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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!

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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

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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 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!

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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.

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Is BARF cheaper then feeding kibble?

Is BARF cheaper then feeding kibble?

Most people that learn about feeding a raw food diet or BARF to their pet, would be more than happy to make the change and help their fur friend live as long and healthy a life they can, but all too often, people don’t make the switch, the most common reason why?... Financial.

In a predominantly money driven world, cost is taken into account when making decisions on everything. And more often than not, people choose to pay $120/month on the bag of kibble they buy rather than $150/month on Raw & Fresh.

Unfortunately comparing a commercial pet food diet i.e. kibble/dry food to Raw & Fresh is of course like comparing apples and oranges - they’re completely different products!

So I thought I’d share my perspective on this.

Feeding a Raw & Fresh / BARF diet is most likely going to cost more at the checkout than most kibbles, but have you weighed up all the costs that it will be saving you over the months or years at the vet?

For example, the most common health concern in pets these days is obesity and health matters related to it i.e. breathing difficulty, osteoarthritis, heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure and an increased risk of developing malignant tumors. And you know the best way to manage weight is, just like humans, with fresh unprocessed foods, like Raw & Fresh!

Unfortunately merely by loving pets too much and feeding them highly processed foods and too many sugar filled treats, humans can actually be doing more damage than good!

Or another example, people come to me who are spending a small fortune on steroid creams to help their pet overcome their allergies, but are inadvertently hindering any efforts by continuing to feed them the kibble the pet is actually allergic to! Once they make the switch to Raw & Fresh, they no longer have to visit the vet constantly and buy medications to set them back $200+ per month.

If you have a pet that is spending too much time (and money) at the vet, get in touch with us today to see if changing to a Raw & Fresh diet can help them on their way to a healthier (virtually vet-less) future.


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Why does my dog scratch all the time?

Why does my dog scratch all the time?

Scratching, it’s a part of life for all living beings. We just get itchy from time to time! But do you find your dog is scratching ALL the time? 

This can be for a number of reasons, boredom or anxiety, hormonal imbalances, dry skin, parasites, but the most common hidden reason of all is ALLERGIES, in particular FOOD ALLERGIES.

Not many people realise but though dogs and cats exterior looks have changed over the thousands of years they’ve been around, their anatomies have not changed at all. Which means they still require a primarily carnivorous diet (completely carnivorous for felines). I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never bought a bag of kibble and inside was a fresh steak and chicken drumstick waiting to be eaten! 

Kibbles (dry pet foods) today are made up of primarily everything that cats and dogs are not meant to eat and most certainly not designed to thrive on! Corns, grains, potato, rice, wheat, cereal, tapioca are the cheap bulking agents used to make up the base of most kibbles and then some meat by-products are chucked in to give it meat flavour and the manufacturer is also able to label it with that meat by-product to fool people into thinking it has that meat in it. 

In short, while your pet is resilient and can survive on these carbohydrate based ingredients as their diet, their body is constantly trying to break it down to get what little they can from it nutritionally. Eating this way means a lot of pets will face a FOOD ALLERGY in their lifetime and it will not go away unless their diet is changed to a more natural state. 

If you think your pet might be suffering from a FOOD ALLERGY, check out our 30 Day Challenge or contact us directly at [email protected] and let’s get them started on a healthier, happier path today! 

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