Basics of raw food diet for dogs
June 14, 2016 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Please tell me all the secrets to successfully feeding my dogs a raw diet! What mix of meats do you use? What percentage of organ meats? What add ins like yogurt, veggies, and eggs? What disasters and successes you have had. Finally, has it made a difference in your dogs health?
posted by Coffee Bean to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Don't forget to include some bones & cartilage, not just muscle meat & organs. If you are nervous about your dog eating whole raw bones, my husband was so we compromised on ground chicken carcasses to add the these to the diet. This is not the best option, as the chewing is good for teeth & fun for the dog but marriages are made of compromises :). Raw meat alone can cause diarrhea really bad diarrhea.

Remember never feed a naked bone alone, it should be a raw and meaty bone of a size the dog can grind with it's teeth, the meat helps encourage the dog to chew it up well. NEVER feed cooked bones. Never feed large weight bearing bones of larger animals.

Only feed liver once a week. I avoid green tripe, some people swear by it, but the smell makes me gag. Feed it once or twice a week only, make sure it's not bleached. Too much organ meat in one day can cause the runs, no more than 10=15% of the diet should be organ meat.

I like to freeze any meat I'm going to feed for 2 weeks before feeding to kill off parasites, but this is a habit I got into from feeding snakes, but I'd recommend it for salmon or pork or wild game at the least. Try to avoid rodent animals like wild rabbits, domesticated should be OK.

If adding veggies cook first it first, or mix it up in a blender to puree it as dogs don't really have the digestive system to do raw plant matter. I often use frozen mixed veg that I steam from the supermarket avoiding things like onions etc that are bad for dogs. Or some left overs from our own dinner.

Practice the same hygiene levels you would for your own food. Make sure to feed in an area you can clean down every day & quickly disinfect.

I use rice because one of my dogs has had life threatening attacks of HGE before I changed his diet & it seems to help but most people raw feeding avoid grains. I give a couple an egg or 2 a week & a blob of yogurt daily but I'm not bothered if they miss it a time or 2.

There are many schools of thought on raw feeding, my main advice. Make any changes slowly both for your dog to have time to adjust & for you to feel confident. Maybe start with the odd chicken wing or neck & see how you & your dogs digestion handle it & then build up to making it part of a meal, then add in some yogurt & an egg or 2 etc.

When I lived in Australia my vet had no problems with me feeding Raw & recommended books for me to read on it, then I moved to the US I've had to hunt around to find a vet that didn't all but condemn me to the fiery pits of hell for daring to feed raw.
posted by wwax at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I found the best and most information for raw /and/or home cooked diets for dogs at It's for great danes but it's good for all dogs.
Scroll down to 'Great Dane Forum'. then scroll down to ' diets raw', + +. You can read tons of info and ask questions of folks who've raw fed for years.
You can also 'seach' for info on this site. Good Luck! It's a good choice to raw feed.
I semi-raw feed, with top rated kibble and my pup is doing wonderful.
posted by donaken at 2:03 PM on June 14, 2016

We feed our dogs pre-made patties from Stella and Chewy's (we've used other brands in the past too, just settled on this one). The patties have everything they need, so you just defrost and feed. Their reward treats are just freeze dried meat from Orjien.

As for health, they are 11 and 12 and have been eating raw their entire lives. They constantly get compliments on their health at the vet.
posted by disaster77 at 2:38 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Cat experience here, not dog. We've been feeding her Primal since we brought her home from the shelter eight years ago. Her coat is shiny and healthy, her breath is sweet, her energy is good, and she seems to be thriving overall.
posted by Lexica at 3:57 PM on June 14, 2016

We feed our dogs about equal parts organ meats + offcuts from our local butcher mixed with a cooked slop of mostly sweet potatoes plus whatever dog-appropriate food scraps we've saved (no alliums, grapes, not much citrus, etc.). We've done this for about two years now alongside blood tests from the vet, and by all indications these are the healthiest goddamn dogs that have ever yapped at the mailman.

When we're out of meat and the store is closed or whatever, we give them eggs.

Lastly, the butcher offal/sweet potato recipe is far cheaper than any of the prepared raw foods commercially available.
posted by cmoj at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Pitcairn book has good recipes and talks about balancing calcium/phosphorus for those who feed raw. They also have recipes for "supplemented kibble' and for those who cook food for their dogs. I fed this way for years.
posted by answergrape at 10:30 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Stores for stylish mens dress shirts in NYC   |   Attention VMware experts: Seeking 2nd opinion on... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.