• Raw Feeding - Why and How!

    Commonly known as the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, raw feeding is the practice of feeding domestic dogs and cats a diet consisting uncooked meat, raw bones and organs (offals).
    Raw feeding is not a norm in Singapore and tenpawsmama had also spent a long time researching and reading up on raw feeding before finally taking the step forward to feed our own furballs a primarily raw diet!
    Why we choose to feed Raw?Since ancient days, dogs and cats' diet revolved around raw meat and meaty bones that contains live enzymes, proteins. essential fatty acids, live enzymes, organic vitamins and minerals. 
    Modern processed pet food filled with grains and carbohydrates is the main source that contributes to kidney failure, obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and many more. Putting it in simpler terms, kibbles or canned pet food (processed food) could be illustrated as fast food (hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries...), we will survive if we consume fast food for every meal, however we will not be healthy and fit.
    Processed pet food contains additives, preservatives and grains. Processed kibbles are filled with grains as they are the cheapest way to fill a dog up. 
    Comparing Nutrients Content
    Processed Kibbles Raw Diet
    Protein 18% to 32% 56%
    Carbohydrates 46% to 74% 14%
    Fats 8% to 22% 25% to 30%
    However, our furballs do not have the digestive system and required enzymes to cope with grains. Hence, causing allergies and poor digestive system problems for our dogs. It is also not easy for us to determine the content that manufacturers put into processed kibbles, hence tenpawsmama prefers home-made barf in our furball's food bowls. 
    Common benefits of Raw Diet
    1. Firmer Stools
    2. Strong Immune System
    3. Healthier Skin and Coat
    4. Healthier Teeth
    5. Improved digestion
    6. Reduced allergy
    7. Leaner Body Mass (Better Weight Management)
    8. Eliminates Bad Breathe
    9. Improved Kidney and Heart Health
    Improvements we observe after transiting to raw diet
    • Reduce frequency of digestive problem vomiting(Kaven and Kayla had poor digestive systems causing them to vomit frequently. They were also suffering from Yeast over production which is also a signal of poor digestive system. After transiting to Raw diet, yeast overproduction has reduced slightly)
    • Firmer and reduced volume of Stool(I can only say their stools are really firm and odorless. The reason for firm and reduced volume of stools is because everything that goes into their tummy are absorbed!! This is basic biology right?! Only the useless things gets pooped out)
    • No Bad Breathe(No bad breathe at all!! We all know how our dog's mouth stinks after eating their kibbles! Even their muzzle area stinks!! There is absolutely no stink after they have transited to raw diet)
    • Leaner Body MassKaven was really fat and plump when he was on kibble diet. After transiting to raw diet, Kaven is significantly leaner and has a very beautiful figure! Kayla is still a little chubby though!
    • Healthier TeethKaven and Kayla has no Tartar build up on their teeth! That I am proud to say keeping in mind we do not use any funny toothpastes or sprays!
    • Reduced AllergyKaven's body had low tolerance to every other thing since his puppy days, floor detergents could make his paws swell, dust could make his face swollen till he couldn't open his eyes. After he started Barf diet, his paws never swelled again and he had lesser allergy outflares!
    Disadvantages of Raw Feeding
    • Not as convenient as Kibbles
    • Need to be exceptionally cautious when handling raw food
    • Risk of Salmonella and E. coli germs contamination. However as dog's have shorter and more acidic digestive system, it is rare for canine infections
    Proper handling of raw meat would reduce the risks of salmonella and E. Coli germs. In addition, the use of apple cider vinegar would also reduce the risks of salmonella and E. Coli germs!
    How to start raw feeding?
    It is important to understand the raw feeding pyramid before you start your fur kids on raw diet.
    A balanced raw diet should contain about 70% Raw Meaty Bones, 15% offals, 10% Raw fruits and vegetables and 5% Supplements.
    Kaven and Kayla are usually given Beef or Mutton in their food bowls. We do not given them chicken often due to their existing skin conditions and mild allergy towards chicken. 
    Raw feeders commonly feed their fur kids with Beef, Mutton, Chicken, Fish and Turkey. Commercial Barf would carry special meat for instance, rabbit meat or Kangaroo Meat.
    We understand how difficult and how much a hassle it would be to create a balanced raw diet for your dogs and cats, hence, there are a few commercial Barf suppliers in Singapore which you may consider purchasing from the feed your fur balls.
    These commercial Barf comes in a frozen form and packed in small packets. Usually, a small toy breed would take about 1 packet per day. These commercial Barfs contains a balance of Meat, Bones, Offals, Vegetables and Supplements, hence as owners, we would only have to thaw and serve them to our fur kids.
    Commercial barf is convenient for busy bee owners, however, do note that most commercial barf comes with preservatives besides K9 Natural. However, k9 natural is slightly more pricey that other commercial Barf Brands.
    Below are the few common and popular commercial Barfs available in Singapore.
    1. Dr. Billinghurt's Raw Barf (Dr. B)
     2. Big Dog Barf
    3. K9 Natural
    How much should I feed?
    For Healthy Adult Dogs (Non-working dogs) - 2 to 3% of body weight per day
    For Puppies (Small to Medium Breeds) - 3 to 5% of body weight per day
    For Puppies (Giant Breeds) - 2 to 4% of body weight per day
    For Active and Working Dogs - 3 to 6% of body weight per day
    Important Information
    By my experience, I would encourage a rapid switch for your dogs instead of mixing Kibbles and Barf to make the switch. 
    This is because kibbles and raw have a completely different digestion process and may cause digestive disorders if mixed. Raw usually takes about 4 to 6 hours to digest, when kibbles would require at least 8 to 12 hours.
    Kibbles and Raw are also different in pH, which causes digestive disorders for your fur balls. If you have done your research, you should have seen people sharing online about their dogs or cats having blood in stools after they mix kibbles and raw!
    Although some dogs can take kibbles and barf together without problems, I choose to keep my fur kids on a strict barf diet to reduce the possibility of any potential health problems!
    Hence, they're given strict barf meals and raw dehydrated treats only :)
    Before transiting to Barf, we fast our fur kids for at least 10hours to ensure that all the existing food and kibble content is fully digested before we feed raw~
    Kaven and kayla loves Raw very very much!Considering the benefits of raw feeding, do transit your furballs to raw diet now too!
    With woofy loves,TenpawsmamaAll that we have writen is based on our personal experience and knowledge gathered through conversations with raw feeders, vets and information attained from the internet :)
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