Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ describes practices used by some Local 2 Pets members and raw feeders, primarily the guidance of the Prey Model is reflected here. This FAQ is purely informational, and is intended to assist you in using Local 2 Pets services. Local 2 Pets does not make any professional or medical recommendations regarding care for your pet carnivores. We encourage you to join raw feeding communities and consult veterinarians on any diet change, diet questions or health issues. Many veterinarians support raw feeding. Be sure to ask your vet’s perspective.
Raw Feeding Cats FAQ
Can I feed my cat raw?
Absolutely! Cats are obligatory carnivores, which means that the nutrition they require has to come from animal protein. Feeding naturally raised animal protein can certainly benefit any carnivore. When you think of a cat’s prey instincts, acute sight and excellent hearing it makes a lot of sense to feed the clean fuel their bodies require. Cat’s jaw structure and short digestive tract are naturally designed to handle prey. You may already have noticed that cats with access to the outdoors will supplement their diet with mice and birds. If your cat does not already dine exclusively on prey, feeding a prey model raw diet is a great choice.
What do I feed to my cat?
Cats need the same proportions as dogs do: 10% bone, 80% muscle meat, 10% secreting organ half of which should be liver. Most cats are smaller than dogs. Keep size in mind, and feed appropriate prey. If you feed whole meats, consider: day old chicks, poultry, rabbit, mice, etc. As with dogs: variety is key to a balanced diet.
What if my cat rejects the meat?
Cats tend to be finicky when transitioning to raw. More work will be required to transition an older cat, as cats are creatures of habit. Use these steps for a gradual transition:
1. Get rid of kibble and switch to canned grain-free cat food. Do not free-feed.Give it a couple of weeks.
2. Start incorporating ground raw into the canned food, little by little until you replace canned food with raw.
3. Start feeding ground, try different proteins.
4. Try whole meats of appropriate size: chicken drumstick, quails, etc.
With some cats you’d need patience, but don’t give up.
Raw Feeding Dogs FAQ
What should I feed?
A suggested daily average is 10% bone, 80% boneless muscle meat (including tripe, lung, heart, gizzards, or penis), 5% liver (liver is rich in vitamin A), 5% of other secreting organ (kidneys, spleen, testicles, brain). If you don’t have any of the non-liver organ, you can feed 10% of liver. Feeding a variety of proteins (meats from different animals) can help your pet desire meals more and demonstrate fast improvements in health such as body fitness, coat sheen and color.
Can my dog get salmonella from raw food?
It is very unlikely. Healthy raw fed dogs will typically have a stomach acidity between 1 and 2pH. Salmonella doesn’t survive below 2pH. The good news is the longer you feed your dog raw, the lower you will keep the pH of her stomach. If a dog has been eating kibble for a while, it may help to lower the stomach acidity. A splash of apple cider vinegar on the raw meal or 1/2 cup bone broth (without salt or spices) can help to lower the stomach pH.
How much should I feed?
The general rule is 2-3% a day of your pet’s ideal weight (not current, if you would like your dog to shed a few pounds). Each dog is different. Some less active dogs do well on only 1.5% of their ideal body weight, some active, or working dogs will require more. For puppies not yet 1 year old, feed 10% of their weight until it is equal or greater 2-3 % of their adult weight.
Can dogs eat bones?
Dogs stomachs are able to digest bones. Weight bearing bones of larger animals (swine, cow) should not be fed, as they are very hard and can damage your pet’s teeth. Edible bones should make ~10% of their diet in order to balance phosphorus in boneless meat. It is commonly believed that chicken bones are not appropriate to feed, when in fact chicken bones are the softest and easiest to digest. Do not feed cooked bones; they can be dangerous as high temperature may cause them to splinter.
What are good recreational bones for dogs?
Any non-weight bearing bones are good recreational bones. Recreational bones also have to be size-appropriate. For instance, beef ribs are good for small dogs, but might be a choke hazard for medium to large dogs.
Is it safe for dogs to eat chicken bones?
Yes, raw (un-cooked) chicken bones are safe to feed. When cooked, those bones can become dangerous. Some raw chicken bones, like chicken wings or necks are not pliable and, if eaten whole might be a choke hazard for a medium or large-sized dog.
My dog is a senior. Is it not too late to switch her to raw?
Senior dogs can be successfully switched to raw. Raw is digested easier than kibble or canned food, which makes it beneficial to switch them. You should however be very conservative and start one protein at a time, grinding their food at first. Many dogs having eaten kibble for many years might not have the same dental health as young dogs, you should be mindful of that. Feeding raw to your senior companion will prolong their life and bring enjoyment to their meal times.
I just got an 8-week old puppy. When can I start her on raw?
Puppies can be weaned to raw as early as 3-4 weeks old, if their mothers are raw-fed, they start sharing their food with their pups right around that age. Start your next feeding on raw with chicken or any easily digestible protein. Make sure you feed about 10% bone. Remove the skin and let the puppy gnaw on the bone as long as they want.
My dogs gulps her food, is there anything I can do?
Grinding is one of the options, but ground meat is not as nutritious as whole meat. The best option is to feed their meals frozen, with the bulk of the meat being a portion bigger than your dog’s head. This will force the dog to rip off smaller pieces. This will provide enjoyment and contribute to oral health, cleaning those canine teeth that are prone to plaque build up. Allow more time to consume these meals.
Are veggies necessary in my dog’s diet?
We don’t see it as necessary. Dogs are carnivorous animals with a shorter, simpler digestive system. Dogs might graze on grass or pick a few berries, because of the taste, but it will come out unchanged in their excrement. Vegetables or fruit high in sugar like carrots, sweet potatoes, or apples can cause and aggravate yeast infections (skin and ears). There are many raw feeders who supplement with vegetables and fruit, if you have interest in this practice, we encourage you to research the BARF feeding model.