We will answer your raw feeding questions...
even if you never become our customer
HOW EXPENSIVE IS IT TO RAW FEED MY DOG?
Let's be honest Abe here! This is a crucial factor. Please reference the chart below...and then ask yourself why your dog isn't on raw food yet! Raw feeding is as economical as you wish to make it. Our pre-made blends allow you to avoid the math and mixing. Lincoln provides this service at a ridiculously reasonable cost using human-grade, USDA inspected beef, goat, rabbit, & poultry. If you already feed a mid-grade kibble, expect to pay about the same amount or less for raw food. If you are currently feeding premium kibble, you will love our wallet-friendly raw food! We are raw feeders serving raw feeders, so we keep our prices affordable. Our objective is to enrich and extend as many canine lives as we can. Visit the Deli and we will help you find a plan that fits your budget!
HOW DO I SWITCH MY DOG TO EATING RAW FOOD?
At first, raw feeding can seem intimidating and the copious amount of information is overwhelming! Because you are here, you obviously want your pet to thrive and maintain optimal health. Take a deep breath & relish this new adventure!
Fast your dog for one meal prior to the switch. The reasoning is twofold. This helps your dog get rid of toxins built up while on a diet of processed food and ensures (s)he will be hungry. Confidently place the feed bowl with raw food in the usual spot. Your dog can sense apprehension, so your positive attitude about this change is reassuring. Most pets will devour the contents without hesitation. Want me to let you in on a secret? Intelligent furbabies from doting homes are the most likely to turn up their noses at any new food. Their desire for food is secondary to their desire of attention from their master. They are keen enough to realize their owners will pamper them even more out of concern for their lack of appetite. This additional attention makes them downright giddy! If your companion animal does not eat within 15-20 minutes, remove the bowl and present it again at the next meal time.
Do not be alarmed if your pet initially has runny stools as their body is detoxing. Increasing bone consumption can resolve this. Adding Slippery Elm Bark (we carry it in the Deli) or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) can aid in the transition, as well. Fast them for a day and then feed them only green tripe initially. Another option is to mix their current food with raw, gradually increasing the portion of raw until the previous food is eliminated. One possible complication with this slower transition could be the different rates at which raw and kibble digest in the stomach. Dogs typically can tolerate about a week of runny stools, but if they have true diarrhea, you should consult with the vet if it continues more than 2-3 days, as dehydration becomes a life-threatening issue.
Visit the Deli for additional information tailored to your dog and a step-by-step guide!
HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT INGREDIENTS I NEED?
You choose! At Lincoln's Doggie Deli, we provide you with premixed meals for your canine (Presidential Beef Recipe, Prairie Lawyer Chicken Recipe, Tad's Turkey Recipe, Abe's Goat-ee Recipe, Railsplitter Rabbit Recipe, Bipartisan Chicken & Beef Recipe, Mary Todd's Li'l Lamb Recipe, etc). If you are ready to DIY and feeling adventerous, we will assist you in creating your own delectable menus. We recommend 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, & 5% other organ meat/offal, plus recreational bones. We are happy to guide you through the process! Visit the Deli for a FREE consultation with a Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist!
HOW MUCH DO I FEED MY CARNIVORE?
Feed your adult dog 2-3% of their body weight per day. For puppies, feed 3% of their expected adult weight. If you are unsure how large your puppy is expected to grow, feed 8-10% of their current weight. These ranges are merely guidelines and may need adjusting for very active, overweight, underweight, or elderly canines. The daily portion may be divided into 1-3 meals (2-3 meals for pups less than a year old). Varying the time of day food is given is actually healthier than following rigid meal times. Fasting your adult dog for a 24 hour period once a week is also recommended.
WHY DO RAW FEEDERS TALK ABOUT POO SO OFTEN?
We can glean a lot of information from the feces of our pet! Since every dog's body processes food differently, we are able to accommodate for those dietary differences. The easiest way to determine what needs to be added or reduced in your dog's diet is by examining their poop. As we say at Lincoln's Doggie Delicatessen, watching our dogs poo is not our favorite thing in the world, but it's a solid number 2! The goal is for stool to be firm (kickable) and brown. If you have loose stool, your dog may require more bone. If the stools are very hard, white or gray, this is indicative of too much bone, so reduce the bone and add more muscle meat or organ meat. If the feces are very dark/black, cut back on the organ meat and add more muscle meat. If you notice a white mucus in the stool, especially during the transition period from kibble to raw, this is the normal shedding of the intestinal lining.
CAN MY DOG CONTRACT SALMONELLA POISONING FROM RAW CHICKEN?
Salmonella poisoning from raw feeding is extremely rare. Most cases of salmonella poisoning are attributed to contaminated kibble, accounting for the large majority of pet food recalls. Naturally, a dog's stomach is an extremely acidic environment with a pH of 1-2. This is sufficient to kill nearly all pathogens. That explains why dogs can eat rancid garbage, eat feces, and lick their rear ends without getting sick. When you feed kibble to a dog, this raises the stomach pH to 4 to 5, which inhibits its pathogen killing ability. With that being said, you need to handle raw pet food the same way that you would prepare and clean up raw meat that you feed your family. Simply clean and disinfect any surfaces the raw meat touches. Hand washing prior to and after handling raw meat is important.
IF I FEED MY DOG RAW MEAT, WILL HE LUST FOR BLOOD & BECOME AGGRESSIVE?
This is a myth perpetuated by processed dog food companies as a scare tactic. Feeding your canine raw food will not make him aggressive or a killer. Upbringing and training is what leads to aggressive behavior. However, delectable food such as a raw meaty bone is a prized possession for some dogs, which can lead to "resource guarding" to avoid losing this trophy. If you have multiple dogs or notice resource guarding, separate your canines before doling out the bones so everyone can enjoy their piece in peace! Seeking out a dog trainer is also recommended if an issue persists.
WHERE DOES LINCOLN'S DOGGIE DELICATESSEN OBTAIN THEIR MEAT & POULTRY?
All of our meat is USDA-inspected, human grade beef, goat, rabbit, and poultry
sourced from small-scale Illinois farmers within a 90 mile radius of Springfield.
BEFORE MEALS, SOMETIMES MY PET BRINGS UP YELLOW/CLEAR FLUID. IS THAT NORMAL?
This is called “hunger pukes.” Because raw food is much easier for your dog to digest, it does not ferment in the stomach like dry dog food does. This is more likely to occur if you feed your dog on a strict time schedule, because your dog's body will anticipate meal time approaching and release bile. A remedy to hunger pukes is to vary the time(s) of day you feed. If feeding at random times does not work, provide a snack between meals or before bed. With that being said, if your dog is repeatedly regurgitating and/or unable to keep water or food down, please contact your veterinarian.
NOW THAT MY DOG EATS RAW, HE ISN'T DRINKING MUCH. WILL HE BECOME DEHYDRATED?
Consuming kibble keeps your dog in a constant state of dehydration. Raw pet food contains significant amounts of moisture, which drastically reduces the amount of water intake needed. Simply provide fresh, clean water to your pet.
WHAT PRESERVATIVES, DENATURANTS, OR CHEMICALS DOES LINCOLN'S DOGGIE DELI USE IN THEIR RAW FOOD?
Absolutely none! All of our products come from USDA inspected, human grade meats. We use no preservatives or chemicals. At Lincoln's Doggie Delicatessen we freeze or dehydrate all of our pet food and treats.