredients: 

When choosing a raw diet for your pet, opt for high-quality, even human-grade meats from reputable manufacturers. If you do not intend to supplement the diet, make sure that the formula is balanced, using ingredients like kelp, carrots, and other veggies to ensure a complete nutrient profile. Rotating the proteins you feed your pet can help incorporate a wide variety of essential nutrients, and better mimic a natural prey-based diet.

2. Safe Handling and Storage: 

Practice proper hygiene when handling raw pet food. Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly before and after handling the raw food. Store raw pet food separately from human food in the refrigerator or freezer in a sealed container or bag to prevent cross-contamination. Ensure the food remains frozen until you are ready to use it. Never thaw and refreeze the portions.

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3. Appropriate Temperatures:

Always thaw raw food in the fridge, rather than at room temperature, and avoid leaving it at room temperature for extended periods of time, as this will promote bacteria growth. Serving the food at a lukewarm temperature is ideal and allows natural aromas to enhance and entice your pet. Most pets are reluctant to eat food that is served too cold and cold temperatures can cause stomach upset, too warm and there is a heightened risk for bacterial growth. ‘Room’ temperature is ideal to ensure a safe, enjoyable meal time.

4. Transitioning to Raw:

We recommend two different methods for safely transitioning your pets to a raw food diet. 

Fasted Method (recommended): Fast your pet for 12-24 hours. This ensures previous kibble meals are digested and eliminated from their digestive tract. For the first raw meals, start with a poultry protein such as Chicken, Turkey, or Duck which are easier to digest and will help with a smooth transition. 

💡Tip: If your pet is prone to gobbling their meal too quickly, offer only half the recommended serving; wait a few minutes before providing the rest of the portion. 

Gradual Method: Gradually introduce raw meals over the course of 5-10 days. Do this by offering a small raw meal (about 25% of their daily intake) for either breakfast or dinner and providing the remaining 75% of their meal as kibble at the opposite meal. This helps ensure the raw and kibble are digested separately and correctly. Over the course of the transition, slowly increase the portion of raw vs. kibble, until your pet is 100% on raw food for both meals. 

5. Raw-Safe Dishes:

Choose safe and non-toxic dishes for serving raw meals in. Stainless steel and ceramic pet bowls are excellent options as they are non-porous, easy to clean, and do not retain bacteria. Thoroughly clean and sanitize your pet’s food dishes after each meal. This practice helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and keeps your pet’s mealtime full of flavour and nutrients, not dangerous germs. Avoid plastic bowls as they can scratch and degrade over time, allowing places for bacteria to grow.

💡Tip: purchase a couple of dishwasher-safe bowls and rotate them to ensure you always have a clean one on hand.

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Feeding your pets a raw food diet can be a rewarding and healthful experience when done with proper safety measures and considerations. Always prioritize the well-being of your pets by choosing high-quality formulas, following safe handling practices, and consulting with our pet nutrition experts to find the perfect raw diet for your dog. A well-balanced raw food diet, can contribute to your pet’s overall health and even prevent or limit serious illnesses as they age. Visit us in-store or online to explore our raw brands!

Explore Our Raw Selection

Naturawls Raw Lamb Dinner
Primal Pronto Raw Beef
Tollden Farms Raw Kangaroo
Bold Mega Raw Duck

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