If you have never fed raw before, you may be surprised as you watch your dog’s health improve while they transition to a healthier diet. It’s important to be aware of how much you should be feeding your pet. When you feed your pet a raw food diet, they will often require less food than if you were to feed them a kibble/grain-based diet, because the food has so much more nutritional value. There are a few factors that will affect the recommended amount to feed your pet, such as age, activity level, and weight goals. We use the bodyweight percentage rule, which estimates feeding amounts based on the weight of your pet.
For example, if you have a 50-pound adult Australian Shepherd, then you would want to feed them 2.5% of their body weight, which is 1.25 lb (daily).
50lbs x 2.5% = 1.25 lbs
Body Weight Percentage Recommendation: We suggest that you feed your pet the following percentages based on their activity and weight goals.
- 1.5% – Overweight
- 2.0% – Average Activity (little outdoor time/2 or fewer walks a day)
- 2.5% – Above Average Activity (a few hours of activity per day)
- 3.0% – Average Activity with Weight Gain Goals
- 3.5 % – High Activity or Weight Gain Goals (Working Dogs)
- 4%+ – Kittens, Puppies and Nursing or Pregnant Pets
Keep in mind that our feeding guidelines should be used as a starting point. Some large breeds have lower food requirements than average, and some active breeds need more food than their weight would imply. You know your pet better than we do, and you can adjust from this model as you feel best.
The feeding chart is a rough guideline for an active adult dog. Every four-legged friend will metabolize food at a different rate. Activity level, breed, and age are just a few factors that affect the specific nutritional requirements for your pet. If your dog is thin or hungry, feed more often and in greater quantity. If your pet is overweight or obese, feed less.
The cost shown here is based on a 10lb bag cost of $35.59. We recognize that affordability can be a barrier between a parent’s desires for a healthy product for their pet and their ability to provide it. That is why we try to keep our cost around the same price as high quality kibbles. However, if you can’t afford to feed raw 100% of the time, something is better than nothing, so you can mix Steve’s Real Food with other products. We recommend using an all-natural, grain-free kibble to maximize your pet’s health if mixing is a necessity.
*Using a measuring cup to feed will not yield the same amount each time since the space between each nugget is not the same. The most accurate method of feeding is to measure using a kitchen scale; however, you do not need to be exact to ensure the dog or cat is getting the nutrition it needs. On average 1 cup of Steve’s equals 4.1oz. Getting a little more or less will not hurt the dog or cat.
**Nuggets vary in weight from 0.15oz to 0.2oz. This is why the recommended amounts of nuggets vary.
You want to transition your pet to raw food slowly to prevent stomachaches and loose stools. Start by mixing 1 part Steve’s with 3 parts of the food you are currently feeding. Slowly increase the amount of Steve’s while reducing their previous food over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. Monitor their temperament and stools to ensure they are transitioning well. More transitioning tips are on our “Starting on Raw Food” page, and you can check out our Blog from December 2014 to see how the sensitive dog of our Director of Relations did when he transitioned to Steve’s for more ideas.
Please keep in mind that you are dealing with raw, unprocessed meat. As you would when preparing raw meat for your human family, take the precautions of washing your hands after touching, cleaning surfaces thoroughly, and any other steps you would normally take. While animals have the digestive tracts to deal with contaminants such as salmonella and e-coli (which we test regularly for and keep our foods free from regardless) it is the risk for human contact that leads to FDA recalls of raw pet food in our industry. So remember to treat your dog and cat food as you would any other raw meat. Recalls are actually more likely from kibble, so if you are mixing take the same precautions with both types of food.
Steve’s Real Food uses only 100% natural, human quality ingredients. We are 100% free of the chemicals, hormones, and pesticides used in other brands (and human food) to ensure a consistent look, so don’t be alarmed if one bag varies slightly from another. Weather, harvests, seasonal changes, etc. can change the natural colors, smells and textures of our food – and this is a very good thing, because it tells you that ‘consumer expectations of appearance’ (which leads massive amounts of waste in this country) is less important to us than the health of your pet. Please be assured that all products are made under strict quality control and although the products may look slightly different, the quality is always the same.
We ensure strict protocols are followed to guarantee your product stays frozen throughout transit to your local store. You can tell very easily if the product was not preserved at that temperature, because the nuggets will mush together, and the patties will become a frozen, papery mess. As long as that is not the case, your product has never been thawed and refrozen, and the integrity of the product has been maintained.
Serve Frozen or Thawed?
Pets enjoy Steve’s Real Food both frozen and thawed. The simplest way to safely thaw your pet’s food is to set aside the next serving in the refrigerator as you are feeding them their current meal. For dogs that tend to eat so quickly they choke on their food, frozen can be beneficial because it slows them down.
It is best to feed in a stainless steel bowl and wash between each meal.
For large and multiple-dog families, you can defrost the entire bag in the refrigerator. The food stays wholesome for about four days in the refrigerator. After that point the food won’t spoil for another week or so, but the nutritional value will diminish over time due to oxidation.
Ultimate Raw Convenience: The Steve’s Nugget
Steve’s Real Food created our nuggets so that you can pour and serve, making Steve’s the most convenient to feed raw food on the market. And not only is it great for you – it’s great for your pet. Not only do pets enjoy the meat-popsicle style of treat, having to chew the frozen nuggets cleans the pet’s teeth, can slow down fast eaters to minimizes risk of choking, and reduces the risk of environmental contamination thawed food can be exposed to. It simply can’t be beat!
Feeding our Enhance Freeze Dry Goat Milk couldn’t be easier!.
Each Enhance Product comes with a reusable glass milk bottle. For the first use, fill the bottle with water, shake the rehydrate, and use it as a food topper or daily treat. Keep refrigerated after rehydrating. You can also buy our refill containers. Add 2/3rds cup of Enhance to your reusable milk bottle, fill with water, and shake to rehydrate. A refill container lasts about a month.