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How to start feeding raw dog food
Currently, we carry over 14 brands of commercially prepared raw dog food at Moonlight Natural Pet Store, with over 18 proteins. We believe these are some of the best raw pet food brands currently available. Lots of selection with all the brands having pre measured raw dog food, and we’re here to help you make the best choice for your furry companion.
To begin, thaw the frozen raw dog foodl out in a glass container or in a stainless steel bowl in your fridge overnight and feed the appropriate portion to your dog We suggest feeding on a mat or in a tiled environment for easier cleaning afterwards.
|FEEDING GUIDE: How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?|
|2% of ideal body weight||Maintain Body Weight|
|Between 2.5% and 3.0%||Active Pet|
|Between 4.0% and 8.0%||Weight gain for dogs or regular feeding for puppies|
Detailed Steps to Feeding Raw Pet Food to Dogs/ Puppies
Slow transition from kibble to raw dog food over 7 days or more (Recommended Approach)
This method is recommended by most nutritionists and holistic vets to minimize digestive upset. If you feel that your dog generally has a sensitive digestive system or is sensitive to changes, this method will mostly work best.
DAY 1 - Start by giving small pieces of raw meat as treats in the middle of the day (do not mix kibble & raw food! Allow at least 3 hours before/after kibble meals; see the first point under Dont's below).
DAY 2 to DAY 4 - If no diarrhea occurs, slowly increase the amount of raw meat given in the middle ofthe day (up to ¼ of the meals by DAY 4) while slowly decreasing the amount of kibble/other food fed in actual meals.
DAY 5 and DAY 6– If no vomiting or diarrhea occurs, replace one of the two meals with raw pet food.
DAY 7 – If no vomiting or diarrhea occurs, replace both meals with raw.
If your pet has diarrhea, you can:
- Give bone broth, kefir, pureed whole pumpkin preferably organic (including skin and seeds) to help ease upset stomach while keeping your pet hydrated. For more information on treating pet diarrhea, you can look at our Dog Troubleshitting Guide.
- When your dog’s stool is back to normal, go back to the amount given, which did not cause any upset stomach, and stay on that for a little longer (1 or 2 days more). Then work on a slower transition than recommended. Every pet’s adaptability is different, and you know your pet best, so use your judgement to gauge how slow the transition should be for your pet. There’s no rush! We’re also here to help, just ask.
Give minimal single-ingredient or no treats during the transition time to minimize any stomach upset. Most of the freeze-dried treats we carry are single ingredient. Examples of single ingredient treats are dried lung, sweet potato, or liver.
DOs & DON'Ts of Feeding Raw Dog Food
- Store raw food in the freezer.
- Always defrost in a refrigerator or in a sink in cold water.
- Rotate proteins, especially between white and red meats, to achieve a more balanced diet.
- Feed edible, size-appropriate bones every few days to clean teeth. Bones are better digested by dogs when finely ground. If your dog is a strong chewer, beware of load bearing bones such as beef femurs, which are hard and can chip a dog’s teeth leading to an expensive extraction. Investigate your raw food. Ask the suppliers where they get the meat from, how the animals are raised, the cleanliness of the processing plants, etc. Most suppliers we deal with allow customer tours if they own their own facility.
- At Moonlight Natural Pet Store we only sell high quality raw pet food, meals, bones and treats. We vet our suppliers so that we are confident that our customers can be confident in the product they are feeding to their pets.
- If you choose a brand of raw, make sure the source of raw meat is not trims or ground meaty bone, unless you plan the meals such that the amount of fat, muscles, organ meats and bones are balanced over a period of a few days.
- Toss out any leftovers if your pet does not finish consuming the meal.
- Can you mix kibble with raw food? NO. Don’t mix kibble with raw pet food in the same meal!Sudden transitions in a pet’s diet may result in diarrhea or vomiting. Feeding raw pet food changes the pH and flora in the pet’s stomach to a more naturally acidic state so give your pet time to transition.
- Don't leave raw pet food out at room temperature for more than 20 min. We’d err on the side of caution and suggest that if your pet doesn’t eat in 15 min, you refrigerate and attempt 1 more time that same day. If not, toss out the pet food.
- Don't leave thawed raw dog or cat food in the fridge for more than 2-3 days.
- Never cook raw pet food that contains bones. Bones may become brittle and become choking hazards or cause constipation.
- Don't microwave raw pet food!