Apple Cider Vinegar And Its Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar and its benefits...

 

Commonly referred to as ACV, this product is made from fermented apples, and contains a variety of acids including acetic (which in understood to have antiseptic properties), lactic, citric and malic acids, all of which play their part in making this an all round boost for good health and digestion.

The use of ACV can actually be traced all the way back to Hippocrates in 400BC! There is not much by way of scientific reporting on its benefits but numerous anecdotal reports mention its great benefits.

It is known to provide a healthier skin and coat, lessen the occurrence of allergies and improve gastrointestinal health and therefore digestion. If feeding ACV, one should always dilute 50/50 with water.

ACV has proven useful in treating dogs with ongoing UTI problems, bladder stones, and poor digestion, it helps to re-balance the bodies pH balance and to break down fats, proteins and carbs. It is also an effective cleaner and disinfectant.

To use topically, again, dilute 50/50 with water and use as a wash, bath or spray.

Dogs who have problematic ears, itching and recurring infections can be safely treated with ACV (as long as there are no open wounds or sores present, as this would most certainly sting).

Dilute 50/50 with water, soak a cotton pad in the mixture, wring it out well, and use the damp pad to clean out the inside of the ear, use a fresh pad for each ear.  ACV helps as it will dry out the ear and will combat yeast growth.

An itchy dog can greatly benefit from an ACV bath, well diluted in warm water, again ensuring your dog has no open wounds or sores, the acidity helps to restore pH balance in the skin and the acids provide anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties to soothe irritation and inflammation. We would suggest spot testing on your dogs skin prior to using this method.

A 50/50 ACV and water mix can also be used in a spray bottle, and used as a leave in treatment after shampooing your dog as a natural insect repellent!

Another wonderful use for ACV is in the making of Bone Broth. Bone Broth is a true super food, it is great for elderly dogs who may not eat as well as you would wish, dogs that are recuperating from illness or injury, and works wonders for dogs that have struggled with ongoing problems that develop due to leaky gut syndrome, such as allergies and poor digestion, as well as being a fabulous natural joint aid!

Always ensure you purchase a natural ACV that is organic and with ‘the mother’ for best results.

Can I Raw Feed My Cat?

can i raw feed my cat

Can I raw feed my cat?

The simple answer is yes! 

However, cats are a very different thing to dogs and can be a lot harder to persuade that raw is a good idea.  Outdoor, bird chasing, semi feral types of cat will be simple, and are probably raw feeding themselves when they are out on the prowl, indoor cats who have been raised on kibble can be trickier and most definitely more stubborn than the average dog when it comes to changing their food and feeding routine.

The first type of cat mentioned can be easily transitioned onto a raw diet.

First, stop free feeding/grazing and get your cat used to set meal times, so you put out their kibble 3 or 4 times a day for 15/20 minutes at a time.

can i raw feed my cat

Once your cat has become accustomed to eating at set times introduce the raw food.

Start with a single protein, around 10% bone, Rabbit, Quail or Chicken are good starters.  After 5 or 6 days, introduce a red meat, again around 10% bone.  Begin by adding a little of the new meat to the original food, progressively increasing the % of the new meat included each day.

can i raw feed my cat

After 10/11 days , you can introduce your first offal meat, not liver yet, something like kidney is ideal.

This should be in tiny amounts, around 2-3g maximum, it needs to be around 5% of what your cat is eating.

Your meals should be 85% meat, 10% bone and 5% offal.

The next step, after around 2 weeks of the new diet, is to introduce liver.

Again, a tiny amount of 2-3g, no more than 5% of the overall diet.  Your meals will now comprise of 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other offal (kidney, pancreas etc)

You can now look at adding some fish to your cats diet, small oily fish like sprats are perfect, keep the fish content to around 10% of the overall diet.


With the pickier cats, who are not impressed by your loving efforts to improve their diet, a slightly longer winded approach is often needed.

  • Again, start by ceasing free feeding/grazing. 
  • Food should be only available at set meal times.
  • If the cat is purely kibble fed, start adding wet food to the kibble.

Start with 25% wet and gradually increase the % of wet to kibble until the cat is eating 100% wet food, at set meal times only.  Now you can begin introducing a small portion of raw meat (rabbit or chicken perhaps) to the wet food.  Start with a maximum of 10% raw to 90% wet food, increasing the % of raw slowly but surely until the diet is 100% raw. At this point, follow the transition steps outlined above.

Once the cat is transitioned, and happily eating raw, you can address the balance of the meals.

Firstly, is the cat getting enough Taurine?

Cats needed a little more than dogs, so most of our cat owning raw feeders cover this by adding some chicken turkey or duck heart to the diet, 2 or 3 a day is sufficient.

Dark turkey meat is also a great source of Taurine.

The average adult cat would be eating around 3% of its bodyweight per day, however your eyes and your hands will tell you if your cat is eating sufficient quantities of food.

 

 

 

can i raw feed my cat

Your common sense will take you a long way so don’t get too hung up on percentages when it comes to quantity to feed.

 

can i raw feed my cat

Kittens need a greater percentage of their bodyweight than adult cats, up to 4 months they need 10-13% of their weight per day, up to 8 months, 6-10%, up to 12 months, 3-6%, over 12 months feed as an adult.  Certain breeds of cat do need a little more even in adulthood, the Sphynx cats and other hairless breeds have higher calorific requirements as their bodies are constantly using energy to keep warm.  These cats can need up to 6% of their bodyweight per day to maintain their ideal weight.

With the larger breeds, like Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Ragdolls etc these usually take a little longer to reach their full size, so will need to stay on kitten rations a little longer than their smaller cousins.

Processed cat foods were not created until 1958, and that was tinned wet food, kibble for cats appeared in the late 70s, produced by the same manufacturer that created the first tinned cat food.

Cats are obligate carnivores, this means they really do not need anything other than meat, no carbs are needed as the nutrients they require are not found in carbs and their bodies do not possess the physiology to digest plant matter.

Giant Breeds & How They Eat

giant breeds

Giant breeds, and how they eat!

 

Experience with customers who own Great Danes
(including Primal Raw owner Lucy Reeves!),
Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs and other Giants, has taught us that big dogs do eat a little
differently than their small to medium sized canine cousins!

giant breeds

Quite often, these big dogs are not great fans of mince, particularly very finely processed mince.  Their bigger mouths, often loose jowls, and larger teeth cope better with a larger
gauged, chunky type of mince.

You can try mixing finer minces in with some of the more dry chunky minces as this creates a lovely consistency.

They also really enjoy chunks!

Tripe Chunks, Beef Chunks, Chunked Chicken Breast or Thighs are great! Turkey Wings, and Necks are also very successful for the big boys and girls, as well as Carcasses, Duck Carcasses being a good option as they are larger and often meatier than a Chicken Carcass.

But, ALWAYS supervise any dog that is eating whole bones of any description. If you are worried about choking, you can hold one end of the bone with pliers the first few occasions until you are satisfied your dog will chew/crunch sufficiently before swallowing.

When it comes to adding Offal to this type of diet, you may have to experiment a little to find what works for your dog.

Some dogs will happily eat chunks of Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Pancreas etc, some dogs don’t appreciate the texture of Offal chunks and need it to be more finely diced and spread throughout their meals.

It is quite common for them to completely refuse Offal, chopped or diced. In the case of refusal you can look at blending it, or purchasing offal mince.

giant breeds

Companies such as Paleo Ridge, and The Dogs Butcher produce pre-prepared balanced Offal mixes that you can stir in with your chunks and bones, or even defrost, refreeze into ice cube trays and feed as treats!!

There is always a way of getting that 10% Offal into your dog somehow!

 

The final consideration with Giant dogs and feeding is % of bodyweight to feed.  Now we know that the basic guidelines for a healthy adult dog are 2-3% of their bodyweight per day.  We go low with older or neutered animals, and high with younger, entire animals.  With Giant breeds, once fully grown, we find the most successful method is to feed according to appetite, and some do prefer to eat only once a day with a snack at breakfast or lunchtime.  The largest breeds very often simply cannot manage to eat 2.5-3% of their bodyweight.  If your Giant breed dog is only managing 1.5%- 2%, and they are happy, healthy and shiny then they are eating what they need!

Their appetite may vary according to activity and weather and they will surely let you know if they are hungry!

 

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

Simple answer, yes.

If your new Mum is already raw fed, then you probably have some grasp on how the raw diet works, and feeding your puppies on raw shouldn’t be too difficult.

Start out with a finely minced, boneless meat, mashed well with milk.  You can use raw organic goats milk for this,  or you may prefer a puppy replacement milk.

For the first couple of days, the pups will probably wade around in it, wear it, swim in it, pretty much everything but eat it! Don’t worry about this at all, what you are doing at this point is giving them the opportunity to learn how to eat.

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

You want them to be hungry when you offer them this mixture, so do keep Mum away for a good hour or 2 prior to offering them food.

You should also try to offer the food at room temperature, if it’s cold, that can put them off.  It might seem obvious, but do not leave them alone with the food.

You will find that the puppies are usually ready for their first attempt at solids at around 3.5 weeks.

A good indicator is noise!

If they suddenly switch from content, quiet little puddings, to a flock of squawking seagulls, then they are experiencing hunger and are ready to try real food!

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

So, for the first few days, offer them the boneless mince/milk mixture a couple of times a day.

Remember, you are not feeding them as such, you are giving them a chance to try it out so don’t worry if they don’t seem keen, some litters pile straight in, some are more reluctant.

Smaller litters, in particular, can take a little longer to really go for solids.

Once you notice that the pups are getting keener, and are actively eating the food; this will probably be when their teeth are in, you can start to introduce mince with bone.

Stick to a nice fine mince, and add it into the mix you are already using.  You can slowly reduce and remove the milk after about a week, still keeping to well minced, wet food that doesn’t have large pieces of bone in.

By around 6 weeks, they can be eating 3 or 4 different proteins, for example, Chicken & Tripe, Turkey, Beef and Duck are all fine.

They should now be eating 4 meals a day, aim to feed them around 10% of their bodyweight per day.

Between 6 and 7 weeks, start to introduce offal.

You can do this by adding small amounts of complete mince, to the mince they are already eating.

Don’t swap straight to complete as you may find this can cause diarrhoea in some litters.

My dog has had puppies, can I wean them on raw?

Aim for the pups to be fully eating complete at around 8 weeks, this means you can send them off to their new homes with a week or so worth of food that their new parents can just defrost and feed!

The simpler it is for new owners to feed raw, the more likelihood that your pups will remain on a natural, healthy, raw diet!

If your new Mum is not raw fed, then we do not recommend switching her to raw during pregnancy, or whelping, however, you can still wean her puppies on raw, then switch Mum over when the pups are fully weaned.

What age can I start raw feeding?

Image by kim_hester from Pixabay

We often hear from people who have been told by vets, sometimes breeders, or friends that they should not raw feed their puppy/dog until it reaches a certain age, commonly 12 months.

Such advice can safely be disregarded, as puppies can be fed raw as soon as they are old enough to be weaned from Mum.

If you have been super lucky and your breeder is an experienced raw feeder, then they should send you home with a sample of food to get you through the first few days and all the info you need to continue to feed your puppy on a natural, species appropriate diet which is designed to keep him in good health for life.

If your puppy has come to you on a diet of processed food, then you will need to be able to safely transition him/her onto a raw diet yourself. You can do this pretty much straight away, although we do suggest you begin on an empty stomach so start the next morning, after his first night in his new home.

 

We are going to assume this is a healthy, well reared puppy who has a good bodily condition.

So at 8 weeks of age, you will be feeding your puppy 10% of his bodyweight per day, so your first task is to get puppy weighed!

(which you can do here if  you're local).

What age can I start raw feeding?

Once you have established how much you will need to feed per day, you then need to get the right products for the transition phase into raw feeding.

Initially, you will be feeding 3-4 times per day, so you will split your daily amount over those meals.  Start off with a simple plain chicken and tripe mince with around 10% bone (do not use complete or minces above 10% bone), this is easily digested and the tripe, particularly, helps to prepare the dogs digestive system for a raw diet.

You would want enough to last around 3 days, after which you can introduce a new meat, such as beef, again for about 3 days, then again, introduce a new meat, always keeping to around 10% bone content.

What age can I start raw feeding?

It is important to only add one new thing to the diet at any time, so that any reactions can be pinpointed!

Once puppy is happily eating 4 or 5 different meats, it is time to introduce offal, most people do this by beginning to feed Complete minces which are pre-balanced for you, so that you know your pup is getting the right amount of meat/bone/offal.

Do bear in mind that puppies around 10 weeks to 6 months are prone to digestive upsets for numerous reasons, they eat literally anything that they find lying around, they have recently moved from their breeder to their new home, they have probably had vaccinations and numerous flea treatments and wormers!

All of these things combined, mean it is not unusual for pups to have loose stools! We suggest keeping Tree Bark Powder on hand as this is a super product to help in this situation, and also, please do research on the side effects of overdoing flea/worm treatments.

Your puppies loose motions may well be nothing to do with his diet and everything to do with all the other things going on in his life/body at that time.

Feeding Bone Broth can really help at this time, as it has many wonderful nutrients that can really boost your pups general well being!

How do I start raw feeding?

Transition Guide

This is the process that we follow with new customers.

Other Groups/Shops may suggest a slightly different method, however we have been following this method with great success for a number of years now.

This guide is aimed at healthy dogs with no known allergies.

How do I start raw feeding?

Once you have worked out how much to feed per day based on the dogs ideal bodyweight, and age,  along with whether or not the dog in question is neutered (neutered dogs can need around .5% less than entire dogs) we recommend following this process to enable your dogs digestive system to efficiently adapt to the raw diet.

How do I start raw feeding?
How do I start raw feeding?
How do I start raw feeding?

Puppies

  1. Chicken and Tripe mince with approx. 10% bone.
  2. Chicken and Beef Mince with approx. 10% bone.
  3. Chicken and Lamb Complete.
  4. You can now go through the Completes, adding one new meat at a time, for example:
    • Chicken and Lamb to Turkey and Lamb, Beef and Lamb, then perhaps Duck and Tripe, Turkey and Tripe.
    • Feeding a new flavour roughly each 3 days.
    • Once your puppy is happily eating 4 or 5 different varieties you can go wild and try all the different flavours available from all the different brands in stock.

 

Always remembering to only introduce one new thing at a time, so that any issues can be identified easily.

For adult dogs, follow the same guide, but up to 5 days each on steps 1-3

 

For senior dogs (7+)

  1. Begin with 1-2 days on Lamb Tripe, (Furry Feasts or The Dogs Butcher) then follow steps 1 to 3 above
  2. 5 days in each step.
  3. Senior dogs often need less bone in their diet, so if the dog does become constipated add boneless tripe to the diet to dilute the bone content of completes.

Once fully transitioned, you can then add a raw egg to the diet a couple of times a week, then you can add raw fish. We prefer to feed raw fish frozen, as there is a much lower likelihood of regurgitation when fish is fed frozen.

Puppies at 8 weeks, require approximately 10% of their current bodyweight per day.

  • From 10-16 weeks approximately 8%
  • From 16-20 weeks approximately 7%
  • From 20-24 weeks approximately 6%
  • From 24-36 weeks approximately 5%
  • From 36-56 weeks approximately 4%
  • From 56-68 weeks approximately 3.5%

 

Once fully grown, which can differ by breed, the average adult will require between 2-3% of their bodyweight per day.

How do I start raw feeding?

Be guided by the dog in front of you, if the dog is overweight reduce the amount, if the dog is underweight you can increase the amount.

All dogs have different metabolic rates, just like humans so whilst one dog may thrive on 2.5% of its bodyweight per day a dog of the same breed may need much more, or even much less.

Help! My dog won’t eat!

Help! My dog won't eat!

This is probably one of the single most common pleas for help that we get on a daily basis.

We have actually had customers in tears over dogs that refuse food for days on end.

This situation commonly crops up with young males, between 6 and 18 months, some of the working breeds like German Shepard Dogs and Huskies, and dogs whose owners are routinely over feeding.

 

Help! My dog won't eat!
Help! My dog won't eat!

So, our first question is always, is the dog underweight?

If the dog is regularly refusing food, yet maintaining a healthy bodyweight then you are offering your dog more food than they need, and they are self regulating.  This is the answer in the vast majority of cases.

These dogs are often very picky eaters and will only eat certain foods, they can afford to do this because they are being offered much more food than they need; so if little Buster is a big fan of Lamb but not fussed with Turkey he can turn his nose up at Turkey meals knowing full well that you will soon offer him his favourite Lamb and he can fill up on that.

We often see dogs who are around the 12 month mark still being fed the quantities they needed as a puppy with lots of growing to do, its time to cut back, get your dog weighed, and re-assess the amount you are feeding.

So,  if a calculator or guide tells you your dog needs 600g per day, yet he only eats 500 and maintains a good bodyweight, he only needs 500!

Dogs, like humans, all have their own metabolic rate, some can eat until you fear they may explode, yet maintain a trim athletic appearance, others need only sniff an extra gram and they put on weight, so you feed the dog in front of you.

The calculators are a very useful tool, they will give you a starting point, a guide to work from, but then it is up to you to use common sense, and apply it to the individual animal.

Help! My dog won't eat!

If he is fat, feed less, if he is thin, feed more.

At meal times, your dog should begin to eat immediately when his food is placed in front of him.  If he does not, he is not hungry and you should remove the food, place it in the fridge, and offer nothing more until his next meal time.

Stick to your guns, a healthy dog will not starve itself and you will find that once your dog accepts that he is not going to be offered anything else, he will eat when he is hungry.

Naturally, if you have a dog who is refusing food, and losing weight, you would seek veterinary advice.

 

Primal Raw