A: In theory, yes. But we wouldn’t recommend it. To do it properly, you’d need a lot of time and expertise. Raw meat has to be handled very carefully by us humans to stay safe (food hygiene training would be vital). Also, it’s essential that every meal is balanced enough to be ‘complete’. For that, you’d need a nutritionist involved.
A: Raw food used to be the most popular way. But cooked tinned dog food and kibble were introduced to the pet market about 60 years ago – for people’s convenience (and because it was lucrative business opportunity!). Now pet food is a massive commercial market place. It’s hard to get the message out – when you’re competing with a multi-million pound, global industry.
A: The cooking process breaks down the many proteins and amino acids found in raw meat, destroying as much as 70% of the nutritional goodness essential to the wellbeing of all carnivores. More worrying still, most commercial pet foods contain a large percentage of grains, cereals and soya used as fillers. Dogs are simply not genetically designed to eat this. This could lead to health problems that may include ear and anal gland infections, skin allergies, diabetes, heart and joint problems.
A: It’s because it’s what they’d eat in the wild – what nature intended. Dogs are omnivores. They devour up to one third of their nutritional needs from raw bones. This will include calcium, complex fats, magnesium and vitamins. Bones also keep a dog’s teeth clean and gums healthy, which has been shown to lead to a longer life. If they were left to their own devices, dogs would eat rabbits, birds and other animals. They would consume the whole animal, including muscle and organ meat, bone and intestines. They would further raid nests and eat eggs, including the shells. Canines are natural grazers too – and feed on grass, greens and root vegetables, berries and more.
A: Keep giving them treats – just make it the right ones! Treats are really important for training, rewards, games and making life fun for your dog.
A: The benefits are almost too many to list. But they include improved life expectancy, skin, joints, teeth and coats, as well as help to overcome digestion problems, constipation, diarrhoea, weight issues (overweight and underweight), and also as a way to balance temperament and energy levels. Why? Because this is the food they were meant to eat in nature.
A: Yes. It’s made with quality ingredients and created here in Britain – and the goodness is captured by our freezing process. Once thawed, our food is full of colour and bursting with flavour and goodness. Just compare that to bland tinned food, which might be made anywhere in the world in giant factories – and pressed into metal cylinders, so it can sit around in warehouses for ages. And it’s a similar story for kibble. Think about huge conveyor belts, mixing and drying this stuff into pellets. Sure, there may be a nice picture of a dog on the front of the pack – but the whole behind-the-scenes process just doesn’t seem natural.
A: Yes it can, irrespective of breed, shape, or size. Genetically, the canine digestive system is the same in all dogs. No-one needs to miss out!
A: Vets are generally not nutritionists and are subject to the same blanket advertising and sales propaganda from processed food manufactures that we all see. Some vets sell mass-produced products too – and it’s highly-profitable for them. But more are seeing the value of raw diets.
A: No, definitely not. Processed food moves through your dog’s digestive system more slowly than raw food. Since dogs naturally eat raw meat and bones, the canine high stomach acidity breaks down bone content and bacteria very efficiently. If you feed kibble and raw mixture, the kibble slows down the digestion of the raw – and allows the possibility of bacteria being able to flourish. Raw-fed dogs are not prone to any higher risk of bacteria, since their stomachs are more acidic, making bacteria more unlikely.
A: Firstly, you’ll notice how much your dog enjoys the food. Soon, you’ll notice their smaller, firmer bowel movements, which are often odourless and easier to clean up. Then you’ll begin to notice your dog is healthy and happier. A raw diet will encourage a more resilient immune system and greater all-round wellness.
A: Water should always be available but you may notice a marked decrease in intake, which is normal. Raw-fed dogs will drink less because of the high moisture content in raw feed, which hydrates them. Meat and vegetables are moist, naturally. We keep it that way.
A: Cooked bones can be, yes. They can split into shards and harm your dog. But raw bones are safe for them. You must always supervise your dog when they are eating a raw bone.
A: Yes. They are a fantastic source of a wide variety of nutrients. The chance of salmonella bacteria being inside an intact egg is about 0.005%, so it is very low risk. They are packed full of amino acids, the building blocks for all cells, and they are an excellent source of protein.
A: We think so, yes. There is a debate over the use of vegetables in dog food. But we believe that dogs naturally graze, so we include vegetables. Broccoli is an antioxidant high in nutrients, carrot is good for healthy eyesight and rich in vitamins, while root vegetables like Swede are high in minerals.
A: Yes. Dog food must not contain more than 10% offal. But some offal is excellent for a balanced diet. We include liver, which is nutrient-rich, neutralises toxins, helps digestion and supports nerve health. It’s also essential for healthy brain and muscles. Heart is a great protein source, maintains muscle stamina, and is collagen-rich for healthy joints.
A: Raw bone, yes (cooked bones could be dangerous). Raw bones are a fantastic source of protein, calcium, phosphorous and good fats. They are essential for maintaining the calcium/phosphorus ratio, and provide natural chondroitin for joint health. Bone is rich in omega 3, selenium and vitamin b3. Bone also plays an important role in helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean and in maintaining good gut health.
A: It’s excellent for them. It provides high-quality protein is essential for dogs and is a great source of energy. It also helps to maintain muscle mass without putting on weight. Muscle meat contains essential amino acids (great for healthy cells) and is a good source of potassium (essential for heart health), iron, zinc and taurine.
A: It depends on your dog’s weight. Check out our Portions Calculator – it’ll do the maths for you. Normally you should feed your dog around 2% of its equivalent bodyweight every day. So, for a 25kg dog, that’s a 500g pack per day (or half a 1kg). Very active dogs might need a little more. Puppies need about 6-8% of their bodyweight per day during their growth spurts, though this will tail off as they near 9 months of age – when they can switch to adult portions.
A: Roughly speaking, 6kg takes up about one basket-full in a freezer. Transfer a few packs every couple of days to the fridge or somewhere cool to de-thaw (takes around 12-24 hours to thaw) so your food is ready to serve.
A: Once de-thawed, it can keep in the fridge for up to four days.
A: B.A.R.F. stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s a general term for the kind of food we produce.
A: Selling branded dried food can be a profitable business but kibble has problems. Kibble is cooked at very high temperatures and this destroys the nutrients. It often contains animal derivatives and is mostly made of cereals, which are not ideal at all for dogs! What’s more, kibble often contains colourants, additives and preservatives. Put simply, kibble is unnatural. You’d never find it in the wild!