I’m so passionate about people researching and learning what goes into your dog food. Owning a dog is a continuous learning curve, we’re always finding ways to improve our dogs health and lifestyle and their diet is such a huge factor.
You’ll have seen on our Instagram and blog that my dogs have been on Cotswold RAW for a whole year now, and I absolutely love watching how it has transformed them and all the benefits it brings. RAW feeding is so much more accessible and easy to feed these days, with so many dog owners switching over to it. However RAW feeding isn’t for everyone and that’s ok, but you won’t know until you try. Maybe this can be the gentle nudge you need to try it? If it’s not for you after two weeks then you can switch right back, but you’ll know you gave it a good go!
So what is RAW feeding fortnight? Over the month of August I wanted to create a campaign for you all to get involved with and try RAW feeding with your dogs. 2 weeks is just long enough for your dog to adjust to the diet and for you to notice some short term benefits, then if you realise it’s easier than you thought, or you love the healthy change in your dogs diet you can continue the RAW diet and enjoy all the long term health benefits.
Short term changes you might notice:
- Poo – These will get smaller as all the goodness is absorbed meaning there’s less to come out the other end. These will be smaller and less frequent.
- Anal glands – Many dogs suffer with anal gland problems, meaning you have to take them to the vets or groomers to be emptied. But the firmer poo’s from the RAW diet means that the anal glads will be emptied naturally by your dogs.
- Muscle tone change – You’ll notice particularly in their legs and shoulders they look a lot more muscular. Also the layer of kibble fat over them will be burnt off and your dog will look so fit and active.
- Less concentrated urine – They’ll absorb more moisture from the food.
- Increase in appetite – so many pet dogs are fussy because their kibble smells and looks boring, switch them to RAW and they won’t be able to resist meal times!
- Less flatulence – cuddling them in the evening will smell so much better.
Long term changes you might notice:
- Coat change – Shinier, thicker & healthier
- Cleaner teeth – RAW doesn’t stick to the teeth like kibble so there will be no plaque build up, which also means no smelly breath.
- Less hyperactivity – the food isn’t full of rubbish like the ingredients in kibble, so with the correct exercise and diet your dog may seem calmer.
- Healthier skin – Again there are so many unnecessary ingredients in kibble that wouldn’t naturally be in a dogs diet. These can cause allergies and inflammation of the dogs skin so it may be that they’re less itchy or no longer have flaky skin.
So what do you need to do?
I’ve covered quite a lot of RAW feeding questions and information in my tips and advice section of the blog, which you might want to read later on; But here is a quick introduction. The easiest way to start RAW feeding is using completes. This is where the food comes prepared in boxes or tubs all mixed together in the right quantities of meat, offal, bone and veg etc. The other option is DIY where you work all the proportions out yourself but i’d leave that until you have done a bit more research into what they need [I would be totally lost].
- Choose your company. Search which brands are local to you or have a local stockist. Take into consideration delivery costs or where you can pick it up from and how often you’d need to restock. Most RAW food companies would have a trial box to give you an introduction to their products and different flavours.
2. How much do you feed your dog? An adult dog should have 2-3% of their body weight per day. Wilma is 10kg, and as an active dog I give her the higher amount of 3%. So that’s 300g per day, split into 150g per meal. Puppies however need to be fed 10% of their bodyweight so they can grow up big and healthy.
3. Time to feed your first RAW meal. Unlike dry foods you should not slowly introduce the food. Instead feed your old food one meal, and then the next meal go straight to RAW, no mixing involved. You’ll need space in your freezer to keep it all, then get a tub out each day to defrost for the next day’s meals. I have a freezer in the garage I use for the dogs to keep it all separate.
4. Your trial pack probably won’t last you for the two week trial unless you have tiny dogs. So you now need to work out how much you go through each day and order some more. You should have an idea of flavours you’d like to restock or try now, and i’d go back to the same supplier just so your two weeks are consistent and you’re not changing brands every day. In my house we go through 650g per day, so the 1kg tubs are perfect. I have one open in the fridge on the go whilst another is defrosting for the next day [Remembering to defrost for the next day is the hardest part!].
I want to hear all about your RAW feeding journey and please share your progress online as you go! #rawfeedingfortnight will go on for the whole of August, so you can start at the beginning of the month but your friends still have time to join in after they’ve seen your progress. Let us know your meal times or any changes you notice in your dogs, I’m going to be reposting what I can on our Instagram stories so please join in!
For everyone that joins in, whether thats trying RAW for the very first time, or sharing online to encourage others, we will enter you into a prize draw to win 3 RAW hampers kindly donated by Cotswold RAW. The winners will be chosen at the end of the month and you could win one of 3 8kg boxes containing 2 x Chicken, 2 x Lamb, 2 x Beef and 2 x Turkey. A great boost to your RAW feeding journey.
Share your journey using the hashtag #rawfeedingfortnight and let us know how you get on! Also be sure to tag us @thecotswoldspaniels in post or comments so I can see your progress as well and make sure you’re entered into the prize draw.
Already RAW feed? We still want you to join in! You can share the campaign on your social media channels and in your stories to be featured and get your friends to join in – you can then be entered into the giveaway as well! Otherwise why not try a new brand of RAW food? What are their delivery costs, where do they source the ingredients from or what is the packaging like? A chance to try something new and see what is available out there.
If you get stuck or have questions along the way then your RAW food supplier should have a website full of information. If not then there’s a great community who are able to help. Just reach out and ask and we’ll be able to help.
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody and Wilma