Are you wondering “will my dog die from raw dog food”? Well, you’ve come to the right place for an educated answer from a proud raw dog food nerd!
I’m also a certified raw dog food nutrition specialist!
First of all, welcome to K9sOverCoffee and my mini-series about raw-feeding related myths!
I’ve covered different topics in this series and have shown that raw-fed dogs are neither aggressive, nor will they make themselves or their human family sick or have smelly breath.
In today’s part 5, I’m looking at whether or not dogs die from eating raw dog food.
Disclaimer: This blog posts contains some affiliate links.
Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food?
I’ve been feeding raw dog food since 2015 and only have good things to report about it.
Most importantly, raw dog food bought my Boxer mix Missy 3 additional years with me after her first cancer diagnosis and treatment. Back then, her oncologist estimated that she’d have another year, if that.
I ultimately lost Missy to a second cancer diagnosis in April 2018, but I’m convinced that she wouldn’t have made it as long if I hadn’t made the switch from kibble to raw in 2015.
Missy’s brother Buzz continues to thrive on raw dog food and never had another ear infection since eating raw. Before raw, he had 2-3 every year.
Likewise, my new pup Wally, a 38 lb Feist mix, has been thriving since eating raw. I adopted him in early 2019 and immediately switched him from kibble to raw. His new diet cured him of his awful itchiness he came with when I adopted him.
So no, your dog won’t die because he eats raw dog food. On the contrary, dogs who eat raw dog food thrive and are full of life!
Why I Began Feeding Raw Dog Food
For new K9sOverCoffee readers, I’d like to briefly explain again why I decided to stop feeding my pups kibble in the first place.
Missy’s Cancer Diagnosis at 3.5 Years
My girl Missy, a 50 lb Boxer mix, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at just 3.5 years of age. Or maybe I should say “youth” instead. Either way, it came as a total surprise.
One morning, I felt a huge lump on her neck when I brushed her which I SWEAR had not been there the night before.
I had always thought of K9 cancer as a potential evil by-product of senior dogs, but didn’t think it was possible for a young dog such as Missy to be diagnosed with it. But sure enough, it was a cancerous lump.
My Research on Dog Cancer
During her cancer treatment at the VSH in Cary, NC, I began my research on dog cancer. I started reading and watching anything and everything that was remotely related to K9 cancer.
I wanted to know about its causes, treatments, and survival chances because I wasn’t ready to loose Missy yet.
The Importance Of A Strong Immune System
During the course of my research, I kept hearing about how a strong immune system is an important ally in beating cancer. Along with it, this so-called “species appropriate diet of raw dog food” kept coming up.
I read so many stories of dog owners who swore by it because the results they saw spoke for themselves. They talked about their healthy and thriving pups with clean teeth, considerably less allergies, strong immune systems, and more energy.
Either way, you can imagine that I became more and more intrigued and simply HAD to give it a try.
After all, if highly processed, dry dog food was really a contributing factor in causing cancer, maybe a raw diet was capable of boosting the immune system?
I figured I didn’t exactly have too much to lose since Missy had just been diagnosed with a disease that would kill her if left untreated.
That said, I simply took the plunge into unknown waters and started on our journey towards healthier pups.
I’m SO glad that I did, and believe me when I say that I won’t ever go back to feeding kibble.
Pet Nutrition Blogger Rodney Habib On How To Approach A Healthy, Raw Diet
I watched an interesting interview with pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib on Planet Paws.
When asked how a kibble feeder should approach the topic of raw feeding, he suggested to add just 1 teaspoon of raw food to the dog’s diet for starters.
That’s because just one teaspoon less of highly processed, starchy dog food can already make a difference.
How I Began Feeding My Dogs A Healthier Diet
I used a slightly different approach when changing Missy’s & Buzz’s diet than Rodney Habib suggests.
Instead of adding just a small amount of healthier food to their kibble, I switched both pups from kibble to raw with a detour via dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food.
I made the switch from kibble to dehydrated raw over the course of 10 days. After about 3 months of this, I made the final switch from dehydrated to raw.
Dehydrated/Freeze-Dried Dog Food
There are several different brands who offer dehydrated and/or freeze-dried dog food, and I personally fed Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-bowl.
It consists of dehydrated & freeze-dried veggies and herbs you add your own meat and oil to. The meat can either be raw or cooked. That said, I worked myself up from cooking it at first to finally just adding raw, ground or cut up chunks of meat. For example, ground turkey or chunked chicken breast.
It was the perfect way of easing myself into feeding the pups a healthier diet, and they LOVED it so much!
If you’re interested in making the switch from highly processed kibble to a healthier diet for your pup, consider giving the Veg-to-Bowl a try.
Once I had started adding raw meat to the Veg-to-Bowl, I began exploring raw dog food retailers online.
My favorite online raw dog food retailers
Darwin’s Natural Pet
Darwin’s sells pre-packaged raw meals with vegetables. They consist of 75% raw meat including 10% bone and 25% vegetables. The meals are pre-ground and mixed together.
Easy peasy, since you don’t have to worry about feeding a potentially unbalanced raw diet. Keeping it nutritiously balanced is important in order to keep our pups’ bodies functioning at their best.
Tip: Take advantage of Darwin’s introductory offer and only pay $14.95 for your first 10 lbs!
Raw Paws Pet Food
While this second option is less expensive, it’s also less convenient since you’ll have to meal prep yourself.
I personally use both approaches. I love making my own raw dog food, but I also still buy pre-made meals whenever I can find a good deal on them.
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference, time, and budget when you make the decision between pre-made meals or making your own.
Tip: You can save 15% on your Raw Paws Pet Food orders with my affiliate discount code K9Savings at checkout.
Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food? Bottom Line
No, your dog won’t die from raw dog food. I personally began feeding raw dog food in 2015, and I would do it all over again!
Because of it, my pup Missy was in remission from cancer for years longer than expected. Her brother Buzz no longer has any ear infections, and my new pup Wally is cured of his allergies.
However, there is one caveat. You can’t just throw your dog a steak and call it raw feeding. That’s an occasional treat.
Balanced raw dog food consists of so much more: 70-80% muscle meat including fish, 10% raw meaty bones, 10% secreting organs, as well as optional plant matter.
That said, if you’re going to make your own raw dog food, you have to be knowledgeable in how to make it.
Over the years, I’ve written many articles about the topic of raw feeding, and you’re welcome to browse my blog and read them all.
If you’re pressed for time, I recommend you check out my 3 raw dog food e-books. They explain how to make raw dog food at home along with tips, hacks, resources, and promo codes to save on your ingredients.
Either way, happy reading, and always feel free to shoot me a message with your raw feeding questions!
Has a sickness caused you to re-evaluate your dog’s lifestyle choices? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!