FAQ

How does the food arrive when shipped?
Can I return the cooler for a credit?
How much does shipping cost?
How many days notice do I need to give for new orders?
How does the food arrive when picked up locally?
Can I thaw and refreeze the food?
How many days does the food stay fresh after it is thawed?
How is the food packaged?
Do I have to be home at the time of delivery?
Is ReelRaw for cats too?
Do I need to add supplements?
How do I get started?
Can I feed kibble and reelraw?
Is my dog going through detoxification?
What and how much should I feed my dog?
What is a recreational bone? What is a RMB?
Are bones dangerous for my dog? Do chicken bones splinter?
Is salmonella dangerous to my dog?
Is it normal that my dog is drinking less water?
Is it ok to feed grains?
Will my dog choke from eating too fast?
Should RMBs be fed whole or ground up?
Aside from natural calcium, what other nutrients do RMBs provide?
What about supplements, probiotics, and digestive enzymes?
I've noticed my dog is pooping less and it's white. Is this normal?
Why does my dog have diarrhea?
Why is my dog's stool covered in mucous at times? Should I be concerned?
Why is my dog vomiting and what can I do?
When thawing, is there a point where the food is considered dangerous?
Can I use my microwave for thawing RMBs?
How can a raw diet reduce the chances of Bloat and Torsion?
Will my dog become "blood thirsty" from eating raw meat?
Why does reelraw contain no vegetables?

 

 

How does the food arrive when shipped?

The food is shipped frozen in an insulated cooler with dry ice and ice packs. Even if the food arrives partially thawed or refrigerator temperature, it is perfectly safe to refreeze and does not affect the quality or safety of the product.

 

Can I return the cooler for a credit?

No, we do not accept coolers back for credit as too many are returned damaged and unusable. But we do recommend you recycle or reuse them.

 

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping is free for orders of 30 lbs or more in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT. If you do not live one of those states, shipping is free for orders in 50 lb increments. Please visit our shipping info page for more detailed information.

 

How many days notice do I need to give for new orders?

Please provide us with 10-14 days notice for all new orders. Depending on product availability it may take longer to fulfill orders.

 

How does the food arrive when picked up locally?

Food that is picked up (and not shipped) may be fresh or frozen. We make all of the food to order. You can either bring a cooler or the driver will have the food on ice, in a box. You can return the box next time, so you do not start collecting an excess of boxes.

 

Can I thaw and refreeze the food?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to thaw and refreeze the food and does not affect the quality of the product.

 

How many days does the food stay fresh after it is thawed?

Our food stays fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, after it is thawed.
 

 

How is the food packaged?

The raw meaty bones (RMBs), recreational bones, patties, and chunked meat are packaged in heavy duty, resealable pouches. For pre-measured clients, those who get "bones on the side" will get a pouch for each day that contains both the patty and the RMB portion for the day. For those who get "bone-in" patties, each pouch will consist of one patty for that day. Bulk ground mixes and other bulk orders are packaged in plastic bags and sealed closed. Cases are sold as the case, and are frozen together as one block. For example, a 40 lb case of chicken necks is 40 lbs of chicken necks, frozen together and in a case.
 

 

Do I have to be home at the time of delivery?

No. Even if you are home, the driver will just drop off the food and you will receive an email after delivery. Since there are so many deliveries to fulfill in the allotted time frame, this system works the best for us.
 

 

Is ReelRaw for cats too?

Yes. All of our ReelRaw dog items are perfect for cats too! Cats, though, notoriously do not like green tripe. Some cat favorites: rabbit, lamb, buffalo, quail, and duck.
 

 

Do I need to add supplements?

The only supplement that ReelRaw recommends for healthy pets is Omega 3. The one that we recommend is Country Life Super Omegas because it has the correct proportion of DHAs and EPAs, is human-grade, soy-free, and is a great price. If you prefer a liquid form, we recommend Grizzly Salmon Oil. 
 

 

How do I get started?

Dogs do better on a cold-turkey switch rather than half kibble and half ReelRaw. We want to keep things as simple as possible for you and your dog. For the first week, only introduce one protein. For example, only feed raw chicken backs or chicken necks. This will let your pet's body get used to the new foods before you add more variety to his diet. Some dogs might not know what to do with the bones at first, but they will get the hang of it. Try holding the bones for them and eventually they will figure it out. Remember: this is what their jaws are designed to do.

By the second week, introduce an additional protein. Examples of proteins are beef, turkey, pork, etc. By the third week, you can introduce a different type of bone (pork riblets, pork necks, duck necks, etc.), or you can choose to stay with chicken and turkey.

We recommend ordering the simpler patties in the beginning. The simpler patties will consist of only one type of meaty meat, from one animal source. When you are sure there are no sensitivities, you can move to the patties with more variety. Check out our Signature Patties to help you decide. In the beginning, you will want to have patience when introducing new proteins. Remember: by introducing new food items slowly you will be able to tell which items cause what reaction in your dog. It protects you from having to perform an elimination diet down the road. 
 

 

Can I feed kibble AND ReelRaw?

Raw dog food is digested differently than kibble. Basically, raw meat is easy to digest and kibble is not. Therefore, if you feed them at the same time, you are increasing the amount of time the food is in the body, thus increasing the possibility of illness from microbes. The bottom line is this: make the switch cold turkey. And, remember, you are not switching from kibble to kibble. You are replacing "junk food" with real food.
 

 

Is my dog going through detoxification?

 

Before you assume it is detox, please make sure you are not feeding enhanced meat (sodium/broth injected), and that you are not feeding too much variety too soon. Also, if you overfeed or feed too much meaty meat and not enough bone or vice versa, your dog will exhibit similar signs to that of a dog going through detoxification. If you are not doing any of those things, then you can look at detox as a cause. 

When switching a dog over from kibble or canned food to ReelRaw, the dog's body may begin the process of expelling toxins and impurities as it adjusts to the consumption of proper nutrients. This process is called detoxification or simply "detox." Depending on factors such as age, how long they have been fed commercial dog food, or immune system health, detox may last a couple days, one week, one month, several months, or in some cases, not even at all. The most common symptoms of detox include vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, and itchy skin. Your dog may seem worse before he gets better; that is normal. This is because he is getting rid of all the built-up impurities in his system. Remember to be persistant and know you are going through the transition, which will be the hardest part. Make sure you supply fresh water at all times and, of course, lots of love.
 

 

What and how much should I feed my dog?

 

We adhere to feeding 2-4% of the dog's ideal, adult body weight. Feeding amounts can vary depending on your dog's physiology and daily activity levels, but the general rule of thumb is to start with 2% of your dog's ideal body weight and adjust as necessary depending on weight gain or loss. Again, use your dog's ideal or target weight if your dog is over or underweight. Food can be fed in one meal once a day or split into two meals twice a day.

*NOTE: Miniature and tiny breeds, as well as most cats, need to start at a higher percentage than medium-large breeds. I never recommend feeding less than 4 oz/day.

Puppies may need as much as 10% and pregnant and lactating mothers also need an increase throughout gestation and lactation. Here is a list of how much to feed puppies and pregnant mothers:

Puppies: 2-4 months: 10%; 4-7 months: 6%; 7-12 months: 4%; 12+months: 2%
Pregnant Mothers: Gestation 0-5 weeks: 2%; Gestation 5 weeks-delivery: 3%
Lactation 1-4 weeks: 3%; Lactation 4+weeks: 6%

That is the total amount of food, including RMBs (raw meaty bones), meaty meat (muscle meat, connective tissue, skin, fat), and organ meat. If you have a healthy adult dog, feed him 2% of his body weight. E.g., if your dog is 100 lbs, feed him 2 lbs per day.

Here is the the breakdown of what to feed. It is simple. ReelRaw recommends 30% RMBs and 60% meaty meat with 10% organ meat. Since the RMBs have muscle meat attached, you are actually going to feed about 10-15% bone, 10% organ meat, and 80-85% muscle meat. If it still sounds too complicated, check out our Feeding Calculator.

Organ meat can either be fed as a small amount daily or 2-3 times per week. We also offer rolls with organ meat already included or a complete organ meat blend. Green tripe is an excellent way to get Omega 3, as are other grass-fed meats, such as buffalo and venison. Whole raw eggs are also a good addition that you can feed daily.

There are different versions of the raw diet. At ReelRaw, this is the version that works best for our dogs, and is the one we believe in most strongly. Everything can be adjusted depending on the specific needs of your dog. Over time, all of this will become second nature to you.
 

 

What is a recreational bone? What is a RMB?

 

RMBs (raw meaty bones) are soft and pliable--soft enough for your dog to chew through and eat whole  as one meal, or part of a meal. Some examples of RMBs are chicken backs, necks, legs, turkey necks, pork riblets, turkey tails, duck legs, chicken quarters, and lamb breast. The breed of the dog and the jaw strength will determine which bone is pliable enough to completely eat. A beef neck may be considered a RMB to one breed, but a recreational bone to another.

Recreational bones are larger bones that the dog will chew on for an extended period of time, but will not eat the whole bone. Some examples are beef marrow bones, knuckle bones, beef rib bones, etc. These bones are categorized as recreational, because they offer exceptional teeth cleaning, they supply mental stimulation, and provide a great jaw exercise. They are not meant to be consumed, as the bone is too hard to actually eat, and would not be eaten in the wild.

Some bones are both; they clean teeth and supply essential calcium-to-phosphorous ratio (bone-to-meat ratio). For instance, a nice and meaty beef neck takes some time for a large breed dog to work through, but he eventually will, while also receiving the RMB benefits.
 

 

Are bones dangerous for my dog? Do chicken bones splinter?

 

Cooked bones are dangerous for your dog and they splinter. They can get lodged in a dog's throat and cause them to choke. Raw bones are pliable, easy for dogs to break down with their teeth, and the calcium content is absolutely integral to a dog's health. Plus, chewing bones keeps the teeth clean. You will not need to pay to have your dog's teeth cleaned anymore. And forget about the idea of brushing your dog's teeth; the bones will do all the work for you.
 

 

Is salmonella dangerous to my dog?

 

The Food and Drug Administration recently released an article informing the public that "salmonella is not harmful to dogs." Salmonella is everywhere, not just in raw meats. The acidity level in the canine stomach is very high, creating a very inhospitable environment for bacteria. Tests of various brands of kibble have shown that many contain salmonella. In reality, if your dog is eating kibble, he is already being exposed to salmonella. It's simple: exercise basic hygiene practices, wash your hands, and keep surfaces clean.
 

 

Is it normal that my dog is drinking less water on the raw diet?

 

Yes, this is to be expected. ReelRaw provides food in its raw, natural state. Raw meat contains moisture and is low in sodium. Because kibble has had the water removed, dogs constantly have to drink water to stay properly hydrated.
 

 

Is it okay to feed grains?

 

Grains are not a natural food for dogs, even though they are the main ingredient in kibble. It is not something they would eat in the wild. Grains are also one of the major causes of allergies in dogs, as well as flatulence (gas). They are full of carbohydrates, which can be easily converted to sugars. Cancer cells feed on sugars and it is believed that by decreasing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer, which is a growing problem among modern dogs.
 

 

Will my dog choke from eating too fast?

 

Many dogs have a tendency to gulp their food, without chewing, and this can be a very scary experience for an owner new to feeding raw bones. The "inhaling" food style of eating results from years of eating kibble. To teach a dog to chew before swallowing, try larger RMBs like chicken backs and large turkey necks. You may even want to feed whole birds. Another option is to hand feed your dog, so they can actually pull the meat off the bone. Remember some dogs will swallow their bones too fast and then regurgitate them. This is completely natural, and they are not choking. It is just their bodies telling them to slow down. 
 

 

Should RMBs be fed whole or ground up?

 

RMBs should be given whole (not ground up or smashed), as crunching and tearing the entire RMB provides several benefits. Crunching and tearing the RMBs offers superior jaw and upper body muscle exercise, as well as exceptional teeth cleaning benefits. Puppies who chew on RMBs satisfy their natural desire to chew (and are less likely to chew on your shoes and furniture!). Unless there is an underlying medical condition, RMBs should be fed whole.
 

 

Aside from natural calcium, what other nutrients do RMBs provide?

 

Raw meaty bones provide nutritious marrow, amino acids, protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, enzymes, antioxidants and a vast array of species appropriate minerals and vitamins all in their natural state. For more information on the vitamins and minerals in ReelRaw, click here.
 

 

What about supplements, probiotics, and digestive enzymes?

 

Why does ReelRaw contain no supplements? We are not against supplements. In fact, we do use Omega 3, glucosamine, and probiotics occasionally. But we believe you can get all the nutrients from the raw source, rather than from supplements. For instance, raw, uncleaned green tripe is better than fish oil or Omega 3. All grass-fed red meats are high in Omega 3. Sometimes it is more convenient to supplement, but you need to be careful not to over-supplement. Some supplements are helpful when taken occasionally, but can actually be detrimental to a healthy dog when taken too often (daily). For example, digestive enzymes can be very helpful when your pet is switching to a new raw diet, but if given continually, they can hinder the body's natural production of enzymes. Another reason is that dietary needs differ for every individual pet. Not every dog needs the same supplements as another.

It is important to note that there are dogs with compromised immune systems or other health issues. These dogs will benefit from the continued use of both probiotics and digestive enzymes. They cannot produce digestive enzymes, thus they would be on antibiotics or other medicine indefinitely. Probiotics and digestive enzymes used continually is beneficial in these cases. But if your pet is generally healthy and is being fed a raw diet rich in natural food nutrients, he's probably getting everything he needs already. Over-supplementation may cause his body to slow down or even halt production of some naturally occurring enzymes.
 

 

I've noticed my dog pooping less and it's white. Is this normal?

 

Yes, this is completely normal for a dog new to the raw food diet. The reason your dog is pooping less is because most of the food he is now ingesting is being digested and properly utilized by the body, resulting in less waste. The RMBs account for it turning white. If you notice your dog straining while pooping that is normal and even healthy. Straining a little bit can help express the anal glands, which would normally be done by your vet, at a price. If your dog's stools are always white and crumbly increase, the amount of meaty meat in his diet. The raw diet should be (80/10/10).
 

 

Why does my dog have diarrhea?

 

Did you introduce too much variety too fast? That will lead to diarrhea. Also, if you are over-feeding, that can result in diarrhea. The diarrhea may be brought on because of the body cleansing out toxins and impurities in the dog's system; a normal part of detoxification. But, the diarrhea could be from too much fat in the diet too soon. In this case, an elimination diet can help you determine the culprit. Go right back to feeding one thing at a time (no supplements or anything else, including treats) and then gradually add things back one at a time and watch for a reaction. As every dog is different, this is the only way you will know for sure what is causing the reaction.

Remember loose stools are NOT diarrhea. Diarrhea=chronic urge to defecate, with explosive stools, lack of energy, and inability to hold it in. Chronic meaning every 1/2 hour or less throughout the day.
Loose stools=loose, watery, sometimes mucous covered stools, that occur in the normal frequency of a bowel movement. i.e. 2-3 times per day vs. 6 plus times/day which is diarrhea.

If you feel detox or a new food item may not be the cause of the diarrhea, do not hesitate to drop off a stool sample to your veterinarian to check for parasites, worms and even unfriendly bacteria.

To help soothe the digestive tract, feed your dog slippery elm bark powder (SEBP).
 

 

Why is my dog's stool covered in mucous at times? Should I be concerned?

 

Believe it or not, mucous covered stools can appear at any time, no matter how long a dog has been on the raw diet, and is generally no reason for concern. When first switching to a raw diet, this may be a sign that the digestive track is ridding the junk out of its system, which is a normal part of detox. It can also mean an inflammation of the intestinal track. If you notice traces of blood, along with the mucous-covered stool, a trip to the vet is encouraged. Again, use your judgment. If your dog appears ill (gums may be white and not the normal pink/rose color), and is also having frequent bouts of diarrhea that last 24 to 48 hours, call your vet.
 

 

Why is my dog vomiting and what can I do?

 

There are several reasons a dog may vomit, and it is up to you to determine why. If the vomit is yellow bile, this means the dog's stomach is completely empty. Try to feed smaller meals more times a day, since the time period between feedings may be too long for your dog. If the vomit is clear with white foam or mucous, your dog probably drank too fast and, again, the stomach may be empty. Remove the water temporarily and feed your dog a raw meaty dog treat.

Vomiting is also a symptom of the normal detox process. The vomiting may also be the result of a new food item that does not agree with your dog. And yes, a dog new to a raw diet will occasionally regurgitate his food, and then begin to eat it again. The dog will probably eat more slowly this time, as he "gulped" it the first time. This is completely normal. Occasionally, pieces of bone get stuck in the stomach for a while and do not digest fully; therefore, the dog eliminates them through vomiting.
 

 

When thawing, is there a point where the food is considered dangerous?

 

Our food will stay good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after it is thawed out. Use your best judgment, but remember dogs can handle a lot more bacteria than us, because they have shorter digestive tracts and a higher level of acidity in their digestive juices.
 

 

Can I use my microwave for thawing RMBs?

 

Do not use the microwave to thaw the patties or RMBs. Never give your dog a cooked bone, as it can splinter and cause severe internal complications. The safest method of thawing is room temperature or soak the RMBs in cold water.
 

 

How can a raw diet reduce the chances of bloat and torsion?

 

The chances of bloat and torsion are much less than on kibble. It is quite rare for a dog to bloat when they are eating a raw diet, for a couple of reasons. The first is that raw food doesn't swell like kibble. The second thing is that most dogs eat more slowly when they are eating raw food compared to the familiar "inhale" style of eating that dogs use when they are eating kibble. Because they aren't inhaling their food, less air is sucked into the stomach. Bloat and torsion are extremely rare in dogs that consume a raw diet.
 

 

Will my dog become "blood thirsty" from eating raw meat?

 

This is a myth. There is no relationship between eating raw meat and wanting to kill animals or people. It has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with natural prey drive, training, and socialization. Dogs are more likely to get aggressive when they are fed an imbalanced diet, because they are uncomfortable and feel ill. That said, dogs can easily distinguish between what is food and what is not.
 

 

Why does ReelRaw contain no vegetables?

 

Although many people believe that vegetables are beneficial and safe to feed to dogs, there is evidence to the contrary. ReelRaw does not include any ingredients that have been found to be detrimental when fed to our carnivorous companion animals on a regular basis. Wolves do not ingest the stomach contents of their prey. They are shaken out and left untouched. A dog does not produce amylase in their saliva to breakdown carbohydrates or starches. This leads to added stress on the pancreas. Rather than fill the diet with species-inappropriate foods, like fruits and vegetables, feed more variety in the protein sources. All of the vitamins and minerals present in the components of a Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet are what dogs and cats need to thrive and flourish. Vegetables often come out the same way that they went in, so proponents of feeding vegetables will often say to grind them. We recommend not feeding them at all.

You may have read that certain raw food companies add vegetables to their food because wolves eat the vegetables that the prey animal consumed. That would make sense, but it is not the truth. It is actually the complete opposite.
Wolves eat everything but the stomach contents, which they violently and meticulously shake out. Wolf biologists note that wolves will leave the contents completely untouched and are strewn about the kill site. 
The truth as to why companies add vegetables:
  •  Cheap fillers -- the frozen vegetables they add are extremely cheap fillers compared to adding more meat.
  •  Attempt to compensate for the heavy bone content -- a lot of raw food companies add way too much bone, so to compensate they add vegetables.
  •  Appeals to the idea that dogs should eat "like we eat." We need vegetables, so dogs should too, right? Playing into that whole idea, which again, is completely false and is merely a marketing strategy that is harmful in the end to our pet carnivores.
Carnivores not only do not NEED vegetables, they are also harmful long-term because their bodies are not made to digest them. Dogs do not produce the amylase in their saliva, like humans, to break down the starches in foods. What this does is put all of the stress on the pancreas. Over time, this can lead to Pancreatitis.
Vegetables are just cheap fillers. Beware of prepared diets that have vegetables, as they are cheap fillers, as are diets with too much bone.

 

*The information provided here is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription for any diseases. ReelRaw in no way, takes the place of your vet. As a responsible pet guardian, if you notice any signs that your pet is unwell take them to the veterinarian immediately.