We're Here to Help You Make Informed Decisions for Your Pet.
Are You New To Raw? Here Are Some Pointers!
Relax! Feeding raw is easy which is contrary to what a lot of people and companies would have you believe. Long before the introduction of commercial pet food (which has only been around since 1922) people fed their dogs table scraps, and dogs lived to ripe old ages!
There are many ways to feed raw! Feed a variety of whole raw proteins, bones, and organs. Then add in other species appropriate things like raw eggs, green tripe and/or leafy greens, berries, fermented veggies like sauerkraut, table scraps, etc.
No supplement makes up for good nutrition. If you are feeding a wide variety of foods you shouldn’t need to supplement unless you are addressing a health problem.
Complete and balanced is not the end-all be-all! Do you pull out the Canada Food Guide every time you prepare a meal? The answer is very likely "no". You achieve balance in a healthy diet over a 2 to 3 week period by consuming a variety of whole fresh foods and your pet should be fed using the same approach!
We love helping people and their pets make the switch to raw!
If you want to switch but are afraid and don’t know where to start or if you’ve already switched and are stressed and driving yourself crazy trying to “do it right” reach out!
How Do I Make the Switch from Commercial to Raw?
It's so easy!
I always suggest using the “fast” method. The “fast” method allows your pet's digestive tract to get ready to make the switch. So for one day for adults and 12 hours for puppies, you will offer your pet nothing other than clean fresh water. Then once the fasting period is completed you introduce the new raw food to your pet. No mixing with their old food, and no digestive upset and I guarantee it works every time and I also guarantee that they will gobble that food down in no time!
Cats & Raw Food
People refer to cats as obligate carnivores when they are trying to emphasize the fact that cats are a little different than many other meat-eating predators.
Obligate means "by necessity." The dictionary definition is: 1. Restricted to one particularly characteristic mode of life. 2. Biologically essential for survival.
Combining obligate with carnivore is pretty clear. Cats must eat meat, it is an absolute biological necessity. There's no such thing as a vegan cat. They became obligate carnivores as a result of their ancestral diet. Because eating a meat-only diet provides some vitamins and fatty acids in their pre-formed state, cats and many other obligate carnivores have lost the ability to make these amino acids and vitamins in their own bodies the way herbivores or omnivores do. They don't need to since the animals they are eating have already done it for them.
For example, cats require vitamin A in its pre-formed state, but can't make it from beta-carotene the way humans or dogs or rabbits can. They have little ability to form niacin from tryptophan. They have a high requirement for taurine, which is found almost exclusively in animal flesh. Arginine, also found in animal flesh, is so critical to the cat that a meal without it can lead to death. Fortunately, all meat sources have plenty.
Simply put, cats must eat meat to live.
The above is an excerpt from the absolute best website on cats, cat nutrition and cat health available today. I see no reason to try to re-invent the wheel when there is such an amazing, quality resource available for all you cat folks. I have been directing people to this website for years and will continue to do so. So without further ado, click the button below to learn more!
Raw Feeding Guide for Dogs & Cats
Please remember that these are guidelines and the amount to feed should be adjusted as needed based on your pet's body condition. Please see the body condition score chart for guidelines on healthy bodyweight.
Feeding Guide for Puppies
Feeding Guide for Adult Dogs
Feeding Guide for Cats & Kittens
Paddy Has Been With Us From The Beginning!
My husband and I have been breeding and raising Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers since 1991. In 2003, our foundation bitch was diagnosed with cancer at ten years of age. We were shocked – how could a strong, robust dog get cancer? It forced us to look at what we were feeding our dogs, which, at the time, was considered a premium kibble. We had heard about the raw food diet, but we were skeptical. It didn’t make sense to us, so we proceeded to do our research. This is what led us to Paddy. What an amazing woman! From the first time we contacted Paddy, she has been there for us. Her extensive knowledge of dog health, diet and nutrition is truly impressive. She has helped us out on many occasions, and we have learned so much from her.
Ever since we started feeding raw, we have never looked back. All of our dogs are active, happy and healthy. They truly love every protein source offered by a raw food diet. They are never bored with their food, as they are fed a rotating diet of beef, lamb, bison, chicken, meaty bones, elk, pork, goat, turkey, salmon and sole. My dogs eat better than us! And, I love that I can place a monthly food order with Paddy, and have it delivered to my front door within a day or two. You don’t get service like that everyday!
We are all very fortunate to have Paddy in our dog community!
- Barbara O
How Expensive is it to Feed Raw?
A lot of people I speak with are quite surprised to hear how affordable it is to feed a quality raw diet that contains lots of protein variety, as well as veggies and fruits, tripe, organs, and bone. When compared to a lot of the high-end dry foods out there, it is usually less expensive to feed raw and certainly more healthy for your pet. I always say to people that what you save upfront in food costs you pay tenfold at the vet later!
You can feed the average 60 lb adult dog, a varied, balanced, quality raw diet for $140 per month, including tax and delivery right to your door.
Want to know how much it would cost to feed your dog raw? We’d love to help you figure it out and make the switch!
Common Myths About Raw Feeding
FICTION: “Feeding raw causes parasites.”FACT: If you freeze meat before you feed it to your pets, that will kill most if not all of the parasites and bacteria. It is particularly important to freeze salmon (and most other fish as well) which may contain a parasite that can kill dogs. Freeze meat for 7 days prior to feeding. Having said this, the parasite issue can be another scare tactic used by those who are opposed, for whatever reason, to you venturing into raw feeding. The incidence of parasite problems are very low in raw fed animals and are higher in animals eating a commercial, processed diet. This is due to the vibrantly healthy immune systems enjoyed by raw fed pets. Parasites, bacteria and pests love a comprised immune system. You can routinely add a little food-grade diatomaceous earth to your pet’s food. It is a natural, and safe anti-parasitic. Please ensure the D.E. is mixed well with raw or canned dog food ( not dry) as it should not be inhaled by your pet ( or yourself).
FICTION: “Feeding raw is dangerous due to the bacteria found in/on raw meat.”FACT: There is simply no such thing as "bacteria-free" meat. Most of the 10 billion cows, pigs, and birds butchered every year for meat at the supermarket are contaminated with one bacteria or another. Therefore, it is probable that the meat you bring into your home to feed yourself or your family is potentially as contaminated with bacteria. For example, Salmonella spp. has been identified in 7.5% of ground beef, 44.6% of ground chicken, and 49.9% of ground turkey samples, taken from grocery store shelves. “Meat from healthy animals becomes contaminated at slaughter. Meat surfaces become infected with microorganisms associated with food poisoning during handling, packaging, processing, storage, and transportation. Although many procedures have been incorporated into food processing procedures for both the meat and poultry industries to reduce the level of contamination, bacteria persist: All products should be considered contaminated.” (Rebecca L. Remillard, PhD, DVM) Why is it that Veterinarians think pet owners are not capable when it comes to handling raw foods for pets? Unless you are a strict vegetarian, you handle and prepare raw meat in your kitchen so what is the difference between the raw meat consumed by yourself or your pet? Nothing! Since its unlikely that you will be sharing your pet’s raw diet at mealtime, any transmission of bacteria would likely occur through the fecal-oral route. For instance, bacteria might get on your hands while picking up your dog or cat’s feces or when coming into contact with your pet’s anal area when inspecting it. In reality, you’d literally have to eat the animal’s feces to get enough salmonella from it to make you sick. Always ensure appropriate hygiene such as hand washing after feeding pets, cleaning the cat’s litter box or picking up dog feces. Immediately picking up and disposing of feces eliminated by your pet in public areas reduces risks associated with environmental contamination. It’s interesting to note that while feeding raw meat is somewhat controversial, pig ears, bully sticks and rawhide - which carry similar if not higher risks for contamination - is widely accepted as reasonably safe. One survey found salmonella contamination of 41% of the dog treats examined. And last but certainly not least, no matter what your dog or cat eats, each time it licks its genitals and anal area it is ingesting massive amounts of bacteria. I have yet to see a cat or dog give itself a bath and then drop dead shortly thereafter due to a bacterial infection! Your dog and cat have been designed by Mother Nature to deal with bacteria!
FICTION: “Only dry commercial food can clean your pets teeth”FACT: If this is true, as humans, we can all throw away our toothbrush and floss and just start relying on consumption of dry toast, potato chips and the like to clean our teeth; does this sound like a good idea? Refined complex carbohydrates (which contain sugars) have a tendency to stick to the teeth and are hard to get out. Fresh whole foods contain fibers and don’t stick to the teeth and are easy to get out. A good example would be, eat a peanut butter sandwich and see what is left stuck to your teeth and gums after you finish eating and then eat an apple and check out what is left on your teeth. Big difference? Well, those complex carbs left stuck to your pet’s teeth and gums, from eating dry commercial pet food are a great place to grow bacteria which will cause tartar and plaque build up. This is the reason why so many pets have bad breath, bad teeth and gum disease. Check out the mouth of a raw fed pet you will find fresh breath, healthy gums and sparkling white teeth. On the topic of oral health and hygiene, we will share the benefits of feeding raw bones to your pet. Raw bones are a great source of calcium and phosphorus, as well as protein, fat, fat soluble vitamins, iron, and natural antioxidants. Chewing on bones is one of the best ways to scrape tartar off teeth, and massage gums, which leads to that sparkling smile and fresh breath! Allowing your pet to chew raw meaty bones is also great exercise, both physically and mentally. Do not feed cooked bones (these include the smoked bones you find in pet food stores) as they dry out during cooking and can splinter when your pet is chewing on them. Pets should be supervised while they consume bones and in most cases, multiple dogs should be separated when eating bones.
FICTION: "Only vets and pet food manufacturers know what/how to feed my pet to stay healthy”FACT: In the majority of households, the person who is responsible for purchasing pet food is also responsible for purchasing and providing meals for the humans in the family. Do you reference the Canada Food Guide each time you prepare a meal? Likely not. You achieve balance in your diet over a two to three week period, using a variety of foods. Each meal consumed is not “complete and balanced” and this is the normal way to achieve balance; over time. Is it safe to assume that there have been no diet related fatalities in your household, as a result of your meal planning and prep? Trust yourself and your instincts when deciding what to feed your pet, just as you do when feeding your family! DID YOU KNOW: The majority of Veterinarians know very little about nutrition? And what they do know has been provided by pet food manufacturers. For a number of years, a Vet could take an optional one week course in nutrition which was put on by the pet food manufacturers. Nutritional study by Vets is now an elective course for 4th year students and this option only became available recently. It is also noteworthy that pet food companies pay for almost all research conducted at teaching universities and they also provide Vet students with free pet food during their study and training. Lastly, I would like to provide a quote from a text, that all Vets are required to purchase and read (unfortunately, the text is not a required study), Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th edition: “Much can be learned about an animal’s nutritional requirements by looking at their natural diet.” After reading this in a Veterinary text, how can your Vet say that feeding raw is a bad idea? DO YOU KNOW WHY: Grocery stores carry pet food? “The Pet section is shopped by approximately 75% of households in the U.S.,” says Joe Toscano, VP and director of trade and industry relations for St. Louis-based Nestle Purina PetCare. “If a grocer loses one pet shopper, they lose $7K across the store annually; lose 1,000 shoppers and that equates to $7 million across the store.” Four companies—Mars, Nestle, J.M. Smuckers and Colgate-Palmolive are thought to control 80 percent of the world's pet-food market, which in 2020 amounted to U.S.$ 96.8 billion for cats and dogs alone. Although many people have come to accept that heat processed, commercial diets are a normal and natural way to feed pets, in fact, it is not. Feeding processed and commercial diets is what consumers have been lead to believe, and they love the convenience. Unfortunately, our pets are paying for this convenience with their health and lives. Nothing manufactured into a "crunchy morsel" can rival wholesome, raw foods. Almost everyone knows that raw food is abundant in unaltered vitamins and minerals. Raw foods stimulate metabolism and renewal of the body's organs. Raw foods contain substances that help fight disease and contain enzymes that are essential for all body systems. These enzymes play an integral role in the anti-aging process.
FICTION: “You must feed your pet Life Stage and Breed Specific diets.”FACT: There are only two reasons for making pet foods for different life stages and different breeds of dogs and cats, and they are; marketing and profits. Ask yourself, “In the wild, do wolves or bobcats seek out different prey according to their age? The whole notion is absurd. Call the maker of your pet food and ask them to support the assertion that a Labrador Retriever needs different food than a German Shepherd or a Pomeranian. Lunacy! Yes, puppies do require more food than adult dogs and active dogs need to eat more than inactive dogs. Unless you are addressing a health problem where a certain aspect of your pet’s diet needs to be controlled, all of the additional claims and statements are simply a marketing gimmick.
FICTION: “Lite diets are a great way to promote weight loss in your pet.”FACT: You acknowledge that your pet is overweight, and you likely examine this situation with one question: “How did this happen?”. “I have been feeding what the Vet told me to and in the amounts he told me to. Not only is my pet not losing weight, they may be gaining and are trying to eat everything that isn’t nailed down!” Well folks, the problem lies in the fact that when you feed dry commercial food, in a particular so-called “lite” diet, the bulk of the calories your pet is consuming are derived from complex carbohydrates, not proteins and fats. Cats and dogs are designed, by Mother Nature, to eat the Atkins Diet (you know, the one where you swear off carbs almost entirely, eat meat until you can’t chew anymore and still lose weight!?). Dogs and cats have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. They do not have the oral conformation, or intestinal tract anatomy and physiology to efficiently digest starches, grains or carbohydrates without artificial intervention. As humans, we should stay away from carbs if we are looking to lose weight, and this is doubly true for our furry friends. One last piece of information the topic of carbohydrates is for those of you who are thinking that they are avoiding the “carb trap” by feeding a “grain-free” pet food, the fact of the matter is; you haven’t. Grain-free doesn’t mean carb-free. If you check the label you will find instead: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, white rice, brown rice, tapioca or pea starch or a host of other starches. Once cooked, potatoes have a glycemic index considerably higher than that of white sugar. Most dogs eating a Grain-free pet food end up with systemic yeast infections that manifest as skin issues and chronic ear infections and the reason for this is that yeast thrives on sugar. These are unnatural ingredients for your pet to be eating! Grain-free kibble foods are often recommended in place of raw food diets but don’t be fooled by marketing pitches. No commercial, heat processed or dehydrated pet food can replace the natural, health promoting goodness found in fresh, raw, wholesome foods.
FICTION: “Complete and Balanced” means a healthy and suitable diet for your pet!FACT: “Complete and balanced” is a sweet sounding, but misleading statement that implies that the product you are purchasing contains all the nutrients presently known to be required by a dog or cat. Feeding trials must substantiate the "complete and balanced" claims, or the food must contain at least the minimum amount of each nutrient recommended according to present guidelines. That doesn't mean that it actually contains every nutrient your dog/cat needs to thrive. It merely means that the food contains the nutrients required to keep a dog/cat alive. The responsibility for finding and feeding a good diet is on you, the owner. Don’t be satisfied with empty slogans and misleading statements.
FICTION: “Feeding a raw diet is expensive and a lot of work.”FACT: People have a preconceived notion that feeding a raw diet is going to be expensive, so they are quite surprised to hear how affordable it is to feed a quality raw diet that contains lots of protein variety, as well as veggies and fruits, tripe, organs, and bone. I always say to people that what you save upfront in food costs you pay 10-fold at the vet later. You can feed the average 60lb adult dog, a varied, balanced, quality raw diet for $140 per month, including tax and delivery right to your door. This includes 5 different proteins, as well as all the other things I mentioned earlier. I don’t think that is a lot of money for a quality raw food that will get and keep your pet in brilliant health. This may likely be on-par or less expensive than a good quality commercial diet but with a lot more benefits. This food is made with human grade, federally inspected meats and fruits and vegetables (the same stuff you and I buy in the grocery store). If you want to take a step up and spend more money on a raw diet for your pet that is also possible. There are lots of options such as hormone and antibiotic-free meats and a variety of protein choices. As mentioned earlier, there is no need to supplement your pet’s raw diet with an inferior quality (regardless of the price you paid for it) commercial food, in order to achieve that pinnacle of labels; “complete and balanced”. As you now know that it is an unhealthy, flawed notion that each meal should be “balanced and complete”. Balance should be achieved over a 2 to 3 week period using a variety of wholesome, fresh, raw foods.
FICTION: “Feeding table scraps is bad”FACT: There is nothing wrong with feeding table scraps, aka “real food”, as long as they are healthy, meaning nothing too fatty, spicy or sugary. I can ‘t imagine why anyone would advise against feeding table scraps? What are they afraid of? That your pet will learn to beg? That has nothing to do with what you feed, that is about where you feed. That your pet won’t eat that dry chaff they call food after tasting the real deal? Probably. Or that it will throw the delicate balance of their finely tuned “nutrition” out of whack somehow? Providing real food counteracts some of the deficit that can be caused by only feeding commercially prepared pet food. It can provide some of the living enzymes to make digestion an easy rather than a burdensome process. Some great additions are eggs, yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, fresh veggies, sardines, table scraps, etc. Just remember to cut back on your dog’s regular diet so he doesn’t experience weight gain!
FICTION: “Raw diets must be supplemented, a lot!”FACT: When it comes to supplements I always like to “keep it simple”, adding too much or too many can have consequences. I usually recommend a good quality Omega 3 supplement, natural source Vitamin E, and sometimes a digestive enzyme and probiotic for a period of time. Remember, supplements are not substitutes. They can’t and shouldn’t replace the hundreds of nutrients found in a healthy, varied diet of fresh, raw, wholesome foods. Having said that, some pets do require supplements to improve chronic health conditions or to help build the body back up after a prolonged period of illness. When it comes to purchasing supplements, carefully read the labels to ensure you are getting what you think you are. Not all supplements are created equal.
FICTION: “Expensive, prescribed diets are the best diets.”FACT: These prescription diets are suspicious at best and deplorable at worst. A statement which may irritate some folks but, I find it odd that Vets’ first diagnose and then prescribe/sell you the “medicine”. If my family doctor started doing this, I would begin asking some questions about his motivation. Have you ever read the label on this bag of “medicine” that cost you so dearly? Do you see anything that could possibly justify the price or not be found in a comparable food not sold by your Vet? Ask your Vet instead, what to control in the animal’s diet. Hopefully he/she knows. Some of these foods are so low in one aspect and so high in another that they should be medically managed while fed, but usually are not. The other problem is that they don’t usually solve the underlying issue, unless other medications are used in conjunction. There is no magic in that overpriced bag. Don’t rely on medication and prescribed diets to fix problems. Your best bet is to find out what caused the malady and if your pet’s diet can be modified to prevent recurrence, then modify it.
FICTION: “Pet food manufacturing is regulated”FACT: Until the end of 2007 Canadian products that passed the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Pet Food Certification Program, which involved a feeding trial, carried a “CVMA approved” label on the packaging. Participation in the program was voluntary. There is no government regulation of pet food in the Canadian marketplace. In the U.S. there are a number of levels of regulation of pet food but when you really read the documents you will quickly find that it is more about appearing to be regulated, than about the actual safety of our pets and the quality of what goes into their food.
There are many pre-conceived notions about the Pet Food Industry, and of course, Raw Feeding. In this section you will find valuable information that will assist you in making informed choices for your pets, as well as assist in educating yourself on pet nutrition.
What Makes Fido & Felix Brand Products The Best Raw Food Choice For Your Pet?
Fido & Felix Brand products are manufactured right here in Saskatchewan using pasture raised, grass-fed animals from local producers so you are supporting 3 local businesses when you buy from us! All of the animals we use in our products are human grade and fit for human consumption.
We don’t use trim which is exactly what is sounds like, unwanted or inedible parts of meat remaining after the removal of useful/desirable cuts of meat. We use whole carcass for our products which means we use the whole animal including all the choice cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin, prime rib, etc.
We use green tripe in our dinners instead of veggies. Tripe is extremely nutritious and dogs (and some cats ) love it! Dogs cannot digest carbohydrates so tripe is a much better option than most vegetables.
Our blended products are a cut above the rest! We are transparent through and through with what your pet is getting out of our products!
We pride ourselves on our honesty, small town values, great customer service and great value for your dollar!
Variety is Key for Vitality
The key to healthy nutrition for people is variety and moderation. When it comes to diet, there’s no "one size fits all" approach that’s right. For pets eating dry and canned foods, it’s been a different matter completely. Pet food manufacturers claim that given a complete, balanced diet appropriate to the age and physiological state of the animal, that diet should be fed and nothing else. Just like people, dogs and cats also need variety in their diet for a number of reasons. In order to understand why variety is so important, you have to first be aware that many nutritional inadequacies have appeared with “complete and balanced” commercial pet foods.
To learn more about the myth of "complete and balanced" commercial pet foods and why variety reigns supreme click the button below to read a very informative article written by Brenda Scharback-Hagel!
Other Very Important Things To Consider To Keep Your Pet Healthy and Disease Free
Conventional Flea and Tick Medicines
I see so many clients trying to do everything possible to keep their furry family members healthy, starting with feeding the best raw foods and treats but then turn around and use chemical tick and flea products, assuming they are safe because they are recommended by their vet or groomer.
In fact, they are harmful and can cause many adverse reactions. Make no mistake about it, these products are pesticides, it is why they work for repelling and killing ticks and fleas. So if they poison the pests what makes you think they are not poisoning your pet?
There are many natural solutions available that won’t harm your pet or their immune system. Please do your own research and make the best, educated choices you can for your pet….they are counting on you.
We offer a natural solution for ticks that is not harmful to your dog or your family, Tix Mix
Are You Over-Vaccinating Your Pets?
There is a growing body of evidence that we have been and continue to, over-vaccinate our companion animals. This practice is very harmful to their long term health and longevity. Over-vaccination can cause food sensitivities, allergies, auto-immune disease, cancer and much more.
To make a decision on what is best for your pets you must be educated, not with fear but with facts. There are very powerful influences in our society that push the use of vaccines and who profit enormously from there use and in addition, the resulting reactions and over-use. It can be scary to “buck” the system and conventional wisdom and practices, and make your own often unpopular and unsupported choices but the payoffs to your pets’ health can be well worth the discomfort. Once again, I urge you to do your research and make good, informed choices for your pets.
To assist you, I offer you these two links that you can use to educate yourself on vaccines and protocols for your pet. Both of these individuals are classically trained, Canadian vets who came to the conclusion that current vaccine practices are harmful and unfounded. Dr Jean Dodds now works in the U.S. but she has been responsible for extensive vaccine duration studies for both the core vaccines and rabies.
Both of these articles speak about titer testing your pets instead of vaccinating, if there is a question about whether or not they have immunity to a particular disease. Titer testing is a blood test that measures immunity. Here is a site that offers a good explanation of what it is and why and when it is a good alternative to vaccinating.