Frequently Asked Questions
When feeding a combination of raw meaty bones and balancer you feed 50% raw meaty bones and 50% balancer.
I believe that half of the benefit of feeding a raw, natural diet is improved dental health. This is only accomplished when you feed raw meaty bones. Raw meaty bones clean the teeth by scraping plaque off the teeth and massaging the gums which increases blood flow to the area. Raw meaty bones also provide lots of protein and calcium.
It cannot be stressed enough that calcium is ESSENTIAL for bone health especially in growing puppies. By including the balancer, the diet is made very simple, because you can’t just feed raw meaty bones. To complete the raw diet you must also include organ meat which has essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (vitamin A, D and taurine to name a few).
Pureed vegetables and fruit provide anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals, and green tripe is excellent for proper digestion - it is full of enzymes, essential fatty acids, and has probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus) for a healthy intestinal flora. Green tripe is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your dog’s diet. There are also some supplements added to the balancer which promote great health and longevity.
Feeding raw meaty bones and balancer is simple, everything needed is added in the mix to make the diet balanced and as close to the natural prey model as possible.
If you feed raw meaty bones and the balancer, for a 50lb dog it will cost between $60 - $80/ 4 weeks. The reason for the variation depends on the proteins you feed - if you want to make it cheaper, feed mostly chicken backs and beef balancer.
It is good to add in some variety of proteins, so if your budget allows you can add in some of the more expensive proteins (like bison and lamb) to mix it up for your dog. Different protein sources provide different nutrients so it is a god idea to feed a variety.
If you feed the full ground meals it will cost approximately $96 - $114/4 weeks for a 50lb dog. The cost will vary depending on the proteins you choose to feed.
Fresh food is best; dogs and cats are carnivores designed to eat their food raw. Cooking food changes the structure and the nutrients lose their bioavailability. For more information refer to the "Benefits of Raw" and "Raw vs. Kibble" pages.
Raw Meaty bones are soft and the dog or cat is able to chew through the bone and consume it. Recreational bones are very hard and the dog or cat would not be able to chew through the bone (knuckle bones, femur bones). Some dogs do okay with recreational bones; however, many dogs will go a little overboard with them and break teeth. We recommend using bones such as beef necks, bison necks, and lamb necks - these bones will provide hours of entertainment, a meal, and won`t damage your dog`s teeth. These bones are also a great tooth brush.
Supplements can be a great addtion to any diet. There are a few supplements that we recommend for all dogs such as fish oil, greens, seeds and probiotics. These arent necessary for a balanced diet but they are great additions for overall health. For senior dogs or highly active pets and sport dogs we also suggest addinng a glucosamine supplement. We carry several high quality supplements which can be found in the "supplements" section on the website.
Store your pet's food separate from human food, wash your hands and all surfaces that come into contact with raw food.
Your dog and cat have a digestive system that is able to deal with it because the pH of their stomach is very low and kills the bacteria. People do need to be careful and use safe meat handling practices. Wash your hands and surfaces where food is prepared.
Studies have shown that dogs can eat chicken covered in salmonella and not show the bacteria in their saliva or become ill in any way, but studies also show that 30% of dogs who ingest salmonella will shed the bacteria in their feces. Make sure you wash your hands after cleaning up after your pet, and don`t allow your children to come into contact with feces.
You should feed raw meaty bones that are an appropriate size, and err on the side of too big rather than too small. Raw meaty bones that are too small can be swallowed whole and get stuck. If your dog has to chew the bone, choking is much less likely.
The dental benefits of meaty bones will typically outweigh the risk of choking. If you have a dog that wants to swallow bones whole, you can always help them by holding one end of the bone while getting them to chew the other end. This is often a good idea especially when first introducing bones to puppies. Always supervise your dog when eating a raw meaty bone.
Bones are an excellent source of calcium which is an essential nutrient for dogs. It is however important to make sure that calcium content is balanced, as too much or too little can cause serious problems.
All of Back to Basics meals and essentials formulas contain finely ground bone and are tested for proper calcium content.
Dogs will produce significantly less stool on a raw food diet. This is normal, raw food diets do not contain fillers and thus your dog or cat will produce far less waste.
This can be caused by numerous reasons. If you are new to raw feeding, make sure that you are slowly introducing foods. Too much variety too quickly can defineitly cause digestive issues. Some home remedies that tend to work well are lightly cooking the food, mixing with rice and adding probiotics. If loose stools persist or if your dog is lethargic consult your veterinarian.
Constipation when feeding a raw food diet can often be the result of too much bone. So if you are adding raw meaty bones to the diet cut back. Psylium Husk can be added in small quantities to the diet as well which is greatly helpful with hard bowel movements.
It is important to have a vet that is open to and undertands a raw food diet. There are many vets these days that are okay with raw feeding and are supportive of it. Sometimes it takes a little digging but it is definetly worth it to find the right vet.
Raw pet food needs to be kept frozen until ready to use. Defrost in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 4 days.
Once the raw food is defrosted it can be kept in your fridge for 3-4 days. Raw food can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.