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.

Useful Links:
Complete Starters Guide

Starter guide is aimed at dogs but 80/10/10 ratio applies to cats/ferrets too. Just disregard recreational bone feeding for cats/ferrets, and feed edible bone instead.

Why Feed Raw?

Raw Feeding Myths

Felinenutrition.org

Kibble Ingredients Diagram

Learn about your current pet food here

 

reptiles-rule-my-world asked
Hello. I have two dogs. An 8 year old tibetan spaniel, and a 2 year old lab mix. My lab mix has always had digestive problems. And we recently found out that the only food he can eat is purina. Now my question is, what exactly does raw food do? I'm very skeptical but also very uneducated. I don't in any way wanna hurt my dog. Your thoughts on this? Thank you :)

Hi your skepticism is good as it is important to challenge pre-existing ideas. I am a skeptic myself and once thought that kibble was designed with my dogs health in mind. Raw feeding never crossed my mind until I slowly started to learn about the canine digestive system and what they are truly designed to eat.

Raw feeding is based on the digestive system and physiology of dogs and cats. The effects are systemic - ranging from cessation of allergies and digestive problems, to increased energy levels and amazing dental hygiene. Good nutrition is also a preventative and I would call raw feeding the equivalent of a human eating a healthy diet. Dry kibble is full of carbohydrates (plant matter), preservatives (many carcinogens), over-processed fats, altered/denatured proteins and synthetic nutrients (vitamins/minerals destroyed by extreme cooking temps). Kibble is pretty much the equivalent of eating junk food day in day out for an entire lifetime (at least until it catches up). Dog and cats have zero biological requirement for carbohydrates, however kibble is 30-70% carbohydrate. High carb diets are linked to countless diseases in humans, so imagine the effects on a carnivore. Kibble as we know it was an outcome of WWII and has since taken the world by storm due to sheer convenience and price. After all, it can sit on the shelf for years and not be tainted (shows how preserved it is). The cheap carbohydrate base means it can be made at a low cost which is then passed on to consumers. Many kibble companies target vet schools and are there from day one promoting, sponsoring and even teaching ‘nutrition’ classes. They also target vet clinics and become closely affiliated with them in order to be seen as the ‘scientific healthy choice’. Raw feeding is about getting down to the very fundamentals of nutrition; nutrients in their whole food form, friendly bacteria for gut health (green tripe), unaltered proteins, and healthy fats for a glossy coat. Not too mention the mental stimulation, muscle workout, and dental health provided by regular meaty recreational bones. I would recommend reading these Raw Essentials files (vet). They are very short, yet informative and include detailed info about kibble vs raw. Also this page goes into some of the myths surrounding raw feeding too.  :)


ncc-170dumb asked
Hi, I just wanted to thank you for running this blog. I stumbled across it, did some research, and started our cats on a raw diet. We're still working on figuring out what works best for them but we've already seen a HUGE difference. I suspect one of our cats had developed a food allergy, she was grooming excessively and scratching her neck until it was raw and bleeding. We switched to raw and she stopped immediately. Both cats have more energy and are excited to eat now. Thank you so much

Hi, thats awesome that you’ve seen such great changes in your cats already; Im glad my blog has been useful. Its always cool to hear about improvements in pets after switching to a raw diet. :)

Anonymous asked
Hello! I was wondering if you could explain the risks of feeding raw and kibble at the same time? I've noticed this pushed pretty hard around raw feeding communities and I was wondering just why it is so important to keep raw and processed separated? I know they digest at different rates, but I would love if you could give me more information on it? Thanks!

Hi, there are a few reasons why its better to keep them separate or even better, ditch the carby kibble. The first is that raw meat is digested efficiently and pushed quickly through the short canine GI tract. Kibble is slow digesting (unnaturally so) and the theory is that bacteria from the raw meat could become trapped with the kibble. One of the reasons why bacteria isnt an issue is becuase of the fast gastric transit, so if trapped bacteria could then multiply and present a health hazard. The second reason it’s better to keep them separate is that a meat-based diet promotes gastric acidity, whereas food with a heavy carbohydrate/plant load (aka kibble) promotes alkalinity. Acidity is required to digest raw animal products (especially bone) and manage bacteria. So this could present problems in bone digestion, which is why vets see dogs with bone fragments lodged in their intestines - they struggled to digest them appropriately. It may also increase the risk of bacterial illness. The digestion of raw and processed is markedly different and while many pets have survived with mixed meals, it is just an added safety measure. :)

alldogownersshouldknow:

Symptoms of bloat include:

  • hard, swollen abdomen that may make a hollow sound if tapped
  • retching that produces no vomit OR produces foamy, white vomit
  • drooling/salivating excessively
  • whining
  • pacing/restlessness
  • lethargy
  • stiff-legged walk

If your dog shows signs of having bloat, call your vet IMMEDIATELY. Every second counts. Bloat is extremely painful and without quick veterinary intervention your dog will probably not survive.

Check out this video of an akita in the middle to late stages of bloat.

Check out this article on what bloat is, the varieties of bloat, its symptoms, and the typical treatment plans.

The best predictor of a dog’s chances of getting bloat are its relatives. If your dogs family has had bloat, your dog is at an increased risk. Other risk factors include:

  • deep, narrow chested dogs
  • feeding to soon before or after exercising
  • raised feeding bowls
  • gulping food/eating too quickly
  • eating one or two large meals per day
  • overeating
  • overdrinking
  • dry food diet

Anonymous asked
How many pets do you own? Do you give them a raw only diet?

Hi, I have two dogs at the moment but I was looking after some cats for 5 months, up until a few weeks ago. They are raw fed, although I have backup dog roll in the freezer for the rare occasions when their meat runs out.

schicksalswende asked
That's what I was thinking, but I am not an expert on the subject and thought it best to ask you. Thank you for answering my question~

No worries, feel free to ask any more in the future. :)

liesbehindalens asked
I'm looking into getting a ferret and am curious if a raw meat diet would be best? If so, what kinds of meat? Is there certain meat I should look for? Any info would be great! I just want to give my future fuzzy baby the best :)

Hi great decision; especially as your future ferret (obligate carnivore) is designed to consume prey alone. I’d recommend learning about Prey Model Raw as it is based on prey quantities and has every component your ferret will need (meat, bone, organ). Chicken/other poultry is one of the best sources of edible bone (10%) as it is very soft and easily digested. Some bone ideas: wings, chicken necks, ribs, small turkey bones.Then you have 10% organ, with half as liver. Other ideas: kidney, brain, pancreas. The remaining part is 80% meat, of which you can feed heart (very cost-effective) as it is a muscle meat. Other ideas: lamb, horse, beef, chicken, rabbit. To get these quantities you just need to weigh your ferrets weekly food intake, and then make sure he/she gets approx 80/10/10 across that week. Balance is achieved over the week as it saves us weighing this ratio out each day. After awhile you can just eyeball the quantities without weighing. Whole prey is another great addition if you can locate some online (many sites deliver) or in a local pet shop. When feeding this, you can disregard the 80/10/10 Prey Model guideline as whole prey already has everything we strive for. Items such as frozen feeder mice, quails and chicks are some ideas. :)

Ferrets: Whole Prey Diet


alwaysaspencer asked
I actually find it hard to find a lot of vets who support PMR! It's frustrating for me to find a vet who raw feeds and then see them advocating BARF. eg Dr Karen Becker says dogs are carnivores and yet she says to feed them vegetables? I don't get it. Is it more common for raw feeding vets to support PMR where you live? I have yet to find one near me.

Hi yeah there are a lot of vets here that support PMR and quite a few that own raw feeding companies too. They provide a lot of great info and even studies to back up raw (eg gastric acidity studies). There are also heaps of rural vets who support raw but dont know much about it. They know that most farm dogs are fed raw and its been that way forever. In the cities Ive found that some vets are a bit more finicky and pro-Science Diet though. I cant really blame them considering the sly involvement of pet food companies in the only NZ vet school. Ive heard in the past that Karen Becker encourages vegetables and it sounds as though she’s influenced by the first international Barf movement. The best way to find a PMR vet is to google search holistic vets, vet naturopaths, and also homeopaths. Although its not a deal-breaker for me; I prefer to have an experienced/knowledgeable vet over a raw feeding one. Although one that is both would be even better becuase a nutritionally knowledgeable vet really adds an extra dimension to healthcare.

acuddlemonster asked
Hello! Love this blog. I have an 8lb poodle mix; do you have any information on how much omega 3 he needs, preferably in a unit other than oils? I feed organic/local/grass-fed beef hearts and wild-caught salmon/sardines, but I am not sure what the quantity or frequency should be. He has been on raw for 3 months, if that matters. Thank you!

Hi, here is a post I made awhile ago about the correct dosage information for feeding fish oil, as well as tips on what to look for in a product. The dosage is measured via body weight and the amount of EPA in the product (written on the back). The fact that you already feed organic/grass-fed meat and occasional fish, means that you probably dont even need to supplement with omega 3. Fish meals 1-3 times a week would be sufficient fatty acids. Fish oil supplementation does have therapeutic benefits for older pets and those with allergies or joint problems though (higher epa/dha), so its really up to you. For a dog his size you may need to find smaller capsules and cut them open to get the approx dosage. :)

More dosage info.

Mammal rant

akhalinmochroi:

snakeworld:

akhalinmochroi:

mgkesi:

regalswag:

spinesaw:

raw-fed-pets:

bigbootsandscaryeyes:

snakeworld:

I just have to say this: Please, for the love of God, do some basic research on pet nutrition before making comments on it. I’m talking about looking at ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC research. Dogs are OMNIVORES. They need a certain percentage of both animal protein and plant matter in their…

Dogs are carnivores and have zero biological requirement for carbohydrates. Google scholar is your friend. Learn about their lack of salivary amylase, gastric acidity, short gut length, salivary lysozyme, gastric bile, lack of flat grinding molars/presence of pointed teeth and lack of a sideways moving lower jaw, among many other carnivorous/non-omnivorous characteristics. Pancreatic amylase allows for limited assimilation of carbohydrates, although in saying that we cannot ignore that the fact that their short carnivorous intestinal length prevents full absorption of carbohydrates. On top of that, digestible does not equal healthy. Most kibble has an extremely high plant load of between 30-70%. This is good business - not health and certainly not science.

Feeding a dog anything that isn’t meat is like trying to feed me a salad.

Bad idea.

Well, while I agree that raw feed is great, some people just cannot afford that.

You could say, “Oh then don’t get a dog!” but that’s pretty much saying, “kill every dog that isn’t going to get raw fed!”

I don’t think that’s very reasonable.  There’s no way shelters could sustain themselves if all they did was raw feed.

It’s not claiming all dogs should be fed raw though, it’s disputing that dogs are omnivores, which was my purpose in reblogging.  Raw is ideal, but not every dog everywhere can be fed raw.  As far as individually affording though, it can actually be cheaper than mid-grade commercial kibble if you find some good sources.  ETA:  I know you were responding to Spine, but I wanted to clarify my stance.

It’s worth pointing out though that people are very often not educated enough on what to look for in pet foods (even low grade), for example I went to the dollar store here and compared Purina to an off brand called “Lassie; Natural Way” and the price is similar but lassie beats out purina on quality by a mile.

similarly for puppies nunn better and purina are similarly prices but nunn better is the far better kibble.

fuck purina.

Also the op is so fucking stupid jfc.

"Dogs aren’t omnivores eh? Wolves eh? Well they eat stomachs and what’s in stomachs? GRASS."

So dumb. If your dog needs grass it will actually eat the grass with its mouf. DOGS KNOW HOW TO MAKE POOP. no fiber required.

It has to do with the essential vitamins and minerals they get from it. It’s basic nutrition. As a veterinary professional it’s my job to research and know about pet nutrition. I’m not going to lay out every detail when the majority of people don’t want to actually look at things like food trials and phosphorus, calcium, and sodium/potassium ratios. People will obviously think whatever they want regardless of what years of research show. There is always incorrect “research” to back any idea or fad. And I really don’t want to be associated with all of this misinformation. I hate internet arguing and it honestly makes me not want to ever share how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. You can all carry on what whatever conversations you would like on the subject but it’s not an argument for me. I know the facts.

I can’t help but feel you are discredited as any kind of veterinary professional, not only because you used something so spurious as “wolves eat stomachs” as evidence for them being omnivores, but also because this has you “heated”. Yea, veterinarians have to deal with a LOT worse than this, actual abusive owners, and say nothing and still be nice all the time.

If this gets you heated then I fear for your future as a vet, I dont know what good you can do anyone if you can’t even argue with people that are actually right.

"It has to do with essential vitamins and minerals they get from it". Scientifically speaking, this means nothing. It is basic common knowledge that dogs evolved for thousands of years on an animal-based diet. Whole prey/PMR has the correct ratio of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Vitamins/minerals are only added to processed food (ie kibble) becuase the extreme cooking temperatures  (170 degrees+) destroy natural animal-based nutrients. Thus, synthetic lab-made vitamins and minerals are added following cooking. There are a large number of studies that show that whole food is much healthier with significantly increased absorption when compared to synthetic isolated nutrients. I included some links including peer reviewed studies, in this previous post. AAFCO feeding trials are only 6 months long and prove survivability and the absence of immediate illness. The calcium phosphorus ratio is a very basic concept - one I have posted about on various occasions. Many of these posts are written by vets, if that adds any credibility. Veterinary science is unrelated to nutrition though, in the same way a GP doesnt have the knowledge or expertise to provide specified and/or long-term nutritional advice to humans. Whether OP is a vet tech, vet, animal feeder, cleaner, or simply a vet receptionist - biology is obviously not their strong suit.

There was no response in regards to the various carnivorous features listed above (of which Ive just thought of more now). OP stresses the importance of scientific research, yet when faced with numerous references (above link) they decide that, "There is always incorrect “research” to back any idea or fad." This leads me to believe that they only approve of science that they agree with. No good veterinary professional would blatantly disregard science and biology in favor of opinion.

Not to mention, an animal-based diet (also based on current canine physiology), cannot possibly fit the definition of being a ‘fad’ simply due to the millions of years of canine evolution. If anything was to be labelled a ‘fad’, it would certainly be kibble due to the fact it has only been around a few decades. There are plenty of vets who support PMR, who are not influenced by the pet food companies closely affiliated with vet schools and veterinary clinics. You will find just some of them in my tag, plus a vet outlining CA:P ratio on page 2. Basically, while there are thousands of nutritionally knowledgeable vets; simply citing a connection to the ‘veterinary profession’ does not justify your theory that canines are omnivores and ‘require a certain percentage of plant material’.



Mammal rant

bigbootsandscaryeyes:

snakeworld:

I just have to say this: Please, for the love of God, do some basic research on pet nutrition before making comments on it. I’m talking about looking at ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC research. Dogs are OMNIVORES. They need a certain percentage of both animal protein and plant matter in their…

Dogs are carnivores and have zero biological requirement for carbohydrates. Google scholar is your friend. Learn about their lack of salivary amylase, gastric acidity, short gut length, salivary lysozyme, gastric bile, lack of flat grinding molars/presence of pointed teeth and lack of a sideways moving lower jaw, among many other carnivorous/non-omnivorous characteristics. Pancreatic amylase allows for limited assimilation of carbohydrates, although in saying that we cannot ignore that the fact that their short carnivorous intestinal length prevents full absorption of carbohydrates. On top of that, digestible does not equal healthy. Most kibble has an extremely high plant load of between 30-70%. This is good business - not health and certainly not science.


schicksalswende asked
I have been learning quite a lot from your blog and the resources that you produce. I always wanted to know about feeding the raw diet to dogs, but without proper introduction, you tend to run into a lot of scare tactics. While reading, though, a question popped up in my head. I realize that the mental stimulation dogs receive from the prey model is beneficial to all dogs, but is it more so for those breeds with a prey drive?

Hi, interesting question. The mental stimulation itself is unrelated to prey drive as dogs do not connect the slab of meat in front of them with live prey, any more than they would with canned meat and live prey. If they were hunting down animals and killing them though - this would be when their prey drive becomes directly related to eating raw meat. The mental stimulation itself comes more from them engaging in their instinctual ‘chew drive’ and also the great physical workout they get from it (jaw, neck muscles). It is an enjoyable and rewarding activity that is very deeply ingrained in the canine psyche. I imagine raw meat/bones taste great to them too, judging by their behaviour and the fact that its their primary biological diet. I have chihuahuas who lack all signs of a discernible prey drive yet they still reap the mental benefits of raw, especially bones. They could sit for hours ripping and tearing at bones but I have to limit them to an hour to prevent overeating. Overall since prey drive isnt related to raw feeding, all breeds are pretty much equal in regards to mental benefits. :)