This post may contain affiliate links.
What is Raw Feeding?
Yeah yeah, I know that if you're on my blog, you know what raw feeding is – but humor me. Raw feeding is diet comprised of 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat (1/2 offal and 1/2 liver). On top of that mixture, I add my vegetable mix. I call what I feed my dogs FrankenBARF. I started feeding my dogs based on the BARF model 3-1/2 years ago. I tried Prey model for a while. And now, I feed them based on what works best for them.
I feed raw, because of Rodrigo's allergies, joint issues, and digestive issues. Today, Rodrigo still has GI issues, but thanks to the living enzymes in raw dog food and FullBucket Daily Canine Powder, his digestive issues aren't as severe as he did when he was on kibble. His environmental allergies and joint issues are history.
So why didn't I feed my dog a home cooked diet?
Home Cooking for Dogs
I used to believe that the reason we shouldn't cook for our dogs is that cooking destroys the nutrients in the food. But if you really think about it – is this really true? How in the world are humans still the dominant species on the planet if cooking is so harmful? Ultimately, the reason I don't cook for my dogs is that it's expensive and I don't know how to do it in a way that's healthy.
So I get it when people tell me that raw feeding is complicated; I feel the same way about building a home cooked diet for my dogs.
Ollie is a delivery service that creates meals (beef or chicken) for your dog based on information you provide. If you look at the food, you'll see whole vegetables throughout and Ollie offers ingredient details on their site, including the vitamins they add to their food.
Pet Plate is a delivery service that creates meals (beef or turkey) for your dog based on information you provide. If you look at the food, you'll see whole vegetables throughout, however, they don't list the vitamins added to their meals among the ingredients list that I read.
[Recommended] Evermore is a woman owned business that creates food (chicken, beef, and lamb) available online and at small pet stores. The site lists all ingredients and what's impressive is the sourcing of the proteins is superior to any other brand that I've found.
It's not a surprise to see brands coming to market who are offering an alternative to both kibble and raw dog food. Cooking the food removes all nutrients, which means that the manufacturer has to put them back in through a synthetic vitamin mix. There really is no getting around the vitamin mix when it comes to commercial dog food.
Meal Balancers for Home Cooking for Dogs
If buying pre-cooked dog food isn't for you, you can always make your dog's food at home and add a meal balancer to make a healthy meal for your dog. There are a few on the market that I recommend. Although I don't feed home cooked to my dogs, if I changed my mind, these are the products I would add to their meals.
- The Honest Kitchen Base Mixes – I recommend Kindly or Preference
- Petabolics – created by Dr. Ken Tudor for Natura Petz
- WellyChef Veggie & Fruit (two recipes available)
I no longer use meal balancers when making raw meals. I've learned a lot about what my dogs need and have developed a system that allows me to mix up balanced raw meals for my dogs in short order. Although using meal balancers make raw feeding easier, it's not the only option for those of us who want more control over our dogs' diet – just one of many.
Top 4 Cookbooks for Dogs
- What's For Dinner, Dexter?: Cooking For Your Dog Using Chinese Medicine Theory by Judy Morgan D.V.M
- Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs by Rick Woodford
- Dinner PAWsible: A Cookbook of Nutritious, Homemade Meals for Cats and Dogs by D.V.M. Cathy Alinovi and Susan Thixton
- Chow: Simple Ways to Share the Foods You Love with the Dogs You Love by Rick Woodford