Raw feeding is one of the biggest things to happen in the pet industry in decades. Whilst a raw (prey model) diet isn’t exactly a new concept, given the availability of ingredients and a range of great pre-packaged options we can it is hugely popular. So if you are thinking of jumping on board the trend, you have two basic options: 1. take a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, or 2. select one of the pre-packaged Raw Frozen options available.
What are the challenges of DIY raw feeding?
When you choose to go with DIY raw feeding, you need to prepare the entire food yourself. Not only do you need to source all the ingredients (often from multiple butchers, food suppliers and farmers markets), it can also be hard to balance the nutrient levels adequately, which lets face it, better nutrition probably the key reason why you want to feed raw in the first place. Of course not every bowl of food needs to be Complete and Balanced every time, but if you are feeding the same raw ingredients every time, then there is a real risk that some key nutrients could be missing from your pets diet.
DIY Raw Feeding is surprisingly Time Consuming:
Aside from getting the nutrition levels right, DIY Raw Feeding can take a heap of time. Time taken to study the nutrient levels of each ingredient, sourcing and shopping, plus the thaw time, preparation time and clean down time. If you have the time, then that’s great, if not, perhaps one of the pre-packaged raw foods is a better way to go.
Be prepared to miss out on somethings sometimes:
One of the biggest challenges is sourcing somewhat obscure ingredients. Sometimes your local butcher will be able to get things like beef offal, kangaroo hearts and so on, and then all of sudden no supply, which means all your nutrition calculations get thrown out. Sure you can substitute, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing from a variety perspective, but either way it adds more time and complexity to the process.
Do you have the stomach for DIY raw feeding:
Even if you select only 100% human grade ingredients (which we recommend you do), some of the ingredients have less than desirable odours and if you are doing your own mixing and mincing … well lets just say it can take some time to get used to.
How safe is DIY Raw feeding:
And lastly, you also have to be very mindful of food safety and possible contamination. Choosing only Human Grade meats is a great place to start to minimize health issues, but you need a professional environment to handle and prepare all these products, otherwise you can easily end up with health hazards. Instagram is full of pictures of DIY raw feeders mixing products in buckets and bathtubs, often outside, in the sun and where any numbers of bugs and surface contaminates can be introduced to the feed. To ensure the safety of your pet, yourself and your family, you should treat the Raw Food preparation with the same rigor and hygiene standards you would apply to preparing a human meal.
Is Pre-Packaged Raw feeding safer?
Yes, in almost all circumstances its actually a lot safer when compared to DIY raw food. In the case of DIY food, you almost never get to have the right nutrient balance and the ingredient combination can even be dangerous. However, Pre-Packaged Raw feeding doesn’t come with any problems like that. The best raw frozen pet foods are prepared in human grade kitchens and are snap frozen to lock in nutrients and keep out any nasties.
So basically, the case for to switch to Pre-Packaged Raw feeding?
1. Guaranteed Delivery of Nutrients
2. It’s hard to source individual raw ingredients
3. Shopping for ingredients is time consumers
4. Smells, blood and ‘gross factor’
5. Safety and contamination risks
6. Packaging and wash down time
7. Leaves more time to enjoy your pets.
In the case of Pre-Packaged Raw feeding, everything is handled by the manufacturer and they have to surpass specific requirements at all times. It really helps a lot and it offers you a tremendous array of value and benefits. If you are just starting out with raw feeding, then definitely start with a Pre-Packaged (100% human grade only) product, this will ensure you are getting the all the benefits of raw, in a safe and convenient format.