A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs
Benefits I've experienced with my dogs after switching to raw dog food…
No More Allergies
A raw food diet boosts immune system health, helping dogs combat allergies.
The healthy fatty acids and nutrients in a raw diet for dogs improves skin and coat health.
Enjoying raw meaty bones satisfies the chew drive while cleaning teeth and freshening breath.
Raw fed dogs eat natural, unprocessed foods and have more energy and focus.
A raw diet is easier to digest, dogs absorb more nutrients, leading to smaller poop.
Fewer Vet Visits
Switching to raw reduced vet visits from every other month to annual check-ups.
Raw Dog Food ModelsThere are several ways to feed your dog a raw food diet. The three that I'm most familiar with are BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) Model, Prey Model, FrankenBARF (a diet I created to explain how I feed my dogs), and Premade (Commercial) Raw Dog Food.
BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) Model Raw Feeding is a raw food diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and supplements. This is where many raw feeders start because it's easy to incorporate and many pre-made raw brands are based on the BARF model of raw feeding. BARF Model raw feeders believe that fruits and vegetables are in important part of a dog's diet and provide many nutrients that are beneficial to our dogs' health. 65%-75% muscle meat 10%-15% bone 5% offal 5% liver 5%-10% vegetables, dairy, eggs
Prey Model Raw Feeding is a raw food diet that includes meat, organ meat, and bone. This model more closely resembles what wolves eat in the wild. Prey Model raw feeders believe that vegetables and fruit aren't necessary for a dog's diet and only serve as fillers. Prey Model ratio: 80% muscle meat 10% bone 5% offal 5% liver
This is the model that I now feed to my dogs. It's a mixture of mostly BARF Model with some Prey Model. After more than three years of feeding raw, I have come to the conclusion that vegetables and fruit are a beneficial part of my dogs' diet. I also add supplements to their meals. However, sometimes I like to feed them based on the Prey Model to provide more variety. FrankenBARF Model ratio: 80% muscle meat 10% bone 5% offal 5% liver Vegetables, goats milk, raw eggs, supplements – all added in addition to the above to provide additional nutrients and satisfy each dog's specific needs.
Premade raw dog food refers to commercially prepared raw. The benefit of feeding premade raw is that it reduces the concern about sourcing and feeding a balanced diet – the brand takes care of this for you. However, because the brand takes on the burden of providing a quality, balanced raw diet – they charge more for their food. Premade raw can be significantly more expensive than DIY. There are several brands that I buy for my dogs although I make 99% of their raw meals. And there are a lot of new brands coming to the market that practice questionable sourcing, use synthetic vitamins, and aren't transparent about their ingredients. Beware. Brands I feed to my dogs include: Darwin's Natural Pet Products Answers Pet Food Vital Essentials Raw Primal Pet Columbia Pet Food Northwest Naturals Raw Paws Pet Food Steve's Real Food
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Which raw bones are best for dogs?
Should I feed ground or whole raw dog food?
What are the benefits of raw eggs for dogs?
Can dogs have goat's milk and kefir?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started feeding raw?
I recommend starting with a reputable premade raw brand. This will allow you to transition your dogs to raw dog food easily while providing you time to research the diet in case you'd like to make your dog's meals.
What premade raw brands do you recommend?
I feed our dogs several premade raw brands, many of which I can order through our local raw food co-op. The brands I prefer include… Darwin's Natural Pet Products Answers Pet Food Vital Essentials Raw Primal Pet Columbia Pet Food Northwest Naturals Raw Paws Pet Food Steve's Real Food
What proteins do you feed your dogs?
I like to add variety to our dogs' diet because I believe that each protein offers different nutrients. Our dogs eat the following proteins: duck turkey liver and hearts rabbit elk venison pork liver, heart, and kidneys sardines and mackerel green beef tripe green bison tripe lamb quail emu
Is balancing a dog's diet hard?
If you try and balance your dog's diet daily, it can become challenging. Instead, it's recommended that you balance your dog's diet over time. Humans don't eat a balanced diet at every meal, so it's not surprising that dogs don't either. For my dogs, keep track of their poop and how they look and behave to determine what they need and I adjust their diet accordingly. My goal with my dogs is to attain the below ratio in their diet: 80% muscle meat (alternated weekly) 10% raw meaty bones (duck necks, turkey necks) 5% offal (secreting organs) 5% liver 10% veggies, eggs, and/or raw goat milk
What does A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding cover?
A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding covers everything from why raw is superior to kibble, how to transition a dog to raw feeding, the many benefits of raw, and this book has several raw dog food recipes.