Raw feeding – What, why and how
Published: December 2, 2018
I have been raw feeding my dogs for 6 years and will probably never go back to dry dog food as their main source of nutrition. From time to time people ask me what raw feeding is and if it works, especially for active dogs. I have therefore written this post to answer some of the most common questions about raw feeding.
What is raw feeding?
Since there are different definitions of raw feeding I would just like to clarify that I define it as: “Raw feeding means you are feeding raw meat, whether or not you are composing the meal or using commercially produced raw food such as V&H (Vom & dog food)”.
Why do you feed raw?
About 6 years ago Balder was having issues with irritated skin and sensitive digestion. After reading raw feeding could help dogs with their allergies, we decided to try it.
We started rawfeeding with V&H and quickly saw the improvement for Balder. Since both dogs seem to work well on raw feeding we continued with this.
Lately I have been learning more about the benefits of raw feeding versus dry food. Some of the benefits of raw feeding:
✅ Raw feeding can make a positive difference for dogs with allergies.
✅ Raw feeding will let you have complete control over what your dog is actually eating.
✅ Raw feeding gives less feces.
✅ Raw feeding (food the dog needs to gnaw) removes plaque from the dog’s teeth.
✅ Raw feeding (food the dog needs to gnaw) gives both physical and mental exercise for the dog.
✅ Raw feeding is not more expensive than dry food (more about this later).
✅ Raw feeding is a species appropriate diet, meat for carnivores, which our dogs are.
How much does raw feeding cost?
Some people may believe raw feeding is more expensive than dry food, but that is not my experience. We can look at my dogs as an example of the costs:
4 dogs eating a total of 1,2 kg raw food every day. That equals about 36 kg each month.
I use V&H as the basis (costs 250kr for 20 kg) and add/trade with chicken, chicken feet, pigs feet, pork chops, fish and egg (all of which I buy in large quantities for discounts). On an average, we spend 1000-1500kr each month.
If I compare the cost with 2 different types of dry food of good quality (grain-free and with meat as the main ingredient) it would cost about 1800kr or 2550kr each month.
How to start raw feeding?
If you want to start raw feeding I would recommend starting with commercially produced raw food (for example V&H). This will be a nice way to introduce raw meat for most dogs. Start by gradually replacing some of the dry food with raw food. Increase the amount of raw food a little by little until the whole meal consists of raw food.
When I started replacing VH& with something else I would give the dogs something large like a whole chicken or a whole fish (often frozen) to make sure they were chewing their food.
As mentioned before, I use V&H as the basis and this I do to make sure the dogs have the minerals and vitamins they need. 1-2 times a week the V&H is replaced partially or completely with a whole chicken, mackerel, pigs feet, chicken feet, chicken legs and so on.
If you are afraid you are giving too much of something, check the feces. It should not be too liquid or too firm. If it’s dry, then you are feeding too much bones.
❓ Danger of infections – can I get sick if my dogs eat raw meat?
If you are taking the same precautions as when you prepare human food you are safe.
❓ Where can I buy stuff like pigs feet or chicken feet?
Local farms or a butcher.
❓ Can dogs eat bones from bird, fish and sheep?
Yes, dogs can eat all bones that are not cooked. When bones are cooked, they can splinter when eating and therefore they must be raw so that they will be crushed when eaten.
❓ How much V&H should my dog have?
The guideline is normally 2% of the dog’s weight, but in my experience this is different for each dog. Monitor the dog’s weight and adjust the amount of food.
If you want to know more about raw feeding, I recommend watching these videos: