About Raw Gold

Raw Gold is a family-run business, with the husband and wife team of Gary and Monique Hodgkinson at the helm.

Monique is an International Boxer Specialist Judge and an Accredited Working Group Judge. She’s been breeding Boxers since 1999 under the Tanyati prefix and exceptional health is one of the cornerstones of her breeding program. Raising all her dogs naturally, a diet free of growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and inappropriate ingredients is her top priority.  Monique has a keen interest in research and develops the Raw Gold products in conjunction with leading experts in companion animal nutrition.

Gary has a background in Information Technology, with experience in system design and development, process engineering, business analysis and project management.  He brings a wealth of knowledge to the running of the business with his skills in resource management, financial and budget management and strategic planning.

Gary and Monique share their lives with their beautiful Boxers on an idyllic smallholding in the Western Cape nestled between mountains, wine farms and the ocean.

Raw Gold is dedicated to the manufacture and supply of premium raw pet food for the discerning pet owner. The health of our own dogs and our strong ethics drives us to use only ethically produced ingredients that we can guarantee are growth hormone-free and antibiotic-free and as far as possible we use only free-range or wild caught animals. None of our range contains meat meal, meat derivatives, or any rendered products.

Raw Gold is registered with the Department of Agriculture in terms of Act 36 of 1947, and we comply with very strict regulations regarding micro bacterial levels, as well as nutrient levels as stipulated by the Act. Our food is tested on an ongoing basis by an independent accredited laboratory, to ensure that not only are our nutrient levels optimal but that we remain well below acceptable levels of pathogens as prescribed by Act 36 of 1947.

Raw Gold is manufactured in our own processing facility under strict hygiene and sanitary conditions, by a well-trained team. Each bag we make is personally checked for quality and then moved immediately into our blast freezer, which is set to -30 degrees Celsius. This ensures that each bag of Raw Gold is frozen rapidly to maintain the quality and integrity of our product.

Our CEO, Monique Hodgkinson, is deeply passionate about the empowerment of women, and this can be seen in all areas of Raw Gold.

Raw Gold acknowledges the contribution the late Philip Herselman made in both coming up with our awesome name, Raw Gold, and formulating the original recipe for our minced dog food.  We remember him fondly as a man who was dedicated to developing the very best food available not only for his own Smooth Fox Terriers but for all dogs.  Thank you Phil.

Raw Feeding Explained

Feeding a raw food is not a new fad or ‘fashion’. This is how our dogs are genetically designed to eat. Species Appropriate Food, Raw Feeding, Bones And Raw Food, Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, BARF… these are all terms you will come across to describe the method of feeding your dog (or cat) the way its digestive system has been designed to be fed. Not with commercial food, made up of totally inappropriate ingredients like maize, corn, plant-based protein and so on, but with raw bones, raw meat, vegetable matter and other natural raw ingredients.

The basic principal in feeding dogs raw food lies in the proven fact that dogs are descended from the grey wolf. A chapter in the publication The Genetics of the Dog (ed Elaine A. Ostrander – National Human Genome Research Institute National Institutes of Health Maryland, USA & Anatoly Ruvinsky – University of New England, Australia), confirms the wolf origin of the dog. A comparison of the DNA of the grey wolf and the domestic dog shows a slight divergence of around 2% compared with 7.5% between dogs and coyotes, their next closest kin (Vila et al., 1997a). In fact, if we were to place the internal organs and digestive system of the grey wolf and, say, a German Shepherd Dog, on 2 tables and invited 10 experts to come in and identify which belonged to which, they would be unable to do so! The internal workings of both grey wolves and the modern dog are identical. So why wouldn’t we feed them the same way?

The raw food diet is therefore based on the fact that the dog comes from the wolf, which is a wild carnivore, as well as an opportunistic scavenger. As such, they eat the animals that they kill. This means that everything a wolf eats is raw, and bones form a very important part of their diet. Their gut and intestines are designed to cope with raw bones, bacteria and other such things that we would turn our noses up at. Since the closer association between man and dog dates back only some 12 000 years, on an evolutionary scale not enough time has lapsed for dogs’ nutritional requirements, or for his gut chemistry, to have changed.

Commercial food became BIG business in the last few decades and a large amount of money has been spent by these multi-million dollar companies on ‘educating’ vets and the dog-owning public about the necessity of feeding a commercial food. What does not make sense is that the basis of most of the commercial foods today is grain, rice or corn. These grains are alien products that a wild carnivore would never eat. Not only that, but the commercial dog food is COOKED. We’ve already established that the dog has descended from the wolf and have you ever seen a wolf with a stove? The very high temperatures involved in producing dog pellets destroy vitamins such as E and C. Another alarming fact is that a high percentage of the protein in most commercial dog foods is plant-based and not animal based.

Raw Feeding has a huge following around the world, with its supporters reporting phenomenal health benefits, from the disappearance of skin allergies and skin problems, disappearance of gum disease, increased health and vitality, increased fertility, maintenance of appropriate weight, reduction in joint disease and so on. The list is almost endless. Vets visits are reduced to the necessary annual visits for Rabies jabs and the like, and vet bills for all sorts of ailments are a thing of the past.