Frequently Asked Questions for
Custom Meal Plans
Can I feed once a day?
You can if it fits your schedule. However, feeding twice a day is recommended to avoid “hunger pukes". Hunger pukes are clear/yellow bile from an empty stomach that some dogs can have. If your dog or cat does experience "hunger pukes", or clear/yellow bile, feed their meals closer to when they go to sleep for the night. If it suits your life and does better, feeding once (or even 3 times) a day is fine. That is up to you.
When can I start introducing new meats?
Once the transition phase is over you can introduce new meats and organs such as the ones listed in the meal plan.
Does the meal have to be split exactly in half when feeding two meals a day?
No, you can feed any amount of the raw meal in the morning and the rest at night. The only part that matters is that your dog is being fed their entire raw meal for that day.
Where can I find quail eggs?
Etsy sells quail eggs online. High-end grocery stores, Mexican grocery stores, Whole Foods, and Primitive Choice online usually sell quail eggs.
How much does raw food cost per month?
See my blog post here for the average cost of raw feeding and tips on how to reduce the cost.
Should I pour the raw goat milk over the food or freeze it?
You can feed the goat milk both ways, thawed or frozen.
Are the specific supplements recommended in the meal plan required or can I get a different brand?
The supplement brands suggested are some of the best, However, if you aren't able to get those brands, make sure the supplement ingredients are organic and sourced well when purchasing other brands. The vitamin and mineral supplements need to have the same serving amounts on the label. For example, the "IU", "mcg", or "gram" needs to be the same as the brands I recommend in the Amazon link.
Can I freeze the vegetables/fruit?
Yes, I recommend freezing these into silicone molds (found through the Amazon link). It's easier to prep and wash rather than use an ice cube tray, but that works fine too.
How do I measure the Vitamins and Minerals listed?
A gram scale will be needed (found in the Amazon link). For small measurements, crush up the dry capsules and measure them on a gram scale. All dry ingredients can be placed in small Ziploc bags or a glass container so it's quick and easy to feed right before a meal. A pill cutter is also listed in the Amazon link for easier measurements.
Can I convert these measurements?
Yes, Google has an easy converter for grams to pounds and ounces.
What do I do if the measurement says 0.08, 0.15, 0.25, 0.50 for a capsule?
If the measurement for Vitamin E or D, for example, says 0.25 capsule, that is 1/4 of the capsule. You can spread 1 capsule over a 4 day period. Meaning you only have to feed 1 capsule during 4 days. If it says 0.5 capsule, that is 1/2. So you can feed 1 capsule over 2 days.
0.15 capsule x 7 days a week = 1.05 or 1 gel capsule a week.
Only focus on the left-hand side of the recipe page where it says "Amount" and "Unit" when looking at supplement measurements, not the right-hand side where it shows gams and kcals.
Manganese and magnesium
Examples of this measurement are: 0.06 capsule= half of 0.13 = half of 0.25 (or 1/4 capsule). Take 1 capsule, cut it into 4 pieces. Take 1 of those 4 pieces (1/4) and cut the small piece in two. That equals 0.06 capsule. This is "a pinch". This is generally only used for small dogs. Use the pill cutter found in the Amazon link to help cut pills accurately.
Liquid Vitamin D or E
Liquid vitamin D and E is in drop from, like a teardrop, not the entire dropper.
Liquid vitamin D or E for small dogs can be measured as 0.50 drop or 0.25 drop.
0.50 drop = 1/2. This means splitting the drop between two days. Give one drop once a day in a meal and skip the next day.
0.25 drop = 1/4. Give one drop after every four days.
Navigating the Meal Plan Documents:
What does "beef, variety of meats and by-products, liver, raw" mean?
This reads as "raw beef liver". The same can be said for all other ingredients such as beef heart and so on. The USDA database has these products listed as "by-products". This doesn't mean you can switch around "variety of meats and by-products".
What is the first page of the meal plan with the graphs?
This page, along with the second page, lists the nutrient breakdown. This can be provided to your veterinarian if need be or used for people that just want to know the nutrient breakdown in more depth.
Puppy Meal Plans:
The puppy meal plans are updated every few months until 1 year or 15 months of age. Puppy Meal Plans transition into the adult plan, so there isn't a need to buy an adult plan later. Meal plans and other updates take 2 weeks (or more unless notified) for updates. Continue to feed the same recipe until you receive updated meal plan recipes.
Cooked Meal Plans:
The transition period directions from kibble to cooked are for cooked are the same for "raw" food on the second page of each meal plan. The difference is you will cook the food before feeding it. The way you cook the food will be next to the name description on the recipe page. Braised, simmered, and boiled are a few different ways of cooking that you'll see.
Braising: Add water halfway up the meat you're braising and bring to a boil on the stovetop, then immediately lower to a simmer. Cook until brown, drain, and let cool.
Boil: Add water to a pot, let the water boil, add ingredients (such as quinoa), and let cook until quinoa slightly falls apart, over-cooking it.
Can I use a different supplement other than the ones you recommended in the links?
See the above question and response. The supplements have specific dosages on the bottles, so you will need to find brands that have the same dose as the ones I recommend.
What are the vegetables for?
I use vegetables in the meal plans to meet the 10-15% carbohydrate requirements (for energy) as laid out by NRC (National Research Council) guidelines. Vegetables also provide fiber for digestion and some other nutrient needs such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, etc.
My dog has an issue eating ______ supplements. What can I do?
You can thaw any of the supplements and blend them into the rest of the meal to mask the taste/smell/texture.
Can I replace this organ or meat with another one?
No. I recommend trying different methods to get your dog to eat the organ (freezing into cubes, cutting it up into small pieces, mixing it with other ingredients in the plan, etc.) if your dog is "picky" with eating certain foods. (See below)
My dog doesn't like to eat organs. What should I do?
Blend the organs in a blender and mix in a small amount of Apple Cider Vinegar and a small number of blueberries. You only want to put a small amount of both blueberries and ACV to mask the taste, smell, and texture. You don't want these to overpower the amount of organs that need to be fed. Once blended, place into silicone molds and freeze. Feed these organs cubes frozen.
Can I replace the Bonnie and Clyde fish oil with different fish oil?
I recommend Bonnie and Clyde’s fish oil because it contains vitamin E, unlike other oils, which helps preserve the oil. The Vitamin E in the Bonnie and Clyde fish oil is not meant to replace the Vitamin E in your dog's meals.
My dog has an issue eating fish, what can I replace this with?
If your dog has an issue with fish at all, start with smaller fish such as smelt. If your dog still has an issue with any type of fish, you can replace it with other meats and supplement krill oil into the diet. Your dog needs omega-3’s and the best way for them to obtain this is by eating whole fish. Krill oil, or Bonnie and Clyde’s fish oil, is the second-best option for including omega-3’s into their diet. Once they are used to their raw diet, you can later try reintroducing raw fish.
My pet refuses to eat their entire meal. What should I do?
This can happen if a dog was free-fed (food was left out all day in their bowl) from kibble and is now transitioning to raw. Some dogs and cats will fast themselves, they are picky due to being free-fed, or because of a texture and smell. Regardless, take their food away once they walk away from it. Place it in the fridge or freezer and feed it later with the next meal or next day.
My pet is having digestive upset (vomiting, diarrhea), what should I do?
Stop feeding your pet's meals for 24 hours and only feed them with the Primal or Answer's brand of raw goat milk. This will provide your pet with probiotics and give their digestive tract a "break". Think about it like this, would you continue eating if you had digestive upset? No, you would probably keep having digestive issues if you did. Therefore don't feel bad for withholding food for 24 hours.
My dog is puking up clear/yellow bile, what should I do?
This is often caused by an empty stomach, also known as "hunger pukes". This tends to happen in the morning. To resolve this issue, feed their meals closer to their bedtime and feed 2-3 times a day.
My dog refuses to eat this certain bone with the rest of his meal. What can I do?
Some dogs and cats won’t eat a certain bone in the beginning stages of raw feeding because it’s so new to them. I recommend grinding the bone up. This can be done by thawing the bone and cutting it into smaller pieces or a "mash" with a cleaver (knife). You can also buy a grinder online or in stores for this purpose. Another option would be to hold the bone while your dog chews it. If this doesn't help, eliminate that bone from their diet for now and feed the other bones listed. Once your dog is used to the other bones and their raw meals, reintroduce the bone they were picky with.