Jo shares her raw feeding dog food diet journey and her tips on how you can do the same

Jo shares her raw feeding dog food diet journey and her tips on how you can do the same

At Healthy Active Pet we are passionate about dog food, dog health and dog nutrition and we believe that a raw dog food diet is a big part of this.

And today Jo is sharing her raw dog food diet journey with us - thank you Jo!

Jo's raw dog food diet journey

"I’ve lived with dogs my entire life, but I was never in charge of their dog food growing up.

When I was about 16, I got my first ferret, which dropped me in the deep end of an obligate carnivore’s diet and how to feed them because there was no commercial ferret food on the market here in Australia.

I quickly learnt that Cats are obligate carnivores as well, which had me questioning my dog’s diet as well.

I embraced the raw diet with both my ferrets and my dogs soon after doing a lot of intensive self-research, adopting a prey model diet with my ferrets and just a basic B.A.R.F diet for the dogs as they were already set in their ways. 

I eventually went on to get my bachelor’s in animal science, which allowed me to deep dive even further and a bit more accurately into animal nutrition.

Cut to now – 2024. I no longer have ferrets, but I do have a 6 yr old Lab x Kelpie (Marlin) and a Golden retriever pup just shy of 5 months old (Goose).

Both dogs have been on a raw dog food diet since the moment they came home, and we haven’t ever considered going back to kibble dog food.

But I was always concerned about enrichment and travelling with our raw dog food – obviously it’s a bit hard to go camping with a freezer full of raw meat, and not all enrichment styles, toys and options work for wet/raw food.

This is where Healthy Active Pet and their freeze-dried dog food comes into it.

We love to add it to our raw dog food recipes to make it go a bit further (let’s be honest, pet food is pricey, and anything to help stretch the budget a bit is welcome) but we also love to have a bag as a back up in case we run out of our regular food, if we decide to go camping or if we need something dry for enrichment purposes.

It’s also great in a pinch if you don’t have time to prep something for your dogs and they “just need to eat” – I kinda look at it like the Ubereats/takeout for dogs. When I’m sick, or we’ve been out late and need to just get it done – freeze-dried dog food is there to save the day.

I have been very lucky with my Lab, Marlin that he will eat almost anything he can get his paws on, When Goose came home, I wanted her to have a similar attitude towards food, so we switched her to raw straight away and started introducing novel proteins, fruits and veggies and doing “taste test” sessions to see what she prefers to eat.

This is a great and fun way to get your dog trying new foods and seeing what they like to eat!

I started doing it by colour to have some fun on Instagram. Green foods – apple, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, capsicum etc.

Red foods – apple (again), strawberries, watermelon, capsicum, assorted red berries (raspberries, cranberries etc). and so on. Luckily, she has eaten absolutely anything I have thrown at her so far 😊

When my older dogs were on kibble, they had awful allergies and used to chew the fur on their backs and paws constantly, we saw a massive improvement of this chewing when we switched to raw – and a lot of other benefits as well, less farting, smaller poops, cleaner teeth to name a few!

See the freeze dried dog food here 

Tips for introducing a raw dog food diet to your pet:

  • Go slow – this doesn’t have to replace their current dog food diet straight away, start introducing new foods as treats instead of doing a direct swap. Once you have found a few things your pet accepts and likes to eat, then start the transition of their regular diet.
  • Variety is the spice of life – different dogs will prefer different things, whether its proteins or textures. Your dog might not be a massive fan of lamb or hate a specific texture – don’t let that put you off. Marlin doesn’t like gummy textures (which sucks because of the massive DIY Gummy treat craze!), so I had to find a way to get him to eat that type of texture – frozen or blended is my go-to now for that 😊
  • Make sure you follow AAFCO raw feeding dog food recipes so they are balanced

And if you need help with raw dog food recipes - see our raw dog food recipe books here

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