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Raw Feeding – Getting Started

We sell Bulmer’s Pet Food which comes in frozen pre-packed bags of mince (454g / 1 LB) and Happy Hound. We are looking in to stock MVM ready meals for people who are new or don't want to feed DIY.  Our poultry range comes with ground in bone.  We recommend you download or the Raw Dog App on the iphone, to work out the correct amount to feed your dog.  It is recommended to feed between 2% - 3% for an adult.  Increase the amount or decrease, as your pet requires, depending on exercise, over all body condition, physical appearance etc.    


 Chicken is the best way to introduce your pet to their new diet, as it is the blandest and therefore least offensive to the taste buds.  There is no reason why you cannot jump straight into raw meat, as they do not need to be introduced like a new dry food does.  However, if you are a little apprehensive it is best to feed their usual food in the morning and their raw in the evening, as this will aid digestion. 

A good idea is to keep a diary of what you feed, keep to 7 – 10 days with one protein and then introduce another.  This is where your diary becomes invaluable, log what you feed at each meal and make a note of the stools eg soft/firm and colour.  You either know if you’ve got it right (firm) or something needs adjusting (soft).  Don’t panic, simply go back to what you were doing the day before and then try again in a day or two. 
The idea is to feed 80-10-10 ratio, meat-bone-offal, but it’s is not an exact science.  You don’t have to be weighing and getting calculators out as ratios are feed over time.  Either weekly or monthly. BE CARFUL ….. what you THINK looks about the right amount, may be significantly more in weight depending on each protein.  

Offal should be fed in small amounts as they contain the necessary and important vitamins and enzymes.  They are however very rich and bring on loose stools or even vomiting, if fed in large amounts.  Once a week is sufficient, unless your pet needs a bit of a pick me up. 
Tripe is an excellent all-rounder, full of goodness, fatty acids, calcium and vitamins.  It promotes a healthy coat and general wellbeing.  Some of our meats come mixed with tripe for a double bonus.  
Once you get the hang of this, you can add whole eggs, raw with the shells, natural yoghurt and even cottage cheese.  Each of these provides excellent proteins and a slight variation to keep the raw diet interesting.  Depending on your pet, they might like a chicken carcass or knuckle bone to keep them occupied for an hour or so.    
A raw diet provides a range of benefits that commercial diets can never hope to even closely match. 

These benefits include :

1. No doggy odour  2. Less smelly cat litter trays  3. Natural cleans teeth – no need for toothbrushes, de-scaling jobs, or gum disease 4. The time it takes to chew raw meaty bones or chicken wings, gives their stomachs adequate time to get the acids moving, and so aids digestion 5. Much less stools produced – and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days 6. Decreased or non-existent vet bills (your pets are healthier!) 7. Less cost for food – commercial dog foods are very expensive 8. Young develop at a more appropriate rate – and a quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD will want you to stop fast growth in any puppy or kitten. 9. The ripping and chewing involved in eating  raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles. Commercial foods will never assist in this important muscles development.       

People who have switched to a raw diet from commercial foods have found the following : 

Dog who were previously un-energetic, and sluggish become completely new dogs once the raw diet feeding begins.  Cats are more content and active, allergies their pets previously had on commercial foods, disappear once they start with a raw diet, arthritis has significantly reduced or disappeared in some animals switched to raw, better weight control, no more bad dog breath or wind !, pets are living longer on a raw diet than other dogs previously had survived on a commercial diet, that females managed their pregnancies better and better weight and survival figures in litters.

 There is a range of problems with commercial foods

1. A pets food should never be cooked. It should be fed in a raw natural state like nature intended. Cooking food ruins most of the nutritional value.

2. Dogs and cats should have access to raw meaty bones and chunks of meat. These clean their teeth, work and develop their neck and jaw muscles, and the chewing action prepares their stomach for the incoming food mass. Chewing bones also slows down the eating process considerably, making it far harder for a dog to over eat.

3. Commercial foods have as their main ingredient cereals – the main ingredient your pet should be eating is raw meat and bones. It is these very cereals that cause a range of problems such as allergies and yeast infections.

4. Commercial foods are laden with preservatives, colours, and salt. They have additives to make the food taste better so the animals will over eat.

5. The vast majority of commercial foods have far too many carbohydrates in them. High levels of carbohydrates are linked to over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerus other problems. 

Raw Feeding For Cats 

We love cats because of their independent manner and the fact that they are (mostly) laid back creatures.  It is these traits, which have the ability to drive you mad when YOU decide to switch to raw feeding.  There is no reason why any cat cannot be fed raw meat whatever its age, if you have a brand new kitten I dare say it will be an easier transition. With a few mind games and a lot of patience the older cat will, eventually decide HE/SHE will switch to raw feeding.

So, about these mind games it is best to break up the packs of frozen mince into small pieces. This will allow you to be able to put down tasters, and a good variety to temp your cat while still eating their usual food. You must not play hard with a cat and starve them, they will become ill.
Cats prefer the meat at room temperature, not straight from the fridge. They also seem to prefer the red meats more than the white, especially in the early days. Some say this is because the red meat tastes sweeter and are more representative of a “kill”. If the cat walks away from the meat, pick it up and throw it away, there is very little chance he/she will eat it after 15-20 minuets. The next day try again, I found that by putting these tiny samples down between meal times made them a bit special enticing for them. Once eaten, try a larger portion next time with the same meat, as you have obviously caught his/her attention, resist the urge to put down meal size amounts for a few days, when the portions are a good size you can then reduce the other meat/biscuit and you will be on your way to a happy raw feeding future !

Kittens have a tendency to gorge, and then be sick, so its best to feed small meals several times a day.  Once you have changed over to raw, you can decide if you want to supplement the meat with taurine. There are two thoughts on taurine, is that the raw meat contains enough and therefore the supplement is not required. The other is that there is insufficient natural taurine in meat and it needs to be added. As the cat will excrete any taurine not required there is no likelihood of an overdose, so many owners add it “just in case”.   

Why You Should Feed Tripe !

Tripe : The magical mystery meat that dogs crave and humans fear! Tripe seems to be the line in the sand drawn between beginning raw feeders and the “been there, done that” old pros. If you are among the uninitiated, then you will find feeding the tripe to be a real treat (as will your dog). Not only will tripe provide immense health benefits for your dog, It will catapult you to the rank of seasoned raw feeder, just one rung below raw feeders who scoop road kill of the road and tote it home in their trunk to proudly offer as a gift for their furry friend.

What is Tripe ?

Tripe is the stomach of a ruminating (grazing) animal including cows, buffalo and sheep. The unique stomachs of ruminants have four chambers which systematically break down grasses with a slew of digestive enzymes, gastric juices and amino acids.  You may have seen tripe on the grocery shops shelves in a white and bleached form. This is NOT what you want to feed your dog, it is devoid of any real value. What you want to feed your dog is “green tripe” the stuff that that comes straight out of the animal, dripping with all those wonderful juices!
Why does it have to be green ?

The same digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria that help the ruminat animal digest foodstuff will do the same for your dog. Think how much money you can spend on digestive enzymes and probiotics in a bottle and those same wonderful, natural substances are in abundance in green tripe. 
Digestive enzymes aid in digestion, meaning the body does not have to expend as much energy when digesting a meal. This means your dog gets the most nutritional benifut from his/her meal. Digestive enzymes also do much more than aid in digestion : they purify and cleanse the blood and removes toxins, parasites and fungus. They also improve metabolism, hormonal function and boost the immune system.
Cooking destroys digestive enzymes, so its important that your dogs tripe is not only green, but raw. If your dog eats a cooked or commercial diet, then he/she may be suffering from enzyme deficiency. The signs of this can include anxiety, lack of energy, chronic diarrhoea, digestive problems, gingivitis, yeast overgrowth and bacterial infections. If your dogs suffer from any of these disorders, consider the value of adding green tripe to their diet or increasing the amount you currently feed.

The gut is populated by hundreds of different kinds of bacteria or microflora which are divided into the “good guys” and the “bad guys”. The “bad” bacteria are those responsible for health complaints and some of their members include ecoli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria.  These are the bacteria contained in foods and the environment that could potentially make your dog sick : If it wasn’t for the protection of the “good” bacteria. 
The good bacteria improves immune function simply by outnumbering the bad bacteria and maintaining a healthy microflora in the gut. Green tripe is loaded with lactobacillus Acidophilus, one of the bacterial “good guys”. Your dog’s gut can only feed so many microorganisms, so the more “good” bacteria he consumes, the less “bad” bacteria will find anything to eat in his gut and they will get in his gut and they will get crowded out.
Many health issues are caused by the imbalance in the microflora. Older dogs are especially prone to this as they tend to have lower levels of beneficial bacteria in their guts.

Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus: 

Treats and prevents vaginal infections  

Treats diarrhoea and GI infections 

Aids digestion  

Treats chronic constipation  

Treats symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome  

Enhances the immune system  

Lowers the risk of pollen allergies 

Supplementing your dog’s diet with lots of raw, green tripe will help maintain a healthy balance of microflora, manufacture more B vitamins, and prevent many health disorders. If your dog already suffers health issues, consider adding raw, green tripe to his/her diet. More good news! Not only is green tripe loaded with digestive enzymes and probiotics, it has the perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus – 1:1. Green tripe also contains essential fatty acids, linolenic, in their recommended proportions. It can also be served in nice, rubbery chunks which will provide your dog with good exercise and better dental health.  

 The bad news!

The rumours you’ve heard are true: Tripe stinks!! If you are serious about your dogs health, you will get past the smell. Instead of thinking about the horrific smell, think about all the great stuff tripe will do for your dog. Don’t worry though, those dryheaves will go away with time! With time, you will see that the icky parts of tripe are far outweighed by the good parts: gloriously good health and vitality for your dog!   

Coconut Oil 

Aldi now stock this for £2.99 

Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs: 
Can dogs have coconut oil? The short answer is yes. Coconut oil is good for dogs and can help aid your pets' digestion, improve their coats, and helps prevent infection and more. But please note, it is important to follow the proper guidelines. As with most things, too much of even a good thing can end up having negative effects.   

Why Is Coconut Oil Healthy For Pets : 
The big benefits of coconut oil comes from the type of fats it is made of. Coconut oil is almost exclusively (more than 90%) saturated fat and is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood". I know what you're thinking, "Isn't fat bad for you?". In this case no. There are two groups of fats: saturated fats and unsaturated and within each group are several more types of fats. It can get a little confusing, for solid information all about fats, WEBMD has some good information.  the kind that provides an array of benefits which include digestion improvement, immune system support, metabolic function that assists with weight loss, skin and coat health and thyroid health. 

MCT is made up of Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).  Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid also have similar properties as lauric acid and are best known for their antifungal effects

In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic. 
Ok enough of the science, now on to the fun stuff.   

 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs : 

As we've stated, coconut oil has several benefits for your dog. Let's go over a few of them. Coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects your dog from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil can improve dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions. 

* Healthy Skin and Coat

•Clears up eczema

•Aids flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin

•Minimizes doggy odour

•Reduces allergic reactions

•Creates sleek and glossy coats

•Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections

•When applied topically coconut oil promotes wound healing 
•Also can help with hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings

•Increases nutrient absorption

•Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome

•Reduces or eliminates bad breath 
•Helps with coughing

•Assists with weight loss

•Powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents

•Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function •Helps prevent or control diabetes

•Aids arthritis and ligament problems

•Helps prevent infection and disease

•Aids in increasing energy 

How Much Coconut Oil for Dogs : 
How much coconut oil should you give your dog? When starting your dog on coconut oil, it is absolutely vital that you start slow. Begin slow, start with a tiny amount. Your dog needs to take time for their body to adjust to the addition to their diet. If you start with larger amount of coconut oil, your dog could react poorly. Side effects can include diarrhoea or greasy stools. 

Start with Small Amounts

•¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies.

•1 teaspoon for large dogs, or even just a dab if your dog's constitution is sensitive. 

After you've let their body adjust, a general guideline for the optimal dose of coconut oil for dogs is.

•About 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight daily

•Or about 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds 

Again, DO NOT start with these amounts in the beginning! 

How To Give Coconut Oil : 

Add to food 
Let your pet lick it straight off the spoon   

Coconut Oil On Dog's Skin : 

In addition to giving your dog orally, coconut oil can be applied directly to your dog’s coat and skin. As we stated earlier, because coconut oil contains lauric acid, it is a fabulous immune builder, both orally and topically. A coconut oil treatment will leave your dog's skin incredibly soft, but it will also make it healthier. A coconut oil skin treatment about once a week can make a big difference in the health of your dog's skin and nails. For good results, apply to the skin and let the oil absorb for about five minutes. After the five minutes, you can apply and a very light rinse. If you feel you haven't removed the excess oil, finish up with a light application of shampoo and another quick rinse. 

Coconut Oil For Dogs Side Effects : 

Your dog may experience some side effects from coconut oil. Generally this happens if you give too much coconut oil to your dog too quickly. We recommend that you start slowly and see how your pet reacts. The most common side effects for your dog can include diarrhoea or greasy stools. 
Why not give coconut oil a try and introduce it to your dog?  It offers many benefits for your dog and is a more sustainable and less toxic source of oils than fish.  

Diatomaceous Earth 

While it's more common to use Diatomaceous Earth as a flea prevention, many people have added small amounts of DE to their pet's diet. There a numerous benefits a pet can receive from a consistent dosage of DE. Pet owners who have given their pets DE have found their pet has an improved coat, appetite, metabolism, and digestion. DE is largely made up of amorphous silica, but it also contains calcium, magnesium, titanium dioxide, gallium, sodium and other trace minerals. Keep in mind that there are different grades of diatomaceous earth, so make sure you purchase food grade diatomaceous earth for your pet.  

The instructions below are on how to feed your dog DE:

  Step 1: You need to make sure that you are using food grade DE. Only food grade DE safe for pets. Other types of DE are not safe for humans or animals. 
Step 2: Your dog's size will affect the DE dosage size

Small Dogs and Puppies*
½ tsp of food grade DE  

Dogs (<50 lbs)
1 tsp of food grade DE  

Dogs (50-100 lbs)
1 tbsp of food grade DE  

Dogs (>100 lbs)
2 tbsp of food grade DE   

Salmon Oil 

Benefits of salmon oil

EPA and DHA are helpful for your dog because if you have insufficient amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, you can develop deficiency based diseases, including:

Gout, Allergies, Poor immune system, Eczema, Poor coat: cracked hairs, Increased shedding, Poor wound healing, Poor growth, Poor renal function, Liver disorders, Dermatitis and other health problems.

Proven benefits from EPA and DHA include:

•Improves the coat and skin, making it soft and shiny.
•Reducing inflammation that can lead to conditions such as arthritis.
•Helps to prevent skin allergies.
•Helps with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
•Regulates the immune system.
•Calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies or autoimmune diseases.
•Aiding in mental development of fetuses and puppies.
•Improves cognitive function in older dogs.
•Lowers blood pressure and triglycerides.
•Provides support for dogs with kidney disease.
•Fights heart disease.
•Is preventative against cancer.
•Helps promote weight loss in overweight dogs.
•Helps in producing more collagen.
•Useful in the treatment of kidney problems (frequent urination, loss of appetite)
•Appearance of joint problems is lessened.
•Can help to slow cancer cell growth 

Salmon Oil for Puppies  

Research has shown that the fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in salmon oils helps to promote better brain development in foetuses and in puppies. Because of this, several dog food companies are now adding it to their puppy formulas.

Salmon Oil for Dogs Side effects 

While we've certainly listed the overwhelming benefits of salmon oil, not every dog takes well to it. You must be aware that some dogs do have some side effects. 

Salmon Oil Side Effects Can Include:

•Weight gain: this can be managed with a healthy diet and regular exercise
•Bad breath (it is salmon oil); this can be resolved by regularly cleaning their teeth
•Stomach ache and pain
•Loose stool and diarrhoea

Please note, that not all dogs will have this reaction but you should watch your dog to be sure that they are compatible with salmon oil. If your dog is having some of these side effects it is not clear if this is lasting condition, but it could be a sign that your dog isn’t taking to the salmon oil and you should take your dog off the supplement.

Salmon oil can go bad and you want to pay attention to a use by the recommended date on the bottle to make sure that you’re not feeding your dog expired salmon oil.