After perusing online, I put together a pretty good outline of what a raw diet should consist. I kept in mind that wolves and dogs are barely 1% different from each other. I incorporated the concept of what wolves eat into the diet for my dog. I also did tons of research online as well as more than 25 dog diet books from the library or bookstore. I was also inspired by the documentary on Netflix, Pet FOOleD. Definitely check it out yourself.
If you’re curious or just nervous about a wolf diet for your dog, check out my blog post about what wolves at and why raw meat is okay. I also have another blog post clarifying why you shouldn’t feed your dog kibble or anything from companies who sell “pet food”.
Due to liability reasons, I have to say do not rely on my information alone. Do your research and talk with your veterinarian. Take in consideration of exemplary situations for your dog(s). If your veterinarian is not open minded, maybe it’s time to get a new one!
What Each Meal Consists
The first part is figuring out what each meal should consist.
I always try to get everything organic without breaking the bank. I would rather spend a little extra money now than spend a lot of money later at the vet when Rigel is super sick from things that could have been avoided. If organic is not an option, at least go for the non-hormones, grass fed, non-GMO, and no-pesticide ones. Your local farms and ranches will help if you ask.
And don’t switch to a raw diet overnight, especially if your dog is used to kibble. Sudden changes in food can cause upset stomach in dogs and diarrhea. I know you don’t want to have that happen. Introduce raw food gradually and slowly reduce the former source of the dog’s food. The schedule below can help your dog transition well.
For each meal, a good rule of thumb is:
- 85% Meat
- 5% Bone
- 5% Organs
- 5% Supplements
For meat, try to mimic what wolves eat (read my post on what wolves diets are). It’s best to have ungulates (large, hooved animals) or at least game meat. If you just cannot get these, you can use poultry or beef; just be sure to incorporate ungulates or game meat as often as you can.
Get organic every chance you can. If it’s too expensive, try to find meat that is not injected with hormones or where the animal was grass fed.
I avoid pork because you’re more likely to get diseases from pork than any other meat.
It’s also good to get the meat in its raw form, not ground. Ground meat can incorporate bacteria that is not normally found in the wild.
Organs can be hearts, liver, gizzards, brains, etc that you get from whatever animal wolves eat. Try your best to get organic or from a local farm. Avoid those cheap ones you see at the grocery store. Often, these animals are from factory farming and they are literally killed in a production line. It’s cruel and can pass on the negative energy to your pet when they eat their remains.
Just be careful from having too much liver as pets can overdose from Vitamin A.
For the bone, you can just leave the bone with the meat. It is critical that you do not cook or smoke the meat/bones at all. Cooking a bone makes it brittle and that is when it can be harmful to your pets. If you leave it natural, it’s soft enough for your pets to enjoy without any serious harm.
If you’re really worried about bones and your dog, you can start off with bone broth and go from there. Follow the instructions on the bone broth you buy on how to make it and how much to serve. I normally give a little less than their daily recommendation otherwise Rigel’s dish is too watery.
When I say supplements, don’t get those fancy ones. Stick with what nature provides. Your dog and wallet will thank you. A few natural supplements can be:
Normally 1 tsp per 10 pounds of dog will do daily. Check your product label for further instructions, if any.
I normally switch up the supplements to keep the food exciting for Rigel. For example, I’ll do turmeric paste in the morning and then apple cider vinegar in the afternoon.
How Much To Feed
Now I’m sure you’re wondering, “how much do I feed my dog each day?”
A good rule of thumb is about 2 to 3% of your dog’s weight or ideal weight.
For example, Rigel’s goal (and actual) weight is 10 pounds. So 3% of that is 4 ounces. I feed him twice a day so each meal is about 2 ounces. I factor in the meat and organs in this weight and use the bone and supplements as a side to their dish. On days when he is really active, and it’s almost every day, I add an extra half or full ounce to his day.
In fact, I recommend FitBark. It’s a ‘Fitbit’ for dogs! FitBark help me monitor the activeness of my dog and how many calories he is burning each day. I also notice his sleep pattern to ensure the is sleeping well. I merge this data with the general information I have on hand to make sure all is good for Rigel in terms of his dietary and physical needs.
Don’t worry about being exact. After the first few days, you’ll get an idea of how to eyeball it. The most important part is that you pay attention to your dog’s behavior and weight and adjust accordingly.
And always, always, always provide clean water 24/7.
There you have it! The basic components of a raw food diet for your dog(s). Are you going to try a raw food diet for your dog(s)? If so, let me know and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Series: Raw Meat For Dogs
This blog post is part of a series on raw-meat for dogs. If you’ll like to read more about this topic, check out the other posts:
Heads up, these are affiliate links so I do get paid (very little) when you purchase them. However, I would never promote a product that I wouldn’t use myself.
The bone broth I use
The Honest Kitchen is one of the most impressive dog food brand out there. While I am wary of the pet food industry, this company is the only one that actually use human-grade food and are straight forward with their ingredients. All the other bone broth I can find are either not human grade or has onion in it. Onions can kill dogs so do not get one with onions!