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Fresh Food Feeding

Follow this comprehensive guide to transition your dog from kibble to REAL food feeding

Butcher's Cuts

As an advocate for the old saying "you are what you eat," I firmly believe this principle extends to our dogs! Providing a high-quality diet is essential for their overall health, helping to prevent illnesses and diseases, especially as they age. Although the importance of diet is widely acknowledged, many pet owners are still unaware of the profound impact nutrition can have on their dog's well-being.

A nutritious diet not only benefits your dog's physical health but also plays a crucial role in their brain health. Behavioural issues such as anxiety, over-arousal, aggression, and fear are often linked to brain health, which is, in turn, influenced by diet. Many animal nutritionists agree that imbalances in a dog's behaviour can frequently be traced back to imbalances in their diet. Just as poor nutrition can lead to health problems in humans, it can also result in undesirable behaviours in dogs.

In this guide, I have collaborated with Jacinta Malone from Chadwick Nutrition, who has been instrumental in improving my dog's health. Jacinta has generously provided the information contained herein, and we hope it will assist you in transitioning your dog from kibble to fresh food feeding.

This guide is tailored for the average adult dog living indoors and engaging in light daily exercise. For more complex cases, such as working dogs or those with allergy issues, please reach out to Jacinta for a personalised consultation — she's amazing! Her details can be found on the last section of this guide.

I hope you find this guide useful and that it helps you embark on a successful fresh food feeding journey with your beloved pet.

Diona Chu

Dog Walker

Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide is not a substitute for professional medical advice or veterinary care. You are responsible for nourishing your pet in a way that aligns with your understanding and beliefs. For specific diet recommendations tailored to your pet's unique needs, please consult your veterinarian or Jacinta Malone from Chadwick Nutrition. Some medical or hereditary conditions may require specialised dietary adjustments. This guide is intended for healthy, normal dogs.

Benefits of Fresh Food Feeding

"Experts" often advise against changing your pet's diet, insisting that you should never feed them human food and should only use "complete food" from a bag. Many of us have accepted this notion for years. We ask you to consider why a human would eat healthy fresh food instead of highly processed food with synthetic nutritions which is what kibble is.

Our own Doctors are telling us to eat more fresh food and less processed food, yet the majority of our Vets are telling us to feed less fresh and more processed food. It doesn’t make sense, does it?

The reality is that food is simply food. There isn't a distinct separation between "dog food," "people food," "cat food," or "bird food." It's all just food, with variations in balance and ingredients tailored to different species. A fresh food diet is beneficial for all living beings. Providing a fresh, species-appropriate diet supports the body in maintaining a vibrant, healthy state for many years.

For deeper insights into the commercial pet food industry, I highly recommend watching the documentary Pet Fooled. To understand more about the canine cancer epidemic and what you can do today to influence your dog’s future, I recommend The Dog Cancer Series. Books I recommend are Feeding Dogs: The Science Behind the Debate and The Forever Dog.

Why Is My Vet Against Fresh Food Feeding?

This question has a two-part answer:

 

  1. Educational Influence: During their time at university, your vet was likely exposed to sponsorships from kibble companies such as Royal Canin and Hill's Science Diet. These companies provided branding, free sample packs, and discounted products to students, and often participated in lecturing on nutrition. This exposure heavily influences the veterinary education curriculum regarding pet diets.
     

  2. Concerns About Imbalanced Diets: Your vet has encountered pet owners who have poorly implemented fresh food diets, resulting in nutritional imbalances or health issues. If your vet is open to learning more about fresh food diets but doesn't know where to begin, the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society is a great resource.


If you wish to speak directly to fresh food feeding vets, here are some vets in Melbourne we recommend:

Where Do I Start?

Just like your own diet, there is not one way to feed a healthy diet to your dog. We understand that starting your dog on a fresh food diet can be overwhelming.

Jacinta suggests starting with the following Base Mix. You can double or triple this recipe, combine everything thoroughly, and then feed your dog according to their specific needs. The amount of food your dog needs varies with their size. Typically, an average adult dog that lives indoors and engages in light daily exercise requires 2-3% of their body weight in food daily. You can easily find all these ingredients at your local supermarket or market, where the meat can be minced or cut into pieces as needed.

Base Mix Recipe:

  • 1kg beef

  • 700g goat

  • 300g chicken frame mince

  • 100g beef or lamb liver

  • 100g lamb kidney

  • 100g heart

 

Feeding a variety of ingredients on rotation is an important aspect of this plan, this is how every animal in the world achieves a balanced dog - they balance over time, dogs are no different. Once you're comfortable handling different types of meat, you can rotate through various proteins. Be sure to focus on red meat.

Feeding Bones

As your dog's digestive system gets used to digesting the bones in chicken frame mince, you can start to feed whole bones. Once your dog is comfortable with this transition, you can remove the minced chicken frame from the base mix and replace it with additional meat. Whole bones not only provide essential nutrients but also help keep your dog's teeth clean and jaws strong.

If your dog tends to gulp their food, you can hold the end of the bone to encourage them to chew it properly. This practice helps them learn to chew thoroughly, reducing the risk of choking or digestive issues. Always supervise your dog when offering a bone to ensure their safety and to monitor their chewing habits.

Adding Extras

Many "human foods" are highly beneficial to dogs' health, offering a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Once you've mastered the Base Mix, you can begin enhancing your dog's diet by adding these nutritious extras. Here's a list to get you started:

  • Eggs

  • Fatty Fish

  • Pureed Vegetables and Fruits

  • Seeds

  • Kelp Powder

  • Green Tripe

  • Yoghurt

 

Unsure if a particular "human food" is safe for your dog? A quick Google search can help you find the answer!

Transitioning Away from Kibble

The typical advice is to gradually transition to raw food. This is because dogs fed on kibble may not have the appropriate pH level to adapt quickly to changes, necessitating a transition period of at least 10 days.

During this transition, reduce your dog's kibble intake by approximately 10% each day and replace it with fresh food. If your dog experiences digestive upset, slow down the transition process further to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Pre-mades, A More Convenient Option

Pre-mades are commercially produced raw diets. While feeding this way tends to be more costly compared to homemade options, it suits many busy pet parents.

 

Most pre-mades are balanced using synthetic nutrient mixes similar to those in kibble, allowing them to be labelled as "complete and balanced," which reassures consumers.

Alongside these commercial patties, there are small to medium-sized companies that produce raw mixes, often offering bulk packages with delivery services. These providers typically avoid using synthetic nutrients. To discover local options, simply search on Google using the phrase "Raw dog food + [your city]." Some of our friends in Melbourne are:

Feeling Overwhelmed? Speak to Jacinta!

Jacinta is passionate about your dog’s health, nutrition, and feeding a ‘species appropriate’ diet for optimal health & happiness. She would love to share with you the knowledge to feed your beloved dog what nature intended. REAL food.

 

Jacinta believes that real food increases their longevity, so your dog can thrive and live happy and healthy lives.

 

Her services include:

  • Nutritional advice

  • Custom meal plans

  • Supplements

  • Health advice

  • Gut/Allergy protocols

 

Jacinta has a keen interest in dogs with digestive issues and skin conditions. She has had great results working with these dogs applying a whole-body approach. My dog Murphy is a testament to her magnificent work!

 

https://www.chadwicknutrition.com.au/

https://www.instagram.com/chadwick_nutrition/

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