Special Needs & Supplements

Special Needs Meals & Supplements

Every pet deserves a diet that not only nourishes but also addresses their unique health concerns. At Raw Pet Food Deli, we understand the importance of tailored nutrition, especially for our furry friends facing various health challenges. Our commitment lies in crafting custom-mixed recipes for cats and dogs with specific health problems, ensuring they receive the care they need through their meals.

Each pet is as unique as their personality, and so are their dietary requirements. That’s why we take pride in offering specialized meals and supplements designed to cater to a wide range of health concerns. Whether it’s managing allergies, supporting renal function, aiding digestion, or addressing other medical conditions, we work closely with pet owners and veterinarians to formulate diets that meet the precise needs of their beloved companions.

We make custom mixed recipes for cats and dogs with specific health problems.

Many of our customers have dogs or cats presenting different health concerns, and it is our special privilege to find the diet that can aid these pets on their path to wellness.

These Special Recipes are always developed in consultation with our vet, and wherever possible with your vet too.

If your dog or cat has a particular illness or allergy, please speak to us so that we can tailor-make an approach to their food.

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  • Arogya Paws - Mobility Plus

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Custom mixes – Our service to Pets with Special Needs

We have known the helpless feeling of having a beloved pet who was ill.  That is what started us on the raw feeding journey, and it is our ongoing passion to help others in that situation.

Usually pet food is manufactured in a “one size fits all” approach.  At As Nature Intended, we believe that each cat and dog is an individual.  When they have health problems, they need to be fed diets that support their specific needs. This is why As Nature Intended is willing to offer a unique service – we will customise a recipe focused on your dog or cat’s specific issues.

We start by meeting with you to learn all about your fur-child’s history, and what their problems are. We then do a research process which always includes consultation with a vet and an animal nutritionist. Sometimes, we may need to refer you for an appointment with an holistic vet who fully understands the connection between food and health.

We will then propose a recipe to you made up of ingredients that will help to promote wellness in your dog or cat’s individual situation.  If needed, we will happily do a budget for you based on the cost of the proposed recipe.

Of course, you will continue to use any treatments prescribed by your vet.  Diet alone cannot cure disease but eating the right foods does promote health and assist your beloved pet on their path to recovery.


We do not charge for our research and consultations. Our reward has been seeing amazing changes in the lives of sick animals and their human parents.

Custom mix examples.

We are sharing some examples below of dogs and cats for whom we have made custom mixes in the past.  The examples are grouped according to the symptoms that these specific dogs or cats showed or the general type of diet that was made.

It is important to note that these are only examples of individual recipes.  Act 36 of 1947 prescribes the regulations pertaining to pet food.  A “custom mix” is not registered for public use but is made on the advice of a qualified person (ie a vet) for a specific client.  In other words, if your dog or cat is ill we need to make a formula that is specifically for your pet. This must be in consultation with a vet.

Dogs and Cats with Chicken Allergies

Poppy Popkins and Lisa – We first met the beautiful Poppy Popkins when her mom discovered, after full allergy screening, that she had a chicken allergy. This had resulted in itching and bald spots. Working closely with her vet we made three custom mixes especially for her that contained no chicken. After only a month the feedback from her mom was:

Poppy is now eating her special dinner, the chicken free mix, and she is thriving although it has only been one month.

Poppy sends us delightful emails that she ‘dictates’ to her mum.

Lisa:  Lisa’s allergy testing showed numerous allergies including to various grains, carrots and chicken.  For a number of dogs like Lisa, we have had to exclude other ingredients too. We will carefully look at any allergy testing results for other dogs like Lisa and Poppy, as well as their history of food reactions. In our experience so far, carrots seems to come up quite often on allergy testing.  (Of course, grain is almost always there – happily, none of our foods contain grain).

We have found that most of these dogs can thrive on mixes made using pure Venison or pure Turkey (including the bone) with small amounts of specific fruits, vegetables, and supplements. We try to provide them with as much variety in recipes as they can tolerate.  This is in line with our understanding that the key to balanced nutrition is variety.

Before any of the individual recipes are made, all our kitchen equipment is thoroughly cleaned to make sure there are no minute traces of chicken or other ingredients that these dogs are sensitive to in their food.

As it happened with Oscar’s Recipe, we have found that a number of our customers are requesting chicken-free mixes.  We have submitted our registration papers for one of Lisa’s Chicken and Carrot-free Recipes to the Department of Agriculture.  Once they have granted us a V number, we will be able to make these dinners available to everyone.

Dogs with Arthritis or Joint Problems .

Mojo – At the age of 7, Mojo, a gorgeous Bullmastiff, was diagnosed with arthritis of the spine – Spondyloarthritis. His vet asked us to custom-make dinners for Mojo.  Dinners that were specially designed to relieve pain and inflammation, improve joint mobility, and aid in muscle and skeletal development.  Instead of having to feed him various supplements in pill form with every meal, we wanted to make sure that this dinner met as many of his needs as possible.

The holistic vet recommended that we used cuts of meat that were chosen for their high chondroitin, glucosamine and cartilage content. He also recommended Omega 3 and various herbal supplements.

Arthritis is caused by bones rubbing directly on bones. Cartilage is the body’s natural cushion, and must be nurtured to reduce pain and inflammation. Glucosamine and chondroitin are used by the body to form cartilage. Our research showed us that certain cuts of meat are extra-high in these nutrients.  This really helped to shape Mojo’s recipe.

Mojo’s custom mix was made in three different varieties – Chicken, Beef, and Pork to ensure that he was fed variety.  In order to keep feeding time hassle-free we added all the supplements needed including Omega 3.  We chose to add a mix called “Rebound” from Honeyvale Herbs – it has a great mix of herbs known to promote healthy joints and those known to relieve pain. All that was needed was to defrost and feed!

Mojo loved his dinners so much his dad had to put a lock on the fridge!

Cats and Dogs with Kidney Problems

Cyan: Cyan and her brother and sister are all FELV+ and their mom came to us requesting a custom mix to support her kitties. Renal disease is a common problem with this diagnosis. Working closely with her vet we made up a dinner for her to support this.

In the words of her mom:

“Her coat is glossy and her big hanging tummy is gone! She loves her food and eats her custom mix and enjoys the variation of Ostrich and Turkey. She went to the Vet to have her teeth checked and poor baby needs to have some pulled but even her urine analysis is perfect!!!! Vet is very happy with her.”

This is why we do what we do!

Our usual Cat of the Day cat food recipes are 98% meat and bone (including organ meat) with some yoghurt and supplements making up the balance. The correct calcium/phosphorous ratio is between 1:1 and 1.5:1 for a normal healthy cat or dog.

Veterinary specialists recommend that cats and dogs with early and middle stage kidney problems need a special recipe that has moderate amounts of good quality protein, high fat, low or no carbohydrate and sodium, and very low phosphorous. Of course, the naturally high moisture content of raw food also has enormous benefits in both preventing and treating renal problems.

The custom mix we made up for Cyan was 93% pure meat, and made up of cuts which were carefully chosen for their lower phosphorous level as recommended by her vet. It includes egg, homemade yoghurt, and supplements. Happily, none of our foods contain any grains, salt or preservatives (grains and salt have both been recognised as contributors to kidney disease).

This is one of Cyan’s favourite hang-outs.

Meisie: Cute little Meisie is an active Staffie who loves her walks but was limited because of her kidney problems. Meisie’s mom asked us to help with a custom mix. After working with her vet, a custom mix was made up specially for her and her mum has told us it has given her renewed vigour and a more active life.

Meisie’s mix was based on these principles. Dogs with kidney problems also need high quality protein and low phosphorus with little or no sodium. Their meals should be high in fat, so the custom mix we made for Meisie used a higher proportion of fattier meat cuts than some of our other doggie recipes, such as chicken thigh and leg, and avoided the use of white chicken meat (which can be inflammatory). The meat in this custom mix was all Free-Range Chicken. There was also a higher proportion of low-phosphorous vegetable matter in this recipe than in our others. High acidity foods can cause damage to animals with stressed kidneys, so we also kept an eye on the PH values in these recipes

Dogs with Cancer/ Diabetes/ Epilepsy

Kaesha: We first made this custom mix for our own beloved dog Kaesha – our miracle girl. We were devastated when she was diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer and we were told that the prognosis was that she would not survive more than 2 to 3 years.

Our holistic vet shared loads of research with us. Many researchers have studied the role of food in supporting remission from cancer, and the helpfulness and harmfulness of particular nutrients. The ketogenic diet is highly recommended by the experts in the field.  This diet requires very good quality protein, high fat, and no sugars at all. Kaesha loved the various ketogenic recipes we made for her. She also received holistic veterinary treatment of course. She had nine years of remission from mast cell cancer, and lived happily to a ripe old age. 

Kaesha had a special ‘look’ for when she felt it was dinner time.

Nala and Caris: We made similar ketogenic custom mix for Nala whose vet diagnosed her with T-cell lymphoma.  According to her vet,  she made remarkable progress with treatment and the diet change, and we are so glad to hear that she is happy and healthy now, five years later!  Caris who had lymphoma was given  a similar custom mix.  Her owner tells us that she benefitted hugely from this.

Nala and her brother Nero – two of our favourite visitors.



Yebo: Ketogenic recipes are also recommended by vets for dogs with other illnesses – specifically dogs with epilepsy and diabetes. Yebo is a happy Basenji dog who suffered from uncontrolled epileptic seizures. His vet referred him to us with a special request for a ketogenic custom mix. His owner says:

We are sure it helps keep the seizures away, it makes Yebo’s fur shiny and healthy and we have a very happy dog around the house. Thank you guys!

Here’s a pic of one very happy well fed Basenji called Yebo!

Of course, all these dogs received the best that veterinary care had to offer, with vets who recognised the role of nutrition in promoting health.

Dogs with Pancreatic Problems, Heart Disease , Cushing’s Disease and Hyperlipidaemia

Xena and Willow: We first made a low-fat custom mix for Xena who was diagnosed with Pancreatitis, and later, a very similar mix for Willow – both Bearded Collies. Lovely Willow was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease and Hyperlipidaemia which is an excess of fats or lipids in the blood. Willow’s vet sent her to us to make up a custom mix for her that was low-fat.

Willow was on this mix for many years.  A while ago, her mom told us:

It made such an incredible difference. It also meant so much to me that a company, a small company, were going to go out of their way to support us, and to be committed to Willow’s health. The vets told me that they didn’t think, and these are specialist vets, she’d live far beyond six. She’s almost fifteen and a half now.

While dogs definitely require fat in their diets to give them energy, those with pancreatic illnesses and many heart diseases require a much lower fat diet. In these custom mixes we excluded any high-fat cuts of meat, including de-skinning portions where needed. We also used a lower percentage of offal in these custom mixes than our other ones (many of the organ meats are too fatty) and we excluded the usual yoghurt and eggs. The recipes are still well-balanced and include all the necessary nutrients.

Please note – this is not a weight loss program, but a custom diet designed for these specific dogs with their illnesses. If your dog or cat has obesity issues, please speak to us as we have plenty of suggestions on how to address these.

Willow living her best life!A happy Xena ready for the beach.


Other special needs or questions

This is not an exhaustive list of our special recipes, and we are constantly developing new ones in line with what our customers and their pets need.  We are also more than happy to share more detailed information on the research behind these recipes, as well as advise on how best to serve them.  Please let us know what your dog’s or cat’s special needs are, and we will work with you in consultation with the best vets to get them as happy and healthy as possible

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