I Want To Start Feeding My Dog(s) A Raw Meat Diet. How Do I Start?
Start by feeding a commercial raw meat diet that has been put together for you before attempting to balance your own raw meals. It will provide peace of mind knowing that your dog is getting nutritionally complete meals. Brands I recommend and have fed are Raw Paws Pet Food, Stella & Chewy’s, Steve’s Real Food, Instinct Pet Food, Balanced Blends, and Darwin’s.
Once you get the hang of feeding and handling raw meals, you may feel like taking the next step and start putting your own meals together. It took me about 5 months to take that step and has saved me a decent amount of money. I still buy commercial raw food every now and then for convenience’ sake, but in 70% of the time, I’m the one prepping my dogs’ meals.
If you’re looking for raw meal recipe inspiration, you can check out my ebook featuring 20 raw meals.
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Can Puppies Eat A Raw Meat Diet?
They most definitely can.
The raw feeding guide by Perfectly Rawsome is a wonderful resource and covers exactly how much raw food a puppy should be fed during the different stages of puppyhood, from 8 weeks to 12 months of age.
Can Tiny Dogs Eat A Raw Meat Diet?
Yes, absolutely. There’s no reason why tiny dogs such as Chihuahuas, Rat Terriers, Jack Russels, or Yorkies can’t or shouldn’t eat raw dog food.
Their stomachs are designed just like the stomachs of medium to large and extra large breeds– it’s very acidic which means that raw meat can be processed and digested unproblematically, including raw meaty bones.
How Much Raw Food Does My Dog Need On A Daily Basis?
If you’ll be preparing your dog’s own raw meals, you’ll want to apply the 70-80/10/10 formula:
10% pureed veggies/fruit (If you choose to add plant matter to your dog’s diet, I do)
70% muscle meat
10% organs (5% liver, 5% other organs)
10% raw meaty bones
I wrote detailed blog posts about those 3 different cuts of meat. Simply click the respective title picture below, and the blog post will open in a new window.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below each post. I’ll be sure to provide an answer!
My dog doesn’t seem to lose weight on raw dog food. What can I do?
Make sure to feed 2-3% of his TARGET body weight if he’s overweight, not of his current body weight.
Also, are you feeding more fatty sources of protein like pork or chicken? Try feeding leaner sources of protein like rabbit and venison.
If your dog isn’t very active, try feeding him less than the recommended 2-3%. Stick closer to 1.5-2% and try that approach for a few weeks!
Can Kibble & Raw Meat Be Mixed/Fed Together?
Technically it can be mixed together, and some companies even sell raw food toppers for exactly that purpose – to make dry dog food more enticing for picky eaters. Some companies who offer those toppers are Stella & Chewy’s and Instinct Pet Food.
However, some dogs don’t do well with kibble and raw in the same meal and will have upset stomachs as a result. A reason for this may be the different speed at which kibble and raw food digest.
A way around this potential challenge is to feed kibble and raw meat at different times of the day. You could feed kibble in the morning and raw at night, or vice versa.
Can Dogs With Purine Sensitivities Eat Raw Dog Food?
Certain cuts of meat (and veggies/fruits as well) have a very high purine content, which can contribute to urinary tract issues in dogs who are sensitive to purines, such as Dalmatians.
These dogs can still eat a raw meat diet, but it should be customized to their specific needs. It’s best to consult a dog nutritionist or veterinary homeopath for guidance. I’ve written about the topic in my blog post Can Dalmatians Eat A Raw Diet?
How Can I Keep My Dog From Gulping Raw Meaty Bones?
I recommend holding one end of the raw meaty bone you intend to feed your dog. That way, he’s forced to slow down, crunch the bone a few times, and practice polite behavior when a human holds a high value (food) item.
I’m showing how to do just that in the video below. It features my best friend’s Golden Retriever Lucy eating her very first raw meaty bone, a duck neck.
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Thanks BFF @lana.nunez for sending me this video!! It features her Golden puppy Lucy enjoying her very first raw meaty bone, a ? neck, this past Thanksgiving. Family was visiting and my mom made sure to double check on whether or not this bone was a raw one… ? Once again, folks: ? Raw meaty bones (non-weight bearing ones): Yes, safe to give because they’re soft & pliable, and a breeze for a dog’s highly acidic stomach environment to digest. ? Cooked bones: Never feed those!! Cooking changes the bone density and makes them brittle, with the potential of causing harm on your dog’s interior. ‼️ More information on how to safely feed raw meaty bones and why to do so in the first place on my blog K9sOverCoffee.com. Link in bio. Just do a search for “raw meaty bones.”
Is A Raw Meat Diet A Good Option For A Dog With Cancer?
This is a highly debated question with proponents of either side of the camp. My dog Missy had runny poops when she ate raw meat during her cancer treatment. As soon as I started lightly cooking her cuts of meat according to the DogCancerDiet by Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM, and adding boiled/puréed non-starchy veggies, the diarrhea stopped (I did NOT cook raw meaty bones, nor do I ever recommend you cook bones intended for feeding purposes).
I would recommend seeing how your cancerous dog does on raw meat/food. If he or she does well with it – great! If not, try to lightly cook it.
I would also suggest consulting with a veterinary homeopath as each dog and every cancer diagnosis is different. I personally got a lot of nutritional and supplemental advice from Dr. Charles Loops that helped Missy’s weakened body grow stronger.
Do you have any other questions in regards to feeding raw dog food? Please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to answer them.