Raw Dog Food – What’s it all about?

Raw Dog Food - Barf

Biologically-appropriate raw feeding

Up until a few years ago, the raw-feeding method of nutrition was a mystery to most dog owners – however, nowadays raw feeding plays a key part in canine nutrition.

What is raw feeding?

Raw feeding involves, as the name suggests, feeding your dog on raw food based on the diet of its ancestors as wild carnivores. It includes fresh meat, offal, vegetables and vitamin and mineral supplements, designed to imitate as best as possible the natural prey of dogs in the wild.

Hund mit Knochen © bina01 / stock.adobe.com

Why should I raw-feed my dog?

As with any feeding method, raw feeding has both supporters and opponents. Dog lovers who have converted to raw feeding report healthy teeth, helped by the intense chewing on fresh meat, shiny coats, improvement in those suffering with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis or growth problems, and stronger tendons and ligaments. Raw food is tailored to each individual dog and contains no fillers or preservatives – no wonder there are so many advantages for unwell dogs and those with special nutritional requirements!

What do I need to consider when switching to raw feeding?

If you are looking to feed your dog on  homemade raw meals, you must ensure that you are not only feeding muscle meat, as your dog will suffer with various deficiencies. In order for your dog to get everything it needs, offal, herbs, vitamins and minerals need to be accurately calculated and added to the diet. This means that homemade raw feeding can be a complex and demanding option, which is why so many dog food manufacturers and butchers are now rising to the challenge to meet the demand and creating the raw food diets themselves. So-called “convenience raw food” products are collected directly from the manufacturer and frozen, only to be thawed by the dog owner and then fed fresh. Take a look in our zooplus Magazine for things to look out for when feeding puppies with a raw food diet!

Hund kaut Knochen © kalypso0 / stock.adobe.com

How do I start out feeding raw food?

  • Assess the effort required and collect information: Raw food is a complex method of feeding. You must always plan in advance the purchase and storage of the raw meet, as well as ensuring food is calculated and measured accurately. It is best to check with your veterinarian first so that you can be certain of exactly the nutrients your dog requires. You should also check out the various different raw feeding options to find the best option to suit you and your dog.
  • Pay attention to choice of meat: Make sure you research thoroughly which kind of meat to feed your dog. Not all offal is suitable for raw feeding as, for example, too much liver and kidney can be harmful to your dog so should be fed a maximum of once a week. Pork can also be dangerous for animals, as it can transit the fatal Aujeskzy virus.
  • Beware when feeding bones! Always make sure that the bones you feed your dog cannot splinter, as this can be extremely harmful to your dog.  
  • Varied diet: Muscle meat should not be the sole ingredient of a raw food diet. It must also include offal, bones, oils, fruit and vegetables (both pureed). Also be aware that some fruits and vegetables can be poisonous to dogs.

Where can I buy raw food products?

In our zooplus Dog Shop you will find a great variety of raw food diets in a range of tasty varieties. Raw dog food supplements can also help you when putting together your dog’s daily raw food menu.

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