Getting Started

If you are new to feeding raw pet food, the idea can be daunting. Fortunately, Steve’s simplifies the process and spells it all out for you. The first thing you need to know is once you have it down, meal time is a breeze.

STEP 1 – Trail and Transition

If your pet has never tried raw pet food before the fist thing to do is to get some samples or a small bag to try out. Give your pet a few nuggets. If you find that you have a picky eater you may have to get creative with your transitioning. Visit our Tips and Tricks page for some good ideas. If your dog dives right in, then transitioning is as simple as feeding 1/4 of the daily recommendation of Steve’s and 3/4 of their current food. 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 transi-tioning well. A recommended schedule would look like this;

  • Week 1 – Feed 1/4 daily amount of Steve’s 3/4 current food
  • Week 1 – Feed 1/4 daily amount of Steve’s 3/4 current food
  • Week 2 – Feed 1/2 daily amount of Steve’s 1/2 current food
  • Week 3 – Feed 3/4 daily amount of Steve’s 1/4 current food
  • Week 4 – Feed 100% Steve’s

Seeing loose stools is common due to your pet’s body detoxing. If after one week you still have loose stools continue with the feeding amounts until you see improvement. Adding raw goat milk yogurt can help with digestion and palatability. Loose stools are no alarm to call the vet, but seeing blood is. It is very uncommon.

STEP 2 – Determine Daily Feeding

When you get close to the end of the transitioning step it will be time to determine how much you will feed each day so that you can prepare to store it. 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.

Our recommendations are based on the percent of body weight rule. You take your pet's weight and multiply it by the feeding percentage to determine the pounds of food to feed each day. For example, if you have a 50-pound adult lab, you would feed them 2.5% of their body weight, which is 1.25 lb (daily).

50lbs x 2.5% = 1.25 lbs

The percentage of food to feed will vary for different reasons such as if it is a puppy, overweight, or pregnant. For more on feeding see our Feeding Calculator.

STEP 3 – Find Your Freezer Space

How much freezer space are you willing to dedicate to your raw frozen pet food. If you have a small 10 lb, Maltese, this will not be a big deal. But if you are feeding a 100 Mastiff, you may need to invest in some extra equipment.

Use the Daily Feeding Chart to determine how much food you will feed each week. One 5 pound bag of food is about 12” x 14” x 4”. A bag of 13.5-pound patties is roughly 20” x 14” x 4”. Ideally, you will be able to store enough for a couple weeks at a time.

If freezer space is limited than choosing to feed freeze dried may be a better option. That can be stored in your pantry.

Empty open fridge with shelves, refrigerator.

STEP 4 - Find a Store

Not all pet stores carry a good selection or raw pet food. Use our store locator to find the nearest store to you. Keep in mind that you will probably have to visit the store a few times each month. We recommend stores that are convenient to get to or offer delivery service. If neither of these options are available to you, you can order Steve’s Real Food on RawPetFood.com.

Find a Store Today!

STEP 5 - Enjoy the Rewards of Raw

Raw food may not be the most convenient method of feeding our pets but it is the most rewarding. Not only will your pet’s look and act healthier you will also benefit from fewer visits to the vet, less shedding, better smelling breath and best of all... smaller, less smelly poop!

Group of brown dogs sitting, from taller to smaller against whit