Whether you’re considering the raw food diet for your pet and doing your research or you’re a few months in and want to know what you can do to improve your pet’s diet, here are the various common mistakes that pet parents make while feeding their pet raw food meals:
Mistake #1: Jumping into any raw food diet for pets without understanding basic canine or feline nutrition.
So you’ve heard about PMR or BARF, which are raw food diet variations for pets, and you want to try it because you’ve heard raving reviews about them. You start throwing raw food ingredients (raw meat, fruits, veggies, healthy oils) together and copying raw food meals other pet parents have created. But that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and the reasons are that 1) you don’t fully understand the diet plan and 2) you’re most likely missing nutrients and trace minerals that your pet specifically needs to thrive on a raw food diet.
Commercial pet foods have general serving sizes on the packages, but raw food meals for pets need lots of variety and requires the correct ratio of all the components to ensure that your animal companion gets enough of every nutrient they need to be healthy. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to chronic medical conditions, so that’s why you want to be well-educated about what you need to feed your pet on a raw food diet. You also don’t want to give your furry friend too many new raw foods in the beginning of transitioning (if you’re transitioning from a packaged-food diet to a raw food diet). You can get starter recipes from our site, and we’ll help you devise easy-to-follow recipes specifically designed for your pet.
Mistake #2: Not giving your pet nutritional supplements when necessary.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to squeeze in different foods into your pet’s meals that will provide them with all the necessary vitamins and minerals they require. This could be due to seasonal availability, limited sourcing options or wanting to reduce raw, whole food expenses for the meals, which can be steep if you use raw food recipes with a diverse list of ingredients and if you have multiple pets. Natural supplements derived from whole foods are the best and help you provide the nutrients your pet requires; e.g., senior pets may need joint supplements to assist with daily mobility and relieve arthritic aches. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to see what supplements your pet needs.
Mistake #3: Mixing in kibble with your pet’s raw food meals.
If you’re having trouble letting go of the idea that you need to feed your four-legged friend packaged or canned pet food, and you’re mixing in kibble with their raw food meals, you may be increasing your pet’s risk of digestive problems. It’s best to go fully raw if you decide to put your pet on a raw diet.
Mistake #4: Thinking that raw meat is the only whole food to feed your pet.
Although raw meats like chicken and beef are important components of a raw food meal, it doesn’t mean that’s the only ingredients you can use. Even in a Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet, you don’t have to limit your options to just raw meats. Raw meaty bones, vegetables, fruits, fish, and eggs can be included in your pet’s meals. Explore your options and learn more about what your dog or cat needs each day to live a healthy and happy life.
We hope this helps you avoid making mistakes while you feed your pet raw food meals and how to have a successful, lifelong diet that ensures your animal companion optimal health.