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September 12, 2014
a beginners guide to the basics.
When, How Much & Key Points to remember.
WHEN TO FEED
Most people feed their dogs twice per day. But you could feed once a day, or twice a day, ...and some days not at all. Many raw feeders fast their dogs 1 day a week or one day a month. Dogs are not omnivores and are built for periods of gorging and fasting. I like to fast my dogs once a week because the majority of immune function is in the gut. If the dog’s digestive system is continually digesting meals, there is no time for house cleaning and the dog’s immune system will suffer. The exception is puppies under six months of age who usually eat three times per day.
HOW MUCH TO FEED
As a starting point give your dog about two percent of his ideal adult weight.
If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more and if your dog is more of a couch-potato, you may need to feed a little less.
The best way to tell if you are feeding the right amount is to run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, but not see them, your dog is at a good weight.
Puppies should also receive about two to three percent of his ideal ADULT weight. This translates into anywhere from 4-6% of his current weight and can certainly fluctuate wit growth spurts.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER WITH RAW
Balance over time!
* The calcium and phosphorus ratio should be 1:1. Meats are high in phosphorus, bones are high in calcium and whole prey, fish, eggs and tripe have a balanced ratio.
* Organ meat should not exceed 15% of the diet. Feed liver once a week (or several small servings per week)
* Feel free to feed ‘weird and icky things’ such as chicken feet, beef trachea, tails, lung, kidney, testicles and pizzles. Beef trachea, trim, chicken and
turkey feet are loaded in natural chondroitin and glucosamine which help to build healthy joints.
*NEVER feed cooked bones of any type. Raw bones are soft enough to bend and digest easily. For optimal safety, meal times should always be supervised.
* Try to find grass fed animals that are not given hormones or medications if possible. Younger animals in general will have accumulated fewer toxins to pass on to your dog.
*Portions of Components Visualize a rabbit or a whole elk, before it gets harvested at the butcher and put into containers. Visualize how much of that prey animal is muscle (meat), how much is bone, how much is organ tissue, how much digest may be in its intestines. Try to feed your dog the same ration of these components (meat, bone, organ tissue & green foods) that would occur naturally in this animal as a whole. This is what we strive to recreate for our dogs with raw feeding.
* Remember to feed a variety of meats, not just different parts of a chicken or turkey- but different species as well.