Learn about all of the benefits raw feeding has for your cat or dog from one of our staff members, Josephine Richardson.
Raw Feeding Interview With Josephine Richardson
Tell Us about your pets:
I have two dogs, Jack a 12-year-old long-haired mix breed, and Olive a 9-year-old poodle mix. They both have been on a completely raw diet since fall 2019. Before going all raw I was feeding a combination of dry food and raw. I made the switch to a fully raw diet because Jack’s bloodwork had come back with elevated liver enzymes. Knowing I did not want to put him on prescription medications I consulted with Dr. Jill Tack at The Pet Beastro and decided that switching over to a completely raw diet was what was best for my senior pups. I was worried about the difference in cost but after seeing the results from Jack’s next blood work I knew I was doing what was best for him and I only wish I would have started them both on raw sooner.
What led you to learn more about raw?
Raw has a pretty large presence at The Pet Beastro. Before working at The Pet Beastro, I honestly had no working knowledge of a raw diet. I had worked in veterinary hospitals and raw diets are often huffed at in that field. It is unfortunate because raw diets have so many health benefits for cats and dogs. I honestly feel that through nutrition, many of the diseases I saw come through the veterinary office would be greatly decreased. I became a true believer of these benefits after seeing the results on my own dog Jack. Just think about how amazing it is to be able to reverse your pet's disease or better yet, prevent them altogether by simply feeding them what their bodies are designed to process.
Tell us how you transitioned your pets Jack & Olive:
I started the transition with Jack and Olive by making a bowl of cereal for them. I would add Answers Raw Goat Milk in every meal. I originally started using Answer Raw Goat Milk to help Olive with some GI upset and stool issues she had been having. As a result of her issues, she was also having a hard time expressing her anal glands. After starting Answer Raw Goat Milk we started to see fast results. A bonus my picky eater Jack loved the Answer Goat Milk and so we began our raw food journey. From there I started to add in some Northwest Natural Nuggets to their feedings.
How has raw helped Jack & Olive's health?
There have been several positive benefits that I have noticed since switching to an all-raw diet.
- Jack’s liver values on his bloodwork returned to normal levels after switching to raw.
- Olive’s stool became more consistent and her anal gland issue went away.
- Olive’s allergy symptoms have resolved.
- Healthier teeth and better breath.
- Less shedding and healthier coats.
- Mealtime has become exciting for all of us. They are happy and healthy and that makes me happy!
Any insight on finicky pets? What tips and tricks have worked for your house?
The great thing about The Pet Beastro is that there is a large variety of raw diets. I have used quite a few brands and different animal proteins. I have found that Olive loves everything, but Jack can be a little picky. For Jack, if I add some Primal Bone Broth to a meal that he is not particularly fond of he will typically eat it. Sometimes it is just about finding what your pet likes and then trying to rotate different animal proteins. I have also found if I make it exciting or special he becomes interested. You can do this by feeding in interactive toys.
Small dogs vs large breed dogs - how to make a meal cost-effective:
When it comes to raw diets it is always going to be more costly than a bag of dry kibble but the results in health far outweigh the cost for me. I think of it as a way to prevent trips to the vet as well. At The Pet Beastro, we understand that feeding a raw diet does not fit in everyone's budget. We also believe that some raw is better than none. Your pet can benefit from feeding raw even if you are not feeding it as your pet's entire diet. Simply adding in goats milk can be beneficial to your pet's gut flora and immune system. Even just making one meal a day raw will show you positive results in your pet's health.
Importance of a complete and balanced meal:
A complete and balanced meal is essential to the growth and overall health of your pet. What is important when we think of raw versus a processed commercial diet is the quality of ingredients and the nature in which they are processed. What's great about a raw diet is that all the natural vitamins and minerals haven't been depleted during a cooking process like most commercial pet diets. This means that your pet is being provided with the nutrients first hand and because a raw diet is biologically appropriate for cats and dogs they are able to process the food and its nutrients to its full intended potential. The key to a balanced raw diet is to make sure you are providing your pet with the appropriate ratio and rotation of animal protein, meaty bones, organs, and amino acids.
At The Pet Beastro, we have a large selection of raw and fresh food. Many of our raw diets are already complete and balanced which makes picking out the best diet for your pet simple. We are always happy to talk about raw diets whether that is making a complete switch or just adding something fresh to your pet's diet. Additionally, we provide scheduled nutritional consultations at The pet Beastro that can help design a diet based on your pet's specific needs. Call (248) 548-3448 for an appointment.