Thursday, April 18, 2024

How To Make Your Own Raw Dog Food

At The End Of 2019 During Our Yearly Vet Check We Received The Devastating News That Our 11 Year Old Dog’s Blood Work Showed That He Was In Stage 4 Kidney Failure

Make Your Own Healthy RAW Dog Food

Honestly, I was a basket case, how on earth did we miss this? He seemed like he was just dealing with some symptoms of getting older – frequent urination, sometimes excessive water drinking. It definitely didn’t feel like life threatening symptoms. As much as the diagnosis was a shock, the price tag of the prescription diet he would need to eat for the remainder of his life was pretty horrifying too!

What Type Of Meat To Use In A Raw Food Recipe For Dogs

Of course, the mainstay of any dog diet is a good source of protein, and for most dogs that protein is best when it comes from quality meat.

Meaty bones are an essential part of your dog’s raw food recipes, but you’ll also need to include raw meat, organ meat or fish instead of/as well as, the bones.

Your dog’s calcium will come mostly from the raw meaty bones, so these are an ESSENTIAL .

It’s important to always use human-grade meat and go ‘organic’ with all ingredients whenever possible.

Here are a selection of raw meat options for you to try:

  • Chicken – chicken necks, thighs, wings and even feet are great choices
  • Turkey – as above
  • Venison
  • Wild game birds such as Pheasant or Partridge
  • Offal such as liver, kidneys and so on are excellent, but rich, so use sparingly at first
  • Whole fish of just about any kind are fine, but raw salmon often isn’t recommended

All wild caught game needs to be frozen for at least three weeks before using as party of your raw dog food recipes to kill any parasites that it may be harboring.

Raw salmon or trout needs to be frozen for a minimum of 24 hours for the same reason.

How Much Raw Food To Feed Dogs

You can determine how raw food to feed Fido based on calories needed depending on his weight. The only downside is that you need to know how many calories there are in each ingredient you use and add them up. It can be a cumbersome process if you ask me.

Many raw feeders prefer the bodyweight percentage method because its easy to measure and works with any raw diet.

As a general rule, an adult dog should eat about 2% to 4% of his ideal weight.

However, these percentages vary depending on their weight, metabolism, and activity level.

You have a 4 scenarios to determine how much to feed your dog.

  • Weight maintenance: Feed 2% 2.5% of their current weight in pounds per day.
  • Active dogs : Feed 3% 4% of their current weight in pounds per day.
  • Senior, less active, or overweight dogs : Feed 1.5% 2% of their current weight in pounds per day.
  • Underweight dogs : Feed 3% 3.5% % of their current weight in pounds per day.

For instance, if your dog weighs 65 lbs , you would need to multiply the weight by either 2% 2.5%. But, which one do you use?

An inactive dog at his ideal weight would use 2%. For an average activity level dog that receives anywhere from an hour to several hours of exercise a day, 2.25% would be the ideal middle ground. If you feel your dog is more active, then you may need to feed 2.5% or more to maintain a healthy weight.

So, for an active dog at his ideal weight, 65 lbs, your would multiply 2.5%*65 lbs which equals 1.625 lbs.

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Dietary Supplements For Home

Some supplements are required in addition to natural food for dogs. Others may be needed if you are not able to feed a variety of foods, or if you leave out one or more of the food groups above. In addition, the longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients are lost. Here are some dog supplements to consider:


Unless you feed RMBs, all homemade diets must be supplemented with calcium. The amount found in multivitamin and mineral supplements is not enough. Give 800 to 1,000 mg calcium per pound of food . You can use any form of plain calcium, including eggshells ground to powder in a clean coffee grinder . Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium provides additional minerals, as well. And here is a good list of calcium-rich foods your dog may like. Just please note this list is for humans and includes orange juice, which is not a good thing to give your dog as the acidity can cause stomach upset.


Most homemade diets require added oils for fat, calories, and to supply particular nutrients. Its important to use the right types of oils, as each supplies different nutrients.

Fish Oil: Fish oil for dogs provides EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Give an amount that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight on days you dont feed fish. Note that liquid fish oil supplements often tell you to give much more than this, which can result in too many calories from fat.

What Foods Should Dogs Never Eat


Before crafting a raw recipe for your pup, learn which foods are safe, and which can send your dog straight to the emergency vet.

Avoid these toxic dog foods in your recipe.

  • Chocolate
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

For a more extensive list, check out this handy list you should consider having on your refrigerator as a reminder.

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How To Transition Your Dog To A Raw Diet

Understand, some dogs have sensitive GI tracts. So, to prevent stomach issues, you need to transition to raw dog food, gradually.

Consider the following as a starting point:

Week 1: 25% new food and 75% old foodWeek 2: 50% new food and 50% old foodWeek 3: 25% new food and 75% old foodWeek 4: 100% new food

Some dog owners choose to start at 50% to simplify things but if your dog is hypersensitive, start at 25% . Extend the transition time to 5 weeks or longer if you feel it will make it easier for your dog to adjust.

Do not abruptly change your dogs food. It might cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Rabbit * Raw Dog Food

I source my rabbit through a local raw food co-op. I only have three sources of rabbit and, at the moment, none have inventory as supply lines slow down.


The following is split between three 8-quart, stainless steel mixing bowls.

  • 20 lbs whole rabbit
  • 3 cups of Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm
  • 3 cans of boiled oysters

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Duck Wings Vs Green Tripe

You may have noticed that I added green tripe as an alternative to duck wings in my simple recipes above. When I’m out of duck wings, which I use as my bone source , I use green tripe, which is a good source of calcium.

I don’t make a habit of this, but I have learned that it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.

Blood Tests Don’t Lieand Hooch’s Numbers Shifted Drastically In Just The First 6 Weeks We Made These Diet And Lifestyle Changes

Easy, Basic, DIY – How to Make Your Own Raw Food Diet for Your Dog

He noticeably had more energy, was suffering less from inflammation, was shedding less with a more luxurious coat, and for the first time EVER he had zero bloating! NO GAS for the first time in his entire life! The best news though, was that those stage 4 kidney disease blood levels he had at his yearly checkup had climbed back up to to midrange stage 1 kidney disease blood levels! The extra time and energy invested in making his food and the other small changes we made to his lifestyle have given us more quality time with our beloved Hooch which is more than we could have ever hoped for!

If youve made our Easy Homemade Dog Food for your pup I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. Want to be a part of our online community outside of the blog? Its easy!! All you have to do is follow @THISMESSISOURS on , , , , or to see cooking demos, and peeks into our day to day life.

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Beef Stew Doggie Style

Beef stew is a very good homemade dog food for your pet. It is rich in protein and fat thanks to the beef and the vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. This recipe should make four cups and enough to feed your dog for 2 days.


  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • A pound of beef stew meat
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of diced green beans
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Step by step guide:

  • Start by cooking the sweet potato in the microwave. It should take around 5 to 8 minutes for the potato to become firm and tender. Once it is done, set it aside.
  • Slice the beef stew meat into smaller pieces. Then cook them in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. You would want the meat to be well done. This should take around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the beef from the pan. Reserve the drippings.
  • Heat the drippings over medium-low heat before adding flour and water. Whisk the ingredients until a thick gravy has been created.
  • Dice the sweet potato. Add this to the gravy along with the meat, carrots, and green beans. Stir to coat.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Let it cool before serving. You can store the remaining stew in the fridge for up to 5 days.

What To Watch For When Feeding Homemade Dog Food

It’s important to monitor your dog closely when changing to homemade dog food. Stay in contact with your veterinarian regarding any changes you notice, whether good or bad. For best results, keep a record of your dog’s weight and body condition over time. Weigh your dog at least once per week and contact your vet if you notice unintended weight loss or gain. Watch for vomiting or diarrhea that may occur if your dog is sensitive to one or more ingredients. Note and report these or any other signs of illness to your veterinarian.

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Raw Dog Food Recipe Proportions

  • 80% meat with fat
  • 5% vegetables/fruits
  • 5% dairy/supplements

Using those simple proportions, you can pretty much make up your own recipe from whatever you have on hand or find on sale at the store or.

Meat with fat: I will usually buy ground meat of some sort for this just because its easier than breaking down other cuts. Beef, chicken, pork, bison, gamey meats, etc.

Organs: The good news is organs are cheap. The bad news is organs are kind of gross. Nothing like some slimy chicken livers getting pulsed up in your food processor. Liver and kidneys are the two easiest to find in the grocery store.

Vegetables/fruits: Ginger happens to hate vegetables and fruit. Shes literally spit them out before or eaten around them if weve tried to feed her some in her bowl. So I choose sweet things here like apples and carrots and they get processed real fine so she cant tell. Avoid onions, grapes and raisins as they can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Dairy/supplements: Whole eggs are a great source of calcium. Ill also use some plain yogurt to help bind the patties. Supplement wise, ground flaxseed meal, olive oil and fish oil are great additions too.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Meat From The Grocery Store

Easy, Basic, DIY

Yes, it is typically safe for dogs to eat raw meat, even though that is not the case for humans. Just make sure that you take steps to avoid contamination or disease and give your dog a balanced diet. He will also need carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals from veggies, and other ingredients in his diet in addition to the meat.

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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
  • Vegetables
  • 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.

The End Result Of Quality Depends On You

Thirdly, a lot of dog owners fail to make properly nutritious homemade easy raw dog food meals for their pets.

This is often because they are misinformed or misled by websites and so-called dog food specialists that dont know what they are talking about. It’s a very dangerous practice.

A few years ago the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association examined 200 homemade dog food recipes from websites and veterinarians alike.

Of the 200 recipes, only 9 matched the NRCs requirements for high-quality dog food. You can find most of their studies online in the AVMA library. Here’s a 2013 Stockman et al. study and here’s a 2012 Larsen et al. study.

Official Conclusion: Many problems with nutritional adequacy were detected, and use of the recipes could result in highly variable and often inappropriate diets. Many recipes would not meet nutritional and clinical needs of individual patients and should be used cautiously for long-term feeding.

The general consensus among veterinarians is that they are usually not supportive of raw feeding dogs, mostly because they do not trust pet owners to make the right choices.

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Best Raw Food For Dogs

Heres a list of the best raw food you can include in your canines diet:

  • Chicken
  • Medical history
  • Environmental factors

Nonetheless, the general rule of thumb when feeding your dog raw is that you should feed it around 2-4% of its body weight. So, for instance, if your dog weighs 23 kg, you should feed it around 453.59 g. This is only a starting point, closely monitor your dogs weight change.

Proper Nutrition For Dogs

Meat Grinder, Thunderbird, Make Your Own Raw Dog Food

Like humans, dogs have nutritional needs that must be met in order for them to thrive. Dogs’ nutritional needs differ from our own, so you can’t exactly start sharing your own dinner with your dog. Feeding an incomplete or imbalanced diet can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies in dogs.

Dogs need enough calories to meet their energy requirements. A dog’s daily caloric need depends on the dog’s life stage and activity level. Your veterinarian can help you determine how many calories your dog needs each day.

A homemade dog diet should contain an appropriate balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. Vitamins and minerals must be added to the food to ensure it is complete and balanced.

  • At least 10% protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef
  • Up to 50% carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, and potatoes
  • About 2.5-4.5% fiber, which can come from vegetables like peas, green beans, and carrots
  • At least 5.5% fat, usually in the form of vegetable oil
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements

If you are ready to get started cooking for your dog, the first step is to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet may have recipes for you to try. Or you may need a referral to a veterinary nutritionist or a vet that focuses on canine nutrition.

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Duck * Raw Dog Food Recipe

I source my duck through a local raw food co-op. Duck can also be sourced in bulk from restaurant meat suppliers.


The following is split between three 8-quart, stainless steel mixing bowls. I prefer to grind the drummette of the duck wings . Sometimes, I buy a case of the wing without the drummette and I leave those whole when feeding the dogs.

  • 10 lbs duck wings
  • 5 lbs duck necks
  • 5 lbs duck gizzards
  • 6 lbs of organ blend
  • 3 cups of Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm
  • 3 cans of boiled oysters

What Is The Best Choice

If you were to choose the best food for your kids, would you pick:

  • Potato chips and other vitamin fortified 100% complete dry snack foods, sold by your pediatrician, obstetrician, and endorsed by the government?
  • Canned foods that smell bad, taste great, and which another government group has labeled as healthy and 100% complete?
  • Fresh produce and other food with vitamins and minerals?
  • Not everyone would choose number three. There are those families out there that let a company decide what is best for their family and choose vitamin fortified empty foods instead of choosing what is right. But, if you did choose number three, and want to feed your family correctly, why would you want to do any different when it is your new puppy?

    Chicken feet are not as nutritious as some other pieces, but they do taste good.


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