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Welcome to Raw Foodie Friday where I'll be sharing recipes of what I feed to my dogs. Every week, I receive an email from someone who wants me to give them a balanced raw food recipe. I've attempted to do this many times in the past, and I found that I didn't have the experience; especially back when all of my raw meals were made with a base mix. Today, I make raw meals on the fly daily, and my dogs are thriving, and I'm excited to share those meals with others who need inspiration.
I no longer focus on balance per meal. Instead, I balance over time which allows me more flexibility. If I'm running low on an ingredient, I don't panic because my dogs' raw meals will be out of balance. Instead, I add something else and adjust their diet later in the week or the following week.
Ask yourself – do you eat a balanced diet each meal or per day?
So here is a recent recipe…please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Easy Raw Dog Food Recipe
Rabbit, Carp Burgers, and Dr. Harvey's
I order the rabbit for my dogs from The Thogersen Family Farm. I switched to this supplier earlier this year because I wanted to feed rabbit, but had terrible luck with a previous source (the rabbit always smelled spoiled). I also love this new source because I can buy the rabbit whole or ground, I get ears and feet as well (with fur on, a great source of fiber and manganese), and they also offer other proteins.
I source the carp burgers from Scout and Zoe's (if the name sounds familiar, it's probably because two of our dogs are named Scout and Zoey). Carp is an invasive species in US lakes with no natural predator until now. Carp is naturally high in protein, and Omega 3 fatty acids and these carp burgers are 100% fish, nothing additional has been added.
I prefer to give my dogs whole foods when I can, and for Omega 3 fatty acids, I alternate carp, sardines, mackerel, and Atlantic salmon.
Dr. Harvey's Raw Vibrance base mix
We received Dr. Harvey's Raw Vibrance base mix for free in exchange for my honest thoughts (CLICK to read more about my thoughts). Spoiler Alert! I love Raw Vibrance. I turned away from base mixes a couple of years ago because I no longer wanted to add potatoes to my dogs' diet. I decided to give base mixes another shot after reading the amazing ingredients in Dr. Harvey's base mix. And I was sold when the dogs excitedly licked their dishes clean. Today, two months later, the dogs continue to lick their dishes clean. They love it!
I added a base mix back to my dogs' diet to provide another way to balance their diet with natural, quality ingredients. This meal contains whole ground rabbit. Therefore, I added less of the base mix.
Another way to “balance” a diet is by adding foods rich in nutrients. My dogs eat a raw egg every other day (at least 4 days a week). I prefer eggs from local farms (or friends who are raising chickens), however, when that source dries up for the season, I buy the certified organic eggs at Costco.
I purchase cheese from Answers Pet Food; these are cheese treats, and I add a few to my dogs' meals once or twice a week. I chose this product because the cheese is combined with ingredients that support improved health: spirulina, turmeric, and ginger. They also have treats that are combined with fruits for more antioxidants (blueberries, cherries, and cranberries) as well as other nutrients. There are over a billion probiotics per treat, and each treat is less than 20 calories.
Although there are chia seeds in the Raw Vibrance, I added a bit more because they are such a superfood. I recently did some research about the benefits of chia seeds for dogs and got super excited and made a batch for the dogs. Among other things, chia seeds are a rich source of plant based Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. I source my chia seeds from the “natural” section of the grocery store.
Raw Dog Food Ingredients
I mixed up several pounds of raw to last three days for my four dogs.
- 4 pounds of ground rabbit
- 3 scoops of Dr. Harvey's Raw Vibrance
- 1 pound of ground carp
- 1 8-ounce can of boiled oysters (not smoked)
When I'm dishing up each dog's meal, I also added…
- 1 raw egg per dog
- 2-3 pieces of cheese per dog (the girls got 2, the boys got 3)
- 1/4 tsp of hydrated chia seeds
- Nzymes (I'm trying out these supplements, stay tuned for a review)
Supplements for DIY Raw Feeding
I believe that we should supplement our dogs' meals based on their individual needs, so no two of my dogs get the same set of supplements. However, I do believe that all of my dogs need the following:
- Omega-3 fatty acids (when not feeding fish)
- Digestive supplement and probiotic
- Joint supplement
Supplements can be purchased, or they can be provided through whole food sources. For instance, I can buy a joint supplement, or I can support my dogs' joints by adding more duck feet, beef trachea, and other foods high in glucosamine. I tend to add both.
Sourcing for Raw Meat for My Dogs
I purchase everything for my dogs through a local raw food co-op.