Raw Food FAQs

General Raw Food

Can I make my own raw meat pet diet?

You can! However, if it’s not done with the proper balance of nutrition, you could do more harm than good. Besides, by the time you accumulate all the proper ingredients and allow for your time and effort to grind, mix, package and freeze, you’ll learn that the products we provide have done all the work for you at a very reasonable cost.

Do Raw Pet Food Diets cost more to feed than traditional foods?

Our frozen raw diets will cost about the same as feeding a grain-free kibble diet. Animals will often consume up to twice the recommended amount of raw food during transitional periods until nutritional deficiencies are satisfied. Once nutritionally saturated, usually in the first 30 days, most pets will automatically cut their food intake to normal levels, resulting in costs per day just slightly higher than premium dry or canned foods. Most customers’ analysis of this cost report health promoting raw food as the least expensive way to raise animals, especially when considering the money saved on health care costs and supplementation.

Does the food have any chemicals or preservatives in the diet?

We don’t sell food with artificial colors or preservatives. Our raw pet food diet products are preserved through either freezing (at –40 degrees F) or freeze-drying which are the only methods of protecting the natural nutrition in Mother Nature’s most complete and balanced food – a raw meat pet diet.

How can I travel with my pet and a raw meat diet?

Traveling with frozen raw food can be a challenge. Using dry ice in a freezer will work well or you can use a freeze-dried version. Freeze-drying is the only way to preserve the nutritional integrity of the health promoting raw food while offering the convenience of a shelf stable product needing no refrigeration. Freeze-dried raw food can be broken into small pieces and fed dry. Freeze dried raw pet food also makes wonderful treats!

How do I start my dog or cat on a raw pet food diet?

Puppies can transition to raw immediately since their digestive system is still in good shape. Older dogs that have been fed kibble for a long time may have a harder time transitioning. Most older dogs and cats have been fed sterile (cooked) foods most of their lives, so we recommend a raw pet food diet be introduced slowly over the first week or so, mixing some in with their dry food to start is fine. Green tripe is a great way to build up the healthy gut bacteria. Raw food can be increased to 2 to 4 percent of body weight depending on activity level as well as dietary goals.

See our Raw Food Calculator for quickly determining how much to feed your pet.

Is this concept of feeding raw meat to dogs and cats a new philosophy?

The concept of feeding dogs and cats on raw meat goes back into history. Unfortunately, as the domestic pet trade has grown so rapidly over the past few decades, most pet food manufacturers have opted to go with more convenient methods of manufacturing, transportation, and storage. Their emphasis was obviously more about satisfying their own interests and their customers’ convenience and less on the nutritional needs of the animals. We have the opposite approach and commit to nutritional excellence, and accept the challenge of manufacturing, distributing, and storing a raw meat pet diet.

What is the freeze-drying process and the advantages of processing the diet this way?

Freeze-drying is a process that removes the moisture from the meat in a vacuum chamber, while still frozen. By bringing the temperature to the triple point 32 degrees F (where moisture can exist as an ice crystal, water or gas), the moisture is evacuated from an ice crystal to a gas without entering the liquid stage. The minimum amount of added heat to accomplish this is insufficient to destroy the amino acids or digestive enzymes.

Freeze-drying, though considerably higher in cost, is the only way to preserve raw meat without chemicals, irradiation, or heat damage to the nutrition and bio-availability of the food. It is yet another example of Carnivore Meat Company’s commitment to nutritional excellence.

Why have dogs recently been classified as Omnivores?

In our dictionaries, Mr. Webster still classifies a dog as carnivorous (flesh-eating), direct descendants of wolf (genus Canis). Perhaps this myth of defining our domestic genus Canis as omnivores has been promoted by self-serving pet food companies trying to justify turning our canine companions into “corn dogs” (a veterinarian nickname for the well apparent unhealthy dogs fed grain-filled kibble).

We believe that our domesticated genus Canis pals are still carnivores, that they prefer fresh meat, and that they thrive best on nutrition that only the raw meat diets can provide, whether eaten in the wild and/or purchased from a health conscious raw meat manufacturer like us. Unlike pet food advertisements and packaging, natural science proves that a carnivore’s natural biological make-up has not changed throughout the transition from non-domesticated animals into domesticated pets.

You claim your diet is more natural than most pet foods. Why?

The word “natural”, when applied to some of the pet foods of today, is a real stretch of Mr. Webster’s primary definition, of or arising from nature: in accordance with what is found or expected in nature. How many commercial pet foods have corn, wheat, soy, or barley as prominent ingredients? These are all natural products for herbivores (feeding chiefly on grass or other plants i.e. cattle, horses, buffalo, goats, deer).

Think about it…how many carnivores (dog, cat, wolf, lion, tiger) have you observed in nature (the wild, or on the “Discovery” channel) feasting on these products? They are not “natural” for dogs and cats. Fresh raw meat pet diets are! Simply put, you will never see a dog or cat jumping up and down with excitement in a corn patch, but, what you will see is a dog or cat chasing after some prey with a beating heart…real meat!

Raw Food Health & Handling

Does the Tefco raw diet reduce/prevent tartar on teeth – why?

Raw meat pet diets do not produce tartar on teeth for one reason – enzymes. Raw meat left between teeth or along the gum line will self-digest because of the undestroyed natural digestive enzymes. On the other hand, cooked food particles can remain on the gum line, setting up the perfect host for bacteria to proliferate, causing tartar and bad breath. Excessive tartar can cause periodontal disease.

What if my veterinarian says a raw meat diet is unsafe?

Unfortunately, many veterinary schools provide less than adequate education on basic canine and feline nutrition. Few veterinarians know that raw meat diets have been provided these same raw meat diets to zoos, circuses, wildlife parks, and professional dog and cat breeders for many decades.

Ask any customer, and you will discover health benefits from a raw meat diet that far outweigh any risk factors.

What is the proper way to feed the 2-pound rolls? How do I thaw the rolls before feeding?

Defrosting raw meat should always be done slowly in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrapper from the frozen roll, place in a covered container and place in refrigerator. Each day the outer layer of meat will be thawed enough for feeding. Another technique: place 2-pound roll in refrigerator overnight, then cut with large or electric knife into desired daily portions for individual defrosting. Wrap and replace unused cut portions in the freezer immediately.

Why do some animals apparently do fine on commercial dry and canned food, and yet others do so poorly?

Some dogs, especially when they are young, have an amazing ability to digest just about anything that looks like food and do well on it. However, even they have a tendency to degenerate as they grow older, usually at 4-5 years of age.

When the organs of the body, especially the all-important digestive machine, the pancreas, start to age, it is much easier on the animal’s system to be eating a diet with the digestive enzymes still intact and undamaged by heat processing. Raw pet foods provide this.

Numerous people from European countries who feed raw meat diets confirm the health benefits and longevity of large breed dogs, i.e. Great Danes, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, etc. to ages of 15 years or older. This reality is nearly unheard of in our country, except those companion pets on raw meat diets like those produced by Tefco. Wouldn’t you want the same for your favorite furry companion?

Raw Food Nutrition

Aren’t all “complete and balanced” diets equally nutritious?

The words “complete and balanced” on packages of dog or cat food do not speak to their nutritional adequacy or bio-availability of the food. To legally use this phrase, the foods need only meet minimum requirements to keep an average pet alive. Most of us have more than average pets and wish more than to just keep them alive!

Can I mix dry kibble food with a Raw Meat Pet Diet?

This is not recommended for small breeds, but many owners of large breeds and/or multiple dogs reportedly feed this way when budget restraints are an issue. The reason being is that raw meat pet diet ingredients are very rich in all the necessary nutrients, plus fortified with natural vitamins and minerals (because we cannot be absolutely certain the soil that the free-range cattle are grazing on is complete and balanced at all times and on all days).

The quality of the kibble should be considered (be aware that price is not a consistent indicator of quality). Even on a 50/50 ratio of raw, in as little as 1-2 weeks, very positive changes will be apparent in your dog’s appearance, mobility, behavior, and stools (feces are greatly reduced in size and frequency!).

In less than 30 days, it will seem as though you have a different dog–apparent to you AND your neighbors! That’s when you will want to make the final decision…stay on the 50/50 ratio, or go all the way and feed raw 100%.

Kibble will primarily consist of indigestible grains and other ingredients that you are simply causing volumes of fecal matter in the yard. In addition, the meat source that goes into most kibble is “meat and bone meal, chicken meal, lamb meal, fish meal, etc.” These ingredients are NOT fresh or whole real meats. Check labels and use kibbles that are predominately meat based.

I am a vegetarian and have a hard time digesting meat – why would it be best then to feed it raw to my dog or cat?

Human beings, being omnivorous (feeding upon animal and vegetable food), do not have the digestive tools our ancient ancestors had, in order to handle raw meat. Even though we would digest our meat better if eaten raw, we no longer possess the tools to handle the bacteria as well as today’s carnivores do when eating or feeding on raw meat.

The natural nutrients derived from fresh raw meat pet diets (frozen or freeze-dried) are necessary for optimum health. The difference between a grain/vegetable fed and a raw meat fed dog or cat is incredible. Once the condition is seen and compared, there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t prefer feeding raw meat pet diets to their dogs, cats, and ferrets. (The fresh organ meats, meaty bones, and blood from those diets are necessary to achieve peak health.)

Is it harmful to cook the food before feeding it to my dog or cat?

Meat that is cooked above 120 degrees F loses its natural digestive enzymes as well as some of the important fragile amino acids such as Taurine.

The preventative health benefits of an uncooked, balanced, raw meat pet diet can be seen in the testimonials of raw food customers. Meat eaters, from small pet ferrets, through all sizes of domestic dogs and cats, to the Carnivora Magnificent lions and tigers build strong immune defense mechanisms on raw diets, protecting them from infection and affording them the healthiest diet prescribed by Mother Nature – raw meat!

Why a raw meat pet diet?

The answer is very simple – undamaged enzymes and amino acids! A raw meat pet diet contains natural digestive enzymes and a complete amino acid profile (the protein building blocks) totally undamaged in this natural state. Many of the important amino acids and all digestive enzymes are destroyed by temperatures in excess of 110 degrees F.

Most processed and canned pet foods are cooked at ultra-high temperatures in excess of 212 degrees F. Animals consuming these highly processed foods often become nutritionally compromised and manifest dry and itchy skin, dull coats, weight problems, lethargy, and many other not so obvious symptoms.

Enzymes are essential biological catalysts that enhance the quality and quantity of nutrient assimilation. This allows your favorite pet to conserve its own enzyme energy for other important life enriching health benefits such as longevity. Wouldn’t we all like our four-legged companions to live long, healthy and happy lives?

Why is there such a difference in the stools on a Raw Meat Pet Diet?

The high biological value of the protein in raw meat will result in a large reduction in the amount and frequency of stool elimination.

Most commercial pet foods are filled with indigestible ingredients that cause dogs and cats to overeat which create the need to eliminate several times a day.

Animals on raw meat pet diets generally eliminate just once a day or even every other day. In addition, this kind of digestibility greatly reduces stool odor and is a healthy and more natural occurrence, just as in the wild.

Simple test: stools from well-digested foods, when placed in water, “float like a boat.”