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Durham Animal Feeds

The Benefits Of A Raw Diet From Durham Animal Feeds…

We’ve outlined below the benefits of a raw diet, now you might be asking where do I start? Transitioning your dog to a raw diet isn’t an exact science. But there are 2 common methods which people follow…

Cold Turkey

The cold turkey approach is to switch the diet suddenly. We believe that puppies and younger dogs are best suited to the cold turkey approach. This is due to them not having the long term effects of a processed diet. As a result they are likely to adjust must faster than adult dogs.

Gradual Change

Gradually changing involves slowly decreasing the processed food and introducing raw food over a period of 7-14 days. This allows your dog to have a longer period to adjust to the new raw diet. And it can also help to reduce an upset stomach. We believe that older dogs or dogs with sensitive digestive systems are best suited to this approach.

Things to remember..

Irrespective of the approach that you choose, there is always the chance of causing an upset stomach and diarrhoea during the first few days. This occurs as your dog adjusts from a highly processed diet consisting of mainly carbohydrates, to a raw diet consisting of high protein. As a result, it can take time for the gut to to re-stabilise.

If you have any questions on how to approach your transition to a raw diet for your pup, please feel free to email us.

Raw Diet for Puppies…

Weaning puppies should start around 3-4 weeks old. After each meal, the puppy should given access to the mother’s milk to help aid digestion. To wean your puppy onto raw food, we recommend:

Day 1 – 1 meal of chicken and bone. Finely minced with a fork to remove visible bits of bone.

Day 2 – 2 meals of chicken and bone. Finely minced with a fork to remove visible bits of bone.

Day 3 – 3 meals of chicken and bone. Finely minced with a fork to remove visible bits of bone.

Day 4 – 4 meals of chicken and bone. Finely minced with a fork to remove visible bits of bone.

Our chicken mince is a great starting place for weaning puppies.

If you would like further information on our guide for weaning puppies onto a raw diet, please email us.


A natural diet improves your dog’s oral health due to raw food and meaty bones promoting chewing, thereby reducing plaque and bacteria which cause bad breath.


Unnecessary added chemical and anti-oxidants can lead to skin allergies and fur problems, changing to a natural diet can lead to improved skin and a shinier coat, also making them less prone to itching and scratching.


With a raw diet your dog will get the natural nutrients, vitamins and minerals to build a stronger resistance to ill health and disease.


Feeding a raw diet based on natural ingredients rather than chemical substitutes reduces the risk of irritable bowels, producing smaller stools and yes reduced odours!!


With a raw diet you are in more control of the building block ingredients such as glucosamine and other minerals. Therefore reducing the risk of arthritis and other joint issues before they age.

Raw Tails…

Let us know your stories and pictures, of how and why you made the small step to raw feeding and the benefits you noticed, and we will place your story below.

Poppy - Springer Spaniel, full pedigree, Age 5
Millie - Jack Russell, Age 5
Buddy - Jack Russell, Age 1 ½
Jasper - Patterdale x, Age 11

Previously feeding – james wellbeloved dry mixed with chappie tinned

I started looking into a raw diet when I noticed a friend on mine from the world of rescue, was feeding all her dogs raw. I know this person has a wealth of knowledge on dogs and is highly regarded in the dog community.
I started looking into it but to be honest didn’t know where to start, what to give them or how much.

My dogs have done ok on their dry food, its expensive but I had read good things about it – however they would only it if I mixed the wet food in with it and never really seemed to truly enjoy it

I took some advice and guidance from the Durham Animal Feeds team who suggested I start with the ready prepared minced meals – we started with a variety of flavours to see what they liked and didn’t.

The food comes frozen, so I bought a second hand freezer which I keep in the garage. I simply lift out what I need the day before

My dogs prefer the white meat, so they are now eating turkey, chicken and a chicken and tripe mix.

I had read about some people questioning the hygiene levels and the effects of handling raw meat, but it is so easy with the ready prepped dinner – I simply empty the carton into their bowls, rinse the carton straight out and dispose of it. Its common sense really and probably no different to feeding any type of food to animals. I keep a separate fork for their food, clean their bowls out after each meal and make sure I wash my hands.

My dogs all love meal times now – they come running as soon as they hear the click of the lid. I can already see the difference in their body shape and their coats – they are genuinely happy dogs.

The other benefit is the effect is has on what come back out! Previously on the dry diet I was dealing with sloppy messes which were difficult to pick up (I am guessing from the high carb content) and they would go several times a day. Now its twice a day each and its much less – and not sloppy!

I would definitely recommend giving it a go – speak to the team if you aren’t sure what to do – they were so helpful with me and have an extensive knowledge of this type of feeding so can recommend the best way forward for your dogs needs.

Harry – Golden Retriever

Raw saved my dogs life! Harry is normally a happy, bouncy, always on the go Golden Retriever, trained to competition level in Obedience. We have a special connection that goes beyond training or competing. He also teaches humans about the power of love, trust, and empathy.

I was feeding him a good quality kibble, but I couldn’t get enough kibble into him to put and keep weight on him. Then one day he just seemed to give up. His get up and go had got up and gone! He didn’t have the energy to play, let alone perform. Underneath his big fluffy coat he was painfully thin. He was 24kg (ideally 27kg). I was shocked and worried I was losing my special boy. I took him for a blood test which showed borderline anaemia and I was advised to watch and wait…but wait for what? He deserved more.

I decided to take action and see if rest and a change in diet could help…I thought a diet rich in iron would be good so I turned to raw.

The change in him was instantaneous! My special boy bounced back!

One year on I’m thrilled to report that 9 year old Harry is thriving on DAF minces. He is at his ideal weight, feels solid, and is back to his normal, bouncy, happy self…and still winning rosettes. The results of raw speak for themselves. It saved my dogs life…and mine too!


My beautiful girl was found dumped by the roadside, 3.5 years ago. She was emaciated, dehydrated with severe diarrhoea, matted coat, confused, weighed just 15kg and would not have survived much longer!

The Vet that assessed her was not sure she would make it and it was touch and go for a while. Her foster Mum felt she needed the strength of a lion to survive, so named her Elsa. Elsa was diagnosed with EPI about 3 weeks later and was put on a raw food diet with raw pancreas and that was the start of her recovery. She was fed 5 meals a day but rapidly put weight on, gained strength and a lust for life. In about 8 weeks she put on 10kg and hasn’t looked back since. We adopted her about 3 years ago and she still flourishes on raw food (although too much chicken goes straight through her!). Her coat is fantastic and soft, she is a healthy weight and has lots of energy to play. We love her!

Barkley - Bulldog

Thanks to your raw food my bulldog Barkley is now IBS free, tear stain free and more energised than ever! Vet has stopped his IBS medication! The only food he has ever gobbled down!


This is Poppy. Before we switched to raw she was fed kibble, she has been quite a picky eater & so by trying to get her to eat, she managed to gain quite a few pounds.

As a show and racing (for fun) dog it’s always been important to keep my dog in the best condition, last year he developed a serious intolerance to all commercial dry foods and was turning himself inside out with the itching. Since swapping him to raw food in January he has improved no end, he will remain on raw food for the rest of his life as any trials with commercial dry foods or wet foods results in a quick reaction to them and it only settles once back on raw.