Two-day Seminar on Raw Food: Early-Explorer Day and Adventurous Veteran Day

Mar 1, 2020 at 09:00 — 17:00 (GMT)

This is a great opportunity to meet and learn from Nick Thompson, Holisticvet  and Conor Brady, Dogs first Ireland.

It does not matter if you are a seasoned raw feeder or a raw virgin wanting to find out more. This is the perfect event for all as they cover a varied subject matter to help with all your queries.

They have designed this seminar to cover all aspects of raw feeding and crammed loads of information in to the 2 day seminar, you will find a breakdown of the 2 days below.

Day one is aimed at giving you the information and support to raw feed confidently and myth busting.

Day Two is aimed at covering more specific area such as sports dogs, common health concerns and more.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend both days you can book for just the one day and will still leave with loads of fantastic information and advice.

This seminar will also count for up to 15 hours (7.5 hours per day) of CPD training, certificate issued at the end of the course.

The ticket Price includes refreshment all day and a gluten free vegetarian lunch.  Unfortunately we are not able to cater to individual needs any further then this.

By the end of your adventure with Nick and Connor you will leave with loads of information and a greater understanding of the science behind raw as well as a goodie bag for all attending.


Day 1:

Raw Food Early-Explorer




Conor and Nick:

An Introduction to Conor and Nick. An Introduction to the Day

We will say hi and introduce ourselves and ask YOU what you want to get out of the day; a comfortable stroll through the lowlands of canine nutrition. Tell us what you want. It’s your day, after all.





What do dogs eat?

This is the most important question in canine nutrition because what you feed an animal is paramount to both their physical and mental well being. So why is it that we are all so confused about what a dog should eat day-to-day?

If a zoologist was presented with a dog for the first time, there are a variety of tools at their disposal to answer this question. They can look at the evolution of the dog: where did he come from and what are his relatives eating; they can look at the diet studies: what do dogs eat when they are left to their own devices; and they can look at the biology of the dog, at his digestive morphology, which quickly tells us what they are geared up to eat.

As any zookeeper will tell you, once you have the answer you are practically obliged to feed the animal his normal species-appropriate diet if good health and longevity is what you're after.




Coffee: 15 mins





Feeding raw: The Basics

After 25 years of pondering how to make the infinite world of raw food fit into the palm of his hand, Nick has whittled it down to five basic elements. He will present his quintet of take-home messages for the most basic foundations of any raw food diet.

The best place to start raw feeding your dog is by letting a reputable manufacturer of a raw all-in-one foods do the initial work. It’s nice, though, to know how they choose ingredients and blend their formulations to help you understand what and you’re feeding and why.

These principles will allow you to transition, when and if you feel ready, into the world of DIY raw food, making up meals at home with confidence, knowledge and clarity. Welcome to the raw food revolution!





Should you feed veg? And a note on treats...

One of the most hotly debated topics in what dogs eat is around plant matter. Essentially how much, of what, if at all?! When you understand why the confusion in the diet studies, the question itself becomes easier to answer.

Here we tease apart what the literature says, picking out some outstanding examples where small amounts of plant material can be fed to dogs, often to their great benefit, and then show you how to do it properly. We end with discussing the recent trends of vegetarian and vegan dogs (angry smiley face).

Once you start feeding species-appropriate food, you will naturally begin to question everything else you put inside them, and possibly in you too!


Next in line for the chopping block are poor quality pet treats. This is a minefield so here we teach you how to spot the good from the bad and the downright ugly, and offer up 3 or 4 fantastic tips for making your own: twice as nice at half the price!




Gluten-free Vegetarian Lunch - 45 mins





Raw Food Quiz - No Post-Prandial Sluggishness Here…





Raw Food Myths: Benefits & Balance

‘Oh, raw feeders always go on about the benefits of raw feeding, but where’s the evidence?’, is something you’ll hear sceptics repeat in every conversation about raw. But are they right or just spouting hot air?

The proof for raw is new, up-and-coming, it’s incomplete, but there are scientific studies we can look at to back up what we raw feeders see with our eyes every day, often within weeks of starting raw - improved teeth, gut function, breath, windiness, energy, stool quality and…the list is endless.


‘Complete and Balanced meals’ is a mantra the conventional nutrition world invented many years ago. We’re going to look at what this means to the raw feeder. We’re going to teach you how to create a diet to avoid excesses and deficiencies in protein, fat and carbohydrates, but at the same time, ensuring enough, but not over-doing, minerals and vitamins. Fear not, it’s a lot easier, and a lot more fun than it sounds!





Raw Food Myths: Bugs n Bones

Folk new to raw feeding come with a certain amount of fear to the table. This fear has been carefully instilled in you (and your vet) to make you believe that the overly complicated, ultra-processed and over-priced bag of dog crackers is worth the money you are currently wasting on it.

By far the biggest fear pushed by vested interests is the risk of hazardous microbiology (which saves talking about nutrition or health so easily). So here we spend time talking about the risks of BOTH dry versus raw dog food from that very perspective. We go through the bug threat of each product, showing you the figures, the deaths, the recalls, and allow you to make up your own mind of what is safe and what is not for your pet.  


Feeding raw meaty bones is vital to your dog. I don't use that term lightly as they have many benefits. Of course, as with all foods, certainly the big hard ones, feeding meaty bones necessitates a little care, and we show you how to do it whilst ensuring the safety of your pet. We go through the reasons for the confusion and recommend the best bones for your dog to start off on.








Conor and Nick:

Top FAQs

We’re going to take you through, before the group discussion, our most asked questions. Hopefully, this will dispel niggles and worries easily to allow you to get the most out of the group work at the end of the day. Sit back and enjoy before you have your say.



16:30 - 17:00

Group Discussion

A chance to bring together all the learning of the day and answer any questions still lingering. We want you to leave Yatton today feeling a little more knowledgeable on nutrition and a lot more confident in your daily feeding practice.



Day 2: 

Raw Food Adventurous Exploration Day




Conor and Nick:

Introduction to Conor and Nick. Introduction to the Day and Group Questions

Saying ‘Hello Again’ to our Day 1 people, and greeting any new Day 2 folk.  If yesterday was a comfortable introductory stroll through the low hills of canine nutrition,  today is going to be taking to the uplands, the high alpine meadows of canine raw food. And maybe doing a little rock climbing!  Get your boots on.





Matters of Protein

Many people get into raw feeding without truly understanding what it is meat protein does for your dog.

In this section we will really get into the protein debate, starting off by teaching you about protein; what it does and the different forms it can come in, in both dry and raw pet food (as you can expect, there are a few toe-curling stories here, caveat emptor).

We teach you how to compare the protein contents of dry and raw foods (water contents make it tricky). We take a look at what the SACN's statement on protein, the effect of "too much protein" on the kidneys of dogs (with particular focus on seniors) and the effect of too little in working dogs.

We also cover the different compounds found in different meat proteins, the pros and cons of feeding cooked meat protein to your pet and finish with a quick discussion of the real protein requirements, at least protein to fat ratio, of your average dog. Very, very interesting. 





Feeding the Sporting Dog/Canine Athlete for Perfect Health, Stamina, Healing & Focus

Well of course we all want perfect health. Duh!

But is it achievable? How, using raw food, can we avoid the pitfalls of nutritional problems and optimise our poochy-performer to their very best game?

Nick will look at food, supplements, herbs and homeopathics he’s used over the years to coax the very best out of performance dogs up and down the country.

If you achieve the best possible health for your high-demand dog, do they have stamina? How can we push this into the equation? And if they have great health and remarkable stamina, but get injured, what can we do to promote healing? And if we fix them and they are perfect, but can’t concentrate because their brain is like a box of frogs, how can we achieve a zen-like, heat-seeking missile-like focus? All will be revealed. 









Recurring Skin & Gut Conditions, a.k.a Food Sensitivity - How to Run an Exclusion Diet Properly

The number 1, 2 and 3 reasons for visiting the vet today are recurring skin, ear and gut conditions. Most likely, if you are here today, around half of you jumped to real food as you had a dog with a health condition, and for most of you it was for the reasons stated.

Sadly, while a quick change to any raw will solve a lot of your issues, very often it is not as simple as that. Food sensitivity is a very tricky little condition and here we get into it in detail. We begin with teaching a little of the difference between allergy and intolerance, essentially two separate issues and it's the latter most (previously dry-fed) dogs are affected by.

Using the literature we discuss the top antigens in dogs and why they cause them so many problems and why studies show dry food cannot solve the problem for you.

We then get into the "what to do" which involves how to move them over correctly (a broth step first), which meats to choose, how to run an exclusion diet properly and all the little added natural bits I would add in along the way to ensure you fix that gut and get your dog back to full digestive potential and thus good health.




Gluten-free Vegetarian Lunch: 45 mins





Disease Conditions: Obesity, Kidney Disease, Pancreatitis & Old Timers.

Depending on who you talk to, the obesity epidemic among dogs in the UK is between 55-65%. Yes, two thirds of dogs in this country are diseased, some from as early as puberty. It’s as bad in humans, but we, together with our health advisors and the ultra-processed pet food companies, have got our dogs into this mess and it’s up to us to get them out.

Overweight and obese dogs die two years, on average, before their trim team-mates. And that’s after having measurably poorer quality-of-life and costing their owners a lot more to keep. We know this because the British Small Animal Veterinary Association has recently published the studies.

Obesity and dogs being overweight impacts more than just their life expectancy and your pocket. It’s a known predictor of diabetes, heart, lung, pancreas and kidney disease. And the older the porky dog is, the worse things look, I’m afraid. 

But all is not lost! As with us, if you get your diet right, your body is incredibly good at remembering what health looks and feels like and welcomes the opportunity to returning to firing on all cylinders. Raw food is the cornerstone of our canine health revolution…

Let’s also look at herbs, homeopathics, supplements and nutritional tweeks we can bring to help with these oh-too-common issues. If we get time, we can look at anal gland issues, IBS, IBD, skin disease and how to approach ‘the itchy dog’.




Coffee: 15 minutes




Group work:

The class will be divided into small groups to whom each will receive a their own theoretical "patient" - a type of dog with a health complaint or two. Each group will be asked to apply their recent learning skill together with their own unique skill set to formulate diets and supplementary treatments (and indeed lifetstyle changes) for the animal and owner "in their care". Each case will then be discussed allowed, bestowing some a deeper skill set in Day 2 which attendees can then take and employ in real life situations




Answers & Group Discussion


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