Get Creative With The Recipes
Once you have followed the above recipes a few times, go ahead and get creative. As long as your dog is getting the proper nutrition that he needs, you can mix and match ingredients from the various recipes. You can also use them as inspiration to come up with something else your dog would love. You could even get creative with ingredients and try introducing your dog to something like rabbit meat.
If you decide to create your own recipe, make sure it gives your dog the nutrients he needs.
Remember that you want meat to make up about 80% of the food. Another 10% should be from organs, and 5% each should come from fruits and vegetables and dairy and supplements.
Overall, your dog should get about 30-52% of his calories from protein, 47-63% from fat, and 1-7% from carbohydrates. The dietary fat provides concentrated energy and helps with essential fatty acids to maintain coat and skin health. Carbs also provide energy.
How To Start Your Dog On A Raw Diet
So youve made the decision to feed your dog a raw diet. Where to begin?
Clearly, a complete and balanced raw diet consists of more than just a slab of raw meat in your dogs bowl. Along with the crucial protein component, dog parents also need to be sure to include all the necessary vitamins and minerals when preparing raw recipes. Supplements are often required to ensure the correct vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the dogs shorter GI tract.
Malabsorption can sometimes be a result of a dogs inability to process whole fruits and vegetables for this reason, produce should be blended if incorporated into a raw diet. Organ meats can also be a great source of vitamins and some minerals. One of the most important minerals is calcium, which primarily comes from edible bones 1015% of your dogs raw diet should be raw bone .
Be aware that a switch to raw feeding may cause digestion issues. This can typically be managed by adding increasing amounts of raw food to your dogs current food over a 710 day period, until they are consistently eating raw or mixed meals. An animal nutritionist or nutrition-focused veterinarian can help facilitate the transition and ensure your dog is getting the proper nutrition while staying comfortable.
Start With A Single Consistent Meal Plan
When you first start feeding puppy food, it’s better to stay consistent with your meals for the first 2-3 weeks. This ensures they take to the diet properly and helps you find sensitivities, if they exist. If they adjust to this diet without digestive upset, you’re ready to offer other protein sources for variety, if you choose.
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Remember The Other Important Puppy Stuff
Make sure your puppy has plenty of fresh, non-chlorinated water. He should also have plenty of fresh air and exercise. Exercise for young puppies should not be forced walks. His growing joints will suffer less stress if you take him outside for short play or training sessions instead. Keep the walks short about five minutes per month of age until he is about six months of age.
Recommendations Should Act As A Guide
oregon food stamps application If your pet is overweight and needs to lose a few extra kilos, feed them closer to 2% of their body weight and give them more exercise. This is why we created the raw feeding calculator. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more. This is also a great time to start thinking about going down to two meals each day. Wysong raw dog foods have been around since the turn of the 21st century. The calculator will give you a guide amount raw dog food to feed your woof over the course of a day, to be split into meals accordingly.
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Adult Dog Feeding Guide
One rule of thumb is to feed 2-4% of the pets body weight. Smaller dogs will require a higher percentage of their body weight, while larger dogs will require a smaller percentage of their body weight. The daily portion should be split between morning and night.
- a 10 lb. dog will eat about 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. per week or about 10 lbs per month
- a 25 lb. dog will eat about 5 lbs per week or about 20 lbs per month
- a 50 lb. dog will eat about 8 lbs per week or about 32 lbs per month
- a 75 lb. dog will eat about 10-1/2 lbs per week or about 42 lbs per month
- a 100 lb. dog will eat about 13-1/2 lbs per week or about 54 lbs per month
Remember that these are guidelines. Food needs vary by activity level, metabolic rate, age, breed, outdoor temperature and other variables. Observe your pet closely and increase or reduce food quantity as needed for proper weight. Always consult your integrative veterinarian, especially for puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs.
How Often Should I Feed My Adult Dog?
There are several options for pet owners regarding daily feeding frequency.
Start With A Quality Premade Raw Brand
I’m a fan girl of Darwin’s Natural Pet Food this is the brand that helped me transition my dogs to raw in 2013. A customer service representative from Darwin’s Pet will walk you through setting up your first order and best practices for introducing raw to your pet. This is the easiest way to transition because the balancing, sourcing, and delivery are taken care of for you. Of course, you’ll pay for that amazing service too.
I actually started with a hybrid diet of raw in the morning and kibble in the evening, then went to full raw, then worked towards DIY raw feeding.
Hybrid diets allow you to take your time transitioning to raw.
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Dogs Are Scavenging Carnivores
Even though dogs are technically classified as omnivores, meaning they can survive on both meat and/or plants, their history and bodies tell us a different story. We argue that dogs are scavenging carnivores.
Unlike an obligate carnivore that must eat meat to survive, like cats, scavenging carnivores can adapt to the nutrients around them. They roam for food and eat what is available. Dogs can survive on plant materials and minimal animal protein if they have to, but they will thrive on a meat-rich diet.
Sticking closer to their carnivorous roots can prevent common problems like diabetes, obesity, and other life-threatening diseases linked to inappropriate diets and poor quality ingredients.
Balance The Calcium And Phosphorus
This is fairly easy to do. If you view a turkey neck as a nice meaty bone, then your puppys diet should be half to two-thirds meaty bones . Theres no magic formula and every puppy is a bit different.
Despite what the kibble manufacturers say, its pretty easy to balance calcium and phosphorus. Plus, theres a wider margin of error when feeding raw. Calcium that comes in a synthetic powder is nearly impossible for a puppy to excrete. This means an excess of calcium is more of a concern with synthetic products than with the naturally occurring calcium found in bones.
My favorite meaty bones
- Turkey tails and necks
- Whole animals
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What To Look For In Raw Food For Dogs
If youve determined that feeding your dog a raw diet is best for their health and want to explore commercial options, what factors should you consider?
Besides deciding whether raw dog food is a reasonable purchase at the moment, youll need to determine if a raw diet will be sustainable in the long term. When it comes to packaged raw foods, be aware that a high price doesnt ensure quality as they say, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Since fresh meat makes up such a large portion of a raw meal, dog parents need to be certain the ingredients are from quality sources. The manufacturer can provide any sourcing information, and an internet search will reveal any recalls.
Finally and this is important all commercial dog food packaging needs to feature the statement of nutritional adequacy from the Association of American Feed Control Officials , which confirms that the food will deliver suitable nutrition to your dog.
Slow Transition For Your Dog New To The Raw Diet
The simple key to raw food transition is to go slowly. Moreover, it depends upon your dogs age and life stage to shift on a raw diet. Simply, if your dog is senior, it will take much more time for a complete transition than a young dog.
For instance, young dogs have a healthy digestive system that can adapt to raw feeding quickly within a few days. While for an adult or senior dog, at least one week is required for a complete transition to raw feeding.
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What Is Raw Dog Food
If you are new to raw dog food, its important to know the origins of the diet to understand if or how it could benefit your dog. If you’ve ever wondered if dogs can eat asparagus, we’re happy to report that the answer is mostly yes. Be sure to read the whole article on the Banixx website though to make sure it’s safe for your breed.
Stef shares the history of the BARF and how it transitioned into convenience food, explaining its rise in popularity in recent years.
Dogs have always been fed fresh real food until 1860 when an entrepreneur, James Spratt decided convenient pet food could appeal to the market. Spratt then developed the first commercial dry food for dogs.”
Since then, in the same way that convenience food has become popular for human diets, convenience food has also become popular for our pets.
In the last 10 years, raw pet food manufacturers have started creating nutritional meals, conveniently prepared and packaged, appealing to the modern pet owner from both a usability point of view, but more importantly to offer the very best nutrition for their pets.
Science On Side Effects Of Raw Diet For Dogs
Since the time BARF diets have become popular among dog owners, and are still picking up speed particularly as a recommendation from certain holistic vets and believers in cooking your own homemade dog food scientists have also started looking into raw diets for dogs on their efficacy and health.
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Some studies pointed out the risks of raw diets for dogs. This one in particular noticed certain dangers with these diets not being nutritionally well-balanced as well as certain infections and diseases which raw dog feeding is exposing canines to.
Clearly, there is some compelling evidence suggesting that raw food diets may be a theoretical risk nutritionally. In addition, raw food poses a substantial risk of infectious disease to the pet, the pets environment, and the humans in the household. Daniel P. Schlesinger and Daniel J. Joffe
Another studied further looked into the bacterial risks of raw diets for dogs and how they may affect pets who are fed homemade cooked foods and raw meat on this protocol. In the study, they have pointed out a different variety of infectious pathogenic diseases that expose dogs through raw feeding.
For more, check out some of these further studies as well:
We’ve also previously published an interesting and concise article on the Pros and Cons of BARF diets for dogs which looks at the advantages and disadvantages of raw diets for dogs.
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How Can Bacteria From Raw Food Spread To Humans
Fecal contamination can transmit harmful bacteria from dogs to humans or other pets in the household, even if you can’t see the feces, Torres says.
“It can be on their paws, and they walk inside,” Torres says. “They get on our couch, they get on our bed, those types of things. That’s the challenge with it — you can only clean what you know is there.”
As far as how serious the bacteria contamination can be, “it’s just a matter of what we’re exposed to and what our body is capable of fighting off,” Torres says. Similar to pets, most people will be okay, she says, but the contamination can lead to serious effects like dehydration and hospitalization.
How To Get Your Dog Started On A Raw Diet
Now that youre well-informed about the advantages of feeding raw, its time to get started! Here are some steps to transition your dog to the B.A.R.F. diet:
If your dog is new to raw food, transition slowly. The complete transition can often be accomplished within a week however, the key is to go slowly, as you would with any dietary change. Puppies can generally transition over the course of a few days, as they typically have healthier digestive systems than older dogs. The older the dog, the longer you should take to transition to the new raw diet.
To start, we recommend fasting your dog for a half day to a full day prior to the first meal to ensure a good appetite, and then feed a little bit to see how he or she handles the fresh food. If all is well, continue replacing a little bit of the original diet with the new raw diet.
Monitor your pet. If your pet experiences loose stools, wait until the stool is firm to continue the transition.
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And A Few More Things Must Be Considered
There are more aspects of raw dog food, and homemade dog food recipes in general that you’ll need to take into account.
Finally, Kimberly from KeepTheTailWagging.com, a proponent of raw feeding and a great source of information on this subject, gives five more important reasons that you should consider.
With everything above considered, if youve decided to feed your dog with homemade raw food, make sure you inform yourself about all the specifics this includes vitamins, minerals, calcium, etc.
Also, make sure you consult with not one, but at least several different vets once youve chosen a particular diet.
Raw Dog Food Calculator: How Much Does Raw Dog Food Cost
A lot of factors dictate how much it costs to feed a raw diet. We asked Stef to share the cost per day to feed a raw diet to a two-year-old Labrador to give us a guide.
Based on our high quality, premium products, feeding a 20kg adult dog a complete, balanced diet, could cost you as little as £1.14 per day.
Adult dogs generally need 2-3 per cent of their ideal body weight per day and growing puppies can require anything from 4-10 per cent depending on breed and activity level .
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Supplements That You Can Use With Raw Diets
All Bully Max supplements are compatible with raw and kibble dog foods. You can mix them directly into a large batch, or add them to an individual raw meal.
For underweight, skinny, and growing dogs: Add 1 serving of Gorilla Max or Bully Max to their first meal of the day
For dogs having trouble with digestion, poor skin, poor coats, or weak immune systems: Add 1 serving of Bully Max total health to their first meal of the day
Raw Feeding Can Be Time
Whichever raw dog food recipes you decide to use, it will never match the convenience of dry dog kibble.
Dry food is simply easier to use. Thats why people love it you buy it and you pour it into your dogs food bowl.
For a lot of busy dog owners, preparing homemade meals is just too much hassle.
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Fresh Raw: Making Your Own
My first experience with home raw feeding, though challenging, was also a lot of fun. However, it involves plenty of research and can be very time-consuming.
I found that maintaining a balanced and healthy diet was the trickiest part. It takes a lot of ingredients and care to produce a diet that contains the correct nutrients for your dog. Some pet parents I speak to worry they wont get this right and can find it overwhelming.
Raw feeding, such as BARF , follows a golden ratio rule but this can often be confusing. The ratios of what to do best can change, with more research coming out every year to support home raw feeding. Currently the best practice recommended is 64:8:8:20: meat bones offal veg and fruit, respectively.
When incorporating fresh raw muscle meat into your dogs diet, its best to stick to one type of protein. This is until your dog is fully accustomed to eating raw after which its a good idea to offer multiple sources of protein. Beef, lamb, chicken and pork can be used and you can source mince too. I would recommend you research the best types of raw protein for your dog based on their age, breed, weight, and specific dietary needs.
Raw meaty bones are a crucial component of a balanced homemade raw diet. It is best to find the most appropriate edible bones according to your dogs size. I find that my cocker spaniels love goat knuckle bones whereas Mabel, my golden retriever, is better suited to a tasty lamb rib.