Raw Dog Food FAQ
Why should I feed my dog a raw diet?
Producing kibble and canned pet foods uses intense heat and pressure, which decreases nutritional value significantly because a lot of the beneficial proteins are destroyed. In their place, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and other additives go in to try to make the food look and taste better.
The low nutritional value of processed dog food is now being linked to the rise in dogs suffering from illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and allergies. A raw diet can provide all the essential nutrients dogs need in a way they are biologically programmed to eat.
What are the benefits of raw diet?
My dog has a weak immune system. Can I feed her/him raw?
Always check with your vet to be sure.
Depending on their condition, some dogs with weak immune systems should not be fed raw. This is due to an unbalance their gut’s microflora and the possible impact of medications.
Raw diets contain large concentrations of naturally occurring microbes and when added to an unbalanced system harmful microbes can proliferate, which can cause gastrointestinal issues. In these cases, it is recommended to feed them cooked meats rather than raw.
How do I start feeding my dog raw food?
We recommend you DOWNLOAD the Meat & Bone Raw Feeding Guide. That said, as a rule, use this schedule:
- First week you will serve 1/4 raw and 3/4 of your standard food.
- Second week you will serve 1/2 raw and 1/2 of your standard food.
- Third week you will serve 3/4 raw and 1/4 of your standard food.
- Fourth week your dog’s diet will be fully raw, and consist of 80% lean meat and 20% fresh produce blended.
- Everything is calculated for you. All you need to do is add the portions as recommended.
Are the ingredients high-quality?
All of our ingredients are locally sourced from farms and suppliers we have personally vetted, both for the humane treatment of their animals and for the quality of their meat and produce. As dog owners ourselves, we only use ingredients we’d be happy to feed to our own pets.
Can all dogs eat a raw diet?
We always recommend first checking with your vet before switching to a raw diet.
All dog breeds can eat a raw diet. It’s food they’re biologically programmed to crave and eat. Unprocessed raw diets can be very beneficial for improving their overall health and longevity. However, every dog is unique and any diet changes need to be carefully assessed.
Can dogs get salmonella from eating raw?
Salmonella is always a risk, whether your dog eats raw food or kibble. There can be many possible causes, and it’s difficult to determine the exact cause of an infection.
Dogs do, however, have much better natural defenses against salmonella than humans. A dog’s GI tract is genetically developed to break down raw meat and bones. Their gastrointestinal tract is much shorter and more acidic than humans’. The increased acid reduces the number of dangerous microbes, like salmonella, clostridia or E Coli. Their short digestive tract allows harmful bacteria to pass very quickly from the gut.
Don’t dogs need something hard to chew on to clean their teeth? Like they do with hard kibble?
For kibble to be beneficial for dental health, your dog’s teeth would have to break the kibble and sink into it. This means, they would need to chew the kibble. Most dogs don’t chew but rather swallow the kibble whole, getting no dental value at all.
Small, overheated, industrially processed balls do not provide the chewing activity your dog’s teeth need. The value of gnawing a raw bone is increased dental health, which kibble does not provide.
What’s the difference between cooked bones and raw?
Just like with meat, cooking changes the chemistry of bones. As the natural water is removed, the bones become more dry and brittle. They will also soften. This combination causes cooked bones to break and splinter more easily, and larger and sharper pieces of bone get consumed. This raises concerns for potential intestinal blockages and/or damage to an intestinal tract.
The one exception is bones that have been cooked in a pressure cooker, which become very soft and pliable to the point they can almost be mashed. Pressure cooked bones are a good source of calcium and phosphorus. But they won’t help improve your dog’s dental health, which is why you should always give them an uncooked bone to gnaw on.
Can I feed my dog kibble and raw?
Yes, you can. Dogs are meant to eat a huge variety of foods and have survived that way for thousands of years. There are no risks from feeding your dog both. In fact, they will be eating both during their transition period. They can continue to eat both once they reach the stage of eating 50% raw and 50% your regular kibble. However, you should wait until they have been eating a 50/50 diet at least for 4 weeks before including meaty bones.
A transition diet doesn’t actually change their gut much. What changes is the overall digestibility of their diet, as processed food is much less digestible than raw due to the way it is made. In multiple tests on cats, as well as dogs, and using pork-based diets, we’ve found that raw consistently outperforms kibble in terms of how well the animal processes the food.
If, however, your dog has bloating, IBD or if they’re on antibiotics, then you shouldn’t feed them both raw and kibble. Because the gut isn’t balanced, they may struggle to process the bacteria in raw diets. In this case, their food should always be cooked to be on the safe side.
Treat your pet to the food they were born to eat!
PetChum and Meat & Bones are available at
Ponderosa Provisioners, 503.649.5693!