We are so excited for Saturday. It will be our second year participating as a vendor at
Eleventh Hour Rescue's Puptoberfest!
Last year was a blast, and hoping this year is bigger and better.
Please join us to support this amazing volunteer run organization.
We look forward to seeing you there :)
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There are several ways to start your dog or puppy on a RAW diet. The process I will outline below tends to be the easiest way to make the switch for all ages and types of dogs, and will bring you the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Switch cold turkey!
Raw food is much easier for dogs to digest, so you can literally switch cold turkey (pun intended). There is no need to introduce raw food gradually to a kibble diet the way you would switch from kibble to kibble. Raw and kibble also digest at different rates, which could potentially cause your dog digestive upsets, and lengthen the transition.
Skip a meal
Skip your dog's last meal before switching him over to a raw diet. If your dog is ALWAYS hungry, and you're afraid he may go on a hunt for snacks (or expensive shoes) while you're away at work, you may want to skip his dinner feeding, and start raw the next morning. Do what you think is best for your dog, but take your schedule into consideration. For most people the weekend is the best time to start.
Play it cool
When you introduce the new raw food, play it cool. Don't hesitate or worry about whether your dog with eat it, like it, or turn his nose up at it. Dogs are able to sense even the slightest negative vibes, and if you're putting out those vibes your dog may feed off them and avoid the new food.
After skipping a meal, your dog should be hungry enough to just dig in. Some dogs however, need extra time to accept the new food. Just remember, it's a completely different kind of food...different smell, texture, taste, size, etc. It's not loaded with salt, sugar, or flavoring that your dog may be accustomed to, so don't lose hope if he doesn't take to it immediately.
Start with basics
The most common mistake people make is feeding too much variety too soon, which makes the transition mroe difficult, and results in mid-night trips outside with explosive diarrhea. Pick one protein source, and feed it for about a week or two (depending on your dog). The easiest food for most to start with is chicken because it's readily available, fairly inexpensive, and has all 3 components in one package; meat, bone, and organ.
Large dog? Start with skinless bone-in chicken breast. Small to medium dog? Start with a skinless whole leg. Toy breed? Start with a chicken wing or skinless neck.
When you notice your dog's poo is well formed and consistent, you can gradually introduce some skin and fat, and then organ meat.
Once your dog has adjusted to chicken, pick a second protein source such as beef (or turkey, lamb, pork, etc.) - similarly starting off sans fat or organs, and gradually introducing them. Then a third protein source, and so on. Building variety slowly is the key to success.
Grow a spine
Set the rules and stick with them. Just like in obedience or other dog related activity, he will call your bluff, and if you give him an inch he may very well take a mile! Put down a bowl of the new RAW food, and leave it out for 15-30 minutes. If your dog refuses to eat within that time frame, pick the bowl up, cover or bag it, and put it back into the refrigerator until his next meal. It may take a few skipped meals for your dog to "give in" if he is stubborn or is afraid of change. Don't feel bad for him and offer treats of alternative food if he refuses the raw food. Your dog will not starve himself.
Watch and learn
Make sure you supervise your dog's meals. Pay attention to the manner in which he eats, know how he chews bones or gulps meat. This will help you decide what to feed (and what to stay away from), when to feed, and how to avoid problems in the future.
It may not sound like fun, but by keeping track of your dog's poo you will be able to spot potential problems before they turn serious. Poo is one of the first indicators of an issue whether digestive, medical, or dietary. General rule of thumb: white, crumbly poo means you fed him too much bone; pudding or black, tarry poo means you fed him too much fat, organs, or too much variety too soon.
These are just some general steps to take when starting your dog on a RAW diet. If you have a toy breed, or a dog with medical problems, you may need to make some adjustments to the above. For best results, please email me at
with more information about your dog.
Both dogs and cats are from the mammalian Order Carnivora, meaning they are meat eaters by nature - carnivores. This is a scientifically proven fact.
"The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence. In comparison, the gray wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence... Dogs are gray wolves, despite their diversity in size and proportion..." - Robert K. Wayne, Ph.D., (Molecular evolution of the dog family, 1993)
The dog and gray wolf were found to be so closely related, that in 1993 the Smithsonian Institute and the American Society of Mammalogists reclassified the dog (now Canis lupus familiaris) as a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus).
Cats (Felis catus) are the strictest carnivores of the mammalian family. They are Obligate carnivores, meaning they need to obtain ALL their necessary nutrition from meat (including bones and organs), since their physiology does not allow them to digest vegetable matter. Cats are also unable to synthesize the essential amino acid Taurine; a deficiency in which can cause blindness, heart disease, and death.
From 1932-1942, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger conducted a 900 cat study to determine the effects of heat-processed food on cats. The results were startling. The raw fed cats remained healthy throughout the study, while the cats fed a cooked and processed diet developed diseases, facial deformities, frail bones, parasites, reproductive problems...and died out by the fourth generation.
So why have we been brain washed into feeding our carnivores heat processed, extruded cereal pellets, made of unnecessary ingredients and fillers? And how are these bagged nuggets really affecting our companion animals?
The multi-billion dollar pet industry doesn't want you to know!
Whether your vet recommended or prescribed it, or your local pet store employee assured you the kibble you just bought is 'super premium' and perfectly balanced, conventional dog and cat foods can be causing your pets more harm than good.
Highly processed, preservative laden, grain based diets have been associated with a multitude of nutrition related health problems including:
- Periodontal disease
- Urinary tract disease
- Kidney disease
- Chronic digestive problems
- Heart disease
For an unbiased, highly informative report, please take some time out to read What's Really in Pet Food, from Born Free USA.
Sure there have been many dogs and cats living on pet food for years, but they have been surviving on it at best. If you truly want your pet to thrive, the best diet is a natural, species appropriate one...a RAW diet.
Dogs and cats have evolved and thrived on RAW meat, bones, and organs for thousands of years. It's only logical to feed them what they are designed to eat. Who are we to change the nature of the beast?
Why, then, are the pet industries against RAW feeding? It's simple folks...pet food, veterinary, and pharmaceutical business would be devastated, billions of dollars lost, because your pet would be healthy.
My dogs eat RAW. Get your hands out of my pockets.
Which bones are safe for your dog?
A few facts and common misconceptions.
Dogs are carnivores (Canis lupus familiaris - subspecies of the Gray Wolf), from the Chihuahua to the Mastiff. They are built to crush, consume, and digest bones - RAW bones. Raw bones are nutritious, easily digested (especially when surrounded by meat), and very beneficial to your dog's health. Raw bones are nature's toothbrush, keeping dogs free of Periodontal disease, and your wallet spared of costly dental work.
Questioning the nutrition of bones?
"Bones from prey are required by wolves as the major source of calcium and phosphorus for the maintenance of their own skeletons. Bones, in fact, are a surprisingly well-balanced food for canids" (Mech, L.D. 2003. Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. pg 125).
But I thought bones were dangerous?!?
We've all heard this argument at one point or another, "Are you crazy? Don't feed chicken bones...you're dog will choke and die!"
However, chicken (and other) bones should be fed RAW, not cooked. When fed RAW they are actually fairly soft and easy for your dog to chomp to pieces. To avoid choking hazards, make sure the chicken bone still has meat on it, and it is sized appropriately for your dog. For example, when feeding your Chihuahua a chicken wing may be appropriate. But if you're feeding a Mastiff you would want to feed a bone-in chicken breast or half/whole chicken.
***Please note, this is very important: DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG COOKED BONES! Cooked bones, especially poultry bones, can splinter and harm your dog. Cooking bones removes all their moisture leaving them dry and brittle, and when they splinter they can do so in sharp shards harming the esophagus on the way in, or possibly piercing the gut on the way out.
The same goes for beef, lamb, pork, and any other bone you may have available to feed. They can be fed fresh or frozen, but should always be RAW.
The best thing to do is supervise your dog whenever feeding bones (and in general) so that you understand how your particular dog eats; whether he is an aggressive chewer, a gulper, a nibbler, or a gagger. For example, if your dog is a gulper you may not want to feed him turkey necks, at least not until he figures out how to eat them. And never cut bones! Give your dog a large bone and let his teeth do all the work.
So what bones are safe to feed?
Depending on your dog's size and eating tendencies, safe bones include, but are not limited to:
- Beef necks, knuckles, ribs, oxtails
- Chicken necks, backs, feet
- Turkey necks and backs
- Lamb necks, shanks
- Pork necks, ribs, and shoulders
- Venison necks, ribs
Bones you may want to stay away from:
- Weight bearing bones like shin and marrow bones from large animals. Although many people feed beef marrow bones successfully, they are hard and dense and can possibly wreck, crack, or break your adult dog's teeth.
- Hollow bones like turkey wings which may break in odd shapes. If you see a bone breaking into sharp shards, take it away.
So go on...give your dog a bone!
Bioavailability of nutrients
Raw meat, organ, and bone have a very high bioavailability of nutrients. This means your dog or cat can easily obtain the proper proteins, fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc., that their bodies need for optimal health potential.
High bioavailability also allows for easier digestion, and less "waste." Whereas indigestible foods with low bioavailability (such as processed foods, grain, and vegetable based diets) end up taxing the pancreas to over-produce enzymes for this undue burden.
Improved overall health
Not only will your dog or cat look better, but they will feel younger and more vibrant. Old animals will suddenly have a spring in their step, and some will act as if they've reverted to puppy/kitten-hood. Puppies and kittens will grow at a strong, slow, steady pace; especially important for large and giant dog breeds.
Since your pet's body will be working at optimal health potential, he will also be at a lower risk of heart, liver, and kidney diseases, to name a few.
Boosted immune system
Raw fed animals tend not to succumb to things like dermatitises (including "ahh, hotspot!"), food allergies, fleas, worms, and other nuisances. Of course there is always a possibility these things can happen, but they are not nearly as common as in inappropriately fed animals.
Improved immune system function can also greatly reduce inflammatory diseases and infections, as well as strengthen an animal's disease resistance.
Periodontal disease runs rampant in kibble fed dogs and cats over the age of three! Your pet will have naturally clean, sparkly, white teeth and healthy gums without the unnecessary need for anesthesia and costly dental work. Raw meat doesn't stick and clump to the teeth, and raw meaty bones scrape teeth free of any grime at every meal.
Clean teeth and healthy gums also mean your pet won't be accumulating all sorts of nasty bacteria, tartar, and plaque. And you will finally be able to say goodbye to disgustingly foul breath, and hello to kissable canine!
Although your dog or cat will have more energy and endurance, they will be calmer and have a more consistent demeanor. Inappropriate foods can lead to hyperactivity, behavioral problems, destructive tendencies, and lack of focus. Your pet is not unruly and beyond help...he is merely reacting to a processed diet like an ADHD kid would to a carton of pixie sticks.
Shiny coats and healthy skin
You will notice your pet will have a thick, shiny, soft coat with a lot less shedding. Skin problems, dermatitises, etc., will significantly improve, if not disappear altogether. Finally, and end to "the itchies!"
Alleviated or eliminated allergies
Ahh, allergies...if I had a nickel every time I met a pet who had them. Your pet's intolerance to inappropriate ingredients typically manifests itself as a so-called "allergy." From hotspots to ear infections, the core problem must be addressed or you may have a lifelong battle with recurring problems. Common allergens include corn, wheat, soy, flax, grain based and preservative laden diets, and denatured, heat processed proteins (most commonly chicken). If your dog is intolerant to a beef based dog food, he will NOT necessarily be "allergic" to raw beef.
Slow, steady bone growth
Rapidly growing puppies of large and giant breeds can end up with awfully painful growth deformities such as Pano, Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, etc. Proper nutrition and calcium intake, as well as weight management can help reduce risks of bone disorders. Slow, steady growth allows your large breed pup to build strong healthy bones and cartilage that can keep up with his size.
Arthritic pets will exhibit better mobility and fewer symptoms; some living happy, pain-free lives WITHOUT any harmful medications. Naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids, lubricate joints and promote joint health.
Proper wight management
With raw feeding it is easy to maintain proper body weight and lean muscle mass, especially for sedentary cats or problem breeds like the Labrador, who can glance at food and get fat. There is no hidden "junk" in the food; what you see is what you get. If you notice your pet gaining or losing a little too much weight, all you have to do is decrease or increase their meal size a bit for almost immediate results.
Is that really poo?
What goes in, must come out. Raw diets are approximately 90-97% digestible (it's that bioavailability thing again), which means your pet will utilize almost every bit of meat, organ, and bone that passes through his system. You will notice less frequent, small, almost odorless poo, and question whether it is normal? Welcome to the world of raw feeding!
The poo will be small, firm, and a variety of colors depending on what the previous meal consisted of. The bonier the meal, the firmer and whiter the poo. Within a day's time, the poo will dry out, and shortly after turn to dust. Less mess in the yard, and no more ruined shoes.
Why is poo so important? - Since your pet will truly be poo-ing only the waste from a proper diet (not inappropriate ingredients, fillers, or chemicals), abnormalities can immediately let you know if something is wrong...a health issue, an underlying problem, stress, an imbalance in the diet, etc.
On a more serious note
Raw feeding has also been known to help with genetic, neurological, and physical conditions, as well as illnesses like HD, Pancreatitis, IBD/IBS, Kidney disease, seizures, cancer, and many more. Dogs who had seizures that have been successfully switched to raw, have been seizure free from that point on. Cats with Kidney disease (from lack of moisture in kibble) have avoided the death sentence of renal failure by making the switch. Cancer, which is much too prevalent in our animals, has been starved and kept at bay with a raw meat and fat based diet.
***Please note that RAW feeding is not a miracle cure, however much we wish it to be, but it will help significantly.
What have you got to lose? Jump in and make the switch. Your pets will thank you for it.