Random Question Wednesday is a feature in my Facebook group, the Raw Feeder's “Kicked Out” Club. Because the group guidelines state that we discuss raw feeding (and raw adjacent) topics only, Wednesday is a day when the floor is opened to everything.
We get some great questions and I want to share them with Keep the Tail Wagging readers to help out others with similar questions.
Are My Dogs Getting Enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
“How do I know my dog is getting enough omega 3? Are smelt enough if I feed every few days?” ~ Jennifer R.
When it comes to Omega 3s, I don't worry too much about my dogs getting enough because they get everything through diet as long as I'm feeding a variety of proteins. However, someone said something similar to me when I started feeding raw and I wanted to scream “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???” How does variety mean they're getting enough? Today, I understand that when our dogs are fed a species appropriate diet, they take in what they need and discard what they don't need. The nutrients are easier to absorb than in a diet of dry dog food and quickly put to use.
Today, I understand that when our dogs are fed a species appropriate diet, they take in what they need and discard what they don't need. The nutrients are easier to absorb than in a diet of dry dog food and quickly put to use.
For Omega 3 fatty acids, I alternate fish oils and add sardines to my dogs' diet. My dogs get sardines 3 days a week and fish oil 2-3 days a week. I allow for days when I add green tripe and eggs, which are also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and days when I plum forget to add fish oil.
- When adding canned sardines, I buy sardines in water (no salt added) and add 1 sardine per every 20 pounds. Zoey, who weighs 60 pounds, gets 3 sardines.
- When adding fresh sardines, I chop them in thirds and feed one whole fish to each dog. Or I give them a whole fish and feed them outside.
Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Dogs
- Fresh eggs
- Green Tripe
And if you don't have a good source of fish or tripe, the following oils are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Flax seed oil
- Walnut oil
Variety is Important When Feeding a Raw Food Diet to Dogs
I've learned that because I feed a variety of proteins and add sardines, eggs, green tripe, and fish oil to my dogs' diet – they are getting the right amount of Omega 3 fatty acids. I would only worry about balancing the fats in my dogs' diet if I was feeding one or two proteins and didn't have access to more variety. Otherwise, I'm good.
CLICK HERE to read my thoughts on balancing fats in a raw food diet for dogs.
How Do I Find Sources for Offal?
“How can I ask my local butcher about purchasing testicles without sounding creepy?” ~ Sarah H.
A balanced raw diet includes 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% offal. Offal refers to the secreting organs that can be challenging to source for some raw feeders:
These are items that aren't available at many grocery stores and if you're new to raw feeding it can be weird to ask for these items at your local butcher. But we gotta risk a little embarrassment because it's best for our dogs, right?
Sources for Offal in Raw Feeding
I buy most of my food through a local raw food co-op. Pancreas, kidney, and spleen are also available in an organ blend made by GreenTripe.com. I've heard that raw feeders have had great luck shopping at Asian supermarkets (more variety in organ meat). And then there is always a local butcher.
To avoid the creep factor, I recommend starting the discussion with “Hi, I feed my dogs a raw food diet…” Awareness of raw feeding is on the rise and there's a good chance that you're not the first raw feeder your butcher has encountered. Starting a discussion by letting him/her know that you feed raw will set the stage for the requests for testicles. If your butcher is unfamiliar with raw feeding, then this is a great opportunity to share what you know – maybe you'll inspire him/her to begin offering raw for pets.
Join us in Raw Feeders “Kicked Out” Club to learn more about raw feeding in a friendly environment. You will be asked three questions before your membership is approved. These questions are our attempt to weed out troublemakers or people who want to spam the group with sales posts.