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ReelRaw in DuJour Magazine's Holiday 2015 Pet Gift Guide

From Restoration Hardware dog bowls to Ralph Lauren sweaters, ReelRaw's meal plan made the cut for must-have gifts for pets this year. Check out the full slideshow here

November 20, 2015 by Amy Zalneraitis


November 10, 2015 by Amy Zalneraitis

What Should I Feed My Great Dane Puppy?

 This is a great question and a very important one. We do not want our Great Dane pups to grow too fast, and we need to make sure they do not get too much calcium or protein, in order to protect their joints, bones, and structure. There is a great amount of misinformation that is out there about feeding a Great Dane pup raw.

The main myth is that the raw diet is too high in protein. This simply is just flat out false. The raw diet is approximately 17%-23% protein. The reason is that raw meat, bones and organ meat are mainly composed of moisture-approximately 67% give or take. If you want to see the proof, here is the link http://www.nal.usda.g.... From there type in "raw chicken breast" or "raw beef sirloin" and it will take you to the Nutritional Analysis for that item. Make sure you type RAW or you will not get the correct results.

If you removed all moisture from raw, then yes it would be high in protein. And all lab analyses require moisture to be removed, when they test the food, which would explain why this myth spread in the first place.

It is now proven that a wolf and a dog are considered the same species: Armed with that knowledge it makes sense that a Great Dane is no different. Guess what? Raw fed pups do not have unnatural growth spurts that often happens with puppy chow. Puppy chow has approximately 30% protein or higher-too much for a growing Great Dane pup. Grain-free kibble can have as much as 50%. With a raw diet, puppies grow at a steady, healthy, and natural pace.

I know 100's of people who have started their Great Dane pups off on raw. When the question about waiting 1 year is brought up, the reply is always, "Why wait 1 year to feed them a species appropriate diet?" They DO NOT grow too fast, they DO NOT have joint issues from eating a diet that is balanced perfectly in phosphorous/calcium and it is not high in protein.

I know we all want the best for our growing Great Dane puppies, and it is important that the raw diet, if fed, is researched and done correctly. For instance, it would not be natural for a dog to eat mainly bone, or just chicken backs. So, as with everything, this has to be fed correctly, as close to Nature's Model as possible, to achieve remarkable results.

I know this is a heated topic "raw feeding Great Dane pups", but the proof is out there and available for anyone who wants to understand the truth about this issue. I used to also think the raw diet was high in protein, but once I researched and gained knowledge, it was an amazing discovery. I can definitely say that I recommend starting your new large breed puppy on a raw diet. 

June 25, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

FEED FAT! A Guide to Raw Feeding and Fat


Feed meals of good quality raw fat-this will get that coat to shine and that energy up. Feed to bowel tolerance, but I cannot stress enough-do NOT trim the fat. If you do, save it. Good quality animal fat is the key to having a balanced diet. As humans, we are inclined to think "trim the fat", but in the long run you will be hurting your dog or cat. Remember the only 2 building blocks a dog has are protein and fat-connective tissue, skin, etc. Think of fat like vegetables (to humans).

Personal experience-Ikura, raw fed since 12 weeks, will often fast herself and high energy days we will lay out turkey necks, beef liver, beef patty mix, and beef fat (from the heart). She will sniff everything and go right for the beef heart fat. She will gorge eat this-no side effects, no gas, no runny stools. She knows what her body needs.

We just rescued Shadow, underweight for a Dane-always hungry-109 lb male. We have slowly been feeding him more each day. Let me stress, he is underweight. He ate turkey necks the first night we had him. The next night, beef mix. His gas was off the hook the first night. Gas mask style. Danes have big big gas. So we got it right.

First night 3 lbs of food. We have slowly been increasing. Feeding him almost like a puppy to build him back up. His edge has been taken off. He has a full belly for once. And, oh yeah, he craved/needed/ate, the fat. No side effects, just a happy lively dog. Now, too much bone brought on the gas, but the fat really helped balance him out.

It is such a beautiful thing to actually make that switch and realize your dog is a carnivore in every sense of the word.


May 23, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

ReelRaw Customer Spotlight:

I’ve always felt that raw feeders, as a group, are an extraordinary group of pet parents. Their love and devotion to their pets are parallel to none.

While most people consider themselves to be dog lovers (and truthfully are) they make little effort to understand their canine counterparts or their basic “primal” needs. Raw feeders on the other hand, understand pet ownership. It’s much more than simply living with a furry creature that brings you joy.

Pet owners have a responsibility to provide their dogs with the best care they can afford. This means taking care to ensure their dogs are the healthiest version of themselves and understanding them for the animals (or species) they are. Too many people push human ideologies and characteristics on their dogs and wonder why their health declines or why they have behavioral issues.

My goal is to change that. I created with the vision of advocating a primal approach for raising dogs in the modern world – an approach where nature is the guide.

One of the goals of Primal Pooch is to educate the average dog owner on why they should be feeding a raw diet and more importantly, give instruction on how to do so. You’ll find comprehensive raw feeding information, articles, and insightful blog posts in the section on a raw diet for dogs.

Although, commercial pet food is a major culprit for all the chronically sick pets today, it’s not the only factor. Primal Pooch brings pet parents a holistic perspective on health and aspires to end pet obesity and sedentary lifestyles among pets. It’s an outlet for information and education in the ways dog owners can get active with their dogs from fun activities to recognized dog sports and competition.

There’s going to be great things to come from Primal Pooch in the near future including eBooks, videos, and the option for other contributors to the blog. My vision is for Primal Pooch to be a community and network of people who take great care in leading healthy lives with their pets. It’s a community of dog lovers, health conscious, physically active, and other like-minded individuals who support a holistic, natural, and primal approach for raising dogs in the modern world.

If you wish to learn more, I invite you to take a look around Primal Pooch and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I hope you’ll share your opinions and views on living healthy with your dog!

March 15, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

Step-By-Step Guide: ReelRaw's Pre-Measured Service

If you are reading this then you either have already begun to use ReelRaw's Pre-Measured service or you are just curious about how it all works. This short post should be helpful to both parties.

After you give us your pet's ideal, adult weight and receive your first shipment of food, you may not be sure exactly how to feed the food, in what order, and if you have to weigh anything out. Here is a step-by-step article addressing just that.

With the pre-measured plan, we will plan, portion, package, and deliver. All you have to do is thaw and feed!
The food will be packaged with each pet's initials along with a number, representing the day, so you know the order to feed.
The first week of food will just be raw meaty bones (RMBs) either whole or ground, depending on your preference. 

We package the RMBs in 4 mil, heavy duty, resealable packages. Each package will have 1 day worth of RMBs. For pets who are new to raw, the first week will only be RMBs, so follow the numbers on the packages and feed accordingly. At the beginning of week 2, we will introduce the patties. 1 patty portion plus 1 RMB package will equal 1 full day of food.

We package the patties in heavy-duty, freezer-proof, reusable containers with lids. In each tub there will be the patty portion for the day. If there is a piece of wax paper separating the patties, then that represents another day's patty portion. There will be anywhere from 1-3 days worth of patties per container, depending on the size of the patty portion. The wax paper will be your guide as to how many days of patties are in each container. If you feed the patties with the bone ground into the food, then each patty equals 1 full day of food. 

Note: If your pet's portions are small enough, the patties and RMBs will be packaged together in the containers and will not be in the resealable bags.

The food stays fresh thawed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, so rotate from the freezer to the refrigerator as needed. To thaw the food, you can either thaw it on the counter, in cold water, or in the refrigerator. It takes the longest to thaw it in the refrigerator, so find out what works best for you. Never thaw in the microwave.

We introduce proteins at the right pace to make sure there are no allergies, to keep your pet from having diarrhea, and to make it easy for you to feed.

Since the first week of food is just poultry backs/necks, one package will represent 1 day of food. If you like to feed 2 times per day then just take out half in the a.m. and feed the rest in the p.m. If you have a puppy, then separate the feedings into smaller meals throughout the day. The total amount of food will be weighed out for the day, so there is absolutely no weighing or measuring necessary.

As the diet progresses, we slowly introduce more variety, so we can monitor your cat or dog along the way. We can find out what works best for you and your pet, since everyone, even furry-ones are unique, and have their own special needs and preferences.

Once your pet is transitioned to raw the containers and packages will no longer be numbered. That means you can feed in any order.

March 12, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

How to introduce a puppy to raw

There is nothing better than starting your puppy off on the right paw and that includes feeding the best and healthiest diet possible -- a raw diet. A puppy fed raw will know how to crunch and tear apart raw bones right off the bat. Their jaw strength isn't quite the capacity of adults, but they have sharp teeth and instinct going for them.

At first, you may need to hold the bone or meat out for them so they can really get into it. Soon enough they will be using their own paws to hold the bone as they pull off the meaty meat. My puppy is such an excellent raw eater. When I watch her it reminds me of a wild wolf tearing apart her prey. She even makes the same facial expression as she crunches down on the raw meat and bone.

Chicken bones will be the easiest for puppies to eat at first, since they are so pliable, flexible, and soft. My 13 week old puppy can also eat duck raw meaty bones with no problems at all. Make sure to keep bones out for teething, such as beef kneecaps, beef ribs, or other beef bones. My puppy does not even think to chew on the furniture or my shoes when she has raw bones to help her with teething.

So how many times do you feed per day and how much? Since puppies have small bellies and fast metabolisms, they need to eat more, smaller meals per day. 4-6 meals per day may suffice. A good place to start is to feed them 2-3% of their expected, ADULT body weight broken up into small meals. But, puppies are also excellent self-regulators. If you let them eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full they will carry on this self-regulatory trait into adulthood. It is another benefit of raw feeding. Kibble has the opposite effect. It prohibits puppies and dogs from knowing when they are full, so some dogs eat kibble like gold fish eat and mindlessly. To us it is like eating french fries or sugary treats.

Finally, make sure to introduce variety early on. You will have a puppy who will not be a picky eater as an adult. Even if your pup turns down food one time, reintroduce it again. One try is never enough for a puppy. Also, the variety will create a well-balanced diet for your furry baby.

March 01, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

Why do dogs eat poop?

 You may have noticed that if your dog used to eat poop, he may have ceased that less than desirable habit when he switched to raw.

But why?

Raw fed dogs do not eat raw fed poop.

The reason is because kibble is loaded with flavor enhancers to get dogs to eat it. They would not touch it if it was not disguised with enticing aromas that trick dogs into thinking it is real food. Those artificial flavors are sprayed on or cooked in and are not digested by the dog, so they come out the same way they went in.

Long story short -- dogs cannot tell the difference between kibble and poop! It still has the flavor enhancements that make it smell like "food" so dogs eat it like it is food.

Stop feeding kibble in your household and your dog will stop eating his own poop and the poop of other raw fed pets.

It's that easy.

February 22, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis

ReelRaw is relocating!

We are packing up the poochies and moving to Alfred, Maine!
January 25, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis