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5 Easy Ways to Learn About Raw Feeding

By Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging®

With the growing awareness of the importance of nutrition when raising dogs and cats, more pet parents are flocking to the Internet to learn about raw feeding only to become overwhelmed by the amount of contradictory information they find. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. There are several resources for pet parents who want to learn how to feed their dogs and cats a species appropriate diet.



Why Information on Raw Feeding is Inconsistent 

The topic of raw feeding isn’t black and white and while we may start at the same place, we quickly find that we need to adjust what we feed in order to meet each pet’s individual needs. It’s also important to remember that although raw feeding isn’t a new concept, the popularity of raw feeding has inspired people to learn more about animal nutrition, and as we learn more, we adapt how they feed our pets. This is why we see, for example, some people who promote feeding vegetables while others do not.

Despite the inconsistencies, there is a lot to learn and it’s important to take in as much as you can because what may work for one pet, may not work for another and the more information you have, the easier it will be to adapt to your pet’s specific needs.

1 – Books on Raw Feeding 

If you scroll through Amazon’s offerings, you’ll find a lot of books on raw feeding, including my book -A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs. To choose which books are right for you, read the reviews to see how others feel. If the book offers a snippet, check it out to see if the writer’s voice is something that appeals to you. If after reading reviews and chapter samples you’re still not sure which book is right for you, do a Google Search for Top Raw Feeding Books to see what results come back. Many bloggers review books and have published lists with their favorites to save others the time of searching for the right book.

2 – Join a Raw Feeding Group 

Facebook raw feeding groups are infamous for being unwelcoming and judgmental. It’s not the topic, it’s the venue. Whenever you get a group of strangers together who are protected by anonymity while discussing a passionate topic – you’re going to have some drama. Don’t allow that to get you down. While you may have to kiss a few frogs before you find the right raw feeding group for you, that group is out there.

Groups provide you the opportunity to learn from hundreds of raw feeders who are sharing their meals, their sourcing, asking questions, and offering solutions.

Are you shy? Don’t worry, many people remain silent, only following along with discussions and quietly learning about raw feeding.

3 – Search YouTube Videos for Meal Planning 

There is a growing number of vloggers who are posting videos about the benefits of raw feeding on YouTube, however, what I find to be most valuable are the meal planning videos and videos showing pets eating raw meals.

The meal planning videos give novice raw feeders an idea of what goes into building a balanced raw diet for their pet. You can see the brands people use, many times the vlogger will share their sourcing, and the videos take the mystery out of raw feeding. Watching dogs eat raw meaty bones, raw sardines, and other food helps calm any nervousness about transitioning to the diet.

4 – Sign up for a Raw Feeding Course or Local Workshop 

With the growing awareness of the importance of canine nutrition and raw feeding, online courses are becoming available for every budget. An online course may be preferable because it provides structure that a raw feeding group doesn’t have; keeping you on track to learning step by step how to feed your pet better without distraction. A local workshop goes one step further by providing you with an opportunity to participate in an active, live discussion and get answers to your questions.

To find a list of workshops available, visit the Workshops Page of KeepTheTailWagging.com.

5 – Work with a Holistic Veterinarian 

You may not have a holistic veterinarian in your area, but that’s no longer a problem. Many veterinarians are now offering phone and Skype consultations to help you better understand animal nutrition and raw feeding. Because this is a new service, you’ll have to request recommendations from other raw feeders. I found the consultation useful because I was able to learn from an experienced professional. During my consultation, I not only learned what to feed my dogs, the fee included 30 days of scheduled calls or emails where I could ask follow up questions. This went a long way in assuaging my nervousness when I transitioned from pre-made, commercial raw to DIY raw feeding.

I would share my veterinarian, however, she retired earlier this year.

Raw feeding doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many options to help you learn how to feed your pet better along with the support you need to answer questions, share wins, and gripe about frustrations. The raw feeding community is growing daily; join us!

Kimberly Gauthier is a dog nutrition blogger and author who shares her experience feeding a raw food diet to her four dogs on the blog Keep the Tail Wagging®. Kimberly has also recently published the book A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs to help other dog lovers learn more about feeding a species appropriate diet. Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of litter mates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run, swim, and explore.

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