Raw Feeding your Dog: The Basics
Welcome to your Raw-Feeding Journey!
If you are new to Raw-Feeding, this is a great place to start.
There is SO MUCH information out there on raw-food feeding and home-prepared diets. A lot of it is conflicting plus some vets will tell you to stay to clear of raw and home-made diets and feed your pet commercially prepared diets… Confusing right!
So my first advice is to take it one step at a time..
Baby steps in fact!
If your dog has been getting a commercially prepared diet it’s whole life, then even by starting off by adding just a couple of fresh-food items a week will be a great improvement.
Do NOT get overwhelmed with getting it perfectly right or you will run the risk of giving up!
Also your dog will need some adjusting too, so it’s best for them to take baby-steps too.
For my Feline friends out there, I will post about feeding your cat soon, so make sure you subscribe to my blog!
BABY STEP ONE
Figure out the best-sized raw bones to feed your dog.
If you think about what your dog would take down in the wild, this is a good start!
For most small dogs, they wouldn’t cope with anything bigger than a bird or chicken. So chicken or duck necks and wings are great. You might also be able to find (and cope with!) chicken feet if you’re brave!
Medium to large dogs might take down something as large as a sheep but nothing bigger. So a lamb shank sized bone would be about the biggest bone required for most medium to large dogs. A whole chicken carcass is another great option and you can even stuff it with blended vegies.
The giant marrow bones out there are TOO big for any dog. Whilst your dog might enjoy them, they run the risk of fracturing a tooth. The bone marrow is also too high in fat and can cause pancreatitis.
Start by giving your dog the raw bones once a week then each week increase the frequency. Raw bones should make up around 10% of their total diet. Giving more than 10% is often fine, but your dog may end up with constipation so if this happens, cut back to around the 10% mark.
BABY STEP TWO
Find some raw vegetables that your dog will eat. You can try any raw vegetable EXCEPT for onion/spring onions and garlic. The most brightly coloured vegetables have the highest nutritional value, along with leafy and curly greens.
If your pets are fussy like mine, they will NOT eat vegetables unless they are blended up.
I am a big fan of limiting waste in my kitchen, hence I collect our household vegetable scraps (left over salads, carrot peels, vege tops and bottoms etc) and keep in the freezer. Then once a week I blend them up and mix them together with some raw meat and BOOM my pets are eating their greens!
If you’re a juicer, you can also use the leftover pulp!
Once you have figured out which vegetables your dog will eat, or how to best hide them (!), start adding them to their current food as often as possible.
Like us, the more anti-oxidant packed fresh foods our pets eat the better…
BABY STEP THREE
The next step is to start adding a variety of meats and supplements to your dogs diet.
Below is a fully balanced recipe for a 15kg dog. But do not stress if your dog won’t eat everything on this list right away. OR if you don’t have time to prepare the whole list right away!
Both you and your dog might need a little time to adjust to a whole new way of feeding / eating so take it easy! And if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
BALANCED DIET FOR A HEALTHY ADULT DOG
This is 350g food – enough for a 15kg dog for one day.
1. Raw meaty bones appropriate for chewing ability of dog – 100g
- raw chicken wing, back or frame
- 2 or 3 raw chicken necks
- half a raw turkey neck
- portion of raw turkey wing
- raw lamb neck parts
- raw lamb flaps
- raw roo tail part
- raw goat meaty bones
2. Raw meat – 150g
- chunks or raw roo or goat meat (preservative-free)
- raw chicken/turkey thigh
- lamb/beef/goat/camel/pork/rabbit or other raw minced, diced or whole meat pieces
3. Offal – 30g
- chicken or turkey gizzard/giblets
- lamb/mutton/pork/beef offal:
- green tripe
- dried liver treats
4. Raw vege/fruit pulp left over from juicing or share your smoothie – 50g
- carrot, apple, pear, kale, cucumber, spinach, parsley, mint, ginger, mango, melon, tomato, capsicum, berries
- and/or – lightly steamed/roasted/slow cooked veges eg pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs/spices (turmeric, rosemary etc) in a teaspoon coconut oil
5. Fish oil
- ½ can of sardine/pilchard/mackerel – 10g
6. A teaspoon flax seed meal/oat bran/coconut crunch – 5g
7. Half teaspoon kelp/spirulina/chlorella/alfalfa/sprouted grain or grass – 3g
8. A teaspoon apple cider vinegar/kimchi/sauerkraut/other fermented food
9. Once or twice a week – a raw egg (can include shell), a dessert spoonful of plain yoghurt or cottage cheese or small piece mature cheese
- This diet provides about 7 to 10% raw bone, which provides the correct calcium:phosphorous ratio as in an ancestral diet.
- Puppies require about 15% of their diet to be raw bone, and pregnant and lactating female dogs need at least this, depending on litter size. To make sure you are providing enough calcium to a lactating mother dog, give extra easy to assimilate natural calcium containing food such as yohurt and cottage cheese.
- If your dog cannot eat whole raw bone, mince it raw and provide alternative appropriate daily chewing to keep teeth clean.
- If you suspect your dog has food allergies, then use only one type of meat and offal that your dog has never been fed, or a protein you know is suitable.
- You may need to decrease or increase the total weight of food for your dog depending on his metabolism – you should be able to easily count 6 ribs!
- If you can’t, your dog is overweight.
- If you can count more that 6 ribs, your dog is underweight.
PUPPIES, PREGNANT, LACTATING DOGS
Puppies require about 15% of their diet to be raw bone, and pregnant and lactating female dogs need at least this, depending on litter size. To make sure you are providing enough calcium to a lactating mother dog, give extra easy to assimilate natural calcium containing food such as yoghurt and cottage cheese.
If your dog cannot eat whole raw bone, mince it raw and provide alternative appropriate daily chewing to keep teeth clean.
If you suspect your dog has food allergies, then use only one type of meat and offal that your dog has never been fed, or a protein you know is suitable.
HOW MUCH TO FEED
You may need to decrease or increase the total weight of food for your dog depending on his metabolism – you should be able to easily count 6 ribs!
If you can’t, your dog is overweight.
If you can count more that 6 ribs, your dog is underweight.