Many people make mistakes when feeding raw food to their dog. Most of these mistakes can be simple and harmless but some over time can build up and put stress on your dogs health or even your own. In this article I want to address some of the top mistakes people make when feeding raw. And lets ensure none of us are doing them.
1. Supplementing fish oils. Contrary to popular belief fish oils are not the holy grail of omega's and other healthy fatty acids. Don't get me wrong, in theory they are full of such nutrients. The issue lies in the processing.
Most if not all the fish oil supplements on the market have been proven to go rancid the moment you open them, if not sooner. They are such unstable products that even in preserved form we are seeing them go rancid almost immediately upon opening them, and often before we even get the fish oils open. Even worse is if you are finding fish oils already in your dogs food, specifically their raw. Although the extruding process in kibble is hard on fish oils, the fish oils probably remain fine until you open the bag, than they are rancid. Surprisingly freezing is even harsher on fish oils and can de-nature and make them rancid even in a sealed bag.
Be very weary of dog foods with Fish oils already in them, or ones telling you to supplement with fish oils to create a complete meal. Omega oils are a very important component in a balanced diet for your dog, so try alternative sources. My personal favorite is Golden Flax Seed, we add this to all our complete meals and have seen great success, as a dry natural source of omegas it is much more stable. Another great option is to use actual unprocessed fish, the oils can be much more stable.
2. Thawing too much food. Unfortunately in many circumstances we find ourselves rushing due to the busy nature of modern life. This can lead to trying to create convenience. Raw feeding sometimes can take a bit more time and memory than just scooping a scoop of kibble.
One of the solutions many people do to ease raw feeding especially when they have a challenging form of raw food like a big tub or difficult to open package is over thawing the food. The average raw company claims that you can only leave there food in the fridge for 1-3 days, but I often see people thawing out 4 lbs for a 30 pound dog who is going to take 5 or more days to finish that food. This could lead to rancid or bad food for your dogs consumption.
I highly recommend that you avoid this shortcut and do not exceed the maximum recommended fridge time for a raw product. Back2Raw prides themselves on a food that can stay fresh for up to 5 days in your fridge.
3. Not supplementing an incomplete food. Many and in fact all the raw dog foods I have seen on the store shelves are not complete diets. Most if them in small print will tell you to supplement with X for a complete meal. And many of the "complete ones" rely on fish oils in there products to balance out the meal.
If you cant take the time to add the supplements to complete the diet (and don't use fish oils) than try finding a raw food that has everything in it for a complete meal. This way not only will you benefit from the short term health, but also the long term.
Make sure to thoroughly read the bag or box and see what would be needed to make a complete meal. Our complete meals all have the right balance to ensure maximum health for your dog, no supplements needed.
All and all feeding raw dog food just like feeding kibble isn't always as simple as just placing food in a bowl. This is the food going into a loved ones body everyday and should be something we educate ourselves on.