Info for people new to fresh pet food diets.

Neal: Hey, everybody. It's Neal from Growlies. Today I want to talk about newbies, people who are new to the idea of feeding raw and some of the tips to assist you in moving your pet and your household to a fresh food diet. It's not as hard as you may think. They have taught us for the last 50 years that we are too dumb to feed our pet. I am telling you now, I am reassuring you now that you are not too dumb to feed your pet. It is actually quite simple.

There are some basic rules around feeding a dog or feeding a cat, and one of them and the one we seem to have the hardest time with is variety. We want a variety in a diet because with variety, comes as broad spectrum of micronutrients as possible. Without variety, we will end up with deficiencies in a diet. We don't want those deficiencies. We want to mitigate deficiencies as best as possible, and so, without variety, you're not doing a fresh food diet correctly.

If you find yourself purchasing the same box, in the same way, in the same size, from the same manufacturer every time, you're probably not doing your fresh food diet correctly, unless you're supplementing heavily. We recommend, with all pet food diets, that there are some supplements required. One is a healthy source of iodine. We generally get that through something like Kelp. It's also in a bunch of other mixed supplements and often that source of iodine would be Kelp in those mixed supplements. The other thing we want to see is a healthy omega fatty acid. A fish oil, I prefer a small fish oil like a sardine oil, hemp oil, things of that nature. We want to get a nice healthy omega-3 fatty acid whether it be cold-water fish oil, an ocean fish oil, small fish, a blended. We have them all available and they're all phenomenal. Some of the other things, of course, we could do are probiotics and digestive aids. That's often required for a dog who's been eating an inappropriate diet for a long period of time to assist with that getting them back on to a fresh food diet.

Some dogs, if, let's say, they didn't get the opportunity to start their fresh food diet until they're seven or eight, we may require digestive aids for the rest of their life. That does help them get more out of the food, so you often will end up feeding a little bit less. What I mean by digestive aids, I'm talking about probiotics, I'm talking about digestive enzymes, and I'm talking about prebiotics. Come in. Talk to us. We're happy to have those conversations with you. It's not hard.

Now, when you're talking about a puppy, I guess the first hurdle to overcome-- Well, not a puppy even, just anybody who's interested in a fresh food diet for their pet, the first hurdle to overcome is the first time to use it. If we have samples available, we'll give you samples. We'll let you try it. We'll make sure that the dog or cat will enjoy it. Now, cats, there's a whole transition scheme that we have to work with you on. It's not easy with cats. Cats get addicted to their dry food diets. There's palletizers or things that we also call attractants that they add to those foods that cats actually become physically addicted to and cats have to eat every day. There's no starving them into submission. Come to us and we'll talk to you about how to transition a cat correctly. With dogs, it's a lot easier. You can just say, "Hey, this is your next meal." That's that. I don't recommend that approach necessarily for everybody, but you can do that should you choose to. What I would do generally is give them a meal.

Now, remember, that animal, if they've never had this before, may find it to be really strange that you're giving them this bowl of meat and veg. You have to be excited to offer it to them. They're going to mirror your energy. If you're freaked out by it and you're like, "Oh, my God. I'm going to give my dog this raw meat." Guess what? They're going to be thin. "I don't know why mom or dad are freaking about this, and they're putting in front of me, but I don't trust it now because she or he is not trusting it. I'm just going to back away slowly and will treat it with the derision that mom or dad are treating it with." Remember, they're going to mirror your energy, so be happy, be thrilled, be like, "Whoa, yes, we're going to give you a special treat." Do that and they will be happy to receive it. When they're happy to receive it, you will see the joy on their face as they quickly eat the food that they love. Once you've tried it, how do you start?

Well, we'll work with you to help point out the staples that are affordable and good that you can use as the primary sources of the nutrition that you offer your pet. Then, with 22 brands and a variety of proteins and recipes available, it's easy to add in a little of this and a little of that and some of this and some of that and some chews like some turkey necks or some duck necks or some chicken feed or some sardines or some herring or some fish salmon heads or whatever to get that variety in. It's not hard.

People often talk to me about the convenience of kibble and how convenient it is. I just go, "What are you talking about?" I just go, "Scoop and go, man. It's so easy." Well, for me, raw is just that simple as well. In the morning, we pull out the container out of the fridge. It's thawed out the fridge, it lasts in the fridge for three days just like any meat, my deli meat. I buy it on Wednesday, it's still good on Friday, it's still good on Saturday. I pull the Tupperware container on the fridge, I scoop and I go.

Now, the only difference is, I have to remember to take it out twice a week. It's not hard. That is not hard. Now, your dog ends up owning a bit of your fridge and owning a bit of your freezer, and that's okay. That's just what fresh foods require. Other than that, it's as convenient once you build it into the routine of your lifestyle as any other food that you could feed your pet. Now, don't underestimate the value of a healthy mouth in that pet. Having the opportunity to masticate through soft bone, non-weight-bearing bone, in order to brush their teeth is important.

The healthier that mouth, the healthier the outcomes for that carnivore. When you see a carnivore with a really sick mouth, you often see a really sick carnivore. Let's keep those mouths healthy. Let's use those turkey necks. Use those duck necks. Use those chicken necks. Use those whole herring. Use those pork necks. Use those lamb necks, those toothbrushes in order to keep their teeth clean. These are the kinds of things we want to use on a regular basis, but not necessarily every day because they're too bony.

You don't want to give them any constipation. The other thing I like to point out is have some fun with their meals. Use things like we have this freezer here of things you add into the bowl. You got your Kefir and your goat's milk and your goat's cheese or your K9-Choice smoked meats, your bone broths, your stewed veggies. These kinds of things are perfect little add-ins for a dog's meal. We also often use, even for kitty cats, we can use the quail eggs, the duck eggs, because, ultimately, they're perfect food for a cat or dog.

Thought out, that quail egg is a perfect food for a kitty cat. Those kinds of things are the kinds of things we need people to consider more and more to offer the benefits of fresh food diets through the variety that we want to see. I think that I've covered enough. I'm not sure if I should cover anymore. Do you have any tips for me, Joe? [laughs] The answer was no. Okay. Probably because she wasn't listening. It's okay. I talk like this all the time. She's sick of it. I think, ultimately, just do good, do fresh foods, feed a variety, ask us questions.

We're happy to help in any way. Our WellyTails line of supplements, they're exceptional. If you want to make sure your puppy's getting everything, use the WellyTails puppy. For your seniors, getting everything, use your WellyTail senior. They've got such a nice mix of product non-synthetic vitamin sources and often digestive aids and things like that built right into one scoop and go product that complements raw foods perfectly. Check them out. Ask us questions. Don't hesitate to let us know where we can help you do better.

Thanks so much and thanks for watching.