Raw feeding, although not a new topic to many dog owners outside of Singapore, it is still relatively a new concept of pet feeding in Singapore. More and more owners begin to switch their dogs to raw diet, but the number of owners who prepare their own raw diet remains very little. And those who do not feed their dogs raw, thinks that raw feeding is too expensive.
Feeding Commercially Prepared Raw can indeed cause a big hole in your pocket. Understandably if you are feeding Kibbles or Canned food, the only way to feed is to buy them from Pet Stores. But if you are feeding Homecook or Raw food, it should be very straight forward and logical that these diets can be prepared on your own and can be very affordable, after-all, all the ingredients are right in front of you when you go to the Supermarkets.
If you are looking to switch your dog to raw, here are some very simple guidelines that can be helpful to you.
A balanced Raw Diet consists of:
**10% BONE, 80% MEAT, 3-5% LIVER, 5-7% OTHER ORGANS**
Each ingredient is important and it is none replaceable.
Many people replace bones with Eggshells or some other similar calcium providing ingredients and here is why you should NEVER replace or substitute bone. It is very important to note that the Calcium(bone) and Phosphrous(meat) ratios in a Dog’s diet is very important. Replacing Bone with other ingredients only makes balancing harder. Raw bones also contains marrow. Marrow is made up of primarily fat and blood components. These are very important nutrients. There is also cartilage attached to raw bones. Cartilage is a connective tissue that is made up of 50% collagen and mucopolysaccharides. So to say, bone does not only contain calcium but also other important nutrients to your dog which feeding a substitute ingredient can not provide.
It is very important to make sure the bone content is +/- 10% to provide your dog with the right calcium and phosphorus ratio and it is also VERY important never to replace bones.
*Increase or decrease the bone content slightly to cater to your dog base on his bowel outcome.
*Never, ever, ever, feed weight bearing bones.
Meat is pretty much self explanatory. It makes up the bulk of the diet. Meat contains a lot of nutrients, phosphorus and also water content. Rotating meat parts and types will keep your dog healthy.
Liver is one of the most concentrated source of Vitamin A. It also contains other vitamin and minerals such as folic acid, Vitamin B, Iron and so on. Liver is very high in nutrient which is why it can cause canon butts when not dealt with carefully. Despite its tendency to cause canon butts, it is non replaceable and it has to be at least 3-5% of the diet. Liver is the nutrients concentrated piece of ingredient in raw diet.
Other than different nutrients that different organs contain, they also contain a high amount of essential fatty acids. Any secreting gland is considered an organ. Kidney as the most common and other organs are such as brain, sweetbread, eyeballs, pancreas. Heart on the other hand is a muscle meat and is not considered an organ.
You need to include blood in raw diet. This is a common misconception and a marketing gimmick that commercial brands use to misguide you. Most of the meat we buy are drained from blood but if you feed whole hearts and whole organs, blood is still present in these parts. Blood is also present in raw bones. So do not fall for such gimmicks when you can provide blood to your dogs through such simple methods.
Few Ideas to what you can buy:
Bone – Meaty Pork Rib, Baby Back Rib, Chicken, Duck, Quail, Rabbit, Lamb Flap, Pork Trotters (Depending on the size of your dog, try out different bone variations)
Meat – Pork, Lamb, Mutton, Beef, Veal, Chicken, Duck (Basically everything under meat section)
Organs – Liver, Spleen, Kidney, Sweetbread, Pancreas (Be surprise how happy you’ll be to find exotic organs!)
Doing a cold-turkey transition or doing a slow transition is purely personal preference. Most dogs do just fine with cold-turkey. Some owners on the other hand likes to incorporate a little bit of raw food into their dogs’ current diet until they are used to the diet.
The KEY thing to transitioning is to always start slow, and start with the easiest digestible protein, and that is poultry. Always start without organs and introduce organs very slowly. Start with just bone and meat until your dog is used to the protein then introduce another protein and organs. Allow your dog’s stomach to be comfortable with one protein at a time. Introducing new protein or organs too quickly will not harm your dog, but it will gift you will canon butts (explosive poops).
There are different way of raw feeding and there is no right and wrong as long as they are balanced. Some owners prefer to balance out each day’s meals perfectly – giving their dogs 10% bone, 80% meat, 5% liver, 5% other organs everyday while others prefer to balance it over a period of 3 days, 5 days, 7 days and that is entirely up to you.
Here’s how we feed for our senior dogs and young dogs:
We balance the senior dogs’ meals every day over 2 meals. They poop everyday.
Pre-cut balanced meal of 80%,10%,5%,5% daily.
The young dogs get a balance over 3 days.
Day 1: Bone + Organ
Day 2: Meat
Day 3: Meat
We make sure they take 3 days worth of Bone and Organs on Day 1.
They poop once every 2-3days(Yay to less poop!). In other words, most of the diet is completely absorbed and digested in their bodies.
*With bone, there will always be indigestible content. When you feed bone, expect poop.
Our boy enjoying his big slab of lamb shoulder. We put the left over back in the freezer when he is done with his portion.
How much should i give my dog?
Example of how to calculate food for a 10kg dog taking 3% of his body weight. (If you feel that your dog is healthy and active, go for 2.5-3%, if your dog is less active, use 2%. Slight adjustments and alterations can always be made as time goes by and when you feel that there is a need to increase or decrease your dog’s food portion.
*Use your dog’s IDEAL weight not his current weight.
10kg x 3% =[ 300g] (one day, he will need 300g of food.)
10% out of 300g for bone: 30g
80% out of 300g for meat: 240g
3-5% out of 300g for liver: 9-15g
5-7% out of 300g for other organs: 15-21g
*This is just a guide, every dog is slightly different and you don’t have to be 100% accurate every time.
If you prepare your dog’s food ahead of time, feeding Raw is like a breeze. We often prepare 1-2 weeks of food in advance and leave them in the freezer and thaw a day before. The young boys eat their food right off the freezer.
The beauty of preparing your own raw is rotation. Rotating your dog’s diet is an asset to raw feeding. Every protein provides different nutrients. Rotating between different parts and different kinds of protein allows your dog to be exposed to different kinds of nutrients and it benefits them indefinitely. The thing about commercial raw is that it is often stated as Lamb Meat/Beef Meat. The question to ask is which part of the meat and how much nutrients can a dog receive with the same part of meat everyday? Even if they claim to include the whole Lamb in the diet, are you going to get the whole Lamb worth of nutrients in one bag of food?
*sorry to say we are undoubtedly suspicious of what claims to be inside commercial raw.
The number of dogs that is actually allergic to a raw protein can be so insignificant that it shouldn’t even have to be a point. Dogs can get allergic to a lot of things but raw protein is one of the least that you should be worried about. Things that they can be allergic to in raw diet can be the plant-based ingredients included in commercial raw or the preservatives or the hormones and chlorine-soak but allergies to a raw protein, is very uncommon. A dog can be allergic to a Lamb-based commercial raw but not a Venison-based commercial raw. This however does not mean that your dog is allergic to Lamb. Your dog could jolly well be allergic to other ingredients inside that Lamb-based commercial raw. You’d never know until you prepare your own raw food.
Now the most important part of Raw Feeding. How much does it cost? Well obviously if you are buying grass-fed meat or wagyu for your dog, it is going to cost a bomb. We have been sourcing our dogs’ food from suppliers, occasionally from super-markets and it costs approximately $2 per day for 1 dog about 9kg.
How we rank Raw and Other Diets
1st: Balanced Raw Diet
2nd: Balanced Commercial Frozen Raw Diet
3rd: Balanced Commercial Freeze Dried Diet
4th: Balanced Home cooked Diet (dehydration is a form of cooking, period.)
6th: Imbalanced Raw Diet
7th: Imbalanced Commercial Raw Diet
*imbalanced raw diet is much worse than feeding kibbles that actually provides researched and proven nutrients analysis.
Raw feeding isn’t so hard and isn’t so time-consuming. Once again, it is a great way to understand your dog’s needs and a great way to know what goes into their tummies. If it is still too complicated for you, why not hire us to prepare for you? (Just Kidding!)
If you need any help, feel free to pm us at our FB page.