Dogs have always played a major part in our family life and what they eat has always been important to us. I first started to feed our family dogs sable and Bonnie raw tripe and pet mince from the butcher in the late 80’s / early 90’s. After a while, I was a little concerned they weren’t receiving a balanced enough diet so I reverted back to Kibble.
Over the years, more and more research has pointed to the multiple benefits of a raw dog food diet so in 2010 I once again took the plunge and started the dogs on their new raw food diet. It was around the same time that some of the stories around dry dog food and it’s contents were being more widely reported so this certainly influenced my decision.
I was determined to source local, ethically produced, organic, raw food for our dogs so I visited the local abattoir, where I was told I needed a licence from DEFRA to transport and feed category 3 animal by-products for our own dogs. After obtaining this licence I was able to provide Luna, Montana and shani with the best raw diet they could possibly have and within a week I could already see a difference in the appearance of their coats and general health.
Our raw food is transported all over the UK via DPD courier, delivered locally around Devon by our own delivery drivers, shipped to guernsey and N. Ireland and available in over 120 pet shops and raw food suppliers nationwide. You can see our list of stockists and apply to become one here.
We all animals here at The Dogs Butcher so we ensure our raw food is British and ethically sourced. We won’t buy none stunned, Halal slaughtered or intensively farmed meat and all our poultry products are free range. Where possible we use quality, locally sourced ingredients from near TDB headquarters in Devon.
Our produce is sourced from abattoirs that we have worked with for a number of years and regularly visit. We believe this is crucial to the ethos of our product as we can investigate where the animals are sourced, be sure that they have lived a good life and monitor the conditions that the animals and our end product go through at every stage of the process.
I became obsessed with raw food and loved chopping and preparing all our dogs meals. I bought a large chest freezer to put in the garage, and another fridge freezer to put in the boot room, so that I could defrost their food in their own fridge. I made charts for each dog, balancing out their food requirements over a fortnight, which also informed family members what the dogs should be fed on particular days. It made my life easier if family members could help feed the dogs too. After joining some groups on facebook, BARF UK was my first, and meeting like-minded local people, and because I had a licence, I was getting asked if I could provide food for their dogs too. I quickly realised we hadn’t got a supplier that operated in our area. So I applied to Defra once again, but this time it was to open a raw pet food plant in my garage. Lots of forms had to be filled out and risk assessments completed, as well as additional building work which was carried out by my very supportive husband. On October 16th 2013 I was granted my licence and we operated from our GARAGE. I had a tiny mincer and 1 table for chopping!!. In June 2014, we moved to larger premises as we had definitely outgrown the garage. My first walk-in freezer was the same size as my garage! We are now in 2018 and have moved in to a former abattoir in Newton Abbot which is 7,500 square metres, set in 8 acres of gorgeous Devon countryside and have now got 8 walk in freezers and very high electric bills!!! We are now, in 2021 expanding production areas and planning a new freezer which holds 3 times more stock!!! We now have a natural pet store on site and we will also, very soon have a grooming parlour. We are planning on letting out our 5 acre field to dog training clubs too
I am an experienced raw feeder first and foremost and am in the process of completeing a course on nutrition for dogs. We have helped thousands of people make the transition from kibble to raw for their dogs. Do not hesitate to ring if you need our advice on 01803301545, lines open 9-5pm Monday to Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help, Joanne Mcmahon Proprietor