Find The Percentage Of Bone
The simplest way to figure out how much bone is in your dogs diet is to know the percentage of bone in the foods you feed.
Lets say you feed your dog a half pound of meat in the morning and a half pound of chicken necks in the evening. Using the above numbers, you know that chicken necks are 36% bone. So if they account for half of your dogs food, then his diet would contain half that amount or 18%. Thats a bit high, so if you fed your dog 2/3 pound meat and 1/3 chicken necks, now he would be eating 12% bone, which is perfect!
Heres another example
Lets say you bought duck feet on sale at your local pet store. Using the above list, you know that duck feet are 60% bone. If you feed duck feet as half your dogs meals, his bone content would be 30% too high! But if you half that again, your dog would get 15% bone. Perfect! So you would feed 3/4 meat and 1/4 duck feet to get to 15% bone.
This is usually all you need to do its fine to estimate the bone content since you dont have to be exact with the amount of bone to feed. If youre a bit off, your dog will be just fine. Just make sure you have at least 12% bone for puppies they need a good supply of calcium to support their growth.
If youre more of a math kind of person, heres how to calculate the amount of bone in your dogs raw diet:
What Ingredients Are In A Raw Diet
The type of ingredients you include in your dogs raw meals depends on your dogs preferences. For example, some dogs may not like to eat fish, while others would prefer beef.
Because it’s tough to precisely balance every meal, strive for nutritional balance throughout multiple meals or days.
This is accomplished by providing your dog with an array of diverse ingredients.
Here are the most common ingredients included in raw dog foods:
- Lean ground meat and heart
- Raw meat organs
- Fish oil
- Supplements of your choice
On another note, these supplements can be added to your dogs meals if its not getting the nutrients it needs from its diet or if it needs a dietary boost for better health.
Theres a lot of good supplements for a raw diet that can be added to your dogs meal. Therefore, always ask your veterinarian for advice before feeding your dog any vitamins or supplements.
Fad Doesnt Mean False
It’s easy to get swept up in fad diets keto, vegan, and the ongoing long battle with grains, are just a few of the diets circulating the crazy world of pet food. We fall for some of these fads ourselves, but the merit in each of these diets depends on the individual, their health, and the diets application.
When it comes to your dogs health, you need to understand that your dog is biologically different. A diet that may fit your lifestyle, beliefs, and make you feel good might not be appropriate for your pet. They have different dietary needs than you they can be met with a complete and balanced raw food diet for dogs.
The only way to completely nourish our dogs is to feed them food that their bodies are designed to thrive on. This concept is called a biologically appropriate diet.
We’ll admit that “biologically appropriate” is a bit of a catchy term used to get your attention, but it refers to feeding your dog based on how their species should eat. In this case, like their wolf ancestors.
Feeding dogs this way is a common hot point in the pet industry, as it directly opposes the information that we have been taught for many years, but it’s hard to argue with their ancestry or anatomy.
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Do Raw Fed Dogs Need Vaccination
There is a similar kind of myth floating about that raw fed puppies dont need vaccinating. That one isnt true either. Eating a raw diet will not protect your puppy from terrible diseases like parvovirus or any of the other diseases which regular vaccines prevent. Only the vaccine itself can do that.
Step : Special Considerations For Life Stages
Feeding puppies raw food isnt any more difficult. The only thing you need to keep in mind is theyll eat more than adults to fuel their rapidly growing bodies.When can you start puppies on raw?Immediately.Many raw-fed breeders wean their puppies directly onto raw from their mothers milk. You can begin feeding raw the day you bring your puppy home.How much should you feed?There are two options to use to determine quantity:
Feed 2-3% of expected adult weight.Granted, this is easier to figure out with purebred puppies than mixed breeds. But if you have a good idea of how much your dog should weigh, feel free to go this route.
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How Much Raw Food To Feed A Cat
Feed approximately 2-3% of your cat’s weight daily, and split this between two meals. A 10 lb. cat would receive 1.5 to 2.5 ounces per meal. Again, this will depend on the individual cat’s activity level and metabolism. To calculate the appropriate amount of food to feed your cat, take your cat’s weight in pounds and multiply by:
Then, take the total and multiply by 16 to get the correct number of ounces to feed each day. Be sure to split the number in half if you are feeding twice a day.
Many cat parents prefer small patties or medallions when feeding their cats.
Is A Raw Food Diet Safe
Though the raw food diet may have some advantages, the risks far outweigh the benefits.
A small 2017 study found that dogs who ate a raw food diet had a more balanced gut microbiome and showed signs of healthier gut functions. But “there have been no studies that demonstrate any long-term health benefits of raw diets compared to other types of pet food,” says Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, the chief of nutrition service at UC Davis’ Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital.
Putting your dog on a raw food diet comes with risks to both the dog and the people living in your household, says Alison Meindl, DVM, a veterinarian and professor at Colorado State University.
Some of the risks of a raw diet include:
Bacterial infection. Compared to cooked diets, raw diets are more likely to be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which can make your dog seriously ill. But even if your dog doesn’t get sick, your pup could shed bacteria into your household, which could then get picked up by another pet or human.
“These infectious organisms can be very dangerous to immunocompromised people living in the household with the dog,” Meindl says. This can include elderly people, young children, and people on immunosuppressive medication such as chemotherapy.
Nutritional deficiency. “Many raw diets are also not nutritionally balanced and complete. Unless formulated by an expert in veterinary nutrition, these diets can lead to malnutrition and health problems,” McKenzie says.
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How Can I Make My Own Raw Dog Food
Moreover, the simplest way to make your dog raw food at home is to follow any of the recipes listed above. You can also get creative and combine ingredients from various recipes.
Use the ingredient lists and the other information we outlined to create a balanced meal your dog will love based on the ingredients you have on hand.
How I Feed My Dogs Raw Dog Food
I taught all 3 of my dogs polite behavior at feeding time. That ones non-negotiable in my home.
Thats because Im not a fan of unruly dogs around food, especially high value raw dog food. I taught them to accept my hand in their filled bowls and on their raw meaty bones, and also to sit politely and wait for my OK, go eat release!
I also taught my first pups Missy and Buzz to stay in their feeding spot when eating inside. They ate their raw dog food either in their crates or on washable towels and mats.
Every now and then, Id also feed them larger raw meaty bones like salmon heads and duck frames outside in the yard. But they ate the vast majority of their raw dog food inside.
My current pup Wally eats his raw dog food on a tile floor next to the kitchen thats super easy to clean. He also sits politely and waits for my release to eat, and learned to accept my hand on his raw meat.
Every now and then, I also feed him in his crate. I also did that when I had first adopted him and wanted to give him a place where he could feel safe, especially at feeding time.
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Coping With Conflicting Advice
As you can see there are reasons for and against switching and only you can know which apply to you. Focus on the points that are relevant to you and that affect your family. Each family is different and what is appropriate for one family may not be appropriate for another.
Be skeptical with anyone that predicts a horrible death for your dog should you dare to allow him to chomp and swallow raw bones. In the same way be wary of anyone who tells you that raw feeding is 100% safe. Neither of these claims is true. Be wary too, of claims that kibble is akin to poison, and those who predict dire consequences should you be so lazy and selfish as to feed convenience food to your pet. There is little evidence to support the view that kibble is dangerous to most dogs, or that it will make your pet sick.
If you have no compelling reasons to feed kibble and raw feeding appeals to you, take the plunge and try not to worry. If you dont fancy it, give the whole thing a miss. I did a lot of research before I changed to raw feeding and initially was particularly concerned about the risks of intestinal perforation. As the weeks of raw feeding turned to months, and the months to years I began to relax. If this doesnt happen to you, I recommend you switch back to a kibble feeding system. Life is too short to spend it agonizing over how to feed your dog.
Feeding A Raw Diet To Your Dog Or Cat
Once youre ready to start feeding raw to your pet, follow these simple tips:
Once defrosted, keep the unserved food refrigerated and use within 2-4 days.
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More Resources About Organ Meat & Offal
An article by Amy Dyck for Homes Alive Pets looking into the benefits of tripe for dogs blog.homesalive.ca/what-are-the-benefits-of-tripe-for-dogs
An article from 2017 in Medical News Today, medically reviewed by Natalie Olsen, R.D., L.D., ACSM EP-C looks at the superfood benefits and risks of eating organ meats/offal, including liver, kidney and heart www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319229#are-there-risks-of-eating-organ-meat
Evidence-based article written by Daisy Coyle, accredited practising dietitian for Healthline looks at the benefits organ meats/offal www.healthline.com/nutrition/organ-meats
A resource from the Canine Chef Cookbook looking at whether dogs can eat beef kidney thecaninechefcookbook.com/blog/can-dogs-eat-beef-kidneys
A blog article from Sept 2020 by Julia Henriques for Dogs Naturally about why your dog should eat more liver www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/why-you-need-to-feed-your-dog-liver/
What To Look For In Kibble
Read the label. Look for a food that has a protein as the first ingredient, not a grain. The best kibbles have a single source of protein, such as lamb or chicken. Grain-free diets exist, but carbohydrates are required for energy, and the choice of grain is important since some dogs have sensitivities to wheat, corn, or soybeans.
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Bring Back Your Dog’s Natural Luster
Everything in your dog’s body is connected in some way or another. Your dog’s skin and coat are affected by how all the rest of its systems function. Poor digestion or absorption of nutrients can affect cell cycles, how the body uses nutrients, and, eventually, their skin and coat health.
Dry skin, excessive shedding, itchiness, and inflammation can all be caused by a lack of or improper balance of nutrients in your dog’s diet. A raw diet provides the most natural sources of these essential nutrients in a form that is easy for your dog’s body to recognize and use.
Another important factor in skin and coat health is hydration. Dogs that do not eat a moisture-rich diet will end up losing that moisture through bowel movements. Dehydration negatively affects your dog’s skin by limiting natural oil production that supports the life cycle and quality of your dog’s skin cells and fur.
Feeding a high moisture diet will not deter your dog from its natural drinking habits. However, it will help improve digestion, keep them better hydrated, and flush toxins and bacteria out of their system.
For many pet owners, shedding is a constant issue. A reduction in shedding is one of the first benefits you will see when switching to raw feeding. In combination with a regular brushing routine, you can significantly cut down on shedding and dander in your home.
Mixing Raw With Dry Kibble Or Canned Food
Most manufacturers recommend that you feed raw food separately from dry or wet food. If you are feeding kibble or canned along with raw pet food, you might consider making this the morning meal and raw the evening meal.
If you are switching to raw due to any health issues such as allergies or inflammatory bowel disease, then it is highly recommended that you transition to a completely raw food diet for at least 1-3 months. The longer your pet has been ill, the longer the raw diet should be fed. After the initial time on raw, try a gradual addition of canned, kibble or dehydrated or freeze-dried and see how your pet tolerates it.
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Common Questions On How Much To Feed
Raw dog food may cause your dog to lose weight even if its not your intention.Especially if youre switching your dog from processed pet food to 100% raw. This is because raw foods are assimilated differently than starch-based pet foods.Compare this to switching from McDonalds to a diet of lean meats, fruits and vegetables. You may eat the same number of calories but still lose weight on the second diet. Thats because of the type of food and how the body processes it.Observe your dog and adjust their daily percentage if necessary.
A healthy dog is more or less always ready to eat. Your dog is no exception. Its natural for dogs to be interested in food thats available, close by, or on your plate. Never use begging behavior as an indicator for hunger or how much to feed your dog. Its an inaccurate gauge for food volume.
What Do Our Vets Say
Our vets advise feeding your pet a complete commercial diet to make sure they stay healthy. This will provide all the nutrients your pet needs if fed correctly according to their weight and age.
Always speak to your own vet before changing your pets diet as they can advise you on the best course of action. If there is anyone at higher risk of infections in your household then its best not to feed raw food to your pet due to the risk of disease from bacteria and pathogens on the raw food.
Whether raw or not, our vets do not advise making your pets food at home yourself. If you do choose a raw diet after consulting your vet, always choose a commercially prepared one. This is because commercial suppliers must take precautions to make sure all pet food is packaged correctly to certain hygiene standards, which is especially important with raw food. Companies making complete pet foods will also have to make sure that foods will contain everything your pet needs to stay healthy.
Our vets also recommend that you choose a manufacturer of pet food who is a member of the Pet Food Manufacturing Association to guarantee quality. Their members must have even higher food and hygiene standards than the legal minimum, which means your pets food will be safer.
Even taking all the precautions above, there is still a risk of infections that can affect your pets or familys health. So if you choose to feed a raw diet, its really important to be hygienic at home as well:
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If Youve Been Wondering If You Can Feed Your Dog Raw Food The Answer Is Yes Here Are Some Of The Benefits Of Feeding Raw Food To Dogs
What is raw dog food?
A raw food diet closely resembles the diet your dogs ancestors would have eaten. It prioritises natural ingredients and a balance of vitamins and minerals to deliver what your dog needs from their diet. As the ingredients remain in their raw state, raw dog food doesnt lose the enzymes and vitamins through cooking. In addition, the formulation skips the preservatives that can be found in non-raw foods.
Heres what a typical raw diet includes:
- Muscle meat adds good quality natural protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to your pets diet bones, ground for calcium
- Natural vitamins and minerals found in livers and kidneys for multivitamins, plus offal is packed with key nutrients, including amino acids, B-complex vitamins, vitamins D, E, and K2. It also provides trace minerals including chromium, copper, and zinc
- Raw eggs, which contain vitamins and omega 3, are a source of amino acids and rich in fatty acids, iron, vitamin A, and other nutrients and minerals
- Fruit and vegetables for vitamins and fibre
What are the benefits of feeding raw food to dogs?
If youre a stickler for health and want to know the ins and outs of your pets food, perhaps raw dog food is for you. One of the great things about this type of dog food is that its completely natural, with no artificial additives. Most formulations are also grain free.
How do I prepare raw dog food, and what are the potential health risks?