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Frequently Asked Questions on Feeding a Raw Diet

April 10, 2021
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Advice

If you are thinking of trying your pet on a raw meat diet but you aren’t sure where to start or you are already feeding raw food but have some questions, our wonderful team are here to help you every step of the way.

Here at Wylies, we find that poor diet is the cause of many of the health conditions that we see in your pets.  Some of the food-related problems we see include diabetes, obesity, tummy upsets, bad breath, itchy skins, pancreatitis, and even cancers. In these cases, we often prescribe what we call ‘species-appropriate nutrition’ and over time, these conditions can miraculously disappear.

Dogs and cats are natural hunters and are designed to eat a meat-based diet.  We can see this in the shape of their teeth and jaws, the short length of their intestines and also just a natural preference for meat.  We have domesticated dogs and cats over the years and have chosen to feed them on an unnatural diet but if we want to see our pets really thrive and live long, happy healthy lives a diet that is natural to them will always be best

We feel so confident that a raw, meat based, species appropriate diet is the best thing for your pet’s health and wellbeing that it is central to our premium health plan, the TCP (Total Care Plan)

Please follow the link to find out more

www.wylievets.com/wylies-total-care-plan

We hope that we can answer your questions with the answers below but please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns


1 - Does the meat need to be cooked?

 

No. A raw meat diet is designed to be fed just like that -raw. There is no need to cook, just simply thaw, portion and feed. Some pets prefer cooked food but cooking damages some of the nutrients so feeding raw is best.  However, for picky pets, raw food can be flash fried if needed. Flash-fried raw food is always better than highly processed pet food.  

 

2 - Can I feed bones to my pet?

 

Yes, you can. Bones must be given to your pet raw as cooked bones go brittle and can splinter. Always ensure that your dog or cat is fed on a 100% raw diet for at least 3 -4 weeks before introducing whole bones.

 

We would always advise the following when introducing bones:

•     Do not cut or saw bones

•     Do not feed bones with small children present

•     Do not leave a dog or cat unattended with a bone

•     When feeding bones in multi-dog households, separate them before feeding to prevent fights - bones have a remarkably high resource value!

•     When introducing bones, choose a bone which is appropriate to the dog’s age, size, breed, and experience with chewing bones

       Inexperienced bone eaters should be started on soft meaty bones or cartilage. Chicken wings, duck wings, turkey necks and bovine tracheas are ideal for cats and novices

•     If storing in between chewing sessions, rinse the bone under cold water and store in a plastic bag or container in the bottom shelf of the fridge

•     Dispose of uneaten material after 24 hours post defrost

•      

Our Wylie Wellness Centre in Brentwood stock a large and varied number of bones for your pets. If you would like more information, please call 01277 584470 and one of our team will be happy to advise you.

 

 

3 - How do I defrost, store and handle a raw meat diet?

 

Defrost in the fridge, on the bottom shelf in a sealed container - do not defrost in the microwave. Once the raw meat diet is defrosted it can be kept for 3-4 days (always check the packaging) and should kept in the fridge until ready to serve.  Handle a raw meat diet in the same way that you would handle any other raw meat - wash your hands thoroughly before and after in warm soapy water and wash the equipment used in warm soapy water. Bowls should be thoroughly washed between each meal.

 

 

4 - Can my puppy eat raw food?

 

Yes, they can. Transitioning a puppy onto raw food is relatively easy, there are several different types of raw puppy food. We offer nutritional video consultations with our nurses to go through what to feed and how to start.

Our nurse consultation fee for this service is £15 for a 30 -minute booking.

Not only will be fully informed, supported and ready to begin your pet’s new feeding regime but you will also receive a bag of whichever raw food diet our nurse recommends for your pet, totally free of charge.

If you wish to book a nurse video consultation- please follow the link below

www.wylievets.com

 

5 - Is feeding a raw diet dangerous?

 

No, it isn’t dangerous. Commercially available raw food brands are tested at source for pathogens. Basic hygiene measures as above will prevent the raw food from becoming contaminated.

In fact, there are more tests carried out on raw pet meat than human meat. This is because human meat is destined to be cooked, killing bacteria.

 

 

6 - Is there any reason not to feed raw food?

 

Not at all. All pets are different and what works for one pet might not for another but there is no reason why raw food can't be fed to a dog or cat. They are carnivores after all! However, there are some medical conditions that require prescription diets as part of their treatment.  In these cases, our vets will advise you on the best choice of diet for your pet.

 

 

7 - How do I store raw food for my pet?

 

Raw meat should be stored in the freezer and defrosted in a fridge, on the bottom shelf, thoroughly prior to feeding.  Basic hygiene should be observed in the same as one would handle raw meat for human consumption. Wash your hands thoroughly after feeding your dog, wash all surfaces and bowls as soon as your dog has eaten. Do not refreeze defrosted food and store any remaining food in the fridge.

 

 

8 - Will my pet get sick from eating Raw Meat?

 

No. Commercially produced brands of raw pet food are guaranteed pathogen free.  Correct hygienic handling will prevent contamination of the food. In addition, a carnivore's stomach is very acidic, so bacteria are killed as soon as they enter the stomach (think of how dogs in the wild eat rotting carcasses that are several days old – not that we are suggesting you do this!)

 

9 - Can I mix raw food with dry food?

 

No. This often leads to tummy upsets because the way carnivores digest raw food and kibble is quite different.  

 

10 - Can raw meat cure my pet’s allergies?

 

Yes. Pets often develop reactions to the colourants, preservatives, flavourings and non-meat ingredients (such as starch and gluten).Pure meat diets do away with all of these unnatural ingredients.

 

However, pets can develop reactions to the protein portion(for example, chicken protein or beef protein) of any food (raw or otherwise).We have a wide range of unusual raw meat proteins (e.g., duck, venison, lamb and goat) that can be fed in these situations.

 

To view our full range of raw food brands and flavours, please follow the link below

www.wylievets.com/foodtobuy

11 - Can I come into the Wylie Wellness centre to buy food?

 

Due to the current Covid situation and to keep everyone as safe as possible, we are keeping our Centre doors closed for the time being.  If you know which food you would like to buy you can simply call 01277 584470 to place your order or follow the link below to use our CLICK & COLLECT service – www.wylievets.com

 

12- What is the role of Microbiome in an animals gut ?

An animal’s microbiome refers to the community of microbes that live in and on their bodies.  

What we know

We all depend on a vast army of microbes to protect us against germs, break down food to release energy, produce essential vitamins and other nutrients, control our moods, and help keep us well. Microbes outnumber our body cells 3:1! We cannot - see them, so it’s easy to forget about them

Where did it all start?

Scientists tell us that the earth was originally made up of minerals and gasses. Very primitive life forms developed from these elements into a vast array of microscopic life forms or microbes. These microbes diversified and developed into all the life forms we see around us today. These bugs have been there from the beginning, so it is perhaps not surprising to discover that they are vital to the health and wellbeing of every living thing on the planet – both plant and animal. This is called the planet’s biomass, and it is estimated that 15-18% is made up of microbes - yet we can’t even see them!  

How it works

An animal’s personal microbiome is established at birth from their mother during vaginal delivery and breast feeding. Once weaned, a population of microbes develops further, based on the food that individual eats.

If this is a diet appropriate to that species (i.e., grass for cows, fruit for monkeys, and meat for dogs and cats) then a healthy microbiome that is in-tune with all the workings of that animal is established early on, and the chances of that individual living a healthy life is increased.      

Dysbiosis

When an inappropriate diet is fed the microbiome becomes unbalanced and made up of populations of microbes that the host is not designed to have – a condition known as ‘dysbiosis’. Research in humans has shown a direct link between dysbiosis and increased cancer risk, inflammation levels in the body, obesity, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disease, and autism.  

But dysbiosis can be caused by other factors as well such as lack of sleep, stress and antibiotic treatment which, in turn, can also lead to these conditions. Multiple studies have demonstrated that infants (less than 1 year of age) treated with antibiotics are twice as likely to develop obesity, allergies, and asthma. In dogs we know that a weeks’ course of antibiotics will unbalance their microbiome for up to 12 weeks after the course ends.

Species-appropriate nutrition

At Wylies, we recognise the importance of our pet’s microbiomes to their health and wellbeing. We use the term ‘Species-appropriate nutrition’. For cats that are obligate carnivores (some nutrients they need, such as taurine, are only found in meat) and dogs that are scavenging carnivores, this means that they must be fuelled by meat-based diets to live their best, healthiest lives.  

Follow this link www.wylievets.com to book an appointment with one of our nurses to discuss…