Dogs and cats have carnivorous jaws and are designed to chew, crush and digest RAW meaty bones.
COOKED bones can be very dangerous as they are brittle and can splinter. Never feed cooked bones to your dog or cat. Many dogs get constipated from cooked bones, or have a splinter of brittle cooked bone perforate the stomach or gut. Choose raw meaty bones appropriate for the size of your dog to avoid him gulping them in one piece. Dogs and cats need to rip and tear and chew to get the full benefit of their raw meaty bones diet.
Dogs and cats are designed to eat a raw diet, they have a very acidic stomach which does not allow harmful bacteria to thrive, and a short gut transit time giving the harmful bacteria no time to colonise. A grain fed dog has a less acidic stomach which may allow the harmful bacteria to thrive and a sluggish transit time as the carbohydrates ferment and allow time for harmful bacteria to colonise. A grain fed dog given occasional bones is more likely to run into trouble.
If you change your dog or cat to a raw meat diet then stay raw to keep their digestion efficient.
Take your normal precautions when handling raw meat in your own kitchen. Clean all utensils and surfaces with warm soapy water and always wash your hands after handling raw meat.
Salmonella, E-coli and Campylobacter are more likely to be a problem if your pet gains access to a cooked carcass which has been allowed to “ripen”. Dogs presenting with salmonella or campylobacter are likely to have got into the rubbish bin and eaten last nights cooked chicken!
Most sheep dogs are fed on lamb brisket but co-exist peacefully with the herd of sheep. Often a raw fed dog is calmer and more relaxed as he is not consuming additives, flavourings and food colours.
A raw fed dog will take more interest in his food and may initially guard his food more as it really is worth guarding. If you have more than one dog they may need to be fed separately.
Children should not be allowed near any dog when they are eating.
Your dog needs raw meaty bones, organ meats, and a supply of pre-digested vegetable matter (green tripe). The Raw Essential Range covers all of these. Dogs obtain their glucose requirement from protein and fat.Read more about the nutritional value of Raw Meaty Bones, Tripe and Offal here.
MEAT only diets are certainly NOT balanced. Your pet needs raw meaty bones, organ meats and green tripe. Bones are an incredibly rich source of nutrients. For a full discussion of the nutrient content of a raw diet see "The Carnivore Connection to Cat Nutrition, Appendix 1" Balance is achieved over time. The concept of a complete and balanced diet at every meal is an artificial concept perpetuated by the pet food manufacturers. We balance our own intake over time, even eating seasonally.
Outside is ideal if you can. In the corner of the kitchen/garage/laundry, in the bathroom, in a crate (especially useful with more than one dog). Train your dog to eat on a towel or plastic drop sheet and you can feed him anywhere
Feeding your dog must fit in with your routine. Find a time that suits you and your dog will be more than happy. Ideally a dog will eat once a day. It suits many people to split the dogs daily allowance between two meals.
Cats are best fed morning and evening. Cats are not grazers. In their natural environment they hunt, eat and then sleep, ready for the next hunt. They do not return multiple times a day to the kill - cats eat their prey fresh. Most people are amazed at how quickly their cats adapt to eating twice a day.
Historically dogs became infected with hydatids tapeworm by eating /scavenging on sheep carcasses found dead in the paddock/farm killed, NOT by eating raw meaty bones from the butcher - meat passed for human consumption poses no threat. NZ is now a hydatids free country, but because of the risk of reintroduction from imported live animals, MAF has maintained controls. The Raw Essentials range has all been frozen before feeding to dogs and cats.
Sheep measles are not a human health risk but are viewed as a quality defect in the meat. All sheep and goat meat should be frozen at -10 degrees or colder for at least ten days before feeding it to dogs. Your domestic freezer is easily this cold and likely to be colder.
Feeding a raw meaty bones diet will save you money. Raw Meaty Bones is an insurance against ill health. The cost equation needs to take into account the cost per day to feed and the reduction in veterinary fees. The cost per day of feeding a raw diet is comparable to feeding a processed diet.
Table scraps used to be an important source of food for our dogs. Wild carnivores eat small amounts of omnivore food, part digested, when they eat the intestines of their smaller prey. Our table scraps count as omnivore food. Table scraps should count for no more than one quarter of your dogs food in take.
Table scraps can provide important nutrition for your dog but read the FAQ below on what to avoid
Cats are very rarely interested in table scraps. And being true obligate carnivores, table scraps are seldom suitable. They are unlikely to provide any nutritional value to your cat.
You should definitely avoid the following -