Taking the first step

Have you decided to take the plunge and start feeding your beloved pet the best and most natural diet you can provide?

Congratulations on your decision, but now what?
The hardest part of getting started with raw feeding is doing research, which is not being made easy with all the conflicting information that is out there.
Taking the first step to actually feeding your pet raw can be a scary one as you want to make sure you give your pet all he/she needs.

When I first started feeding our dogs raw,  I dived into the deep end, feeding a PMR or more to the point Franken Prey model raw.

I was worried that I wasn’t doing things right and that my dogs weren’t getting the right balance as all the information was so confusing and the more I read the more confused I became till I finally got the ureka moment and everything fell in to place, though this was after making a few beginners mistakes .
This was the  motivation, drive and reason for me to create an easy to understand website, due to understanding like no other, all the emotions and struggles one can go through when first starting.
From a beginners guide to more in-depth information can be found in the tabs under this page.

As if taking the first step isn’t scary enough, the scaremongering around raw feeding doesn’t help either.
The scaremongering mostly comes from people that don’t feed raw and have no knowledge about feeding a species appropriate diet/ or even some vets (as explained on the Why Raw page, but like with anything else in life, if you follow some general rules/ guidelines, these risks people talk about can be minimised or even avoided.

There are several ways of feeding your pet raw.
The forms in which a raw diet is sold commercially can differ, for example: freeze dried, dehydrated, ground meat or chunks fresh or even frozen blocks and more.
Which ever form you choose, you will have to make sure that the diet is balanced, and with the pages on this site you will learn how you can easily prepare a balanced diet for your pet in your own kitchen.
Your pet’s diet will completely be species appropriate following a 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organ ratio.
The model I follow is called Prey Model Raw or PMR, this is different from other diets such as B.A.R.F  (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), where people also include carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and grains as well as supplements, which are not needed when you are feeding a fully balanced PMR diet.

In a PMR diet there are 3 ways of feeding:
No matter how big or small your pet is, the diet is all based on an 80%/ 10%/ 5%/ 5% diet.

  • 80% Meat
  • 10% Bone
  • 5% Liver
  • 5% other secreting organs

The above numbers are just a guide as some pets do better with a higher amount of bone and others on a lower amount of bone, but you will soon work this out by keeping an eye on your pet’s stools

Also as a guide the amount of food fed will depend on your pets age amount of exercise, does he/ she need to loose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight, this will all be explained on the pages under this same tab.

1: Ground/ minced PMR Franken Prey
This involves taking all your ingredients and grinding/ mincing it into a pate like consistency.
Even though it is easy to include everything in the appropriate ratio, it does have some downsides.
With this method you will need a grinder/ mincer, instead of just simply cutting the meat with a knife (unless you purchase pre ground / minced).
Also unless you are not grinding your bones, this method does not provide the massaging, strengthening and cleaning action that the whole prey and Franken Prey methods provide for your pet with, which may result in some dental/oral concerns.

2: PMR Franken Prey
Franken Prey is the feeding of various parts from several different sources.
A meal can consist for example of a pigs foot, chicken meat, beef liver and lamb spleen, adding up to the 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organ ratio.
This form of feeding involves a bit less work than minced, but more work than whole prey, as you will need to portion chunks of meat (or mince), bones and organs into meals.
This form of feeding doesn’t differ much from whole prey as it still massages and strengthens their gums, muscles and jaw etc.
The advantage of Franken Prey is that you can provide variety in a single meal.

3: Whole Prey:
This is when you feed the whole animals, a whole rabbit for example (with head and peferably coat still on),  meat with organs and bones.
Ideally whole prey would be the appropriate 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ ratio.
There isn’t much preparing to do as give your pet the whole animal to chew on.
It’s quick and easy, but the down side is that some people don’t feel comfortable with the idea of seeing their pet eat a whole animal, even though it involves already killed prey animals,
This form of feeding definitely keeps pets satisfied, massaging and strengthening their gums, muscles and jaws whilst cleaning their teeth, in addition with stimulating their brain as they got to figure out how to tackle their food.

There is nothing wrong with any of the methods above.
Once you’ve gained some experience with creating your pet’s meals, you will learn what works best for you and your pet.

Personally I mix the three methods, 1 day just minced, the next chunks bone and mince, or just chunks and bone, and sometimes even whole prey trying to keep their meaals as varied and exciting for them as possible, not just with protein sources but also in the form they get their meals.

Now that I have explained the different models we get to the next subject:

Is raw feeding expensive?
Depending on what you feed your pet now, raw feeding will in most cases work out cheaper.
For example:
We have 4 dogs, 3 of which had food related allergies, but no matter what food I tried with them, none were ok on the same food, so we ended up having to feed 4 dogs on 3 different types of food which all were a different brand of hypoallergenic.
The cheapest of the 3 was a 12kg bag for £34 which lasted roughly 3 1/2 to 4 weeks, added to that some trays of hypo allergenic meat trays at £23.99 to make them a bit more interewsted in their food, which lasted 7 days it soon adds up.
So lets do the maths based on the cheapest
3x £34 = £102
4x £23.99 = £95.96
Which is  £197.96 for roughly just for 1 month.

Now we fill up our freezers with fresh raw meat, spend £180 roughly and it lasts us for about 3 /12 to 4 months which works out at £0.69 per dog per day and as extra bonus, all our dogs are on the same diet, interested in their food, no more allergies and as a result no vet visits for medication.

To make raw feeding as cheap as possible, you’ll just have to be willing to do the leg work and possibly be able to buy in bulk as bulk buys will save you money.
Down side to this is that you have to make sure you have enough freezer space to store all your pet’s goodies.