Re-posted with generous permission from Generation Pet, http://www.generationpet.net, a Howard County local business.
Feeding raw is not for every pet owner. However, the first step to bridging that gap is helping consumers understand what feeding raw means and how it is beneficial to their pet’s health! Dogs are carnivores and cats are obligate carnivores! This means, that their diets consist primarily of animal products. In order for your pet to meet their nutritional requirements it is imperative that animal products are the primary source of their diet. It is their innate, instinctual behavior to eat raw meat. Dogs and cats in the wild are pack animals, they live, hunt, and eat in packs. When they take down their pray they eat raw muscle, organ, organ content, and bone.
There are several different methods of feeding raw. For most consumers the easiest way to feed raw is in formulas or balanced diets. These diets are complete following AAFCO standards and require no additional ingredients. There are other diet options such as mixes and grinds. Mixes or blends contain meat and produce, which vary in ratios depending on the brand. Grinds or basics contain only meat, bone, and organ. Mixes and grinds are not complete diets and need supplementation of a multivitamin in order to make the diet complete. Raw Meaty bones (RMBs) and Recreational bones are another important aspect of feeding raw because they provide a natural source of calcium as well as enhance tooth, gum, and jaw health. Cooked bones should never be fed because they can splinter and internally injure your pet. Some examples of RMBs are wings, necks, and backs and Recreational bones are marrow bones, shanks, and femurs.
If your customers are feeding raw or any other type of diet it is always great to add some supplements to ensure optimum health and the absence of deficiencies. Some beneficial add ins are probiotics for digestive health, whole eggs with the shells crushed for added protein and calcium, oil to provide Essential Fatty Acids, and multivitamins with trace minerals especially for added calcium to keep your pet’s Calcium to Phosphorus ratio balanced.
Transitioning to raw usually takes one to two weeks by reducing the current food and adding small amounts of raw, slowly increasing the ration of raw to old food until transition is made and there is no digestive upset. A slower transition is recommended for cats and pets with digestive issues. When handling raw clean-up is the same as preparing human raw food. Be sure to follow thawing and preparation directions for each product to ensure maximum safety and nutritious benefit.
If you would like more information or to have your staff trained on raw please contact Brittany at Brittany@generationpet.net