This is a typical meal that I will see floating around on social media.

Sometimes it’s cooked sometimes it’s raw and maybe a chicken paw is added for calcium.

Low levels of Vitamin D can cause a myriad of problems for dogs. Vitamin D helps to regulate the uptake of calcium and phosphorus. Lack of this fat soluble vitamin, means that your dog could suffer unessecarily with bone issues, heart issues. There are some studied to suggest that lack of D3 (there are 2 types of vitamin D, D2 from plant matter and D3 from animal products) can cause cancer or at least the cancer can prevent the full absorption of the D3 leading to a deficiency (that’s a whole other story). I’m trying to keep this simple!

Too much is also an issue. Here we are focusing on not enough D3! This is something that I commonly see in commercial ready raw complete and balanced offerings. DIY raw feeders do seem to have this covered better.

Choline is a water soluble vitamin meaning that if your dog has too much of it they can expel it from their body. If the conditions are right! Then dogs potentially can synthsize (make) it for themselves! But can they make enough? Quick enough? The conditions need to be just right for this to occur! Adequate methionine, folate, and vitamin B12 need to be covered for this to happen.

I hope this isn’t too complex! I’m trying to make it an easy read!!!

Choline is found in liver and egg yolks and other natural food items. But often with the 80/10/10 popular formula meaning perhaps 5% liver is fed in the overall diet then is this really enough choline? All animal fats contain some choline but organs, brain & egg yolk the most. Lack of choline can cause weight loss, fatty liver, vomiting. Choline has been studied extensively relating to seizures in dogs. When formulating diets for sporting dogs I often increase the choline intake in a specified way. Lecithin breaks down into choline and can be found in brassicas, Brussels sprouts & greens.

The diet with ingredients removed is a little low on zinc also causing skin problems, thickened cracked paws & hair loss.

I really am not a fan of eggshells as the primary source of calcium for many reasons, I’ve written about this a lot! Mainly because dogs do not absorb calcium carbonate too well.

Have a look at the differences and don’t get freaked out about balance in the image below.

But please do understand that if you continue to feed recipes that are lacking in the essential basics! At some point you will have a problem. Up until the age of 6/8 years most dogs do okay! It’s after this, is when the serious irreversible damage is often evident.

Yes! I used FEDIAF to look at the balance of this.

Yes! We know it’s outdated despite being updated yearly and the Bible for the highly processed dog food manufacturers.

Yes! FEDIAF have taken the bones of the NRC data to create their guidelines. I don’t use NRC and will not ever use it to formulate (that’s another story).

But! At the moment that’s all we have! We need to have proper up to date pet “nourishment”
guidelines. But until then FEDIAF it is! For me at least.

I’ve said this a zillion times! A pet in a critical condition needing to be tube fed, the Vet won’t say…. “Yeah whizz up some bone, offal and meat” and we see how it goes?

In an emergency clinical situation we need to know as much as we possibly can what is in the food we are feeding. Same is when a dog pitches up at the ER Vet four weeks after having puppies with tremors and head jerking! She has eclampsia! Calcium deficiency! Your vet won’t stand back and say “go crush up
72 eggshells and see how she goes!”.

There is a place for using dietary guidelines. Myself & a few dear colleagues that use FEDIAF to formulate, formulate to FEDIAF & Beyond!

This post is not to make you confused or worried! It’s to empower you to know more about the needs of your beloved dog or cat!

There are plenty of great groups to learn how to feed a fresh raw diet. There isn’t a good cooked one actually! Christina Clark let’s start a sister group to HDC! Haha!

But seriously where I often worry when evaluating ready raw offerings on the market, there are gaps in the formulations. Lots of them! Over time this is serious.

If you’re concerned, ask your manufacturer for advice. Ask them the basics of how much salenium, copper, vitamin K, D3, zinc, manganese and choline is in their food? What’s the omega 6 to 3 ratio? The answers don’t need to be perfect! As long as you know what the values are then you can fill in the gaps yourself.

This doesn’t have to be done by expensive analysis this can be done by using a commercially available dietary spreadsheet. If you’re a manufacturer reading this and you’d like some advice get in touch. Emma@thenaturalcaninekitchen.com

I can absolutely see why vets do not trust raw feeding! Raw packaging & websites simply do not have enough information on them! Not enough to satisfy your vet that this product covers all the bases!

I am on your side, raw pet food manufacturer’s, but we need to bring our information up to standard.

The image below shows that by omitting an egg, hempseed oil & algea oil that this throws out the balance of the recipe on the left.

This is not a problem if you balance over time and understand how to do this.

If you continuously feed this same food it will cause a health issue.

I wanted you to see how the balance changes.

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