It took me a long time to embrace frozen raw dog food. It just seemed to be too difficult, too expensive and too dangerous to actually be worth doing, especially with all the hype about great kibble dog foods out there. And so many vets seemed to be against it, it has to be bad, right?
But I saw the results many of my friends and customers were having using raw diets, and my attitude changed. Yes, you can get fantastic results with high quality kibbles, and I don't think we'll ever see them relinquish their hold on the majority of the marketplace. But for those that want the best for their pets, regardless price or convenience, there is definitely no match for a balanced diet of quality raw pet food. But make sure, just like with kibble, that you get a good quality food, made by a reputable company from great ingredients from human grade source.
And for those worried about whether pets can handle raw foods, please remember: There has never been a case of a pet owning a stove. Until we started feeding them, they ate raw. And raw chicken bones are OK, it's once they are cooked that they become choking hazards. Imagine trying to "make a wish" with a raw chicken wishbone. Just not going to happen. But be conscious of how your animal consumes any bone in meat, if they gulp or try to swallow pieces that are too large, it can be dangerous. Supervise the initial offerings, and in the case of raw beef or bison bones, remove any pieces that might be choking hazards.
Why do holistic vets embrace raw, while vet clinics seem to hate raw? When trying to solve a question like this, we have to follow the money. Watch the videos below, by a world renowned vet who specializes in nutrition. And then ask the anti-raw vet where they get their nutrition information from. I bet there's a kibble logo on the document. Its not rocket science to figure out if there is a bias there. But we want the best for our pets, so we have to look past the bias.
I have had a lot of people come in concerned about diabetes, UTI's, urinary stones, and other chronic illnesses in their pets. Will raw fix these? I'm not a vet, and I can't guarantee that raw is the answer for these problems in every animal, but the underlying causes of these problems are often linked to carbs in the food, or to improper hydration, both of which are addressed by raw foods. And no one will ever tell you that artificial ingredients or preservatives are essential to your good health, the same goes for our pets.
We are fortunate to have a local company producing a world class frozen raw diet, right here in Starbuck! And they use local Granny's chicken as its main ingredient. Fresh and local are great, but the kicker is, it is reasonably priced!
Until now, a good quality frozen raw diet was $3/lb or more in bulk, a lot more if you bought smaller quantities or specialty types. A lot of that cost is marketing and transportation, two items that don't contribute anything to the health of your animal.
Perfectly Raw is a line of poultry based frozen raw pet foods that is made here in Manitoba. They provide a variety of choices, from whole necks or backs as a treat, to ground backs or lean meaty bones as a basis for your own mixes to complete dinners including fish, eggs, liver and veggies. They even have a ground turkey product as well.
Available in 4lb packs of convenient 1lb chunks scored to 8oz portions, or 32 lb boxes containing 16 2lb chunks scored into 1 lb portions, we stock all of the varieties, with quantity orders available upon request.
Pro Energy Mix 4lb - $9.99, 32lb (16x2) $59.99 Pro Fish Mix 4lb - $10.99, 32lb (16x2) $69.99 Pure Pork Mix 4lb - $16.99, 32lb (16x2) $99.99 (great for pets with poultry allergies, or as an additional protein source)
PurrFect ProMix 4lb - $14.99, 32lb (16x2) $89.99 (Purrfect for Cats, Small Dogs and Ferrets!)
We are now offering the 32lb (8x4) boxes on a special order basis only. These boxes are not the same as the 16x2 boxes, the product is put in the bag and then a cardboard insert in put in place in the fresh product, and then the whole box is frozen. These 4 lb chunks are meant for people with large or multiple dogs that defrost 4lbs or more at a time. These have to be ordered in advance and subject to the next delivery time (usually less than a week). Ground backs or Ground Lean Meaty Bones are $46.99 a box, ProEnergy $53.99. These are the only product available in this size. We are now keeping 8x4 Pro Energy in stock, in store.
We have more than quadrupled our freezer capacity (with a walk in freezer being installed this summer on top of that!), and are bringing in multiple shipments each week, so inventory should always be on hand. So we have discontinued our Saturday morning $2 off deal, and replaced it with a frequent feeder program for the Perfectly Raw product line. Every customer can now take advantage of the rewards program, for every 10 boxes you buy, you can have one at 50% off! This goes for 4lb bags too. Discount would apply to the lowest priced item purchased on the card. Customers may have multiple cards running for different product.
Now in: Red Dog Deli Products
A selection of Beef, Lamb, Buffalo, Venison and Kangaroo products, as well as Buffalo and Lamb Tripes, and Buffalo Knuckles. More info at www.reddogdeli.com . These are perfect for dogs with allergies, or for adding different proteins into your dog's diet. And tripe, although the stinkiest thing on the planet, is a wonder food for dogs.
Buffalo/Organ 5.99 - 1/2lb, 43.98 box of 8
Venison/Organ 5.99 1/2 lb, 43.12 box of 8
Beef/Tripe/Organ 7.99 1lb, 43.99 box of 6
Lamb/Organ 4.99 1/2 lb, 35.99 box of 8
BuffaloTripe 5.99 1lb, 32.34 box of 6
LambTripe 5.99 1lb, 31.99 box of 6
Kangaroo/Veggies 4.99 1/2 lb, 35.99 box of 8
Whole Herrings - 1lb $4.99
Please call to confirm current availability and price, subject to change without notice, price in store will be considered the correct price. Feeding Raw:
Some dogs like the product frozen, but most people defrost the product in the fridge. I use a heavy freezer bag and put a couple days worth in it to defrost (the product is fine for up to 4 days in the fridge once defrosted). After defrosting, I portion it out like I would a canned food.
Feeding directions - 2-3% of the dogs proper body weight per day. More for working dogs, pregnant or lactating females or puppies.
Remember, this is raw chicken, and all raw chicken handling protocols apply. While salmonella is not a concern for pets, it is with the people they share their homes with. Make sure to clean and sterilize afterwards, and clean the bowls after every feeding. If there are small children or immunologically suppressed people in the household, take extra care, or refrain from using the product while they are present.
Converting to Raw:
When converting from kibble to raw, we do not recommend mixing. Because they are completely different modes of feeding, with completely different digestive methods, feeding them together can give a pet digestive confusion, making the changeover more difficult.
Best result are had if you feed your last kibble meal to your pet, and then skip the next scheduled meal. That fast helps clear the system and increase the appetite. Some pets aren't sure about the new food, as it is a completely different look/taste/texture. Most dogs rely on their sense of smell to tell them that a food is good, which is why most kibble has "digest" sprayed on it as a natural flavour. Most raw does not contain any flavourings, and because it is so fresh, it hasn't acquired a stink that dogs can identify as food. Sometimes, adding a flavour enhancer, like tripe, or even someting like a little stinky parmesan cheese can entice a picky feeder to eat. Once they get used to the taste/texture, they will eagerly await dinnertime, and wolf down their food. During the first month, we recommend restricting the diet to a single meat protein, after a month, anything goes. 60-80% meat, 10-30% bone, 10% organ. If your pet has loose stools, increase the bone content, it the stool is too tight, less bone and/or more organ meat.
During the first few weeks, a few dogs may have some loose stools, and in a very few instances, some excessive shedding. These can be a normal part of the detox a dog goes through in the changeover. But you should see an almost immediate change in the stool to small nuggets that don't smell and will disappear in a few days if not picked up. Over teh first month, you should see improvements in the coat condition, as well as the teeth. After a few months, your dog should get to its appropriate weight (fat dogs lose weight, thin dogs bulk up), its teeth should be awesome, and the coat luxurious. And because most dogs lose that standard dog stink when they are fed raw, having them on the couch or bed isn't a problem, except for when they hog the covers.
Raw food is not only nutritious, it is very safe for your pets. Without grains, you remove the chances of aflotoxins and mycotoxins commonly found due to molds infecting the grains. And remember the melamine poisoning in 2007? That came from the wheat gluten brought from overseas. Both these toxic agents cannot be found in foods that do not contain grains! And, unless you are feeding raw sourced from wild game, worms are not an issue.
One thing mentioned in the following videos is the detox syndrome. A dog converted to raw food may experience an episode of loose mucousy stool accompanied by a "blowing" of the coat, where the old, dull hair will fall out and be replace by a luxurious new coat. These are good things, they happen once, and pave the way to the best health your dog will ever have.
Here are some great videos discussing foods... copy to your browser, or click below to play.