Going Raw? Raw Feeding Explained
Raw feeding is regarded by many as the most natural way to feed a dog and over the past few years it has become the fastest growing feeding trend in the UK. Many raw feeders prepare their own diets for their dogs but a number of companies have developed pre-prepared complete raw foods in the form of frozen blocks or nuggets which provide all of the benefits of raw feeding with all the convenience of a conventional dog food.
Benefits of Raw food –
- Ease of digestibility – Raw food is more natural to a dogs digestive system, the dogs body is made to draw all of the nutrients out of a raw diet therefore the body can use them more efficiently leading to less waist and healthier dogs. A dogs stomach PH is lower (more acidic) than that of a human, like a furnace it digests raw food easier.
- Less stools – A dog fed a quality raw food will produce less stools than that of a processed diet therefor there is usually a lot less water to clean up.
- Better skin and coat condition – The natural oils found in meat can be utilised by the dogs body more effectively therefore contributing to overall coat condition. Good quality raw foods contain high levels of zinc which helps protect the skin from common ailments. Most pre-prepared raw diets also contain added high quality oils in raw form that contain more of their healthy properties.
- Stable energy – dogs fed a raw diet tend to have more balanced energy than that of a dog fed a low quality grain based diet. Grains cause spikes in the dogs blood sugar (fast release energy) and can lead to hyperactivity and canine diabetes.
- Less flatulence – Say no more!
- Some chronic illnesses needing less medication
- Better breath and tooth condition
It is important to get the balance right in raw food as you would with any other dog food you wish to feed. We stock a range of complete foods as well as Vince The Vet Superfood which along with the Superfood Supplements makes an all round balanced diet.
Bacteria and raw food – Many people are put off a raw diet by the fear of bacteria contamination. It is true that wrong practice can in turn lead to bacteria contamination and bugs such as salmonella and e-coli. Saying this there is less bacteria present on good quality raw dog food than what you would find on supermarket chicken
Good practice is the key!
Store SAFELY – In a sealed package or container in your home freezer. Never refreeze!
Defrost overnight in the fridge – Allow up to 12 hours for meal size portions OR defrost at ROOM TEMPERATURE In a clean container or your pet’s bowl
Wash utensils and hands after serving as you would after any raw food handling
Dispose of all packaging SAFELY.
RAW FOODS AVAILABLE
1. CLINICALLY PROVEN
Vince the Vet® Superfood is a product of more than 30+ years clinical expertise and the successful use of whole foods and whole food extracts to help tens of thousands of dogs and cats. Because of this, our specially formulated supplements and raw food consistently promote the very best of health in many pets.
2. NATURAL We only use raw ingredients, which are naturally rich in health-promoting nutrients.
NO synthetic amino acids, vitamins, minerals or trace elements and NO chemical additives of any kind are used – including fillers, binders, glues, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours or lubricants
3. HIGHEST QUALITY Only the finest human food grade ingredients go into Vince the Vet® Superfood.
Cotswold RAW –
Cotswold RAW complete meals contain all the building blocks for a natural and biologically appropriate raw diet.
Our easy to handle sausage and mince meals are made in the Cotswolds using fresh, seasonal ingredients and our aim is to deliver the convenience of a processed food with all the health benefits of a fresh and varied raw diet. Naturally high in protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids required for a happy and healthy life.
Natures Menu –
Our personal favourite. Natures Menu Complete and Balanced raw meals and nuggets, Complete and Balanced Raw Meals and of course the Traditional Nugget ranges are DEFRA, PFMA and veterinary approved to be a complete food, offering your pet their daily nutritional needs in one simple, easy to serve product.
No weighing, mixing or mess, just thaw and serve. Perfect for busy people who want to feed their dogs and cats the best!
Grain free, gluten free and chicken free options are available for those with sensitive tummies.
Ask in store for details about changing your dog to a raw BARF diet or pop in store for FREE advice and tom see the range of raw food available.
Complete Dog Food
Does your dog suffer from :
- Itchy, flaky skin
- Loose or irregular stools
- Licking paws
- Bad breath
- Anal gland problems
- Excess moulting
- Bad odour
Overall health & wellbeing starts with quality nutrition.
Many of the common ailments that dogs suffer with can be traced back to ingredients in low quality foods and treats and indeed human food or meat on the side.
We have lots of advice to offer to keep your pet in top condition and healthier for longer.
COMPLETE DRY FOOD
WHAT TO AVOID IN A DRY FOOD – Dry complete food is the most convenient and economic way to feed your dog however the quality of dry foods vary immensely. Supermarket or cheap brands usually contain little nutritional value and most contain ingredients that you would avoid giving your canine friend.
The big brands may be popular or a cheap food may seem great value, but what are you actually paying for? 80% of the most popular pet foods in the UK only contain around 4% meat and over 75% low quality grains and cheap oils and fats. Some foods even contain additives and preservatives (some of which are banned from human foods) which can be detrimental to your dogs health.
Read the label – The ingredients list will tell you all you know about the quality of the food. Some companies used an ‘open formula’ which means as long as an ingredient is listed by it’s type, the actual content can change i.e. ‘Meat and animal derivatives of which 4% Chicken’ on a bag it can actually contain the animal ingredients.
Listings to avoid and why :
Meat and Animal Derivatives – This is from human by-product meat or ‘spent’ animals such as ex dairy cows or non laying battery hens. A food can often contain lots of different proteins even if it is listed as one ‘flavour’.
Cereals – Foods list cereals on the bag instead of a specific cereal so that the actual ingredient may change. Wheat or wheat by-product is used most commonly as it is the cheapest grain to use (we use a lot in human food production therefore there is usually a large amount of surplus). Wheat is a common causer of itchy skin, excess moulting, stomach upsets and loose stools.
Oils & Fats – Fats are very important to a dogs wellbeing as they not only provide energy but keep the skin and coat healthy. The listing on the ingredients in an open manner means that the fat can change all the time, and again it is usually a by-product of the human food industry. Bad fats = bad skin and low energy.
Derivatives of Vegetable Origin – Vegetable fibres or starches derived from by-products of the human food industry. The open formula means that although it may say ‘of which 4% are peas’, it only has to be a minimum of 4% of peas in the vegetables.
Sugars – We all know adding sugar to human food is bad, then why would sugar need to be added to dog food? Sugar makes human food more attractive to eat and can cause addiction, the same is true with dog food.
EC Permitted Additives and Preservatives – Permitted items by law should be ok for dogs shouldn’t they? Not necessarily, they may be permitted to preserve foods, but what they do to a dogs body is not entirely known. Some foods contain additives like ‘sunset yellow’ which has been linked with child hyperactivity and ‘potassium sorbate’ which has been linked to cell damage.
REMEMBER THIS ALSO APPLIES TO TREATS
At The Big Pet Store we do not sell any foods or treats with an open formula, we can show you great quality foods and treats that actually cost less per day than supermarket or ‘big’ brands.
RECOMMENDED FOODS AVAILABLE
GRAIN FREE – Grain free foods are becoming more and more popular due to the overuse of grains in pet food and the amount of dogs becoming intolerant to them. Grain rich diets may also contribute to bad oral hygiene in dogs and also issues with wind and stomach problems HOWEVER all grain based food are not bad, it is all about the quality of the grain used and actually some grain free foods popular to belief contain more carbohydrates and fat than a grain based food. We recommend :
Ratings from allaboutdogfood.com
GRAIN FREE FOODS
- Kanine Kitchen Grain Free – Great Value Grain Free, (Rated 4.5 out of 5)
- Canagan – Grain Free 60% Meat Based (Rated 4.6 out of 5)
- Orijen 85% Meat Based with Natural Ingredients – Potato Free (Rated 5 out of 5)
- Acana 60% Minimum Meat Ingredients – Potato Free (Rated 4.8 out of 5)
- Lily’s Kitchen – Grain Free Recipes Made in the UK (Rated 4.0 out of 5)
- Carnilove – Grain & Potato Free Wild Recipes (Rated 4.9 out of 5)
- Edgard Cooper – Grain Free Puppy (Rated 4.7 out of 5)
- Fish 4 Dogs – Fish Only Dog Food (Rated 3.9 out of 5)
- Berrimans Natures Countryside – Grain Free Berrimans (NO RATING)