Why Feed Raw? and How to Switch.

Click here for : Feeding a Raw Diet to Cats

Why is feeding a natural, species-appropriate diet so important? 

As we know ourselves, eating a healthy whole food diet filled with fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, not too much dairy and moderate quantities of animal protein is beneficial to our health and will increase our longevity.  

In fact, it is well proven that eating processed food or foods containing chemical additives, too much fat and too much sugar will have considerable health impacts on our lives and everything from allergies to heart conditions and from skin complaints to cancer is caused by a poor diet.

Almost every day we hear of how beneficial eating healthy is whether it’s on TV or social media, via professional nutrition experts, famous TV chefs or even our own doctors. We our reminded often about how good eating fresh, real food is for us. It is very rare that health professionals would recommend processed foods. 

The connection between good health and diet is now well established in humans and what holds good for humans and human food holds good for dogs and dog food. 

Dogs that eat a natural species appropriate diet live longer, healthier lives. 🤩

The problem is, despite knowing for ourselves what a good healthy diet is, we have lost touch with what the natural, correct diet for a dog actually is and this is what has led many pet owners to feeding the canine equivalent of junk food aka Dry dog food.  

The result of feeding highly processed dry dog food is that more and more dogs are becoming sick and leading shorter lives.  

Luckily, the transition over to a fresh raw food diet can quickly and effortlessly correct these harmful results. 

We know what a species appropriate diet for dogs is and it couldn’t be easier!

As those who have already switched their dogs over to a natural diet will testify, the results can be amazing.

The benefits of feeding raw wholesome food will improve your dogs overall health and well-being inside and out!

A few benefits of feeding a species appropriate diet include:
  • Enhanced digestion
  • Improved appetite
  • Weight management
  • Greater vitality
  • Even temperament
  • Healthier skin and coat condition
  • Reduction in allergies and intolerances
  • Improved breath and oral hygiene
  • Smaller, firmer stools 💩
  • Supple Joints
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Boosted Immunity
  • Increased Energy
  • Strong Heart

And the list goes on .. !

Dogs being fed a raw diet are expected to live longer and suffer less illness and disease so don’t be afraid of feeding your pets what they are designed to eat. 

Dogs love food, that much we know! … but dogs love meat the most. Why? well not only do their instincts tell them that it’s delicious but also that it’s great for them too! 

They have a unique gastrointestinal system that’s specifically designed to break down prey meat and bones alongside occasional plant matter. They have the ability to tear off chunks of raw meat, crunch up bones and swallow the lot whole.  

Unlike humans, dogs have no digestive enzymes in their saliva and have an inability to move their jaws from side to side which is necessary to grinding food and this is why they gulp everything down. The entire digestive process takes place in their very large, expandable stomach which contains indescribable strong stomach acids. 

There is a growing body of scientific research in favour of raw feeding and many amazing professionals and nutritional experts providing continuing support and guidance for us pet owners.  

The Staff at Dorset Raw Pet Foods are here to help support you with your food choices. We are NOT trained Nutritionists and do not claim to be experts in Raw Feeding. 

Any information or recommendations are made based on our opinion, experience and acquired knowledge. Individual results may also vary according to breed, health and feeding practices and, as a pet owner, you are responsible for making the best decision for your own pet. 

If you would like to switch your dog onto raw food or you are concerned about any aspect of your pets health, we strongly advise you seek professional advice. There is plenty of information publicly available about Raw Feeding and we would suggest joining several social media groups and further reading/research. 

In order to better form your own opinion about how to best approach Raw Feeding we have provided a few helpful resources below, 

  • RPM, Raw Pet Medics which is the alliance of three doctors:
  • Dr Nick Thompson, Holistic Vet and Nutritionist
  • Dr Conor Brady, Doctorate in the effects of nutrition on the behaviour & gut morphology of mammals, owner of ‘Dogs First’ and Author of ‘Feeding Dogs’.
  • Dr Brendan Clarke, Vet and Nutritionist. 
  • The Father of Raw ‘Dr Ian Billinghurst’ considered to be the first pet nutritionist expert and creator of the "BARF" diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet). He is the author of four best selling books on dog and cat nutrition, including "Give Your Dog A Bone" written 30 years ago.  
  • Dr Judy’s Naturally Healthy Pets. Dr Judy Morgan, nationally renowned author and veterinarian certified in acupuncture, food therapy, and chiropractic care for dogs, cats, and horses. 
  • Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, Vet and author of ‘The Forever Dog’ and brand owner of ‘Bark & Whiskers’. 

Along with the above experts, there are many more experts out there providing lots of information about raw feeding that empowers pet parents to become knowledgeable advocates for their own animals’ wellbeing.  

The Learning should never end! :) 

Please do your own research and ensure products are appropriately stored and handled safety. 

For more information on 'Safe Handling of Raw Pet Food', visit; 


There are no set rules for making the switch to raw feeding and how you choose to switch is entirely up to you.

Here at Dorset Raw Pet Foods we would personally recommend a straight switch however every dog is different and whether you choose to switch straight away or decide that you would prefer to gradually introduce over a few days, choosing to make the change is most important!

The information found online regarding switching to raw can vary on whether you first feed a boneless meal or a complete one. The transitioning period is about introducing the raw food and identifying any protein sensitivities that your dog may have.

When switching, we would recommend starting with one protein e.g. Chicken, Turkey or Tripe.

Once you’ve chosen your first protein, if your dog seems fine, then you can start introducing new proteins like beef, lamb, duck etc but sticking to one at a time. This method is so you can identify any potential stomach sensitivities, also known as an elimination diet. 

Runny stools? Constipation?

Don’t panic if your dog’s stools change. It is likely to be caused by the change in diet and should pass within a few days. Runny stools can be a sign of not enough bone and constipation will be the opposite to this. You could therefore increase/reduce the bone element of the dog’s diet. 

Sensitivities: If your dog doesn’t tolerate a particular ingredient, try it for a couple of days to be sure and then cut this ingredient back. You can always come back to it at a later date. 

There is a huge difference between soft or runny stools and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is virtually  liquid. Raw food in itself doesn't cause diarrhoea and if your dog suffers from liquid stools after transitioning, it’s usually due to the raw food exposing an underlying problem. 
Besides increasing/reducing bone content, you could add supplements like slippery elm to alleviate symptoms but for extreme cases of diarrhoea and constipation, seek veterinary advice.


In some cases, dogs may regurgitate their raw food the first time or even for the first few times. This is usually due to a conditioned reflex and their system is rejecting the new food. Similar to when dogs eat something out and about in nature, you may see them vomit it back up and eat it again. The dog’s stomach is expecting their normal food and therefore their stomach has produced the wrong kind of enzymes to digest it which causes them to vomit.
Don't panic, it's quite a normal and natural reaction. If it continues, you may want to try a more gradual approach when switching from their current food to their new raw diet.

After 4-5 weeks, your dog should have tried a variety of new proteins and this is essential when feeding raw. Dogs will gain different levels of nutrients from different animals so the more variety the better!

We have a wide range of products available to choose from, including a variety of 80:10:10 Complete minces, Complementary minces, Chunks and Bones, Supplements and lots of yummy Natural Treats!

80:10:10 minces are the perfect way to make sure your dog is getting a balanced meal of 80% Meat, 10% Bone & 10% Organ Meat (5% Offal and 5% Liver) and therefore ensures your dog is getting all the nutrition required from their raw food. 

If you wish to add raw gradually while decreasing the old food, that would be fine too. Please do your research into this.

Holistic Vet Dr Nick Thompson suggests a 4 day transition for those dogs who are more sensitive to change.

  • Day 1 - 1/4 raw & 3/4 old food
  • Day 2 - 1/2 raw & 1/2 old food
  • Day 3 -  3/4 raw & 1/4 old food
  • Day 4 -  Raw only
Once fully transitioned, you should be aiming to feed at least 5-6 different proteins i.e. lamb, beef, duck, chicken, pork, venison, preferably over a 2-month period, to form a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.

You can also add extras like raw eggs (shell included) and oily fish once or twice a week. We also stock a range of supplements, if you which to add an extra nutritious  boost or you can choose from our selection of raw minces in which some have already incorporated herbs, veg, fruits and seeds within their blend. Bone broth is another great addition! 

Remember: VARIETY IS KEY! 

How much should you feed? 

For an adult dog, you should feed around 2.5% of their body weight however every  dog is different and requires different amounts depending on age, activity  level and current weight. 
  • A healthy, active adult dog should get around 2.5-3% of body weight.
  • An overweight and less active dog will require 2-2.5% 
  • and a dog which is active but underweight will need 3%+

For example; A 25kg healthy, active adult dog will need 2.5%. To calculate this amount, divide the weight by 100 (25 divided by 100 = 0.25) then times this by the percentage it needs (0.25 x 2.5) this will get you your 2.5% (0.625) equalling 625g of food per day. 

*Working dogs especially will need between 3-5% of their body weight. 

For puppies, it's completely different and they will require a lot more! For example, an 8 week old puppy will consume up to 8-10%  of its body weight which must be split between meals throughout the day.  

4 meals per day for 4-12 week old puppies and then 3 meals per day for 12-24 week olds. By 6 months they can drop to 2 meals per day until they are an adult.

Check out Dr Conor Brady’s website for more information on how much to feed:

We would also suggest having a look on the RFVS website and doing your own research to better understand raw feeding. 

There are many Nutritionists and Holistic Vets you can research and follow for advice:

- Dr Nick Thompson
- Dr Conor Brady
- Dr Brendan Clarke
- Dr Ian Billinghurst
- Dr Karen Becker
- Dr Judy Morgan 

All of them have their own websites, books and social media to help educate and guide you.  

Please note, although we are very passionate about raw feeding and providing natural, high quality products to pet owners, we are not trained nutritionists.

However, we are always happy to help and support you with your transition and on going raw feeding journey.

This page has been put together by researched information. Click on the link for more useful resources:Learn more

We will be here for you every 'paw' step of the way 🐾

Transitioning your Cat to Raw Food

Cats are carnivores which means they are strict meat eaters and need meat to survive. Feeding a raw diet will have many benefits for your feline friend as it is designed to mimic the diet your cat would naturally eat in the wild. Unlike over-processed Commercial foods that can contain as little as 4% meat and include many unnecessary ingredients which in some case can be detrimental to feline health, raw feeding is the best diet for them.

A raw diet contains meat, organs and bone which is  full of healthy fats, amino acids and key vitamins and minerals, essential for you cat. Taurine is especially important to cats as they are unable to make it themselves. It’s a crucial amino acid and helps maintain eye and heart function along with maintaining growth, reproduction, hearing and immune response.

Raw food is made up of 100% natural ingredients and nothing synthetic! 

Cats are obligate carnivores and require certain nutrients that can only come from meat. These proteins fuel their bodies, supporting the nervous system, hair growth and immune system. 

Protein also plays a key part in:
  • Repairing and maintaining muscle tissue
  • Supporting overall development and growth
  • Maintaining strong bones
  • Providing energy and much more.
Switching your cat to a raw diet has many benefits, 

  • Healthier appearance (shinier, softer coat) 
  • Improved eyesight  (high taurine content)
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy levels and agility
  • Better dental and oral health
  • Reduced vet visits.
  • Happier emotional well-being
  • Longevity and an overall healthier lifestyle.

Making the switch, and how much to feed?

Cats can be fussy eaters, which can make the switch to raw food seem like a daunting task! However, with patience, transitioning them can be a smooth and rewarding process and it’s never too late to do so!

Some will switch easier than others but it’s worth preserving with the fussy ones. The outcome of having a healthier, happier feline will be the worth the effort. 

What to feed?

Cats can enjoy lots of different proteins from chicken wings, duck necks, lamb ribs to whole prey like day old chicks/ducklings. Chicken, beef, lamb, duck, kangaroo, rabbit, venison, pigeon, oily fish.. plus raw eggs, the list goes on. Their diet should be made up of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal (5% organ meat, 5% liver)

How much to feed?

Every cat is different and it depends on their activity level, age and current weight but a guideline is between 3-5% of their ideal body weight. So, if your cat is overweight then you would need to reduce this slightly, feeding around 3%. 

You may in fact find that your cat requires less food because a raw diet contains only meat, bone and offal which makes the meal more digestible, and better utilised by the body. Unlike over processed kibble diets, at least 85% of the food is utilised and this means they can eat less and still obtain all their daily nutrient requirements, leaving them feeling full and satiated.

When switching, there’s different methods you could try,

- The straight swap: Feed their last meal of old food the night before and then in the morning put down their new raw food (approx.12hours later)

- The gradual approach: Start with 10% raw food, mixing it with their current food and slowly increase over a few days until a full transition is made.

- The two bowl method: Similar the gradual approach however putting the two types of food in separate bowls. 10% raw in one and 90% current food in the other, adjusting the amounts each time until full transition.

Make sure with whichever method you choose, you go at your cats pace. A few extra tips to help encourage them:

  • Serve the meals at room temperature
  • Incorporate a few of their favourite treats to entice them.
  • Feed them in a calm place where they feel safe, away from distractions.
  • Use flat dishes/saucers to help keep their peripheral vision clear and to stop their whiskers from touching the bowl, making the feeding experience more enjoyable for them.
Please note, with cats you CANNOT fast them so going cold turkey is NOT an option. Cats have to eat otherwise they will start breaking down their own body protein. 

Once you have fully transitioned your cat over to raw, remember variety is key ! The more variety of proteins they have, the more variety of nutrients they will gain, ensuring a balanced diet and a healthy feline!

Taurine is found in the darker, harder working muscle meats such as the heart and thigh. These meats are also more beneficial when fed in chunks, as they contain more taurine. This is because the amino acids in minced meat are more open to bacteria which can destroy the taurine amount. Cats need taurine in order to survive. 

Click the link to find out more about: Taurine Importance

Be aware that cats with health conditions may need closer monitoring of their protein intake. For example, some cats that suffer with chronic kidney disease mustn’t be fed high protein diets.

Also, cats do not require fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Sometimes vegetables can work as an insoluble fibre which can be beneficial for their digestive tract, but this is in small quantities. Please do your research into this.

Here at Dorset Raw Pet Foods, we have a wide range of raw foods to choose from. 

Start your cat's raw feeding journey today !

A Journey to Better Health and a Happier Feline 🐱