Is a raw diet more expensive?

Most People find that feeding raw actually is far cheaper, and that doesn’t even include the fact most raw fed dogs need less visits to the vet!

Are bones dangerous for my dog to eat?

The simple answer is no, provided they haven’t been cooked first. You should never feed your dog cooked bones as this makes them brittle and therefore sharp which potentially could cause serious damage to the gut. Dogs need to learn how to chew bones. Chewing on raw bones also helps to clean a dog’s teeth.

How should I handle raw dog food?

As with handling any raw meat and before you touch anything else, you should ensure that your hands are washed with soap and water. Clean any juice spills to ensure safety for both you and your pets. Do not allow cross-contamination between surfaces of Natural Instinct foods and cooked meats. Always make sure that your pet’s bowl is washed clean before and after each meal.

Do I need to cook the food before I feed it to my pet?

No! Raw food should be served raw, as nature intended, preventing the loss of nutrients. Further more, cooking the food means you will be cooking the bone contained in the recipe, which even though it has been ground and minced, may cause even small fragments to become brittle or sharp.

Can raw dog food be re-frozen?

Your order should arrive frozen. If the food has partially defrosted by the time you are ready to put it in the freezer, you can refreeze it safely. However, if it has reached room temperature it will keep fresh in a fridge for 2-3 days. You should store your raw food just like you would keep food purchased from a supermarket.

How long will raw food keep?

If frozen, depending on the manufacturer around 9 months. Once defrosted we do not recommend keeping it for more than four days in your fridge.

Why do I need to transition my pet onto the raw diet?

The transition for either a dog or cat to a raw diet should be a gradual, phased transition spanning between 7-10 days. Not only is this important for the wellbeing of your pet, it will help to avoid periods of excessive wind, diarrhea or constipation.

Should I feed kibble as well as raw food?

We do not advocate feeding pets a diet of both raw food and processed kibble on an ongoing basis. This is due to the differing ways and speed the diets are digested which in turn will compromise your pet’s digestion. If you feed a high carbohydrate food (kibble) alongside a high protein diet, any excess calories will be readily converted to fat and thus can lead to obesity.

Kibble is not necessary in either a cat’s or dog’s diet. In nature both dogs and cats get variety in the texture of their food components and have a means of maintaining healthier teeth. This variety in texture is not however achieved with starchy, grain based kibble, but with crunching and chewing on raw meaty bones, as nature intended.

My dog is obese what should I do?

Obesity is a serious and growing problem around the world. Good nutrition and plenty of appropriate exercise is the key to keeping you and your dogs fit and healthy. Raw food contains no grains and the carbohydrates in the food are in the form of vegetables that also provide fibre in the diet. By avoiding rapidly metabolised and easily stored carbohydrates such as rice, maize and potato in the diet it already helps you to feed a satisfying amount of food without your dog gaining weight. However, it is still important to avoid overfeeding. We recommend feeding your adult dog 2-3 % of their ideal adult body weight daily but remember that different dogs can have a different metabolic rate and the amount of food needed also changes with the amount of exercise your dog has. Feeding guides are just that i.e. a place to start, so it is important to monitor your dog’s weight and condition and adjust the amount you feed accordingly. Remember also that different recipes contain different levels of fat. If your dog does tend towards gaining weight we would recommend using the lower fat varieties e.g. turkey and/or tripe; all the levels are clearly marked on the pack labels. In winter it is tempting to stay indoors; you and your dogs will feel so much better if you keep up the exercise.

My dog has numerous allergies, can I feed raw?

There is no reason why any dog with allergies cannot be fed raw. In fact feeding a raw unprocessed single protein, grain free diet can benefit many dogs with allergy that presents either with skin disease and/or gut upset. Allergy is one of the most common issues dealt with in small animal practice and the diet is normally one of the first things addressed by vets.

It is important in these cases to determine as far as is possible what your dog is allergic to, remembering that tests are only as good as what they are testing for! There are now good blood tests available for environmental and food allergy plus a saliva test for food allergy. Your vet will be able to help advise you about these tests. Where food sensitivity and/or allergy is involved then it is important to avoid any foods that have shown a strong positive reading in the tests.

My dog has runny stools, will raw food help?

There are many different reasons why a dog might have runny stools ranging from infections to dietary sensitivities and as a symptom of disease elsewhere in the body. The first step is to rule out some simple things first and of course the more severe the runny stool is (diarrhoea), the more important it is to have your vet check a stool sample from your dog. Stool sample checks will pick up anything like parasites and infections such as campylobacter or salmonella. Very serious cases will also need other tests such as blood tests, but your vet will advise you regarding these.

Many cases of diarrhoea are simply caused by dietary issues and transitioning them onto a simple unprocessed raw food with no grains can be a perfectly good alternative to a formulated dry diet. We would initially recommend selecting a lower fat variety such as Turkey and using a protein that is different from the one usually present in your dog’s current food. New diets should be introduced slowly over several days otherwise loose stools might be temporarily worsened. Using a probiotic and digestive enzymes can help animals through transition and can help the loose stool itself.

How much should I feed my dog or puppy?

Variable factors like lifestyle, appetite and temperament can all impact on a pet’s eventual weight, which is why there’s no substitute for knowing one’s pet. We recommend that a healthy dog should have a natural waist and that you should be able to feel (but not see) its ribcage.

As a rule of thumb, an adult dog should eat around 2-3% of its ideal body weight per day (e.g. a 10kg dog should eat roughly 200g of food per day).

For a new acquired puppy at age 8 weeks, he or she will need approximately 5-6% of their body weight per day, spread across 3-4 meals. This will be required until the puppy reaches around 6 months of age. At this point you may wish to reduce the number of meals to two, until they have reached maturity and are well placed to switch to the recommended adult diet.

How much should I feed my cat or kitten?

A rough rule of paw we would suggest that your adult cat receives 2-3% of its body weight in food per day. It is important to weigh your cat regularly and make any necessary adjustments should your cat begin to lose or gain weight.

Kittens need to be fed little and often. Feed your kitten around 4 times per day and let them eat as much as they want.

When a kitten reaches 5-6 months in age, this can drop to 2 meals per day, totalling 4-5% of their body weight.

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