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Useful information when feeding raw food

There are a number of matters to consider when feeding raw food. Providing a balanced diet, for example, but also, the hygienic handling of raw products. On this page, you will find useful guidelines that you can use to make sure that you’re feeding raw food safely.

Nutritional information

Why feed raw food?

An increasing number of people are choosing to feed their cat or dog raw food. Considering the natural diet of the cat and dog’s ancestors – the wild cat and the wolf – this is the most sensible way to feed our pets. The diet of the wild cat and the wolf consisted primarily of prey animals. As a result, the digestive systems of cats and dogs are still specialised to digest animal products. Of course, it isn’t possible to exactly mimic their natural diet, but using products derived from reared prey animals, we can come close to replicating this

At present, there isn’t a lot of scientific proof in favour of feeding your pet raw food, but in practice we find that raw food can improve a pet’s overall wellbeing. Owners often notice a positive effect in terms of the animal’s fur and teeth.

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Feeding advice: Feeding BARF

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Feeding advice: Feeding BARF

The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) method involves comprising a diet of differing raw product components, which are:

Meaty bones

On average, 50% of the diet should comprise of meaty bones. This is an important source of calcium and phosphorus in the diet. Meaty bones can be used from many kinds of animals. However, it’s important to pay attention to the hardness of the bones. Below is an overview of the hardness of the meaty bone products sold by Kiezebrink. One and two bones means soft bone, which is suitable for beginner raw eating dogs and cats. Products with three and four bones are suitable for dogs with experience with BARF. Five bones means very hard bone structure which is for experienced raw eating dogs which is too hard to digest (and therefore only suitable for chewing).

Not all meaty bones contain the same ratio of meat to bone; the ideal ratio would be 1:1. This ratio is important because bone is an important source of calcium and meat is a source of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus should be available in the diet at a certain ratio (1:1 – 1:2) to be absorbable. When a bone contains little meat, it must be complemented with extra meat. Another factor is the structure of the bone; hard bone contains more calcium than soft bone. It’s therefore important to pay attention to the faeces of your dog or cat. When the faeces are hard, this usually means that there is too much bone in the diet or the bone structure is too hard.

Organ meat

A balanced diet contains on average 15%-25% organ meat. It’s important to vary the diet with differing organs such as; heart, tripe/rumen, kidneys, lung and liver. These organs vary in amino acid profiles and vitamin and mineral contents. Liver for example is a very important source of vitamin A, which is why we advise to feed liver but no more than 5%. Vitamin A (and D, E and K) are fat soluble and can therefore be overdosed in a diet. Furthermore, liver can have a laxative effect on animals if fed in too high a volume. When a dog or cat has too loose a stools this may be an indication of too high a proportion of organ meat in their diet.

Muscle meat

Muscle meat is an important source of amino acids, zinc and vitamin B12. We advise to feed on average 30% muscle meat. This part is very dependent on the amount of meat on the meaty bones that are fed.

Additional

Finally the diet can be completed with seeds, vegetables, fruit, eggs and oils. These additions can supply extra vitamins, minerals, fibres and fatty acids. When for example fish is not fed every week, this can be compensated by adding fish oil.

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The right variation

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The right variation

Most people know that variation in an animal’s diet is important. But what does variation mean and why is it so important?

The right variation

With the KB BARF and KB MIX products variation is necessary to form a balanced diet. This is because these products on its own are not considered to be a complete diet. This means they must be varied to form a balanced diet. There are four categories of meat: white meat, red meat, game meat and fish. During the week when at least one sort of each meat category is fed, then it can be assumed that a balanced diet is fed. In the overview (download) the sorts of meat in each category is illustrated.

Why variation?

Dogs and cats are in need of all kinds of nutrients. When only one sort of meat is fed, it’s likely that certain nutrients will be lacking in their diet. This is because different categories of meat have differing nutritional values. Fish for example contains a high percentage of omega 3 fatty acids and selenium. Red meat contains high levels of vitamin B12, while white meat contains more vitamins B3 and B6. Also, the structures of the protein in meat (the amino acids) vary by the type of meat. Therefore it’s important to feed all the different categories of meat, to make sure the dog or cat receives a wide range of nutrients.

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Supplements and extras

There are various products that can enrich your cat or dog’s diet. Would you like to have the guarantee that your pet is receiving a complete diet? In that case, perhaps adding a supplement is the solution. Would you like to supplement the diet you composed out of mixtures or BARF products with additional fatty acids, fibres and other nutrients derived from natural products? The other products in the KB Extra line are particularly suitable for this. In short, there are various ways to complete a diet. Read more about this topic below.

Vegetables

Vegetables are added to your pet’s diet to supplement vitamins and minerals. In order to enhance their digestibility, it is best for vegetables to be cooked briefly and/or ground into a powder. Vegetables can also ensure a higher fibre content in your pet’s menu, which could have a positive effect on intestinal health.

Animal fibre

In nature, prey animals are regularly eaten with their fur and skin. These parts of prey animals contain animal fibre, and other ingredients that are difficult to digest but which are important for the healthy functioning of the intestines. Therefore, the addition of animal fibre (in the shape of rabbits’ ears, for example) replicates the presence of fur and skin in a natural diet.

Fatty acids

Wild animals generally contain more omega-3 fatty acids than animals reared in captivity. Because the menu of our pets consists primarily of products from reared animals, supplementing omega-3 fatty acids could be worthwhile. An easy way to add these fatty acids to the diet of your pet is by including salmon oil, which contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Feeding fish as part of the diet also adds the necessary fatty acids (see variation).

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Hygiene guidelines

Raw meat and prey animals contain natural bacteria. For healthy animals these bacteria are harmless. For people, especially young children, elderly and people with a weakened immune system, the bacteria can cause problems. Therefore it is important that raw food products are handled in the right way.

  • Prevent cross-contamination by cleaning everything which has been in contact with the meat product, or the packaging of the meat product, with warm water and detergent or a disinfectant.
  • The higher the temperature, the faster the bacteria will multiply. Make sure you feed your pet in a cool space, out of the sun.
  • When the food has not been eaten within an hour, remove it and throw it away.
  • Make sure flies can’t get close to the food. Flies can spread bacteria.
  • Make sure small children can’t get close to the food either.

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Store and defrost

Temperature has a big influence on bacterial growth, therefore there are some thing to keep in mind when storing and thawing raw food.

  • Store the sealed product in a freezer at -18°C. When the product comes in contact with air, the product can slowly dry out which reduces its nutritive value.
  • Thaw it in an air tight container in the refrigerator so it will not be in contact with your own food and dehydration will be prevented.
  • Do not store the meat product longer than two days in the refrigerator. When a package is too big to feed in two days, you can make portions when the product is still frozen and put it back in the freezer.

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How much should I feed?

For dogs on average, a quantity of 20-30 g per kg of body weight can be fed daily. For pups and lactating dogs this is higher, 40-60gms per kg of body weight, per day.

For cats on average a quantity of 30-40 g per kg of body weight can be fed daily.

This is an average, just like with humans not everybody has the same energy requirements. It is therefore important to notice the condition of your animal. The ribs of your dog or cat should be easily felt, but not noticeable visible.

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100% Transparent: ratio of muscle meat / organ meat / bone / extra

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100% Transparent: ratio of muscle meat / organ meat / bone / extra

All KB RAW products indicate on the packaging how much muscle meat, organ meat, bone and extra additives the product contain. We provide this 100% transparency, because we want to give you the option of optimally configuring your pet’s menu in line with its particular needs. Would you like to know more about composing a diet yourself? Please read more under the header feeding advice: BARF feeding. Always take into account that not every type of bone is the same. Hard bone from horse ribs, for example, contains more calcium than soft bone from a chicken’s neck and it is important that your cat and dog gets sufficient calcium.

The proportions of muscle meat, organ meat and bone have been determined by analysing each part of the product. In practice, these percentages can deviate somewhat between products, and should not be taken as 100% accurate. Because we work with natural ingredients, there will always be some variation between products. For example not every carcass contains the same quantity of muscle meat, but by using high-quality resources, we try to keep variation to a minimum.

The table (download) specifies the proportions in the different products from the KB RAW range.

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Where can our products be bought?

View which pet shops sell our products. Aren’t there any pet shops near you that sell our products? KB RAW can also be purchased from multiple webshops!

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