RAW for DOGS--Real and Wholesome
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do you offer?

          We offer species appropriate, Paleo-style food for your pet.  We are in Huntington Beach and will deliver to your door. The regular cost of our food varies based on size of the meal (see menu page). We offer $ .20 credit for recycling your clean reusable dishwasher safe containers. Compared to similar products, our meals offer more variety to maximize nutrition and avoid food intolerance as well as offer "fun" whole chunks to facilitate thinking and cleaner teeth.

Why raw Paleo-style food?

     Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, DVM, NMD points out that the genetics of dogs remain the same as their wild ancestors and cousins to testify that dogs have the same nutritional requirements. Dogs can eat raw food just as they were designed to and have been doing for thousands of years. Dr. Becker points out that there “is no scientific evidence that our pets’ gastrointestinal (GI) tracts have changed or become less resistant over time. There are plenty of comparative anatomical studies demonstrating the biologic parallels of … dogs to wolves… our pets are still designed to tear, rip, swallow and digest raw flesh.” (“The Worst to Best Foods You Could Feed,” Dr Karen Shaw Becker, DVM, NMD) Uncooked bones are part of this natural diet and the source of calcium, phosphorous, trace minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Chewing/biting up bones also keeps a dog’s teeth clean and gums healthy. 
    Dr. Becker also recently pointed out during her July 2015 webinar that just because a food mix doesn't have grains in it, does not mean that it has low starch or sugars.  White potatoes are especially high in this area. We never use white potatoes. 
     Dogs were designed to clean themselves everywhere, are able to eat stools, dig up and chew up bones after years of being buried while staying perfectly healthy. Their short digestive tracts were designed to handle bacteria. They were designed to eat a raw diet. Their teethe were designed for biting, ripping and shredding flesh.
     Observable benefits are healthier skin, coat and teeth, less body odor, and less waste to pick up. 

     ​“There are many analogies between smoking and eating kibble. Eating kibble is just about 20-50 times as dangerous for a dog as smoking is for a human… And, as for smoking, it is never to late to quit the kibble, although you might not always be able to repair all damage done in the past. But, at least, you do not have to continue damaging the body in the future.” Mogens Eliasen: Raw Food for Dogs (http://mogenseliasen.com/)

      "Feeding starch sugars to dogs and cats is analogous to feeding meat to a cow or putting gasoline in a diesel engine.  Something is bound to go wrong and it usually does," Dr. James C Coghlan, DVM, Paleopet, Healthy Homemade Food for Dogs and Cats.

    Dr Will Falconer,DVM, at Vital Animals agrees, "To maximize health, we have to provide species appropriate nutrition." His website is http://vitalanimal.com/feed-for-vitality/.

    There are increasingly more literature coming out advocating a natural, fresh food diet for pets as with people.  Ingredients and ratios recommended fluctuate from author to author.  As we read materials, we always go back to the wolf or coyote and his habits, tweaking it most for smaller and smaller "smashed-nose" breeds which by their very physical nature are at a disadvantage in the biting and tearing and stomach volume areas.

Why don't you cook the eggs?

   While it is true that the white of the egg consumes the B12 vitamin at a great rate, there is 10 times as much B12 in the yolk than the white can consume.  

Why should I buy food from you?
​    There are two parts to this question.  The first part has to do with buying any raw food vs preparing it yourself.  You should buy from us is to save yourself the trouble of doing it yourself.  Although you can really do it yourself, and  there are many good resources on the internet and in print, (follow some of the links from the answer to the next question), but some of the ingredients we use are not available in the store. You can buy from everyone we currently buy from, but be sure to have a big freezer available--we have three just for the dogs' food. If you do want to do it yourself, the hardest part to get is the ground veggies.  You can request ground veggies from us or use your blender to puree them or get a small grinder, of course!.
   The second part has to do with buying it from us vs. anyone else out there.  You should buy it from us, especially if you are in Orange County, because we are local. Our office is in HB, but some of our production is in SA. More importantly, however, is that we prepare meals that include a planned variety and within each meal we aim to include whole parts or chunks for your pet to bite and work on to eat.  Eating is an event; it should be an exercise both physically and mentally.  While we are not serving whole animals, which is the ideal for a pack, we do try to stay above the norm which seems to be all ground food.

Where can I find more information on RAW diets?

            k9joy: Canine digestionfood suppliersMisc. dog articles
            Everthing Wolf
            Healthy Pets
            Rawfed Myths
​           http://www.paleopet.com  a book by James C Coghlan,DVM (located in Santa Ana,CA)
           Pukka's Promise; the Quest for Longer-lived Dogs  by Ted Kerasote

How much food will my dog need? 

     We start with food measured to 2-3% of your dog's adult weight. We will tailor this amount as needed based on your dog’s gaining or losing weight, or leaving food in his or her dish on a constant basis. Puppies eat from 10-12% of their weight or 2-3% of their expected adult weight (divided into 3, then 2, then 1 meal as they grow).  As they get older, the amount of food will taper and adjust until it matches about that 2% of adult weight mark.  The bigger the breed, the slower the taper because larger breeds mature more slowly; around 18 months where as smaller breeds will be fully mature no later than 12 months.

How much does it cost?

     Our food costs are dependent upon the size of the meal container.  Smaller sized meal containers cost more (see recipe page) with a credit of $,20 per returned reusable clean container.  A dog will eat approximately 2-3% of his body weight per day.See the menu page for a complete breakdown of prices based on size of the container.  Smaller containers have smaller pieces because they involve more labor. Prices range from $6 per pound to $3.60 per pound. If you would like to prepare your own meals, we also offer veggie/fruit only mix for $1.50-1.10 per pound.
    Delivery charges are $7.50-$10 depending on distance.  The $7.50 charge is dropped for orders of $300 or more.

Do you offer discounts?

    We give a 10% discount on one month's order on your annual anniversary as a thank you for your loyalty and business.  We also offer a 10% discount on one month when you refer a friend who ​becomes a steady client. (Your 10% off is given during your friend's second month's delivery.) If you and a friend live within 2 miles of each other and are on the same delivery schedule, we will split the delivery charge between you and your friend.  Other discounts are currently being considered for military, seniors, and disabled with a service dog.

What is in your food?

     There are three components to the best homemade raw diet--components that dogs would obtain in the wild. Ingredients are varied to help ensure full nutritional value as well as avoid allergies.
     Muscle, Organ Meat and Bony Meat: 75%. We currently use beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, fish, and egg. Other meats may be used as we can get them--Dale's mix may contain such things as llama!  We can sometimes get a rabbit mix. We grind our own chicken, duck (when we can get it on sale), and pork. Some bony parts—necks, backs, wings-- the fish, the egg, the turkey neck and miscellaneous items are left whole or in large chunks for chewing and cleaning teeth. The pre-ground meats come from Harmony Farms and Creston Meats.
Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs: While some will argue that wild canines do not eat vegetables of any sort, it seems more of the material I read defend and encourage fruits and veggies.  Regardless of the outcome of the debate, our domestic canines can benefit from the roughage.  Unlike their wild relatives, our companions do not eat the fur and skin of prey, nor do they travel 30 or more miles a day securing their territory which also keeps their "plumbing" running efficiently.  We aim for 25%. We use fresh vegetables and a small amount of fresh fruit and herbs that are in season (no grapes) and include a variety.* (On occasion we may use canned pumpkin.) We never use grains—no corn, wheat, rice, soy, rye, etc. We never use onion or white potato (the former is toxic to dogs as are the sprouted skins of the latter).  We grind vegetables and herbs to make them more digestible, then mix them with part of meat to make them more appetizing.
    You can easily add yogurt as a way to boost the good probiotic bacteria that aids digestion which canines who eat full prey get in the animal's digestive tract.
    Other: We package feedings individually, label for good rotation, and offer recyclable/reusable dishwasher safe packaging for the smaller meals. 
*A list of herbs, vegetables and fruits that have been used include (in alphabetical order): apples, asparagus, avocado, basil, beets, beet tops, Brussels sprouts, carrots, carrot tops, cauliflower, dandelion, endive, fig, fig leaves, garlic, ginger, green beans, kale, lettuce, mint, peaches, pineapple, radish tops, spinach, stomach grass, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes & yams. 

Where do you get your supply of ingredients?
     We buy from providers who deal with food for humans: Harmony Farms; Creston Valley, Ralphs, Vons, Stater Bros., Jon's Market, Bruce's Produce, Westminster Superstore, City Foods Wholesale, and Smart and Final.  If we have a bumper crop of veggies or herbs from our backyard garden, we throw that in, too.  You can get fish from a bait store, but it is cheaper to buy it at Westminster or Jon's Market.  The bait fish are smaller,the grocery store fish are bigger and human-grade.

Does it need any special handling? 

     Keep food frozen/refrigerated; treat it like any raw meat/poultry. (Wash all surfaces and hands after coming in contact with raw meats.) Thaw as needed.  The food we transfer from our freezer to our refrigerator stays partially frozen for about three days. It can stay in the refrigerator for an additional two or three days thawed.  Be especially careful with the green tripe because it is stinky!

When can I expect to see changes?

     You may see changes as soon as one week depending upon how quickly your dog makes the transition. This might be in the teeth getting cleaner or stools getting smaller. There may also be signs of detoxification, especially with older dogs or those who have been on steroids, or other long-term drugs: mucus coating dog’s stools, shedding, skin changes, running nose. These might last from a week to a few months. Detoxification can be sped up through exercise, and always be sure there is plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink.

What are the benefits?

     Benefits to look forward to include cleaner, healthier teeth; smaller, less smelly stools; less itching due to healthier skin/coat; more energy; longer healthier life.  

How do I start feeding my dog the new food?

     Remember, dogs, like people, will sometimes eat when they are not hungry just because something tastes/smells good, likewise they don’t always want to eat what’s best for them until they get used to it.  Commercial dog food kibble has additives to make your dog want to eat it.  This may also be one of the reasons why dogs get fat on kibble--dogs want to KEEP eating it. (These additives are often passed through the stool which is why stool is often eaten by dogs--yuck!  Stool from a real food fed dog will not be appetizing.)  Sometimes your pets, like people, are just not hungry.  Fasting for a day or two or even three  is not harmful for most healthy dogs.
     There are a few ways that transitions can happen depending upon you dog’s size, age, general health, and personality. Generally speaking changing to the raw diet is done just like changing from one commercial food to another; gradually substituting the new for the old. This can happen as quickly as a week or two, but as long as a month or two.
     Complete instructions are given with your food for each step of the transition and is dependent upon your dog's history.    

Why so much variety on the menu?

   We have variety on the menu to avoid developing food intolerance, finickiness and to ensure that all nutritional needs are being met without having to give many supplements. (Some dogs might need supplements depending on their own physical condition/needs--we leave that up to you.) The meals are prepared and labeled for good rotation.  Commercial dog food companies have to add vitamins and minerals to their foods (in addition to taste enhancers) because of the lack of variety and the fact that most of the natural nutrition (and flavor and aroma) of the food is cooked out and that they use cheaper sources of protein (veg or grain vs. meat).  These companies are also the ones who started the notion that our dogs needed to eat the same thing everyday in order to have a balance diet.  This would not likely happen in the wild. 

How do I get started?

     To get your one month’s worth of Real And Wholesome food, please provide the following when you call or email:
Your first and last name_________________________________________
 Street Address: _____________________________________________________
City, State Zip _________________________________________________
Phone _______________________ Email ___________________________
Dog’s name _____________________ Breed ________________________ 
(approximate) age ________________________ __________________
Ideal weight ___________________________ Current weight _________________ 
Current food brand and type (dry/can/other): _____________________________
Number of times fed per day __________  

What if I have another question not covered here?

     Please contact us with your questions via email (rawfordogs@gmail.com), or check out our Facebook page where we have lots of pictures, or phone (714-847-3965).  We would be happy to hear from you AND add your good question to our page!