There are many pre-made raw products out on the market as well as recipes on the internet. Some follow a true carnivorous way of feeding while others unfortunately do not. In this series, we will be evaluating various products and raw recipes based on a true carnivorous diet…. Prey Model or Franken Prey Model Raw Feeding.
The Nutrition Code will be analyzing each recipe or product based off of a Prey Model Raw style of feeding. What does this mean?
Prey Model Raw is a way of feeding our cats, dogs and ferrets using nature as our guide. Prey Model Raw includes:
Whole Prey as well as chunked meats, organs and bones from various animals also known as Franken Prey. We base this off of the ratio 80% meat, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs and 10% bone (the ideal ratio of a prey animal) This also excludes the use of fruits, veggies or grains as well as artificial supplementation (pills, tablets, premixes etc.)
In this series no brand names, products or websites will be provided (unless completely avoidable). The Nutrition Code does not wish to name bash or product bash others. Therefore, when evaluating products and recipes please utilize information and tips provided to make an educated decision on whether or not a product or recipe is appropriate for your cat, dog or ferret.
This Recipe is a premade product
-Ground Chicken Necks (including bone),
-Chicken Thigh Meat
-Parsley (vegetables may vary based on seasonality).
Special Nutrient Mix:
-Organic Flaxseed Oil
Ground Chicken Necks (including bone),
Chicken Thigh Meat
Chicken is a wonderful protein source for raw food and the fact this is free-range, with no hormones, steroids or antibiotics is even better. Depending on the ratios of these ingredients without going further in the ingredient list, this may be a balanced and complete diet already.
Parsley (vegetables may vary based on seasonality).
Although its great this company uses organic veggies there really is little purpose for them being in the diet.
Dogs are facilitative carnivores. They are by physiological and anatomical design to consume meat, organs and bones unless in a dire situation where they need food (be reminded dogs in the wild can go up to a week and a half without eating). Dogs do not have the digestive enzymes to break down plant material which include amylase and cellulase. Although the pancreas does produce a VERY small amount of amylase the amount of carbohydrates (veggies) in this recipe would heavily tax the body. Dogs in the wild occasionally eat fruits and veggies as mentioned above but it would never be at 25% of their DAILY diet. Besides being biologically inappropriate for dogs there are many other concerns with this selection of vegetables specifically:
Carrots. Although carrots contain beta-carotene, dogs can only covert 50% of the beta-carotene they consume into Vitamin A, it is much better to provide Vitamin A from liver which is included in the ingredient list. Furthermore, carrots contain a lot of sugar which is not required in the diets of our companions as it simply is a quick shot of energy and from there turns into fat. Although natural compared to refined sugar, sugar from fruits and veggies like carrots can contribute to inflammation affecting obesity, cancer, diabetes, hip and joint problems and more.
Celery is mainly water and actually provides negative calories as the energy it takes to chew the celery is enough to negate the calories it provides. Fiber is the number one reason this is included in most diets but if feed some whole prey the feather and fur are enough to keep the body regulated.
In addition, there is a notice on the label and website saying vegetables may vary by season. Hopefully this is changed on the package when it does change.
Finally, we have a Special Nutrient Mix:
Organic Flaxseed Oil
Unfortunately with dogs being carnivores plant based oils are not as easily utilized as animal based. Fish oil or krill oil is a much better source for Omega 3’s. Omega 3s are important for reducing inflammation and in addition to brain and heart health is great for hip and joint support, fetal development, eye health, skin and coat health and much more.
Salt is typically added for trace minerals and often iodine content. Sodium is essential in addition to chloride to complete many physiologically functions in the body. That being said there is no reason to add it to the diet when the meat, organs and bone above that have been added contain natural levels of sodium.
This is a commercially created alternative sweetener considered a prebiotic and energy source for colon cells. Side effects of long term use include weight loss, and drug interactions with some cardiac medications. It is not needed especially in a raw diet where the microflora of the body is already being fed the proper fuel that fosters the growth of digestive enzymes and natural probiotics.
This is a supplement resulting from the bond between zinc with an amino acid. Unfortunately, it can damage the intestinal wall, prevent absorption of certain minerals and inhibit production and function of red blood cells. Whole food sources of zinc include rabbit, poultry (which is included in this product), pork, lamb, bison, egg, beef and fish.
This supplement is a source of iron. It can cause constipation, darkened or green stools, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach upset, cramps and pain as well as vomiting. Whole food sources include liver (which is included in the diet already), shellfish, beef, sardines, turkey, chicken (included in the diet) and veal.
Is a salt made of potassium and chloride and a source of potassium. In a balanced raw diet, there is plenty of potassium found without needing to supplement. Whole food sources include beef, chicken (which is included in this product), duck, fish, lamb, pork, quail, rabbit, turkey and venison.
These are minerals that are chemically combined with amino acids making mineral absorption easier. However, shellfish, organ meats (liver and kidney), veal, and beef are all natural whole food options for sourcing copper.
This vitamin is often used as an antioxidant. In excess, it can decrease blood clotting. Do not give if there is heart disease or diabetes and it may increase chances of a stroke. Whole food sources include liver (which is included in this product), brain, kidney, fish, egg and bison.
This is the oxide form of manganese. It should not be used in those with liver disease or have an iron deficiency. Whole food sources include fish, egg, poultry (which is included in this product) beef and pork.
This is a form of thiamin or Vitamin B1. It is fat soluble which can result in fat accumulation in the liver and cause liver damage as well as cellular death. The liver (included in this product), rabbit, poultry (included in this product), pork, lamb, bison, egg, beef and fish are all whole food options.
This is a vitamin in the B family needed for cognitive function. Caution is suggested for those with blood and heart disorders, a history of cancer and gastrointestinal problems. Whole food options include liver (included in this product), heart (included in the product), kidney, rabbit, poultry (included in this product), pork lamb, bison, egg and fish.
Iodine is often lacking in any diet and is a valid addition to most diets however iodine can be found in beef, chicken (included in this product), duck, fish, lamb, pork, quail, rabbit, turkey and venison.
This vitamin aids in uptake of calcium and helps to prevent muscle weakness, diabetes, heart issues and skin conditions, elevations in phosphorus and calcium, tissue hardening in kidneys, intestines and heart. Vitamin D3 can naturally be found in liver (which is included in this product), salmon, mackerel, egg yolks and beef.
Be wary in general as most supplements are artificially made in laboratory settings, contain petroleums and tars or are extracted with harsh chemicals. Most vitamin and mineral supplements also partially assume the diet is devoid of nutrients. While most commercial dry and wet foods have supplements added due to the cooking process, raw diets are not as they are completely unadulterated (as long as you are using human grade food). Using a supplement could greatly unbalance your companion’s diet.
In many cases if a product is approved by the AAFCO they are required to completely balance that product. It assumes that the customer will never feed a variety of foods which is essential to a balanced diet. However, most companies add a vitamin premix which could still be un balancing your companions meal by over or under supplementing based on their individual nutrient requirements.
A Prey Model Raw diet (and most raw diets) consist of 80% muscle meat 5% liver 5% other secreting organ and 10% bone. Based off of information provided by the company that produces this product, the recipe is as follows:
24.68% plant matter
These ratios aren’t horrific but based on a Prey Model Raw diet these ratios are off.
1. On the company’s website, it states 19% of the meat is organ meats but this includes hearts and liver. While heart is organ meat, liver is not and should not exceed 5% of the recipe as Vitamin A toxicity is a concern. When we contacted the company, they couldn’t tell us exactly what percent was liver.
2. The necks and chicken backs are included in the meat section and again we could not get a percentages of bone, in this product so the calcium could exceed or be under the 10% bone recommendation
3. There is no need to be feeding the plant matter. If one wants to emulate plant matter in the diet, feed whole prey.
This product is ground together. Unfortunately, grinding is one of the worse preparing methods for raw. Grinding increases the surface area of the meat. Mot only does this mean it’s more prone to bacteria, but it also means more is exposed to the air. This is not good for oxygen sensitive ingredients like taurine which can more quickly be depleted. In addition, it does not maintain as good oral health especially if the bone is being ground too. Raw meaty bones are abrasive enough to scale the teeth and the meat on it acts as a floss. To keep the teeth clean, free of plaque and tartar dogs must be able to extensively chew their meat, organs and bone.
Overall this diet isn’t completely horrible but there are definitely changes that need to be made with the ratios including eliminating the plant matter. The nutrient mix also should be eliminated as a raw diet of meat, organs and bone with a rotation of proteins will provide everything our companions need to thrive.