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In 2014, I decided to start sharing my journey as a raw feeder. I had been feeding my dogs a raw food diet for a year and wrote about what I had learned as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Looking back, I cringe at how little I knew about raw feeding and decided to update each of those blog posts in 2018-19.
I often get questions from readers about what supplements they need to add to raw dog food and I wish I could offer and easy answer, but the only thing I have is “it depends.”
Choosing the Right Supplements
Over the years, I've found that what supplements I add to my dogs' diet depends on two things:
1 – What I'm Feeding My Dogs
I feed my dogs a raw diet based on 80/10/10 – 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat. But this isn't a balanced diet. My dogs also need Omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients that may not be in the 80/10/10 (or there may not be enough). In order to make sure my dogs are eating a balanced diet, I also add the following…
- sardines or carp (Omega 3 fatty acids)
- canned, boiled oysters (Zinc)
If you are trying to figure out what you need to add to balance your dog's raw diet, then you can do one of two things:
Track your dog's nutrients in a spreadsheet and see what holes in the diet you need to fill.
Test your dog's nutrient levels to see what nutrients or supplements are needed in your dog's diet.
2 – My Dogs' Health Issues
The other reason I add supplements to my dogs' raw diet is to support any health issues. Rodrigo has a history of digestive issues and he and his sister, Sydney, have joint issues. Therefore, I add a digestive supplement and joint supplements to my dogs' diets.
- FullBucket Daily Canine Powder
- NZYMES 3-Pak Kit
- WINPRO Mobility
- In Clover Connectin Chews
- Dr. Baker's Canine System Saver
My Advice To You
If you find a list of supplements for raw fed dogs, tread carefully. Use the list as a guideline and start doing your research for your dog because every dog is different. What I've learned over the past five-plus years is to do my homework and understand why I add a supplement before spending a ton of money on supplements. I have wasted hundreds of dollars over the years on supplements that I don't need because I followed the advice of strangers online – don't make my mistake.
- You can check out what I give to my dogs (mostly whole foods) HERE.
Unless someone is a holistic veterinarian familiar with your dog's history, an animal nutritionist who is familiar with how to feed a balanced raw food diet, or someone who has done a tremendous amount of study on canine nutrition – I believe that it can be risky and expensive to follow the advice of strangers online. I work with my dogs' veterinarians on their diet. Two non-veterinarians I trust about canine nutrition are: