A Novice’s Guide To Raw Feeding For Dogs. At the end of 2016, I made the prediction that 2017 would the year of nutrition for pet parents. Fast forward to present day and that prediction couldn’t be any closer to the truth. There was an explosion of interest by pet parents wanting to provide better nutrition for their pets. Part of that interest came from a documentary by Kohl Harrington called Pet Fooled. The documentary exposed the practices within the commercial pet food industry. Following the documentary pet parents had questions, lots of questions, and who were they going to look towards for this information?
When pet parents reach out to me craving this nutritional information my first recommendation is to watch Pet Fooled and then to head over to Dr Karen Becker, Rodney Habib, and Kimberly Morris Gauthier’s Facebook pages. These three people are passionate about animals and in particular the desire for them to thrive from a species appropriate diet. Each person comes with a different experience with animals from being a holistic integrative veterinarian to a raw feeding blogger who took a journey into the world of raw to solve the many health issues her dog had. That blogger is Kimberly Morris Gauthier and this week I’ve been dedicated to reading and reviewing her book.
Kimberly switched to a raw diet to give her dog Rodrigo relief from environmental and food allergies, ear infections, chronic diarrhoea, skin rashes, itchy paws, and joint pain. Any of those issues by itself can be terrible for a dog to endure let alone all of them together. She also wanted to give her dog a species appropriate diet to eliminate highly processed foods from his diet.
When she first started raw she felt it was expensive, yet today she’s cut back her monthly budget by 50%. In her book, she explains how you can reduce your food expenses with cost-effective solutions like buying from a coo-op.
In the first two weeks of feeding Rodrigo fresh food, she saw an improvement in him even though she was only gradually introducing fresh food into his diet. Clearly, small changes were having an impact.
“Dogs can survive on kibble but they can’t thrive and we want our dogs to thrive.”
Kimberly in the beginning of her raw food journey found it to be confusing, complicated, and contradictory. One example is where raw feeders championed adding yoghurt to a dog’s raw diet while others saw it as a big no-no. It’s this kind of confusion that can easily put someone off from embracing a raw diet. Not for Kimberly though, it spurred her on to educate herself further.
She feels it’s her responsibility to share her knowledge, the benefits of raw feeding, and a way to transition without all the hurdles she encountered on her journey. Basically, she went through the trials and tribulations to make it easier for the rest of us to transition.
This book is truly a gift to the pet parent who is ready to move to a healthier species appropriate diet for their dog.
The quick start guide to feeding raw outlines a three-week plan to introduce raw. She emphasizes not to introduce too many new foods at once, she experienced this in the way of a two-day poopocalypse!! Aren’t you glad she warned you about that?
Education is going to be an ongoing part of being a raw feeder and Kimberly recommends you join raw feeding Facebook groups, watch Youtube videos, and gather your info from many sources, not just one.
The guide has you start by sourcing a quality pre-made diet. It’s the easiest way to transition while you research balanced recipes that you can make on your own from scratch. There’s a list of the very brands she used when starting out. She still feeds some of them as well as fully prepped meals.
During the beginning phase you’ll learn how to plan, source, store, and budget for the meals. Sourcing the right way and becoming a DIY raw feeder is your way to cut your food budget. Of course, the convenience of pre-made frozen raw saves time but it is more expensive.
Kimberly prepares her meals in bulk. She uses that time to also catch up on movies or listen to an audio book. Often you can catch one of her live streams as she preps them on Facebook. This gives you an opportunity to connect with Kimberly and get answers to your questions.
This practical guide takes you through weeks 1-3 covering sourcing, prepping, portion control based on your dog’s weight and activity level, and when to feed. During this time she lets you know to observe your dog’s poop and what to look for with this new diet. We all know how poop tells a story of health.
The book covers the benefits of fasting and when and when not to add supplements. For example, feeding duck feet and beef trachea to Rodrigo eliminated the need for a glucosamine supplement as they provided his joint support naturally.
“Ideally your dog should be able to get most of what they need nutritionally from their raw diet.”
There’s a resource section in the book listing books, blogs, websites, videos, and raw feeding Facebook groups to satisfy your educational needs.
The sheer collection of chapters is impressive, some of them are the reason to feed raw, balancing a diet, common fears of feeding raw, cost of feeding raw, diseases cured by a raw diet, food prep and storage, 5 things not to do when transitioning, holistic integrative veterinary care, over a dozen raw recipes, and how to let your dog guide you.
The book is an easy read and you can jump from chapter to chapter. It’s full of tips to help pet parents make the transition to raw in an easy time saving, budget reducing, health improving balanced diet for your dog.
Reading this book in my mind is the single best thing you can do for your dog. Transitioning to a species appropriate diet is your goal and Kimberly helps you get there…because after all is said and done our dogs are worth it.
Buy A Novice’s Guide To Raw Feeding For Dogs here.
Disclosure: The Rock n Roll Dog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We only recommend products we love. The Rock n Roll Dog was not compensated for this review.