A Prey Model raw blog for dogs, cats and ferrets (also their owners). Raw feeding is based on long-term pet health and carnivore physiology. I post tips about how to start Prey Model Raw, the benefits of a healthy unprocessed diet, where to locate cheap meat and how to easily create a complete diet. Good nutrition is the very foundation of good long-term health. Pet diets should be based on what they thrive on, instead of what they can simply survive on.
Feel free to ask any questions about raw feeding. Check out my FAQ below.
Complete Starters Guide (Same ratio for ferrets/dogs/cats)
Why Feed Raw?
Raw Feeding Myths
Kibble Ingredients Diagram
Learn about your current pet food here
That’s great. No worries, feel free to ask anymore questions in the future. :)
Hi, dogs have no biological requirement for carbohydrates, which primarily come from plants. Dogs and cats, being carnivores, actually have a process called glucogenesis where protein is converted to glucose to use as energy. Humans on the other hand are deigned to eat plant matter and it is extremely healthy for us. Organ meats are very high in vitamins/minerals (too high when overfed) so the Prey Model Raw guidelines are suited perfectly to meet canine nutrient requirements. There are actually quite a few commercial raw brands that use no vegetable matter at all and easily meet the AAFCO recommendations. Plus there are many vets recommending raw nowadays too (eg felinenutriton.org) and I have yet to hear about a nutrient deficiency on a correct PMR diet. Steamed/boiled vegetable scraps are fine as an occasional addition to the diet but they are not required at all and too much can actually mess up gastric acidity (required for bones digestion/bacteria).
All of the animals peacefully share raw at this house. Tyr waiting his turn while Bubba has a taste of Tyr’s chicken. #KillingTheViciousMyth
That’s awesome (and also cute). It really shows that food aggression is primarily a behavioural issue.
Hi yeah, I mean touching it in a way that would allow it to make skin contact (which could then get in through mucous membranes/mouth). Picking it up with a scoop or a normal dog bag is fine. Basic hygiene is important, even with kibble fed dogs. I also get my worm pills from the vet because they sell them individually for $3, which is just easier. Vets usually sell high quality reputable brands too so this is also ideal. :)
Hi, that’s great that you are wanting to put aside your personal beliefs to ensure the health and longevity of your dogs. Perhaps you could print off these myth pages and show your family: Omnivore, parasites and bacteria. Dogs have a short highly acidic carnivorous digestive tract and are geared toward an animal based diet alone. Your family seem to be comparing a humans digestive system to the dog, when they actually have vastly different digestive processes. Humans are designed to eat plant matter as part of their diet - dogs are not and have zero nutritional requirement for them. Most people can supplement their pet with raw recreational bones however I cannot completely guarantee the safety of feeding raw bones on a processed diet This is because a processed diet encourages gastric alkalinity whereas a raw diet promotes acidity. Acidity is required for bone digestion and bacterial management. The cases that vets see regarding bones and intestinal perforations/bacterial illness are due to a number of factors (eg cooked bones, small bones), including the feeding of bones to a dog lacking the appropriate gastric acidity. While this isnt very common it is important to be aware. Dental hygiene is also only one aspect of health, whereas a healthy biologically appropriate diet has benefits for all areas of health. Would they perhaps consider starting with commercial raw, as a stepping stone? Also check out my short bone feeding video plus this post with safety tips. :)
I found a work/trade job on a farm, so I could provide the most fresh grassfed beef bones, organs and meat possible for my special needs Mastiff (epilepsy), and my Great Dane who loses her hair even on Acana or Orijen. Tyr has been seizure and medication free for over two years thanks to raw. Ilsa, as you can see, has a plush and shiny coat again. Nothing but raw for my babes. This is fresh lungs and trachea, harvested fresh that morning.
Hi that’s awesome, they also look like they’re having heaps of fun too. A raw diet is much more mentally and physically rewarding for dogs than eating pellets out of a bowl, and this picture really emphasizes that. Its great that raw has been so beneficial for both of your dogs health conditions too. :)
Hi as a temporary measure this is usually fine. Canned food is generally lower in carbohydrates/plant material and relatively higher in animal protein (dry matter basis), so in this regard it is better for gastric acidity than kibble. An all raw diet maintains adequate gastric acidity for bone digestion and bacterial management though. Raw is absolutely essential for dental hygiene too (eg chicken necks) because while wet food is significantly better than dry kibble, it also sticks heavily to teeth encouraging periodontal disease. But overall temporary feeding of canned is fine. In some animals it may cause GI upset though, such as throwing up.
Grains are definitely an ingredient to avoid but just make sure the brand is also low carbohydrate and hasnt simply replaced grains with other carb fillers (as all dry grain-free brands do). Here is a page that will allow you to calculate the approx carbohydrate content of your pets food. Some good ideas for boarding/pet sitters etc though are frozen commercial raw (eg Feline Natural or Natures Variety) or dehydrated raw (eg K9 natural or Ziwipeak), which you just add warm water to. :)
Hi great decision considering raw for your cat and for researching the diet before you start. I’d really just suggest buying whatever you can fit in your freezer at the time, especially if you come across a decent sale. Buying in bulk is often much cheaper too depending on your source. I usually pile up the butcher’s counter with stacks of kidney, liver and hearts, meanwhile the people waiting in line give me strange looks. Cats dont really eat a lot so you could probably buy up to 1-2 months worth of food at a time. While meat can store for much longer than this; the fresher the better. This is because some nutrients are said to degrade during long periods of freezing. There is no evidence yet (that Ive seen anyway) but I have heard that Taurine may be reduced during freezing. So this is why I recommend inclusion of heart into a cats raw diet as part fo the 80% meat (high in taurine), as well as not freezing meat for a long time. If you find that you run out of freezer space a wise investment might be a mini freezer. I bought an ugly used brown freezer (below) but its definitely one of the most valuable raw feeding purchases Ive made. :)
Hi as far as I know, freezing does not kill rabbit fever/Tularemia. The best idea would be to know the area well that you’re hunting in. Research any diseases affecting wild game and learn how hunters check for symptoms of Tularemia in wild rabbits. The disease itself is rare and isnt considered to be a serious or common disease in dogs (treated with antibiotics). "Approximately 150-300 human tularemia cases are reported in the United States annually, with a majority of those from Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The frequency of tularemia has dropped markedly over the last 50 years and there has been a shift from winter disease (usually from rabbits) to summer disease (more likely from ticks),’" source.
That said, if there have been any reported cases in your region it would be important to take safety precautions for both you and your dog (as discussed in above link). Wild rabbits may also harbour ticks and fleas as well as intestinal parasites. A regular reputable worming/flea treatment would manage these well but for extra safety you could skin and gut wild prey. Just try to keep the stomach and intestines intact as you remove them to prevent stomach acid and other spillage. Many raw feeders do feed with skin on and intestines intact safely, however again it would depend on your region and whether you are comfortable with the game in that area. Deep freezing for at least one month is recommend for all wild prey too. :)
Hi that’s great, your kitten is definitely off to a great start in life. I believe ground meat is designed primarily for quick, easy feeding and as a viable use for meat industry scraps. It is not entirely beneficial for the animal itself. A lot of ground mixes are very high fat and/or high in bone and it can be difficult to judge the content properly. Plus as you say, ground meat does nothing for dental hygiene. Normal ground meat also has much less taurine and potentially higher levels of bacteria because the mixing process may trap it in between layers of meat (would be an issue if the meat was left out at room temp). Commercial raw is a bit better than usual ground meat because it at least has adequate nutrients (ie not too much fat and correct vitamins/minerals) and stringent bacterial management during mixing. When people feed commercial raw it is definitely ideal to include raw meaty bones/whole prey regularly to maintain dental hygiene. PMR is still much better than commercial though as daily ripping/chewing works the cats neck/jaw muscles and provides a stimulating activity, fulfilling natural instincts (especially whole prey). Normal ground meat may be included as a small part of a raw diet, but it’s definitely much better to feed bigger unmixed meats. :)
Hi in most cases it will be fine, but it is important to know that a processed diet can reduce the efficiency of raw digestion. This is because processed foods promote alkalinity whereas a raw diet ensures the correct acidity for bone digestion/bacteria. While most pets will be ok with the occasional raw supplement in their diet its important to just be aware of the small risk. :)