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When can I wean my Puppy?

Transitioning a Puppy to Raw.

 

With more and more people learning of a raw food diet for their pets, they are wanting to implement this type of species appropriate diet from the earliest of ages, ideally when they first bring their new puppy home!

This is great, but it raises a lot of NEW questions for new puppy owners.

What age can they wean onto a raw diet?

Pups can begin to be weaned from their mum as young as 4 weeks old, but ideally 5-6 weeks of age is the best age to start introducing their new fresh food diet.

How do I transition them?

In an ideal scenario, the pups mum will also be on a raw, fresh food diet during pregnancy and lactation, as this will already be passing the diet onto her pups and will be easier to transition the pups. This may be something you could speak with the breed about prior to collecting your puppy.

When you decide to begin weaning, we suggest adding 1 new ingredient (listed below in order) to the existing diet every 3-4 days to give the pup chance to adjust to the new addition as well as you having time to see how they take to it.

  1. If they’re still feeding on mum, you don’t need to add a milk supplement, but if you do choose to or if they are no longer with mum but need milk, goats milk is the best choice as it is the most gentle on their tummy.
  2. Meat is the first solid ingredient to introduce. Make sure it is preservative, additive and sulfur dioxide free.
  3. Offal is the next step, but only up to 10% of the total daily intake should make up their diet. Any more and your pup will end up vomiting or with diarrhea.
  4. Soft bones and cartilage. Nothing too big or hard for little pups. Chicken necks or wings are a good starter and are completely safe to feed raw, do not cook them!
  5. For dogs (not cats), you can then introduce pulped vegetables. Mosts vegetable are safe to feed, just avoid the onion family. Pulping or grating finely is ideal too as the pup can digest these most effectively and get the vitamins and minerals from them well.

A balanced and complete raw diet.

It is important to remember that when feeding a raw diet to your pet of any age, there is a delicate balance of vitamins and minerals that need to be included to ensure the diet in balanced and complete. If it’s not, your pet could develop deficiencies over time.

For example, feeding just raw meat on its own is not a sufficient diet for a pet and you would need to add supplements. 

Amount to feed.

Just like a pregnant or lactating pets, your pup or kitten has an increased food intake that grows with them. The general rule is to be giving a percentage of the pets body weight daily in food depending on the age.

For eg a 7-10 week old pup requires 10% of their bodyweight daily. If that pup weighs 5kg, that would equal 500g (split into appropriate amount of meals). This n

We send our ‘Raw Feeding Guide” with every new order which lists all the percentages that need to be fed to growing pups. Or you can check it out on our website too www.rawandfresh.com.au to be sure you’re feeding your new growing fur family the correct amount!

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Can Pets Eat Raw Eggs?

Can pets eat raw eggs?

Some people are surprised at the thought of feeding their dog or cat eggs, especially raw. I’ve had people claim that they’re too high in cholesterol or that they worry that their pet could get salmonella from raw eggs. But, truth be told, raw eggs can be very nutritious for pets!

Firstly, raw eggs are a good source of protein, as well as being rich in vitamin A, folate, riboflavin flat, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and fatty acids. Another shocker is when I tell people you can feed it to them with the shell! 😮 The raw shell is also full of vitamins and rich in calcium.

Whole raw eggs are great for your pets skin and coat and strong bones and teeth. But as usual, you can have too much of a good thing. Egg whites are a biotin inhibitor, which means they slow the production of the naturally created avidin, biotin (a B vitamin important for cellular growth and fat metabolism). So feeding too many eggs (without the yolk) could be detrimental over an extended period of time. On the flip side (pun intended), egg yolks are rich in Biotin, so if the whole egg is fed, they basically cancel each other out.

Whenever we have a natural food source like this available for pets, but with conflicting views, I always refer back to “what would do they if humans weren’t here?” and let’s face it, dogs and cats could and would raid the odd nest if they had the opportunity.

So my belief is moderation is key. A couple of eggs a week is good for your pets overall health, especially if you’re adding it to a kibble based diet, but not necessary everyday. To learn more about natural feeding methods for your pets, check out www.rawndfresh.com.au.

 

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Human Grade vs Pet Grade Meat

Human grade vs Pet grade meat

You’d think it would be simple to read a label and understand what it means right? Well, when deciphering between Human Grade and Pet Grade meats, it’s good to know exactly what their meanings are and what to ask your supplier.

Human-grade meats are, legally suitable for human consumption (edible). They are handled in a strictly monitored manufacturing facility with quality-control checks to ensure cleanliness and regulations are being adhered to.

Pet-grade meat, on the other hand, is far less monitored. Things have happened to this meat during production that has made it not 100% safe for human consumption (inedible). The major player in ‘pet grade products’ is rendered by-products of the meat industry. But some other examples of ‘pet grade’ products are foods that are:

  • dropped on the floor
  • sick, injured, dying or dead animals
  • road kill (not in Australia)
  • euthanized animals

Pet grade meats are then covered with preservatives including the extremely dangerous sulphur dioxide, to not only make it ‘stay fresh’ longer, but also to mask any unappealing smells to the pets.

Having said that, sometimes pet grade meats can simply be parts of the animal humans wouldn’t consume (no waste), for example beef trimmings from a ‘human grade’ cow that have too much gristle to be sold to humans.

Unfortunately, the pet food industry is not a very transparent one. Clever wording and marketing are easy ways for pet food companies to hide behind. It’s great to understand the questions that you should be asking when deciphering whether their products are right for your pet/s or not.

The best place to start is if they list their products as pet grade, ask why. What makes their meats ‘pet grade’?

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Kidney Stones in Pets

Kidney Stones in Pets

We’ve all heard the illness ‘Stones’ but do you really know what it is?

Firstly, there are a few different types of ‘stones’ that can be diagnosed, but the one I’m talking about today is ‘calcium oxalate stones’ which is one of the most common type of kidney stone.

Put simply, Oxalates are found in all foods, but it has no known function in animals. As such, oxalate needs to be filtered by the kidney (along with other impurities) to be expelled via urination. It is here that calcium oxalate stones can form.

Calcium oxalate stones are formed when there is too much oxalate in a pets diet and not enough water consumption, which creates a far more concentrated urine.

Essentially, the oxalate ‘sticks’ to calcium in the kidney and begins to form crystals. If untreated, this process continues and the crystals can grow bigger over time to the point where they are too large to expel (thus the term stones) via the urinary tract and will need medical intervention. These stones roll around inside the kidney and cause horrendous pain.

Many vets will offer a specific kibble product to help slow the stone growth in your pet, but remember even the highest grade kibbles generally only contain 30% protein, next to no moisture and can still be full of grains, wheat and corn.

In my opinion the best way to avoid your pet having to endure painful kidney stones is to increase fluid consumption. You cannot make them drink more water, but give them a moisture rich diet. Raw meats along with bones, offal and some fruit and veg served fresh and raw is best. Ensure there’s no preservatives, salts, sulphur dioxide or other chemicals have been added too!

If you’d like to give it a try, get in touch with us! www.rawandfresh.com.au

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What is offal?

What is offal?

What is offal? 

If you’re choosing to feed your dog or cat a raw balanced diet, there are some new terms and words you will hear for the first time, one being “offal”. So, what is it?

Offal is essentially the internal organs of animals such as liver, kidney, stomach, intestines, pancreas, spleen, lungs, brain, testicles etc.

Most people in Australia would think this sounds gross, but when it comes to feeding your pet, they love it! And when fed in the correct ratios, including them into your pets diet is the most natural way for them to get what they need for a nutritionally balanced diet, as well as the easiest way for their bodies to break it down. Compared to normal cuts of meat, the organs are extremely rich in B vitamins, (B1, B2, B6 & B12), Folic Acid, vitamin, A, D, E and K; as well as minerals like phosphorous, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine.

But be warned, it’s not something you can just ‘whack together’. If you give your pet the wrong balance/ratio you can make them sick with either vomiting or diarrhea in the short term and if done over a long period, health deficiencies can occur also.

And to be honest this is the main reason most vets worry when they hear their customers would like to feed their pet a raw diet; there are a lot of ‘cowboys’ out there not doing it right. Then people get scared off of giving their pet a raw diet tab all as it can be a little confusing and overwhelming to ensure you’re getting it all right! But here at Raw & Fresh, we do it for you, so get it touch and let’s get your pet started towards a healthier life today. Email us at [email protected]

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Why does my dog or cat drink so much water?

Why does my dog or cat drink so much water?

I recently looked after a family members pets (2 very small dogs and 1 cat) for the weekend while they were away.

As I’ve learned, not everyone wants to learn about or act upon bettering their pets health through diet choice and these people fall under that category, still feeding all 3 of their pets a completely kibble diet (very cheap brand at that), sad but true.

Why am I talking about this you may ask? Well, the weekend in question was a timely reminder of just what a raw food diet can do for pets.

Upon dropping by on the Saturday morning, I walked them and topped up their food bowl and filled their large heavy water dish with about 2L of fresh water. I next visited just after lunch on the Sunday and was absolutely shocked to find that their whole water bowl was bone dry! It hadn’t been in the sun or spilled; these animals (that would weigh a total of less than 4kg between the 3 of them) had drunk the whole amount in just over 24 hours!

Do you know why this is?? It hadn’t been overly hot and they had only been lounging about their back yard until I’d arrive again. The reason the water had been drunk was simply because they are constantly thirsty! Eating a salt and preservative filled kibble creates a thirst that can never be quenched.

Imagine eating dry weet-bix all the time! Yuck! I know I would be chasing that down with water all the time! 

By feeding a raw food diet, your pet is actually able to take moisture from the REAL food itself and will drink far less water!

My 5 big dogs are all walked 2+ times a week and run, play and wrestle constantly in the backyard. Their glass water bowl holds about 4 litres of water for them all, but I only top it up once a week, and that’s just to refresh the water rather than to fill the bowl.

Of course, there can be other reasons for your dog or cat to be drinking excessive amounts of water. Heat, exercise, infection or illness to name a few, but if you’re finding you have a healthy pet that hasn’t just been playing or laying in the sun, have a think about their diet. Do they have enough moisture rich food in it? We’d be happy to help you out with any questions you have www.rawandfresh.com.au

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Can my dog or cat get sick from eating raw food?

Can my dog or cat get sick from eating raw food?

When many people think of raw meats they also think of the many sicknesses that raw meat can cause to humans (ie salmonella, e.coli), but what they fail to realize is that their pet dog and or cats anatomy is completely differently to our own!

Dogs and cats are predominantly carnivorous. Their systems are designed to handle and thrive on raw meat and have evolved over thousands of years doing so.

There’s a couple of reasons why this is…

First, the hydrochloric acidity levels in their stomach is about 10 times stronger in concentration than that of any human, meaning anything that goes into their stomach cannot survive (including germs and or bacteria).

Secondly, their gastrointestinal tract is very short in comparison to humans. This means any food that goes in through the mouth passes via stool in a matter of hours rather than days, giving any potential bacteria no chance to get settled in.

Think about what your dog or cat would be eating if for some reason they were stuck in the wild? Mice/rats, rabbits, birds, possums etc. They wouldn’t be waiting for a human to catch and cook it for them either! So I’m sorry to say, but your dog or cat was not born different to his brothers and sisters and ‘cannot handle raw meat’ they are all the same. Some may have preferences in taste or how WELL they handle it (solely kibble fed pets take a bit longer to adjust), but they are all the same on the inside.

Having said all that, salmonella or e.coli can still infect pets, but it is extremely rare, and would usually be brought on by poor hygiene, not washing bowls where bacteria is thriving, eating poop etc.

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Should I be feeding my pet RAW bones?

Should I be feeding my pet RAW bones?

Yes! Why?

First and foremost, for the nutritional value of your pet.
From the moment you bring a puppy or kitten into your family, you should be offering them bones! By offering a variety of bones, they are able to receive a good supply of calcium from the cartilage and bone marrow to help their growth and development during their early growth stages, as well as the mineralization of their bones and structure of their joints. Other minerals, like boron are also substantial in bones, which are vital for bone health and will help to ensure strong healthy .

Raw bones also act like a toothbrush, dental floss and mouth wash all in one for dogs and cats! It’s all in the chewing action of macerating the meat and bones that actually massages the animal’s teeth and gums. The sinew in meat also gets between teeth like dental floss cleaning out any food residues and helps in the prevention of tartar build up and development.

A clean mouth helps to avoid plaque formation, bad breath, dental cavities, gingivitis, and in turn, expensive vet visits that come with such health concerns.

I often judge how healthy my dogs are by how clean their teeth are and or smelly their breath is. If you feel your pet should have better oral hygiene, why not start offering them bones a couple of times a week? You can find several options here https://eastcoastdogs.com.au/product-category/raw-and-fresh/treat-snacks/ to be delivered to you! If you’re not sure, just get in touch with us and we’ll help you decide what is right for your pet.

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What bones can I feed my cat or kitten?

What bones can I feed my cat or kitten?

Eating bones is an extremely important part of feeding any pet. It is vital for certain vitamins and minerals to be obtained as well as maintaining overall oral hygiene.

When feeding a raw diet, you have to put yourself in your pets paws and think ‘if they caught their own prey to eat, what size would that prey be?’ And in that, lies the answer to your question.

You need to think about how your cat will be eating the bone. How he or she will maneuver around the bone with their mouth to access all parts of it, into all the little crevices, getting to the marrow etc as well as using all teeth to do so, the canines, the chewing teeth (back) and even the little ones at the front.

Domesticated cats being on the smaller end of the size scale when talking carnivores with smaller mouths and teeth, would likely take down prey like birds, possums, rabbits, rats, mice or lizards to name a few. All these animals are small in size and thus so their bone structure.

From the menu at Raw & Fresh, the ideal raw meaty bone options we have that best suit a feline are chicken necks or chicken wings. Some larger options would be chicken cages, turkey necks, lamb necks or roo tails – these are all great options but being bigger would need to be split into smaller portions or taken away and set aside for next time.

Cooked bones should never be fed to dogs or cats as the cooking dries out the bones and they are far more likely to splinter when chewed. The then splintered bones can slice or puncture a pets mouth, throat or stomach.

Add a couple of kilos of raw bones to your next order, separate and freeze them and feed a couple a week if you can. You’ll find you have a happier kitty and less dental visits down the track!
https://eastcoastdogs.com.au/product-category/raw-and-fresh/treat-snacks/

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Kidney Failure or Disease in Cats

Kidney Disease / Failure in Cats

Kidneys are a vital role in any animals anatomy. Basically, they are designed to filter the bloodstream and expel any toxins via the urine.

Kidney failure is pretty self explanatory and is when the kidneys start failing to do their job effectively and efficiently.

So why do the kidneys start to fail in the first place? There are a number of considerations to make and tests that would need to be done before your Vet will come to the conclusion of Kidney Disease/Failure, but one of the most important things to realize is the importance of a good species appropriate diet to ensure the greatest chance of life longevity is given to your kitty.

Cats are obligatory carnivores (meaning they need to eat a whole meat diet to get the essential vitamins and minerals they require for optimal health), and as such they and their organs are not quite as resilient as omnivorous animals and will usually show signs of suffering from poor diet choices much sooner than say a pet dog for example.

The most common serious health concern I see in pet cats today is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). I have many people approach me with their kitties that have just been diagnosed with this and after some research are looking for a more natural way to feed their cat. We can make the change, but dependant on the severity of the condition, it is heart breaking for both them and myself when we sometimes discover it is too little too late. ☹

I always implore people with cats or kittens to learn more about their fur friends nutritional needs and hope that they make the right choices for them from the beginning or before a chronic illness is diagnosed.

Both you and your feline friend will thank you for it.