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Raw Dog Food - Cat Food and BARF Diet FAQs

We understand switching to raw can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be! At Nurturing by Nature we are happy to help, browse our FAQs or contact us


We understand switching to a raw dog food or raw cat food diet can be rather daunting, but it doesn't have to be!

At Nurturing by Nature we are happy to help, contact us on the links below or browse our FAQ’s 

Starting a Raw Dog Food or Cat Food Diet

How do I start feeding Raw Dog Food or Raw Cat Food to my pet?

We start by gathering a few basic pieces of information:

  • Breed, age & current weight.
  • Are they neutered?
  • Are you happy with their weight?

If you visit us in store we will weigh your pet for you and give you our feedback on how much they should weigh and how much to feed.

Age is important as there are a few life stages you'll need to feed differently for - mainly young dogs, puppies & kittens will eat and need so much more than an adult of the same breed. 

We start by offering a single protein - We use chicken in a lot that we do as it is a very appropriate and accessible meat. A chicken to us represents a great meal for the size of animal we are generally feeding. A chicken is a totally feasible raw dog food or cat food meal for a Dog, Cat or Fox - ask yourself, if they could catch it would they? Our Chicken is minced and it contains bone.

How much raw dog food or cat food do I feed?

Puppies & Kittens can have up to 10% of their bodyweight in meat per day. As the animal gets older they need less so a 6 month old pet will need more like 5-7% of their bodyweight in meat per day.

Adults need 2-3% of their bodyweight in meat per day and large breeds and some older pets may only need as little as 1% of their bodyweight in meat per day.

We would also increase the amount of meat if you have a dog that is working or is highly active. We often start out with 1% and work our way up from there.

To work out the percentage (This may help but forgive us if we are teaching you to suck eggs here! example:)

  • 12kg 6 month old dog - suggested feeding raw of 5-7% in bodyweight in meat per day.
    • 12 x 5 = 60 add 0 = 5% = 600g
    • 12 x 7 = 84 add 0 = 7% = 840g

So, for a 12kg, 6 month old dog we would recommend you feed 600 to 840 grams of raw dog food per day.

How do I introduce the raw dog food or raw cat food diet?

There are two ways you can choose to introduce this to your pets meals:

  1. Feed the required amount of Raw over many small meals throughout the day (5 or 6 on day one) gradually reducing the number of meals as you increase the days until day 7 you feed two or even one of the required allowance of meat for the day.
  2. Feed a mixture of their old food and Raw each day, gradually increase the Raw meals and decrease the old food. After about 7 days you can feed 100% Raw. Do not mix the Raw meals and the old food in the same meal or feed at the same time as the digestion rates can differ and you won’t see the difference in their poo until they are on Raw 100%.

How often do I feed Raw Dog Food or Cat Food?

The best thing would be to spread the food out over many small meals - this isn't the most convenient for you at home but it would probably be the best for a puppy.

With adult dogs we feed once or twice a day and occasionally we let them have a fasting day where they generally eat a very tiny meal or nothing for that day. Don't worry about set feeding times, routines are great however, it usually ends up with the dog dictating to you when meal times are. They can also produce excess acid in anticipation, so feeding intermittently is actually better for them in the long run.

How much is a raw dog food or raw cat food diet going to cost?

Our chicken mince starts from only 79p for 500g and we have many ways to help keep raw feeding affordable.

Looking at a popular breed - a Labrador, fed a varied Raw Dog Food diet, weighing approximately 25kg will cost in the region of £1.35 per day on Nurturing by Nature minces and bones. This equates to approx' £40 per month. 

What benefits will I see with a raw dog food or cat food diet?

We’ve noticed that Raw fed pets:

  • Have cleaner teeth and fresher breath
  • Have a much softer, cleaner and shinier coat
  • Have reduced flatulence
  • Have considerably smaller and firmer poo’s
  • Have less anal gland issues
  • Drink a lot less
  • Are calmer and more focused
  • Suffer less from common health complaints
  • Love their food
  • Are more chilled and able to relax

What our customers say:

“I feed raw because it makes my dog happy, calm and contented. Now he doesn’t have a tummy
ache making him all crabby! The bonus is he looks awesome at a good weight, has a stunningly
shiny coat and his teeth are super clean and pearly white”

“I feed raw because it has cured our youngest dog’s inflamed skin and for the first time in his short
21months of life he does not need antibiotics any longer. I also feed raw because I want all our
three dogs to have a long, happy and healthy life with us”.

“I feed raw because in under two months the transformation is great, no more itchy skin or ear

“both dogs are a nice healthy weight, the skinny non eater now eats and has put weight
on for the first time in years and the chunky pig is now leaner and more toned. I would never feed
processed food again”.

“I feed raw because it’s a great diet that contains little carbohydrates therefore it is suitable for my
poorly dog who was previously diagnosed with cancer”

“I feed raw so my thirteen year olds teeth look like he is five and his coat gleams”

“I feed raw as my dog was so sick on kibble and since feeding raw has had NO vet visits or
medication for sickness”

“I feed raw as it seems to help with Taz’s epilepsy”

“I feed raw because I know exactly what I am feeding my dog and can tailor to his needs and no
enzymes or nutrients have been destroyed. Plus his coat and teeth look so healthy, if he looks
good on the outside I think it must be doing him good on the inside!”

How safe is raw?

One of the main concerns when feeding a raw dog food or cat food diet is bacteria - more specifically Salmonella. We understand that as long as you maintain good home hygiene when defrosting and handling any raw dog food or cat food, the risk is as much as if you were handling Raw meat for your own consumption. At this point we would like to let you know that we do everything we can to maintain the safety of our food, we have full traceability from the producer to when it goes into our stores and we batch test our food weekly in line with our DEFRA regulations.

Another concern we hear is feeding bones, contrary to popular belief you can feed Raw bones to your dog or cat. Most problems arise when the bone are cooked, smoked or hardened. Always choose a bone that is a suitable size for your pet. If you are at all worried then choose a large bone that they cannot swallow in one gulp.

Last but not least, to make sure your pet does not accidentally swallow more than they should and get into trouble we always say you should supervise your dog or cat when eating or chewing bones.

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