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Already feeding raw or thinking of making the switch to a BARF diet?


Here's our easy in a nutshell guide!

The PDSA recommend for raw feeding safely that you:

  • Remember that storage boxes, bowls, cutlery, anything you use to prepare or handle raw food can be a source of contamination. Stainless steel bowls and metal or glass boxes are best as, unlike plastic, they won’t develop tiny cracks on their surfaces which can harbour bacteria.

  • Always wash your hands before and after handling your pet’s food.

  • Always plan to safely defrost food before feeding it to your pet. Use a sealed container to allow the food to thaw in the fridge without compromising the safety of your personal foods the day before.

  • You can’t microwave raw diets to speed up the defrosting process as this can cause uneven thawing creating hot spots which can cook parts of the food and heat others to unsafe temperatures which might raise bacteria numbers to unsafe levels.

  • Bowls of raw food should only stay down on the floor for around 20mins. Stick to feeding times and throw away any uneaten raw food left in the bowl.  

  • Wash everything thoroughly after feeding. Always sanitise any kitchen/surfaces you’ve prepared raw food on with anti bacterial spray or a weak bleach solution.

  • Once frozen meats are defrosted, to be on the safe side, they should be consumed by your pet within 4 days and never re-frozen.

  • Remember pet’s saliva and poop might contain potentially dangerous bacteria if they are fed on raw food so avoid on-the-lip's "doggie kisses".

  • Our suppliers routinely test their batches of raw food so the chances of them containing dangerous levels of harmful bacteria are slim and much lower compared to that found in meats from a butcher or a supermarket intended for human consumption because it is assumed that it will be cooked. Making our raw frozen complete pet meals safer to feed than DIY home raw meals made from supermarket ingredients.

How to transition onto raw:

Initially start your pet on one flavour of raw food for a three week period. This allows your pet’s digestive system to adapt and makes it easier to spot if your pet has a particular intolerance to a certain protein (which is rare but it's possible).

When they are a bit older especially when over 9 months ensure over time you do introduce a range of different proteins from different raw meals to your pet to maintain variety in their diet.

Here's how to transition onto raw by easing your already weaned puppy or kitten into a high protein raw meat and bone diet - just follow the steps below:

  • The day before put you tray of raw food in the freezer to defrost (normally needs 24 hrs) and feed your pet their normal kibble/wet food dinner.

  • Day 1 - Gradual transition on to our food diet is best over a 5-7 day period. You replace a small spoonful of your pet's current food with a small spoonful of raw per meal, gradually increasing the amount of raw and decreasing the current food until fully transitioned over. For a English bull dog one tablespoon will do. For a cat or a small dog, one teaspoon.

  • Day 2 - Replace two table spoons of your pet's current food with two tablespoons of raw per meal.

  • Day 3 - Replace three tablespoons of your pet's current food with three tablespoons of raw per meal.

  • Day 4 - Replace four tablespoons of your pet's current food with four tablespoons of raw per meal.

  • Onwards - Following on from day 4, each subsequent day more of the raw diet should be added until full transition is achieved and you are feeding a meal that is 100% raw food.

Things to remember:

  • Once transitioned avoid cooked food at the same time as feeding raw because it can upset you pet's digestion

  • Don't feed your dog processed treats or too many biscuit treats in between raw meals because it will cause flatulence/gas. We sell lots of raw frozen as well as dehydrated meat treats like jerky that can be fed while on a raw diet. We have a range in the shop's doggie deli.

  • If your pet has a loose stool at any stage, we recommend reducing the amount of raw food for three days to stabilise the stool prior returning to increasing the raw food levels & feeding a probiotic.

  • For the first month of feeding raw, digestive enzymes and probiotics can be added to the diet for dogs or cats that have any dietary issues or that have been prone to diarrhoea or constipation. We have Natural Instinct's Zoolac Propaste in the shop for this.

More Info:

Natural Instinct
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