Dietary Recommendations for Dogs
WHAT TO FEED?
Whole prey items are the gold standard - raw meaty bones are the next best option. You will want to be feeding lumps of meat wrapped around bone, with some organ meat. You will be feeding some raw fish - if your dog just will not eat raw fish, you may like to supplement with salmon oil. You can feed a couple of raw eggs a week, complete with shell. And that’s it!
Some folks feed veggies, some folks feed fruit, some folks feed table scraps. In moderation, most fruit and vegetables will not harm your dog - but they are not a NECESSARY part of the diet, and there is no known nutritional requirement for them.
If you DO choose to feed veggies and fruit, please be aware that some of these items fed in excess can be harmful - grapes, raisins, onions, corn cobs & fruit pits should NEVER be fed. Also please only give sensible table scraps - not curry, chilli, pizzas etc!
Feed whole whenever possible - whole chickens, whole rabbits etc. For smaller dogs, halves or quarters. BIG ‘lumps’ of meat - don’t chop or grind the food, let the dog do the processing! Chicken frames (backs), which are relatively cheap but also nutritious, can form a good part of the diet, supplemented with bigger, meatier cuts as and when possible - think as big or bigger than the dog’s head. Chicken, turkey, rabbit, lamb, pork, beef, goat, emu, kangaroo - all are great sources. Organ meat once or twice a week, and part of that should be liver - but only small amounts to begin with.
Don’t get into the habit of feeding ground/minced meat. There may be times when it could help transition a particularly stubborn pet, or perhaps appropriate for a very young or very old pet, but generally speaking, ground or minced meat is NOT suitable in size or consistancy for feeding to pet carnivores. Most importantly, it offers zero benefit for the oral health of the dog.
By making sure that the size and texture of the food is correct, the dog will pull, rip, tear and crunch the food, cleaning the teeth and gums at every meal, which will keep the teeth and gums clean and free from disease. And the behavioural aspects of feeding an appropriate diet should not be overlooked - working at their own food brings about big mental benefits too. Dogs fed on a RMB diet tend to be more relaxed, particularly as they are not being hyped up by artificial additives - much like children when you take out all the fizzy drinks and fast food from their diets!
Small items, such as chicken wings or necks, are ok for very small dogs (or cats) - there is a risk of a larger dog choking on such small items - so feed BIG!!
HOW TO CHANGE OVER TO RAW?
With dogs, it’s generally very simple and the majority of dogs take to the new food almost immediately. Just stop feeding the old food and start feeding the new. Best not to “mix and match”. Stick to one protein source (i.e. chicken) for a couple of weeks, then add in another, then another etc. Organ meat, in VERY small amounts, can be introduced once the dog is happily digesting the raw food and you have him on a couple of different varieties.
Some adjustments may be needed for puppies and for older dogs
HOW MUCH TO FEED?
Very roughly your dog should be fed about 20% of his total target body weight in food over one week.
A dog weighing 9k (approx 19lbs) should have approx 1.8k (approx 3.5lbs) per week.
A dog weighing 18k (approx 38lbs) should have approx 3.6k (approx 7.6lbs) per week.
A dog weighing 50k (approx 110lbs) should have approx 10k (approx 22lbs) per week.
This is only a rough guide though. Bigger, less active dogs may require less, smaller active dogs may require more. It’s quite simple really, if the dog is too fat, reduce the amount of food given, and if too thin, increase it.
WHERE TO FEED?
When it’s dry, the best (and easiest) place to feed is in the garden on the grass, or on your patio. However, in inclement weather, or if you don’t have a garden, the kitchen floor, covered by a piece of VetBed, or a towel or an old sheet or tablecloth, will keep the floor clean and can be washed afterwards.
WHERE TO BUY THE FOOD?
Butchers, grocery stores, supermarkets, farm shops, farmer’s markets, fishmongers. You won’t be asking for “pet food” - in most cases the same meat/meat on the bone that you would buy for yourself is what you will be buying for the dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may like to join our yahoo group at:
There are many experienced raw feeders on that list who are always happy to offer help, advice and support to those new to the concept of raw feeding.
If you would like further help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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