Feeding K9 Natural is simple but there are a few important things to remember.

Store K9 Natural appropriately
K9 Natural is purposely free of artificial preservatives, which is why it’s only available in Frozen and Freeze Dried varieties. Frozen K9 Natural will last for a year prior to thawing, and for around three days after thawing - provided it’s refrigerated. Our Freeze Dried range has an almost indefinite shelf life until opened (making it great for an emergency kit). Once opened and reconstituted, treat the food as you would the frozen variety – refrigerate any left overs and feed or discard within three days.

K9 Natural is raw for a reason - don't cook it
K9 Natural has been created to provide a carefully balanced supply of appropriate nutrients for your dog, but it can only do this in its raw state. Cooking is unnecessary and undesirable because heat destroys and/or dramatically alters the nutrient levels in food. For the same reason, when reconstituting Freeze Dried K9 Natural, only warm water (no warmer than 37oC/98.6oF)  as hot water will cook it. The exception to this rule is if you’re feeding puppies. Their food should be served at room temperature, so if you take their food straight from the fridge, add a little lukewarm water before serving.

Handle with care
K9 Natural is made from inspected and passed meat, poultry and fish, however, any meat product can contain bacteria that could cause illness if mishandled. Please follow these instructions for your protection: For frozen K9 Natural, keep refrigerated or frozen; thaw in refrigerator; keep separate from other foods; wash surfaces, utensils and hands after touching raw meat, poultry or fish; refrigerate leftovers immediately; discard refrigerated leftovers once thawed if unused after three days.

Stop feeding other foods when you introduce your dog to K9 Natural
It is perfectly safe to stop feeding your dog’s food one day and introduce K9 Natural the next. A gradual introduction (i.e. feeding some of your dog’s previous food as well as some K9 Natural), is not recommended, especially if you've previously fed your dog a dry diet. A gradual introduction, while continuing to feed some of your dog's previous diet makes it difficult to gauge the correct amount of food that your dog should have and will cause stomach upsets. Wolves tend to eat at dawn and dusk, so we suggest feeding K9 Natural, plus bones, at these times (for example, you could feed your dog's recommended amount of K9 Natural in the morning and its bone late afternoon, or vice versa).

Avoid feeding more than the recommended amount
K9 Natural is packed full of goodness and energy, and doesn’t contain cheap fillers like rice and wheat to bulk it up. Therefore, your dog needs less K9 Natural than it would require from other foods. Use our feeding calculator, the guide below or the guide on the back of each pack to work out the recommended amount for your dog. If you notice undesirable weight gain or loss, then adjust accordingly.

Healthy-weight Adults    
Feed between 1% and 3% of body weight per day
Overweight Adults Feed up to 1% of body weight per day until a healthy weight is reached
Puppies

Feed up to 9% of body weight per day in three meals until 12 weeks old, then gradually

reduce until the amount fed is 3% at 12 months old, in one meal

Seniors Feed up to 2% of body weight per day

Cease feeding other foods when you start feeding K9 Natural
You can safely start feeding K9 Natural to your dog without any transition or ‘phasing in’ period involving your dog’s previous food. A gradual introduction is not recommended because it’s difficult to gauge the correct amount of food that your dog should have, which can then cause stomach upsets. The sooner your dog is on a healthy, species-appropriate diet, the better. Your dog won’t miss its old food and nor will the immediate change in diet have any detrimental effects – quite the opposite. Dispose of any old foods and commit to feeding only K9 Natural and, whenever you can, a raw bone a day.

Don’t remove the blood from K9 Natural, it's there for a reason
K9 Natural only contains meat that is certified fit for human consumption. This meat has been drained of blood as part of the normal method of preparation for human consumption. But because blood is such a desirable part of your dog’s diet (due to the beneficial vitamins and minerals it contains), we go to some considerable effort to collect and add back the blood from this meat. When thawing Frozen K9 Natural, aim to contain the blood as it thaws, so your dog can benefit from it.

Vary the flavours
K9 Natural frozen and freeze dried products are available in different flavour varieties and we recommend you alternate between flavours to provide your dog with the kind of variety it would experience in the wild.

Recommended Portion Guides
The recommended amount of K9 Natural may be less than you would feed your dog in biscuits, dog roll or canned food, but the key thing to remember is that quality is more important than quantity. The calories and nutritional value that your dog gets from an appropriate portion of K9 Natural mimics what nature provides them naturally. Avoid the temptation of feeding more, unless you notice undesirable weight loss.

Remember that these amounts are guides only - start with the recommended portion amount, and take into consideration your dog's activity level.  Also adjust the amount you feed if you notice weight gain or undesirable weight loss (fat loss, however, is desirable).

About Obesity
Society has become accustomed to overweight dogs yet, by nature, dogs are meant to be lean.  You're not doing your dog any favours by over-feeding it and you could risk killing it with what you might think is 'kindness'.  Overweight and obese dogs are at risk of a many serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illnesses, and carrying all that extra weight puts enormous pressure on bones and joints.  Sadly, obese dogs live shorter lives than healthy, active dogs.

We encourage you to monitor your dog's weight regularly (both by sight and touch) and to aim to keep it within a healthy range.  Your vet can advise you on what that healthy range should be, based on its breed, age, activity level etc.  For your dog's sake, be vigilant and if you notice that it's gained or lost weight, adjust the amount you feed accordingly until it returns to a healthy weight.