Yesterday I was frustrated about the ignorance especially from breeders towards raw feeding and the blatant ignorance for the health problems occurring from processed pet foods, so on my personal facebook page I dared people to give me a reason to NOT raw feed cats, dogs and ferret. It was an awesome thread so I thought I would share the questions I received and the answers I provided:
Q: No freezer space
A: This is definitely a tricky situation for some people for example if you still live at home with your parents or if you live in a small apartment for example but until one can find new accommodations one can:
1. make smaller batches (say a week) and store in their personal freezer (when i first started i still lived at home and just did a weeks worth or too and just put it in our freezer lol)
2. You can also purchase pre-made raw so you don't have to store excess ingredients. This can even be pre-made raw in freeze dried form as it's easy to store, doesn't go bad and only needs rehydrating.
3. You can ask friends or family that may have a hunting freezer to store some stuff in
4. If you have some extra room but aren't into using your personally freezer there are many yard sale groups where you can purchase freezers in great condition for a fraction of the price for a new one (i purchased 14.3 cu ft for only $200 with free delivery!)
5. This is a tad extremely but you could find a small storage unit where you can plug in a small deep chested freezer....think Dexter ;P
Q: Finances have to count for something.
A: Absolutely this is one of the most common concerns! For most people if you source well you can actually be feeding your companions for FREE! Personally it costs me free to $0.85/day/cat to feed raw (which includes free feeding three kittens) depending on the protein source. Prior I was also prepping for a 50 lb dog which cost about $44 per month and an 85 lb dog which cost about $76 per month. In many cases home prepared raw is less expensive than commercial food and when it's not in the rare case, the quality it 100 times more nutritious . Which is another factor to take in.
Because the food is so nutrient dense there is less waste so especially for cat owners this means less litter
And because it is so much healthier this means less or even no vet bills down the road. Even animals currently ill often see a reversal of disease or a reduction in the need for medication. You certainly can't beat that.
Here is a link to a list of cat and dog foods (dry, canned, dehydrated, freeze dried and commercial raw) compared to home prepared raw to see the difference for yourself https://www.thenutritioncode.info/true-cost-dog-foodhttps://www.thenutritioncode.info/true-cost-cat-food
Q: Meghan I'm spending up to $90/week to feed 4 large cats and a small dog! Please help me. Bc I am struggling to pay for it all but my babies are so healthy and happy!
A: Hi Kathy. Obviously costs can vary depending on where you are located but here are some sources other than the grocery store that you can look to:
Raise your own
Hunt or ask for meat scrapes, organs and bone from friends and family who hunt
Put an ad in craiglists or online yard sale groups for freezer burnt meat
Online meat suppliers
Join a co-op
Q: A lot of time and effort to figure out proper meal proportions for a healthy balanced diet...
A: Great question! Some people get overwhelmed by the math but it's actually really simple. You can even just use google to do the math for you!
Adults get 3% of the body weight while puppies and kittens eat as much as they would like at each sitting (using 3+ meals per day) from a balanced batch.
A balanced batch includes 80% meat, 5% liver 5% secreting organs (spleen, pancreas, kidney etc.) and 10% bone.
Just simply apply these percentages to the daily amount you are too feed. For example is you have a 30 lbs dog:3% of 30 lbs or 30 x 0.03 is 0.9 lbs or 14.4 oz per DAY.
So you then will want to take the amount fed per day (14.4 oz) and multiple by these percentages. You should get:
14.4 oz * 80% (or 0.8) = 11.5 oz of meat
14.4 oz * 5% (or 0.05) = 0.7 oz of liver
14.4 oz * 5% (or 0.05) = 0.7 oz of other secreting organ
14.4 oz * 10% ( or 0.1) = 1.44 oz of bone
There is no need to over things it as it's just adding subtracting multiplying or dividing. Here is a link to a fantastic step by step:
https://www.thenutritioncode.info/the-math or you can used a service that designs menus for you like The Nutrition Codes DYI Menu Database. Simply choose form over 45 menus, plug in your companions weight and the percent you want to feed and the program spits out exactly what your companion needs on a weekly and daily basis including a recipe to make a personalized one week menu! https://www.thenutritioncode.info/dyi-menu-database
Q: Seems like it would give them worms? & rotting meat around the house doesn't seem pleasant if they drag it off somewhere
A: Definitely Alex! Many share your concerns.
Firstly it comes down to sourcing your meat well. For example my cats only get human grade meats. If my meats have parasites or worms in them than we definitely have a whole other problem!
It also comes down to storage. After I prep all my food it's put in containers and frozen than defrosted when the food is needed. It never just sits out.
Believe it or not raw fed cats and dogs have a healthier immune system than kibble fed cats and dogs. This is because just like people when you feed whole natural foods that nourish the body, it works 100x better. Dogs and cats fed inappropriate foods will be more susceptible to worms, parasites, bacterial infections, fleas and ticks.
A kibble or wet canned food diet contains lots of carbohydrates like fruits veggies and grains. This causes the stomach acid of cats and dogs on these diets to be 4-5 pH. This REDUCES the stomach acidity severely limiting the stomach acids' ability to destroy anything unwanted. A cat or dog however on a raw diet has a stomach pH of 1-2. This is very acidic and can destroy anything that enters the stomach.
I personally have been raw feeding for 7 years. I have never had a single flea or tick on my cats nor have I ever had worms. At first some animals, but not all do like carrying their meat around. This is because it is a novel food item and they want to cherish it, but after a bit this behavior usually stops. However a few tips to prevent this:For dogs you can feed them on the deck or in the yardFor smaller pets or dogs you can feed in a carrier, in a gated off kitchen or in a closed bathroom (these are usually also easy to clean spaces as well)
Q: I would be concerned about people who are immunocompromized (and perhaps some cats as well.) Some of the micro-organisms in raw meat can be highly problematic if you have a weak immune system, and gloves might not be ample protection.
A: Absolutely Helen you are so completely right that is a concern. While I myself do not suffer, I know MANY individuals who are immunocompromised even many that sadly suffer from cancer and are going through chemotherapy or other treatments that assault the immune system.
In our world we are fearful of bacteria, germs and microorganisms. Rightfully so as we saw many years ago illness spread like wildfire in places where sanitation was poor.
But also keep in mind that although surprising, kibble/dry food actually contains more bacteria than raw food does (which is one of many reasons these products are recalled so often....) Check out this article for a direct comparison http://truthaboutpetfood.com/lets-get-the-facts-straight.../
In my conversations with individuals who are immunocompromised their best advice is to simply maintain appropriate and normal sanitation practices.
-Washing all utensils , cutting boards, bowls, spoons etc in hot soapy water or in the dish washer.
-Cleaning off counter tops, cabinets and mopping the floor after prep
-Washing your hands-Storing meals and ingredients appropriately meaning freezing until ready for use as well as not leaving food out for hours to attract bacteria, bugs and parasites.
-Washing the space where your companion eats not only the floor, but using new or cleaning food bowls after each meal as well as water bowls on a normal basis (which should be done regardless of what is fed)
-Cleaning up waste on a daily basis for dogs immediately or by the end of the day and cats, scooping immediately or by the end of the day
-And above all DO NOT LICK THE MEAT
Let me introduce you to a few friends who are either immunocompromised or have child/other family members who also raw feed. Hopefully they can shed some more light from a personal stand point Cheng Yin Jo Butson Louise Gill
Q: It will incite them to tear you limb from limb, then go out on the rampage, attacking every creature that crosses their path, and then they will take over the world?
A: Well let's just say anyone eating their natural diet will actually be calmer and less aggressive as their hormones balance, sugar levels normalize and other systems reach balance that isn't thrown out of whack by carbohydrates, sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes and who knows what else put in commercial processed foods. Personally I have six cats. My husband has a snake and mice. i also in the past have had rabbits, lizards, fish, rats and gerbils and not once was there a cat on prey incident. In fact most of my pets have hated the small animals lol