How do I feed my dog a raw diet?



I was overwhelmed by the idea of switching my dog to a raw diet, even though I understood it would be the healthiest diet for him. I kept putting it off due to the time I wanted to spend on research before making the switch.

You probably have some of the same questions I had.

What if my dog doesn’t get the balanced nutrition he needs? What if I screw up and he gets sick? Are dogs carnivores or omnivores? How much protein does my dog need?

If you decide to feed your dog a raw dog food diet, you have several options. You can buy pre-prepared freeze-dried or frozen raw dog food. You can buy dog food mixes to add to your own raw meat. Or, you can buy all the ingredients and prepare your dog’s food yourself.

Pre-made raw dog food patties

If you haven’t fed your dog raw food before, the easiest way to go is to purchase pre-prepared raw dog food patties from a dog food company like Stella & Chewy’s. The idea is similar to buying a natural kibble for your dog. If you pick the right brand, you can trust that the food is healthy and your dog is getting the balanced diet he needs.

The frozen chicken patties from Stella & Chewy’s contain all the meat and vegetables Ace needs in his diet so I don’t have to add anything extra. To serve, I just de-frost the patties overnight so they are ready to go the next day. I also recently wrote a review of Primal raw dog food.

Freeze-dried raw dog food

Freeze-dried raw dog food is convenient to store and convenient to serve. You don’t have to keep the food frozen, and it takes up less space. You can serve the food dry or you can add water. Freeze-dried raw dog food is not as messy as the raw patties, and it’s much more convenient to feed when you travel or board your dog.

Freeze-dried food is different than dehydrated food (often used for backpacking). When food is freeze dried, it starts out frozen and the ice crystals are turned to water vapor, according to Stella & Chewy’s. All the nutritional value of the raw meat is retained because it is not lost in the heating process necessary to dehydrate or cook food.

Adding pre-made dog food mixes to raw meat

Companies such as Sojourner Farms make dog food mixes made of vegetables to add to raw meat. You just mix a few spoonfuls of Sojourner Farms in with raw meat and water and it’s ready to serve. It’s another easy way to make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs. Sojourner Farms dog food mixes contain ingredients such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, celery, apples, eggs, flax meal and kelp.

Homemade raw dog food

Closeup of black lab mix noseThis is the most complicated way to feed your dog raw food, but if it’s done right, it’s also the safest and healthiest way to go because you know exactly what your dog is eating.

If you want to make homemade raw dog food, take the time to do some research and plan ahead. I do not have experience preparing homemade raw meals for my dog, but I plan to make some meals for him in the future.

My ebook – 10 raw dog food recipes

Raw dog food recipes ebook and an introduction on how to feed homemade raw dog food

Seriously. It’s not that hard to make your dog’s meals. I put together a book with 10 raw dog food recipes for you. The cost is $9.
















Here are some examples of topics I cover in the book:

How much meat does my dog need per day?

According to Sojourner Farms, a dog Ace’s size (65-pound lab mix) should eat 3 cups of raw meat per day. I wish the chart gave the amounts by weight, but at least it’s something to start with.

Dog owners are way too concerned about precision anyway. It’s not rocket science. Just start with approximately 8 ounces of meat for every cup of kibble your dog is currently eating. Then adjust as needed. If your dog starts to look a little lean, then feed him more. If he starts to gain weight, feed him less.

A dog’s raw diet should be about 70 percent meat, 10 percent organs, 10 percent bone and 10 percent veggies, in my opinion. Use that as a guide and don’t worry about balancing every single meal.

Are dogs carnivores or omnivores?

This depends on who you ask. I’ve found that the general consensus is that dogs are carnivores that also eat vegetables.

I asked Ace’s vet this question, and she said that dogs have become omnivores. In the wild, wolves and coyotes eat mostly meat. But when meat is scarce, they will eat nuts and berries and other vegetation. They also get grass from the stomachs of the animals they kill and eat. Obviously our dogs do well eating a variety of vegetables, too.

What kinds of fruits and vegetables can I feed my dog?

If you are not sure whether or not a food is safe to give your dog, make sure to ask your vet.

Some foods commonly acceptable to feed dogs include carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, squash, peas, apples, cranberries, cherries and bananas.

Do not feed your dog onions, avocados, grapes or garlic.

How much of my dog’s diet should be fruits and vegetables?

This will depend on who you ask. Some raw feeders prefer not to feed any fruits and veggies at all. Others feed them occasionally as treats, and others regularly include fruits and veggies in their dogs’ diets.

I prefer to follow the general rule of 70 percent meat, 10 percent organs, 10 percent edible bones and 10 percent vegetation.

One of the reasons to feed your dog a variety of raw fruits and raw vegetables is to make sure he’s getting a variety of healthy nutrients. So go ahead and mix it up from week to week. You can either cut the vegetables up into small pieces for your dog or you can use a blender or food processor to blend them.

What kinds of vitamins and supplements should I add to my dog’s raw food?

You can give your dog a spoonful of coconut oil. I do this for my dog, and it seems to leave his coat visibly shinier and his skin less itchy.

Fish oil is also healthy for dogs and it too contains the three omega acids. Do not give your dog cheap oils like corn oil or canola oil since there are healthier options.

Are bones really safe for dogs?

Yes, raw bones are safe for dogs as long as you make sure your dog is actually chewing the bones and not swallowing small pieces. This is why larger bones are safer. Take the bones away from your dog if you start to see him trying to swallow pieces without chewing.

Never feed cooked bones, as they shatter too easily and the small, sharp pieces can harm your dog.

Dogs love raw chicken bones. I give my dog chicken quarters, chicken thighs and even whole chickens at times.

I plan to avoid pork bones because these are harder bones and I worry they could harm my dog’s teeth. Some people prefer to freeze raw pork meat before feeding it to dogs due to the slight risk of a fatal bacterial disease from the pork bones. I’ve found that this is mostly a myth and raw pork is safe for dogs. If you’re still concerned, you can always freeze pork for three weeks to kill potential bacteria.

Example of a homemade raw dog food recipe

Here is an examples of a meal I could feed my 65-pound lab mix. This is about as simple as it gets:

1 chicken quarter (raw chicken bones are OK, just make sure to supervise), 1/4 C. raw broccoli, green beans and carrots, 1 T. fish oil

Wow, that was almost as easy as tossing a cup of kibble in a bowl! Click here for more homemade raw dog food BARF recipes. BARF stands for bones and raw food.

How do I transition my dog from kibble to raw?

Black lab mix sitting outside, looking over the lake in the snow

You can either switch your dog immediately or you can do a gradual transition as I did with Ace. A gradual switch is probably best for dogs that have been eating mostly kibble all their lives.

Why can’t I mix raw dog food and kibble?

The reason some raw dog food companies and vets recommend a quick switch is because dogs have a difficult time digesting the combination of raw food (easy to digest) and kibble (harder to digest). This is why it’s a bad idea to feed your dog kibble and raw food long term, although some dogs seem to do OK.

If you choose to do a gradual switch, the process is the same as switching from one kibble to another. Feed 75 percent of the old food and 25 percent of the new food for three days or so. Then do half and half and then 25 percent old, 75 percent new. If all is well, switch to 100 percent raw.

My dog eats raw dog food – day 10 update

This is week two of a 12-week raw food trial for my dog Ace. Stella & Chewy’s is sponsoring this trial by providing Ace with 90 days worth of pre-prepared raw dog food patties.

Ace has been doing awesome on his raw dog food patties from Stella & Chewy’s. I highly recommend the switch to almost all dog owners.

The patties are so convenient. I spend very little time preparing Ace’s food. Even when I forgot to de-frost the patties one night, I still cut them up and he was happy to eat the frozen pieces.

I did a gradual switch from kibble to raw over about eight days. Ace ate one meal kibble and one meal raw for the last couple days. Yesterday was his first day eating 100 percent raw. He has had absolutely no digestive issues, so I saw no reason to prolong the transition.

All of his raw food has been chicken based so far. Tomorrow I plan to start mixing in some beef patties. He hasn’t eaten beef-based dog food in about three years, so that could be interesting.

Some additional info:

Ears

Ace’s ears seem dirty, like he could possibly have the beginning of an ear infection. This is most likely because his owner hasn’t taken the time to clean his ears lately.

He is eating chicken as his main protein right now. His dry food (Evo) was also made of chicken and he seemed to do fine. He had a lot of ear infections when he ate Purina One chicken and rice (a cheap kibble) and I’ve often suspected a food allergy to something such as brewer’s rice.

Itchy skin/dandruff

Ace is definitely scratching less and he has less dandruff. That’s what I like to see!

Shedding

The mutt might be shedding a bit less, but too early to really tell.

Poop!

Ace’s stool is not as tiny and compact as it was when he was on a grain-free kibble. His body is obviously still adjusting to a raw diet and possibly going through some sort of detox. Still, the mutt’s poop is dry and crumbly and if I don’t pick it up right away, it starts disintegrating. It magically starts to dissapear :)

He has had no diarrhea whatsoever. And no throwing up, not even from drinking too much water.

My dog is (not) always thirsty

Ace’s obsession with drinking water has decreased. He has water available at all times, and he does not drink his entire bowl! This has been the most obvious change in my dog so far. I feel bad that a kibble diet may have been keeping him dehydrated.

Weight

Well our scale is now broken, but Ace doesn’t appear to have lost or gained any weight.

Energy

I haven’t noticed a change in Ace’s energy. He’s tired because we’ve had a lot of dogs visiting lately and we have a new foster cat to keep track of :)

Excitement around meals!

Ace can’t wait to eat breakfast in the morning and dinner at night. He’s always been enthusiastic about eating, but now he loves to eat even more. This morning he was doing a little dance around his bowl. This could get irritating, but I think it’s cute. When he gets too excited, I always make him lie down and wait (and drool) for a bit.

Have you tried feeding your dog a raw dog food diet?

Raw dog food ebookMy ebook – 10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes

Get the ebook here. The cost is $9.



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  1. Lindsay on March 18, 2011

    For raw fed dogs, the most common figure I have seen for how much to feed is based on a percentage of body weight – 2% for an average activity level, and as high as 3-5% for puppies and very active working/ sport dogs.

    So for my 65lb mutt, he should be eating about 1 1/3 lb of raw food per day. He usually gets about 1 lb of raw plus a stuffed kong / recreational bone / training treats and he is maintaining his weight fairly well.

    On the other hand, I have a friend with a 60 lb boxer. She feeds him 3 lb per day and he barely maintains his weight.

    It really depends on the dog, but 2% of body weight is a good place to start.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 18, 2011

      Great! Thanks for the tip, Lindsay!

    • Luna on March 18, 2011

      I agree. I feed my (almost) 50 pound lab mix 1 pound of meat a day plus lots of treats.

  2. Amanda Steiner on March 18, 2011

    Glad to hear Ace is doing so well on his raw diet! I’m sure he’s enjoying it :)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 18, 2011

      Do you have any examples of meals you put together for Eli when he ate raw?

      • Amanda Steiner on March 18, 2011

        The recipe I used was 2-3 cups of meat, 1 cup of organ meat, and 1 cup of vegetables. I don’t remember the exact percentages that the recipe used, but I remember that’s how I measured it when I mixed it up. What I usually did was buy hamburger or ground chicken from a local meat shop, use that as the base meat, and then buy organ meat, which I found at any grocery store, and use frozen vegetables. I tried to very the ingredients quite a bit from each batch I made, using different vegetables, and organ meats. I didn’t use much fruit in the meals, although now I wish I had. I would also add an egg to the mix once or twice a week. I would freeze the food in 3 cup batches since that’s the amount he ate per day, and let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two and it was ready to go. I didn’t give Eli any raw bones at that time because I didn’t know where to find them. He gets them about twice a week now. Mark was always grossed out when I made the big batches of food :)

  3. Susan on March 18, 2011

    Hi Lindsay, I’m glad to read your report on the raw diet. I haven’t given Stella any raw for a while now but at one time I was giving her something a couple of times a week, always from the Hispanic butcher in my neighborhood. Mostly pig feet, chicken quarters/hearts, and mackerel. It was always cheap and she loved it better than anything. Only occasionally did it upset her digestive routine. Thankfully, she woke me up in the night and insisted on going outside. Good luck. I know Ace must be loving it too.

  4. Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 18, 2011

    The only time Ace has ever had an accident was in the middle of the night after I’d given him a raw beef bone last spring. That was the first and last time he’s had a raw bone :) But … I’ll try it again sometime soon and see how he does now that he’s had some time to adjust to raw meat.

  5. Judith on March 18, 2011

    My take (certainly am no expert on dog nutrition)

    Raw chicken bones ok. Gizzards fantastic. Big beef bones not ok, risk of cracking teeth.

    Veggies. Yes dogs do naturally eat plant material – new grass in spring and whatever is in the intestine of herbivores that they get to eat. Dogs go nuts for intestines of kills. Hank and all his dog pals will always eat intestines of deer, rabbits or whatever – killed by them*, coyotes, or hunters.

    * rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels. Huge (have become a problem) mountain coyote population locally, so in the winter lots of deer kills; major hunting in the fall – deer guts everywhere.

  6. Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 19, 2011

    Thanks, Judith!

  7. Nancy on March 23, 2011

    Lots of good information here about how to get started. I’m not there yet. Still this is all quite interesting. It does make me wonder if Elsie’s itchy skin is a food related allergy. I’m glad Ace is doing well and still looks forward to mealtime!

  8. Daisy on July 20, 2011

    I don’t understand all this raw feeding stuff :/ I know its the healthiest choice for my puppy but I just don’t understand how to feed him.

  9. Lindsay Stordahl Author on July 21, 2011

    Here are some raw dog food recipes: http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/04/16/homemade-raw-dog-food-recipes/

    Otherwise, I would go with a commercial raw dog food like Stella & Chewy’s, Nature’s Variety or Primal.

  10. ISTHATAONE on September 18, 2011

    MY OLD(16 YEARS) DOG TROUBLE SEEMED ABOUT TO MAKE HIS DEPARTURE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, SO I CALLED MY SON TO COME SAY GOODBYE AND DIG A HOLE, AND FED THE OLD GUY WHAT I THOUGHT WAS HIS LAST MEAL OF RAW HAMBURGER.

    YEAH RIGHT!

    GUESS HE DECIDED TO STICK AROUND IF I WASN’T GOING TO MAKE HIM EAT KIBBLE!

    NOW, I CAN’T CLAIM THAT HIS QUALITY OF LIFE IS GREAT, BUT HE SURE IS EATING UP A STORM! AND WHAT SEEMED LIKE A HORRIBLE FLEA INFESTATION IN SPITE OF BEING TREATED WITH FRONTLINE PLUS, HAS DEFINITELY EASED OFF.

    I HAVE BEEN GIVING HIM RAW CHICKEN MEAT, GROUND BEEF , AND CHICKEN LIVER. SINCE HIS TEETH ARE NOT GOOD , I HAVEN’T BEEN GIVING HIM BONES. I ALSO HAVE BEEN ADDING A POWDERED SUPPLEMENT FROM DR. JONES, LECITHIN AND COD LIVER OIL.

    I DON’T HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR TROUBLE, HE DOES SEEM TO HAVE HAD SOME MINI STROKES, AND GETS STUCK IN CORNERS OR IN CHAIR LEGS, LISTS WHEN HE WALKS, … STILL HE IS WALKING, AND GOING OUTSIDE TO PEE, AND HE SURE LIKES HIS CHOW.

    IT SEEMS LIKE HE STILL WANTS TO BE HERE, I WILL WATCH AND WAIT.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 18, 2011

      Oh that is great news. I hope that your dog still has some good days ahead. Enjoy your time with him. I’m so glad the raw food is making him feel better.

  11. Monika on October 20, 2011

    Hello, I’ve been feeding my dog a raw diet for 1 1/2 years. We feed him Stella & Chewy’s frozen patties and have been rotating flavors. The past month he has gotten very picky and doesn’t have any interest in eating the defrosted stuff. I started using the freeze dried beef patties, which he gobbles up, but if I mix those in with the frozen defrosted patties, he’ll eat around it.

    Could it be he’s lost his taste for the frozen ones? Unfortunately, eating only the dried ones is just too expensive. He’s 36 pounds and needs too many of those per day. I’ll go broke!

    I’m wondering what to mix in with the dried ones to extend those. If you can’t mix kibble with raw food, do you have any suggestions on what to do?

    I’m at a loss. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Monika

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 21, 2011

      If a dog doesn’t eat, I just give him five or ten minutes and then I pick up the bowl and put it in the fridge for the next meal time. He will be hungry then. If not, then I throw the food away. He will eat the next day or when he is hungry. I wouldn’t worry about it so much that your dog is not eating. He is an animal and will eat when he is hungry. If you think there is a possibility something is wrong, take him to the vet just to make sure. If you get into the habit of mixing different treats in his food, then he will expect that all the time.

      You could consider mixing real meat in with the Stella & Chewy’s to stretch each bag out longer. I’m not sure if that would save you any money or not. Depends on where you buy the meat I guess.

  12. james on October 24, 2011

    Raw is good but my dog made huge improvement adding a very good bone and joint supplement.

  13. Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 24, 2011

    Good to know! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Kayla on November 16, 2011

    I have recently started adding fruits & veggies to my dog’s dry kibble. I mixed sweet potatoes, bananas, alfalfa sprouts, boiled eggs, peas, green beans, carrots & pumpkin. I give them about 3 spoonfuls a day. Is that too much, not enough? I have a 50lb dog & a 76lb dog.

  15. Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 17, 2011

    Some dog owners and vets will say dogs don’t need added fruits and vegetables. Some will say it is beneficial. So I really don’t have an answer for you. Three spoonfuls per day certainly won’t hurt, and you could add more if you want. Check to see if there are fruits and vegetables already in the kibble.

    The way I see it is fruits and veggies may not be beneficial but they don’t hurt, either. My dog likes some fruits and veggies so I sometimes give them to him as treats or snacks.

  16. james on November 22, 2011

    Not sure it’s the same but a wolf will eat the guts of a kill first,which will no doubt contain fruit,veg and whatever else they eat.It would be good to add these ingredients to a processed kibble diet.

  17. Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 22, 2011

    It can’t hurt. Some will argue dogs don’t need vegetables.

    • Libby on March 8, 2012

      Canines do not have the enzyme to break down the cellulose in veggies/fruits. When eating the stomach of the prey the plant matter is already undergoing the digestive process.
      To mimic this process all veggies/fruits given must be cooked OR raw pureed for absorption. Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli needs to be steamed and given only once a week or less…cruciferous veggies are very hard on the thyroid, especially if given raw.

      This is my knowledge gained from a a Vet who feeds her pets a raw diet.

  18. ruth kingsford on January 23, 2012

    my 5 month old dalmatian, bryer, is feed only bones and raw food, approx 3% of his final weight ( c. 25kilo/55 lb ) a day ( 700-800g/1.65lb ) i started him on chicken wings and chicken thighs, then added in lamb ribs, whole chicken legs and pork ribs, sometimes he has frozen chicken or beef minced meat and bones which looks just like regular mince, some times i add carrots, parsnips, peas or a few cooked potatoes. he’s started bringing in windfall apples from the garden so i’ve got a bag of small apples in the fridge now too and he has one a day!! i also give him fish fillets when they’re reduced in price and am going to give him whole raw fish soon. mostly he has his meat thawed or fresh, but i do give him frozen if i’m not organised!! he has cubes of cheese as rewards for practising his training, and he gets the odd scraps off my plate when ive finished eating. he loves ice cubes which i think help with teething too. he’s fed twice a day. feeding raw food has been such a success that i’ve started moving my 12yr old cat, mitzi, onto raw food now too!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 24, 2012

      Oh that’s so good to hear! I’m glad it’s going well for you and your pets! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Brittany Carmona on February 20, 2012

    I have had my German shepherds on raw prey model for awhile now. I love it! Prey model is basically 80 % meat 10% organs and 10% bones . For example for breakfast I’ll do either turkey tails, turkey necks, lamb ribs, lamb meaty sections, whole fish, ox tail, pork neck bones, duck frames etc. usually for dinner I’ll do meats like beef heart, duck hearts, chicken hearts, turkey thighs, etc and mix 2 spoon fills of organs. No complaints here I love feeding raw to my dogs and they thrive on it!

  20. Gayle L. Stroffe on February 21, 2012

    I started a month ago feeding the raw diet to my two westies. I feed them organic hamburger, organic bison, raw chicken wings, hard boiled eggs w/shells and raw lamb shanks. I have seen a hugh improvement on there skin allegeries. Will strive to mix up better. Glad to hear Ace is doing well.

  21. Deedla on March 14, 2012

    I have 2 Akita’s . my male has no problems with eating raw my female on the other hand will not touch a raw chicken liver ,thats all I have tried on her so far . Any tips to get her to eat it????

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 17, 2012

      My two suggestions are to try something different until you find out which foods she likes. Or, simply don’t worry about it and put the food away until the next meal. Dogs will eat when they are hungry. Cut back on treats and goodies and only give food during specific meal times.

  22. Angela Barrow on March 18, 2012

    Starting my 6 month old dachshund on the raw diet. She was on blue buffalo and her vet said that it had been recalled for not meeting nutritional standards. Then he suggested iams and Lollie pop began to get itchy flaky skin with in days- so we are going raw. Very excited. Your article was so helpful! Thanks:)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 25, 2012

      Yeah, Iams is definitely not known as a high-quality food. I hope the raw diet works out well.

  23. Anne on March 21, 2012

    I have a 17 1/2 year old Bichon, Casey and an 18 month old Shichon (Shi Tzu/Bichon), Kobi. Casey has kidney disease and was on Hill’s k/d for a long time. However, he won’t eat that without me mixing in some other food. I only buy grain free high quality canned food. He had a bad case of pancreatitis and was taken off the k/d. I have been feeding him, per the vet’s advice, 1/3 boiled chicken or hamburger, 1/3 rice, 1/3 green beans. He is not crazy about this and so I went back to giving him just the canned food. The lady at the local specialty pet store suggested that I try a raw diet for both the dogs and gave me Bravo Balance. She told me to put a half a burger on each of their food tonight and see what they think of it. I’m very concerned that with Casey being so old and having kidney disease and never being on a raw diet before will somehow not be a good thing to do. What do you think? I would like to switch Kobi to a raw diet as I am sure, after all the research I have done that it is by far the best thing for him. It just seems so weird to think of giving them raw meat! It all makes sense but just seems like such a giant step. And once you start, can you ever go back to canned?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 25, 2012

      Your younger dog should be fine. I would be hesitant to switch the older dog. I am not a vet, but I have heard that a high-protein diet can be hard on a dog’s kidneys. This would be a good question for Casey’s vet. If you don’t quite trust that vet for nutritional advice, then get a second opinion. I guess if it were my dog, I would stick to high quality canned food or cooking the food like the vet suggested. You can’t go wrong with real chicken, real rice and real beans.

  24. Kate on March 25, 2012

    I am looking into switching our 9 month old boxer to exclusively raw diet. I have a few concerns. One is whether it will cost us an arm and a leg, the other is whether I will be feeding him enough good nutrients. I am pretty uncomfortable with the bone thing, but I have never seen him eat a bone, so maybe I will have to go see if I can pawn a few off a butcher and see how he does. Is rice a good food generally speaking? And if so, I’ve heard some talk of white vs brown…I am going to talk to our vet about it all next visit, but I would really like him to be eating something that isn’t the equivalent of humans crap food.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 25, 2012

      Hopefully this post will answer your questions about the cost: http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/04/30/how-much-does-it-cost-to-feed-my-dog-raw-food/

      It generally does cost more to feed raw, but people have found ways to make it even cheaper than feeding kibble.

      Your best bet may be to go with a pre-prepared raw dog food company while you learn more about making the food yourself. I don’t see a need to feed a dog rice. It is a filler, and they don’t really need grain.

      • Kate on March 26, 2012

        Thank you so much! It’s very much appreciated.

  25. Ben on March 26, 2012

    Hi all need some help I have a german shepherd pup he is 7 months old and he is on James wellbeloved kibble junior large breed and Janmes wellbeloved pouches turkey and want him to eat half raw meat eg beef and half kibble how mcuh do I need to feed of both as he eats 510 dry and 80 wet food

  26. Ben on March 26, 2012

    He is about 80 lbs

  27. Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 26, 2012

    I wouldn’t worry about the amount too much. If the dog is thin, feed a bit more. If he’s overweight, feed a bit less.

    Here’s a simple equation you can use to find out how much to feed your dog in ounces:

    (Your dog’s weight in pounds) x 16 = your dog’s weight in ounces.

    (Your dog’s weight in ounces) x .02 = roughly the amount of food your dog should eat in ounces per day. Every dog is different, but that can give you a place to start.

    My 67 pound dog should be eating 21.44 ounces of food per day, according to that formula. I feed him a bit more (24 ounces per day) since he is naturally lean and burns a lot of calories. Your shepherd probably burns a lot of calories as well.

    To make it simple, I just assume a cup of dry dog food is roughly 8 ounces in weight. Seems accurate enough since my dog eats about 3 cups of dry food per day when I feed him all dry food.

    • Lesley Heck on September 4, 2012

      This is not MY calculator, but it’s a really good one to use. I am just starting our gigantic dog on raw meat diet, it’s our last attempt at helping him. So, fingers are crossed.
      Have a nice day,
      Lesley

  28. Jalene on September 13, 2012

    Hello

    We just moved to a small town in BC and looks like I am going to have to start making my own raw dog food for our puggle. As I’m reading your article I don’t see anything about Kelp. I thought that was something they needed in every meal..or is there other things you can substitute besides that?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on December 19, 2012

      It depends on who you ask. People who feed the whole prey model simply give their dogs meat/organ/fat/bone and don’t worry about veggies, grain, etc. Others do feed these things.

      I would go with what you think is right for your particular dog.

  29. Christine on November 13, 2012

    Hello Everyone;

    I have 4 yr old Newfoundland (Roman) who has been on raw food for over a year now. He suffers from every allergy you can think of, right down to dust mites. I feed Roman 5 to 6 lbs of food twice a day. 2 chicken carcases, most of the veggies you have mentioned above and his main meat is chicken hearts. I have a butcher down the street and he does all the ordering for me and I pick it up. The butcher gets me a good deal. I get 5lbs for $2.50 frozen hearts. 1 box of carcases (about 40) costs me $20.00. I heard people can get in as low a $7 for a box of carcases. Shop around.

    I have also given him chicken gibblets. He loves them too.

  30. Victoria Johnson on December 14, 2012

    I’ve been feeding my English Golden Retriever raw dog food for over 7 years. She loves it and I use Bravo dog food which is organic and is a mixture of meat, bones, vegetables. For a brief period my Vet recommended prescription dog food to help her joints ….after which, I put he back on the raw food but adding in the joint and bone support to the raw food. I can buy 20lb for $19.99 chicken blend and spend less money than the vets recommended dry dog food…

    Loved reading your blog and the information. I will check out the other food suppliers referenced. I can highly recommend the Bravo line of food.

  31. Randall Bowman on December 30, 2012

    My 70 lb. Lab has had allergy issues and now hip problems and she is only 7 yrs,. old. I am now feeding her a dry kibble that is supposed to be biologically appropriate and 80% animal based (or something like that) for the last 3 months. I have always had her on a high quality kibble but nothing seems to agree with her. Other symptoms include: shedding, dry patches, itching, ear infections, bad gas/smelly stool (though firm).

    There is no question in my mind that I need to start feeding her raw food. I want her healthy. I just bought another bag of kibble though because I haven’t done any research. I’m serious now. This is the last bag of kibble for my dogs.

  32. Mark Stockford on January 20, 2013

    This has been Most helpful raw diet write up I have found yet. You have helped me out in every area that I had concern in. Thank you from Berlin my GSD and me A guy who truly cares how his dogs feels.

  33. Sara on March 10, 2013

    I have a 30 pound dog who I feed kibble in the morning and raw in the evening. I’d like to feed her just raw, but she requires 3-5 cups of food a day depending on activity, so I can’t afford to do so. I read on this site and others that it’s better not to feed raw and kibble together….I’m just wondering if that means at the same time, or if separating by dinner and breakfast is okay….or would it be better to feed raw a couple days, then kibble a couple days? I have such a hard time keeping weight on her it’s frustrating. I’m also wondering if increasing the fat content of the raw is okay? I bought beef fat to mix in with her 30% fat ground beef to see if that would help her. Is this okay to do?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 11, 2013

      I’m not sure about the fat but it would probably be fine. Dogs generally require more fat than us, especially if they are lean.

      The thing with mixing raw and dry is that dry is more difficult for them to digest, so it takes longer. Raw food is easier for them to digest and passes through the system faster. If you mix them in one meal, the raw sits in the gut longer than it naturally would, giving bacteria more time to grow. Some dogs get upset tummies. Some don’t.

      Since your dog is doing ok with one meal dry and one raw, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. You could leave 12 hours between the meals if you think it’s necessary.

  34. Renchan Li on August 15, 2013

    Thanks for this article and all comments; I felt that this article is objective and balanced, with my limited knowledge on dogs. All information in this thread is helpful in making me more informed in feeding my dog better foods. I started feeding my now 2-year old Rottweiler since June 2013 and feel raw feeding is better for my dog; and I won’t go back to kibbles under normal circumstance.

  35. Angela P on August 17, 2013

    We have a 2 yr old golden retriever with Mastarory Muscle Mytosos (MMM). We just start Raw food. He stopped eating his moistened kibble & refused to eat canned food because it too hard to eat.

    We started him on butcher ground beef with no bone because of the lack of being able to chew food up. Not sure he can do chicken/turkey ground blend with bone because of no upper jaw muscle. Do dogs chew the bone up or swallow whole?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on August 18, 2013

      If the bones are ground, the dog shouldn’t have any trouble eating it since there’s no need for them to chew if it is already ground.

  36. Angela P on August 18, 2013

    Awesome… thank you.. he very picky right now.

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