Why Feed Raw?
Dogs are facultative carnivores which means they are primarily meat eaters but can survive on plant matter if necessary. The key word here is survive, not thrive. For your dog to thrive and meet biological nutritional needs then your dog needs to be fed a fresh food, fresh meat based diet.
Making the switch
We will provide you with everything you need to switch your dog to a fresh food diet.
Switching to raw
Switching to a fresh, raw food diet emulates a way of feeding that would, in the wild, be achieved by hunting and eating prey that was caught. It is not only an inexpensive way of feeding your dog but one that will provide natural goodness you can’t achieve through processed, cooked foods found on a supermarket shelf.
Raw feeding is not an exact science, however, most people tend to follow the rule that a balanced diet 'roughly' consists of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal (5% liver and 5% other secreting organ such as kidney). It is important to note that this balance is one that occurs over time and does not need to be regimented every single day, although many people do.
How to start
There are two ways of switching to a fresh raw food diet:
1. If your dog does not have any digestive conditions then we recommend stopping their current food immediately and switching to raw.
2. If your dog has digestive problems, we would suggest that you introduce the raw gradually over 7-10 days. Each day add a small amount of raw into your dog’s bowl, decreasing the amount of their current food, until you have the full daily allowance of fresh raw food.
When starting a fresh raw food diet, we always recommend you introduce different proteins slowly over a 4 week period which enables you to see if there are any potential problems with different meats.
We start nice and easy with plain stinky tripe for week 1.
Week 2 we introduce bone and feed tripe and chicken.
Week 3 we introduce a new protein and include turkey (or duck).
Finally for week 4 we not only introduce duck (or turkey) but we also add a small amount of offal to the bowl.
You can find our 4 week transition guide at the bottom of this page with our product recommendations.
How much to feed
Dogs are fed as an individual but as a starting point we aim at feeding an adult dog with no weight issues at 2.5% of their body weight. Don't panic, just click on our raw feeding calculator link here and it will work everything out.
We start the majority of puppies on 10% of body weight and decrease that percentage as pup grows.
Types of raw
You will see from our website we stock a huge variety of raw foods from a number of different manufacturers and we have split our website into different categories to give you a hand choosing what to feed.
Companies such as Benyfit, Natural Instinct and Nutriment manufacture foods that already contain fruit, vegetables and botanicals. Some have ratios of 80/10/10, some are boneless and some contain no offal.
The other manufacturers you see on our website produce a varied range of 80/10/10 minces along with boned and bones minces. There is information on each product record to help with what you can add to the bowl to balance the meal.
There are lots of different views on how to feed a fresh food diet and what can and should be added to your dog’s bowl varies from resource to resource. It is important to read and research as much as you can so you can make an informed decision on what will be best for your dog.
Fruit and vegetables, for example, are possibly one of the most debated topics within the social media raw feeding groups. At the Wandering Dog we do recommend that you include fruit and vegetables into your dog’s bowl as there are essential vitamins and minerals that you can’t get from feeding a diet of meat alone.
Lightly cooking or steaming vegetables helps break down the plant matter and enables your dog to digest the food easier then feeding raw. Kale, spinach, sprouts, celery, broccoli, pumpkin, apples, cucumber, berries are all fantastic additions to the bowl. Both Naturaw and Nutriment have pre-prepared vegetable tubs which make it even easier for you.
Raw Transition Guide
How do I start?
There are two ways of switching to a fresh raw food diet:
Do I need to follow this guide?
No, it is up to you how you switch your dog to a raw food diet, however, we do recommend you follow our guide as it may give you an opportunity to see if there are any foods you dog is intolerent to.
We start with MVM Lamb Tripe (depending on the time of the year we may substitute this for MVM beef tripe). Not only is it balanced in calcium and phosphorus, but it is gentle on the stomach so a great product to start with. You might find your dogs poo becomes tar like in consistency, this is normal.
We introduce minced bone in week 2 with MVM Tripe and Chicken (this contains 20% minced bone so we add extra tripe or a boneless mince to reduce it to the recommended 10%). You may find your dogs poo reduced considerably in this week.
Another new protein introduced with MVM Tripe and Duck, Beef & Chicken or similar (this contains 20% minced bone so we add extra tripe or a boneless mince to reduce it to the recommended 10%).
Last but not least we introduce offal with MVM Eco mince with a boned mince. MVM Eco mince contains a small amount of offal due to the cuts of meat used within this mince.
I've switched to raw and my dog is hardly drinking or pooing, is this normal?
Yes absolutely normal so don't worry (unless its been a couple of days and your dog hasnt been to the toilet, in that instance we would recommend speaking to a vet). Meat in itself contains a lot of moisture so your dog doesnt need to drink as much as they do when they eat dry food. The reduction in poo is because your dog is taking everything it needs from the raw food and only excreting the waste.