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  • Products & Packaging

    What is the difference between Thrive Taurine and Thrive Gold line Taurine?

    Big Country Raw offers 2 Taurine supplements.

    Thrive Taurine 200 grams is our original Thrive taurine supplement.  This supplement contains food grade taurine 98.5% purity.  The country of origin for this supplement is China.  In 2019 nearly 94% of all taurine was produced in China with over 50% of this produced for pet foods.

     

    Thrive Taurine Gold line 150 grams is our newest taurine supplement.  This is a pharmaceutical grade taurine with 99% purity and the country of origin in Japan.   China dominates the market for taurine supplements.  However, many consumers are critical of supplements for pet food procured from China especially following the melamine tainted wheat gluten and vegetable protein from China in 2007.  Some of our retail partners have strong policy statements regarding country of origin sourcing after that incident, and for this reason Big Country Raw has both options.

    The dosage is the same for both products.  The retail price of the taurine sourced from China is $11.99 for 200g or $0.06 per gram.  The retail price of the taurine sourced from Japan is $0.19 per gram.

     

    We would advise our customers that both products offer the same similar benefits to their pets and to make a purchase decision based on availability and budget rather than on product efficacy.

     

    Is the Thrive Supplement recommended dosage per day or per meal?

    The dosage is per day.  You can feed the entire daily dose in 1 meal if the portion is very small or if you find it easier to add supplements only once per day.

     

    Are Big Country Raw meals complete?

    Big Country Raw diets contains all essential nutrients necessary to the dietary needs of dogs and cats. In the formulation of our recipes we use the dietary recommendations for main nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids set forth by The Nutrient Requirements for Dogs and Cats by the National Research Council.

    However, we believe that a truly complete and balanced diet requires the following:

    • Offer a rotational meal plan of at least 3 – 5 proteins (when possible).  Variety widens the spectrum of nutrients and also the enjoyment of eating!
    • When feeding Pures and Blends, supplement with a Green Mineral Supplement such as Thrive Sea KelpThrive Trimineral Boost or Thrive Fortify
    • When no fish are included in the meal, supplement with Thrive Herring Oil, Thrive Salmon oil or Thrive Hemp Seed Oil for essential fatty acids
    • Offer 2 – 3 raw bones per week for excellent dental health

    To view the full nutrient panel for all our products, please visit our online store. Click the menu item and choose the “Nutritional Analysis” tab for full nutrient content information.

    Big Country Raw does not use any synthetic vitamin or mineral pre-mixes, but relies on real nutrients found in fresh raw meat, organ meat, ground raw meaty bones, and fruits and vegetables.

     

    What is the difference between Dinners, Pure Formulas, Blends and Fare Game?

    Dinners contain one or two proteins consisting of muscle meat (70%), bone (10%), organ meat (10%), fruit & vegetables and greens (10%). Dinners are complete and balance meals (to NRC standards) for dogs and are the go to choice for most of our customers and truly make raw feeding simple!

    Blends are our signature menu items exclusive to Big Country Raw. Blends contain only muscle meat (80%), bone (10%) and organ meats (10%) with no added fruits and vegetables. These are some of our best sellers as our “customers” love the tastes we’ve created! We suggest supplementing our Blends with  Thrive Kelp or Thrive Trimineral Boost for trace minerals.

    Pure Formulas contain meat (80%), bone (10%) and organ meat (10%) with no added fruit and vegetables. Pure Formulas are single protein options, which makes them ideal for dogs with allergies, allowing you to add your own fruits, vegetables and supplements that are best for your dog. We suggest supplementing with Thrive Fortify or Thrive Trimineral Boost for trace minerals.

    Fare Game Formulas contain two or three proteins consisting of muscle meat (75%), bone (10%), organ meat (15%), and greens (< 1%). They are complete and balance meals (to NRC standards) for cats and are the go to choice for most of our customers and truly make raw feeding simple for their feline! They also work great for ferrets and very small dogs.

    Every meal that doesn’t include fish should be supplemented with Thrive fish oil (Herring or Salmon), whole fish, or a menu item containing fish. Thrive Hemp seed oil can also be used on red meat meals.

  • Getting Started

    Purine and Raw Feeding

    It is recommended that dogs genetically prone to urate stones be fed a low-purine diet. Foods that contain low purines include most fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and grains. Although these food choices can be included in the raw food diet, they do not contain the nutrients necessary to provide a complete and balanced diet for your dog or cat. Dogs and cats require meat protein, as this is the most digestible and biologically appropriate food choice.

    Primary Protein Choices Big Country Raw proteins containing the least % of purines, making them the best choices to formulate a raw food diet are Turkey, Rabbit, and Duck.

    Secondary Proteins – Beef, Lamb, Salmon and Chicken could also be fed in moderation

    We would suggest choosing raw meaty bones such as lamb necks, and meaty beef bones versus our ground meal choices in these proteins. You can also offer raw meaty bones in addition to these meal choices to reduce the % of organ meats from 10% to 5%.

    Proteins Not Recommended We suggest avoiding all Pork, Wild Boar, Venison, Elk, Kangaroo, white fish and Buffalo because these proteins contain the highest levels of purine.

    Adds on

    Items you can add to you dog’s diet to lower the purine content :

    • Beef Tripe (can replace organ meat)
    • Fruits and Vegetables mix (Sides Dishes offer two options)
    • Dairy products (goat cheese, goat milk, yogurt, etc.

    Example Recipe for 1 lb meal:

    ¾ lb meat – e.g. Turkey Dinner or ¾ lb of duck necks + 2 tbsp Fruit and Vegetable Blend or SuperFood Blend + 1 tbsp Beef Green Tripe + 2 tbsp Cottage Cheese, Yogurt, Kefir or Ricotta Cheese + 1 tsp Coconut Oil

    Water Consumption

    Urinary Stones form more easily in concentrated acidic urine. It is recommended that you dilute the urine as much as possible by encouraging your dog to drink plenty of water every day. Adding ½ cup of extra water to your raw food meals will also help to ensure more hydration.

     

    Pancreatitis & EPI

    What is Pancreatitis?

    A pancreas that releases excessive amounts of digestive enzymes, eventually leads to a damaged or diseased pancreas.

    Symptoms of a pancreatic attack:

    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lethargy
    • Pain

    Always refer to your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.

    Feeding a raw food diet makes pancreatitis very easy to manage because it’s rich in highly digestible animal protein and low in carbohydrates.

    Suggested Dietary Modifications

    • Choose low fat proteins
    • Include a digestive enzyme or probiotic with meals (Thrive Bovine Pancreatic Enzyme)
    • Feed a minimum of twice daily
    • Exercise your pet daily

    Your best low-fat options are (all under 10% fat) as follows

    • Pure Kangaroo 3.8g/100g
    • Pure Rabbit 9.1g/100g
    • Fish Dinner 4.5g/100g
    • Game Bird Blend 6.4g/100g
    • Pure Chicken 9.3g/100g
    • Chicken Dinner 8.6g/100g
    • Quail Dinner 3.5g/100g (coming 2020)
    • Our entire Fare Game Line (for cats) is under 10% fat

    What about treats?

    Skinless raw meaty bones are great options – duck, turkey and chicken necks

    Avoid marrow bones and other bones with skin on (such as pork tails)

    Slobbers are low fat

    Can you feed raw and kibble together?

    Yes, you can feed both kibble and raw.  We know that this is a controversial topic for many people, as generally speaking kibble and raw digest differently.   For this reason many people suggest avoiding feeding both at the same time, and would suggest separating the meals.

    We have studied the various research and also conducted our own customer polling and trials to determine that every dog is unique and individual needs vary.  What may work well for one, may not be the best choice for your dog or cat.    In the end we have decided that it would be better that dogs and cats have even some fresh raw food in their diet than none at all.

    If you choose to feed both dry and raw together may we make the following suggestions:

    1. Choose as much as possible the best high quality cooked dry dog food you can find.
    2. Do a trial of feeding exclusively 100% raw food first.  This will help strengthen the digestive system and make it more capable of deriving the full nutrients out of a raw food diet.
    3. The true benefits of feeding raw are not as noticeable when feeding raw less than 20% of the entire diet. But, if you want better results, such as smaller stools, less shedding, fresher breath and no odours, it may be necessary to switch to 100% raw.
    4. If your dog or cat starts to experience digestive upset including vomiting or diarrhea, we would suggest feeding the meals alternatively e.g. morning raw and evening dry food.  You can also alternate days, 1 day dry and 1 day raw.

    How do I know how much to feed my pet, and how do I measure or weigh the food?

    The best and easiest way to determine how much to feed is to use the our Cost and Portion Calculator.  Enter your pet’s information to determine how much food your pet requires and what your approximately (daily, weekly and monthly) costs will be.

    Another recommendation is to feed your pet 2% of your dog’s idea body weight.  Simply take the total and divide into how many meals per day.  For example 50 lb dog x 2% = 1.  This means your pet requires 1 lb. per day.  Divided into 2 meals = 1/2 lb. per serving.

    Another quick way to determine how much to feed is to replace every 1 cup of dry food (high quality grain free) with 1/2 lb. of raw.  If your dog is currently eating 3 cups of dry food per day = 1.5 lbs. of raw per day.

    Feeding Portion Guidelines:

    Your average 12-13 lb dog requires 1/4 lb of food daily

    Your average 25 lb dog requires 1/2 lb of food daily

    Your average 50 lb dog requires 1 lb of food daily

    Your average 75 lb dog requires 1 1/2 lb of food daily

    Your average 100 lb dog requires 2 lb of food daily and so on

    Portioning Tools

    You can also use a kitchen scale, usually find these pretty inexpensively at your local grocery store or in the house ware department of any big box retailer.

    We now offer a kitchen scale that is perfect for portioning out your pets Big Country Raw. it has a 10 lb capacity – Large enough for any breed. it’s easy to use and even easier to clean!

    Each of our vacuum sealed packages in our 4 lb. Cartons contains 1 lb.  If your dog required 1/4 lb. per day you could also divide the package into 4 equal servings.  Same for 1/3 lb = 3 days or 1/2 lb = 2 days.

    Raw to Dry Conversion

    Another handy tip to remember is that generally speaking 1/2 lb of raw is equal to 1 cup of dry food (high quality grain-free).  So if you were feeding 2 cups of dry food your dog is likely going to eat 1 lb. of raw per day.

     

    Can I thaw and refreeze food?

    Yes.  To thaw food safely we recommend the following:

    1. Thaw in refrigerator.  If you thaw food at room temperature, in a sink with cold water or in a microwave, you must use thawed food within 3 days.  Do not re-freeze.  Only food thawed in a refrigerator can be re-frozen.
    2. Portion into individual servings.
    3. Re-Freeze immediately.
    4. Once thawed for the 2nd time we recommend using ideally within 24 hrs.

    Thawing, refreezing and re-thawing meat can result in some lost of moisture and product quality.

    Can I thaw food in a microwave?

    Yes, but this is not our recommended method of thawing our products.  If you have forgotten to thaw food, often sitting food in some lukewarm water will help thaw it quickly.

    Many dogs will also eat their raw food frozen.  Forget to thaw food?   Take a 1 lb. vacuum sealed package and sit in some lukewarm water for 10 min.  Open package.  Separate into desired portion and feed.

    Can I feed Big Country Raw to my pregnant dog?

    Yes! Pregnancy and lactation place a high demand on your dogs dietary needs. Ensuring your pregnant bitch has the required nutrients to maintain optimal health during pregnancy is best achieved with a high quality balanced raw diet.   For more information on raw feeding during pregnancy please visit our Breeder Page.

    How do I transition my pet to a raw diet?

    You have two options for the transition, and we suggest starting with a poultry meal such as chicken or turkey dinner for the first couple days. Next, we recommend a rotation of three or more proteins including red and white meat.

    1. Feed the last kibble meal and the first raw meal 8-12 hours apart, it’s just that simple!
    2. Start adding progressively more raw to the kibble meal during a week.

    Day 1-2 : 25% raw, 75% kibble

    Day 3-4 : 50% raw, 50% kibble

    Day 5-6 : 75% raw, 25% kibble

    Day 7: 100% raw

    You can also add the Big Country Raw Fermented Goat Milk for probiotics and Thrive Pumpkin Powder for extra fiber to help with the transition for the first couple days (1-2 week).

    Can you recommend a menu plan for my dog or cat?

    Yes! Our certified Pet Nutritionalists are happy to help provide a customized meal plan just for your pet.  Please complete the form here 

     

    Can I feed Big Country Raw to my puppy?

    Yes! It’s never too early to start your puppy on Big Country Raw.  They will experience a tremendous growth spurt in the next several months and providing them with optimal nutrients is very important.

    Big Country Raw Dinner meals are balanced with the correct nutrient amount and ratios as recommended by NRC for all life stages.  All our meals are packed with naturally occurring bioavailable minerals and vitamins to ensure your puppy will mature into a healthy adult.

    For a detailed guide on how to start your puppy on raw visit this page

     

    BCR PUPPY PRIMER

    Are Big Country Raw endorsed by veterinarians?

    Yes, Our products are widely recommended by veterinarians in clinics across Ontario & Quebec and are proudly sold at several veterinarian offices as well.

  • Feeding the Feline

    What meals are the lowest in taurine?

    You can decide to feed a diet higher in naturally occurring taurine to your pet by choosing meals made of protein that has a higher taurine content.

    Here’s the list of protein and their taurine content. Those numbers refer to laboratory analysis of Big Country Raw’s Pure Formulas, including both meat and organ meat.

    The daily taurine minimum requirement for kittens and adult cats is 0.08g per 1000kcal of food. In Bold is how recipes made out of those protein can compare to this requirement. For example, Pure Lamb is at 5.8x the requirement, and Pure Duck at 1.1x the requirement. Big Country Raw only suggest the addition of Thrive Taurine to cats that strictly eat Pure Rabbit and Pure Duck recipes. Rabbit and Duck blend (like Fare Game Rabbit and Pork) are fine and usually around 3x to 4x the requirement. Eating once a week Pure Turkey (8x) or Turkey blend (like Country Blend or Turkey, Salmon Lamb blend) in rotation with lower taurine content recipes is also a good way to balance over time.

    Turkey – 0.12g/100g – 8.1x

    Lamb – 0.10g/100g – 5.8x

    Kangaroo – 0.03g/100g – 4.7x

    Chicken – 0.05g/100g – 3.9x

    Salmon – 0.04g/100g – 3.9x

    Pork – 0.06g/100g – 3.3 x

    Beef – 0.04g/100g – 2.7x

    Rabbit – 0.03g/100g – 2.5 x

    Duck – 0.02g/100g – 1.1x

    Beef tripe – 0.01g/100g – 0.6x

     

     

     

    What menu items to do suggest for cats?

    Fare Game formulas are complete and balanced meals for cats and are the number one recommended option. Blends and Pures are our second recommend option to feed cats as they require additional supplementation. Many smaller bones are also a great meal replacement such as: whole quail, chicken necks and Cornish hen feet. Goat milk is also a very popular menu item for our feline friends! All the Thrive supplement are suitable for cats.

    Can I feed Big Country Raw to my kitten?

    Yes! It’s never too early to start your kitten on Big Country Raw, and for cats the earlier the better. They will experience a tremendous growth spurt in the next several months and providing them with optimal nutrients is very important.

    Big Country Raw Fare Game meals are balanced with the correct nutrient amount and ratios as recommended by NRC for all life stages.  All our meals are packed with naturally occurring bioavailable minerals and vitamins to ensure your kittens will mature into a healthy adult.

     

     

    My cat seems to be constipated on the raw diet? What can I do to help?

    Constipation can happen more quickly with cats that have eaten processed high carbohydrate based dry food diets. Over time your cat may have lost elasticity in the bowel, which can lead to constipation quickly on a raw food diet. We recommend offering the Fare Game or the red meat  Pure Formulas which have a lower % of calcium (beef, pork, lamb, kangaroo) You can also add some Pure Beef Tripe or Beef Organ Blend to your cats diet to help soften stools.

     

     

  • Raw Bones

    Can I feed dehydrated bones to my dog or cat? What about smoked bones?

    Yes!  Dehydrated bones are a great option for dogs and cats.  It can also be a great introduction to chewing fresh raw bones for some dogs. Dehydrated bones should be supervised when feeding.  Gulping or swallowing without chewing properly is the biggest concern here.  Always read and follow the label.

    We sell a few dehydrated bone options such as Hero Treat Duck Wings, Duck Feet, Chicken Feet, and Kangaroo Rib.

    We do not recommend smoked bones.  There are some reputable options available for consumers but most smoked bones contain nitrates (preservatives).  A big concern as well is that many smoked bones available in today’s pet food stores are made in China.   Similarly to the jerky treat concerns from China, smoked bones are not something we would suggest offering regularly to your pet.   If you do offer your pet a smoked treat we suggest looking for a locally made or artisan smoked bone that would offer some guarantee that this is a high quality treat.

    What is the difference between Meal Replacement Bones and Recreational Bones?

    Meal replacement bones are usually non-weight bearing bones that can be eaten entirely.  The total weight of the bone counts towards your pet’s total daily food intake as well.  Good examples of meal replacement bones would be Turkey Necks, Duck Necks, Lamb Tails or Chicken Feet.

    Recreational Bones are weight bearing or harden bone that is more of a complicated chew.  These often have some meat and sinews but are predominately bone and are not intended to be eaten entirely.  Good examples of a recreational chewing bone is Marrow bone, Flat Rib Bone, Pork Tibia, or Beef neck bone.

     

    How many bones should my dog or cat consume per week?

    We suggest 2 – 3 raw bones per week.  You can of course choose to feed more or less than this amount.  Ideally it should be a mix of both meal replacement and recreational chewing bones.

    Bones provide dental benefit (cleaner teeth and gums) but also mental and physical exercise as well.  Chewing a raw bone for 30 minutes is equal to a 30 min. walk for your dog.

     

  • Return Policy

    Can I return product?

    Yes! We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.   We promise to make a return or exchange as simple as possible.

    For a return with a retailer. Please bring your proof of purchase and the products you are returning. Your retailer will be able to provide a refund or exchange.

    If you purchased our products online, please email our order desk – info@bigcountryraw.ca and let us know which products you are returning. We will arrange pick-up of these items and issue an account credit (as a coupon visible in your account) once the items have been received at our facility. Please allow 5-10 business days to process your return. We do charge a $9.99 pick-up fee* for returns on product. This fee will be deducted from your final refund.

    *no $9.99 pick-up fees  will be applied  if you request an exchange, or arrange pick-up of returning product with another online order.

    Note: Retailers, please return all product with Product Return Form to Big Country Raw for reimbursement.

    Do you offer product exchanges?

    Yes, if for any reason you are not happy with your purchase and would like to exchange your products, we are happy to oblige.

    When requesting an exchange for a purchase you made in-store (at a local retail locations) you must bring the product back to the store you purchased from.

    To request an exchange with Big Country Raw, please arrange a return of your product with our order desk. We will gladly pick-up and exchange your products for you a no additional charge.

     

     

    I got the wrong item/order with my order. How can I get this resolved?

    We apologize for our packing error. We do make mistakes from time to time, so we appreciate your understanding.   Please notify us as soon as possible regarding any order packing errors. To report an error please contact the order desk – orders@bigcountryraw.ca and quote the Invoice # in your correspondence. We will do our best to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible.

    I was over/under charged for an item. How can I get this resolved?

    We apologize for our invoicing error. We do make mistakes from time to time, so we appreciate your understanding.   Please notify us as soon as possible regarding any pricing errors. To report an error please contact the order desk – orders@bigcountryraw.ca and quote the Invoice # in your correspondence. We will do our best to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible.

  • Shipping & Home Delivery

    Do I have access to home delivery?

    To find out if you are in Big Country Raw’s direct delivery zone, please go to: https://bigcountryraw.ca/get-raw-delivered/

    Outside our delivery zone? Let’s find out if a store near you does home delivery! https://bigcountryraw.ca/find-a-retailer/

    Do you ship products outside of Canada?

    Sorry we are sold within Canada only.  We do not offer shipping to the USA at this time.

    Additionally we can only ship frozen food within Ontario & Quebec.  We can ship non-perishable products (dry non frozen or refrigerated products) via Canada Post. To easily identify which items are available to be shipped via Canada Post there is a small Canada Post logo  next to the item.

    Here is a list of products you can order and receive via Canada Post.

    To order simply ensure your cart ONLY contains products that are not fresh or frozen.  When you checkout you will have the option to select shipping via Canada Post.

     

    Can I order online and have the items sent to my local retailer?

    No. Each BCR retailer is privately owned and operated. We unfortunately cannot accept online orders on behalf of retailers. Many of our retailers do accept special orders for their customers, and because we ship to most retailers every week, you can get your order just as quickly as if you ordered directly from us! Simply call or email your retailer to place your order with them directly.  Click here to find your local retail location.

    Where does Big Country Raw deliver?

    Big Country Raw ships across Canada!

    If you live in Southwestern Ontario we make delivery direct to your door.  Check out our Delivery Map here to find out if you live within our direct delivery area.

    We currently only offer Canada Post or Courier shipping for non-perishable products to:

    • Northern Ontario
    • Quebec (Montreal and surrounding areas)
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Nova Scotia
    • New Brunswick
    • Manitoba
    • Saskatchewan
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • Newfoundland

    Orders shipping to addresses in these areas will receive delivery within 3 – 5 business days.  We ship via Canada Post for most of our shipments.  Orders ship out Monday to Friday within 24 hours of placing an online order.  Our order desk will send an email with details including tracking once the order is confirmed and ready to ship.

     

     

     

    What is the ordering cut-off for my delivery day?

    We require a minimum of 48 hours to pack, prepare and ship your order. Here is the order deadline based on delivery day:

     

    Tuesday Delivery – Saturday at 12:00pm

    Wednesday Delivery – Monday at 12:00pm

    Thursday Delivery – Tuesday at 12:00pm

    Friday Delivery – Wednesday at 12:00pm

    Is my delivery day affected by Statutory Holidays?

    We do our best to keep our delivery routes as consistent as possible even when there is a holiday. We will send out email notifications and post to our social media pages if there is a change to the delivery routes.   We do have a Christmas Delivery Schedule posted to our website every December. Please check our home page for these updates as well.

    Can I request a specific delivery time for my order?

    Unfortunately, we are unable to schedule routes to meet our customers work schedules. We do provide a few convenient options to help facilitate management of your raw food orders.

    • We notify our customers via email the day prior an approximate time when they should expect their order. This will allow you some time to plan your day or make arrangements to have someone home to accept delivery.
    • We offer THERMAL COOLER BAGS for purchase ($12.99 each) that hold up to 72 lbs. of product. If you are not home, our driver will place your order in a cooler bag to prevent it from thawing.
    • We will send you an email confirming that delivery of your order is now complete. If you are not home to accept delivery of an order, you can make plans to return home quickly.

     We realize that home delivery is not always the most suitable option for all our customers. Our products are also available at over 200 retail locations! Find your local retailer here.

    Does Big Country Raw deliver to apartment buildings and condos?

    Yes, we are able to make delivery to customers living in condos or apartments. We do require that your building have delivery parking access. If there is no curbside parking we will not be able to make delivery.   Please include buzz code and apartment unit # in your shipping address.   Due to Fire Regulations, we will not leave orders in hallways. You must be home to accept delivery of the order.

    For buildings with concierge services we request that we be able to leave the order with concierge as this does improve our ability to deliver orders quickly.

    Is there an order minimum for delivery?

    There is no order minimum. Orders less than $100.00 are charged a $9.99 delivery fee.

    Do I need a thermal bag to receive home delivery?

    Thermal Bags are available for purchase from Big Country Raw.  Each bag holds up to 24 lbs. of food and can be re-used. If they are left out for the driver, we will put your raw food order in the bag.

    If you have a cooler, or other grocery thermal bags available and would like us to use them, please make them available for our driver.

    Thermal bags are $3.99 each.  Should you forget to put out bags, or are not home when we make delivery our drivers will put the order in the bags.  Our order desk will apply the additional cost of the bag(s) to your account.    If you choose to decline the Thermal Bags, please make mention of this in your order comments.  We do not use thermal bags in the winter months when the daytime temperatures are below freezing.

    Will you put my order in my freezer?

    We do try to accommodate our customers that require special assistance. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask our professional and friendly drivers!