What’s the Buzz About Raw Natural Food for Pets?
Recently I’ve been reading about the benefits of feeding dogs and cats a raw meat diet that closely resembles the prey food they have evolved to hunt and eat in the wild. One of the worst inventions of the past sixty years has to be tinned, processed petfood. Forget about the idea of convenience. Tinned pet food is an industry worth billions that makes a lot of money for big business and leads to the same problems in animals as humans who exist on a junk food diet – obesity, diabetes, heart disease and kidney problems.
There are no kitchens or supermarkets in the wild. Think about it. Animals fed on a diet of raw, fresh, wild meat have glossy coats, sweet smelling breath and are generally bursting with health and vitality. The problem with just about every tinned cat food, even the most ethical and organic ones, is that the food is cooked, not raw, and contains a high percentage of grain. As our animal friends have only been hanging out with humans for around 15,000 years, they haven’t evolved sufficiently to handle such a diet. Put simply, they can’t digest a processed diet.
By chance, I stumbled across an ad in Country Life for Honeys Real Dog Food, a family run artisan company based in the Cotswolds. Honey’s makes a complete raw food for dogs and cats designed by their own Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Tom Farrington, MVB MRCVs. Tom has twenty-eight years experience in veterinary medicine, is an expert on natural medicine for animals and frequently lectures on the subject. The raw food diet for dogs is made from ethically sourced free range, wild and organic meat. All the meat is sourced from British farmers.
The great thing about Honey’s Raw Dog Food that will turn me into a convert, and wean me off buying tinned cat food, is that they make it very easy for you to switch. The ladies who work at Honeys are incredibly friendly and they really love to get to know their customers and their pets. They also offer the kind of old-fashioned service that is so hard to find. I ordered a sample hamper of raw meat delicacies to tempt my fussy feline. The hamper arrived promptly, two days later, and it comes frozen, ready to go straight into your freezer. All you have to do is defrost the food before it is needed. I find overnight in the fridge works brilliantly. Also, don’t be put off by the idea of raw meat. It doesn’t smell at all. Unlike tinned catfood, which generally smells disgusting.
From experience, I know you can’t just change the food your cat eats overnight. Cats are creatures of habit, and BDJ will quite happily go on hunger strike rather than tuck into a new and unfamiliar food. So it was with Honey’s. She sniffed her gourmet raw food meal, and walked away in a huff. When the food remained untouched for more than an hour, I took it away, gave her usual organic, tinned cat food and rang Honey’s for advice. The same helpful lady suggested mixing a small amount of Honey’s raw food with my cat’s usual food, and then adding a little warm, organic vegetable stock, to release some pleasant aromas, and tempt Belle tuck in.
Over the course of a week, I gradually increased the amount of raw food to tinned organic cat food, and added warm stock to make it super appetising. Be prepared to persevere with a completely new diet. My cat finally took to her new diet after a week of mixing the raw meat with her usual cat food. I also discovered that much like humans, my cat love some flavours and abhors others. She adores beef, chicken, lamb and duck, but for some reason she can’t stand rabbit or game. Yesterday, she dined on wild duck with vegetables, and licked the bowl clean, which she rarely ever does. I guess that this is paws up from the most discerning, and fussiest of cats.