For some of us, nothing beats a recommendation from someone’s first-hand
experience. It's even better when that someone has some expertise in the area of
knowledge in question. If you are someone who appreciates an insider’s point of
view on matters of pet health care, you’ll likely appreciate what our staff have
to say about our experiences feeding raw food to our pets!
If you’ve called us for help with your order or with pet care questions, you may
have spoken with the some of our Customer Care team members who are offering
their insights on feeding raw. Diann, Cynthia, Sarah, and Deanne have all made
the choice to serve raw food to their pets, and their stories, as well as their
picks for food and supplements are outlined below.
Diann and Crinkles, the Black Lab-Cattle Dog Mix & Only Natural Pet “Princess”
Crinkles is an approximately 7-year-old rescued black lab cattle dog mix dog that
is three-legged. Although we have a large selection of food options here at Only
Natural Pet Store, feeding raw is important because we know it is the optimal diet. We personally
eat a primarily vegetarian and organic diet, so we know the importance of
species-appropriate diets, and how impactful it can be with or without specific
health issues. And it really is easy. So easy that our 10-year-old boys do it
We typically use
Nature’s Variety raw, mostly rabbit, but we do alternate protein sources.
The medallions are easy. We just take out the number of medallions for a couple
days & put them in a container in the fridge to thaw. If we ever forget, we put
the medallions we need for the immediate meal in a zip loc, run it under hot
water, and a few minutes later it’s thawed. We put four medallions in her bowl,
add her other supplements & if I have chopped any veggies from dinner, slide
those in as well. Occasionally we add the
Sojo's pre-mix items too. We soak the
veggies or even the grains.
While we don't have a picky dog, she has never left a drop of anything in her
bowl! It is actually fun preparing your animal’s meal; there a sense of pride
that goes with doing it, knowing it's much better than pouring some dry kibble in
a bowl. I know if I had to have cold cereal everyday I would be so disappointed!
This is a time share dog, and we know, unfortunately, on occasion she gets fed
dry food at the other house, but she never has a problem coming back to raw and
we do not see bowel movement issues. Because we give her variety, she
The benefits of the raw diet are the obvious - she's happy and she loves
it. She sits at the edge of the kitchen "crinkling" her face into a smile &
wagging her tail like crazy until the bowl is set down for her. She is so mobile
for a three-legged doggie, and that's the raw & the supplements working
together. The enzymes are invaluable. The obvious benefit for our 10-year-old
boys is that they don't have a bunch of gross poo to clean up!
Crinkles gets several regular daily dog supplements with every meal -
Only Natural Pet Super Daily Vitamins + Joint Support and Only Natural Pet Get Up & Go to
help with her joint support due to her three-legged issue, and some essential fatty acids from Only Natural Pet Pure
Icelandic Salmon Oil. She also takes some flower essences for stress & anxiety (because she is a
rescue dog and sensitive to noises - this goes right in the food, too).
For treats she gets lots of
Only Natural Pet bully chews for her teeth
(and to bribe her when we need to clip her nails).
Cynthia and Kaylee the Yellow Lab
I got my six-year-old yellow Lab from the shelter, I thought I would feed her a
half raw-half kibble diet. We tried some dry food, but she did so much better
with the raw food that I decided to make that her whole diet. I know that Labs
in America have a short average life span, and this is my first dog, so I want
her to live as long as possible! I truly believe that a raw food diet will
prolong her life – when I first got her, the fur on her face was whiter than it
is now – she’s actually regained color on her muzzle, and her teeth have far
less plaque than they did when I first brought her home nine months ago.
I’ve noticed many benefits from feeding her a raw diet. She doesn’t have
a greasy, smelly coat – she hasn’t needed a bath once in 9 months! She sheds
very little, and her breath smells good – both signs of good health. She has
great energy, and she digests the raw food much better than kibble. Her stools
are firm, small, well-formed, and not very smelly. Kaylee loves her food so much
that she will come find me to wag her tail profusely and say thank you after
Kaylee eats one pound of
Nature’s Variety raw food each day, divided into two meals. We use the
2-pound chubs, and alternate between the beef and the chicken & turkey formulas.
I just thaw the chub and squeeze out ¼ of it for each meal. We mix this with the
Sojo’s Europa Grain-Free Pre-Mix. I figured out how much raw food to feed
based on the 2-3% of body weight rule of thumb, as follows:
Kaylee weighs 60 lbs., and with her activity level and taking into account
the other things she eats, 1 pound per day is the right amount.
She has quite a few daily supplements with each meal. She has
Only Natural Pet Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for those critical essential fatty acids (great for Labs
with their skin sensitivities!). She also gets Dr. Harvey’s Multi-Vitamin &
Mineral Herbal Supplement and/or
Only Natural Pet Super Daily Greens, and Only Natural Pet Whole Food Antioxidant Blend for overall health. For digestive support, she takes
Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics and
Only Natural Pet Probiotic Blend. She also gets a dental & oral supplement, like
(GREAT for reducing
plaque and tartar!) and
In-Clover Connectin or
Only Natural Pet Glucosamine + Asta for joint support.
For treats, she enjoys
Bones Galore bully sticks,
raw beef or bison
Only Natural Pet HealthTreats Jerky Bites and
Poultry Crispies, and
Newman's Own Organics Dog Treats. She gets a
Power Patty whenever I clean her ears. This is by far her favorite treat,
and it's so nutritious I feel great giving it to her as a reward!
Deanne, Lacey the Weimaraner & the Kitty Crew:
First, I put my puppy on raw, 3½ years ago. I rescued her from a severe neglect
situation. She was on death’s door at 4 months of age with horrific digestive
problems. I spent months of trying different commercial foods, every kibble in
the world, and I also tried adding things to her diet such as pumpkin and fiber.
NOTHING worked. She had permanent diarrhea. It seemed there was nothing I could
do to get her to have a solid stool. It was very frustrating, and I felt bad for
my baby to be so uncomfortable. The worst thing about it was the amount of food
we were going through, and the amount of poop in the yard. It was extremely
obvious that she was not absorbing a single nutrient from her food. Even when I
was feeding her massive amounts, she wouldn’t gain any weight.
After several months of misery for both of us, I decided to try a raw diet. I
had just heard about it, and although skeptical, I felt it would be worth a
shot- nothing else was working, and she couldn’t possibly get worse. It was
an IMMEDIATE improvement. Literally, the next day she had a solid stool. It
was like a miracle! She started to gain weight, she had energy, her coat was
shiny, and I could tell she was finally receiving nourishment from her meals. I
could not believe what I was seeing, but I was sold for life.
She has been on raw ever since, and she is the picture of health. If you didn’t
meet her as a puppy, you’d never know the horrible beginning she started with.
She is a little small from her breed, which I basically attribute to her just
not growing for the first year of her life, but other than her size, she is
I decided to make the switch to raw for my cats after learning about
important enzymes they are missing out on when they eat kibble, not to mention
the dehydration issue. I was already sold on the raw concept; it was just a lot
more work when it came to getting six cats switched over! Free feeding kibble
was so convenient. Nevertheless, I committed to making the change because I
decided their health was more important than convenience.
Over all, the transition went ok. Three of my cats were immediately sold on the
idea. They absolutely love it, and actually start meowing when I bring in their
bowls. Two of them were not super excited about it at first, but would nibble on
it eventually. One of my cats was not at all interested, and actually refused to
eat it altogether. Over time I have worked out a schedule that works for all of
us, including my budget. They still get to nibble on a high quality kibble
through out the day. They get canned food in the morning and evening, and the
raw mixed in whenever I’ve got the time to prepare it.
I can definitely tell a difference as far as their energy level goes. My
favorite feature of the raw diet is the effect it has on the litter box. The
amount of stool is greatly decreased. This tells me they are absorbing their
nutrients, and the smell is virtually non-existent! There is plenty of urine,
which assures me they are staying properly hydrated. I also add
Power Patties crumbled and sprinkled on top, which they all go nuts for. In fact, once I left
the bag on the counter (totally sealed up), and they totally ransacked it. I’ve
never seen them shred something like that before. They are addicted to that
stuff. I also add some
canned tripe to their canned food, which is very stinky,
but they like it.
In addition to the raw food diet, I also add many supplements. Everyone
probiotic like Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics, and an
essential fatty acid like Animal Essentials
Essential Fatty Acids. The cats get daily vitamins like
Only Natural Pet Super Daily Feline
Vitamins, and the dog gets her daily vitamin
in Only Natural Pet Super Daily Vitamin Skin & Coat.
Also, my cat needs liver support and gets the
Only Natural Pet Whole Food
L-Carnitine by Integrative Therapeutics, and
Vetri-Liver. Lacey the dog also gets
Halo’s Hip & Joint Supplement,
Dr. Harvey’s Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Herbal Supplement,
ProDen PlaqueOff &
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The articles and information in the Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for
informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product.
The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian.
Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff,
guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care
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