Just like their evolutionary ancestors, dogs are carnivores. Their shorter digestive tract has evolved over millennia to extract nutrients from a protein packed mix of raw meat, organs and bones. Grain based foods were predominantly introduced for dogs to enable them to travel long distances on ships before the invention of aviation. But, as a dog’s digestive system isn’t designed to process grains and starches, they have the potential to cause a range of problems, including inefficient digestion, digestive upsets, skin irritation and allergies.

Our guide below contains the essential information you need to understand raw feeding. Whether you’re wondering how to make the change to raw, how much to feed, or have questions about health and food safety – we have the answers. Simply click on the + symbols to display the answers or speak to our knowledgeable team who are always happy to help.

What are the benefits of raw feeding?

There are many benefits of feeding raw food to your dog, but here are our favourites…

  • STRENGTHENED IMMUNE SYSTEM – Green tripe in particular improves gut health. A healthy gut promotes a healthier immune system. The L. acidophilus contained in green tripe is a probiotic.
  • – IMPROVED SKIN AND SOFTER, SHINIER COAT – Raw meat provides a source of essential amino acids, fatty acids, live enzymes and tons of other healthy essential ingredients that benefit the skin and coat. When you feed a raw diet, the skin is less oily and greasy which leads to a softer, shinier, smoother coat. Having a healthier coat leads to less shedding and dandruff, which in turn can help with allergies. Raw fed dogs tend to smell less and feel cleaner because of the healthier skin and coat so bathing is very minimal.
  • – MORE MUSCLE MASS AND ENERGY – As they are carnivores, dogs have very little need for starchy carbohydrates to thrive, everything they need they can get from proteins and fats. Protein helps to repair and build muscle, while both of these provide your pooch with a source of longer lasting, sustained energy. This is exactly what raw dog foods provide them.
  • – SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH – Raw diets contain enzymes which are naturally occurring that can help protect animal’s teeth and gums. These enzymes, combined with a lack of synthetic filler ingredients, sugars, or starches work to help prevent tooth decay or other oral diseases. Raw bones also work as a natural toothbrush and satisfy the dog’s natural instinct to chew.
  • – REDUCED STOOL VOLUME AND ODOUR – With a raw diet, dogs are able to absorb more of their food ingredients (up to 95%, compared to 60-80% on a processed diet). Therefore, dogs poop less frequently and overall produce less faecal matter. The stool is almost odourless. Your dog is able to go longer on less food, compared to a processed, carbohydrate based diet.
  • – REDUCED BODY ODOUR – Raw-fed dogs pass less or no gas because their bodies are digesting biologically appropriate things. Due to better dental health dogs are less likely to have a bad breath.
  • – ENHANCED REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH – Although not enough research has been done, breeders feeding raw notice healthier bitches and pups.
How do I change my dog to raw food?

Changing from a processed to a raw diet is best done overnight. Feed a dog’s last processed meal in the evening. You can feed the dog’s first raw meal 12 hours later. Ideally the first raw meals your dog eats should contain tripe as this boosts their dog’s immune system and gut health. For puppies we advise adding 50% to their first few meals when transitioning. After the first 2-3 days feeding a higher tripe mix, you can move onto feeding a range of proteins. We recommend feeding 3 different proteins a week. Most of our mixes contain 2-3, making this easy to achieve.

How much should I feed my dog?

This will depend on many factors including your dog’s life stage, health conditions, activity levels, body weight and body condition.

All dogs are different, just like humans, some of us gain weight easier, some of us are always lean no matter how much food we eat. You can create an appropriate raw food diet for your dog by choosing a different portion size or mix of proteins and additional bones. We recommend a variety of proteins for a healthy balanced diet, if you are looking for a leaner protein, chicken or game-based mixes are usually best, and if you are wanting something a bit fattier for a growing pup or lean dog, our ultimate beef can be a good option. As always, pop in store and ask us if there is anything you are unsure about.

Start by weighing your dog so that you can make a calculation based on their current body weight.

Adult dogs usually need between 2-3% of their body weight daily (aim for 3% if they are underweight, or highly active – see the body condition chart below to determine whether your dog is under or overweight).

For puppies start off at 9% of their body weight and reduce gradually every 2-3 months until they are 18 months old (full adult weight). We do recommend giving your pup some time to settle into their new home before changing diets, so stick with the food they were on at the breeders for at least a few days to avoid too much change at once.

Senior dogs often have enough food with 1%. Monitor their body condition using the chart below to determine whether you should increase or decrease the amount you’re feeding them.

Can I combine a raw and dry food diet?

We advise NOT to combine a raw diet with any processed diet as mixing both can upset your dog’s digestive system due to difference in acidity levels. Proteins (from raw food) and carbohydrate (from kibble) require different pH levels in the gut in order to be processed – so your dog isn’t able to digest them together. For more detailed information on this, read on…

A dog’s digestive tract contains enzymes that are responsible for digesting their food and converting it to energy. Protein will also be used to build structures in the body while fat will be used to build the walls of your dog’s cells.

Carbohydrates (from dry kibbles) have no function in the body other than supplying energy. The dog’s stomach doesn’t just digest food … it also protects a dog from bacteria or other harmful organisms that might be eaten along with his food. And it does both of these jobs by secreting hydrochloric acid from its walls … this keeps the pH of the stomach around 2, which is very acidic (about the same pH of vinegar). The acids in your dog’s stomach also play one more important role – they make sure raw bones become bendable and therefor easy to digest.

Kibble (or the starch it contains) will increase the pH of the stomach (the same would happen if you fed raw meals with kumara, peas or other starchy foods). When the pH of the gut is increased (less acidic), then pathogenic bacteria like E coli and salmonella are more likely to survive and cause digestive upset or illness in your dog. Remember, the acidic environment in his gut protects the dog against these pathogens.

Dogs and other carnivores have evolved to handle the bacteria in raw meats, but if we change the pH in their digestive tract by feeding a food that’s not appropriate for them (starch), some of that protection is lost. Once the pre-digested food leaves the stomach, it needs to be at the proper pH to trigger the release of the pancreatic enzymes that do most of the digesting.

If there’s starch in the meal, the higher pH means fewer of those enzymes will be released and undigested food particles can trigger inflammation and an immune response called leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut can allow undigested food and bacteria to pass through the wall of the small intestine, where they enter the body and cause immune disorders. If a dog suffers from yeasty ears or yeast infections, this Candida thrives on the more alkaline pH that comes with starch.

If undigested food enters the colon, the last stop in the digestive tract, it can disrupt the friendly bacteria that live there and cause inflammation, which can cause diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Finally, and most importantly, if the stomach isn’t acidic, bones the dog eats won’t be properly digested. This can cause two problems. The dog won’t be able to absorb all of the minerals he needs from bones, and the dog is at greater risk of bowel obstruction because his digestive tract can’t make the bones soft and rubbery, like a bone in a bowl of vinegar.

This is why mixing raw and kibble together puts a dog at increased risk for several health issues.

How should I keep and prepare raw food?

Keep your frozen raw medallions in the freezer, and just bring out enough for approximately 2 days at a time, storing them in the fridge in a sealed container where they will thaw slowly.

We recommend having 3 containers going at a time – each containing a single meal portion. This way you can have one defrosting, one part thawed, and one fully thawed in the fridge at any point in time. Once thawed, they will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days.

You can also thaw them on the bench at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge once defrosted.

If you need to defrost in the microwave, just ensure that the meat is fully cooled before serving to your pooch and hasn’t cooked at all. The medallions contain bone content which can be dangerous for dogs once cooked. If in doubt, it’s better to serve food that is still slightly frozen.

The medallions are soft once defrosted, so can be served whole, or broken up with a fork in a bowl or feeder. Always serve them raw and uncooked.

Should I feed my dog bones, and what type?

Bones are natures toothbrush and are a very natural part of a dog’s diet. Whilst our mixes are a complete diet in terms of bone content. nothing can replace a good meaty bone to chew on. Unlike cooked bones which are drained of their nutrients, raw bones can be a natural source of calcium and phosphorus which is crucial for your dog’s overall health and teeth.

Never feed bones that have been cooked – these can splinter and cause internal injuries.

Most raw bones are suitable for dogs – lamb, beef, chicken, turkey are all fine provided they are uncooked.

We always recommend feeding bones under supervision and always make sure they are an appropriate size for the size of your dog. Bones should be large enough so that your dog cannot fit the whole thing in their mouth. They should not be able to swallow the bone whole. Avoid cannon bones are these can be too dense for strong chewers and can chip teeth.

Is raw feeding expensive?

As dogs absorb more of their raw diet compared to a processed diet, they need to be fed less. You can say that all the money that goes into the dog, stays in the dog. A raw diet costs the same or less than a premium kibble.

Will a raw food diet help with my dogs’ allergies?

There are many different things dogs can be allergic to, this is not always something in their food – dogs can be allergic to pollen, different plants, or even things like laundry powder. However, if you are looking to make the switch to raw and would like to try rule out a food allergy then we can help.
Research has shown that tripe helps to boost dogs auto immune system, so we recommend feeding green tripe alone for two weeks which will enable any other allergens to leave the system, followed by introducing a single protein, such as our Lamb Only Mix.

If symptoms persist or get worse, please see your vet

Is it normal for my dog to drink less?

A raw diet’s moisture content is much higher (>70%) compared to a dry diet (<10%). Dogs normally will drink less while fed raw, as they are getting more of the hydration they need from the food itself.

Are the bacteria on raw meat safe for my pet?

There are certainly bacteria on raw meat, even human-grade meats come with a massive bacteria load. Humans don’t have a digestive tract that is designed for meat (we are anatomically frugivores) and so we have to cook it, or we will very likely get sick. In carnivores like dogs, however, their digestive tract is set up to handle raw meats, even meat that contains pathogenic bacteria such as E coli or Salmonella. A raw fed pet will have highly acidic gastric secretions that are able to kill any pathogenic bacteria and a rapid gut transit time that prevents bacterial colonisation.

A pet who is still eating processed food, however, or has excess carbohydrates included in their diet, will likely not have a stomach acid that is strong enough to kill bacteria on the meat, and will have a sluggish transit time that is more likely going to allow time for harmful bacteria to colonise. Therefore, we recommend that when transitioning your pet to a raw diet, it has to be all or nothing. You can’t mix standard processed pet foods with raw foods as you may risk causing a bacterial gastroenteritis in your pet. Get your pet off the carbohydrate-laden food, and within a week their gastric acidity level will have recovered and be able to handle bacteria that may be present on raw foods.

How do I feed raw while on holiday or camping?

At ED we provide a huge range of high-quality freeze-dried food. Freeze drying is the process where moist is extracted from raw food under very low temperatures. As bacteria need moisture to grow, freeze dried can be kept on a shelf just like kibble. As no heat was used during the process most nutrients and vitamins are still intact.

How much freeze dried to feed? 100g of raw food equals 25g of freeze dried and 75g of water to reconstitute the blood.

Does a dog become wild or reactive when feeding it a raw diet?

There is no causative relationship between eating raw meat and reactive behaviour towards people or dogs. It has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with socialisation, experiences, and training. The hunting instinct is an ingrained primal one and the sight of an animal running can bring this out in any dog no matter what they are fed. Dogs in most cases do become keener on their meals when changed from a kibble or processed diet to a raw diet.


The Everything Dog range of raw food has been specially created to provide an optimum diet for dogs, offering complete nutrition from a variety of protein sources. With 7 varieties to choose from and juicy beef bones as well, there are plenty of options to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy.

Our foods are locally sourced and produced in Canterbury, with ingredients from local farms. They are 100% free of preservatives, additives, plant products and fillers.

Our raw food system makes changing your dog's diet simple. Frozen for convenience, ongoing feeding is also a breeze with evenly sized medallions eliminating the need for weighing and measuring. Easy!

Our daycare services are purposefully designed to enrich your pet’s life. We don’t simply “dog sit”, we enhance your dog’s wellbeing through a carefully curated programme of experiences, tailored to the needs of each individual dog.
At Everything Dog, our dog training is fun and rewarding for both you and your pup! We use instinct-based methods and force-free training to help you to get the best from your dog in a positive, calm way.