Tons of pet parents have recently begun switching their dog’s diet from the traditional processed kibble meals to a cleaner, fresher, healthier diet. It is no secret fresh, and natural food is better for your dog’s health than processed meals with tons of artificial ingredients and preservatives.
With all the different healthy, fresh, and raw dog food options popping up on the market, you may be wondering which brands offer the best foods for your pup.
How to Choose the Best Raw Dog Food
Have you thought about switching your dog to a raw dog food diet? Are you uncertain about where to start? You’ll want to think about how much food your dog needs, what kinds of foods have the right balance of nutrients, and how to make sure your dog gets all the right vitamins and nutrients. We looked into Raw Paws for guidance, and it turns out they have a ton of great information!
What is Raw Paws?
Raw Paws is a dog food company based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. You can go to their website to get all kinds of information on their vast selection of natural dog food. The variety included bones, organs, treats, chews, and even supplements. The USDA inspects all Raw Paws meat from the moment it is sourced locally through the entire production and delivery process.
A lot of companies offer fresh or raw dog food. The thing that sets Raw Paws apart it that they want to make learning how to go about feeding your dog a healthy raw diet as easy as possible. There are a ton of tools to help pet parents during the process. You can read the feeding guides, use the calculator, and even get a free consultation over the phone with a Raw Paws specialist.
What is a Raw Diet?
If you are new to raw feeding, you’ll want to read up on the two different ways that are common for feeding your dog a raw diet.
The first one is the BARF diet. BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. BARF diets are considered omnivorous diets because your dog will eat meat, organ, bones, as well as vegetables, fruits, and supplements.
The second type of raw diet is called the Prey Model. This basis for the Prey Model diet is that your dog should be eating as their ancestors did in the wild. On the Prey Model, your dog would be on an all-meat diet, no veggies, fruits, or supplements.
The Prey Model diet actually will provide you with the percentage of what your dog should eat. Your dog would eat 80 percent meat, 10 percent organ (five percent of this would be the liver), and 10 percent bone. Both diet options are great. The one you choose is up to you, your preference, and your dog’s nutritional needs.
What to Expect When You Order Raw Paws
When you go to order dog food from Raw Paws, you can order all the ingredients individually. Or, you can purchase complete ground meals that are already put together for you. The second option might be ideal if you are new to raw feeding, or new to the brand.
We tried out the salmon, turkey, and duck option with our dog. He loved it! Raw Paws food comes frozen in an insulated Styrofoam box. Pop the meals into your fridge for at least 48 hours to defrost before feeding to your pup.
How to Prep Raw Paws Dog Food
It is a smart idea to use the Raw Paws feeding calculator to figure out how much you should feed your dog each day. Not all dogs will need the same portion sizes. The food is easy to measure. Just store it in some Tupperware until you are ready to feed your pup.
How to Transition to a Raw Food Diet
Raw diets are some of the healthiest diets for dogs. It is a smart decision to switch your dog to a raw diet, but don’t think you can switch it up on them all at once. Switching your dog to a raw diet will take some time and patience.
The kind of food your dog eats now, how picky your pup is, and your dog’s digestive system sensitivity can all factor into how long it takes to transition to a raw dog food diet. If your dog is already on dehydrated foods, it may take up to three weeks to fully transition to a raw diet. If your dog usually eats processed kibble, it will likely take a few weeks to a few months to fully transition.
Pay attention to your dog’s signals, and transition at their pace. Your dog’s digestive system needs time to acclimate to raw food rather than cooked food. However, the transition time is a lot faster than if your dog eats a processed kibble diet. Every dog is different. You may need to adjust the time frame to be more or less gradual, depending on how your dog is doing with it.
What Happens When You Switch Your Dog’s Diet?
If your dog usually eats a processed kibble diet, it may take some time for your dog’s body to detoxify during the transition to raw food. During detox, your dog may experience some side effects like dry skin, shedding, and watery eyes.
Your dog may drink less water on a raw diet because the raw dog food is moisture-rich. Your dog will be getting much more water from their food than with a processed kibble diet. They will not need to drink as much water.
During the transition period, your dog may experience an upset stomach and diarrhea. Once your pup’s tummy has gotten used to the raw food, their stool will be much firmer and smaller than usual. This change is due to the lack of carbohydrates and fillers that are present in the processed kibble.
What if My Dog Won’t Try the Raw Food?
If your dog refuses the raw food, the first thing to do is figure out why they don’t want to eat it. Sometimes it takes dogs time to get used to a new food. This is especially true if your dog has been eating kibble for their entire life.
You may want to try fasting your dog for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before you introduce any new foods. This will help reset your dog’s digestive system before you switch to a new food. Serve your dog’s food at room temperature, rather than chilled. If your dog is susceptible to a sensitive tummy, you may want to help prepare their stomach. Try giving them some slippery elm or goat’s milk.
Final Thoughts on Raw Paws Pet Food
Our dog enjoyed the Raw Paws salmon, turkey, and duck meal. The quality of the food and the ordering process was impressive. The best thing about Raw Paws was all the tools, support, and guides to help in the transition to a raw diet. It was easy to order and easy to prepare. Overall, Raw Paws is a great option to try out if you are thinking of switching your dog to a raw diet. Or, if your dog is already on a raw diet, but you want to try out a new brand.