“Food is the Best Medicine”… One aspect of our lifestyle is to approach health concerns for ourselves and our animals from a natural perspective.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is raw food safe for my cat or dog?
Yes, it is safe. Dogs are the same physically as their wild counterparts, wolves. Cats are the same physically as their wild predecessor, African wild cats. They were designed to thrive on a raw food diet. They have not changed physiologically over the years as the pet food industry would have us believe. They can survive on kibble but their quality of life and life span will be compromised.
2. I’m feeding the best food money can buy right now. How do you improve on that?
Cost does not guarantee nor replace nutrients. There is no “daily value” (vitamin-mineral- protein) standard for pets. On the contrary, the standard of the industry is to use extremely high temperatures to heat proteins and fats to kill off bacteria. This allows rendering plants to use any and all sources for their proteins including any dead animal and discarded road kill. So unless your pet food is 100% Human Grade fresh meat and vegetables, you can’t be positive what’s in it.
3. What can I expect from feeding a raw food diet?
Because you are feeding food rich in nutrients your animal will stay young longer. Degenerative diseases are not the norm with a raw meat and veggie diet. You can expect your animal to have a more youthful behavior, a shinier coat, and an improved immune system-not to mention a more focused demeanor. Also expect a longer life span with a better quality of life for your animal.
Another plus would be fewer poops to pick up. Animals utilize more of the raw food since it has more to offer than empty “fillers”. They eat less of the raw food since it is rich in nutrients. They don’t eat the same amount each day and they eat less in hot weather that in cold weather.
Right after transitioning to raw some animals act like they are overeating. They are just trying to get nutritionally satiated. Once that balance occurs, they naturally cut back the amount of food they are consuming.
4. Can my animal get parasites or E-coli from the raw food?
Again, domesticated cats and dogs have the very same digestive track their wild ancestors used to break down their food. We’ve never read about one of them hunting down a can of food or a bag of kibble. They never heated their food up in a microwave oven and they still flourished. Isn’t it amazing how they have managed to survive, in fact flourish, through the ages without the pet food industry (which is now a 16 billion dollar a year industry that’s only about 70 years old)? A healthy immune system should keep the parasites and bacteria in check.
5. I’m a vegetarian. Can I feed my cats/dog a vegetarian diet?
Our Companion animals are carnivores not herbivores. They will not thrive on an animal protein free diet. They may survive but their bodies will break down sooner without the proper nutrients.
6. I’ve always been concerned about what exactly is in commercial pet food. I’ve been cooking food for my animal for years. Is that as good for him as the raw diet?
No, heat denatures nutrients naturally present in food. Many people feeding raw, fed their companions cooked homemade meals prior to being introduced to raw. Take it a step further since you‘re going to the trouble of fixing cooked meals. Experiment some more. Continue preparing the food, just don’t cook it. Make life easier and healthier for you and your animal.
7. I tried feeding raw and my cat/dog had diarrhea. I’m afraid to try it again.
Understandably, there is no need to rush the process of converting your animal to a fresh food diet. Diarrhea is a means by which the body can eliminate something it finds toxic, and therefore it part of a detoxification process. We suggest that you slow down the conversion to fresh food and, by doing so, you will slow down the rate of detox. Use smaller amounts of fresh raw meat. Leave out the veggies at first. Introduce one thing at a time so you know what is causing the reaction. Don’t be afraid to back up to the previous combination of processed food and raw meat that did not cause a reaction. Maybe change the protein source and see if that slows things down. That’s why it is important to decide before hand how long you will commit to the process (Things to consider). However long transitioning takes, it will be worth your time.
8. I have a kitten/puppy. How old does she/he have to be before I can feed him a raw diet?
If she/he can eat the food when offered, then she/he is old enough to eat it. Obviously “mother’s milk” is the best choice for akitten/puppy. Sometimes it is not available for whatever reason. If the kitten/puppy eats the raw food when you offer it, your companion is old enough to have it(approximately 2½ to 3 weeks).
9. How do I get rid of hot spots?
There is no quick fix. Detoxify the elimination organs. You need patience, persistence, and perseverance. Homeopathics work beautifully to bring relief and speed healing of the skin while going through detox. A natural organic diet is helpful. Veggies that reduce body heat are a must. Give us a call or send us an email and we will walk you through the process of “cooling off” the body.
10. What do I do for chronic ear infections?
We suggest that you support the immune system. No matter the source of the infections—foxtail, yeast, bacteria, and or parasites – the immune system is responsible for maintaining a “healthy” balance. First and foremost, change the diet to fresh food. Food is the best medicine. Fresh raw food has more nutrients to offer than processed! Homeopathic remedies can be very helpful in a situation like this because they can get at the underlying contributor to the imbalance as well as provide relief during this process.
11. How much do I feed my cat or dog?
Take a look at the calculator in the previous section. Put in your particulars and it will calculate an answer just for your situation.
12. I’m feeding a raw food diet to my animal. Why do I have to feed supplements?
The concept behind a raw diet is to mimic our companions’ancestial diet in the wild. There she/he would consume most if not all of her/his prey. That includes the skeletal structure as well as the fur/skin. Supplements are part of this attempt to mimic the entire consumption of their catch. Calcium (bones) balances out the phosphorous in the raw meat. Still further, digestive enzymes would be present in the stomach of their prey. Probiotics would be in the gut. A “fresh kill” would be loaded with all kinds of good “stuff.”
13. My cat/dog will only eat chicken/beef. Why do I have to worry about rotating the protein source?
Your animal will eventually stop eating the protein that she/he is eating right now. It makes sense to stay ahead of the situation by acclimating everyone to a daily rotation. Companions will tire of the same thing every day and can develop allergies to that particular food. Why wait for that to happen? Also each food brings different nutrients to the bowl. Eating the same thing exposes your animal to a limited resource of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. It makes sense to offer as full a spectrum as possible by expanding the available options, doesn’t it?
14. How do I transition my animal to a raw food diet?
Start out by substituting part of the typical size meal with raw meat or chicken. Remember, you are using their regular quantity of food as a guide or starting point.
(Diagram days 1-3)
On days 1 to 3, place a ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of raw ground beef or raw ground chicken on top of your animal’s regular food serving and see what she does with the raw food. With your cat or small dog the ground texture will be helpful. If you dog is medium size and up, chunks of chicken or beef will be just fine. The quantity of food will be governed by the size of your companion.
(Diagram days 3-6)
If all goes well—that is, if no detox signs are apparent—then on days 3-6, increase the amount of raw food to ¼ the total amount of food decreasing the total amount of commercial food by ¼.
(Diagram days 6-9)
Again if no signs of detox on days 6-9, then increase the amount of raw meat to ½ the total amount of food decreasing the total amount of commercial food by ½.Yet another change is coming. For days 9-12, add in some veggies now that we know your companion likes the raw meat. We suggest that you start with a small amount of grated or mashed veggies. No frozen vegetables because they have a high sodium content. Eeuw! You can start out by sharing some of your steamed veggies if you like. You will need such a small amount of veggies at first, a ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on the size of the animal and the total amount of the meal.
(Diagram days 9-12)
On days 9-12, the increased amount of raw food will include a small portion of vegetables. At this point you are up to ¾ raw to ¼ commercial foods.
(Diagram days 12-15)
So on days 12-15, with very little signs of detoxification, your companion should be having a complete meal of fresh foods, consisting of 75% to 92% meat with 25% to 8% veggies respectively.
Most books say 25% vegetables to 75% meat. Cats and small dogs are fine with the smaller percent of veggies and the larger percent of meat. Medium and large dogs are fine with larger amounts of veggies because the serving size of their meal is bigger so they automatically get more meat in their diet. Let your animal guide you. Play around with the ratios of protein to vegetable until you hit a level that works for both of you. Some animals need special ratios for their specific needs. But most are just fine on the prepared meals sold in stores, which are typically 25% vegetables to 75% meat. Now is a good time to acclimate them to a calcium supplement. By now, you know the drill. Start out with a small amount at first then increase from the introductory amount gradually. The instructions on the package will be helpful in determining the amount of calcium supplement to work towards.
15. Is it ok to combine chicken with beef?
No, the combination will be taxing on the system. The stomach wants to manufacture one type of digestive enzyme at a time. Each food needs its own enzyme to be digested. The stomach will not continue to accommodate the multiple enzymes needed at the same time. So do your best to serve chicken with chicken and beef with beef. Ideally, you want to feed one protein source per meal. Sometimes it can’t be helped. For example you have food left over from two previous meals but not enough of one protein by itself so you might have to serve what you’ve got on hand. Perhaps you have to use up the leftovers from two days before they spoil. The thought about “mixing protein sources” here is try to serve fowl with fowl and red meat with red meat, that would be chicken and turkey at the same time or beef and lamb at the same time if you just had to mix protein sources. Do your best not to, but if you “gotta you gotta”. Get the picture?
16. Is it ok to leave the raw food meal out all day?
No, to add to the fun, you should never leave the raw food out all day. Set a timer. Put out the food for 20 to 30 minutes. If some of the food is not consumed, pick up the leftovers, wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator until the next meal or the next time you serve that protein source. Remember, the meat will spoil in the refrigerator if you wait longer than 2 to 3 days to serve it again.
17. Is it ok to serve “leftovers” with newly defrosted food so as not to waste food?
Yes, but do not mix old food with new food in the same dish. For example, you have leftover chicken but not enough for another meal. You defrost more chicken to complete the amount you need for dinner. Do not mix in the “old” food with the newly defrosted chicken. Once you mix old with new you will end up with all old chicken. If your animal wasn’t hungry for chicken that day because they were mixed together the shelf life of the new food is now equal to the shelf life of the old food. Just serve them in separate dishes so you can prevent mixing old and new. Be sure to serve the old food first because it has to be consumed this time or you’ll have to throw it away. When it’s consumed you can now put down the dish of newly defrosted food.
18. My Cat/Dog cannot eat a container of meat before it spoils if I rotate protein sources. Can I refreeze the rest of the meat?
No, refreezing cannot remove the bacteria buildup that occurred during defrosting. We suggest not defrosting completely in the first place! “Get the meat” to a place where it is “pliable” or starting to defrost but not completely so it is still hard and “icy”. Now take a knife and fork and cut the “meat” into serving sizes. For example, a one pound container of chicken is four meals for your Cat/Dog. So cut the “starting to defrost-icy” pound of chicken into four sections then wrap-up each section individually. Place these quarter sections in a bag labeled chicken so you know what bag you need to take from on a “chicken day.” Store the bag in the freezer. Perhaps you can purchase the meats already in serving sizes? If not, follow the preceding suggestion with all of the different meats your animal consumes.
Lastly, a word about rotating the proteins and veggies in the dinners: It may be easier to continue to feed the same combination everyday but eventually your animal will tire of that combo. Plan ahead. Convert them to 3 to 5 raw meat protein sources and vegetables as well. You would not continue to enjoy the same food day after day. There are nutrients you would be missing out on as well. The same goes for your companion animals. They need a rotation of 3 to 5 protein sources and 3 to 5 vegetables.
Take it one day at a time. Call us if you need clarification. We will be glad to explain any point. We know we’ve made a lot of them in this section. There are nuances that are too lengthy to include here. Feel free to call or email your questions or concerns for that matter. We are always happy to promote raw feeding for your Companion Animals. Thank you in advance for the opportunity.