Frequently Barked Questions

Where do the recipes for the Dogmatters diet orginate from?

The Dogmatters diet is based on the BARF diet.

What is the BARF diet?

BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It was formulated 30 years ago by an Australian vet, Dr Ian Billinghurst. The diet focuses on feeding pets responsibly and properly to maximize their health and longevity thereby reducing allergies and ultimately vet's bills. The diet is based on human grade whole foods including raw meat, finely ground bones, organ meat and healthy ingredients such as fruit and vegetables. Please go to for more details on Dr Billinghurst and the BARF diet.

How long have people been feeding the BARF diet to their pets?

Dr Billinghurst formulated his world reknown diet almost 30 years ago. Technically, people have been feeding their pets raw food for hundreds of years. In fact, processed/commercial  dog food such as kibble is relatively new. This form of pet food was only sold commercially during the latter part of the 20th century.

What does the Dogmatters diet consist of?

The Dogmatters diet is 60% base product, (example chicken wings, beef, chicken breasts), 10% organ meat  (liver), 25% vegetables and  5% fruit.  These ingredients are finely minced together and then small amounts of fresh garlic and kelp is added.  The fruits and vegetables are a variety of suitable, fresh and in-season mix which provides important fibre, vitamins and trace elements. The Dogmatters diet is based almost completely on the BARF diet.

Where do you source the Dogmatters diet ingredients?

All ingredients are sourced from human-grade suppliers across the Western Cape. At Dogmatters, we never use off-cuts or waste products in our ingredients. If you are interested in visiting the factory, we have an open-door policy and you need to simply contact Belinda for this to be arranged, or simply pop in at a time that is convenient for you.

What do you mean by human-grade suppliers?

We source our ingredients from companies who supply food to humans. We do not believe that we should be including ingredients that are not good for humans in food for our dogs.

Are you registered with the Department of Agriculture?

Yes, our products are all registered with the appropriate V numbers, which is a legal requirment and makes us compliant with the regulations required to sell pet food. We have also completed third party laboratory analysis for all our registered products. If you are interested in the lab results, please contact us and we will email you a copy.

How is the Dogmatters diet packaged?

All Dogmatters products are vacuum packed and heat sealed in 75 micron bags. This results in a product that is assured of not leaking.

How should I store my Dogmatters food?

The Dogmatters product should be handled in exactly the same manner as you would handle the purchase of other fresh products. If you are not going to use the product on the day that it is purchased or delivered, we advise that you store your Dogmatters product in the freezer. Defrost when you plan to feed your pet i.e. defrost the food and feed to your dog on the same day.

How should I store my Dogmatters food after I have opened it?

Once defrosted, the correct amounts of food should be given to your dog as a meal. If there is leftover from the 1kg packet, this food should then be stored in the fridge until the next meal. We advise that this should never be left in the fridge for longer than 48 hours. Many users of Dogmatters food prefer to decant the leftovers into a Tupperware and then store in the fridge until the next meal.

Once opened, how long is it “safe” to leave in the fridge before feeding to my pets?

It is quite safe to leave the food in the fridge for up to 48 hours. The food should never be left opened out of the fridge for longer than 15 minutes.

How much of the Dogmatters diet should I be feeding my dog?

The recommended daily amount is 2.5 to 3% of body weight split between two meals daily. The variance depends on the weight, size and level of activity of your dog. Please refer to the feeding calculator on our home page for a more precise calculation of how much you should be feeding your pet. If you are still unsure of how much you should be feeding your dog daily, please feel free to email Belinda Pretorius on

Should I cook the Dogmatters food before giving it to my pet, or at least, warm it up in the microwave?

You should never cook the Dogmatters diet as this contradicts the basic philosophy of the diet, being a Natural, Raw Food. Also, avoid the microwave as even when defrosting the food is being cooked.

I don’t want to serve cold food to my pet. How do I warm the food so that it is not cold when served?

If you are serving the food directly from the fridge, at best it is recommended to add a small amount of boiling water to the food. This is acceptable as it will not cook the food and will simply warm it.

How do I switch my pet from its current food to the Dogmatters diet?

There are two methods for doing this, one is a slow switch and the other is a fast switch.
The fast switch is an immediate change from the current diet to the Dogmatters diet. The slow switch can be a mix between the existing food and the Dogmatters diet. If the existing food is a kibble, these two diets should not be mixed in one meal, but rather served alternately. The reason for this is that kibble and raw food are digested differently. If you are unsure of how to “switch” your pet to the Dogmatters diet, please do not hesitate to contact Belinda Pretorius on

My dog absolutely loved the Dogmatters diet for the first 2 weeks, however he now seems to have gone “off “ the food. What do I do?

This is completely normal and is similar to a detoxification process in humans. Your pet has gone from eating highly processed, highly preserved foods, to completely natural, raw food. There will be a detoxification process. It is extremely important that you persist with the food. The correct approach when you see that your dog is not wanting to eat is to immediately take the food away, store in the fridge and only give at the next meal time. This process may last for up to five days, but it is extremely important that you persist with this process, as the benefits will be abundantly clear later.

Can I feed the Dogmatters Natural Raw Food diet to puppies?

Yes, puppies can go directly from weaning onto the Dogmatters diet. However, puppies need up to 10% of body weight daily at any given time during the first six months and thereafter the portion size is reduced according to their weight gain and breed. Please feel free to contact Belinda on if you have any queries at all about how to feed the Dogmatters diet to your puppy.

Will the Dogmatters diet make my pet put on weight?

In our experience, the majority of our customers have found that the Dogmatters diet is extremely effective at helping your overweight dog to lose weight and reach an acceptable weight. It has rarely been reported that dogs have gained excessive weight on the raw food diet. In our experience, if weight gain has been reported we have found that in most instances customers were exceeding the recommended daily intake. If you are at all concerned about your dog being overweight or underweight, we can refer you to our in-house vet who is completely familiar with the Dogmatters diet.

Should I add rice, grains or any other foods to the Dogmatters diet when I feed my pet?

No, rice and grains are not a natural food for dogs. Grains have high levels of carbohydrates which are converted to sugars.  Cancer cells feed on sugars and it is believed that
by decreasing the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, we may greatly reduce the risk of cancer.

We have heard that you should never feed your dog chicken bones. Is it safe to feed our dog Dogmatters chicken carcasses, or for that matter, pork bones?

Chicken carcasses are completely safe to feed your dog as long as the carcass / bone is not cooked. These bone products are important supplements for your dog and besides being recreational; they also provide additional calcium, magnesium and other trace elements.  These bone products are also effective teeth cleaners.

 What supplements should I be feeding my dog?

It is recommended to include Omega 3 or Salmon Oil.  Dogmatters is also able to provide the Omega 3 supplement that is suitable for your pet. Plain yogurt can also be included.  One can also include other suitable supplements such as natural brewer's yeast, vitamin E, a raw egg yolk.

Is it true that pets poop less on the Dogmatters diet?

Yes, the reason your dog is pooping less is because the majority of the food now
being ingested, is being digested and properly utilised by the body resulting in less waste. 

Is it normal for my dogs poop to turn white?

Yes, the minced bone content accounts for it turning white.  If you notice your dog straining while pooping, you can add some fruit / vegetable mix. This mix can also be purchased from Dogmatters.

Can the Dogmatters diet improve my pet’s skin and fur condition?

Yes, the majority of customers have noted this as a clear benefit.

I have heard that feeding raw meat to my dog will make my dog vicious or create a "blood lust". Is this true?

This is an urban myth.  There is no causative relationship between eating raw meat and wanting to kill animals or bite people.  This behaviour has nothing to do with what a dog is fed and has everything to do with natural prey drive, training and socialisation.

Where can I purchase Dogmatters food?

Please click here for our list of stockists and agents