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We have several reasons for developing this food and as dog lovers we encourage you to research raw feeding and compare it to commercial kibble. Our primary motivation for creating our food is experiencing, first hand, the positive changes in our own dogs. As a pet owner it was quite a shock to see the luxurious coat, clean teeth and enhanced vitality when we replaced a cooked, processed, grain-based kibble with fresh beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish and vegetables.
More and more pet owners find they cannot feed kibble in good conscience after educating themselves on the topic.
We are strong supporters of feeding whole foods. Dogs love Raw Meaty Bones (RMB) and other whole foods. They provide excellent jaw and upper body muscle exercise. Chewing naturally cleans teeth, making brushing or expensive dental cleaning completely unnecessary.
For customers that choose to feed whole foods, but don’t want the concern of balancing the diet, TRDF carries a line of Balanced Blends: Surf & Turf. Surf and Turf contain the proper ratio of meat, bone and organs with a variety of proteins. Not all dogs will eat mackerel, so all natural supplements are added, including Totally Raw Omega 3 Oil.
Although whole foods are excellent, they are not for every dog.The following is a list of issues that may determine ground food is a better choice than whole:
- Dental disease that makes effective chewing impossible
- Dogs that gulp their food
- Puppies that have not yet developed the ability to consume whole foods
- Very small breeds that are unable to consume whole foods
You need to first distinguish between a dog eating normally and a dog that is a dangerous gulper. To do that you need to understand the mechanics of how a dog eats. Unlike humans, dogs do not have the ability to move their jaws laterally. This means they are not designed to chew their food. Their teeth are used to crush and slice food into a manageable size for swallowing. Don’t expect your dog to chew a chicken neck until it is broken into small pieces before swallowing. Depending on the size of your dog, many will swallow a chicken neck whole or crunch it once before swallowing. This is normal. If, on the other hand, your dog tries to swallow a large piece such as a beef tail without chewing, this is not normal. Please ensure your pet is not concerned that his food is in jeopardy from another dog if he doesn’t eat it quickly. Allow your dog privacy from other household pets while he is eating. You can also try holding the bone and let him get the idea of chewing without being able to swallow the whole food item.
There are two types of recreational bones: weight bearing and non-weight bearing. Weight bearing bones (e.g., marrow bones) are extremely hard and very difficult or impossible for a dog to consume. Totally Raw Natural Dog Food does not advocate the use of this type of recreational bone. It can lead to premature wearing of the tooth enamel and even cause tooth breakage while providing very little nutritional benefit. You should never give your dog a bone that is harder than his teeth.
Totally Raw advocates non-weight bearing recreational bones, such as beef neck bones (Daisy Bones). They provide a safe alternative that will not place undo stress on the teeth. These bones provide lots of chewing enjoyment without the risk of tooth breakage or wear. Even small dogs are able to gain nutritional benefit from chewing on natural bone. For customers who enjoy our ground food line we highly recommend providing our recreational bones on a regular basis. This will provide lots of chewing enjoyment and, more importantly, clean, tartar free teeth.
No, this is completely expected. Totally Raw Natural Dog Food provides food in its natural state, the moisture necessary for digestion is contained in the raw food. Because kibble has had the water removed, dogs constantly have to drink water in an attempt to maintain proper hydration.
Cold water fish, such as mackerel, provide important Omega 3 Fatty Acids and essential minerals such as iodine. For those dogs that do not eat mackerel, TRDF recommends supplementing with Totally Raw Omega 3 Oil and Kelp & Alfalfa. If your pet is already eating Balanced Blends, there is no need for further supplementation.
Unless your dog has a special medical requirement, we recommend that adult dogs are fed once per day. The empty canine stomach is like an accordion containing many folds. Within these folds are glands that assist with proper digestion. It is only when a dog has taken on a substantial meal that the stomach is stretched and the glands exposed and activated. Feeding a dog more than once per day leads to inadequate digestion and a constant feeling of hunger. Providing your pet with one substantial meal per day leaves them satisfied and satiated. Please view the Meal Calculator to determine your dog’s food requirements for every life stage.
You can either vary your dog’s meal time or stick to a schedule. If you consistently feed your pet at the same time everyday, he or she will become conditioned to eat at that time. Your dog will produce strong digestive juices based on the time of day rather than having a reaction to the meal being prepared. The digestive juices are very strong chemicals designed to break down organic tissue. If the food is late, dogs will rid themselves of the acid by vomiting, which is very unpleasant for your pet. If you choose to feed on a schedule, ensure you are consistent.
If you vary the feeding schedule, your pet will produce digestive juices based on seeing you prepare the food, rather than the time of day. Many pet owners find it more convenient not to have their dog on a feeding schedule.
Cooked bones are very dangerous for dogs. The cooking process causes the bones to become dry and brittle. Feeding a dog cooked bones can cause the bones to splinter and possibly cause serious harm. Appropriate raw bones, on the other hand, are perfectly safe and healthy for your dog to eat. At Totally Raw Natural Dog Food we like to use softer bones such as chicken backs, chicken necks and the smaller lamb bones. This allows the dogs to eat the entire bone and access all the nutrition.
Pork is very popular among dog mushers. This is because pork is related to faster muscle growth and faster muscle training. In addition, pork is a very clean meat, meaning it has less metabolites or residues than other meats. People often don’t associate pork with dog food, yet it is a very popular ingredient in many kibble brands.
The proper balance of calcium and phosphorous can be a difficult to determine when feeding a kibble product. Kibble manufactures try to insure the ratio is correct through chemical analysis, but it may be in a form that is impossible or difficult for the dog to digest (e.g., limestone). It is not surprising to find that raw bones and meat contain the proper ratio of calcium and phosphorous. Wild dogs do not have the benefit of a lab and chemists yet they are able to thrive on what nature provides. If we feed enough bones (10-15% of the total diet) we can ensure our pets receive the proper minerals in the necessary ratio.
Salmonella is not a problem for dogs. The acidity level in the canine stomach is very high, creating a very inhospitable environment for bacteria. Tests of various brands of kibble have shown that many contain salmonella, so, in reality, if your dog is eating kibble, it has already been exposed to salmonella.
When it comes to handling raw chicken, or any other raw meat, common sense is in order. Just like when you prepare chicken for your family, proper sanitation techniques must be used. Use a separate bowl for thawing the meat, and wash the bowl with hot soapy water or put it in the dishwasher. Keep the dog’s food bowl clean by regular washing or by feeding the dog outside. A little dirt on your dog’s food is not a problem; think about some of the distasteful things you have seen your dog eat!
Yes, this is completely normal for a dog eating a biologically appropriate diet. The dog has less waste because most of the food he is now ingesting is digested and utilized by the body. The meaty bones account for the poop turning white. After a boneless meal (e.g., tripe, beef heart) you will notice the stool will be darker and looser. An added bonus is that the poop biodegrades much faster than when the dog is eating commercial food!
You will probably notice that you dog will no longer need to have his anal glands expressed. The bone component of the diet firms feces, which naturally squeezes the anal glands with every bowel movement. With a cooked, processed, grain based diet, the feces remains soft, allowing anal secretions to build up. This condition can result in unnecessary, painful compaction and possible rupture of the glands.
This is a myth. There is NO causual relationship between eating raw meat and aggression. Whole, natural, raw food is what dogs ate before the invention of kibble in the 1930’s. Other canines eat raw (e.g., wolves, foxes, coyotes) and they are not vicious or mean. If you are still not convinced, think about what happens when a person eats raw meat (e.g., steak tartar or sushi). Does he go wild or become aggressive? No, of course not. Feeding an animal the way nature intended will add to it’s overall health and mental well-being. However, research does indicate that behavioral problems may result from feeding an inadequate diet (such as a chemical laden kibble product).
At Totally Raw Natural Dog Food we puree the vegetables to a mush. The reason we puree is because plant walls are made up of cellulose and dogs cannot digest cellulose. Our pureeing process crushes the cell walls allowing the nutrients to be available to the dog. Chopping vegetables is not a satisfactory substitute because it only crushes the outer cell walls, leaving the inner parts nutritionally unavailable.
We use a wide assortment of seasonal vegetables. We change types constantly to provide as much variety as possible.
When food is cooked it loses much of its nutritional value. Vitamins are lost and many necessary enzymes (proteins) are destroyed. Enzymes are crucial to digestion; without them the pancreas is forced to work harder and produce more digestive enzymes. This is not to say dogs should never be given cooked vegetables, however raw vegetables provide more nutrition. Although many raw feeders add vegetables to their dog’s diet, it is not a necessary part of a complete raw diet.
The best way to start your dog on vegetables is to mix them with something he loves (e.g., whole raw egg, gravy, broth, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt). Although vegetables, fed on occasion, are a healthy additition to the raw diet, they are not necessary. Many raw feeders do not include fruit or vegetables in their diet, and their dogs are in peak health.
Raw eggs are a wonderful source of protein, essential fatty acids and calcium when fed whole, including the shell. Some manufacturers coat the egg with a waxy substance to maintain freshness. If that is the case, do not feed the shell to your pet.
No. Our philosophy is that, like a human diet, variety is the key to good nutrition. We have developed a nutritional plan with the necessary key components (e.g.,phosphorous: calcium ratio) but we encourage you to be creative when feeding your pet. For example, if you are low on Totally Natural Dog Food, don’t hesitate to go through your fridge and create a meal for your pet. Excellent choices are eggs, any vegetables (except onions in any form), cottage cheese, natural yogurt, hamburger (never processed meats). Every meal does not have to be balanced. A sound diet is balanced over a two-week period. The idea of each meal for your dog being “complete” and “balanced” is a myth. Dogs in their natural environment achieve balance over time.
The key to preventing bloat and torsion is maintaining a healthy digestive system. Bloat and torsion is extremely rare in dogs that consume a high protein, raw meat based diet, containing less than 25% carbohydrates.
The Purdue Bloat study is the largest most comprehensive research project to date. This study confirms previous reports of increased risks of bloat, also know as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GSV) associated with food and feeding practices. Raised food bowls which were originally designed to lessen the incidences of GSV were found to significantly increase incidences of bloat. Raised food bowls increase the risk of GSV and are no longer recommended. practices. A 170% increase of GDV was found in dogs that consume, dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients. The risk of GDV was increased 320% in dogs that consumed dry foods containing citric acid and that were moistened prior to feeding. Occurrences of GDV were also found when kibble was moistened prior to being fed.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an amazing non-toxic, safe, form of pest control. It is made from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life and has the consistency of talcum powder. The fossils are crushed to a fine powder and when viewed though a microscope, the particles resemble bits of broken glass. DE is deadly to any insect and completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl or food. In fact, DE is an excellent nutritional supplement containing 15 beneficial trace minerals.
Diatomaceous Earth works in two ways- Insects have a waxy outer shell covering their bodies, DE scratches their protective coating, causing them to quickly dehydrate and die. In addition, the insect absorbs some of the material which quickens the process. Rub it into your dog’s fur and bedding to kill fleas, ticks and dust mites. DE is fantastic for dogs that are allergic to mites.
DE added to your pet’s food will safely destroy internal parasites. To kill internal parasites provide DE every second day for one month:
1/2 Teaspoon-Puppies & small dogs (under 10lb);
1 Teaspoon- Puppies and small dogs (10-19lb);
1 Tablespoon- Medium Breeds;
2 Tablespoons -Large Breeds.
Feeding DE every second day will eliminate whipworms, roundworms, pinworms and hookworms within seven days. Feed DE for 30 days to ensure all developing worms are destroyed as DE will not kill eggs. DE is a safe, natural alternative to chemical pesticides that have been linked to many serious health concerns for pets and their owners. Do not inhale DE.