It is gaining popularity fast and I’m sure you heard about raw feeding, considered trying or know someone who swears by it. And they are right to. Raw feeding your dog is quite possibly the best you thing can do for them. Go on and ask any pet parent who has been feeding their dog raw for over two weeks. Would they go back to kibble? 100% of them will tell you never! Now it is much easier thait sounds at first. All you need is get the basic rules right, and you can go ahead and prepare meals for weeks ahead.
First off weigh your dog. Alternatively, for the best results take them to the vet for pre diet change check up. Some health conditions might determine whether they can have certain type of raw food or not. Then try and find the best supermarkets where you can buy food in bulk. What I do is prep all my girls’ meals a week ahead. Prepare their portions, freeze the ones I can and defrost them the night before. Raw feeding rules are simple. Here we go.
Muscle meat is the base
Half to a third of your pup’s meal should be muscle meat. He needs proteins to build strong tissue, and muscle meat is the best source. Some of your best choices include:
- ground beef or stewing beef
- turkey, boneless legs or breast
- stewing lamb, ground, shoulder or breast meat
- chicken thighs without the bone or chicken breast
Feed fish once a week
You can opt for fish oil here. High in omega-3 and fatty acids this is a great addition in moderation. Instead of fish oil, you can feed whole fish (like sardines, smelts, herring, mackerel) once or twice a week. Or you can add a little fish to several meals. If you keep fish at 5% of the total diet then it will balance out his fats.
Organs are the multivitamins
Organs are the nutrient-rich parts of the animal and without them, your dog could be missing some important vitamins. Overall, you can feed anywhere from 10% to 30% organ meats. But this depends on the variety you can get. If you can only find liver, just feed 10% organs. If you find most of the below list, you can mix and match and go up to 30%. The best ones are liver, kidney, spleen, brain, lungs and testicles.
Calcium is a must have
It is a must have along with phosphorus. Especially for a puppy. These are essential elements that work together, and while meat is high in phosphorus it lacks calcium. So you need to make sure your dog diet contains 10 to 15% bones. Some of the good choices include:
- chicken wings, necks, legs or thighs
- turkey necks
- beef tail bones (great for larger dogs)
- lamb or goat necks or ribs
Mind you not all dogs handle eating bones well. Some might throw up from them, and that’s when you can introduce eggs as a great calcium source. Throw in the shells too, they have the highest concentration.
Careful with fat
This is important here. Fat contains twice as much calories as lean meat so you want to avoid adding too much. Also be careful with the quality of the meat. Cheap cuts will often be more fatty. Try to keep the portion in the meal below 10%. Some fatty meats are pork belly, chicken neck with the skin and whole duck. If you feed skin on the meat, then you don’t need to introduce extra fat.
Vegetables are optional
Fruits and vegetables carry some unique benefits your dog can’t get from animal products. If you feed your pup the right amount of lean meat, fat and bones then the veggies are optional. I listed some below:
Carotenoids are important antioxidants that protect your dog from aging and disease. Carotenoids are found in yellow, orange and red colored fruits and vegetables like squash, carrots, papaya, cantaloupe.
Lycopene is another powerful antioxidant that can play a role in preventing and slowing cancer. Lycopene gives many vegetables their red color and it’s found in tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, watermelon.
Lutein is another antioxidant that’s known to protect the eyes, skin and heart. It’s found in dark leafy greens and in yellow plants, including kale, broccoli, oranges and papaya.
Flavonoids or bioflavonoids can regulate cell signaling and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. In general, the more colorful the plant food, the higher it is in bioflavonoids
Keep it varied
Your pet needs a variety just like you. Try to feed him different meats and rotate them around. I usually fall in the habit to returning to chicken too often for two reasons. It’s easier to get hold of, I’m more familiar with the parts and organs than with any other animal. If you need more read on the vitamins and nutrients essential for your pet, then click here.
Remember, you don’t have to fuss over this too much. Once you get the basics right you are already