Questions and Suggestions
Is there something you are wondering about and want help with?
At MUSH, we have a broad expertise when it comes to BARF and raw feeding. Our skilled nutritionist Emma provides answers to all sorts of questions about feeding dogs and cats. We also work closely with researchers at the University of Helsinki.
We are happy to help you with anything you are wondering about.
you might find your question already answered here.
Just as it sounds, raw foods are raw, nutrient-rich raw materials that are composed to offer the dog and cat artegen food with maximum nutrient uptake. Meat, bones and organs are the main components of raw feeding.
Both yes and no. Both are built on raw components that are fresh-frozen during manufacture, thawed and served raw and fresh. In the manufacture of fresh feed, a synthetic or natural vitamin premix is usually added to supplement and ensure that all vitamins and minerals are in balance, while raw feeding through the BARF model is based on the composition of the raw materials providing the right balance without additives.
BARF stands for ‘Biologically adapted raw food’ and is a concept that means that the meals are built on meat, organs and bones mainly. For dogs, it is also common to have a small amount of vegetables in the BARF diet to mimic the amount of vegetables a prey animal offers via the stomach. In general, when we talk about BARF, we mean that dog owners and cat owners themselves compose a raw food state for their animal with the help of raw meat, raw organs and bones in the right proportion.
MUSH Vaisto is built and composed according to the BARF model to make it easily accessible to offer your pet a species-adapted diet, no matter how much or how little you know about raw food. MUSH Vaisto is thus a balanced complete feed that meets the standard for complete feed and which by its design is pre-composed BARF. We have simply helped to mix raw materials in the right way and made a complete feed in a flexible format that is very easy to use. BARF in fast format, so to speak. Equally nutritious, as species-adapted as self-composed BARF. Just a lot easier.
The benefits of species-adapted foods such as raw feed are many! You both prevent and repair any worries, some examples are oral health, gastrointestinal problems, bad skin and fur and anal sac problems. Raw food is adapted for dogs and cats, what their bodies are adapted to eat, digest and absorb nutrients from. Everything from the enzymes in the mouth to the stomach acid and intestinal flora are designed to handle raw food from animals and the difference is considerable in raw feeding from all aspects.
You will notice major changes in your dog or cat when you switch to raw food – the first and biggest difference is that the stool decreases significantly in both amount, size and consistency and that it becomes almost odorless. Then there are improvements in general health, skin, fur, breath, muscle building and energy – one by one.
Here you can read about how to start feeding an adult dog, and here about how to start feeding a puppy with MUSH.
Here you can read about how to start feeding an adult cat, and here about how to start feeding a kitten with MUSH.
An adult cat can eat around 2.5% of its body weight. Remember that this is only a recommendation and that you need to see to the individual what amount is right. It may be less, it may be more.
A kitten needs to eat 4-6 times a day, depending on how old it is. It should get around 5% of its body weight per day, which means that a kitten of 2 kg needs to eat around 100 g MUSH Vaisto Cat per day. However, you must be prepared to adjust the amount of food according to the kitten’s hole. It is important not to let the kitten become overweight as it increases the risk of obesity and other health problems even in adulthood. It is especially important that you keep track of the hole after the cat has been neutered. Read more here.
When feeding with raw food, the guideline for an adult dog is about 2% of body weight per day, divided into one or two meals. Keep in mind that each dog has individual needs. Age, activity, metabolism and environment affect how much food the dog needs. Small dogs and dogs that are very active (such as draft dogs, seasonal hunting dogs, service dogs and the like) generally eat a higher percentage than companion dogs and very large dogs. A dog of 50 kilos generally eats between 1-2 percent of the body weight, while smaller breeds often eat more in relation to their body weight because they have a higher metabolism, they may therefore need 3 percent of their body weight.
You should simply follow how the dog feels – if it is a little too thin, you give more food. If the dog gains weight, reduce the daily dose a little. Trust yourself – you are the one who knows your dog best. Do you still find it difficult to find the right amount of day for your dog? No danger. Ask us on Facebook or by e-mail and we will help you!
Daily amount for a normal active dog of 7 kg:
7000 gx 0.02 = 140 g, ie 5.5 Vaisto ® buns (one bun weighs about 25 g)
Daily amount for a very active dog of 7 kg:
7000 gx 0.05 = 350 g, ie 14 Vaisto ® buns (one bun weighs about 25 g)
Daily amount for a growing puppy that currently weighs 7 kg:
7000 gx 0.07 = 490 g, ie 19.5 Vaisto ® buns (one bun weighs about 25 g)
A puppy eats about 5-10% of its current body weight while growing, divided into 2-4 meals per day. A puppy around 8 weeks eats about 10% divided into 4 meals, and then the percentage decreases as it grows. Keep track of your puppy’s body and energy: it should look full and happy, and should have a clear waist. It is good to keep the puppy slim while it grows so that the joints are not loaded unnecessarily. As long as your dog grows in height, we recommend that you give it the MUSH Vaisto Puppy.
Puppies need food at more frequent intervals than adult dogs. In the beginning, it is good to feed at least three times a day. When the puppy is around 10-12 weeks old, you can start getting it used to getting food twice a day. Eventually, it may begin to receive food once a day, or you may continue to give it twice a day.
Adult dogs are fed once or twice a day, mainly depending on what is best for you. Once a day usually works well for most dogs.
HOW DO YOU GET A DIFFICULT DOG OR CAT TO START EATING RAW FOOD? The vast majority of picky dogs miraculously stop being picky when fed raw. Many people experience the opposite – that the dog becomes voracious. This indicates partly that the dog really likes his food, but also that the dog is not really picky, it just wants food as nature has intended it. Cats, on the other hand, are something completely different. The reason for this is that cats are cynical addicts – the majority simply do not like that there is anything new in the food bowl and they do not understand at all what raw food is if they have only eaten commercial food before. Wet and dry food is sprayed with taste and smell, which the cat quickly gets used to. Vaisto Cat, which is raw meat, does not smell for the cat’s nose, which for an addicted animal becomes incomprehensible.
The easiest way to get the cat to dare to taste is therefore to relax patience and imagination. Maybe the cat wants the food refrigerated, or that food prefers room heat. Start by mixing in a little at a time in the wet / dry food the cat is used to and likes, gradually lower the amount of wet / dry food and increase the amount of Vaisto Cat. You can also try seasoning the food with, for example, dried nut lung or chicken neck, which you will find in our snack series Vainu . Finely chop the snack set and sprinkle over the food to enhance the taste. Remember to give it time and do not stress the cat to change food.
MUSH Vaisto, MUSH Hellä and MUSH Hellä Freeze-Dried for dogs and MUSH Vaisto Cat for cats are complete food products, nothing needs to be added unless your pet has special needs or has been prescribed by, for example, a veterinarian or physiotherapist.
You may have seen food bowls that contain Vaisto or Hellä along with berries and vegetables. Wonderful enrichment and variety for both dogs and cats, and nice for our human eye to be served a dish that looks extra appetizing. It is not a must, but at times it is good – and good – to supplement with some vitamins. Berries are natural and so are various vegetables.
Chews and snacks can also be seen as enrichment. Do you usually read about what what you give the dog actually contains, both energy but also what it consists of? Vainu is the name of our series of snacks. It is 100% natural and can be adapted based on the needs of the dog and cat. A lot of energy or less energy. Large, hard pieces or smaller, crispy pieces.
Bone is a natural and important source of minerals, especially calcium. In Hellä , we have chosen, according to wishes and demand, to use eggshells as a source of calcium. This is because there are individuals who for various reasons have more difficulty digesting fresh bones and the need then looks different. Growing individuals such as puppies / kittens and a dog without special needs are built to digest bones and need this in their diet to meet their basic mineral needs. Dogs ‘and cats’ stomach acid is very acidic, which means that they easily break down raw bones.
If you are worried about bone fragments for various reasons, or feel insecure about serving food with bones in it, it is therefore excellent to use Hellä instead of Vaisto, even if your dog does not have special needs in other respects.
Sensitive stomach can be due to so many different things, either there is a basic problem and then it needs to be taken into account, but if it is “only” that the dog or cat can get an upset stomach with new food, it is very common that the problem is based in that the intestinal flora is out of balance. What you can then start with is to build up the intestinal flora. For dogs you start with either Hellä or Vaisto Green , and for cats you can try either Vaisto Cat White which contains a lower proportion of bones or Vaisto Cat Pinkwhich is easily digested and with a good fatty acid balance. For the sensitive cat, you are welcome to supplement with fortiflora to help build up and support the intestinal flora.
When you switch to raw food, you may find that the dog gets hard in the stomach. “Good” is often our reaction because it is natural with a hard stool. However, your dog should not have difficulty pooping. If this is the case, you can supplement with vegetables ( BARF Basic Vegetable Buns ) and try to have more water in the food. It is often the amount of bone that makes the dog hard in the stomach, so therefore a bone-free alternative from our Basic series can be a good complement for a few days. You can also try giving a variety from our boneless complete feed series Hellä. Instead of bones, Hellä has eggshells as a source of calcium. Remember that exercise is also important for the dog’s stomach to function well.
We use food-grade raw materials and these are constantly inspected in accordance with the regulations of the Finnish Food Safety Authority. But as with all raw meat, it is important to think about good hand hygiene when handling. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the raw feed and wash the food bowls and utensils with detergent. Use separate utensils and cutting boards for the pet food. Raw feed stored in a refrigerator must be stored in a container with a lid.
The food should not be heated and should therefore not be heated in the microwave or on the stove. The Vaisto varieties contain bone fragments that change when heated and the sharp pieces can then damage the dog or cat. The food is best thawed in the fridge in a jar with a lid or at room temperature. If you need to quickly thaw the food, you can do so in a water bath.
There is a perception that it would be expensive to feed with raw feed, but what many do not think about is that the amount of food is controlled by what the food consists of. MUSH complete feed consists only of 100% natural raw materials and thus has a very high nutrient uptake. It is also important to give the right variety so that the dog and cat get a food that is adapted to them. An individual with a high metabolism needs a feed with a lot of energy and vice versa.
It is also difficult to directly translate the amount of dry feed into the amount of raw feed. The guideline for an adult dog is 2% of his body weight in raw food per day. An adult cat can eat around 2.5% of its body weight. Remember that it is only a recommendation and that you need to see to the individual what amount is right. It may be less, it may be more.