Hello, I am newer to UC and UD. I have come from an online cat/dog community Dogster/Catster, they have been having some longer term technical difficulties so we have been looking for a new place to hang out.
I have already shared this post in UC but some have requested it to be brought to UD as well. It pretty much applies to both. I will leave some cat comments in there in case some of you have cats as well. If you have cats feel free to check the UC post as well for other info/discussions that may not be mentioned here.
Anyways, on Dogster/Catster there was a whole forum section dedicated to raw feeding. I thought I'd see what kind of interest we can get here. See if others would be interested whether they just want to know about it or are feeding raw and need tips or just want to talk about how their pets are doing on raw.
First, I will start off by saying I am no expert in the raw department. I am just one of many who are trying to educate themselves on the topic. I myself have fed raw before, I stopped for financial and time consuming reasons. I have just started up again. I have a dog and two cats. I have only had my cats on raw only for a short time in the past. My dog was on it for much longer...
The raw diet that I know and love I believe is called the BARF diet which is the approximate proportions of an animal one may catch in the wild. One would feed 2% of pets ideal body weight (or more if very active) and feed 80% meat 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organs (kidney, heart, tripe, etc). The idea is that you have to switch proteins often having a minimum of 4 proteins that you would switch through, such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork, etc (there are many). The important thing is that there need to be red meats in the diet, it can not be only white meats. Basically by rotating the proteins and having the proportions of meat, bone and organ the diet would balance itself over lets say a weeks time.
That being said there are other raw diet types out there. There are ones that contain egg shell in place of bone. Cat meals are often grinded for easier feeding as well as most people don't usually appreciate food dragged away from the feeding area. There are also store bought pre-made meals. Dog meals are often easier to prepare as they don't need to be grinded, non-grinded meals can be fed on a towel or special area for feeding. Be sure to clean said area (towel can go in the laundry easily).
I am a big on the fact that anyone and everyone who wants to feed raw should thoroughly educate themselves. Preferably not from just one source. Feeding Raw without being educated can be very dangerous. It is not a good thing if our pets are deficient of certain vitamins etc.. and can lead to bigger problems. And yes many vets use the reasons that your pets can get salmonella and worms etc from raw fed diets. Educate yourselves and use proper meat preparing techniques to keep your pets and family safe from contamination. Be sure not to leave raw meet out for too long and throw food from fridge out after a few days if not used (probably 3 days tops, but don't quote me on that). I do believe that pets on raw should routinely be dewormed. The freezing process does not kill all worms, they can stay dormant if frozen. They say to freeze meats for 7 days prior to use.
When starting raw it is good to start with one protein at a time, probably for a few days each. I am a firm believer in starting raw cold turkey. Raw should not be fed within 12 hours of dry or cooked food. It goes through the digestive tract much faster and feeding both at once or feeding dry then raw will slow down digestion and will cause raw meat to ferment etc... just not a good idea. That being said cats especially CAN NOT go without food for more then 24 hours. So if they don't eat then feed something else at dinner and try again the next day.
Anyways that my summery of a raw diet in a nutshell.
I thought this could be a good place for questions, comments. If people are interested in trying it, gives you somewhere to start. Remember to educate yourselves before starting and along the way. Also it may be a good place for raw feeders to discuss their methods and we can learn some things from each other. We can also brag about how well our pets are doing on raw. Or work with each other to troubleshoot issues we have, such as diarrhea, constipation etc.
Please remember I am not not an expert, do not take my word as law. Everything I have said here is from memory, please correct me if you notice anything wrong. Educate yourself from different sources. Feel free to check out the dogster/catster forums (I believe they are still working). They have always had spreadsheets on how to calculate proportions and keep track of what to feed and when. But my thinking is to get something started here.
Thank you for your interest.