FAQ's about Raw Feeding for Dogs

Does Dogs Love Raw carry food made from human grade ingredients?

Yes, all of the products are human grade. The meat comes from local local farmers, fruit and vegetables come from local grocers and are made for human consumption. Note however green tripe is not human grade, the human grade form of tripe is boiled and bleached, leaving no nutritional benefit for dogs.

Why is it better to feed raw pet food?

Fresh food is best, dogs and cats are carnivores designed to eat their food raw. Cooking food changes the structure and the nutrients lose their bioavailability. Common sense dictates that fresh food is better. No one would ever argue that processed fast food is better for you than a fresh salad. There are kibble companies out there that don’t put a ton of junk into the mix; however these kibbles are still cooked- and with all the food recalls we've been reading about and little to no inspection requirements, sometimes unsafe for our pets. Would you eat cooked pellets of food every day for the rest of your life? Fresh food provides the balance that nature intended and that is eaten by every other species on the planet, I don’t think that we can compete with that by adding what we believe is "balanced."-See article http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dog-food-ten-scary-truths/

What does BARF mean?

Biologically appropriate raw food.

What does RMB mean?

RMB is an abbreviation for raw meaty bones.

Is it okay to feed kibble and raw food?

It is not recommended because kibble is digested so much more slowly than raw pet food. This slow digestion can create a more hospitable environment for bacteria in the digestive system and cause stomach upset. However it is better to at least feed some fresh food than none at all. If you do feed kibble and raw, we suggest feeding it in separate meals and/or on separate days.

Why is raw food digested so quickly?

Raw food contains live enzymes which assist in the quick, efficient digestion of foods.

What about supplements?

If your dog has specific problems there are specific supplements that can help. The first thing you need to consider before adding supplements to try to fix something is whether or not the dog or cat is being fed a species appropriate diet. Supplements cannot fix a poor diet. A proper, raw diet does not usually require a vitamin/mineral supplement; because the food is not cooked the nutrients are not lost. That being said there are some great supplements on the market for things like extra digestive enzymes or probiotics, glucosamine for arthritis etc.

Should I be worried about salmonella?

You should be aware of it; many surveys have shown that poultry products are commonly contaminated with salmonella. Your dog and cat have a digestive system that can take it. The ph of their stomach is very low and kills the bacteria. However people do need to be careful and use safe meat handling practises. Wash your hands and surfaces where food is prepared. Studies have shown that dogs can eat chicken covered in salmonella and not show the bacteria in their saliva or become ill in any way.  For an excellent article on salmonella go tohttp://www.positivepetzine.com/salmonella

Are raw meaty bones dangerous?

Dogs and cats are survivalists; they are animals that will do anything to preserve their own life. The likely hood of them choking on a raw meaty bone is very low; remember in the wild they eat whole animal carcasses. Sometimes if your dog ingests something too big they will simply throw it back up and eat it again. I know this is exceedingly gross, but it is part of the way that they eat. You should feed raw meaty bones that are appropriate size, err on the side of too big instead of too small. Raw meaty bones that are too small can be swallowed whole and get stuck. If your dog has to chew the bone, choking is much less likely. If you are really concerned about choking think of this, children are high risk for choking but we would never think of feeding them nothing but mush until they were 5 or 6 years old. The benefits of feeding raw meaty bones (cleaner teeth, better digestion) outweigh the risk.

Will feeding raw pet food make my dog aggressive?

This is an urban legend...with a small amount of truth to it. Dogs that have pre-existing resource guarding issues will be more likely to act aggressively when given something as good as a raw meaty bone. Resource guarding is a natural behaviour for dogs; this does not mean that it is appropriate. Dogs need to be taught how to act when they have a prized possession, if this is an issue I suggest you seek the advice of a professional trainer which uses positive reinforcement to teach appropriate behaviours. If your dog does not have aggression issues, feeding fresh food certainly will not create them.

Why are bones so important?

Dogs require calcium for bone and tooth development and maintenance. Raw, unprocessed bone is the best way to provide this much needed calcium. Synthetic calcium or rendered bone meal (found in all kibble) are digested differently and can interfere with the absorption of other essential vitamins and minerals. Raw bone is easily digested and anything left over is simply discarded in the feces. In growing pups calcium is essential but is often over supplemented, which can cause many more problems than it solves. Feeding calcium in its natural form is the safest way to ensure adequate calcium.

Why is my dog`s poop different?

When feeding raw you will find that your pet poops less because they are utilizing more of the nutrients in their food. Raw fed pets have small poop which is often white and chalky, this is the effect of the natural bone. It is common for your pet to strain a bit and allows them to express their anal glands, which you either would normally have to do yourself or pay someone to do it. Once in a while you will find mucous in your dogs poo, this is common for raw fed dogs. There is mucous in the intestinal tract and it is normal for it to be shed once in a while, especially when first starting with BARF. If this is a very common occurrence it may be due to lactose intolerance, if you are feeding dairy discontinue and see if that helps. If it is not due to dairy and continues to occur frequently take a stool sample in to the vet as it may be due to parasites or a digestion problem.

My dog has diarrhea?

Canned pumpkin is great for halting diarrhea. This can be picked up at the grocery store. Diarrhea can be a normal part of detox when switching to the BARF diet; it should let up in a week or two. As a rule raw meaty bones make stool more firm and muscle meat, organ meat and vegetables make stools looser. So if you are noticing your dogs stool is a little bit loose on a regular basis you can increase the raw meaty bones and decrease the balancer. If your dog is acting sick and has had diarrhea for several days or has severe diarrhea take them to the vet.

My dog is constipated?

Constipation is often the result of too much bone, this can be easily alleviated by feeding some organ meat and vegetables as a balancer tol help get things moving again. Canned pumpkin can also work to alleviate constipation.

My vet does not approve of the BARF diet?

Many vets have had very little education in animal nutrition and most of the time the lectures on nutrition are given by guest speakers from a pet food company. If your vet doesn`t accept your input into the care of your pet than I would suggest finding a new one. 

We need veterinarians for all the many services they perform.  However veterinarians get very little nutritional training. They are taught disease management and care. Another interesting thing is that the training they do receive is often taught to them by the PET FOOD industry! That form of incorrect training has also led them to believe the myth (see myth #5) that dogs and cats are omnivores.

Veterinarians are therefore very linked to the pet food industry since they receive kickbacks and revenue from marketing these commercial foods for the pet food manufacturers. Even more sinister is the fact that these pet food companies promote their products to upcoming veterinarian graduates at the universities and GIVE them free pet food to sell! Here’s an example: Colgate-Palmolive, the company that manufactures Hill’s Science Diet, spends “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%” (1)

My dog is in their golden years, any special considerations?

Feeding a BARF diet to an older dog or cat does have a few considerations. Many older dogs and cats are suffering from dental disease from years of eating kibble, if the dental disease is causing pain they may be reluctant to eat raw meaty bones. In this case I would suggest getting your dog`s teeth cleaned, you might be surprised at how youthful they are after a teeth cleaning. Once the teeth are taken care of introduce the BARF diet just like with younger dogs and cats. Many of our senior friends have medical conditions and are under the care of a vet and on prescription diets. I would suggest that you seek the advice of a holistic vet when switching a dog or cat to the BARF diet when they have pre-existing conditions. A glucosamine supplement is also highly recommended for older dogs, it makes a great difference in energy levels and you will notice your older dog is not nearly as stiff and sore. You can purchase glucosamine supplements for dogs at a pet food store or online, you can also use "people" glucosamine supplements.

My dog has had teeth pulled; can I still feed the BARF diet?

Absolutely, if your dog has had dental problems all the more reason to feed raw meaty bones. The raw meaty bones will prevent further dental problems by massaging the gums and scraping plaque off the teeth. If your dog has no teeth I would suggest feeding the ground full meals.

I have a very small dog can he still eat raw meaty bones?

Yes, toy breed dogs have even more dental problems than bigger dogs because their jaws tend to be proportionately smaller and there is less space for their teeth. For dogs under 15lbs it is recommended that you feed small raw meaty bones like chicken necks and wings. 

What is the best way to thaw the raw dog food?

The easiest way to keep the food once it is defrosted is in reseal able Tupperware containers. You can defrost the food in the fridge which takes 24 – 48 hours. 

Do I have to order online?

No, you can also order by email and come by our location. You can order online, pay online and we will be sure to have your order ready for pickup whenever you're ready! You can even order online and pay upon pickup! Whatever works for you.

We do request that for large orders, your email us to ensure we have your items in stock!

How long can I keep raw food for?

Once the raw food is defrosted it can be kept in your fridge for 3-4 days.

Are chicken bones safe for my dog or cat to eat?

Raw chicken bones are safe to eat, cooked chicken bones are not. When the chicken bones are cooked they become sharp, brittle and hard to digest, you should never feed cooked chicken bones to your dog or cat. It is often believed that all chicken bones are dangerous and this is not the case. When chicken bones are raw they are soft, pliable and easy to digest.