The extreme processing that most commercial pet food goes through to make it shelf stable takes away most of the original beneficial nutrients and flavor. Artificial flavor and synthetic vitamins and minerals are then added back in. Just like a fast food diet for humans, an improper diet for pets that lacks fresh, quality ingredients leaves them with less energy and feeling less satisfied. Whole fresh ingredients from a raw pet food diet provide pet owners with the assurance of natural vitamins and nutrients for ideal health and smaller portions!
Feeding Your Pet
Fresh Living Foods Are the Only Food Your Pet Can THRIVE on.
As a rule of thumb, dogs will need .5 - 1 fluid ounce of water per pound every day. Cats require between 2 - 4 ounces of water daily. Make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times! This is especially crucial if they eat a dry kibble diet, have an active lifestyle, and if it’s hot outside!
Raw pet food with natural ingredients is full of moisture and will keep your pets more hydrated! You may notice them drinking less water and that’s ok. “Eating” their moisture is great, especially for cats, who originated as desert dwelling animals and relied on food for almost all of their moisture needs! Adding water or canned food to your cat's dry food diet is also a good idea.
If you have never fed raw before, you will be happy to watch your pet become happier and healthier eating raw fresh foods.
When you feed your pet a raw food diet, they will often require less food than if you were to feed them a kibble/grain-based diet, because the food has so much more nutritional value. There are a few factors that will affect the recommended amount to feed your pet, such as age, activity level, and weight goals.
We use the bodyweight percentage rule, which estimates feeding amounts based on the weight of your pet. For example, if you have a 50-pound adult Australian Shepherd, then you would want to feed them 2.5% of their body weight, which is 1.25 lb (daily).
Visit StevesRealFood.com for a Feeding Calculator.
|Pet's Life Stage
|Daily Amt. To Feed Per 10 Pounds
Adult Ideal Weight
Puppy 0-6 Months
Puppy 6-12 Months
Keeping it Safe
If you want to feed the food defrosted then you will want to thaw the food in an air-tight container in your fridge. It can also help to buy a set of 7 containers so that you can portion out and defrost a weeks worth of food at a time.
WASH BOWLS DAILY
You probably never consider eating from the same dishes before they are washed with soap and rinsed with hot water to prevent contamination from any remaining food particles (and the bacteria they may form) after a meal. Safe handling recommendations from the FDA's safe handling tips for pet foods and treats are the same for food prep and handling for our own food. Make sure to wash dog bowls with hot soapy water and rinse to prevent bacteria-caused illnesses that can cause symptoms like upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Adjust Feeding Over Time
Another thing to keep in mind is that things change! “Feeding guidelines” are just that...guidelines. Every animal is different and changes happen throughout the course of their lives. Get to know your pet’s habits, and watch for changes in their body condition.
Age- Your pet won’t need the same amount of food as an adult as they did when they were going through their growth stages. Later, as they move toward their senior years, their metabolism may slow down, making meal adjustments necessary.
Activity level- This is especially true for dogs, as their lifestyles are more diverse. For dogs that are extremely active, you’ll likely have to adjust their normal portions up from the recommended amount because they are regularly burning so many calories. You might also have to seasonally adjust your dog’s diet. If you have a hunting dog, he will certainly use up more energy during hunting season! Dogs that enjoy hibernating by the fireplace all winter may actually need a calorie reduction since they aren’t getting out as much (just like us!).