Diet recommendations


I wouldn't be able to sell my Superfood Gravies without mentioning the importance of the diet eaten by dogs and cats. They have evolved over  millions of years to eat a wide range of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Primarily as meaty bones, offal, vegetables, fruits, eggs and a small amount of dairy and grains (from the stomach of prey). They have been eating these food up until around 90 years ago when the first commercial pet foods started to be manufactured.

Commercial foods like biscuits and tinned foods are mainly made out of highly processed meat 'meals' and carbohydrates. They are processed at high temperatures (up to 250°C) which damages the small amounts of delicate vitamins, minerals and fats left.  Unfortunately the product left is often dyed, and loaded with salt and flavour enhancers to make it palatable.

This is why I recommend a BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet. Dogs and cats have had remarkable improvements in health and behaviour when put on a fresh raw diet. This is why I made a point of adding super-foods into my gravies as so many animals are on diets that are low in nutrients. I would suggest that a fresh raw diet combined with the super-food gravy specific for your pet will make the most marked improvement in their health. The immune system is at the core of healing and it is dependent on being able to absorb the correct nutrients from the diet.

It can be confronting, confusing or overwhelming when contemplating changing your pets diet. There are a lot of different schools of thought on feeding, I just reference evolution and common sense, fresh species appropriate food is far healthier than processed foods. We know what is good for us as humans and its the same for dogs and cats. It is absolutely worth looking into if you want the best health outcomes for your dog or cat.  I am here to educate on health and as a pet guardian you need to do what works best for you and your pet, so there isn't one size fits all approach, even if you don't want to do raw feeding, there are still other healthy options out there. I am here to help you get the best outcome for them. Please see the most common questions below.

Are all dog and cat foods such as biscuits and tins bad?

No, some are of much better quality than others! But nothing beats a fresh raw diet. There are ready made versions available for sale such as Dr B's BARF, that are in pattie form and are easy to store and very convenient.  If you still want to feed biscuits, the grain free are best and the grain free rolls are better than tinned. See my recomendations below in suggestions for pre-made foods.

Is raw food safe for dogs and cats?

Yes absolutely! They have evolved over millions of years to eat raw food, dogs are descended from wolves and they certainly didn't start a fire and cook their meat before eating....neither did cats. Dogs stomachs naturally have a very high Ph level, as they were scavenging carnivores/omnivores, so they can break down bones and kill the bacteria found in raw foods without any problems. Cats are hunters by nature, so they kill prey and then eat it straight away.  Raw bones are actually very good for them to eat, they contain essential minerals and act as a natural toothbrush and chewing bones is very relaxing for dogs. Cooked bones are dangerous as they can splinter and should never be given to a dog or cat.

Is it more expensive to feed BARF style food to my dog and cat?

No, not necessarily, they can be fed for a very affordable price, an example: most of the diet is raw meaty bones and some vegetable and fruit scraps, a bit of rice, an egg and offal.  The vegetables and fruits can be stuff in your refrigerator or fruit bowl that is over-ripe, or off cuts from vegetables. There are many options available and your pet doesn't need to have a completely balanced meal for every meal, that can be done over a week. It is actually much easier than people think, no degrees needed, just a bit of time and correct information. (Please see feeding chart in next question)

What is a good example of feeding chart for BARF/raw feeding?

My dog or cat doesn't seem to like BARF/raw style food, what should I do?

Cats tend to be fussier than dogs with food changes, so start by adding a small amount into their normal food and increasing the amount daily until they are completely on raw food. Most dogs wont have a problem with the change, but if they are resistant, please follow the above advice and persist.

I still want to feed my dog Biscuits/tinned or dog rolls, what ones do you recommend?

Biscuits: Billy & Margot, Instinctive Bite, ZiwiPeak, Meal for Mutts, Canidae, Ivory Coat, Black Hawk

Rolls: Scratch Pet Food, Tucker Time, Nature's Goodness (grain free)

I want to make home made food for my dog/cat, is this a good idea?

It can be done in a way that is healthier than commercial store bought food. You just need to be aware that overcooking meats and vegetables can lead to loss of vital nutrients, so slow and low, or a fast pressure cook is often preferable rather than stewing for hours.  General rules are

1)  Use a LOW FAT meat, cooked fats can cause pancreatitis (a serious health condition). Something like chicken, turkey, chuck steak etc around 80% of the meal.

2) Vegetables around 10-15%, make sure they are cut into small pieces for easy digestion. If greens (put in at the end so they don't over cook and lose their goodness).

3)  Rice/pasta, add around 5%, white rice is easier to digest and preferable if your pet has digestion issues.

4)  You can add at the end a raw egg on top, or a bit of plain yoghurt, some fresh finely chopped herbs like parsley etc? Just remember to remove the bones before serving, if you cooked with the bones in (much easier to do when the dish is still warm!). Also remember to mix in your Superfood Gravy for your dogs issue.

My dog or cat has a sensitive stomach, is this style of feeding suitable?

Yes most definitely, just start slowly and the addition of pre and probiotics in Superfood Gravy will help ease the transition. If your dog or cat has persistent issues with raw feeding, home cooked or high quality store bought may be more suitable.

I'm time poor, are there any pre-made BARF Foods?

Yes, there are some excellent ones on the market, there are many local businesses that deliver or you can pick up at local pet food shops. If you don't have the time or inclination to make their food, there are great quality ones available from pet food stores and online, such as;

Dr B's Barf Patties, Prime 100 spd Raw, Leading RAW, VIP's Frosty Paws, Prime Pantry Raw.

My dog/cat seems to be sensitive to one particular meat or grain, can they be allergic?

True food allergies are not overly common in cats and dogs, but food intolerances are. Constant exposure to a food that causes an intolerance (immune reaction), can result in gut disturbances, behaviour issues and a myriad of skin problems (from dermatitis to yeast infections) and re-occuring ear infections (yeast and bacterial).

There is some excellent new technology available to test for 24 of the most common food triggers for dogs and cats (saliva testing). Finding out the trigger for skin, ear and digestion issues is critical in preventing further problems. It makes much more sense to find out the immune trigger (food intollerance) at the start of your pets health journey and eliminate it. By doing this you often find the skin, ear and gut troubles go too!

If you don't find out a food intolerance sooner rather than later, you risk constantly treating symptoms of that intolerance (itchy skin, infected ear, paws, gut issues etc). Without the knowledge of knowing what is going on internally, a lot of time and expense may be wasted, when it is probably better spent getting to the root cause.

If you are interested in saliva food intolerance testing for your cat or dog. There is an excellent lab in the USA called nutriscan, you can order a test directly through them