Deciding to transition your dog to a raw diet is an exciting step. There are so many benefits that our raw fed dogs report (via their humans of course!) and, as any dog owner knows, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your dog enjoying a good meal, knowing that it’s packed with nutrients and contains everything they need for a healthy diet. The process is a bit different from feeding cans or kibble, but it’s very straightforward, and with a few simple steps you can switch your dog to a complete raw diet in just seven days
A GOOD PLACE TO START
If you're ready to go raw, we’re pleased to say you’ve come to the right place! Here at Natures Menu, we have over 40 years’ experience making high-quality raw pet food, and when it comes to raw dog food for beginners, there isn’t much we don’t know! We’re members of the PFMA, the leading industry body for the UK’s pet food industry, and we take health and safety extremely seriously in the preparation of our products. Our manufacturing facilities are DEFRA approved, and all our recipes are made to conform to the FEDIAF pet food nutritional guidelines.
What this means is that we take the utmost care with our ingredients and how we prepare and package them, so you can trust the quality of the food you open in your kitchen. When it comes to raw dog food pros and cons, it is always a pro to opt for high-quality, commercially produced raw dog food, as well as complete and balanced recipes, giving your dog the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals that they need (we’ll talk more about our tasty recipes shortly!) We work closely with our panel of experts who oversee and advise the process of creating our complete and balanced recipes, and whose decades of frontline animal welfare experience is a great resource for us and for you.
THE NATURAL CHOICE
So, why go raw? If your dog could talk, they’d probably say, because it’s natural! In the wild, the mainstay of their diet is prey. They would consume prey raw and whole, including offal and bones, getting much nutritional benefit from all parts of the carcass. Unlike our feline friends however, dogs can eat certain fruits and vegetables too, benefitting from the nutrients within.
So, if Point One in our raw dog food for beginners’ guide is to buy high-quality, commercially produced raw food, Point Two is to trust in your dog’s instinct and affinity for a raw diet. Raw dog food pros and cons in terms of nutritional benefit? It’s all pros as far as a natural, healthy diet is concerned, and that’s Point Three.
RAW SUITS ALL
Following on from that, it’s worth pointing out that a raw diet can suit all breeds of dog at all life stages, including weaning. We can help you build an age and lifestyle appropriate raw diet for your dog with just a few simple questions. Our recipes range from puppy through to senior and include a broad selection of tasty treats and chews to reward and encourage good behaviour – or simply to show them you love them!
RAW AT HOME
In terms of meals, our best-selling raw nuggets offer unbeatable convenience, making it the perfect raw dog food for beginners. You simply count out the number of nuggets you need, let them thaw then serve. Or as we would say, pour, thaw and serve! No mess, no fuss, and no waste. As with all food preparation, it’s important to practice the basic principles of health and safety. Wash your hands before and after handling food, wipe surfaces, and wash your dog’s bowl once they’ve finished, much as you would if you were handling raw meat for your own consumption.
You can decant the amount of food you need for the next day in the evening and defrost in the fridge overnight, or you can leave it on the side for a quicker serve. We recommend a hygienic container with a lid for storage purposes. In terms of raw dog food pros and cons, it’s perhaps worth flagging that feeding raw does require a little freezer space and a little time to let meals defrost, so if you don’t have much freezer space then our range of pouches and cans might be good to have on standby. They’re also a good option when you’re on holiday and might not be able to transport frozen food or store it!
As you get more comfortable with feeding raw, you may find it exciting to explore the benefits and see the enjoyment your dog will get from other raw products, such as our raw chews and bones. You may also like to try different recipes, letting them taste different proteins, such as venison, boar, or pheasant.
MAKING THE SWITCH
Switching your dog onto a raw food diet is surprisingly simple. We recommend transitioning over a seven-day period, swapping one of your dog’s two daily meals to raw, whilst keeping the other the same. For example, you could feed your dog half their daily raw ration for breakfast, then give them their old food for dinner. Do this for seven days, then on day eight switch to two raw meals, feeding their full daily raw ration.
Giving them a few days to adjust gradually prevents any stomach upsets that changing a dog’s diet too abruptly can cause.
GET THE RAW FOOD LOOK
So, we’ve been through the basics of raw dog food for beginners, from handling raw food to transitioning your dog’s diet. Now it’s time to touch on the many benefits our customers report. Our Natures Mates come from all walks of life – and boy do they love to walk! One of the pros of feeding raw we hear a fair bit about, is the improved energy levels that comes with it. This can mean a lethargic dog getting their bounce back, but we’ve also heard of hyperactive dogs becoming calmer.
Glossy, shiny coats, fresh breath and firm, small, less smelly poos are also frequently mentioned, but we’ve also had reports of tear ducts that heave ceased leaking, and improvements in health issues from anal glands to skin irritations. We don’t shy away from the less glamorous side of dog ownership; we’re committed to their best health, inside and out, from tail to snout. We call it the raw food look – and you’ll know when your dog’s got it!