Raw Feeding

My dog is now 2. She has been on Nutriment since 10 weeks old. It is really suiting her.
The Salmon seems to leave her hungry compared to when she has the beef (she does not like the other meats. She also prefers the food when it is only just defrosted. She will refuse to eat the food if it is more watery or not really cold. ie straight from the fridge. Does anyone else have any feeding issues/comments with raw please?

Hi Louise, I’m a very recent convert to raw, having switched first to Nature’s Menu then to Nutriment when my latest dog (I’ve had 12 before) had appalling digestion no matter what dry food I tried him on - and I tried several of the highest rated, both kibble & cold pressed. Now I’ve tried it (well the dog has, not me personally) I’m completely converted and I’d never go back.

My little boy will eat anything, he’s the only dog I’ve ever known who will beg and whimper for a lettuce leaf, so he’s happy to gobble up any of the Nutriment varieties, but like you I’ve found that all are not equal in terms of food value, and I adjust the amount I give him accordingly. He gets 3% body weight of chicken, and 2.75% of turkey & salmon, which I note are higher in fat. I haven’t tried him on the beef yet, but suspect he might need even less of that since it’s higher fat again.

Hello Louise. I’ve been reading about raw feeding for a very long time but could not bring myself to pursue it. With the help of the AADF website I have examined many of the better quality commercial foods and after choosing carefully I have recently been feeding cold pressed Gentle. My three Cairns have done well on it but it doesn’t seem to matter what I give them, I always have a battle with controlling weight. They are not tubby by any means but they easily put it on and I can never give more than about 20% less than the lower recommended daily allowance - doesn’t matter what brand I’ve used.

I have therefore started raw feeding earlier this week with one of them. Like you, I chose Nutriment. It is going down well and the other two are now in transition to it (I hadn’t planned on that just yet). I am just hoping that because there is less carbohydrate in it their weight won’t be such an issue. I would love to hear any advice or comments about this as I am a complete newbie when it comes to raw feeding.

Hi Dottie, the nice thing about using a pre-prepared raw diet, is that all the work is done for you already, which was my main reason for using a brand already prepared. I have two dogs, Leila and Dexter, Leila wouldn’t touch natures menu but Dexter would, Nutriment is a bit hit and miss, they will both eat some but not all varieties (salmon is a no-go, as is the beef, although Leila ate the beef at first). I am also using natural pet pantry as I like their ethics; all meat is organic or free range, it also has more texture to it. Dexter is temporarily off raw and back on kibble and wet; he is on new medication which gave him nausea as a side-effect so he wasn’t that keen on eating raw.
I know raw feeding is a very passionate subject, and often gets quite heated, but I will say, that as a vegetarian myself, if I can feed raw this way, then anyone can :slight_smile:

Yes you are right Correna, raw feeders can be very passionate! ;D I don’t raw feed myself but was interested (then put off by a number of groups on FB) and then I found a bunch of understanding and helpful people on Rawsome and Holistic - lots of useful information for anyone who wants to learn about raw feeding so I would highly recommend it - even if you are just curious to find out more like me! :slight_smile:

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I fed my border collie cross on raw for a while but she never really took to it, so I started to cook it for a short while. Is there any problems associated with cooking raw food? I never overlooked it but just enough to colour it.

If it is just raw meat then cooking it is ok and you are actually feeding a home cooked diet, especially if you add some cooked vegetables etc. If it is a prepared, minced meat mix with bone in it then I am not sure whether it should be cooked. Hopefully someone will have more information and be able to advise you.

Two very helpful videos pertaining to raw feeding from this website:
Here are the urls:
Dr Karen Becker discusses raw food diet.
There is also another one on making raw food here.

Apart from on this forum I’ve stopped telling people I feed my dog a raw (with some cooked veg) diet, I get looked at like I’m bonkers - I’ve even been told a couple of times that it’s totally unnecessary and I’m wasting my time and money :frowning:
I believe the opposite - I like to know what’s going into my dogs food. I am fairly new to raw but I have been really surprised by the general negativity, I just want for my dog what I want for myself - a decent diet and a healthy life!


Yesterday I visited a raw food specialist company in the neighbouring city and my word, purchasing from them drastically reduces the cost of feeding a dog. They have various meats, all ground up with bone in them and wrapped in plastic in 500g portions. All the owner has to do is add vegetables and fruit as desired. 15 x 500g portions cost £8.50. They also have lots of other things such as bones, turkey necks and even cows tails. For a cheaper alternative to the commercial raw foods it would be worth looking round for companies such as this one. I understand that their supplier is Durham Animals Feeds (DAF).

Wow I just looked at DAF’s website and I might be able to afford to feed RAW after all! Great selection too, so I’ve placed an initial order to try it out.


I’ve never personally used DAF as I conveniently live about 2 miles from NBN and I absolutely love them. I’ve only heard good reviews from those who use DAF so I hope they work out for you, too! Buying direct from raw suppliers is a great money saver as the closer you get to DIY the cheaper feeding becomes.

That is good news and I hope that your dog does well on the food. Please let us know.

Kez_sparky, I completely agree! Dogs can definitely get all the nutrients they need from raw foods. Not only will they have shinier coats, higher energy level and an easier time maintaining healthier weight, they can do this with all natural foods with no chemicals. Hopefully people will come around to it soon!

Raw food diets are quite ‘on trend’ at the moment. I don’t know of any research that has proved beyond doubt that a raw diet is better for dogs although there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence. I agree with Meg’s comment about raw food not suiting all dogs. There are many factors involved in selecting a suitable diet for a dog and lots of alternatives to choose from. Nobody should feel compelled to feed a raw diet or feel guilty if they are not doing so. It is simply a feeding option.

Being new on this forum, I thought I would share my opinion on raw food.
I have used it myself -sometimes for prolonged periods of times- and it undeniably has positive sides, the main being having full control on what your dog eats and avoiding unnecessary processing (if dog’s digestive system doesn’t required meat to be cooked, why bother?).

My main point of disagreement is the so-called ancestral diet: wolves eat raw meat only, dogs evolved from wolves, hence dogs should eat the same as wolves. If I apply the same train of thoughts to ourselves, I obtain the following: primates are frugivores (fruit eaters - they do occasionally eat meat but it’s quite rare) humans evolved from primates (around 99% of genes in common, very similar to wolves and dogs) hence humans should eat fruit. Despite the recent vegan and vegetarian currents, I still believe that humans are true omnivores and veganism is more of an ethical issue rather than a true nutritional requirement… or at least the scientific community hasn’t reached an unanimous agreement on the topic.
The point is: humans differ in living habits from any other primate on one main topic. At some point in the last 20000 years we learned to farm the land and herd some animals of pacific nature and use their products as source of food (milk, eggs, meat) or general protection (wool, leather), basically finding a replacement for the energy consuming activity of hunting.
Very similarly, contemporary dogs’ living habits differ from wolves on one main topic: they scavenge rather than hunting (it’s no surprise that before genomes were mapped, dogs were thought to be closely related to coyotes, given they are both scavengers of the canidae family). This change happened even before humans learned herding: some estimates go as far back as 50000 years, when humans were nomads and used dogs’ enhanced senses as warning against predators, giving them food leftovers in exchange -again, a species found a way to replace the energy consuming and risky activity of hunting, using another natural talent.

This post is becoming too lengthy for an easy reading so I’ll cut to the conclusions: even though wolves (particularly gray wolves - canis lupus) and dogs (canis familiaris) share a very large amount of their genome, evolution played a massive role in transforming dogs in a way that raw meat is not a strict nutritional requirement anymore. I repeat, there are positive sides like keeping control of what is being fed (particularly useful for dogs with food intolerances, like in my case), and it is a great, easy way of providing calcium via raw bones. But aside from that, is really more of a personal choice rather a real benefit for the dog.

All this is my humble opinion and I am entirely open to pacific debate :slight_smile:

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Thank you for an interesting post. I have had a few episodes of feeding my dogs raw complete. First time was a weight control issue but it didn’t work out, despite giving just under 2% of body weight (weighed accurately).

Another time it was due to being tempted by all the hype but I could not see it making any difference in my dogs and it was expensive. I also lacked freezer space. During that particular episode my elderly dog, who had never had anal gland problems began to need frequent visits to the vet. Whether it was coincidence I don’t know but it resolved once her food was changed and she was settled on cold pressed. The same dog actually began to lose weight this time - the product was lower in fat than the first so I had to keep increasing the quantity.

I then tried it again on one of the dogs due to health reasons (dermatitis) - that didn’t go well either and without going into detail, I think it was actually a bit disastrous so I had to stop it. That dog’s skin is much better.

Interspersed with all this I have sometime given cubes of raw complete as a replacement for their usual food to give some variety. One of the products I had given was recalled due to contamination with salmonella. I don’t know whether I had that particular batch but the dogs were alright. However, the incident made me think carefully because my OH is elderly, quite poorly and is steroid dependent. His immune system is shot and he easily gets infections. I had been concerned about the infection risk before but this incident made me realize that I just daren’t risk it, no matter what the ‘experts’ say about the lack of evidence regarding transmission of salmonella, campylobacter, listeria etc.

I realize that this sounds rather negative so I have to say that lots of people feed their dogs raw and they get on fine. I don’t want to put people off - everyone is different. However, it is not acceptable, or suitable for some dogs and their owners. The only way of knowing is to try it.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
This is exactly my point: there can be pros is raw feeding a dog but these need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, as sometimes the cons are just as many -if not more. Raw feeding is not going to bring deliverance for all dogs problems and it’s not the best option in an absolute way.
As long as we keep an eye on the ingredients quality and food processing, I see absolutely nothing wrong in commercial pet food, even extruded. There are actually some pretty good extruded food brands around at the moment.

Yes, I agree that there are some good extruded products. In the past when I have fed extruded I have sometimes soaked it for palatability. I also like Rodney Habib’s advice about occasionally replacing a meal/topping up with something home cooked to increase variety. I realize that this is not within everyone’s means so I would say feed the best food you can afford, appropriate to the dog’s activity level and in the right quantity so the dog does not become overweight.

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I have mostly fed raw but am having to reevaluate a bit at the moment. My dog is 7 (estimated) She is wanting to go out less, especially in winter, and is steadily gaining weight. While not overweight, the vet has advised that we don’t let her gain anymore. At the moment I am feeding a mix of raw with plain oatmeal in the mornings and home cooked at night. I am trying to find out as much as I can to try and get the balance she needs.

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