STARTING? SHOULD I TRANSITION MY DOG AND IF SO, FOR HOW LONG?
WILL MY DOG EAT IT? The BEST thing about this diet is THE DOGS JUST LOVE IT! The rewarding part of our business is the opportunity to facilitate happier, healthier dogs of all ages.
The sooner your dog gets on to raw food the sooner your dogs health will begin to improve. Many dogs can smoothly transition overnight, while some benefit from a 7-10 day transition period. Dogs with gastro-intestinal issues can definitely be transitioned; we can provide individal guidance in these cases. If you feel your pooch needs extra help transitioning, for any reason, please feel to contact us or a Vet who supports raw feeding.
DO WE NEED TO SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS?
Yes. Like humans, dogs benefit from nutritional supplementation in the form of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. We offer Whole Hound Total Health Plus, a one scoop multi-vitamin and mineral supplement which also contains digestive enzymes, Glucosamine Hydrochloride and MSM. See our Whole Hound Supplements section for more info.
We advocate alternating supplementation regimes with high quality products.
Our philosophy is Change is Good, and Moderation in All Things.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
We feature a variety of essential fatty acids including a stabilized flax with lecithin, a flax/borage blend, a wild salmon oil and a marine oil (see our Whole Hound Supplements section). Essential fatty acids are important for healthy brain, skin, eyes, nails, liver, and the immune system. Humans need them, too!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED?
Whatever works for you! Once a day is great, unless your dog is a puppy or has an ailment like diabetes or cancer. Generally, healthy dogs organs benefit from a longer rest period between feedings. In the wild, dogs would eat when they were lucky enough to catch something!
WHAT ABOUT BACTERIA?
Bacteria is everywhere, even in commercial foods. Fear of bacteria is a legitimate concern. No one would want to risk the health of themselves, their kids, their loved ones, or their dog! Dogs have highly acidic stomachs and short intestinal tracts, which are designed to cope with bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella far better than humans. Some older or immune depressed dogs may lack helpful bacteria so we recommend supplementing their diets with our probiotics (good bacteria) and digestive enzymes until they are fully transitioned onto raw foods. Bacteria can be dealt with by soaking raw meat in a grapefruit seed extract solution or food grade hydrogen peroxide (both kill bacteria). This can be beneficial for immune depressed dogs, but is not necessary for healthy dogs.
WHAT IF MY DOG IS ALREADY SUFFERING FROM PANCREATITIS OR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME?
We recommend getting them onto a raw diet carefully and just watching how much better they do. We have a boneless, GASTRO version of our diet as well as digestive enzymes, probiotics and colostrum, all of which can be used to support these dogs through the transition. Please dont be afraid to give your dog a chance to be well. Remember, there are Vets out there who will support you.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY DOG HAS DIARRHEA?
If your dog has severe diarrhea (i.e. water out the bum for more than a day or two) consult your vet immediately. If your dog has less serious diarrhea (like soft serve ice cream...sorry), I recommend fasting the dog for twenty four hours, or two meals, providing some sort of broth (chicken, beef or fish) and plenty of clean water. For the next two meals feed baked pumpkin or any type of organic squash (e.g. butternut or acorn). That should firm things up while resting the system adequately. For the next two meals the dog should be ready to be re-introduced to their raw food. Some folks mix a bit of the squash with the raw food for the following two meals, but it usually isnt necessary. This routine works wonders in most dogs. If your dog doesnt show improvement from following the above instructions, please call us or your vet for more help.
WHAT ABOUT WATER?
Raw dogs do NOT consume much water. We worry about the kidneys when a dog drinks copious amounts of water. Raw dogs get all the moisture they need from the raw meat, bones and veggies they eat. Water should always be available, nevertheless. Tap water is a no-no. Distilled or spring water at room temperature is ideal. Stainless steel bowls are best for food and water.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE RAW DIET IS WORKING FOR MY DOG?
The proof is in the dogs! Your dog(s) will show many external signs that the diet is working such as a glossy coat, clear eyes, good breath, small stool and so on. Whether you are on a home made raw diet or ANY pre-made raw diet, an additional way to check is to get your vet to do annual blood work on your dog(s). This is the an effective way to monitor your dogs internal wellbeing, including organ function, and it can also alert you to any vitamin or mineral imbalances should they exist.