Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered:
ABOUT CALI RAW NUTRITION
Where Are You Located?
The Cali Raw office is located in Newport Beach, California, but we ship nationally to make sure every dog can get their optimal nutrition needs met.
Are Your Formulas Complete & Balanced?
Yes, all our formulas meet the nutritional levels and requirements established by AAFCO. They are designed to meet your dog’s nutritional needs, so you do not need to add anything to our formulas!
Tell Me About Your Food Quality?
The food is human-grade, USDA inspected and approved. Cali Raw Dog Food contains no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, no fillers & no by-products. Our food is natural, raw meat & fresh vegetables. In terms of quality, our meats are no different than what you’d buy for yourself in the grocery store. We think your best friend deserves nutritious food that adds to their longevity & wellness.
What is Denatured, 3D or 4D Meat? Does Cali Raw Use These Meats?
Denatured meat, also known as 3D or 4D meat, is a process that changes the color of meat to show it is not safe for human consumption. This meat comes from animals that are dying, diseased, or already dead. Once the meat has been put into those categories, it can still be used in the pet food industry. This process uses chemicals that can be harmful to pets. Cali Raw does not use any denatured meats. We use high quality meat passed for human consumption, because we believe your dog deserves the absolute best.
What Ingredients Are In Each Of Your Formulas?
Each of our formulas is made up of raw meat, bone & organs, vegetables, salmon oil, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Click here to see our complete ingredients list along with nutritional value.
Is Cali Raw Human Grade?
Yes, our facility makes both human food and pet food, and they are USDA certified. Our ingredients are all human grade because we believe your dog deserves nothing less than the best, safest raw dog food.
To read about all our ingredients and their benefits, click here.
Where Is Your Raw Dog Food Made?
Our food is made in California in a USDA Kitchen.
Click here to learn more about our products!
Where Is Your Meat Sourced From?
All our meat is sourced from the Western United States, with most of it coming from within California.When needed we do source from Washington, Oregon or Utah in order to offer you the best prices on a complete and balanced raw diet.
Who Formulates Your Raw Diet Recipes?
Our esteemed & highly regarded animal nutritionist James Pendergast has 14+ years of experience formulating raw food for dogs and cats. Our formulas are complete and balanced to meet AAFCO guidelines and beyond. We opt for high quality ingredients to ensure your dog receives the best possible diet & nutrition.
Is Your Food Barf Model Or Prey Model?
Our food is BARF model which stands for biologically appropriate raw food. Our complete & balanced formulas contain approximately 80% meat, bone and organ & 20% fresh vegetables.
To learn more about the BARF and PREY model click here.
Tell Me More About Your Puppy Formulas?
Our Puppy Formulas have increased Fatty Acids EPA & DHA from Salmon Oil to assist in brain development and improve cognitive learning skills. They also have ideal Calcium Levels with a Calcium:Phosphorous ratio of 1.4:1. In addition, our Puppy Formula's have enhanced antioxidants and vitamins to help with improved immune response to vaccinations and immune stimulation. Lastly, added L-Carnitine helps burn fat more efficiently and increases bone mass and bone density. All of these formulations are specific to the Puppy Formula and will assist with strengthening your puppies immune system, building a healthy gut, and meet their growing needs.
Why Are The Puppy Formula's Offered In Blends?
Our Puppy Formulas come in both a Lamb/Turkey blend and a Chicken/Beef Blend. By combining meat sources, we were able to create better fat balance needed for puppies nutritional demands. This also gives your puppy a variety! We recommend switching between our two puppy formulas to create a well variety nutritional plan for your puppy!
Shop our Puppy Formulas here.
Do I Need To Add Supplements To Cali Raw?
No, you do not need to add anything to Cali Raw Dog Food. We actually suggest to keep it simple! Our food is complete and balanced as formulated meeting the guidelines set forth by AAFCO. An exception for digestive enzymes is recommended for pets with long-standing digestion problems, but if your pet is generally healthy and is being fed a raw diet rich in natural food nutrients, they are getting everything they nutritionally need from our formulas.
Click here to read more about probiotics and prebiotics for dogs!
Tell Me More About The Vitamins & Minerals Added?
All of our formulas include essential vitamins & minerals. Our premix is high quality, organic, and human grade. The vitamins & minerals include Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Potassium Chloride, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Iodine Supplement and Vitamin D Supplement.
How Do I Prepare Cali Raw Food?
You should thaw the frozen raw dog food in the refrigerator for 1-2 days until soft and unfrozen. Once the food is thawed and measured to meet your dog’s requirements (see our feeding guidelines for more info) you can place it in your dog’s metal or glass bowl! Always store unused portions in the fridge for the next feeding. Do not exceed refrigerator storage for more than 7 days once thawed.
How Do I Know How Much To Order?
We suggest feeding your dog approximately 2.5% of their ideal body weight daily. This is just a starting point, which you can then monitor their weight and adjust as needed. For puppies, we suggest feeding based on their predicted/ideal adult body weight, adjusting the exact amount according to how your puppy develops.
To find out how much to feed your dog or puppy, check out our feeding calculator here.
Why Does Your Beef Formula Have Bone Meal?
Our Beef Formula has bone meal in it opposed to ground beef bone, due to the great variances found in the Calcium content of the ground beef bones. Our bone meal is finely ground up cattle bone. It has been tested for heavy metals and is non-irradiated. Our bone meal will also provide your dog with phosphorous and magnesium.
Does Cali Raw Use Lean Meats?
Yes, Cali Raw Nutrition uses quality lean meats! It gets difficult to formulate a balanced diet when you use very fatty meats (70/30+) because you are getting all the additional calories without the additional vitamins or minerals that go along with the protein. Our meats are high quality, passed for human consumption, humanely raised, locally sourced, with no growth hormones or antibiotics.
Why Are There Variations To The Color Of The Meat?
Color changes are normal for fresh food products! Color is also influenced by the age of the animal, the species, sex, diet, and even the exercise it gets. Meat naturally changes color when it progresses from an aerobic to anaerobic environment. The change from red to brown is due to the natural oxidation of the iron portion of myoglobin. Some color changes also occur during freezing. The bright red color of meat usually turns dark or pale brown depending on its variety and again these changes occur on the surface of the meat.
These color differences do not indicate that the meat is spoiled or old. Spoiled meat or poultry will have an off odor, be sticky or tacky to the touch, or it may be slimy. If meat has developed these characteristics, it should not be used.
Why Don't You Have A Raw Seafood Recipe?
We will! We are relatively new and growing organically with your support. We plan to introduce a seafood formula in the coming months. The following Cali Raw formulas do have high quality Salmon Oil in them; Puppy Chicken & Beef, Puppy Lamb & Turkey, Adult Beef, Adult Lamb, Adult Chicken & Adult Turkey. For added Omega-3 Fatty Acids to your dogs diet, we recommend including a small amount of sardines once per week. Be sure to buy only the certified wild caught & sustainable sardines in water with no added salt.
Do You Have Cat Food?
Not yet, but we are working on it. We look forward to bringing our cat lovers nutritious raw diets. You will see a growing menu coming from us in the near future. Your feedback is used to develop our menu selections. Please contact us with your requests.
We are all ears!
Can My Cat Eat Cali Raw Nutrition Dog Food?
Our raw diet for dogs is designed to offer a complete & balanced diet for the canine species. While there is no harm in feeding occasionally a cat our raw dog food formulas, we recommend you put your cat on a raw diet formulated to be complete & balanced for the specific nutritional needs of felines.
What If My Dog Keeps Going Back To Lick Their Bowl?
They can’t help it! The food is just so delicious! Don’t fret, you’re just part of the clean bowl club now!
ABOUT MY ORDER
How Does Your Subscription Service Work?
Our subscription service is flexible, non-committal & caters to your needs. We offer an auto-ship option in order to make raw feeding convenient and easy for you. By simply subscribing to any products, either bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly you receive 5% OFF the regular price & benefit from auto ship services that mean you never have to pick up dog food again. You will always receive an email confirmation for your order 1 week prior to shipping. At this time you may choose to pause, cancel or modify your subscription.
Do I Need To Subscribe?
Of course not, you can order our food as needed by building a box with our a la carte products. Our subscription is just there to make your life easier, and save you a few bucks! You can modify, pause or cancel our subscriptions at any time.
Click here to order now!
How Often Do You Ship?
We ship from our location in Newport Beach, CA every single Tuesday. Your order will arrive Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday depending on your location.
Do You Have A Shipping Minimum?
Yes we do! In order to ensure our product is still frozen on arrival, your order must be at least 10lbs of frozen food. We ship with dry ice and 72 hour rated eco-friendly insulation.
How Does Local Pickup Delivery Work?
Local delivery is currently available in Orange County & Long Beach California every Wednesday from 10am-10pm for orders over $150. Local pickup is available in Newport Beach Monday thru Wednesday from 11am-6pm, Thursday from 11am-3pm & by appointment if needed at 880 West 16th Street Newport Beach, CA 92663. For these options, choose in store pick up or local delivery at checkout!
How Soon Before I Need More Cali Raw Dog Food Should I Order?
We ship every Tuesday from Southern California. We recommend you order 7-10 days prior to running out of dog food. If you forget and need to expedite an order, please contact us and we will always do what we can to ensure your dog is fed!
What Kind Of Packaging Do You Have?
Our raw meat grinds are packaged in heavy duty vacuum-sealed bags portioned at 16oz. All you need to do is cut the package open, and serve! Our raw bones are packaged in heavy duty sealed bags weighing approx. 3lbs each. Our orders ship directly to your door in a branded corrugated box lined with an eco-liner rated to keep your products frozen for 72 hours during transit. Delivery orders within Long Beach & Orange County California are dropped off on your doorstep in a reusable bag. We are working tirelessly to expand our menu as well as our portion and packaging options. Your feedback and insight is useful. Please contact us with your requests.
What Is Your Return Policy?
In the event that a product or package arrives damaged or compromised, please reply to your invoice with an image of the products. A case will be opened, investigated and resolved. We strive to remedy all situations to our customers satisfaction whenever possible. We do not refund or replace items if the customer has moved and not provided us with a change of address. We do not accept returns.
What If I Need To Cancel My Order After It Processes?
In the event that you need to cancel your order and request a refund after it has processed, there will be a 5% merchant fee. In the event you need to cancel your order after it has already been fulfilled and ready for shipment, there will be a 20% restock fee.
Does Cali Raw Use Styrofoam?
No, we proudly use an eco-friendly liner composed of denim material. This packaging is rated for a 72 hour transit time. While it is not cheap, we at Cali Raw Nutrition believe our planet is worth the price!
How Does The Food Arrive When Shipped?
Our food is delivered 1-3 days from when it is shipped from our warehouse in a 72 hour rated, eco friendly insulated 14x14x14 box with dry ice or ice packs if necessary. Your order is delivered to your doorstep via FedEx, OnTrac or UPS service. We strongly recommend opening your box and stocking your freezer immediately. Depending on your dogs daily needs, place enough food in your refrigerator for 1-2 days of feeding, 1-2 days in advance.
How Long Can I Keep Your Product In My Refrigerator? And Freezer?
You can store our products in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and in the freezer for up to 1 year.
How Much Does Shipping Frozen Raw Dog Food Cost?
We do our best to keep our shipping fees as low as possible, passing on our volume discounts to you. To California, Arizona, Nevada & Utah shipping starts at $12.99 via UPS Ground. Outside those states, the cost will vary based on distance & can be calculated at checkout. All orders ship with an eco friendly insulated liner & dry ice as needed. We ship from Newport Beach California using either Ground or Express Services. If you are located in Orange County or Long Beach California we offer FREE Delivery for orders over $150.
Do I Need To Be Home To Receive My Delivery?
No, you do not. We use an eco-friendly, insulated packaging rated for 72 hour transit time so the delivery driver can leave it at your doorstep for you! We do not use styrofoam!
ABOUT RAW FEEDING
Are Dogs Carnivores?
Yes! Dogs are in the Carnivora classification, based on the fact they have canine teeth and shorter digestive tracts. Dogs can also benefit from healthy fruits, vegetables, and other supplements. This is why we choose to feed a BARF diet. Our nutritionists carefully formulate our raw dog food to be complete & balanced nutrition, this means you do not need to add any supplements to your dogs diet.
Click here to learn more about the domestication of dogs.
What Exactly is a B.A.R.F. diet?
The B.A.R.F. Model Diet stands for ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food’ and ‘Bones And Raw Food’. It is a raw diet consisting of approximately 80% meat, bones, organs, and 20% vegetables.
To read more about the B.A.R.F. Model Diet, read our blog here.
Do I Have To Feed a 100% Raw Diet?
While it is recommended that you avoid feeding your dog processed foods, we understand that feeding an exclusive raw diet isn’t feasible for everyone. In these cases, we recommend supplementing your dog’s current diet with 50% raw dog food to improve health. Any time you add fresh ingredients to your dog's diet, their health will benefit!
Check out our Supplemental Feeding Guide here.
How Do I Transition My Dog To A Raw Diet Properly?
Anytime you change food it’s important to take it slow. While most dogs have strong digestive systems, switching from dry kibble to a raw moist food, can be a shock on their systems initially. Some dogs will even experience a mild detoxification during the transition. Don't be alarmed, this is common when a dog has been eating processed foods their whole life. When switching to a fresh or raw food diet, the dog’s system will take time to adjust and form the enzymes and Microbiota.
This is our recommended process for ensuring a smooth transition to raw dog food:
Click here for our full Transition Guide
What Should I Expect During The Transition Process?
If your dog has been on a kibble diet most of their life, you may notice a 'detox process' when transitioning to a raw diet. During this time your dog may experience symptoms such as running eyes, dry skin, excess shedding, mucus coating your dog's poop, and skin conditions may briefly worsen. All of these symptoms are completely normal when transitioning to a raw diet. While this may worry some pet owners, this is actually a positive thing. Many people call this getting “unsick”. Your dog will be purging toxins that have built up from a processed diet. These symptoms should resolve themselves once new cells replace the old unhealthy one!
Click here for some more information on what to expect when transitioning to raw.
What Changes Can I Expect When I Switch My Dog To A Natural Raw Diet?
Dogs are carnivores. As such, they should be eating a diet of predominantly meat. Equally as important, it should be raw. Animals don’t cook their food. Your dog needs raw muscle meat, organs, fatty tissue, bones, and a small amount of carefully selected fruits/vegetables to be healthy & thrive. Outlined below are a few top-line benefits that you will notice after starting your dogs on a raw diet. We will go into more detail further down on a few of these subjects.
- Major changes in poop!
- Shiny, smooth, oil-free coats
- Flake-free and itch-free skin
- Chronic allergies and infections subside and/or disappear
- White teeth, free of tartar and dental disease
- Decreased visits to the vet
- Odorless breath and body
- Improved energy and vitality
- Mental stimulation from working at mealtimes
- Better breath
- Smaller poop
- Increased metabolic rate
- Increased muscle mass
- Less gas
- Healthier teeth
- Shiny, healthy coat
- More energy
- Allergy relief
- Less ear and paw yeast
- and more!
How Soon Can I Transition My Puppy To A Raw Diet?
Puppies can eat raw food once they have weaned off their mother and are ready to eat solid food. Our Puppy Formula is especially formulated for puppies 8 weeks to 12 months of age, and up to 14 months for large breeds. For puppies under the age of 16 weeks, we recommend lightly cooking the formula. The earlier you start your puppy on a fresh raw diet, the more they will benefit in the long run!
Check out our Puppy Feeding Guide here.
Can My Senior Dog Eat A Raw Diet?
Yes, absolutely! You may even notice it turn back the hands of time, and find your senior dog has more energy, less pain, and is more enthusiastic about feeding time! Owners of old dogs also report that their senior now acts and plays like a puppy again.
By switching your senior dog to a raw diet, you can enhance their health and improve their quality of life. Due to their age and possible health issues, we suggest moving slower when transitioning a senior dog to a natural raw diet. They are less robust, and their digestive system is much more fragile and sensitive to change. You may need to extend the transition process for several weeks or months. Remember, if your senior dog has been eating processed foods their entire life they need a more gradual switch to detox the harmful built up toxins in their stomach.
Are Your Formulas Safe For Large Breeds?
Giant breed dogs are defined (NRC) as dogs weighing 60kg or more as adults. Familiar breeds would be Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds and Newfoundland’s, to name a few.
Although our puppy food does not exceed the Safe Upper Limit of 4.5 grams per 1,000 kcals of Calcium for giant breed dogs (AAFCO, NRC) , and would be safe to feed, it is not optimized for these giant breeds.
We developed our puppy formula to be inclusive for most puppies, including growth of large breeds -those weighing 35kg or more as adults.
What Kinds Of Treats Are Healthy For My Dog?
Treat quality is just as important as your dog’s daily food. You will want to look for something with pure ingredients, like our all-natural venison jerky treats or beef marrow bones. Also, dehydrated animal treats are great for dogs and they are also biologically appropriate! Fruits & vegetables safe for dogs are also great healthy treats!
Examples Of Fruits And Vegetables That Are Safe To Be Fed As Dog Treats Are:
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
Click here to get our Venison Jerky treats!
Why aren’t raw diets more common?
Approximately 4% of dogs were raw fed in 2018. This number is growing by the day as more and more pet owners see vast improvements in their dogs' health & quickly! As our society as a whole becomes more and more aware of the poison in our own food supply, we are also taking notice that the traditional kibble diet is toxic to our dogs & cats. Neither us nor our pets are built to withstand highly processed, high carb diets; hence the epidemics of cancer, allergies, obesity, heart disease & kidney failure in our pets.
Raw diets for pets are not a new idea, but having a pre-made, straight to your door delivery system is! In the past, pet owners would need to hire their own animal nutritionist to formulate recipes for them. They would also need to shop, source, and prepare it themselves. We take the guesswork out of optimizing your dog’s nutrition, and the stress out of having to prepare it.
Click here to learn about the history of kibble.
How Can I Start Incorporating Raw Foods Into My Dog's Diet Without Completely Switching?If you aren't ready to switch your dog to raw dog food yet, you can start by introducing raw treats and fresh whole foods to their current diet! You can give your dog sardines, raw eggs, fresh raw vegetables, and raw bones!
What Does Guaranteed Analysis Mean?
The guaranteed analysis is a summary of the nutritional content on a pet food label that lists or guarantees certain minimum or maximum levels of nutrients. These levels include crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, moisture, carbohydrates, and calorie content. Natural raw dog food will have a much higher moisture content, whereas kibble on the other hand will have a very large dry matter content.
To read about our Guaranteed Analysis, visit our product page here and choose a formula.
Should Dogs Eat Carbohydrates?
No! While dogs are technically able to process carbohydrates, this is not an ideal source of fuel for the species. A high carb diet such as kibble, can cause inflammation and metabolic stress in a dogs' body. The most biologically appropriate diet for carnivorous canines is raw meat high in fat content.
Are Vegetables Healthy For Dogs?
Yes! Dogs get fiber, energy, vitamins, some minerals, and diverse nutrients from vegetables. We believe it is beneficial to feed dogs a BARF diet composed of approx 80% meat, organ & bone coupled with 20% vegetables.
Click here to learn more about our ingredients.
How Many Calories Do Dogs Need?
Dog’s caloric needs can vary greatly based on age, weight, activity level, and other factors. The standard formula used for calculating the energy requirements of the average adult dog that lives in the house, receives light daily exercise, and is spayed or neutered is:
30 X Weight in Kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = Daily Caloric Needs
Click here for our raw feeding calculator based on body weight.
How Will Raw Dog Food Change My Dog’s Stool?
Oftentimes when transitioning a dog into a new diet, especially one of a higher quality it can upset their stool for a short time. This is considered to be somewhat of a detoxification.
When transitioning to raw the bacteria in the intestinal tract is adjusting, causing your dog to have loose stool or maybe go more often for a short period of time. The good news is that once your dog is fully transitioned to a raw diet their stool will firm up, and be much smaller than when they were on kibble! With no fillers & maximum nutrient absorption, your dogs digestion & elimination regularity will improve greatly. Yes, this means less dog farts too!
What If My Dog Is Gaining Weight?
First, wait a few weeks to make sure it is not a normal fluctuation of your dog's weight. If your pup packed on an extra pound or two, no problem. If undesired weight gain is occurring, adjust your daily feeding amount by reducing 1/2%. For example if you are feeding 2.5% of body weight, reduce daily portions to 2% of body weight.
Click here to see our weight loss guide.
What If My Dog Is Losing Weight?
Many dogs on kibble are overweight and even obese. When starting raw it is not uncommon for an overweight dog to start losing weight as he is getting more fit and lean. If your dog is already at their optimal weight or has dropped below your target weight please Increase your dog's portions to 1/2% higher. For example if you are feeding 2.5% of body weight, increase to 3% of body weight. Like humans, some dogs have faster metabolisms regardless of activity levels.
Check out our feeding calculator here.
Can Human Food Be Added To A Raw Diet?
Yes, although we strongly advise to only add healthy options occasionally. Remember that not all food considered safe for humans is safe for dogs. Examples of safe human foods dogs love that you can safely feed in small quantities occasionally are: sweet potato, pumpkin, raw meaty bone, ground bone, organ meats such as livers and kidneys, raw eggs, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery, fruit like apples and watermelon, some dairy such as yogurt or goats milk, plus bone broth & fish stock.
Check out our blog 11 Human Foods Beneficial For Dogs here.
Is Raw OK To Feed To My Dog With Allergies?
Yes! Always read the label on each formula to be sure the recipe does not contain ingredients that your dog is allergic to. Typically dogs with allergies find substantial relief on a limited ingredient raw diet free of fillers, grain, gluten & artificial or processed ingredients.
Click here to learn more about raw feeding a dog with allergies.
Can I Switch From Meat Source To Meat Source Within The Raw Diets?
Yes, as long as your dog is not allergic to something in the formula you can switch meat sources with ease. We actually recommend offering your dog a variety of meat sources weekly. When possible it is best to feed your dog 2-3 meat proteins per week. Your dog will appreciate this! We offer formulas in Beef, Chicken, Lamb, and Turkey!
Check out our full menu here!
Do I Need To Cook The Food Before Feeding It?
No, and we recommend you don’t. Cooking the meat will deplete the nutrients and may destroy or modify the proteins. The only instances we recommend cooking the food is if you have someone in the family (pet or human) with a compromised or weakened immune system or if your puppy is under 16 weeks of age. In these cases, you can choose to lightly cook it 6-8 minutes in a skillet with a small amount of water. We always recommend practicing safe handling & work area sanitation after serving or handling raw food products.
What If My Pet Is A Picky Eater?
Most dogs, in fact 90% of all dogs not only like but love raw food. There are those dogs, of course, like people, who are uncomfortable with change which is why we recommend sticking to the transitional guidelines. If your dog is a finicky eater you can lightly cook the formula on low heat with a tablespoon of water for 6-7 minutes to enhance the aroma and flavors. You can also add an egg, sardines, or healthy treat on top. Be patient and confident in your efforts, your dog can tell if you are nervous!
Will eating raw make my dog more aggressive?
No! A raw diet is what dogs are designed to eat for their biological, nutritional needs. The food you feed to your dog is not a factor in aggressive behavior. However, we always recommend separating dogs with known food aggression. A raw diet is very pleasing to a dog and could be considered a high value prize that a dog may be more possessive over than kibble.
How often should I feed my dog or puppy?
For adult dogs, we recommend feeding a raw diet either once or twice per day. If twice per day, split the daily suggested feeding in half. For puppies, we recommend feeding raw food 3-4 times per day, splitting each meal equally based on suggested daily feeding quantity for their predicted adult weight.
Calculate Feeding Amount per Day & per Month Based on Dogs Weight here.
Why Is Raw Better Than Dry Kibble, Cooked Food Or Canned Dog Food?
We know that processed food is less healthy than fresh, raw food for humans, it’s the same for dogs! Cooking the food depletes the nutrients in the meat source and produce. Kibble is a relatively new concept, it was developed during WWII because of the lack of materials needed to make cans for canned food. Kibble has never been a good option for our pets, most kibbles are filled with corn, wheat, non-human grade meat, and synthetic vitamins which will, over time, hurt your pets health because of the nutritional deficiencies.
Kibble also lacks moisture, in a dogs’ natural diet where they would be hunting and eating prey, their food contained approximately 70% moisture, with kibble that percentage drops to 10% and below. This can cause dehydration in dogs and lead to chronic UTIs or Kidney failure. Dogs have a short digestive tract, that makes it difficult to digest complex processed foods, they evolved to eat fresh, raw meat and vegetables. There is also much less useless waste in a raw diet, leaving the the dog more able to process and absorb more of the nutrition, leading to less smelly, more solid, and smaller poops.
Click here to read our blog on the comparison of kibble, cooked, and raw food.
My Dog Is Drinking Less Water, Is That Normal?
Yes, due to the high moisture and low sodium content in raw food it is normal for pets to drink less water since they are getting most of the moisture they need from their food! Because kibble is dry and dehydrated, dogs have to constantly drink water in order to stay hydrated.
What are recreational bones?
Recreational Bones are large bones that dogs chew on for extended periods of time, without eating the whole bone. Examples of safe recreational bones are beef marrow bones, knuckle bones, lamb femurs, beef rib bones, etc. Recreational bones are a natural teeth cleaning solution, providing your dog with better breath and improved oral health. Additionally recreational bones offer mental stimulation, and provide jaw exercise. Recreation bones are safe for dogs over 6 months old.
Shop our Raw Recreational Bones Here!
Can I Cook The Bones?
No and we don't suggest you do! Raw bones are soft and easy to digest for dogs. Cooked bones can splinter and be very dangerous to your dogs. You do not ever want to feed cooked bones to your dog. Giving your dog raw bones is biologically appropriate!
Click here to learn more about bones for your dog.
Can Puppies Have Raw Bones?
Although puppies and bones seem like a safe combination, we recommend waiting until your puppy is at least 6 months old. Young puppies still have baby teeth that are not as strong as adult teeth. Once your puppy is 6 months old you can introduce them to raw recreational bones!
Will A Raw Dog Food Diet Help My Dog's allergies?
Yes indeed, in most cases it will reduce or resolve dog food allergies. Often times a dogs food allergies are related to their processed diet. A dog that is allergic to chicken kibble is often not allergic to raw chicken! The same goes for other meat sources like beef, turkey, lamb, duck etc. It’s crazy to think about. But, allergies have become a sort of disease of civilization that is completely man-made and stems entirely from processed foods. This is true for both humans and dogs. While some of us and our pets may have sensitivities to a few environmental factors, almost all allergies are related to the food we consume.
Food allergies can cause digestibility issues, skin issues, reoccurring ear/eye infections and much more. Some animals have even developed allergies to cooked proteins but not the raw ones. Consider for a moment the “chicken allergy” epidemic that is out there today. If you were to poll pet parents today, conservatively we would venture that almost 8-9 out of 10 pet parents would say that their dog has or had a chicken allergy. This is just ridiculous! Once on a raw diet, most dog owners are amazed to see their dog’s previous allergies clear up completely. A Raw Diet is the Right Diet!
Can I Thaw And Refreeze Raw Dog Food?
Yes, it is safe to thaw and then refreeze raw dog food. It does not affect the quality or safety of the product.
Can I mix feed both raw & kibble?
We recommend avoiding kibble like you avoid McDonalds, hopefully. We do realize it isn't always feasible for everyone to afford the very best dog food, especially when you have large dogs or are lucky enough to have a bunch of dogs. If you cannot afford to switch to a 100% raw diet for your dog, supplementing your dogs dry food with raw food is beneficial. If you can afford to give your dog at least 50% raw, the nutrients will benefit your dog's overall health & wellness.
If allergies or serious health issues are present, a 100% raw diet is recommended for the best chance at improved health.
Check out our Supplemental Feeding Guide here.
Can my dog still get bloat on a raw diet?
It is quite unlikely for a dog to experience bloat when they are being fed a raw diet of meat, muscle, bones and organs. Raw food offers maximum bioavailability of nutrient absorption, it does not expand and swell like processed kibble. Additionally, most dogs eat slower when they are eating raw food. Often dogs that require a slow feeder with kibble, do not need one with raw food. When they aren't inhaling their food, less air is pulled into the stomach. Bloat is very rare in dogs that consume a raw diet. To reduce the risk in dogs prone to bloat, avoid exercise for 1-2 hours prior to feeding.
ABOUT RAW SAFETY
Are Raw Diets Safe?
Yes they are! Remember, this is what your dog was designed to eat! Yes! Dogs have a shorter digestive tract and higher levels of acidity in their digestive system. Therefore, they can tolerate a higher level of bacteria than us humans. When a dog is fed a species appropriate diet, their immune system is optimally strong and their digestive system is functioning properly. The acidity level in their stomachs is also very high on a raw diet, which makes it an undesirable environment for bacteria to survive. Remember, raw meat is what nature intended dogs to eat. Quality raw meats are not just perfectly safe for dogs, they are ideal!
What Is HPP And Why Is It Safer?
HPP stands for High Pressure Processing. HPP is a kill step used to reduce the population of harmful bacteria and pathogens to acceptable levels. HPP is safe and preserves the required nutrients. Our formulations are designed with the knowledge that HPP will be used and certain ingredients are optimized for this reason.
Our raw dog food is put in a chamber filled with water and put under 87,000 lbs of hydraulic pressure per square inch and held there for 3 minutes. We use HPP in order to offer one of the safest raw dog foods on the market. HPP reduces bacteria levels without having to cook the food, which would lower the overall nutritional value.
As a general precaution with any raw meat, always check for signs of spoilage before feeding. Cali Raw dog food is good for up to 7 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 year frozen. When encountering a disapproving veterinarian, let them know Cali Raw is HPP'd for added safety and confidence.
Check out our blog on why we use HPP here.
Why Does My Traditional Veterinarian Say No To A Raw Diet For My Dog?
When you go to the doctor, does your doctor ask you about your nutrition & diet? Does your veterinarian address this crucial factor in your dog's health? Most likely not. Traditional veterinarians may often have a negative opinion of a raw diet based on our society's adoption of the cheap & convenient kibble diet during WWII. Also, many that do know and understand the nutritional benefits of a raw diet, have also encountered dogs fed an unbalanced DIY raw diet.
We strongly endorse a complete and balanced raw diet that meets AAFCO guidelines. This ensures your dog is not missing any key components. Our Cali Raw formulas include important ingredients like organs, vegetables, plus naturally derived minerals & vitamins. We recommend you do your own research on the benefits of a raw ancestral diet for your dog, as well as the long term effects & dangers of a kibble diet.
If I choose to feed raw food to my pet, what precautions should I take to protect my family?
Raw feeding is no different than cooking for yourself and family within your own home. Standard sanitary habits should be practiced when handling raw meat. Always sanitize your work area thoroughly after prepping, sanitize used food utensils, including your pet’s bowls once they are finished eating. Finally, wash hands thoroughly after touching raw meat. Keep the raw dog food food frozen until ready to use, and then refrigerate or discard any leftovers. Refrigerated leftovers can be stored for no more than 3 days. Regularly wash pet dishes – make sure to pick them up after eating, sorry no grazing allowed. Leaving the food out will cause the meat to spoil.
What if raw food is in the fur around the mouth and fur – is licking/kissing safe?
If your dog has lots of hair/fur around his or her mouth, we recommend washing the area after eating. Having said that, even after cleaning their fur or hair it’s always a very personal choice.
Will My Pet Get Sick From Eating Raw Meat?
Your dog will thrive on a raw meat diet. This ancestral diet is exactly what your dog's body was intended to digest. A raw dog food diet offers your dog optimal nutrition with maximum bioavailability for nutrient absorption. With a species appropriate diet their immune systems are strongest and their digestive systems are operating properly. The acidity level in their stomachs are also very, which makes it an inhospitable environment for bacteria. Dogs are much more susceptible to get sick when they are fed a processed diet not intended for them biologically. A diet filled with grains, starches, and sugars is a serious cause for concern, while raw food is not.
During the transition to a raw diet some dogs may experience mild detoxification symptoms, including diarrhea or lethargy. This is temporary and expected when their system is accustomed to a highly processed diet of artificial or low quality ingredients.
What About The Risk Of Tapeworm?
All of Cali Raw's formulas are 100% human grade, high quality ingredients responsibly sourced in the United States. Our formulas are made and packaged in a USDA inspected facility. Also, freezing raw meat kills the eggs and larval form of all tapeworms. Most tapeworm infections are associated with flea ingestion, or coming into contact with infected faces at dog parks. Tapeworms are not something you need to worry about with Cali Raw!
What About Bones? Aren’t They Dangerous?
No, they're ideal! Raw bones are completely safe for dog's over 6 months of age!
We do recommend some precautions when feeding raw bones:
- Ideal for dogs older than 6 months old.
- Ensure chew time does not exceed 30-60 minutes in any 1 day.
- Feed raw bones 1-3 times per week for optimal oral health & mental stimulation.
- As with all dog treats & toys, choose the appropriate size for your dog. -Ex. Don't give large dogs bones small enough to swallow. Don't give small dogs large bones.
- When feeding high value treats, it is always best to keep all dogs separate to avoid any temptation, possessive stress or altercation.
- Not ideal for young puppies, seniors dogs, flat-faced breeds, over aggressive chewers or food aggressive dogs.
- For dogs with weak or insufficient teeth, avoid giving raw bones all together.
- Keep raw bones frozen until ready to give to your dog.
- Never cook raw bones. The bone can splinter easily into sharp pieces dangerous to your dog.
- Be sure to supervise your dog at all times during recreational bone activity.
Shop our raw bones here.
What About Salmonella In Chicken?
Keep in mind that dogs can tolerate a higher level of bacteria than us humans. Dogs have shorter digestive tract and higher levels of acidity in their digestive system. We know that when a dog is fed a species appropriate diet, their immune system is optimally strong and their digestive system is functioning properly. The acidity level in their stomachs is also very high on a raw diet, which makes it an undesirable environment for bacteria.
To ensure your own safety when feeding raw, use the same safe handling practices you would use when preparing your own raw meats: exercise basic hygiene, wash your hands, and sanitize surfaces after use. Quality raw meats are not just perfectly safe for dogs, they are ideal.
Can I feed raw dog food with children in the home?
Yes, of course! Raw feeders everywhere have children. They all safely feed raw to their pets with young children in the home. We advise you to use best safe handling practices when serving raw food in your kitchen. We also recommend a designated place for your dog to eat that is partitioned off from where your children play.
As an extra safety measure, some of our customers who have bearded dogs or dogs with long jowls choose to wipe their dogs’ faces after they’re done eating. In addition, use the same practices you would when preparing your own meats: exercise basic hygiene, wash your hands, and keep surfaces sanitized.
Are Raw Pet Foods Subject To Different Regulations Than Dry (Kibble) Or Canned Foods?
No, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the primary federal agency responsible for enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act). Included within The FDA’s responsibilities under the Act is the responsibility for regulation of animal foods/feeds. The Act provides the authority for FDA to regulate essentially all ingredients and additives used in animal feed. ArialAll pet foods and feeds fall under this Act.
For more information visit their website here.
Who is AAFCO?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary membership organization of all 50 states and Federal government agencies, as well as government agencies from other countries, responsible for the execution of laws and regulations pertaining to the production, labeling, distribution, use, or sale of animal feed and feed ingredients. AAFCO does not regulate, test, approve or certify pet foods in any way. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods that manufacturers follow to formulate their products according to the appropriate AAFCO standard. These standards are defined by two nutrient profiles: Adult Maintenance and Growth or Reproduction.
For more information visit their website here.
ABOUT DOG WELLNESS
My Dog Has Pancreatitis, Is Raw A Good Diet For Them?
Yes! Dogs with Pancreatitis can benefit from a fresh raw diet. A natural raw diet contains many active enzymes which help with the digestion process and also reduce stress on the pancreas. A fresh raw diet will also improve their appetite, digestion, and absorption of nutrients. We recommend feeding a leaner protein such as our turkey formula, and staying away from meat sources that are high in fat such as lamb. Dog's suffering with Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis dogs can also benefit from the addition of digestive enzymes.
My Dog Has Chronic Kidney Disease, Is Raw A Good Diet For Them?
Dogs with CKD need a moderate protein, low phosphorus, enhanced Vitamin B, D and E, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Currently, Cali Raw does not offer a product we would consider ideal for a CKD patient. We would suggest working with a holistic veterinarian to help formulate a specific diet.
How Much Physical Activity Does My Dog Need?
Your dog needs consistent and sufficient physical activity or exercise in order to achieve optimal health & wellness. The amount of activity your dog needs can depend on factors such as their breed & their life stage. Read more about how much exercise dogs need during different times of their life and how you can be sure they are getting enough.
My Dog Is Fat, Help!
You are not alone. Dog obesity is at an all time high & we know why! A high carb, high filler processed diet is killing our dogs. Lean, healthy dogs are proven to live longer. Overweight dogs can suffer from a long list of consequential health problems.
To read our Weight Loss Guide click here.
Why Is My Dog's Poop Covered In Mucus Sometimes? Should I Be Worried?
Don't panic, mucus in your dog's stool can happen at any time, no matter how long a dog has been on a raw diet, and is normally not a reason for worry. When initially switching to a raw diet, this may be an indication that the digestive tract is riding the junk out of its system, which is a normal part of Detoxification. Alternatively, it can also be a sign of inflammation in the intestinal tract. If you notice traces of blood, along with the mucus-covered stool, a trip to the veterinarian is encouraged. If your dog appears sick and is also having frequent bouts of diarrhea that last more than 24 hours, we recommend you call a holistic veterinarian.
Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?
This can occur from stress, anxiety, or boredom! This can also occur from a lack of nutrients in their diet. If fed a complete and balanced raw food diet, your dog will be receiving all the nutrients they need in every meal!
Why Does My Dog Have Loose Stools?
Did you introduce a raw diet too rapidly, without a gradual transition from dry processed foods? We recommend a 1-2 week transition, sometimes more depending on the dog. Rushing this transition can lead to discomfort and loose stools. Also, if you are feeding too much food, your dog can experience loose stools too. This may also be brought on because the body is cleansing out toxins and impurities; a normal part of detoxification. Loose stool can also mean there is too much fat in the diet too quickly. In this case, an elimination diet can help you determine the culprit.
Check out our healthy stool chart here.
Why Is My Dog Vomiting?
There are a lot of potential causes for a dog to vomit. If the vomit is a yellow bile, this could mean that the dog's stomach is empty. Try to feed smaller meals more frequently, the length of time between meals may be too long.
If the vomit is clear with foam or mucus, your dog probably drank water too fast and, again, the stomach may also be empty. Remove the water temporarily and feed your dog a raw meaty dog treat like our beef marrow bones. Dogs will require less water when on a raw diet as the food is naturally very hydrated. Dogs vomiting can also be attributed to a detoxification process. Often when switching from a dry processed food to a natural raw diet, your dog can experience detox symptoms.
The vomiting could also be caused by a new food item that does not sit well with your dog. And yes, while unsightly, some dogs new to a raw diet could occasionally regurgitate their food, and then eat it again- just try not to look. This is normal.
Check out our blog on natural remedies for your dog's upset stomach here.