Hey, fellow pet lovers!
Today’s post is sticking with our current raw feeding focus since last weeks post was all about The Lowdown on Raw Green Tripe, this weeks post is all about common raw feeding myths. There are plenty of them out there and a lot of pet parents can easily be put off feeding their pets a raw diet due to this false information that spreads like wildfire.
Let’s jump straight into today’s post and learn the truth about the most common raw feeding myths!!
Raw Feeding Myths, Debunked!!
Personally, I haven’t actually heard many raw feeding myths apart from raw feeding can make dog vicious, which is crazy!! However, I do know that there are a lot of them out there and today I hope to write a post that proves raw feeding is safe for our canine and feline friends and in fact, show that it is one of the best things you can do for ensuring your four-legged friend lives a happy and healthy life.
I had a little search online and below are some of the most common raw feeding myths, alongside some evidence to debunk them.
You or your pet will get ill from various bacteria such as Salmonella or E-coli off feeding a raw diet.
The first raw feeding myth I want to talk about is that your pet is going to get ill or you are going to get ill from feeding your canine or feline friend a species appropriate diet. Now, this is something that is spread all over the internet and even by pet food manufacturers who earn a large profit from kibble or wet food with the hopes that people will be put off feeding a raw diet.
This argument is backed up due to the fact that you are touching and preparing raw meat for your pet on a daily basis and therefore will be exposed to various harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E-coli.
However, if you and your family eat meat which a large population of the world do, then you are potentially exposed to these bacteria regardless of whether you choose to feed a raw diet to your pet. I’m sure all you guys wash your hands after touching raw meat, along with all the utensils that came into contact with the raw meat and finally wipe down all your surfaces?
Which means if you do choose to feed your pet a raw diet, then all you have to do is the exact same thing that you do when you make a Sunday dinner and have to prepare a raw chicken, turkey or joint of beef. To be extra safe we always use a separate chopping board, scales and knife when feeding the girls.
However, some of you might have heard of a wellness veterinarian called Dr Karen Becker and If you haven’t then follow the link to her website after reading today’s post. Something I found super interesting is she states that salmonella can be found in up to 36 percent of all healthy dogs and 18 percent of healthy cats regardless of the food they consume. A lot of our canine and feline friends house salmonella within their GI tract, as well as their faeces and lastly their saliva.
I don’t want to go on too much about salmonella and our pets as I feel this would be a super interesting post, but I do want to briefly mention kibble. Many vets that are against raw feeding say that a commercially prepared pet food such as kibble is safer for our pets, which for some it may be but the majority I don’t agree. I’m sure many of you have seen the countless kibble recalls that have taken place over the last few years due to salmonella scares, so even feeding kibble can expose you and your family to salmonella.
I feel like I could go on all day about this so I think I will get a post out next week all about salmonella, raw food, pet food recalls and how our pets are built to deal with various bacteria. Lastly, however, it’s not the raw diet that is the problem as long as you clean up effectively, source good quality raw pet food, then you and your family should be safe as most families will come into contact with raw food regardless of feeding a raw diet to their canine or feline companion.
Raw Feeding can make your Dog Vicious.
I have heard a few times people saying this and in fact, when we first started Nia on a raw diet someone mentioned this. I haven’t got any evidence to back my counter argument up apart from common sense, which considering I feed my girls both a raw diet and countless of other pet parents around the world also do, I’m pretty sure this is a myth!!
A Raw Diet is Impossible to Balance.
Another common myth about feeding your pet a raw diet is that it is impossible to feed a balanced healthy diet to your canine or feline friend. This again I feel is a bit of a scare tactic to deter pet parents from feeding raw but it is something that needs to be talked about if you plan on starting your pet on raw.
Just like any diet, whether it be for your pet or yourself it’s down to you to ensure your pet is getting all their required nutrients when feeding raw. As most of you will already know you have two main models of raw feeding, BARF which is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding or Bones and Raw Food, or Prey Model Raw (PMR).
Both are great options but have a few small differences such as, if you choose to feed your pet following the BARF approach then you can feed your pet some veggies, low sugar fruits and healthy dairy sources such as goats milk. However, a PMR feeder doesn’t believe that their pet requires any of the above and therefore solely requires whole prey which means the raw feeding percentages also differ a little.
If you choose to feed your pet a raw diet following the BARF approach then you will feed;
70% Muscle Meat.
10% Raw Meaty Bones.
10% Organ Meat (5% of this must consist of liver!)
10% fruit, veg or dairy such as kefia, goats milk or other appropriate diary sources, not cows products!!
However, if you choose to feed your pet following the Prey Model Raw approach then you will feed;
80% Muscle Meat.
10% Raw meaty bones.
10% Organs & Offal (5% of this must consist of liver!)
So you can see there is a small difference and we feed the girls a mixture of both as I really don’t see any harm in adding some veggies and the odd bit of low sugar fruit in their diet every now and then. When feeding raw it is impossible to achieve your goal of a balanced diet every meal as raw feeders fed different things such as various meats, raw green tripe, edible bones, heart or offal and many other things during different meals over the course of the week.
This means everything will add up to a healthy balanced diet over the course of the month and you will have a happy and healthy pet eating a large variety of fresh raw foods. If you do believe that a raw diet is unbalanced and feed kibble day in and day out then how do you assume that your pet is getting everything they need from the same hard pebble every day?
Surely feeding them a fresh diet of natural foods would provide them with a much more varied diet and the addition of raw green tripe and fermented veggies helps to support a healthy gut flora which is essential for living a long and healthy life.
Lastly, to make sure your pet is getting a healthy balanced diet you need to ensure you are feeding them the correct amount of food each day. The basic percentages for feeding your pet is worked out in relation to their ideal expected body weight.
You should feed your pet 2-3% of their ideal expected body weight per day.
My girl Nia’s ideal body weight is about 15/16 kilos.
1% of 15 kilos is 150 grams x 2 is a total of 300 grams a day.
1% of 16 kilos is 160 grams x 3 is a total of 480 grams a day.
Therefore she gets between 300 and 480 grams a day, it all depends on how much exercise she has done and also how lean or plump she is looking.
All veterinarians are opposed to raw feeding!
For today’s post, I watched a fair few videos of veterinarians slating raw food diets and saying they would advise against feeding a raw food diet and much prefer to feed a standard commercial diet of kibble, this is a topic I would really like to write a separate post on at some point but will briefly talk about it today.
Thankfully, it is a myth that all veterinarians are opposed to feeding a raw diet as Dr Karen Becker who I mentioned above is a massive advocate of raw feeding for our four-legged friends and I really hope we start to see more everyday vets looking at raw feeding in a different light.
Raw Feeding is expensive.
The last myth I found is that raw feeding is expensive, now depending on what food you choose to feed your companion animal and how many pets you have will dictate the answer to this question. If you choose to feed the lowest quality and cheapest food available or have a massive hungry pack of dogs then raw feeding them all could be costly.
However, for most pet parents it can be a pleasant surprise switching their pets to a raw diet and realising that they can save a few extra pounds here and there. How much we spend on Nia, Lily and the Pooss’s food each month varies depending on what we get and how much whole prey we order, but on average we tend to spend about £70 a month which for three animals really isn’t bad!!
A lot of the high-end kibbles that are made from quality sourced ingredients can cost a lot more than this depending on what size your pet is and how many you have, so raw feeding can be expensive but for most people, it shouldn’t be.
If you live in the UK and want to know where you can get raw food from then check out a few of the links below as they offer a great mix of minces that follow the BARF approach or whole prey, alongside some tasty raw feeding friendly treats.
Durham Animal Feeds is where we mainly order the girls food from and it is a great local company that does free delivery and eco-friendly packaging. To learn more about them read our previous blog post, Durham Animal Feeds, Raw Food Review.
Next to talk about is Paleo Ridge and they produce really great commercially prepared raw food, whole prey and also offer treats as well. It really is a one-stop shop for raw feeders.
Natures Menu is what we started our raw feeding journey on as it was simple, accessible and super handy with their 400 gram frozen block. However, we really don’t feed much of Natures Menu to the girls anymore but they do have a good selection of raw food if you want to check them out.
If you would like to know a little bit more about raw feeding then check out some of our previous posts below.
You can also purchase this super handy little book Honey’s Natural Feeding Handbook for Dogs by Jonathan Self. Simply follow the link below to order a copy today.
*By purchasing through this link you are supporting epoch.pet as we get a small amount of commission, with no extra cost to you. This money helps keep the blog up and running and allows us to purchase pet products to review on our site.
I hope you all liked today’s simple yet informative post and if you did make sure to hit that like button so I know or give it a share so other pet owners can learn about the most common raw feeding myths. I really appreciate everyone who comes to epoch.pet and reads our content, you guys are amazing and I’m so glad you’re a part of our pet loving community!!
Stick around for some interesting posts heading your way soon as we have a fermented veggies post and lots more…
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