The Comprehensive
Raw Feeding Guide

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FAQ

Shipping/Returns/Packaging

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How does the food arrive when shipped?

The food is shipped frozen in an insulated cooler with ice packs and dry ice if necessary. Even if the food arrives partially thawed or refrigerator temperature, it is perfectly safe to refreeze and does not affect the quality or safety of the product.

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping is free for orders of 30 lbs or more in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT. If you do not live one of those states, shipping is free for orders in 25 to 35 lb increments. Please visit our shipping info page for more detailed information.

When should I put in a new order?

Please provide us with 14 days notice for all new orders. Depending on product availability it may take longer to fulfill orders.

How is the food packaged?

The raw meaty bones (RMBs), recreational bones, patties, and chunked meat are packaged in heavy duty vacuum-sealed packaging. For pre-measured clients, those who get "bones on the side" will get a package for each day that contains both the patty and the RMB portion for the day. For those who get "bone-in" patties, each pouch will consist of one patty for that day. Bulk ground mixes and other bulk orders are packaged in plastic bags and sealed closed. Cases are frozen together and shipped as one block. For example, a 40 lb case of chicken necks is 40 lbs of chicken necks, frozen together and in a case.

Do I have to be home at the time of delivery?

No. Even if you are home, the driver will just drop off the food and you will receive an email after delivery. Since there are so many deliveries to fulfill in the allotted time frame, this system works the best for us.  If you plan to have food delivered to your work address please let us know.

Food Storage/Caring for Food

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Can I thaw and refreeze the food?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to thaw and refreeze the food and does not affect the quality of the product.

How many days will my food stay fresh after thawing?

Our food will stay good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after it is thawed out. Use your best judgment, but remember dogs can handle a lot more bacteria than humans, because they have shorter digestive tracts and a higher level of acidity in their digestive juices.

Can I use my microwave for thawing RMBs?

 

No. Do not use the microwave to thaw the patties or RMBs. Never give your dog a cooked bone, as it can splinter and cause severe internal complications. The safest method of thawing is room temperature or soak the RMBs in cold water.

 

The We Feed Raw Diet

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How is the meal plan designed?

We Feed Raw is built upon the well established Prey Model Raw style of feeding 80% meat, 10% organ meat (half of which is liver) and 10% edible bone, also known as 80/10/10. In our Measured Meal Plan, the Prey Model ratios are custom measured, portioned, and delivered to you so that all you have to do is feed your pet.  We Feed Raw is committed to feeding our carnivores the diet that’s healthiest for them, and all of our products are natural, humanely raised, grain-free, and preservative free meats, organs, and bones.

Is We Feed Raw for cats too?

Yes. All of our food is perfect for cats, too! Cats, though, notoriously do not like green tripe. Some cat favorites: rabbit, lamb, buffalo, quail, and duck.

How should I get my pet started?

Pets do better on a cold-turkey switch, rather than half kibble and half We Feed Raw. To keep things simple for your pet only introduce one protein the first week of raw feeding. This will let your pet's body get used to the new foods before you add more variety to his diet. For the second week, introduce an additional protein. By the third week, you can introduce a different type of bone (pork riblets, pork necks, duck necks, etc.), or you can choose to stay with chicken and turkey.

Can I feed kibble and We Feed Raw?

Raw dog food is digested differently than kibble. Basically, raw meat is easy to digest and kibble is not. Therefore, if you feed them at the same time, you are increasing the amount of time the food is in the body, thus increasing the possibility of stomach upset. The bottom line is this: make the switch cold turkey. And, remember, you are not switching from kibble to kibble. You are replacing "junk food" with real food.

How much and how often should I feed my dog?

We believe in feeding 2-4% of the dog's ideal, adult body weight depending on the size of the dog. Feeding amounts can vary depending on your dog's physiology and daily activity levels, but the general rule is to start with 2% of your dog's ideal body weight and adjust as necessary depending on weight gain or loss. Pregnant or lactating mothers require a higher percentage. Puppies will be fed the same amount as adult dogs but at a different frequency:  For the first six months 3-4 tims per day; from six months to a year feed twice per day and after a year of age feed once per day. Food can be fed in one meal once a day or split into two meals twice a day. To figure out precisely how much your dog should be eating, you can take advantage of our Feeding Calculator.

What are the different kinds of bones offered? How can I safely feed them to my pet?

Bones fall into two main categories: Raw Meaty Bones (RMBs) and Recreational Bones. Regardless of the category, bones should be given to pets raw and uncooked. Raw, edible bones are pliable, easy for dogs to break down with their teeth, and the calcium content is absolutely integral to a dog's health. Plus, chewing bones keeps the teeth clean. Cooked bones are dangerous for your dog, as can they splinter and get lodged in a dog's throat and cause them to choke.

RMBs are soft and pliable enough for your dog to chew through and as part of a meal. They provide nutritious marrow, amino acids, protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, enzymes, antioxidants and a vast array of species appropriate minerals and vitamins all in their natural state.Examples of RMBs include chicken backs, necks, legs, turkey necks, pork riblets, turkey tails, duck legs, chicken quarters, and lamb breast. The breed of the dog and the jaw strength will determine which bone is pliable enough to completely eat. A beef neck may be considered a RMB to one breed, but a recreational bone to another.

Unless there is an underlying medical condition, RMBs should be given whole, rather than ground up or smashed. Crunching and tearing entire RMBs provides superior jaw and upper body muscle exercise, as well as exceptional teeth cleaning benefits. Puppies who chew on RMBs satisfy their natural desire to chew (and are less likely to chew on your shoes and furniture!).  

Recreational Bones are larger bones dogs will chew on for an extended period of time, without eating the whole bone. Some examples are beef marrow bones, knuckle bones, beef rib bones, etc. Recreational bones offer exceptional teeth cleaning, mental stimulation, and provide a great jaw exercise.

Some bones are both; they clean teeth and supply essential calcium-to-phosphorous ratio (bone-to-meat ratio). For instance, a nice and meaty beef neck takes some time for a large breed dog to work through, but he eventually will, while also receiving the RMB benefits.

Why does we feed raw contain no grains or vegetables?

As Prey Model Raw feeders, we do not believe in feeding pets anything that they are not biologically designed to digest. Wolves do not ingest the stomach contents of their prey; they are shaken out and left untouched. Accordingly, dogs do not normally produce the required amylase to break down carbohydrates or starches. Being forced to break down these compounds leads to added stress on the pancreas.  Also, with the shorter digestive tract than omnivores or herbivores plant matter isn’t digested and passes out as part of the stool.

Similarly, grains are not a natural food for dogs, even though they are the main ingredient in kibble. They are not something they would consume in the wild, and are also one of the major causes of allergies in dogs and cats.They are also full of carbohydrates, which can be easily converted to sugars.

Rather than fill the diet with species-inappropriate foods, like  vegetables or grains, look to feed more variety in the protein sources. All of the vitamins and minerals present in the components of a Prey Model Raw diet are what dogs and cats need to thrive and flourish.

What about supplements, probiotics, and digestive enzymes?

We aren’t against supplements, and we do use Omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and probiotics occasionally. But we believe you can get all the nutrients from the raw source, rather than from supplements. For instance, raw, uncleaned green tripe is better than fish oil or Omega 3. All grass-fed red meats are high in Omega 3s. Sometimes it is more convenient to supplement, but you need to be careful not to over-supplement.. For example, if given continually, digestive enzymes can hinder the body's natural production of enzymes.

Digestive enzymes make sense for pets with long-standing digestion problems, but if your pet is generally healthy and is being fed a raw diet rich in natural food nutrients, they are probably getting everything they need from a nutrition standpoint.The only supplement that We Feed Raw recommends for healthy pets is Omega 3s. We recommend Country Life Super Omegas because it has the correct proportion of DHAs and EPAs, is human-grade,  and is soy-free.If you prefer a liquid form, we recommend Grizzly Salmon Oil.

Pet Health & Behavior

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Can my pet choke from eating too fast?

Many dogs have a tendency to gulp their food, without chewing, and this can be a very scary experience for an owner new to feeding raw bones. The "inhaling" food style of eating results from years of eating kibble. To teach a dog to chew before swallowing, try larger RMBs like chicken backs and large turkey necks. You may even want to feed whole birds. Another option is to hand-feed your dog, so they can actually pull the meat off the bone. Remember some dogs will swallow their bones too fast and then regurgitate them. This is completely natural, and they are not choking. It is just their bodies telling them to slow down.

What changes can I expect in my dog's poop?

I've noticed my dog pooping less and that it turns white: is this normal?

Yes, this is completely normal for a dog new to the raw food diet. The reason your dog is pooping less is because most of the food he is now ingesting is being digested and properly utilized by the body, resulting in less waste. The RMBs in your pet’s new diet account for it turning white. If you notice your dog straining while pooping that is normal and even healthy. Straining a little bit can help express the anal glands, which would normally be done by your vet, at a price. If your dog's stools are always white and crumbly increase the amount of muscle meat in their diet.

Why does my dog have loose stools?

Did you introduce too much variety, too quickly? That will lead to loose stools. Also, if you are over-feeding, that can result in loose stools. This may be brought on because of the body cleansing out toxins and impurities in the dog's system; a normal part of detoxification. But, the loose stool could be from too much fat in the diet too soon. In this case, an elimination diet can help you determine the culprit. Go right back to feeding one thing at a time (no supplements or anything else, including treats) and then gradually add things back one at a time and watch for a reaction. As every dog is different, this is the only way you will know for sure what is causing the reaction.

Remember loose stools are NOT diarrhea. Diarrhea = chronic urge to defecate, with explosive stools, lack of energy, and inability to hold it in. Chronic meaning every 1/2 hour or less throughout the day. Loose stools = loose, watery, sometimes mucous covered stools, that occur in the normal frequency of a bowel movement. i.e. 2-3 times per day vs. 6 plus times/day which is diarrhea.

If you feel detox or a new food item may not be the cause of the diarrhea, do not hesitate to drop off a stool sample to your veterinarian to check for parasites, worms and even unfriendly bacteria. To help soothe the digestive tract, feed your dog slippery elm bark powder (SEBP).

Why is my dog's stool covered in mucus at times? Should I be concerned? 

Believe it or not, mucus-covered stools can appear at any time, no matter how long a dog has been on the raw diet, and is generally no reason for concern. When first switching to a raw diet, this may be a sign that the digestive tract is ridding the junk out of its system, which is a normal part of detox. It can also mean an inflammation of the intestinal tract. If you notice traces of blood, along with the mucus-covered stool, a trip to the vet is encouraged. Again, use your judgment. If your dog appears ill (gums may be white and not the normal pink/rose color), and is also having frequent bouts of diarrhea that last 24 to 48 hours, call your vet.

 

Why is my dog vomiting and what can I do?

There are several reasons a dog may vomit. If the vomit is yellow bile, this means the dog's stomach is completely empty. Try to feed smaller meals more times a day, since the time period between feedings may be too long for your dog. If the vomit is clear with white foam or mucous, your dog probably drank too fast and, again, the stomach may be empty. Remove the water temporarily and feed your dog a raw meaty dog treat. Dogs and cats will require less water on the raw diet as the food is naturally hydrated.

Vomiting is also a symptom of the normal detox process. The vomiting may also be the result of a new food item that does not agree with your dog. And yes, a dog new to a raw diet will occasionally regurgitate his food, and then begin to eat it again. The dog will probably eat more slowly this time, as he "gulped" it the first time. This is completely normal. Occasionally, pieces of bone get stuck in the stomach for a while and do not digest fully; therefore, the dog eliminates them through vomiting.

Is my dog going through detoxification?

When switching a dog over from kibble or canned food to We Feed Raw, the dog's body may begin the process of expelling toxins and impurities as it adjusts to the consumption of proper nutrients. This process is called detoxification or simply "detox." Depending on factors such as age, how long they have been fed commercial dog food, or immune system health, detox may last a couple days, one week, one month, several months, or in some cases, not even at all. The most common symptoms of detox include vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, and itchy skin.

Remember to be persistent and know you are going through the transition, which will be the hardest part. Make sure you supply fresh water at all times and, of course, lots of love.

Is salmonella dangerous to my dog?

The Food and Drug Administration recently released an article informing the public that "salmonella is not harmful to dogs." Salmonella is everywhere, not just in raw meats. The acidity level in the canine stomach is very high, creating a very inhospitable environment for bacteria. Tests of various brands of kibble have shown that many contain salmonella. In reality, if your dog is eating kibble, he is already being exposed to salmonella. It's simple: exercise basic hygiene practices, wash your hands, and keep surfaces clean.

Is it normal that my dog is drinking less water on the raw diet? Should this include cats?

Yes, this is to be expected. We Feed Raw provides food in its raw, natural state. Raw meat contains moisture and is low in sodium. Because kibble has had the water removed, dogs constantly have to drink water to stay properly hydrated.

How can a raw diet reduce the chances of bloat and torsion?

The chances of bloat and gastric torsion volvulus (GTV) are much less than on kibble. It is quite rare for a dog to bloat when they are eating a raw diet, for a couple of reasons. The first is that raw food doesn't swell like kibble. The second thing is that most dogs eat more slowly when they are eating raw food compared to the familiar "inhale" style of eating that dogs use when they are eating kibble. Because they aren't inhaling their food, less air is sucked into the stomach. Bloat and torsion are extremely rare in dogs that consume a raw diet.  The low risk can be further lowered by avoiding exercise an hour before and after feeding.  GTV, although rare, can occur more often in deep-chested breeds like the German Shepherd Dog and retriever breeds

Is there any truth to the idea that my pet will become "blood thirsty" from eating raw?

No, this is a myth. There is no relationship between eating raw meat and wanting to kill animals or people. It has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with natural prey drive, training, and socialization. Dogs are more likely to get aggressive when they are fed an imbalanced diet, because they are uncomfortable and feel ill. That said, dogs can easily distinguish between what is food and what is not.