I have been hearing wonderful things about feeding your dogs a raw diet, so I decided to try it out with Gracie. Luckily, Raw Paws, who I met last year at Bark World, contacted me about doing a review of their products and complimentary raw feeding consultations. I knew very little about where to start with raw feeding, so I found the consultation to be extremely useful.
So why go raw? There are many benefits of feeding your dog or cat a raw diet, from a prolonged lifespan to healthier teeth and an improved immune system. Raw Paws talks about these benefits and more on their website.
Before my consultation with Raw Paws, I had no idea how much or what to feed Gracie when it came to raw food. I knew that she didn’t eat as much as what dog food bags suggest for her weight, so I wasn’t sure if the same would be true for raw food. I also knew that a raw diet has to be carefully balanced in order for it to be beneficial. Raw Paw’s raw specialist helped me to determine how much to feed Gracie (1 pound of raw a day or 8 oz per meal) and what products I should start her off with. Since Gracie has already been exposed to a variety of different proteins, as well as freeze dried raw food toppers, the raw specialist suggested their complete ground beef, complete ground lamb, and beef tripe patties. The beef came in a 5 pound package, the lamb came in five 1 pound packages, and the tripe came as 4 oz patties. I was very pleased with the selection that the specialist helped me pick out. I was much more confident in my ability to feed Gracie a raw diet after talking with the raw specialist.
Raw Paw’s frozen products arrived at my house in a package with dry ice to help keep them frozen. It is important to move the products to the freezer as soon as you can rather than letting them sit out. To start, I put the 5 pound beef package in the refrigerator until partially thawed. It is much easier to cut partially thawed meat than it is to cut frozen meat! Since Gracie eats 1 pound a day, I divided it into five sections. I put the sections into individual bags and placed four of the sections back into the freezer, with one section remaining in the refrigerator to be fed the next morning. I loved that both the beef and lamb were complete meals, meaning they already have the correct balance of meat, organ, and bone. Many raw feeders like to portion their own meat, organ, and bone. However, I feel the complete meals are a good place to start if you are new to raw feeding or if you are just wanting the convenience of having it already done for you.
Gracie has really enjoyed eating raw the past few weeks. I have never seen her enjoy a food or even a treat as much as she enjoys eating her raw food. She gets so excited when she sees me bringing her bowl out with raw food in it. She even licks her bowl clean, which never happened with plain kibble! However, if your dog does leave raw food in their bowl, the raw specialist advised me not to let it sit out for more than 30 minutes. Luckily, Gracie did not have any issues with runny stool, itchy skin, or any typical issues that may arise when switching foods. She is currently in the process of switching to her thicker winter coat. I’ve noticed her fur is very soft and fluffy and dirt seems to be clinging to it less than it was before. I had also been concerned about Gracie’s dental health and maintaining her healthy teeth. I have noticed her teeth do seem cleaner on the raw diet than before. I hope to continue to see the benefits of a raw diet in Gracie’s health.
Raw Paws has a large variety of products to choose from. They have both complete meals and individual meat, bones, and organs. You can buy in bulk or just buy a few pounds. You can also buy freeze dried food and raw treats and chews. If you are like me and have no idea what to buy, get a free consultation and meal plan with one of Raw Paw’s raw specialists.
Thanks for reading,
Katie, Gracie, and Echo