nutrition

How can a raw diet be made balanced many ask……..

Try to think of feeding a raw diet like feeding yourself a varied healthy nutritious diet.

Variety is the key - more variety generally means more balance to the diet.

In one meal you may not get all your nutrients but over a week with variety the nutritional needs should be met.

Feeding a varied diet is also beneficial for good gut health and your pet’s microbiome. Maintaining a healthy microbiome, in turn, ensures a healthy pet. For more information on this topic see Understanding Gut Health.

A well-planned diet should contain:

  • a variety of proteins including wild species - minimum of 3 different proteins per week.
  • Muscle meat, organ, bone & tripe (tripe for dogs, cats can eat it but don’t require it)
  • Quality prey sources, human-grade & wild products rather than offcuts & leftovers.
  • Ideally, local NZ sourced animals - fresh & natural when local rather than imported.

 

Wild species such as possum, hare, and rabbit, are nutrient-dense and are richer in essential fatty acids compared to farmed species. The nutrient composition of wild prey will change at certain times of the year depending on what they are eating themselves.

Wild prey can also be a great option for elimination or novel protein diets (food allergy trials) as not many commercial diets use these protein sources.

Raw whole eggs can be added to the diet a couple of times a week as are nutrient-dense. Include the eggshell for those that will eat them.

Raw Fish is a great source of nutrients including essential fatty acids.

We suggest limiting raw fish to no more than 3 times a week.

For those that want a protein alternative, goat's milk can also be given to your pet.

Feeding an all-meat diet (cooked or raw) is not a balanced diet & can cause deficiencies in vitamins & minerals which can be dangerous to your pet’s health.

Raw meaty bones fed with green tripe (for dogs) are also an important component to a raw diet.

Before feeding bones, pop in & have a chat with us to ensure the type & size of bone is appropriate for your pet.  It is best to start with meatier, softer bones.

A well-planned raw diet for healthy pets should not require supplements to be given. 

Some pets can benefit from fish oils or a course of probiotics in some cases - this is usually used as a short term measure to help reduce inflammation in the body & to help reintroduce good bacteria to the gut in order to help assist the immune system.

There are some pets that may have illnesses or compromised immune systems that may suffer deficiencies even on a well balanced raw or even a good processed diet. These pets may benefit from long term supplementation. Talk to us about any health issues your pet may have in conjunction with your Veterinarian.

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