Welcome to our new and improved Raw Feeding Starter Guide. We’re always keeping up to date, researching, speaking to owners and breeders, and understanding what works best for dogs and humans when switching over to a raw diet. We appreciate there are a lot of different methods and approaches to introducing raw, but here’s how we’d approach the situation.
First off, Why Raw? We feel raw feeding is not only a species appropriate diet, but is natural, simple and most beneficial to your dogs overall health. We follow the 80:10:10 module, and although there are very different ways to feed raw, we personally feel this is the most effective way to feed in a complimentary fashion. Here at Betsy’s, we like to try and keep things simple. So we don’t add any supplements, vegetables or anything extra into our meals, we feel like that’s up to you to decide how, what and when you do it. We do, however, offer these additional items… well, additionally! So that if you do want to serve, we have made it nice and easy for you to do.
Starting on Raw Firstly, you’ll need to work out how much your dog needs to eat a day and you can do this by heading back to our home page and using our free online calculator. We have worked out a recommended amount based on your details, but remember to feed by eye and if your dog looks to be adding weight, drop the percentage slightly and vice versa if they’re loosing weight. Our calculator is based on your dogs current body weight, so if you’d like to add weight, or loose weight, please bare this in mind and toggle the percentages respectively.
Switch your dog over by feeding its usual diet at a slightly earlier tea time, you can then start raw the next morning (no need to mix or gradually swap over).
We would recommend to start with our Simply Lamb Tripe for a few days; this is a very bland diet for the gut but also beneficial so don’t worry. It’s important your dog gets used to this new way of feeding before we go in adding new flavours, herbs, and other supplements.
Feed Lamb Tripe for at least 7 – 10 days to ensure your dog is comfortable with it before adding in your next flavour.
So what’s next? We would then recommend one of our offal-free ranges. This means you’re just adding some bone into the diet. Turkey and Beef is a popular choice which then can lead you onto introducing Beef 80:10:10 quite nicely. Or you could try our Lamb and Chicken flavour which then could take you on to either Chicken & Tripe or Lamb. Just Duck is a fairly fatty meal, so this is something we would suggest adding in later to the diet.
With every new flavour, you want to add in around a table spoon per meal one, two table spoons per meal two and so on until you’re increasing the new flavour gradually and reducing the existing flavour. Once you have switched entirely (ie, from Lamb Tripe to Turkey and Beef) feed the two alternatively for another 5 days or so, before adding in that third flavour.
Should I add supplements? There’s a reason we have kept our diets meat only and that’s because we want to allow you as an owner the freedom to add the supplements your dog needs or would benefit from. So, for example, if you have a dog that struggles with arthritis or its joints, turmeric or some bone broth would be a good supplement to add. If your dog sometimes suffers from an upset tummy, adding parsley to their meal will just help with overall gut balance, or something like Hedgerow Hounds Digest and Rest. Generally speaking, we feel your dog will achieve an all-round beneficial diet from what we provide in our 500g and 1kg tubs.
What about fruit and veg? Another reason we have only produced meat in our tubs; some dogs can have allergies or experience dis-advantages to eating certain fruit and veg. For example, butternut squash or mainly ‘orange’ fruit and veg can be considered quite high in sugar and can give a little grief to the ears. We do however, promote adding fruit and vegetables where possible as they most certainly do hold an important part in your dogs diet. This is why we have formulated our Pawsome Veg Moulds; they can be given as per 10% of the dogs overall diet (ie if you’re feeding 250g a day, 25g of veg would be great!) however most raw feeders would free-flow with vegetables, adding them in some days and others not.
If you have any specific questions, you are welcome to pop over to our Facebook Page and we will be more than happy to help