Where to Start
We understand that for some raw feeding can be intimidating. This is why we made this raw feeding cheat sheet. The internet is a fantastic source of information but can be overwhelming and create intimidation to someone who may be new to feeding raw. Here at Top Quality Dog Food, we like to stick to the basics—provide a variety, feed the way nature intended and have fun doing it! And make it affordable!!
How to Start A Species Appropriate Raw Diet for Pets
Cold turkey! Get rid of the kibble or processed food and fast your pup for 12 to 24 hours. Fasting allows the kibble to be completely removed from the system for a better transition. Then begin!
Dogs and cats are very sensitive to the high sugar content and insulin spiking ingredients found in dry kibble food. Our pet’s guts were not made to eat fillers, synthetic vitamin, minerals and flavorings.Once you pull your pets off processed foods and allow their guts to heal, they no longer are sensitive to foods. Start with a protein you think your pup is not sensitive to. In a few months you should be able to come back to that protein and feed without issues. Healthy guts should be able to eat a species appropriate diet. Get the gut right and food will no longer be an issue.
A great way to repair a damaged gut is by feeding Ground Green Tripe!
How Much to Feed?
Calculate 2.5% of pets best body weight. (2.5% is the amount of food for the whole day). Feed this amount for approximately 2 weeks. If your pup is too thin you can bump up to 3% of body weight or if too heavy bump down to 2% per day. You want an hourglass figure, but no hips or rib bones should be showing – you should be able to feel the ribs but not be able to clearly see them.
Example of figuring how much to feed:
If you dog weighs 60-pounds you will multiply 60 by 2.5%. This will be 1.5-pounds daily. We do recommend getting a kitchen scale to measure how much you are feeding to prevent over and under feedings.
Keep in mind, snacks count towards daily intake!
What to Order?
What is the PMR Blend?
Prey Model Raw with extra bone 12-13% and 15% organ. Great blend for all dogs. This is also our puppy blend. Puppies need extra bone in their diet especially in the 4-6 months. When you use this blend for puppies just add a few duck feet, duck hearts and sardines for great nutrition.
What About Veggies?
We have the HVM Healthy Variety model. Along with the protein, bone and organ is 10% fruits and veggies.
Which Should You Feed?
We recommend feeding both models – PMR and HVM in a rotation of various proteins. Both models have the proteins: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Lamb, Pork and Turkey.
When to Rotate Proteins?
Wait until your pup or cat is eating well and poops are nice and firm until switching proteins. Rule of thumb is typically switch up at least every 2 weeks. However you can switch every meal if you do desire once they are established on raw.
Can I Mix Raw and Kibble?
Not if you want good stools and a healthy gut. Kibble is processed and high in inflammatory ingredients and sugar. Yes all kibble especially grain free.
If you do mix raw and kibble and your pup has digestive upset –simply pull out the processed food and you will see dramatic improvements. If you want to do this for a budget reason, we recommend doing one meal of kibble and another of raw. Please do not mix in same meal.
Don’t Feed Boneless
You would only feed boneless if you’re also feeding lots of raw meaty bones. Dogs need real bone in their diet for the trace minerals and how they work synergistically with the other parts of the prey animal. In raw grinds the bones are raw, small and easily digestible.
When to feed Organ less/ No Organ blends
Some breeds like Dalmatians have issues with purines but that is rare. Most raw feeders feed organ less blends because they like to rotate various organs into the blends. Organs are the multi-vitamins in the raw diet for pets.
Which Omega 3’s Should You Include In Diet?
You need Omega 3’s in your pets diet for many reasons. Try our Sardines or Thread Herring they are one of the best Omega 3’s and are packed with Vitamin D as well.
How to feed?
Frozen or thawed. To thaw frozen fish simply place in bowl of water for 5 min – keep fish in package. Yes, you feed heads, guts and all! For those pups that don’t like fish Phytoplankton a whole food is right up there with our top picks for Omega 3’s. If you don’t do real fish or Phytoplankton, then Calamari/Squid Oil is our next recommendation perfect for you and your pet to both take!
Always feed thawed meats. Pets can get brain freeze with frozen meats.
How Much Fish Can You Feed?
We suggest 3 full fish meals spread out over the week. Can you just put a couple of fish in with the blends throughout the week? Yes you can.
Add in These Throughout the Week!
Whole raw organic egg – 5 times a week on top of raw food. Extra stand-alone organs (up to 20% in the whole diet) if your blend has 15% organs then only add another 5%. Keep liver at 10%. Extra good stuff: Duck feet, duck heads, bison testicles, and tripe are all fantastic!
What is Green Tripe?
Our stand-alone ground tripe and the tripe that is in many of our blends is a beef tripe which is the stomach of the cow. The benefits of green tripe are as follows: Omega 3 and Omega 6 balanced. Phosphorus and Calcium balanced and it has many added digestive enzymes, minerals and good bacteria. (Yes it’s stinky …but so good for your pup and cat!)
How Much Tripe Can You Add Into Other Blends?
Anywhere from 10 – 30% and you can even feed 2-3 straight green tripe meals a week!
If you have additional questions or concerns or would like to work with our pet health professionals they would welcome your call or email.
Dr. Judy Jasek, DVM – Holistic and Cancer Prevention Vet
Specializing in Raw Feeding, Minimal Vaccines and Antibiotics, Holistic Treatment of Digestive and Skin Issues in Pets.
Nealy Piazza Certified Raw Feeding Consultant & Canine and Pet Health Professional
Specializing in Raw Feeding, Improving Gut Health and Starting Puppies On the Raw Diet.
Here are some common issues and solutions when starting a species appropriate diet for your pet:
Dog Refuses Food:
Warm on stove not microwave
Add Green Tripe up to 30%
Stop Mixing Kibble – Sugar and Additives are Addictive
Feed in a Different Bowl, Different Time & Different Place in House
Try a different protein or blend.
Make sure you are not mixing processed foods
Take all supplements out of diet
How long has your pet been eating raw? Digestive enzymes may not be fully engaged yet if your pet is new to raw. Give it 5 days.
Try warming the food – cold food can cause regurgitation. If they do regurgitate let them eat the food.
Is your pet on medications or antibiotics? These cause stomach upset.
Has your pet recently had a vaccine? These cause adverse digestive reactions.
Are there stressful situations like moving, a divorce, marriage or baby coming soon?
Pets get stressed too.
Does your pet eat too fast? – Feed in a slow feeder bowl.
Could be too much fat in the blend. If you are feeding a blend that is over 13% fat you may want to switch to a blend that is 10% fat. Dogs need fat in the diet. Yes you can feed a higher fat blend but make sure you also feed a lower fat 10-12 percent 50% of the time as well.
Are you feeding a blend with bone? Boneless blends cause loss stools if you are not giving additional raw meaty bones or duck feet, duck heads or consumable bones.
Have you added more organs to the blends? Cut back on the organs.
Are you giving dairy or supplements? Cut out both until stools are back to normal.
Are you feeding too much tripe or treats? Cut back until stools are back to normal.
Make sure you have a minimum of 10% ground bone in diet.
If stools do not improve in 5-7 days on a new blend of raw with the appropriate amount of fat and bone contact Nealy Piazza Pet Nutritionist Nealy.Piazza@gmail.com
Add a little more organs or green tripe.
Give a little less consumable bones.
Pet Isn’t Eating All the Food
Most common cause is over feeding or feeding the same protein for too long. Check our feeding chart and make sure you are feeding the appropriate amount per day/per meal. Decrease food slightly.
Make sure your pup is not getting too many treats or dairy products.
Make sure you are introducing new proteins to keep your pet interested and excited!