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Why feed raw meat?

Raw dog food diets are controversial. Handling raw meat can be a messy job and your preference may be to feed your companion something closer to what you would eat, but your needs and those of your dog or cat are completely different. Raw meat is the natural source of protein for both carnivorous and omnivorous animals. Protein is an amino acid, and an amino acid is a molecule.

Raw meat is made up of long molecule chains that are easily broken down by the dog's/cat's digestive system. The long molecule chain is broken into short chain amino acids through the cooking process, and the pet is left with a deficiency of a complete amino acid profile. Amino acids, essential nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants are destroyed or altered through the cooking process. These nutrients are absolutely vital to good health, and in fact are essential for every biochemical activity in your pet's body. The feeding of cooked or processed foods interferes with many of the body's normal functions, and therefore is responsible for impairing or otherwise compromising the immune system. When fat in the meat is cooked it transforms to trans-fats, which are toxic and have been found to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, cell membranes and liver function.

Are there risks of Salmonella poisoning?

Salmonella is a bacteria derived from animal fecal matter. It is associated with the presence of feces on the flesh, which means the meat was exposed to the contents of the lower digestive tract during the slaughtering and processing stage. There are many unsubstantiated concerns which condemn raw meat feeding, the primary concern being the potential to infect humans with salmonella, however, there exists very little real evidence that exposure to humans is a serious threat. The phobia of raw meat feeding seems to be a North American issue, as in Europe it is common practice to feed raw with full veterinary approval. If Salmonella infection is truly a problem it would have been of much greater concern in the smaller, crowded European countries.

As with any feeding method, common sense, good hygiene, and the handling of meat as one would their own, is of greatest importance. The dog's digestive tract is short, only 3-6 times its body length. The dog's stomach holds the food for up to 8 hours and secretes hydrochloric acid many times stronger than that of humans. This aids the digestion of protein and kills harmful bacteria.

The wolf has evolved over millions of years, with apparent immunity to the effects of salmonella. Research has taught us that the wolf upon killing its prey will eat through stomach and organs, including the lower bowel, where salmonella is typically found. No apparent side effects have been noted. The typical wild cat kill involves the consumption of the entire animal, lower digestive tract included. Cats will not willingly consume badly contaminated meat, however it is quite apparent, through observing the wild cats' behavior, that the cat has the ability to handle a considerable quantity of bacteria.

Do I have to use boneless meat?

Yes. All of our products contain calcium lactate and when prepared as suggested, the calcium to phosphorus ratios are met correctly. If our products (Know Better for Dogs or Know Better for Cats) are added to meat with ground bone included, the dog or cat will be getting a double dose of calcium. Over time, the pet could run into difficulty with oxolate stones.

How much should my dog be eating?

We have a quick formula that will roughly determine how much your dog will require daily:

0.4 x dogs weight in lbs. = daily serving size in oz.

For eg. 0.4 x 50lbs = 20 oz. or 1 1/4lbs. per day.

This daily serving size can be split and fed morning and evening or the entire amount once per day. Depending on the activity level and age of your dog, they may require more or less. Very active and large dogs, do well with the addition of lightly steamed vegetables for extra carbohydrates.

Do I have to slowly transition my dog or cat to the homemade raw or cooked diet?

No, the dog and cats natural diet consists of high protein, and their digestive system is meant to handle as such. There should be no concerns when switching foods, and if the dog or cat takes to it right away - then the switch can be made easily. Cats can sometimes be more fussy about changing their food, but with patience and the proper steps, it can be done. Click here for more information about transitioning cats to a raw meat diet.

Do I need to supplement my pet food with anything else?

No. When prepared as suggested, our products make a complete and balanced food for both dogs and cats. For the dog food, there is the option to add lightly steamed vegetables. Please note this is optional, as there's already vegetable content in the powder: beet root, barley grass, rose hip and parsley. Click here to learn more about which vegetables are suitable for dogs, and which ones are not.

What are some of the changes that people have noticed in their pets general health?

The benefits to a healthy homemade diet include:

*  healthier skin and shinier coat
*  less itching due to dry skin irritation
*  cleaner teeth, a reduction in plaque build-up, and fresher breath
*  clear eyes and cleaner ears
*  elimination of that 'pet' smell
*  more energy and greater mental acuity
*  obesity is no longer a problem; no bloating
*  less water consumption
*  less backyard clean-up & smelly litter box

We are also aware of some more serious health problems being positively affected, including: anal gland problems; arthritis; benign tumors and cysts; intestinal disorders and dog allergies, and dog diabetes.

Some changes that we have observed in cats include, elimination of struvite crystals and the re-currence of oxalate stones, less kidney stress, less tartar on the teeth, healthier coat, more energy, diabetes alleviated, IBD disappears.

Won't eating raw meat make my dog more vicious?

Absolutely not. An old wives tale. If you notice any difference in the behavior of your dog, it will likely be for the better, because, they are not having to tolerate the effects of too much carbohydrate in the diet, which is typically found in grain-based commercial pet foods. These carbohydrates are used mainly as filler, because it makes the food more affordable, not because the dog requires it as a part of the diet.

How can I get rid of the tartar on my dog's teeth?

If your dog has previously been on commercial food, you may notice an excess of tartar. Commercial pet food is processed and the enzymes that naturally clean the teeth are destroyed. With a raw dog food diet you should notice the tartar gradually disappear, leaving clean, white teeth. For the older dog this process may take longer, up to 6 months. An alternative is to have your dog's teeth cleaned at your veterinarian or local dog care center.

What's wrong with giving my dog whole, raw bones?

It depends on the type of raw bone you are feeding. Some veterinarians are reporting that dogs are coming in with bones lodged in the palate, stomach and intestines, and we feel that the benefit does not out-weigh the risk. The feeding of raw bones is a personal preference, but we recommend that dogs be fed only beef knuckle or soup bones, as these are less likely to splinter and become a problem. Gnawing on a good meaty bone is a delicacy to most dogs - yummy - but keep it safe! Our ingredients list includes highly absorbable human grade calcium lactate.

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