RAW DOG FOOD CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
Have we officially convinced you of the benefits of going raw?
Maybe you’re still hesitant because you’re unsure of your own abilities.
You’re already pressed for time as it is, and you’re not made of money.
Luckily, you’re not alone. These are all common concerns by new raw food feeders.
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And that’s exactly why we put together this guide for you.
We’ve put together some simple hacks and helpers to keep you moving forward on your raw food journey.
CHALLENGE #1: WHAT IF I MESS THIS UP? THE RISKS OF AN UNBALANCED RAW DOG FOOD DIET
After doing your due diligence and reading everything you could get your hands on relating to the raw food diet for your dog, you’re still a bundle of nerves.
What happens if your dog gets salmonella poisoning from the raw chicken you feed him?
What if he becomes anemic or starts losing all his hair because you left a critical nutrient out of his food?
What if your vet starts judging you because you’re being an ‘irresponsible’ pet owner who just jumps on whatever is the latest trend!
To that, we say:
Yes, feeding your dog a raw food diet can involve more planning and prep work than simply grabbing the cheapest bag of ‘scientifically’ formulated kibble, but it will be worth it in the long run for your dog’s health and your wallet (did I mention that chronic disease is really pricey?).
For nervous noobs, I would suggest opting to pay a bit extra to take the guesswork out of portion sizes and meal composition (bone, organ, and muscle meat breakdown). There are actually a lot of great companies that will do this for you.
One in particular is Raw Paws Pet Food.
You can order a month’s supply of food based on your dog’s weight and age. The site provides you with information for how much to feed your dog every day, and there needn’t be any worry concerning complete nutrition because Raw Paw’s includes a variety of animal proteins and critical organ and bone additions for optimal health. The only thing you have to do is portion out the meals by weight and thaw beforehand.
You don’t necessarily have to order your dog food online, but this company is a great resource no matter where you’re located. Try googling suppliers of raw dog food in your area. Many companies pre-portion their meals so all you have to do in unwrap and serve!
Conversely, if you’re trying to save a bit of money by preparing everything yourself then make sure to check out the book, Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats, by Dr. Becker.
The book provides a rotation plan and recipes based on an ancestral diet for dogs and cats. It’s veterinarian approved, and is a great way to take the guesswork out of planning your dog’s meals!
One caveat with this book is the inclusion of certain supplements, which Dr. Becker feels are needed to ensure complete nutrition for your dog. If you’re following B.A.R.F., then supplements are an accepted part of the program, but the Prey Model tends to avoid using any forms of supplementation.
we talk about the Prey Model in chapter 3 and B.A.R.F. in chapter 4, so keep reading!
CHALLENGE #2: ISN'T FEEDING RAW DOG FOOD EXPENSIVE?
I’m not going to lie, switching from a cheap kibble-based dog food to raw is going to cost you some more money. But if you think long-term, you may actually save yourself a hefty dose of cash that would have been spent on vet bills for chronic illness.
Healthy puppy = happy owner!
Still, I understand your plight.
You love your dog, but you’re not made of money. But being a little less affluent doesn’t mean you have to abandon the raw food diet for your dog. You just won’t be able to buy the wild quail with heritage duck eggs for him.
In fact, there are many ways to make the raw food diet suit your budget:
- Do it yourself. Yes, this will take a bit more time than those packaged pre-portioned meals you can buy online and in-store, but you’ll save a good chunk of cash this way.
- Buy in bulk from your local butcher or food co-op. Oftentimes, you can arrange a discount with a local butcher by buying larger quantities of meat. If it’s possible try and scrounge up an extra freezer just for your pet’s food. Being able to purchase and store an entire cow will save you a good chunk of money in the long run.
- Look for sales. When you see a good deal, stock up! At the same time, you don’t need those expensive skinless chicken breasts you insist on eating for your own dinners. Buying cheaper cuts of meat and organ meats are usually all much cheaper per pound than the all-too common fare we eat at our own tables.
- Develop a relationship with a local hunter. You can purchase the wild game from them, and freeze until needed. If you’re worried about your pup ingesting nasty beasties like parasites, simply freeze the meat for a month to kill off anything still lingering in the tissues.
CHALLENGE #3: WHO HAS THE TIME?
You may be thinking you hardly have time to feed yourself, so how are you going to find extra time in your day to prepare all of these raw meals for your pup?
In today’s rat race, every second you have is valuable, but there are a number of tricks you can use to prepare raw food more efficiently. So if the idea of spending hours prying apart frozen liver with your bare hands doesn’t seem appealing, implement these tips to get your dog eating raw without breaking a sweat: