Frequently Asked Questions
Many people worry about contamination and/or bacteria with a raw diet. The truth is, there is very little risk if the food is properly processed and then handled safely just as you would with any meat product. At Blue Mountain Raw Ltd., we either immediately freeze or appropriately chill and then freeze within 24 hours. All machinery used at our dog food kitchen is regularly washed and disinfected.
We do our best to ensure that all our food products are as fresh and free of bacteria as possible. Raw food must be maintained at –20 degrees Celsius prior to use, keep safely stored away from human food and wash your hands after touching raw meat products.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects that come in contact with raw pet food. (Public Health stresses the difference between those two verbs: Cleaning means only removing germs from surfaces and objects; disinfecting means actually killing them.) Public Health recommends first washing with hot, soapy water, then following with a disinfectant, such as one tablespoon of bleach dissolved in one quart of water. Running utensils and cutting boards through the dishwasher after use can also disinfect them.
Keep frozen until use, thaw in the fridge or microwave, not the sink or counter.
Keep raw meats separate from other foods, carefully handle it and avoid rinsing as you can splash the raw juices onto other foods and surfaces.
Wash working surfaces, utensils, hands and any other items that are in contact with raw meat, fish and poultry.
Refrigerate leftovers immediately in a sealed container or discard.
Note: Bacteria will grow best at temperatures of 70° to 100°F, they will grow more slowly at temperatures above or below 70-100 degrees F. Your refrigerator should be between 34° and 40°F, most bacteria grows very slowly, if at all, in this range.
Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling raw pet food, and after touching surfaces or objects that have come in contact with the raw food. Countertops, the inside of refrigerators and microwaves, kitchen utensils, feeding bowls and cutting boards are all potential sources of bacteria.
According to the veterinarian and natural pet-care advocate Dr Karen Becker of Bourbonnais, Illinois, “There are endless sources of Salmonella present in the environment, but most do not cause pathogenic contamination,” meaning the source can test positive but never cause illness. Pools of standing water, unwashed vegetables, buildings that contain rodent populations, open fields where birds fly overhead, the areas around bird feeders and birdhouses, and, yes, bags of commercially produced dry kibble – all are potential sources of contamination.
In the end, like most things in life, managing your dog’s exposure to Salmonella – dietary or otherwise – isn’t black and white. If you want the benefits of a raw-food diet, then you need to accept a degree of risk, to both your dog and yourself, in terms of exposure to pathogens like Salmonella.
That said, other commercially prepared foods are not without risk, either – and Salmonella is only one of them. You will have to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that’s right for you and your dog.
We believe as long at the food is sealed properly it will maintain its nutritional value for months, after 30 days you may see freezer burn but it does not affect the consistency of the food.
In a fridge for no more than 3-4 days and keep in a sealed container.
All the ingredients come from Ontario & Quebec facilities inspected by federal or provincial agents.
We use as much local product as we can find. In an effort to reduce waste, we encourage all our customers to bring their own reusable containers when purchasing our food.
By its very nature, all raw dog food is a much more environmentally friendly product than highly processed pet foods. Processing pet food requires considerable energy input with cooking, drying and packaging. Raw dog food avoids all this processing and carries the maximum nutritional value straight to your dog.
Prepartion & Serving
Please check out our Getting Started Guide for details.
Most of our customers move a portion of the frozen feed into a sealed container and put it in the refrigerator in the evening. It is ready for feeding the next day. As the feed thaws, it usually turns into a thick stew.
A few customers feed the frozen portions to their dogs. You can add warm water if the food is not at room temperature.
**Please Note – take extra care to keep the dog food away from human food and thoroughly wash your hands after touching it**
No, it is not recommended to cook raw dog food as the bone s soft when raw but will become brittle and can splinter when cooked
We believe that our mix is a complete diet, however, many customers report adding more to it for example vegetables or fruit and supplements.
Twice a day: The daily portion should be split between morning and night.
For seniors with disease: Start by dividing the total daily meal requirement into 3 or 4 portions. Feed these over the course of the day (morning, noon, night) for at least 3 to 4 days. Then divide the quantity into 2 meals for the next 3 to 4 days, and then to 1 meal if so desired.
You can fast your pup depending on age and begin cold turkey after 12 hours of fasting as this will increase appetite and decrease the likelihood of rejection the food. You can also mix the raw slowly over the course of a week adding more each day to their meals until it is fully raw. We are always here to help if you need suggestions or advice so please reach out!
If you are transitioning from dry food, it is common to see significant weight loss in the first week, which is primarily water weight.
After this, it is important that they lose no more than 1 – 2% of their body weight per week. It is recommended that you work with your veterinarian to assist in monitoring your dog during weight loss.
Signs they could be allergic to the Raw Meat:
Dry, flaky skin
Poor skin conditions
Poor hair coat
Chronic ear infections
Obsessive licking/chewing of feet
Inflamed, red paw pads
If your pet’s system reacts to the raw food, it is because his body is protecting itself from something it thinks will harm it. While the raw food diet is actually harmless, the body does not recognize it as such. The body finds it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. Your dog’s body produces an immune response to the ingredients found in the raw food mix.
This allergic response may develop quickly or may develop over a period of years, and sometimes after an infection involving the stomach or intestines.
Observe your dog as some of these symptoms happen when switching to a Raw diet as part of the detoxification if they persist please consult your Vet.
Detoxification can happen in many different ways and the toxins can leave through many different parts of the body. Usually, pets will detoxify through the part of their body that is the weakest. As Dr Pitcairn, D.V.M.; Ph.D., author of “Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” states on page 64 of his book, when your pet finally eats really fresh, nutritious foods with minimal pollutants, strange things will happen. The body responds!
Pets just like people can experience *NUTRITIONAL DETOXIFICATION* when they begin eating a balanced raw diet. Detoxification happens when nutrients going into the body are of vastly superior quality to what was previously being fed. The body is literally throwing out the built-up poisons and toxins.
Don’t worry, all is well, the body is curing or healing itself. Sometimes there can also be levels of detoxification depending on the overall state of your pet’s health. If so, when they begin on the raw diet you may notice a few signs and then none. A few weeks or months later you may see other signs or symptoms. Learn to really “look” at and analyze your pet, some signs can be subtle. We suggest keeping a journal or diary.
Signs of Detoxification:
Runny and weepy eyes
An excess waxy build-up in the ears
Loose or mucous stools
Sausage like casing on the stools
Should your pet have trouble coping with the natural detoxification process, you can aid them by supplementing some Acidophilus, or Aloe Vera for the short duration of the detox to aid in digestion please consult your vet.
You should always pay close attention to your pet’s health and weight and adjust their food accordingly!
The standard calculation is based on the dog being at an ideal weight.
If your pet is active, you may need to feed it a little extra.
On the contrary if your pet is inactive you may want to feed it a little less.
If your pet does not finish their meal in one sitting, then perhaps you can split their food into two or three servings.
Approximately the same amount as adult dogs but adjust slightly if your dog is over or underweight and their activity level.
LESS ACTIVE, overweight adult/senior dogs should eat 1.5% of their current weight in pounds per day.
ACTIVE, underweight adult/ senior dogs should eat 3% of their current weight in pounds per day.
Raw food will not cure an already established disease.
What it should do though, is offer some relief and support the general health of the pet. When switching older dogs, it should be done with care and caution so as to not exacerbate any underlying issues.
Adding a pre-biotic to the current meal prior to conversion can help.
Do not mix the raw and dry kibble food, this can cause imbalances and a poor outcome in the process. Preferably no biscuits or cookies should be used at this time either.
Start by dividing the total daily meal requirement into 3 or 4 portions. Feed these over the course of the day (morning, noon, night) for at least 3 to 4 days. Then divide the quantity into 2 meals for the next 3 to 4 days, and then to 1 meal if so desired.
Please consult your veterinarian for pregnant or nursing dogs.