Frequently Asked Questions | Raw Pet Food | Natures Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

The safety of our foods is top priority. We genuinely care about your pets and we work hard to ensure our raw pet foods face the most safety and bacteria protocols in the UK.

We’re proud to lead the market with our continued quality handling methods, use of good HACCP controls, DEFRA approved micro-biological testing, raw material traceability and outstanding in-house microbiological practices.

Our manufacturing plant in Norfolk has been specifically built in line with all current EU legislation for the manufacturing and distribution of raw meat products.

Natures Menu raw foods comply with the Legal Trading Requirement of the APHA (Animal Plant Healthy Agency) which ensures we abide by all EU and UK laws to ensure the safety of our foods.

We have separate temperature-controlled departments for raw material, production, packing, despatch and finished goods, in order to maintain the highest standards and safety for both humans and animals that come into contact with our foods.

Natures Menu have a specialist delivery service, carrying foods all over the UK in our temperature-controlled delivery vehicles. This helps to make sure your food remains frozen throughout its entire journey to your pet’s bowl.

Our Manufacturing Facilities are registered by DEFRA registered plant No. 28/349/8105/ABP/PTF.

Good hygiene is paramount to good health for humans and this includes handling, storage and preparation of all foods but especially raw foods. We always recommend to thoroughly wash hands, feeding utensils and work surfaces following handling or preparation of raw materials.

We, like many of our customers, are concerned for the welfare of farm animals. The welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state and at Natures Menu we believe that good animal welfare needs to also consider a sense of wellbeing.

In conjunction with our DEFRA-approved, fully traceable supply chain we follow a code of ethics on farmed animal welfare which includes:

  • Laying systems in which the welfare of the chicken is properly protected and in which a nest, scratching/dustbathing areas and a perch are provided and where the stocking density and colony size is appropriate for their needs.

We are opposed to:

  • The use of individual crates for the rearing of animals.
  • Production systems in which the welfare of chickens (broilers), turkeys, ducks and other poultry is compromised.
  • All forms of farming that cause distress or suffering, or prevent animals of the opportunity to behave naturally.

We endorse the 'Five Freedoms' concept endorsed by the Animal Welfare Council:

  • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
  • Freedom from Discomfort
  • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
  • Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
  • Freedom from Fear and Distress

We will not make any misleading claims to our customers. We will continue to communicate honestly and clearly to them about the animal welfare standards under which our food is produced.

You can find out more about our welfare standards in our welfare statement

Only if they are raw.

Cooked bones are low moisture and can easily splinter or cause choking. Raw bones are softer, more flexible and very easily digested in the low pH of a dog or cat's stomach acid provided they are already on a raw diet. Follow these guidelines to ensure your pet enjoys their delicious raw bones safely:

  • Never cut or saw bones
  • Avoid feeding bones with small children present
  • Never leave a dog unattended with a bone
  • Never feed cooked bones
  • Always separate multi-dog households before feeding to prevent fights (raw meaty bones have a very high resource value and could cause a fight between even the very best of friends)
  • Always feed bones appropriate a dog's age, size, breed and experience.
  • Do not feed bones from the butcher as their storage history is unknown and bacteria may be prevalent
  • If storing between chewking sessions, rinse the bone under cold water and store in a plastic bag or container in the fridge
  • Always dispose of any uneaten material 24 hours after defrosting.

Raw bones can be fed up to 2-3 times a week to promote dental hygiene and provide a naturally satisfying chew session for your pet.

Some of the bones may last longer than others and some may be too hard for young dogs or older dogs with weaker teeth. So make sure you choose the most appropriate bone or chew for your dog. We offer a big selection for all types of dogs.

You can check out our raw bone guide for more detailed advice.

Unless there is a medical issue, a young animal’s digestive system will be able to cope with the diet.

Our puppy and kitten ranges are made with high quality portions of chicken and have a higher protein content to support growth. They’re also nutritionally complete and balanced, so nothing needs to be added to them.

It is safe to wean puppies from approximately 3-4 weeks of age onto our raw puppy nuggets or junior cans & pouches, and kittens onto our kitten pouches, alongside their mother's milk.

If you choose raw nuggets, we recommend adding some warm water to create a paste that is easy for them to lap up. The food should be cooled to body temperature before feeding and can be tested in the same way as testing baby milk or with a thermometer. From 5-6 weeks of age you may find they no longer require the food warmed or water added.

In general, yes.

In fact, based on our customer feedback, a raw food diet can help with a number of health issues, including:

  • Allergies or food intolerances
  • Some skin conditions
  • Digestive issues such as sensitive stomachs & loose poos
  • Anal gland issues
  • Sore/stiff joints
  • Obesity

As always, if you have any concerns at all that your pet is unwell, or you are unsure if raw is right for them, seek advice from your vet.

More often than not, yes. But usually!

Most of our customers find that feeding a raw diet results in firmer, less odorous and more solid, easier to pick up poo.

The firmer poo may also improve anal gland problems, allowing them to express naturally.

It’s important to us that we provide a wide range of products to reflect the variety of choices pet owners make, especially for those who are new to raw and natural feeding, or just beginning to consider it.

Dogs do have a more limited ability to digest starchy types of grain than us humans. They can struggle to cope with digesting meals and diets that contain starchy grains like wheat. Brown rice is very low starch and far easier for a dog to digest.

If you would like to feed your dog a grain free diet, you can view our grain free options here

For dogs:

We recommend a 7-day transition period. Divide your dog's daily ration into two portions: one raw and one their usual food. Feed each portion ideally 12 hours apart. Eg. raw in the morning and normal food in the evening.

From day 8 you can feed 100% raw. While many dogs can cope without a transition period we recommend this method to give the body time to:

  • Adjust digestive enzyme release
  • Alter stomach pH
  • Adapt intestinal microbiome ('friendly' bacteria)
  • Promote healthy digestion and metabolism

We recommend defrosting our frozen products either in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours, as you would defrost any frozen meat for yourself. We don’t suggest using a microwave.

Our nuggets and freeflow minces may take up to 2 hours at room temperature to defrost. The minced blocks may take longer as they are a denser product.

All defrosted meats need to be kept in a fridge and consumed within 24 hours.

Find out more about safe raw feeding

Your puppy can have our puppy nuggets or junior foods from our ambient range up to 12 months of age, although this is not usually necessary. In most cases, you can try your puppy on our adult range from 20 weeks of age.

If your puppy is a giant breed dog (with an expected adult weight of 60 kilos plus), then it can be a good idea to keep them on our puppy varieties up to 7-10 months old.

We offer free home delivery on all orders over £29. A £7.95 delivery charge applies to orders less than £29 for Home Delivery customers and if delivery on a Saturday is more convenient for you we offer this for £9.95.

Your order will be shipped with delivery experts DPD or in one of our green Natures Menu temperature-controlled vans, arriving at your home in perfect condition for your pet’s next delicious real meal.

In order to ensure the product is not defrosted on delivery you will need to be available to take the order so we can deliver it straight to your freezer. Alternatively, please leave us a delivery note when you place your order online, detailing where you would like your order to be left.

We deliver to every area of the UK at least once every 2 weeks, in some areas we deliver twice in a week. You will be able to view your delivery days when you sign up and place your order.

All of our minces, except the All Beef 400g mince block, Beef Freeflow, Tripe Freeflow, Tripe 400g mince block, Beef and Tripe mix 300g and beef nuggets (Country Hunter) and Original are created by mincing quality carcass with meat attached, so minced bone is a natural and integral part of many of our raw complete meals and just meat products.

When feeding complete and balanced cans, pouches, raw meals or nuggets:

Feed for the weight you want the dog to be, unless this would mean a big drop in food, in which case gradually reduce over a 2-week period.

For an ideal weight-loss program, speak to one of our team or your vet.

Use one of the lower calorific varieties.

When making up raw meals at home:

Feed for the weight you want the dog to be, unless this would mean a big drop in food, in which case gradually reduce over a 2-week period.

We recommend feeding our raw complete and balanced meals, just meat products and raw bones and chews after they've been thoroughly defrosted - but not cooked.

The majority of our products thaw within the space of 2 hours at room temperature and can be fed immediately in their wholesome raw state.

We do not advise that you cook or microwave our products as we are advocates of a raw diet and are unable to guarantee the nutritional value of our complete meals when cooked.

All our products are designed to be safely fed raw.

Tell us about your pet

Every animal is different. Tell us about your cat or dog and we'll give you tailored feeding advice and information based on your pet's needs.