We all love our pets and want to give them the best life possible. From long walks in the park to plenty of enrichment, there are many ways we can ensure our dog lives the best life possible. Feeding your dog a raw diet is a great way to improve their health. As dogs are carnivores, it’s essential to give them food that works well with their bodies and supplies them with all the nutrients and minerals necessary for them. The dog food market can be quite a confusing one. 

There are so many different options for your dog and each dog food company claims they are the best for your dog. But how do you know who to trust? At Mersey Raw, we look into the anatomy and history behind our dogs and what that means for their diet. We have perfectly formulated food that is meant to keep your dog healthy.

If you’re ready to make the switch to raw dog food or you want to raise your new puppy on a raw diet, keep reading our blog to learn what you should include.

Why should dogs eat raw natural dog food?

Dogs evolved from a small mammal called the Miacis around 60 million years ago, which eventually evolved into the first true dog called Cynodictis. The Cynodictis gave rise to two branches, one in Africa and one in Eurasia. The Eurasian branch was named Tomarctus and is the progenitor of wolves, dogs and foxes. Eventually, dogs as we know them today began to be domesticated around 15,000 to 30,000 years ago. Humans likely fed them leftover meat to train them and breed them for specific traits such as loyalty, obedience and hunting abilities. 

DNA suggests that the dog’s early ancestors, the canids, carried a substantial amount of genetic diversity. Through isotopic analysis, researchers have been able to determine that the earliest dogs consumed horse, musk, ox and reindeer but not fish or seafood. Many early dogs would have been used for tracking, hunting and transporting game and would have been fed scraps of meat in exchange for their loyalty. It is because of this research that we can determine that dogs evolved while eating raw meat and that is what their bodies work with best.

What types of raw food are available?

There is a wide variety of raw food available that you can feed your dog as part of a balanced diet. This includes meat, bones, organs and green tripe from a variety of sources. Be aware you should never feed your dog cooked bones as these can splinter and cause your dog injury when consumed. A good rule to stick to is feeding at least three different prey species over a week. This is essential for ensuring your dog receives the right amount of nutrients to be healthy.

You can buy raw dog food complete meals containing the following foods:

  • Minces: Raw minces contain a mixture of muscle meat, bone and organs. These should be fed to your dog along with several other items in this list.
  • Meaty bones: These include chicken frames, lamb and veal brisket, chicken and turkey necks, rabbit and hare portions and possum pieces. It’s important to choose the right sizing portions, you can refer to our feeding guide to help you.
  • Green tripe: Green tripe is an excellent source of food for your dog. It refers to the green vegetables in your dog’s diet which you can feed to your dog every day.
  • Organ meat: This should be included in your dog’s diet in approximate prey portions. 
  • Fish: Although not historically always been a part of dog’s diets, fish is very beneficial for them. They can have it up to three times a week either whole fish or a tin of sardines in spring water.

How often should you be feeding your dog?

You should feed an adult dog 1-2 times a day. If your dog is a healthy weight you should aim to feed them around 2% of their body weight every day. So if your dog is 30kg you should feed them two meals of 300g of raw dog food. This is a guide only, you know your dog best and if you think they need more or less food then you can do this. For example, if your dog is very active they may need slightly more food than other dogs. You should also refer to the feeding guide for the food you buy.

You should watch your dog's behaviour closely to learn if you are overfeeding them. For example, if they are burying bones, being fussy or leaving food in the bowl you may be giving them too much. The best thing to do is take away the food and offer less for the next meal. You should exercise your dog before eating, not after. If you notice your dog is losing weight or seems hungry you should increase their daily intake a little at a time until you are happy with their weight and demeanour. This also goes if you notice your dog putting on weight, decrease their food until their weight stabilises.

What to expect when you switch to raw dog food

Understandably, you may notice a few changes when you switch to raw dog food. When you completely change your dog’s diet, there will be many different changes in their body - but this is completely normal. The first thing you may notice is that there is a small amount of weight loss. It can be hard to know straight away how much raw food to feed your dog. 

Sometimes rather than beginning with raw dog food for complete meals it can be more beneficial to begin with raw dog treats daily before completely switching their meals. If you notice your dog seems to be more hungry than usual it is most likely because they love the food but over time they will adjust to it. As raw dog food has a higher water content they will also drink less water and their bowel movements will be small, firm and less smelly.

What are healthy raw treats for dogs?

If you want to begin by feeding your dog some healthy raw treats there are many available. At Mersey Raw, we have an excellent variety of treats that your dogs will love. They improve enrichment and are full of nutrients and vitamins. They can be enjoyed as part of a balanced raw or kibble diet. You can choose from:

  • Raw beef trachea
  • Raw lamb bones
  • Raw pork hearts
  • Sprats
  • Raw lamb ribs
  • Beef and venison broth
  • Chicken livers
  • Kefir
  • Dried pig ears and much more

Mersey Raw - Premium Raw Dog Food

At Mersey Raw, we want to help dogs live their best lives. Our excellent range of raw minces and raw treats helps to promote healthier and shinier coats, improved joint health and great dental hygiene. Our food is crafted using only meat from Red Tractor-approved farms with no filler or additives. They are designed with the prime goal of nourishing your pet and giving them the best shot at a long, healthy and happy life. 

The team at Mersey Raw feed their dogs raw diets so we know first-hand how beneficial it is to switch to this type of food. The founders of Mersey Raw couldn’t find raw dog food on the market good enough for their pets - so they created their own. We are DEFRA-approved and know how great our products are. Whether you want to try raw turkey mince for dogs or our range of healthy raw treats for dogs, get in touch with our team today.