Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes

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Homemade raw dog food recipes

In this post I share my own experience learning to feed my dog a raw dog food diet.

I have been feeding my dogs a raw dog food diet since 2011. We started with a pre-made, frozen commercial brand and eventually I started making homemade raw food to save some money (hence, the recipes in this post and in my ebook).

The main downside to feeding commercial raw dog food is the price. Ace is a 67-pound black lab mix. (2019 update: Ace has passed away.)

A 6-pound bag of commercial raw food is roughly $27 (on the low end) and will last my dog just four days. It costs more than $200 a month to feed him commercial raw.

Most of us do not have $200 in our monthly budgets for dog food. That’s the equivalent or more of feeding an extra person, which is why it makes sense to consider homemade raw food at least a couple days per week or to mix in with a commercial raw brand.

If you decide to buy ingredients to make the food yourself, you’ll be buying foods like raw beef or raw chicken, raw organs like chicken livers, raw bones and raw veggies.

You can buy most of these ingredients at your local grocery store or butcher. Look for meat that is higher in fat. This meat is cheaper and considered lower-quality meat for humans, but most dogs need the extra fat in their diets.

You can likely save even more if you know any local ranchers, farmers or hunters. Deer meat and guts are perfect for dogs!

The added benefit of buying your own raw dog food ingredients is that you will know exactly what your dog is eating.

The drawback, of course, is time and making sure the meals are generally balanced.

To help you out, I’ve written an ebook to guide you through the process of learning to feed a raw diet.

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Raw dog food Ebook

How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?

The general rule is to feed your dog 2 percent of his body weight. This is just a general rule. Some dogs will only require 1 percent while others may need 3 or 4 percent.

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. (For example, my dog weighs 67 pounds X 16 = 1,072 ounces.)

Your dog’s weight in ounces x .02 = roughly the amount of food your dog should eat in ounces per day. (So with my dog it is 1,072 x .02 = 21.44.)

According to the above example, my 67 pound dog should be eating 21.44 ounces of food per day, or 1.3 pounds (16 ounces in 1 pound).

Homemade raw dog food recipes

I feed him a bit more (24 ounces per day) since he is naturally lean and burns a lot of calories. You also want to factor in the treats you feed your dog. Ace barely gets any treats because I am a mean dog mom.

It doesn’t have to be complicated! If your dog is underweight, feed him a bit more. If he’s fat, feed him less.

Free homemade raw dog food recipes

*My ebook has 10 additional recipes. Download the ebook with the button below.

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For this post, I also asked some readers and friends to share some of their homemade raw dog food recipes.

The raw dog food recipes in this post are not necessarily 100 percent balanced or meant to be fed every day. They are not necessarily recommended by a veterinarian. They are not necessarily right for your particular dog.

These are just some real examples of real raw meals real dog owners have fed their dogs.

If you feed your dog raw, please share some examples of meals you feed your dog. It would be extra helpful if you could also tell us the weight, breed and activity level of your dog and where you buy the ingredients.

DIY homemade raw dog food recipes - Easy raw dog food recipes #rawdogfood #rawfed #rawfeeding #rawdogfoodcommunity #rawdogfoodrecipes

Raw meat/veggie mix

This is for a 100-pound Kuvasz, twice per day:

  • 1/4 C. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 -1/2 C. chopped or ground veggies (carrots, leafy greens, apples, broccoli or peas)
  • A skinned chicken leg quarter with bone (chicken leg, thigh and some of the back, which usually weighs about 1 lb)

If the meat does not have a lot of bone, sometimes Biggie’s owners will add a calcium tablet.

Raw beef/organ/veggie mix

This is for an active springer/pointer mix:

  • 2 C. raw ground beef or chicken (from local meat shop)
  • 1 C. organ meat (from grocery store)
  • 1 C. vegetables/fruit

Rotate the kinds of organ meat and veggies you use. Blend the organ meat and veggies and mix with the already ground meat. Add an egg if desired.

Raw beef stuffed in Kongs

This method is intended to keep the dogs (a standard poodle and a pitbull) occupied while their owner goes to work. It’s as easy as it sounds. Simply stuff several Kong toys with raw meat. Then freeze and serve.

In this case, each dog gets 2 to 3 frozen Kongs per day. The Kongs are typically filled with raw ground beef from Hare Today, a farm located in Pennsylvania that grinds, cuts and packages whole animals.

Pumpkin paws

  • Small amount of any raw meat (optional)
  • Small amount of spinach, chopped carrots or broccoli (optional)
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 large can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 small can of tomato puree
  • 9-ounce paper cups

If using meat, make sure it is finely chopped or ground. Otherwise, put it in a food processor with the water to make a soup. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Put a very generous tablespoon in each paper cup. Freeze and serve. You probably want to serve outside!

Some reminders about feeding homemade raw dog food recipes:

  • Some fruits and vegetables are not good for dogs such as grapes and onions.
  • Never give your dog cooked bones or sharp raw bones.

If you are going to make your dog’s raw food yourself, I highly recommend making at least a week’s worth at a time and storing it in your freezer.

Update on feeding my dog raw food

All the above recipes sound easy, right? I think so. It’s just a matter of buying the food ahead of time and planning ahead.

To make it easier, you can always feed one meal of DIY raw dog food and one meal of commercial raw dog food each day.

Gradual switch to raw or quick switch?

Back when I first introduced Ace to raw dog food, I gradually switched him from dry food to raw dog food by mixing the two together over eight days.

Ace the black lab/hound mix out for a walk. He loves his homemade raw dog food recipes

This is what the majority of vets and raw dog food companies recommend, but some people just switch over “cold turkey” and it goes just fine.

See my post: How to transition your dog to a raw diet.

Friends and family who are skeptical of raw dog food

This is just a small annoyance, but there are people who are obviously opposed to Ace eating raw food. I have to just brush their opinions aside and worry about myself. I wanted to mention this because it’s something you will likely come across if you switch your dog to a raw diet.

I don’t waste time trying to explain the diet to certain friends and family members. I know what’s best for my dog. They can feed their dogs what they want.

Here is what I noticed after switching Ace to a homemade raw diet:

Ear infections

Ace used to get about two ear infections a year so not enough where I was overly concerned about food allergies or environmental allergies. Since being on a raw diet he’s had one ear infection in about six years.

Itchy skin/dandruff

Ace seems to scratch a lot less and lick his paws less when on a raw diet.

Teeth

I don’t expect to notice a difference in Ace’s teeth, but many others report their dogs oral health improved dramatically after switching to raw.

Shedding

There is a LOT less shedding.

Less poop!

I know this is more information than you want to hear, but Ace’s poop is tiny and hard – just what I like to see!

Energy

My dog definitely has less energy every year, and while others report a raw diet seems to give their dogs more energy, that has never been noticeable with my low-energy guy. He’s just low energy all the time!

Learn more about raw feeding with my ebook10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes.”

Ebook on raw feeding by Lindsay Stordahl

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Do you feed your dog homemade raw food?

In the comments, share some examples of raw dog food “recipes” you have used.

278 thoughts on “Homemade Raw Dog Food Recipes”

  1. Glad to hear it was the meds causing the upset tummy. Well, not glad he had an upset tummy but you know what I mean. 😉

    I never thought about raw meat in kongs…may have to think about trying that. That would require me to be more diligent about cleaning them though, usually just rinse them with soap and water.

    Is a funny poop story TMI? Too bad. After getting chicken with bones, Hershey’s poop is light in color (yellow/light tan), small and firm…blends RIGHT in with the pine pellets in her litter box. Scavenger hunt for mommy.

  2. I think it’s good that you want to do what you think is best for Ace, even though other people have a problem with it.

    And about the snow… ridiculous. Charlie and I want the sun back!

  3. Amanda Steiner

    I think the raw food in kongs is a wonderful idea! I wish I had known about it when I was kenneling Eli, otherwise I think it would be much to messy.

    I know what you mean about people not agreeing with you feeding raw, although I’m sure you get many more comments than I did with your blog and all your dog friends. I was tagged as “crazy dog lady” for awhile. After I dog sat my friend’s yellow lab, he had an upset stomach for a day, and I was grilled to make sure he didn’t “eat the crap that Eli did.”

    I’m deciding which way to go with Eli’s food. I’m concerned about the high concentration of protein in the grain free food. I’m worried over time it will be hard on his kidneys because the concentration is much higher than it is is raw food since the moisture is taken out. If I feed him Primal that would cost me about $150 a month, and I’m not sure I want to pay quite that much! I’m also not sure if I want to start making my own dog food again either…..at least I have options right? 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m in the same boat since after this trial is up I will have to decide if I really want to spend $150 or more on food for Ace each month. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet.

  4. I am glad Ace is doing so well on his new plan. That’s really the bottom line, isn’t it? Very informative post for those interested in trying this out. Good job tracking everything. That shows true dedication to doing it right!

  5. Nice. Thanks for the recipes. Yeah, I’m sure you get plenty of opinions about raw food. I can’t get Gus on raw because hubby won’t get over his prejudicial view. He diligently cooks for Gus every day, so at least we feed him fresh food!

  6. I thought I should mention that once on raw food, teeth issues might become more prevalent because the dog is not scraping his teeth on the hard kibble, which helps a little with cleaning. If you are not brushing pup’s teeth daily, I might recommend starting, or at least do it more often once on the raw food.

  7. Lindsay Stordahl

    I agree with you that dog owners should brush their dogs’ teeth (although I admit I don’t). However, it is absolutely false that dry dog food cleans a dog’s teeth. That is simply not true at all. If I eat hard food like crackers, the food does not scrape my teeth clean. That’s just ridiculous. One benefit to a raw diet is the addition of raw bones. Chewing on bones is one way that can definitely keep a dog’s teeth cleaner as the chewing motion works like a toothbrush. Many, many dog owners who feed raw have reported that their dogs’ teeth are much cleaner, whiter and healthier once switched to a raw diet.

    Another way to keep your dog’s teeth cleaner is to avoid feeding him “people food” with sugar such as ice cream, flavored yogurt, donuts, etc.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        You can just give them as is, no need to grind them unless you want to. Maybe take the skin off because it’s so fatty and rich it gives some dogs upset tummies.

    1. Feeding dogs an apple every now and then helps with teeth brushing and it’s great for them… peel it first and no seeds!!!!!

  8. When I make my food for my boxer (he’s 11 months old, and has been on the raw meat diet for five months) I use

    6 chicken backs, bone in
    8-10 strawberries
    7 asparagus stalks
    2 apples
    4 celery stalks
    1 yam
    1 pack of alfalfa
    6 green beans

    Take chicken and place in a bag. Then, beat it up with a hammer to break big bones.

    Add all fruit and veggies to the food processor. Remove to a bowl, then add the chicken and blend. Mix all in the fruit and veggie bowl. Separate into smaller containers and freeze. This will last my boxer nine days – two meals a day, 24 ounces per day.
    1 Carrot

  9. I got it at Sobey’s on sale or the local butcher. I did find, though, that I had to cut back on the asparagus as my dog could clear the room. I just added some raspberries to compensate for the change and added some extra virgin olive oil for his fur.

  10. I noticed in the Pumpkin Paws recipe that it has tomatoes in it. I have read a lot on the Internet and so far I have learned that dogs should not have tomatoes as they can be toxic. You could always put something like peanut butter in instead.

  11. Thanks for the great story. I have recently changed my dog to a raw food diet. It’s been 32 days. I still mix his dry food with raw meat, and it’s been great. He’s had ear infections for the past two to three years. He’s been in and out of the vet and on and off antibiotics. I’ve gotten sick of all the money I’ve paid to the vet and medicine, so I decided to take charge. I started using Zymox ear drops with cortisone, along with the Zymox medicated shampoo and rinse cream. All this can be found on Amazon.com. You’ll see all the similar problems about yeast infections, ear infections, etc., on the costumers reviews and you’ll be so glad you found them!

    Back to raw food … right around when I started using Zymox products for my dog, I also changed my dog’s diet to raw food. It was drastic in what I experienced. No more smell, less scratching and not to mention stools are smaller and better. I am continuing to feed him raw food and eventually lay him off the dry food. I am still searching for a great raw food recipe for my pooch so by the end of this month he will finally to taste my “cooking.” Haha. Thanks for this great blog. Keep up the good work! Good luck to all!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I am probably going to be feeding my dog and cats a meal of dry food each day and a meal of commercial raw food. For now, that’s the most convenient and cost friendly way to go. Thanks for the info. My dog seems to always be fighting off ear infections as well so I will look into the products you suggested. Usually it’s yeast infections. I’m not sure if that’s caused by the environment or his food or something else.

  12. I’m always thrilled to find more people enthusiastic about feeding their companions a more healthy, species appropriate diet! I’ve learned a wealth of information from the “rawfeeding” Yahoo Group. The members and moderators have been feeding raw for years, and yes, the bones help clean the teeth. I’m still shocked at how much cleaner (no more tartar at all!) my dogs teeth are 🙂

    I did want to just add a few things, though. When making the switch to raw, you shouldn’t mix the kibble or feed it at all. Donate it to a shelter! For some reason, it doesn’t digest right and has very little, if any, nutritional benefit. Secondly, dogs and cats are carnivores, not omnivores. Their teeth aren’t designed to grind veggies or grains. I used to feed shredded carrot, beans, etc., before I knew better. My dogs waste used to have the same color and shape of shredded carrots that went in their mouth – they don’t digest it! And wolves do not eat the stomach contents of their prey. They will only eat the lining. Although, I’m sure if times are rough they might be forced to eat vegetation. I shouldn’t say never.

    I don’t mean to be preachy, just trying to share what I’ve learned. Please check out the Yahoo Group. It’s really great. Best of luck with all of your four-legged friends 🙂

    rawfeeding-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    http://www.rawlearning.com

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      My dog does just fine when I mix kibble and raw or feed one meal raw, one kibble. He does seem to have minor digestive issues when I switch him to dry for a few days, though. And he never has issues when I switch him over to raw. I’m not convinced that it’s so wrong to mix the two, although I understand dry food is harder for them to digest and the combo is not ideal. I look at all the food combinations people eat all the time, things we shouldn’t be mixing – yet we do it every day and we manage to survive just fine. I think my dog will be fine. Some dogs handle it differently than others, though. Some are more sensitive.

      Also, there does not seem to be an agreement on whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores. My dog’s vet says that dogs are omnivores. I tend to agree with you – they probably do not need fruits and other vegetation in their diets, but it can’t hurt, either. I’ll check out the yahoo group, especially since I’ve heard good things about it from others. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment.

      1. Hi Lindsay, you have awnsered you own question about the kibble….if every time you switch from raw to kibble your dog gets an upset tummy but the other way round he’s fine that speaks loads. Why do kibble at all and as for feeding veg and fruits, in the wild it plays a great part to their diet as on of the first things a hunter (the animal that hunts for meat) is the contents in the stomach of the graźor all chewed and partially digested. Its a known fact that wild animals self medicate on berries and other fruits so yes it is important to give the same to our dogs at home.

  13. I have been feeding Charlie raw food for two years now and just started making my own. His teeth are beautiful. Vet thought I was brushing, and I am not. He no longer itches as before the raw diet and never has loose bowels. Here Is my recipe:
    Charlie is a 35-pound Tibetan terrier. I make the food for a week and freeze it, so this is for seven days.

    14 chicken necks from an organic store
    1 lb. ground chuck
    1/2 lb. ground turkey or chicken thigh meat
    1/2 lb. liver or ground lamb (I switch)
    1 T. olive oil
    1 T. course ground flax seed
    1/2 C. chopped vegies, (spinach, carrots, cabbage,etc.)
    1 clove chopped garlic
    1/4 t. tumeric

    He gets two raw chicken necks and about 7 ounces of the ground mixture. He chooses to eat once a day. I have tried to break it up in morning and evening but Charlie knows what he wants, and he is the boss.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for the recipe. Much appreciated. My dog is about 70 pounds so I’d probably have to double this.

  14. After the past couple of years of dealing with ear/skin issues with vets & prescriptions, and their special prescription foods, I’ve decided to attack this from a more natural/holistic perspective. I had done the same thing with my daughter’s Maincoon cat, Simba, who had developed diabetes.. She brought him over for a visit (I hadn’t seen him for nearly a year) and was shocked. Simba had topped scales at 30lbs throughout his life – but now he had wasted away to nothing, and had lost significant muscle mass in his back legs barely able to walk on non-carpetted floors. I demanded we take him to the vet (her father had refused, saying the cat was just getting old). The vet put him on insulin and he stayed with me. While we were stablinzing the insulin I started researching. An low & behold, cat food was the culprit – it didn’t have the nutrients that are basic to a cat’s diet. So I started a raw diet of salmon/chicken with some other stuff thrown in for balance (it was a while ago now – so i don’t remember everything, but it was mostly protein). Within a couple of months, Simba was off the insulin, regained his muscle tone, and back to a much more normal weight. He stayed with me for another 6 months (me-HUGELY allergic/asthma with cats) before it was time to go back.

    So, I have a senior cockapoo who has developed really horrible allergies, and everything keeps getting compounded with the licking scratching, yeast imbalances, and then throw cortisone into the mix (per vet) makes everything worse. Too much $$$ on scripts (& I am in clinical trials with a major pharma) & she’s not getting better for any length of time, maybe a day/two every now & then. But it’s constant. I’ve tried all the foods, blah, blah, blah, while researching natural remedies , but was always getting caught up in garbage, and real time wasters of sites that catch you in, to find they are only pushing a product or brand. But this blog/page is FANTASTIC. Real people with real advice, and not dribble. Key information. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Now I know what I can do, & how! TERRIFIC!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Sorry to hear about your dog. I hope you can figure out a diet that works. Thank you for visiting my blog, reading and commenting. There are a lot of options as far as natural, raw or organic dog food. What is your cockapoo eating now?

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  16. I have an 85 lb Golden Retriever named Finley. I started him on a raw diet out of frustration with commercial dog food. Most Goldenseal suffer from food allegries and after 6 years my boy had run out of food options. Skin rash, lose of hair, yucky ears! The running poo and gas. We would switch and he would be fine and even get better then 6 months later, he would start the process over again. Last October I started searching online and found that a raw diet can help with food allergies. We took him off everything and started with a simple mix to be able to determine what if anything we were going to give him was going to cause an averse reaction. We now have four meals we rotate.
    All meals contain the following:
    1/4 c plain organic yogurt
    1 clove of garlic minced
    1 raw egg with shell
    1 omega 3 fish supplement
    1 c of pureed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots)
    1/2 c of mixed banana and apples
    We switch up meats as follows:
    1) 1/2 lb ground beef 1/2 lb ground turkey
    2) 1/2 lb ground beef 1/2 lb ground duck
    3) 1/2 lb ground turkey 1/2 lb wild fish (salmon, troat)

    For treats – I buy raw (not cooked or sterilized) knuckle joints. They are great for cleaning there teeth and gives them calcium.

    It may seem like a lot , but I usually spend an hour either on Sat or Sun and make up a weeks worth of individual containers, then I toss into the freezer.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Very helpful – sounds like you have the recipes down! Glad you’ve found something that works. This is what I would like to follow if I make my own raw meals for my dog.

    2. Hi there. We are expecting to bring our new Golden puppy home in early December. Litter should arrive mid October. Breeder feeds all of her dogs raw food and I would like to follow suit. I am curious on how much you feed your Golden a day and how much this recipe makes and/or lasts.

      1. Good question, Todd! I hope Barbie can answer that for us.

        From what I’ve heard from other dog owners, they typically feed 8 ounces of meat per day for every cup of kibble the dog would’ve been eating. This is usually the equivalent of 2 to 3 percent of the dog’s total body weight. Obviously for a pup or young dog, you would want to feed a higher percentage. Your dog’s breeder will also be an excellent resource.

        As an example, my Labrador mix is 67 pounds, which is 1072 ounces. 2 percent of that is 21.44 ounces per day. Since he is fit, active and naturally lean, he needs a bit more than that. When I fed him raw, he got about 24 ounces of food per day.

        Here are some other posts you may find helpful:

        Look where it says “How much raw food should I feed my dog?” http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/04/16/homemade-raw-dog-food-recipes/

        In this post, look where it says “how much meat does my dog need per day?” http://www.thatmutt.com/2011/03/18/how-do-i-feed-my-dog-a-raw-diet/

        Best of luck to you with your new pup!

  17. Barbie Clough, what Omega 3 do you use? What is the dosage? I’ve read that it is very good for dogs, but wanted to know your breakdown.

    My girl will just eat a soft-gel/caplets as a treat, so I give her that once a day. Not sure of the ramifications of freezing the stuff – I haven’t researched that at all.

    Thanks for all the tips!!

  18. Dagmarvelous, I’m sure Barbie is just freezing everything to keep it fresh rather than have it sit in her fridge all week. It’s easy to take a meal out of the freezer a day or two ahead and put it in the fridge to defrost. Then it’s ready to go for the next day. I’m assuming she adds the omega 3 fish supplement right before serving, but maybe she can clarify that.

  19. This is a great forum, I just started feeding my about 95lb Rottweiler a raw diet. She has pancreatitis so I was having a hard time getting her to not throw up her food before. Now her pukies are far and few between. I’m surprised no one has mentioned feeding rabbit yet. I feed Aubrey about 1- 1 1/2 pounds of raw rabbit each day along with some different fruits and veggies and occasionally some sweet potato, pumpkin, or oatmeal (oats and water, not anything packaged). I get the rabbit from the butcher for relatively cheap. We have done goat, tilapia and chicken as well. I have a great butcher that I visit once every couple weeks and he tells me what’s fairly cheap that week and that’s what I stock up on. I have my butcher take all the whole animals I buy and run it through a grinder (meat, bone, organs and all) and then he packages it in 1lb packages that I freeze and take out about 5 days worth at a time. I have a big freezer that makes this process MUCH easier. I often wonder if I am making a mistake when I have everything ground up. I worry that maybe she should be getting the whole animal, or if the ground up version is just as good.

  20. Well, the reason you would consider feeding the whole animal is so the dog can benefit from chewing the bones. But it’s also safer to just feed it all ground up because then you don’t have to worry about the dog choking. I’m sure it’s also a lot less messy! Thanks for your tips!

  21. Hi there enjoyed reading your blog. I too started feeding my to two dogs a raw diet with Stella and chewys, but soon realized I would need to win the powerball to keep them on it. I have a German shepherd (3) and a boxer (2) my boxer has had digestive issues since she was a puppy, there was not a kibble that I could find that would not go right through her also she never grew normally. She was only 37 pounds when I started raw. After trying different combinations I found one that works and is very easy and works good. The honest kitchen makes dehydrated foods for dogs, simply add water wait 5 minutes and serve. It’s a bit spendie, but they have a meat free formula called preference that is what I use, you add your own raw meat ( usually chicken wings) and serve. I have been feeding this since April of 2011 and my boxer now weighs 42 pounds. Her energy is high and has never looked better. From time to time I add extras to the mix, raw eggs cottage cheese pasta/rice or what ever I have that may be getting stale in the fridge. Don’t know if your still feeding raw or not but this is my two cents. I will be feeding raw for the long haul due to my boxers issues. Good luck with Ace.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks so much for the helpful comment. I am not feeding Ace raw right now. I stopped mostly because of the cost and inconvenience. I am always thinking about switching him back to raw, however, and this is very helpful. Thank you. Glad to hear your boxer seems to be doing well with the Honest Kitchen mixture.

      1. I have been feeding my 13 lb. 18mth old minipin raw chicken necks for the past 10 mths. No mincing or cutting up. Every 2 weeks I give him a 4-5 oz meal of chicken giblets and liver. I purchase the necks for .50 cents a Lb. from a local wholesale chicken supplier who deals in grain fed no hormones etc. added product. When I first got him at 7 mths old he had stomach problems and very flaky skin, my vet said possible allergy to something.I decided to switch to raw meaty bones diet. Now he is healthy with no problems and beautiful white teeth and shiny coat. He also gets 1 raw egg a week as a treat and an occasional cut up carrot that he loves. I also keep a supply of raw marrow bones on hand as he loves to chew and the additional gnawing just helps keep teeth clean. Hopes this gives you some idea of the benifits of raw feeding.

  22. After a lot of reading, I have concluded that most dog ‘allergies’ and health issues are due to poor commercial food diet. Then antibiotics just increase the problems by killing off the good bacteria in the digestive system; candida(yeast overgrowth) is the issue- not allergies. Our dog was itchy with ear infections & then yeast her whole life. Got her off grain & the itching stopped. Found ‘Fresh Pet’ Dog log and she loves it, but her yeast got worse, found out it has soy in it, and even most top of the line kibble has too much potato, which feeds the candida. She doesn’t like raw meat, so we are slowly switching her over, very lightly cooking the meat & veges. Found out that the new commercial raw foods sold are heated, which kills a lot of the vitamins & minerals. SO the best way is do it yourself. I have yet to figure out the best combination, but I’m looking for someone to kill a deer for us, but then, I have little freezer space, and trying to get off the grid(oh boy). Buying raw grass feed meat is really expensive, it is costing more to feed her than us, as we eat little meat. The latest on grass fed, is watch out for chemically fertilized grass. Dogs nibble on grass, I think growing wheat grass would be good. If I didn’t love her so much, it wouldn’t be worth it…. who came up with these sweet, innocent, loving, wholesome creatures anyway? Bought a free range organic chicken, it was the size of a turkey, but it cost $30.00!!!!!! for one chicken! Help!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m afraid I can’t help you much. I’m feeding my dog what I consider the best dry food – Orijen. I can’t afford to feed him raw food. I want to focus on eating healthier food myself. One thing many of us need to do is just accept that although we want to do the best we can, we can only go so far. I can’t justify spending more on my dog’s food than I would spend on my own food. I choose not to feel guilty that he is eating the best kibble instead of raw. He has it pretty darn good.

      1. Hi animal lovers,its a blessing to see so many poeple trying to do right by there pets. I do raw kibble orijen& one other cant recall @ the moment & raw fresh. I don’t mix the two as it over feeds the nutrients & causes stomach discomfort, but I alterate. I also have been making allies with folks who have small free range livestock to do bartering & have an organic garden. This is been super cost effective & very healthy for both of us. Less than $100 a mth. God Bless

  23. Hey, I just stumbled onto this Blog and really enjoyed reading it. I have recently started preparing a cooked diet for my two dogs. Started this because of my Boxer girl who has had allergies since she was two. She is now going on 10 years and seven of those have been miserable for her amd me. We went through the food chain, oils, supplements, special shampoos, shots, pills, etc. You name it, I did it for her. The only thing left to remove from her diet were Carbs. Read anything about carbs for dogs and they just aren’t good. Hard to digest and can cause all kinds of problems. They are cheap and good for fillers which commercial foods are full of. Dog need protein and fat.
    I started her on chicken, eggs, veggies (pureed), vitamin supplement, calcium (crushed egg shells), and omega 3 capsule. That’s breakfast and for supper the same only beef instead of chicken. I bring the water to a boil and drop the meat into the water, turn it down and let it simmer for about 5 mins. Then drain it. Do the same when I mix in Liver or Heart. Cook just enough so it doesn’t take any nutrients out. I haven’t been able to get into the raw thing yet but I haven’t ruled it out yet either.
    She’s only been on this for a month but I have already noticed a diffreence. No more red ears or biting her paws. I read some where that Carborhydrates cause yeast infections. You can’t get away from them in dog food.
    Probably should stop now because I could really get on my soap box. EVO is a new dog food that advertises low carbs (14%). That’s excellant if you have a dog with allergies try the low carbs. See if it makes a difference.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I switched my dog to EVO a few years ago, and it seemed to work well for him. He tended to get a lot of ear infections while on cheaper foods or any food with grain.

      Cooking the food slightly is a good way to start if you are at all leery about feeding raw. Even if the food is cooked, it’s most likely going to be healthier than a lot of the dry, processed dog foods you can buy.

  24. Hi everyone. I will be getting a south african boerboel next week. I have been doing a lot of research about the BARF diet and I think it would be the best thing for my dog. I am just looking for some simple chicken and beef patties recipes that will have enough nutrients for a puppy . please respond thank you
    Mike

  25. I started my pet (Kembah) on raw food about six months ago. She was having yeast infections and ear problems and we seemed to live at the vet! I ran across your blog and did some research and started her on a raw food diet. She is a pitbull/lab mix that weighed 110 lbs…my big mama! She is now a 87lbs and super active with no infections or problems. Thanks so much for the information. She eats chicken quarters, sweet potatoes, apples and eggs…and loves it! I will incorporate the organ mix and some red meat soon but I’m just glad we are not at the vet anymore.

  26. We have 2 labradoodles we have started to give raw food. The expense was what we were worried about but Costco has organic chicken thighs that are only .99 cents a pound and they come in a 5 pack with 4 chx thighs per pack. The cost is really not bad and you can get organic green beens and other things to make the raw food meals which in the long run are saving money by not spending it at the vet. Good luck Ace looks like a sweet dog!!!

  27. PLEASE do no mix raw food with dry kibble. This is the absolute worst thing you can do when switching your dog to a raw diet.
    Kibble and raw are both digested completly differently causing a lot of digestive problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
    The best way to switch is to fast the dog for 24hr and then just feed the raw.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, I understand your logic and just switching the dog over as you said will work just fine for most dogs. The key is to wait a good 20 hours or so to “clear the dog’s system” of dry food first.

      On the other hand, some dogs do just fine with a kibble/raw combo. It may not be ideal, but it’s probably better than just kibble. Some dogs will have digestive issues because of this. Some won’t. My dog seemed to do just fine when I slowly transitioned him from dry to raw by combining the two.

      I know you can’t really compare a dog’s digestive system to a human’s, but look at all the random, odd combos of food we humans eat. It’s not ideal for us to eat a combo of raw food with processed food either. And yet, we do so with almost every meal. And our stomachs sometimes get the best of us because of it! We manage.

  28. I have a 9 month old, 35 lb boxer (De Lis) which was given to us at 4 months. She has had issues with runny stools since we got her. After a few visits to the vet and countless hours of researching and trying different dry dog foods, we are on a raw food diet. She’s been on it for a few weeks now and still having trouble. We are now looking into changing heart worm/flea medication. Hopefully this will help. She does love the new diet and won’t touch the dry stuff anymore! Being that she is having the runny stools, should we avoid trying to add veggies to the mix now? She has basically been eating just chicken backs for now. Not sure about switching it up too much until we have her problem figured out. Also, is it ok to leave the skin on the chicken, or should it be removed? She has gained 5lbs since starting her new diet.

    1. Sounds like she might have a chicken sensitivity or allergy. A protein would usually cause loose stool not veggies. I would try switching the protein, fish and lamb are usually good choices for sensitive dogs, but are also more expensive, you could try beef first for something a bit more affordable.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Another suggestion would be to just keep her diet the same for longer periods to give her more time to adjust. I know my dog gets an upset stomach every time I switch his food, even if I gradually switch him. He will then have loose stools for a whole month sometimes before he seems to adjust.

        It shouldn’t be a problem to feed your dog the skin of the chicken.

  29. Hi, I´m new to this site but I really enjoy it! You are all very concerned about your dogs wellbeing. We have started to give our dogs raw food but it´s a freese dried kind from K9 Natural because all I found before were rather difficult recipies with much fuzzing around. Our dogs get bones and raw chicken “leftovers”, incl. the bones every day and they do well. I know I will start making all of their food myself one day but now is not the time, so we will stick to K9 Natural for a while. Even if you don´t buy their food, please go to their website and read about raw food, I was amazed when I found out how much BAD the traditional dried dog food ingredients can do for dogs and that that kind of food didn´t exist before 2nd world war. It gave me a lot more confidence when choosing what to give to our dogs and what to say to people when asked about it. All the best to you and your dogs.

  30. Hi, I just wanted to say that I love the fact that you are promoting raw dog food. I have a dog with severe allergies and have been feeding the raw for three years (he is five). I have seen nothing but good things come of dogs eating raw. I work in a pet store and have for over 10 years. I can honestly say that raw is the BEST! A more cost effective way of feeding raw is to visit your local butcher! They usually sell quality meat ground with the organs and bone for dog food and the cost usually ranges between $.60-$1.00 per pound. Then you can just add veggies, probiotics, eggs/shells, and other ingredients to make it complete.
    I noticed the one comment about using steroid creams and shampoos, also mixing kibble with raw…bad idea! Steroid or Cortizone creams and shampoos only supress the issues at hand. They make the problem take a “time out” while putting wear and strain on the immune system. It basically takes the problem and hides temporarily. This will not solve your problem. It will only cover it up, so it will always come back. Feeding raw WILL help, but you need good bacteria as well, like the stuff you find in yogart! The good bacteria helps to kill the fungus that creates the bacterial infection. Usually this fungus is caused by an upset in the digestive tract, which can be caused by chlorine in tap water, antbiotics and steroids in commercial dry dog foods, and antibiotics given by vets. To help your dog heal quicker you need to replace these good bacteria on a regular basis. They are called Acidophillus Bifidus and Acidophillus Lactobacillus. You can find these good bacteria at any health food store.
    Now about feeding kibble with raw; the reason you shouldn’t do this is because when you feed raw your dog’s digestive system dosent have to work as hard to properly absorb and digest what is being put into it because there is no filler, now when you feed kibble your dog’s digetive system has to work twice as hard to digest and absorb the food. It not only puts a strain on your dogs digestive system, but it also opens the door for parasites! because when feeding both kibble and raw yours dog does not digest as much of the food The reason for this is that kibble has to sit in the dogs system for longer to digest fully, when this happens it confuses the digestive system, so it works slower because of the excess garbage being put in it, making raw food sit in the system longer. This can causes bacteria and parasites to grow and thrive! Not good. I know feeding raw is expensive, but so are vet bills! If we properly nourish our pets we wont need to pay as much in the end for their health! Sometimes it can take a while to see a difference too. I always say try something for a minimum of six months, this gives the new products a chance to enter the whole body and gives your body time to accept the new products as a part of a routine. If you dont see a good improvement within that time line then try something new!
    I hope things are getting better for you and your pup!
    Best Wishes!

  31. P.S. Dogs are scavengers, mainly carnivorous (about 75%) but will eat fruits, and veggies when available, or needed! 🙂

  32. I just found this site and am thrilled!!! I was looking for recipes for my dog, Willow. She is 3 and I have been feeding her a raw diet since she was 8 weeks old. She is a 50lb. goldendoodle. She has had no skin or ear issues..ever!! I don’t have anything to compare it too, as she is my first dog, but I can say that I have no complaints. The reason I was looking for recipes is because I am buying raw food, but find she is getting bored..:)..for that and the cost, I am going to start making my own and giving her more variety. Thanks for all the tips!!!
    Just to comment on the mixing of kibble and raw…My thinking is…Would you mix a big mac with a healthy salad? Just sayin’..I applaud everyone who is feeding raw or considering it..It just makes sense.
    Thanks!!!

  33. I raise newfies. Ive been considering a change to raw for some time. Thanks for your info. Very helpful. And about the bones… What type? How much? And is there a percentage of total food intake to body weight?

  34. glad i found this site it makes me more comfortable with the raw food transition. but i have to wonder with the graying on a dog 5-6 yrs. old!? my dog is 12 and just started gray on his muzzle ( Siberian) but he does suffer with hip dysplasia since about 8. he is high energy so i don’t like to give him more pain meds than needed because he runs around like a maniac. he has been on a dry cat food diet all of his life except when visiting his doggy friends for special treats. so he already was on a high protein / fat diet. he sheds 24 / 7 which is normal for him. but his coat is shiny and black. i have noticed since adding raw foods he is happier which is good. we have added goji juice to his ate as well. thanks for the info!

  35. I started my 1.5 yr. old German shepherd on a raw food diet about 2 months ago. I order a powder mix from http://www.felineinstincts.com/ – Feline Instincts. Seems all of the ingredients many have to add, like egg, kelp, etc. is already in the powder, which is made weekly from the company. Only thing I add is the raw meat, vegie (pureed squash), fish oil (they sell it in a pump bottle) and water. Preparation takes about an hour and since I can only afford to feed it once daily it will last me about 7 to 8 days. I feed California Natural kibble Chicken with no grain in the evenings.

    They sell the powder with an option of bone or no bone. I opted for the no bone so I buy only skinless boneless chicken breasts and thighs. Another option is the powder will either have the liver powder added or the kind you have to buy and add yourself. I’m all about convenience so I get the liver already added. Am considering getting the kind I have to add bone too on my next order as the raw bones is what cleans and sharpens the dog’s teeth.

    In regards to mixing commercial kibble with the raw food, I read somewhere that feedings should be done separately as the timer for digestion in a dog is different for each type of food, mixing them could cause problems. I feed the raw in the morning and kibble at night.

    My GSD weighs 80lbs, so he would normally get 2 lbs. of raw a day if he ate that exclusively. I’m still learning about the raw food lifestyle so until I figure out what works well with my budget, I have to keep it to once daily or until I find a good butcher where I can get the meat cheaper.

    The powder itself is not very expensive and lists all the ingredients and sure beats having to add everything myself, plus my dog loves it. My cat is also on one of their recipes for early renal failure, raw food. They have both cat and dog options which is really nice considering I have both.

  36. Oh, I forgot to metion. My GSD has had stomach upset since I got him as a puppy, he use to throw up a lot, had horrible smelling stools and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to even eat his food.

    Once I decided to feed him raw his appetite increased 10 fold. He now LOVEs to eat and I’ve only seen him vomit twice in the last two months, but it’s never food that comes up, only yellow liquid, typically first thing in the morning before he’s eaten.

    His stools are still greenish in color and smell bad, but since I am still feeding him kibble at night, figure that has something to do with it. I’ve tested him for internal parasites and Giardia several times, always with negative results.

    For the first 11 months that I got him we battled with SIBO, secondary infection from EPI, but in GSDs common to be the initial infection of bad bacteria in the smaller intestinal track, negative on EPI (Thank Goodness). Antibiotics and probiotics were given twice daily 4 hours apart from each other. That was no fun for any of us which is why feeding times for him were never fun.

    Like I said earlier, he LOVEs to eat now and I am looking forward to the day I can afford to feed him a diet consisting only of raw food. 🙂

  37. Hi Folks,
    kindly advise what and how much home
    made raw food mixture i shud giv to my 6month old Rotti.
    Right now he is on Royal Cannin..
    Planning to buy a 8week female Rotti pup shortly, when can start giving her home made food for her.

    1. I fed my rottie as much as she would eat in 5 minutes until she was 18 months old… if you read my below post you will find what i feed. 🙂 pups need higher fat content so i tend to feed organ meat 5 times a week instead of 3 to my adult dogs. 🙂 hope this helps

  38. I actually am in a pinch financially and find raw is cheaper. I buy leg quarters at walmart in a big bag for 59 cents a pound. After the fourth of July it was even cheaper. I also buy chicken livers and beef livers but liver is just a once a week thing. I feed one egg for each dog every other day and I crack the egg and crumble the shell. I feed the meat whole and let the dogs chew though the bone. The disadvantage to that is that the food will not stay in a bowl and if you feed indoors you floor will get dirty and bloody. I do feed indoors and I mop the kitchen every night. I mop that often anyway. If the meat is ground then the dogs will eat in a bowl which is neater but then the dogs teeth do not get the cleaning from the chewing. I know I should mix it up with other species of meat and will do so when my finances improve. I do give them a bit of my food as I eat things that are good to dogs and would be a normal part of their diet anyway. I feed them greens and other veggies and a small amount of grain. I will feed them kibble if they still seem hungry after their meal. I add the garlic and onions to my food at the table so the doggies don’t get any. I have a boxer that would never put on weight and now she is filling out. I also have an elderly male Akita and a female Pit Bull.

    1. I suggest tethering your dogs to doors and table legs and feed on a towel spread out. I do that with my puppies until they know to eat on the towel. no problem with the adults. they all know where their feeding stations are now! 🙂

  39. Rafiq yusuf – It’s difficult to know exactly how much to feed your dog, depends on what all is going in his dish, his age and his recommended weight. Best to do some research on the subject. The site I order my powder from is really good at amount recommendations if you’re interested. Felineinstincts.com, they have the powder for canine raw food as well as cats. I look at it like mixing my powder shakes in the mornings, just without the raw chunks of meat in it, LOL. Anyway, i still haven’t gone to the bone type yet, although I do want to, next powder mixture I order will be for bone 🙂

  40. Rafiq yusuf – If it helps any, my 1.5 yr old GSD is 80 lbs, perfect weight for his size. If he were strictly on a raw diet I would feed hime 2lbs per day, 1 in the morning, 1 in the evening.

  41. Interesting site. Thanks for all the posts. I have been making my dog’s food, but haven’t gone raw yet. Your comments help. Just a word to all the folks here buying purebred pups. There are millions of dogs in kill shelters around the country. They need rescuing! There are even purebreds that need rescuing! Please, everyone, consider rescuing first!

  42. I learned how to feed my dogs a raw diet from a friend of mine (psych nurse and dog enthusiast) about 7 years ago. We live near Amish country so we have unlimited access to Das Schlact haus (the slaughter house) and they offer rabbit, lamb, venison, chicken, pork, turkey, goat, beef, organ meats from all of the above and all is fresh, organic, and whole. Best of all it is CHEAP! I get 10 pounds of chicken necks and backs for around $4.00! If you have any access or ability to contact them and find your local Amish community they almost always have a slaughter house available to the public.

    I have a 7 year old yorkie/peke mix, two 6 yr old chihuahuas, a 9 yr old german shepherd lab mix, a 7 year old Rottweiler, a 6 yr old german shepherd, a 7 month old german shepherd and a 10 month old husky. We are fairly active with things like bike joring, weight pulling, jogging, hiking, dock diving, swimming, agility, obedience, and therapy work. My dogs are medium active with the exception of the husky who is hyper active.

    We do canned fish and cooked eggs once a week, organ meat three times a week and raw meaty bones every day. organic greek yogurt with each meal helps with digestion and I try to stick to the percentages of 90% rmb 5% pureed veggie yogurt mix, and 5% fruit/organ meat.

    My findings with all of my dogs is they are happier, disinterested in dry commercial pet food any longer, they are not as hyper aware and explosive (seem calmer and more peaceful/fullfilled), they are not as ravenous for food or treats, and their health has improved dramatically over time. Teeth are cleaner, poop less and smaller, skin and coat is amazing and silky shiny… yeast infections in ears are gone, itching and skin problems with my rottie and my chis are gone as well. Very happy with results and dont feed much. cost is the same or less than a holistic commercial dry food, considerably less than pre packaged raw patties which are way crazy pricey!

  43. It is always better not to mix raw and dry food as they need different ensymes in the body to digest the food. Alkaline for dry and acidic for raw. Tomatos can cause digestive upset not a good thing to feed dogs or cats.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Some dogs can manage just fine with mixed foods, just as we eat a strange variety of foods at time and do just fine. I’m not saying it’s ideal, though.

  44. Just checking in to see how the mail is going with feeding raw diets. My GSD has been on the FelineInstinct for dog mixture now for a couple of months. There has been no more vomiting, his stools are now normal and brown, much better than the green stools he had to deal with for the first 1.5 years of his life. His coat is super silky soft. I had actually run out of the raw food and didn’t order the powder in time, had to feed him dry kibble strickly for a week before I got the raw food powder mixture and I couldn’t believe the difference in his coat. After a couple of days of putting him back on the raw, his coat was super soft again… it was awesome! I now prepare the entire bag of powder at one time, a clean kitchen sink makes a great giatn mixing bowl. I portion it 1 lb per container and freeze the containers which last him a 30 days. His health is amazing now, his weight is actually staying on him, which was always up and down when he was on strict kibble. I’m now working towards putting my 12 lb dog on the diet as well, he is very food motivated so once I can afford to do them both stricktly raw it will be a happy dog day in my house.

  45. I feed my 100lb GSD 2 lbs of coarse ground chicken bricks with a seal oil supplement every day. He is happy and healthy, beautiful coat and teeth. The problem is the cost…$2.39 per lb plus tax and delivery from a supplement. If anyone can suggest a less expensive way to provide this diet I would appreciate it.

    1. Jamie, Please see my post about Dakota’s diet and preparation. It is much less expensive but a little more labor intensive. I prefer to put in the labor once ever two months for the savings. I also feel his diet gives him a more natural and fun way to eat rather than the mashed up raw food packs. He gets to chomp the bones and maybe feel like he made a kill.. lol

      1. Just saw this post and was wondering if you could send me the post you are referring to since I don’t know how to access it. I’m researching switching my dogs to a raw diet. Thanks so much!

  46. I just started my 100lb English Mastiff – he is only 11 months old and our 6 year old Schnoodle on a “raw” diet. What a difference it has made! Our Mastiff was shedding like a maniac and our poodle is a bit on the psycho side so I had read online about how changing to a homemade diet could help each of them. When given wheat or gluten of any kind Mak, our Mastiff, develops a funky smell in his ears. So, a few weeks ago we began when I ran out of dog food. I typically order my dogfood online. I would buy a high grade gluten free food. But why would I do that when I can do it myself and its not baked to a crisp?!?!?! So, we began with canned salmon, roasts cut up, liver, kidney, chicken and other fish (all as raw as I could but some were cooked but unseasoned). I mix in shredded carrots, sweet potatoes, raw eggs, plain yogurt, apples, bananas and cabbage too. Obviously I dont mix every one of these things at once but it is easy and literally takes minutes! I just make a little unseasoned extra of our dinner or set aside a little extra for the next day when I am cooking. They love it! I also bought the raw bones with marrow that are for soups and give them one of those when we will be gone all day. Any difference? Mak isnt shedding nearly as bad and his coat is lustrous and simply glistens in the sun. Muffy, she is still our little psycho but seems to be more calm, is it the fish oils? Couldnt say for sure but we have priced it out and it is cheaper, not including my labor of course, but is well well worth it!!!!

    1. Thanks for this encouraging post! I’m researching going “raw” and am happy to do the work for the $ savings! Question: You mentioned feeding them fish. Do you just buy whole fish? The bones (uncooked) are fine? Skin? What kind? Thanks for any help you can give. Really excited about feeding my dogs more naturally!

  47. We don’t feed weight-bearing bones to our dog. They are stronger and may therefore splinter as opposed to crunch up when chewed potentially causing sharp bone fragments that may cut the mouth, throat, or stomach/ intestines. These include any bones with marrow. Our vet and raw food supplier agree with this approach. Any bones that are heated or are still frozen present this problem as well…(heating, even in the microwave, changes the chemical composition of the bone and may splinter).

    1. Hey, I forgot to check the box to be notified, so if you could please just email me directly that would be great! (Stumbled upon this thread and I have no idea how to watch for your reply.) Thanks!

  48. We have a mixed breed rescue puppy, Harry. We think he may be a Golden Retriever and Gordan Setter?
    Harry was a bit of a mess when he came to use, very little hair and underweight. We have him on a raw food diet, and use a combo of foods or methods if you prefer. As he is a growing puppy his food amount is currently high.

    For breakfast he has Preference base mix from Honest Kitchen, half a dry serving with half a cup of meat mix, one egg in shell, and a squirt of salmon oil. We rehydrate the Preference base mix before adding the additional ingredients.

    Lunch is a freeze dried raw dog food by K9 naturals. He receives a third of the recommended daily amount for his weight (as he has two other meals). He loves this stuff! It also is rehydrated with water, no extra food added.

    Dinner is a homemade raw meal, includes 1/2 cup raw meat mix, 1/3 cup of veggie mix, squirt of salmon oil, 1/8 cup goat yogurt, tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes, tbsp of kelp, tbsp apple cider vinegar with mother.

    Our meat mix is about 40% organ meats, 60% muscle (include far and skin). We grind it all at once. We package for freezing into two day servings. Before we freeze half of the meat mix we add veggies. The veggies are often kale, pumpkin or other squashes, or sweet potato or carrots! We add apples, at times a banana or pear.

    The biggest change was his hair growth (beautiful coat now), his almost constant itchy and licking has stopped! He is gaining weight well, and is an active lean puppy!

  49. I have a Australian Shepherd and a Yellow Labrador. They both currently on a Raw Food diet. I feed them Raw Venison mixed with 1/8 or 1/4 of plain yogurt, puréed veggies like sweet potatoes, squash, etc. they love it!

  50. A year and a half ago, I began feeding my miniature longhaired dachshund a raw homemade diet, using organic meat and vegetables from local ranches and farms. He weighed almost 16 pounds at the time and after 4 months of the new food, he weighed 11 1/2 pounds, his ideal weight. He had no more digestive upsets, no more overnight stays in the hospital and no more trips outside in the middle of the night. His poop has no odor and does not attract flies. I make his food in 10 to 20 pound batches and freeze it in 1-pound containers. He gets 2 ounces twice a day plus 1/2 ounce of whole milk yogurt. I post all the recipes at my blog, which you can find if you google “Eat This Now.” Once at the blog, just search for “Joey.” I’ll be posting the next recipe soon, as I’m making it this week.

    1. That’s awesome!!! I love to hear this especially with small dogs as they are not my specialty. So cool. Hope your little weenie is doing well!

    2. Michele, i went to google. typed in eat this now in the search engine,. can’t find ‘joey’………….please tell me what i’m doing wrong. thanks so much

  51. I should have added the basic ratio I use. I did a lot of research, consulted several colleagues and spoke with Joey’s vet, who approves of the diet. I do one part meaty bones (usually duck necks and chicken necks, occasionally backs), one half part muscle meat and innards, 1/4 part vegetables and a small amount of seaweed. The batch this weekend will be 8 pounds duck necks, 4 pounds chicken necks (hacked to bits and then put through a food processor), six pounds innards (lamb kidney, lamb liver, duck liver, duck hearts, chicken hearts, chicken gizzards), three pounds broccoli, kale, carrots,1 bunch Italian parsley (all of this goes through a sausage grinder) and about 2 ounces dried seaweed.

    1. Hi Michele, I’m just switching my bichons to raw diet as they are getting ill all the time and don’t like the dry food anyway. I’m really new in this whole thing and I’m so worried ill do something wrong :-/
      Could you please suggests any books about raw diet and especially recipes books??
      I tried to find your blog but for some reason couldn’t find it ?
      If you could reply to me on this page with some info or via email I’d be more than grateful! Thank you very much!
      My email is: bmickova@gmail.com
      Take care.

      1. I get mine from buying whole chickens. The giblets and all come with it. There are websites that sell them as well for a decent price. You could always ask your local butcher if he has them.

    1. How are they doing without and fruits or veggies? Do you do fish oil? I gave my three Coonhounds turkey legs last night and nothing else, however I am not sure if that is enough for them as far as nutrition goes…

  52. Blanca,
    Here’s the link to my blog post about Joey’s food. I’ll be updating it with Batch #12 sometime this week. http://pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/12790/feeding-joey/

    I haven’t adjusted the proportions of the ingredients since I began a year and a half ago as he’s had no problems and his weight is just what it should be. He also gets raw bones and sliced and dried duck gizzards (made locally) as snacks but nothing commercial at this point.

    Good luck!

  53. anna- philippines

    hi,i have a 16week old shar pei maximus that is given to me when he was 8weeks old,i want to switch him to raw food diet for it might help him and me get rid off his allergies….he constantly chew,scratch his skin till raw and bloody.i dont know how because i read that beef may also cause allergy for max,boiled ground beef and rice is what i am feeding him for the last month.still has skin allergy.please help.thank you.

    1. Anna, I would introduce your Shar Pei to a raw diet. Boiling the meat is losing vital nutrients. I would cut out the rice. I don’t think that grains are good for dogs. It could be the grains that cause the allergies. Raw bones with the meat are very good too. Bone marrow has been scientifically proven to be very healthy for dogs. Never give them cooked bones of any sort. Try not to give him human snacks at all while he is showing signs of trouble. I know that can be a hard one and as good as my dogs diet is I am guilty of throwing a bite of my snack to him now and again. It’s the eyes.. How can you resist? But better to resist than to have to look at sick dogs sad eyes.
      Also for his skin, add maybe a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and tsp of olive oil twice a week to start. 1 raw egg once a week. Then after time if he is showing signs of improvement move the vinegar and oil up to a tblsp once a week. Egg can be 1 or twice a week.
      I am only speaking from experience. So take my words as you will.

    2. R Garden makes a Pet Formula enzyme and glucosamine powder that did wonders for my Bichon and a jar lasted like 6 months. Improved coat, no more hot spots, better digestion…when I stopped using it those things slowly returned…enough confirmation for me!

  54. I have been feeding my Husky/Malamute Dakota a raw food diet for almost 1 year now. He is super energetic, healthy, happy, great coat, no gas and small poops. I ran out of his raw food last week and and to feed him some old cans of regular store dog food with kibble for two days. First night on the canned food he was farting up a storm and almost killed us all. Lol. I will plan better and make sure that never has to happen again.
    I spend about 2 1/2 hours every two months preparing his dinners. I buy 8 whole chickens (Approx $50) so I can get the guts with it. 12 cans of green beans ($10), 5-6 heads of broccoli ($8), 15 large carrots ($6) and 4 tubs of natural plain yogurt ($12). Totaling $86 for two months. Of course the prices can vary and I try to stock on the meat when its on sale.
    I chop all the chicken with a hatchet into small portion size pieces.
    Shred the broccoli and carrots in a food processor.
    Stick a knife in the cans of green beans and chop them into smaller pieces.
    Then I take the cheapest sandwich bags I can buy and portion his food into the bags. Then put 4 of those bags into a gallon ziplock freezer bag (which I save and reuse) and freeze.
    I usually get two months worth of food in dinner size portions.
    I take one portion out of freezer every night when I feed him to thaw for next day.
    I pour the thawed portion in his bowl with 2-3 tblsp of yogurt. Give it a quick stir and serve. Once or twice a week I will add in no particular order, a raw egg, 1 tblsp of apple cider vineager and a tblsp of olive oil.

    This has been a superb diet so far with excellent results and I would never consider going back to commercial processed dog food.

    Hope this info is helpful.

    Dakota and Darin sending lot’s of love from the mountains of Southern California

      1. Dakota gets one baggie of food in the evening. I walk him daily for 2-5 miles and he is a good weight. Right now he is about 80lbs and I think he could lose 5lbs to trim up a bit. The baggies are full and the mix is about 65% meat 35% veg. Everything is approximate as I do it all by eye.

        Hope this was helpful

        Darin

        1. Yes, thanks! My girl, a 115 lb Chesapeake, typically eats morning and evening so I think ill stick to that for now. I followed your recipe today, man you weren’t kidding about 2.5 hours!
          Do you add any supplements at all….omega 3’s, vitamins/minerals? Also, you just cut up the chicken…you don’t use a meat grinder? Thanks so much!
          Hope

          1. maybe once a week I will add omega 3’s, a capful of apple cider vineager and a raw egg. Yes I chop the chicken with a hatchet on a thick block of wood outside. I use a sharp knife to assist with the cutting. The pieces I cut are approx 2×2 inch size pieces. The only reason I cut them so small is he eats indoors and I don’t want him to drag the food out of his bowl across the floor. I’ve heard of lot’s of people giving whole legs and wings and such. No grinder. I think its healthier for him to chomp it up himself.

          2. I have switched from giving Dakota Omega 3 supplements once in awhile to adding a can of sardines (no added salt and in water) to his dinners once or twice a week.

  55. Darin, How much does your Husky/Malamute weight?

    Anna, you might try raw chicken in stead of the cooked beef and rice. If you feel a need to cook it, maybe cook chicken, not beef, with rice, which is what a lot of vets recommend when a dog is not feeling well. Duck is good, too, and if innards are available, they are excellent.

    1. Dakota weighs around 85lbs. He’s a big boy and just slightly chubbier than he should be but not fat in any way.
      I don’t think that they get the nutrients they need from cooked food. Through all of the research and my own experience I think that natural plain yogurt helps their stomachs and digestion a lot.
      95% of his diet is chicken and veg. He gets beef and pork when its is cheap or I intentionally buy a little extra so I can give him a treat of different meat. He only gets raw meat whether chicken, beef, or pork. He as only shown improvement in his health, attitude and everything else with this raw food diet. I believe rice and other grains are not so healthy to give them on a regular basis. The raw bones (and only raw bones never cooked bones) help to clean teeth and are similar to a replacement for kibble and such.
      Dakota is approximately 3 years old and I have had him for a bit more than a year. He was a rescue who had an abusive and horrible life before now. Now he is happy healthy and loving life and I’m pretty sure that the past is the past for him and he lives for now in health and without fear.
      Honestly he’s become a bit of a spoiled brat but that’s my fault. In saying that he’s very good. He’s my 4th husky and one of the best behaved.

      1. thank you so much,i really am so relieved that there are people like all of you and a website like this that can help someone like me,i will do all of these and will let you all know our improvements (maimus and me).God Bless You all.

  56. I started feeding my Chow raw about three years ago while living in Canada. Bear was suffering from hair loss, loose stool, lack of energy and I was really getting tired of vacuuming dog hair every day. After about a month, his fur was completely luxurious and his bare patches regrown, no doggie farts anymore, no dog breath, and zero shedding. His stools are about the size of three or four grapes that biodegrade by the next day. He’s 14 now and people often mistake him for a 2 year old. I’ve started selling my own feeds based on our local grass fed beef, pork, and chicken. I use about about a 70% meat and bone mix, 25% offals, 4% organic veggies, and 1% dried organic kelp and organic alfalfa powder. It does cost a bit more to feed Bear raw, but he’s 14 with no signs of slowing down and every extra day makes me very happy I keep him healthy on the inside so he stays healthy on the outside. He eats a raw meaty bone for breakfast and about 3/4 of a pound of food at dinner. I give him about 20 minutes to eat so if he doesn’t finish his food at night, it gets covered in plastic wrap and served the next day with a bit of fresh. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’ll be happy to answer them as well.

      1. I see a lot of people feeding yogurt to their dogs, I’m concerned about that. Please read the blog from dogtor.J. He is a vet dedicated to food research and he recommends avoiding: gluten (wheat, rice and barley), corn, soy and cow milk (weather raw, pasteurized, cheese or yogurt). The cow milk molecule is too big and causes infinite trouble in the dogs intestines leading to mal absorption of nutrients and even epilepsy . The poor absorption of nutrients also leads to orthopedic problems:hips, joints etc. I got rid of all commercial dog food and I’m feeding my pack with homemade meals, supplements and Zero exotoxins (MSG, natural or artificial flavors so common in any kind of foods -including human grade foods).

        1. While it is known that isn’t too good to give dogs cow dairy products- studies have shown that natural plain yogurt has boosted immune function in dogs. Yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein, potassium and magnesium and (if products with live cultures are fed) can supply beneficial bacteria like for example Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. It also helps to soothe upset stomachs in sick animals.
          Now as a lot of us have found that yogurt has been a very beneficial part of our dogs diets- it may not be for all dogs. Like humans dogs can be lactose intolerant. Yogurt and cottage cheese have low levels of lactose therefore have been proven to be beneficial for dogs even with their naturally low tolerance for lactose. A completely lactose intolerant dog should avoid all dairy products containing any amount of lactose. Also yogurt for dogs should not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.
          Yogurt seems to be an essential part of my dogs diet and he is very healthy since being on his raw diet which includes a tblsp of natural plain yogurt in each meal.

        2. Lindsay Stordahl

          Sounds like it’s worth a read. Thanks, Sila. I’ve heard both sides of the yogurt debate, and I do give my dog natural, plain yogurt at times. He loves it! I don’t necessarily think he benefits from it, though.

    1. How do u get the raw bone ground up? I have a bulldog, and they dont do well with any bones. Also what are offals? My girl was bred a few days ago, and seems to be allergic to corn, rice and white potato. Im starting a raw diet but want to be absolutely sure its balanced for her. Ive mixed chicken livers, hearts, peas, sweet potatoes and carrots and a little broccili, also a teaspoon of olive oil. But not sure where to get ground bone or bone meal. Is raw ok to feed pregnant dogs? Ive tried alot of dry kibble and she seems to keep getting gunk in her eyes and sores down her back and neck. Please send me any info that may help. Thanks

      1. Robin, getting the bones into small pieces is the hardest part. I do it by using a large sharp Chinese cleaver. I hack duck necks and chicken necks into small pieces (as small as I can) and then I put them into my sturdy food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until they are as small as possible. Offal is a term that refers to innards (liver, kidney, heart, etc.). If the raw food is from a reliable source and handle property, there should be no problem–it should be perfectly healthy for your girl. If you have a butcher shop near you, you might ask if they will grind the necks or other bones for you. There are also a few small commercial producers, depending on where you live. The best ratio, I’ve been told, is 2 parts meaty bones, 1 part meat (innards, muscle meat), 1/4 part vegetables, i.e., 5 pounds meaty bones, 2 1/2 pounds meat, 1 1/4 pounds vegetables. Best of luck.

      2. I use a hatchet. I buy whole chickens and then chop them into smaller dinner size portions. I also chop them smaller than necessary because Dakota eats in the house and if his pieces are too big he will pull them out of his bowl and make a mess on the floor.

  57. Read the book called ‘Give a Dog a Bone’. An Australian vet wrote it. Sorry but I can’t remember his name. I have had 2 German shepherds who have had raw food since ‘puppydom’. The first lived to 12 and the 2nd is now 4. Both healthy. If I am really too busy I buy raw food from a pet food store.

    A vet once told me that dogs don’t cook so why are we giving them cooked food – whatever’s in it!

  58. Read the book called ‘Give a Dog a Bone’. An Australian vet wrote it. Sorry but I can’t remember his name. I have had 2 German shepherds who have had raw food since ‘puppydom’. The first lived to 12 and the 2nd is now 4. Both healthy. If I am really too busy I buy raw food from a pet food store.

    A vet once told me that dogs don’t cook so why are we giving it to them – whatever’s in it!

  59. Mike & Kim Battle

    Hello my name is Ziti,I am a Shepard collie mix , I have been suffering with allergies in my ears and chewing my feet, my mom and dad have tried every dog food in kibble form from royal canine, acana, natural balance, ect. I am allergic to all grains! So now they feed me Stella and chewy’s raw diet, and I am doing much better with my ears and chewing my feet. Sometimes they will pour applesauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, over my new food as well. They say it is expensive, but I feel it is working and tastes good. They also gave me these awesome treats from the K 9 Granola factory, these were dried green beans! Yummy. Chow for now!

  60. Your blog has been most helpful. I recently switched Sampson to raw turkey, bone in. I buy it frozen in 2lb pouches divided into 2. I can cut it down the center of the vac sealed pouch and thaw 1lb out. Sampson is a mini schnauzer who has tried many types of food since he was born a year ago. So far the turkey seems to work. This is the only food that he actually begs for (which I know have to stop him from doing). He crys while I prepare 1/4 pound raw meat with 1/8 cup of cooked rice, 2 baby carrots, 1 floret broccoli, 1 capsal salmon oil and 1/8 tsp kelp (only at breakfast).
    I have noticed that his poop did change to dry and crumply. And that he tends to have a hard time passing it. But I’m hoping that once he has been on this for a while it will change.
    So far his engery seems to have gotten back to what it was 6 months ago.
    We to will have to look into the traveling thing. We camp durning the summer months and the freezer in the trailer is not the big. I can see 1 week will be fine but longer may pose a little challenging.

    1. Sampson is a lucky boy! Turkey diet is awesome. I feed my dog raw chicken due to the price. I have read that rice isn’t necessary, is a bit harder to digest and just makes poop. If his poops don’t improve soon I would try cutting out the cooked rice. Everything else sounds really good. Also you can try adding a tablespoon of fresh non-flavored probiotic yogurt. This will help digestion and keep his tummy healthy.

  61. My baby girl, Sydney is a 13 week old Western and today a friend told me his Western is on a “Raw Food Diet” so I was quiet interested to find out more about this dog food option. He told me his girl has been on this diet since she was 12 weeks old and she is “THRIVING”. Hmmmm, I need to check this out for myself. I came across this website and I must say what I am reading is something I am going to start for Sydney. Thank you for all your feedback and individual recipes. I will be putting a diet together for Sydney with the advice of our vet and will definitely post our results after a month or so. I am interested though if anybody uses a nutrient supliment in their dogs raw food? I live in southwestern Ontario Canada and was wondering if anyone can advise of what they use and where they purchase it? Your thoughts are much appreciated. Cheers

    1. Hi Lori, check out felineinstincts.com they have canine recipes and are fantastic because you don’t have to add so many ingredients for a “balanced” raw food diet, they do it for you, it’s all organic and they take great care in getting it right. My dog and cat have been on it for a little over 6 months and are THRIVING!!!! Also their website has a video with a Veterinarian who explains everything you need to know about feeding your dog a raw food diet, it’s at the bottom section of their home page. Check it out and decide for yourself, 🙂

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      There are lots of options out there for supplements. I haven’t used any because I was feeding my dog a pre-prepared raw diet that supposedly already had all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

      I know some people will say if you are feeding raw, there is not really a need to give any extra supplements. I’m not sure they are necessary either, but at the same time they can’t hurt.

  62. Check out DR. Karen Becker on youtube. She is a Vet and explains the RAW diet very well. Just from past experience, I love the raw diet for my 2 labs.

  63. Hi, I have a 10 month old Lhasa apso & have just put him onto a raw diet 2 days ago, mainly cos of his bad guts. I get anything from 7 to a record breaking 14 poops per day.
    Can I mix & match his food-some raw meaty bones & some cooked meat? What can I give him as training treats? He loves his Kongs but what do I put in them now? Can I give him frozen raw meat?
    Any advice gratefully accepted!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m glad to hear you are trying some different food for your dog to help him stay healthier. There is no real “correct” way to do this. I hear quite often not to mix raw food with kibble, and that is because raw food is easy for the dog to digest and the kibble is more difficult. Some dogs seem to do OK with the mixed food, though. Others get upset tummies. But if you are mixing cooked food (rather than kibble) I think you’ll have less of an issue. Just see how your dog does.

      One thing you could try is giving one raw meal per day and one cooked meal with 12 hours in between. That will give the dog more time to digest the previous meal.

      There are freeze dried raw treats you can buy from various companies. Or, just use cooked meat – pieces of chicken, hamburger, etc. For Kongs, you can put pretty much anything in there – natural, plain yogurt; ground, raw meat; natural peanut butter without sugar. So yes, frozen raw meat should work fine. I’m sure he’ll love it!

      Best of luck to you. Hopefully some others with more experience will chime in as well. Don’t hesitate to ask your dog’s vet for some advice, too.

  64. Hi All,

    I believe that the BARF (bone and raw food) or raw food diet is the way to go! I would definitely stay away from mixing raw food and kibble though, especially raw meat, which should be your base for a good raw diet. Just as Lindsay stated above, a dog’s digestive system cannot break down the kibble as quick as it can break down the raw food. Kibble takes 8-12 hours to digest, while raw food, especially meats/poultry only take about 6 hours! What if you mixed kibble and raw chicken? The kibble and chicken being in the digestive system at the same time can make your dog very sick. By the kibble being in there, it will actually slow the digestion of the chicken, essentially making the chicken go bad. Think about it like this, a dog’s system is usually slightly warmer than a human system, right around 100 degrees. Now think about what happens to chicken when it sits out in 100 degrees for 8-12 hours-umm, gross right? Hopefully this will help people realize that mixing is definitely not the way to go. Let me ask those that do mix this though, once you feed raw on a steady basis, why would you go back to kibble, or mixing?

    I have 2 whippets, we’ve had both for 4-5 years, and both were raised on the raw diet. Only for a short time right after we brought home Logan, the second, did we feed them kibble. Soon after I retrained him how to eat, I switched them back to raw, and immediately they got healthier! Much less eye goop, smaller, less frequent, odorless pooping, smoother & silkier coats, no fleas, cleaner teeth. You name it, it got better!

    Here is the diet and recipes I use for my buddies. I usually make a double batch of slop that lasts about 3 weeks. Phoenix and Logan eat slop for breakfast and a meat/poultry for dinner.

    Slop recipe each batch:
    3 bananas
    3-4 apples depending on size
    3-5 oranges depending on size
    1/2 bushel spinach
    1-2 slices of beef liver
    5-8 carrots, depending on size
    3 raw eggs

    Start with the bananas, apples and oranges in a food processor and puree them! You cannot just chop them! You must make sure that all fruits and vegetables are pureed. A dog’s digestive system cannot break down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables, so you have to do it for them by pureeing them. (In the wild a dog would only eat fruits and veggies when they were eating a dead animal-if that animal had been eating those items, when the dog would eat the stomach. In that case the cell walls would most likely already be broken down, by the now-dead animal.) Continue to add in the carrots, spinach, beef liver, and eggs, and continue to puree everything together until well mixed and fully pureed. Depending on how many apples, oranges, and bananas you use, your slop should be a greenish color. My dogs each get 1/3 cup in the morning. Yes, only 1/3 cup. When you feed with the raw diet, your buddy doesn’t need as much food to sustain a healthy diet. Kibble has so much filler in it that a dog’s body can’t use in it, which they have to eat a lot more to get the necessary ingredients for life.

    Sometimes for breakfast I’ll give them 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese. You can also scramble and cook up some eggs to mix with the cottage cheese or yogurt. Don’t do this very often-cooking the eggs. When you cook them, the eggs actually lose crucial enzymes, and can eventually cause issues if you do this too often. I’d say not more than twice a month.

    For dinner, they each usually get 2-4 full chicken wings. I will usually buy one of the larger containers at the grocery store-that will usually keep for 3 days. A major key to the chicken is apple cider vinegar. Portion out your wings, and cover them with the apple cider vinegar. ACV is just about the healthiest thing on the planet for your dog, besides it will also help with softening the chicken bones-if you’re worried about that. The chicken wings are the main dinner, but I will normally change it up, 3 nights of wings, then a night or two of beef. You can buy beef soup bones at your local grocery store. I usually buy the flat flank steak style. I try to get pieces that are right around 0.9 lbs.-1.25 lbs for each dog’s dinner.

    For snacks on the weekends or rarely for dinner, I’ll buy fish when it’s on sale-usually Sunday’s in my area, and just give them the full filet.

    I know you can probably go to a local butcher and get better pricing on these items, and the meat will be quite a bit fresher than getting it from the grocery store.

    I hope that some of you find this helpful. I know that my dogs will always be on the raw food diet. If this post helps at least one dog, and family, it was worth the time of typing it up.

    1. hi there i have 2 year old, 160pound English massitf and he is unhappy with his dry food diet. i got him two months ago from a family who could no longer provide what he needed. I want to switch him to a raw food diet. just wondering if because of his size he would need the “slop” mix also or just the basic raw diet. and if there are any special ingredients he needs?

  65. My GSD was on kibble for the first year of his life and at 1 year developed chronic digestive problems. He was put on repeated rounds of Panecur and Metronidazole. Finally, I switched him to a commercial raw diet which he seems to have tolerated well until a month ago when he started getting very itchy. He’s mostly been eating Performance Dog which is beef based with duck and turkey necks mixed in. He also gets a weekly raw egg, daily supplements including probiotics. Now he’s so itchy that he’s creating hot spots. During the time that he has become so itchy, he has also lost appetite and his stools are often mucousy. I’m at a loss. Any suggestions. Maybe he’s had too much beef? Maybe we’re not varying the diet enough?

    1. Hi Temple,

      I would definitely try using more raw chicken as opposed to how much beef your GSD is getting. Michele also raises a good point about the raw eggs. I only give my dogs a raw egg by itself maybe 1-2 per month, although I do put raw eggs in their slop I make. GSD are especially known for having digestive problems, so once you find a steady diet that his system will tolerate, I would not differentiate from that very often. You do need to find a good combination of both beef and chicken meats.

      I would start with the supplements you stated in your post. Like I said, GSD are known to have food allergies or digestive issues due to all the over-breeding of the past 50 years. I would get back to the basics, and slowly re-introduce the supplements. You may not even need them.

      Good luck!

    2. I would agree with switching to chicken. It is easier to digest than red meat. Maybe cut the raw egg down to once every two weeks. You can also try adding a cap-full or two of apple cider vinegar once a week.
      I have not had any problems ever giving dogs raw eggs.Even my dog’s before Dakota who had commercial diets got raw eggs now and again. I have seen many posts on sites saying not to give them raw eggs but usually those sites also say to never give your dog raw meat. To me these are people who do not have knowledge of raw food diets for dogs and seem to be promoters of commercial foods.
      Dakota is 90-95% raw chicken. Other meats are a treat. I have been told it’s not good to continually switch diets on dogs as their digestive system doesn’t work like humans.
      After about 1 year now, Dakota is thriving on his diet. He is super healthy and happy. He finishes ever last bit of his meals.

      I don’t know too much about the commercial raw diets. They seem great but outta my price range. Check out my diet plan for Dakota listed above and other peoples diets plans who prepare the meals themselves.

  66. Temple, I’d start by eliminating raw eggs immediately. Many dogs cannot tolerate raw eggs and I’ve been advised not to give them to my little doxie, who is on a homemade raw diet, described above. I give him lightly scrambled eggs once or twice a month. Do you know the source of the food in the commercial diet? That’s important, too–it is best if you can control (i.e., know) the source of all his food. A high percentage of innards (instead of muscle meat) is recommended. It also sounds like you should consult his vet, as it could be something other than his diet.

  67. I’m a big advocate of raw diets but I have seen problems with raw eggs. Several reliable sources say that many dogs can be overly sensitive to them. If your pup is having digestive or other problems, I think it is a good place to start–if it doesn’t help, add them back in. Also, I’ve seen no problem varying types of meats. I do a mix of local grass-fed and pastured chicken, duck, goat, lamb, beef and pork, with lots of innards (more than muscle meat) and plenty of meaty bones (duck and chicken necks). He doesn’t get all the meats in a single batch and no two batches are identical but he never gets a large portion of a single type of meat, which I think helps prevent the development of sensitivities.

  68. I’ve been feeding my now 4.5year old 67lb lab/shepard mix raw food for about 2.5 years now. I started him on this diet because two reasons 1. never understood the ingredients in the bag, I would buy the best brands and one I still use when we go on vacation is called Orajen but they still add vitamins to them, to me (someone who worked in the vitamin industry and knows a bit about them didn’t feel comfortable having to feed him supplemented dog food everyday) and 2. He was getting little bumps on his coat at only the age of 2years. They were like the bumps that older dogs sometimes get on their bodies or muzzles. He had about 3! and I was not too happy about that. I switched his diet to raw food and within a month the bumps were gone!
    Here is the diet I use which I got from another website (can’t remember which one) back when I started this. His typical meal is fed twice a day and consists of .5 lb raw meat, usually chicken breast mixed in with chicken thighs -with bone. I buy about a week’s worth at the store and cut it all up when i get home, divide it in three containers and thaw when I need it. I also freeze the chicken hearts & livers *note on liver, they go bad quickly (it is the detoxer in the body) so only keep these in the fridge for a max of 3 days, any off smell whatsoever and they go in the trash- my dog has gotten sick from them opps! sorry buddy 🙁 I also feed him ground organic beef or buffalo which he goes nuts for! I should give him sardines too but I haven’t done that yet (I found unsalted unroasted sardines hard to find). So to the half pound of meat I add about a cup of cooked broccoli or a handful of spinach or baby romanie (sometype of cruciferous green, sometimes cooked cabbage too), then about 3/4 cup of cooked sweet potato, potato or squash. I’ll also give him about one egg a day (sometimes with crushed eggshell if I don’t have bones) with one meal and either 1/2 cup cottage cheese or unflavored yogurt. I recently added in chicken hearts to his diet and his coat is now extra shiny, he was always shiny but within a week he had an extra glow! I get them from the farmer’s market, I found it surprisingly difficult to find even at our butcher shop. I’ll look into cow hearts but that kinds freaks me out a little. Because I don’t want the organ meat to go bad I’ll give him like 3-5 hearts, 2 livers &2 chicken necks for a couple days until that batch is done and then skip a day or two.
    The only cooked food he has is the vegetables (except lettuce, oh and he loves cucumbers and bell peppers but only gets those when I’m making a salad)

    *I never give him corn, it makes him so constipated, even a small amount. I always feed him organic dairy and get cottage cheese without carageenan (probably spelled that wrong but its a seaweed that is used as a thickener in lots of stuff but it can build up in the intestines and prevent nutrient absorption). I also try to always buy organic (grass fed) beef because they’re fats actually have healthy omegas in them from eating a natural grass diet not a feedlot corn diet, but it’s more expensive.

    The bottom line is I love my dog soooo much and want him to be happy and enjoy his time here. I can’t imagine having to eat “dog food” every single day myself – how boring – plus there’s so much garbage in them (even the really good ones) that I can’t justify that. Our dog is a member of our family and as such he deserves food that I would give to my husband – seriously!

  69. So im kinda new to feeding the raw bone and food diet for my dog (bout 2 weeks) Rocco is a 5 month old pointer/houd/beagle/god knows what mix lol bout 30 lbs now. Seems to be taking to the diet VERY well! My question is about feeding bone, I have always heard that chicken bones are VERY bad for dogs due to them splintering and causing damage to the dog?? Also what about raw potatos? Ive been told they are worse for a dog than chocolate??? Any suggestions on recipes or pointers would be very helpful!

    1. The general rule for bones is that dogs should not be fed any cooked bones as they can splinter and cause intestinal damage. Raw bones are soft and safe. They break down much easier than cooked. It has been common for people to give cooked beef bones for dogs but these can splinter and be dangerous too. I have had two dogs that would throw up after chewing on cooked beef bones. Never again a cooked bone for my pooch.
      I have never heard that potatoes are bad for dogs. Except for the green parts. The green parts are supposed to be toxic for humans too. I do feel there are much better veggies you can feed your dog that have more nutritional value than potatoes.
      For many people feeding their dogs raw diets, raw chicken bones are a major part of it. My dogs diet is at least 90% raw chicken (vs. other meats), bones included.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Yep. I second that. My dog will never get a cooked bone. Raw bones are fine, but you do want to supervise so the dog actually chews the raw chicken bones and doesn’t just try to swallow them. One reader gave me a tip to hold the bone for the dog and allow him to chew. If he tries to take Tito swallow it, move the food away. When he chews, tell him he is a good boy and keep letting him chew on it. Sounds weird, I know, but some dogs need to learn not to just swallow the smaller bones.

  70. As far as raw potatoes go, Darin is correct, the green parts–usually closest to the skin–are toxic to humans and dogs. It is easy to overlook it, especially if you do not peel the potatoes. I do not use them in my raw mix.
    I do use sweet potatoes, which are not related to potatoes. From what I have read, they are very good for dogs. Winter squash is another excellent choice.

    1. I have also read that sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin is good for dogs. I have heard that pumpkin helps with gas in dogs. since my dog has been on a raw diet, gas has not been a problem.
      I do find a lot of different information on raw sweet potatoes and pumpkins vs. cooked.

      Michelle, do you have any advice on the raw vs cooked with sweet potatoes and pumpkins?

  71. Darin,
    Most of what I’ve read has recommended raw, though a few have also said canned pumpkin is a good addition. I grind washed (unpeeled) sweet potatoes through the same sausage grinder attachment that I use for meats and other vegetables. Joey (longhaired doxie, 13 pounds, 11 years old) has been on this diet now for a year and a half and he’s doing so well, no gas, no midnight trips outside because of diarrhea, great energy, beautiful coat, great teeth. Because he is so little, I hack chicken necks and duck necks into small pieces and then put them into my food processor fitted with the metal blade before I add them to the mix. Once a month or so, I give him half a duck neck or a whole chicken neck, which he loves. He also gets an occasional turkey neck (half) and beef marrow bones (uncooked).

  72. Flea Suggestion! We live in a wooded area and kishwaukee river runs through the back yard. Because of this Rocco has had some issues with fleas (not many ticks believe it or not!) I am a big believer in natural remidies for almost everything, so after a couple hours of r&d, I started giving Rocco a clove of garlic (blended) with his morning meal. After only about 3 days, He has no fleas! I continue to give him the garlic in the morning because not only Rocco loves it, but its good for him also. Plus its a preventive strike on fleas! Give it a shot, it really works!

  73. John,
    Before you continue to give Rocco garlic, it would be a good idea to google “dogs + garlic” or “should dogs eat garlic?” Many experts say that garlic and onions are both toxic to dogs because they lack an enzyme necessary to metabolize thiosulphate, which is in both. Some experts recommend that dogs not be given anything in the allium family of plants for this reason.

    1. I’ve been wondering about this myself. I have read a lot about garlic being good for dogs and read some that it’s bad. Some of the sites that say its bad also say that you should never give your dog raw meat. I am well aware of onions being bad and have never heard otherwise. I really think it boils down to dosage. Garlic has less thiosulphate than onions. “They” say a dog would need to ingest 3-5lbs of onions to be lethal. So that would mean they would have to ingest a whole lot of garlic to be toxic. I have also read that in small doses garlic is actually healthy for dogs.

  74. I agree with Darin and the garlic onion debate. I’ve heard both ways but in small amount I think garlic is fine if not good.

    As far as white potatoes go (and the green lining at the skin when you slice them)… they are part of the nightshade family which also includes eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers & tomatoes – all of the green parts of these vegetables contains toxins that are both toxic to humans and animals. That means avoid green peppers & tomatoes (the red, orange & yellow varieties are fine but for ex even if a tomato mostly ripe discard any green sections on it). As for eggplant and white potatoes when you slice them look at the edge between the flesh & skin, if there’s a green layer there I toss it. Some people and animals are more sensitive to it, it can cause damage to the nervous system ie arthritis.

    I just wanted to add one thing. My dog doesn’t get fleas and is not on any flea/tick/heartworm prevention. We go to the dog park every day so he is definitely exposed. He has been bitten by a tick before but thankfully he tests negative for Lyme disease.

    Also about the raw bone feeding issue. We used to hand feed him the way that Lindsay mentioned above, since he didn’t understand the concept yet but he would just break off a chunk and swallow it without doing anymore chewing so I discovered that when I put it in his bowl he actually chews it much more than when we hand fed it to him but chewing the bones in his bowl was something he figured out after we hand fed him for about 3 months. Cooked bones are brittle whereas raw bones are actually flexible. Also the bones in chicken necks are a good for those concerned with the raw bones being a problem -the necks are made up of tiny round discs which digest easily, even if your dog doesn’t really chew them. The is always a possibility of choking though – so pay attention when your dog is eating.

    Lastly I wanted to make sure people understand that fats are very important in your dog’s diet, and people too! I give my dog the skins from chicken thighs mixed in with skinless chicken breast. He’ll also get fat from the raw organic egg (cholesterol, but good cholesterol & omegas) and other sources.

    I want to keep this short as possible so I won’t go into anymore details but do your research! What you think might be just chronic ear infections/hot patches/bad breath or whatever other reason you’re having to go to the vet could all be related to his diet (I’m saying could* but most likely it is the diet).

    1. My r&d on the garlic/onion situation agrees with Darin and Lacey. Like I said, he gets one clove a day. He not only has not had any adverse side affects but he has had some improvements! This is my experience.

  75. I been dogsitting a golden retreiver who at first was on dry dog food and acted like the typical old lazy dog. Her owner switched her to a raw food diet around her 10th birthday and she is literally as active as my german shepherd. Seeing the before and after effects of just a diet change makes me want to feed my dog ike that. i am seeing alot of recepie for dogs 75-100 pounds. my question is what diet should i put together for a 40-45 pound female german shepherd whos almost 2? shes a runt and abit on the smaller size but perfectly healthy and very very active. what recepie would owners here say is good for a dog her size, age whos always on the move??? you can email me at rotcgal826@yahoo.com if you’d like to share your recepie i already make homemade dog treats as she hates store bought treats and food…

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Usually 2-3 percent of the dog’s body weight is the amount of food recommended. Adjust as needed for your particular dog, but that is a number to start with.

  76. Hi, we adopted a shih tzu she is 8.8 lbs. so skinny and she is suffering from mites all over her 4 paws and eyes…the vet already gave her ointment to apply but I heard of raw diet and I am really interested…we just want our princess to be well, more healthy…no wounds from too much scratching…please help me =( if anyone can suggest a a recipe appropriate for her needs…Hope to hear from you guys here is my email add: boss.bham@gmail.com Thank you so so much!!!!

  77. John here, Rocco has been on the raw food diet for about 6 weeks or so. Hes doing excellen!! Ok so this doesn’t exactly have to do with the BARF diet however, my pup ate A LOT of cooking grease last night. He’s puked several times and seems to be better but what can I give him to help replenish his electrolytes? He’s drinking plenty of water but wondering what else I can do. Any ideas and suggestions would be great!!

  78. Hi All-
    Is anyone familiar with canine pemphigus? Our 1.5 year old English Bulldog Jarvis was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease a couple months ago and we are trying to find natural ways to get rid of it. Currently he is on a high dosage of prednisone to clear all of the skin lesions and hopefully we can wean him off of that as steroids are not good long term. We switched him to a raw food diet a couple weeks ago that consists of 2 raw chicken thighs and carrots (and whatever veggies we have) for breakfast and dinner. He is around 65 lbs. If anyone is familiar with this and has any suggestions for food, I would really appreciate it. We want to get Jarvis healthy again as he still just a pup! Thanks a ton!!

  79. Hi – I am a pet groomer by trade, but an animal rescuer by passion. I recently rescued a Great Pyrenees, which at first, due to her condition, was thought to be a senior. Guess what? She’s approximately 2 years old, and has a generalized case of Demodex mange and is severely malnourished. Fortunately, it was caught prior to the cracking stage, but she is about 80% covered with the rash and hair loss. The vet recommendation – high doses of Ivermectin for 60 days, which considering this is caused by an extremely depressed immune system, does not seem to be a very healthy approach. For those who do not know, Ivermectin is a poison. I just can’t see introducing a poison to an animal in this condition. Has anyone else ever run into this situation? I’ve done research on this, and have a found a bath which seems logical and am wondering if a raw diet would also be beneficial. Any ideas?

  80. Deb, what a kind thing you are doing.

    From everything I’ve read, a raw diet seems like a good idea. You might explore the web site feedthis.com–they have a lot of information. They might also be able to refer you to someone. You might also consult a vet who takes a more natural and/or homeopathic approach. If I were in this situation, I would not try Ivermectin except as a last resort if all other approaches, including diet, had failed.

    Best of luck!

  81. Hi Lindsay! I stumbled upon your blog in a desperate online search tonight on how to cure my 1 year old Golden’s yeast infection. She’s got it in her ears and feet that we can see, and only just realised it’s on her feet as well. We’ve tried probiotics in her dry food, but I’m at a loss and we are considering now changing her to a raw food diet. I’ve read elsewhere online that in addition to the meats we need to supplement the food or our furbabies will be deficient. Do you recommend anything, and if you do, anything in Canada? It really seems we have nothing up here, or I’m just not finding it… sigh. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated, and I’ll continue on reading! So happy I found your blog! My dog (Holly) is nuts… lol. She’s not a good dog, but very cute and lovable… lol 😛

    1. I consulted my vet about supplements when I switched Joey to a raw diet. Because I include fresh parsley, meaty bones and seaweed (for minerals) in his food and also give him a big spoonful of whole milk yogurt twice a day, she said things were just fine. But she recommended the vitamin called Missing Link (for dogs) if I felt I needed to do something more more.

  82. Angela,

    Dogs perspire between the pads on their feet in addition to their tongue and nose. I’ve found that dogs on a kibble based food tend lick their pads often because of infections attributable to corn and wheat products. Simply switching your dog to raw food, I’ve found, will alleviate the problem with both ear and pad infections. I lived in Edmonton and their is a great raw provider there. Where in Canada do you live?

    You can also just start giving your dog chicken leg and thigh quarters, ground beef, beef ribs, marrow bones, pigs feet, etc. for a couple of weeks and I would bet that the ear and pad issues will cure themselves. A 50 pound dog should eat about a pound a day of raw food. Because your dog is still a puppy, maybe a bit more. I would suggest buying a whole chicken and cut it up or buy a package of leg and thigh quarters. Give your dog a leg and thigh quarter, bone and all, every morning and a bone in the afternoon or early evening (knuckle or marrow bones are a bit cleaner for inside dogs). If you can get a container of chicken livers, those can be given as treats after a walk. It sounds simple, but the best solutions often are that easy. My chow is 15, has amazing fur and energy, and hasn’t had the need to have his pearly whites cleaned in 9 years. He stopped shedding nearly entirely after about a month on raw. Email with any questions.

    Gary

    1. Hi Gary,

      Thank you SOOOO much for the info! I think I’ve just been in a bit of a panic to switch her fast, and I found another blog online that suggests an entirely raw food diet is deficient, and we need to suppliment it with, well, suppliments. So I was off looking for these suppliments, I think one is called Dinovite, but I can’t seem to find it in Canada. My husband is convinced we need to do this and she won’t be healthy on a raw food diet without suppliments. I’ve only had one dog as a kid before Holly, and he never had any issues at all, so this is all so new to me. I had no idea yeast can grow on their feet, but it certainly makes sense that it would. Just something I wasn’t aware of. My poor girl 🙁 We had her boarded actually while visiting Edmonton last week, so it was when we picked her up that they told us she has this problem in her feet. We live in Guelph and I don’t have much opportunity to get to Toronto these days. We only have racoons and skunks here in Guelph, not much for shops and whatnot… lol. I did talk to the lady at a local pet food store, and though she meant well, I’m not 100% sure she was giving me the correct information. Just a few things she said were off, and we have asked her advice in the past and it hasn’t really helped much. For example, she seemed to really believe that it was the chicken in the food causing the problem, when I know it’s the starches causing problems. I’m really hesitant to take Holly to the vet because I really feel that is how it all started. She was on antibiotics when we originally got her last summer, was fine for maybe a month, and has had this problem ever since, but just in her ears. The vet told us she probably has allergies, which really didn’t make sense to me. They also told us it was yeast in her ears, so I don’t understand how yeast overgrowth can be an allergy? Maybe I am not understanding. I just assumed that since humans can have problems after being on antibiotics with yeast, an animal would too. We have tried probiotics with her as well, and I’m not sure it worked. Maybe they did help, or maybe we just didn’t have her on it long enough.
      I did make an astringent to dip her feet in regularly throughout the day, and it does seem to be working to relieve some of her discomfort. My thoughts are to try to treat the symptoms while I try to come up with a plan to get rid of the problem.
      Thanks again Gary for your help, and everyone here for their posts. This blog is so incredibly helpful to a new dog mom like me 🙂

  83. Hey there, out Max is a 22 lb Havenese mix. He is a mess of allergies, licking paws until bleeding, constant ear infections, dry fur, and obsessive scratching and head shaking ( meaning his ears are ichy) scratch scratch shake… Over and over again. Two months on raw food and nothing. No scratching, no infections, no scratching and soft fluffy fur. I’m so happy!! He gets a rotation of ground chicken beef or lamb. Twice a week he gets bones. I mix egg, carrots, green leafy and the beef together with some organ meat and put them into muffin pans and freeze. Then pop them out into baggies. You can easily and quickly grab one to defrost. Happy puppy here 🙂

  84. Angela, you should take Gary & Nicole’s advice & switch you poor girl to a raw diet & do it now…. you can figure out the supplement parts later.
    My dog is 4 has been on raw diet for 2 years and I don’t supplement. He gets raw meat, healthy fats, greens, bones & organ meats, eggs, cooked winter squash & sweet potatoes etc.

    When you dog is not stressed out anymore you won’t be either, then you can get the rest of the plan sorted out.

    Also, some dogs can be sensitive to chicken, usually in kibble though only, but sometimes raw too.

    And yes, she could have a yeast imbalance from the antibiotics, unfortunately probiotics are usually a waste of money because there are millions of different types of healthy bacteria & supplement companies can’t replicate all of them. You usually end up with maybe 3 types & then they have to hopefully still be alive by the time they reach the stomach. The best way to restore the good bacteria in your dog (as well as humans too) is with raw food.

  85. Hi! I have a skinny doberman (like on the scale of 1-10 , 5 being perfect size, he is a 3) I been to the vet many time we ran many test but he is super healthy. He was eating the food sell from the vet (Royal Canin) but stay very skinny, so i tryed some other dry food more natural, with no grains, and it was OK, but he was not gaining weight. I’ve been looking for a brand that has 40% proteine and 35% fat but they cannot import it in my area since of the law about language (they have to translate it to french). So i gave up this week-end and decided to go to my butcher. Hourray! he sells raw meat for dogs. 30lb is 30$. My dog is 75lb so from what i read he is suposed to eat minimum 2lb a day. I try cut in the big piece of beef to make cubes, i also cut the chicken and veal, for livers and pork he do not want it so i put it in the oven a few minute to have the outside to cook a little and then its fine, there was already plain yogurt and cottage cheese in his previous diet, so i just chose one or the other for morning and night meal. I give him glucosamine and fish liver oil. I also often add a raw egg without the shell (Terror wont eat it). For Veggies well i had none but im going today to buy some carrots and i’ll see what else could be good for him.

    For now what i see in him is less nervous, less poop and i find his hairs softer (before they were really hard and could get stuck in my skin, very painful feeling) I noticed he is not obsessed with water anymore, he could drink like gallons of water, get sick and drink more, and now he is fine ! I really hope he is going to gain a little weight, i think 10-15lb would be great on him.

    I am really happy, and raw meat is cheaper if i calculate 60$ of meat, 10$ of plain yogurt or cottage cheese, 10$ of veggies a month

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Wonderful! I’m glad he is doing so well. Is your dog young? He will probably naturally beef up a bit as he gets older. I run with a Dobie, and he has always been very lean as well.

  86. Hi!!
    I am looking into the raw diet for my 11 week GSD pup and 5 yr American bulldog. We have chicken breast with ribs in the freezer and I want to start them with that tomorrow morning. Can someone please let me know EXACTLY what I need to be feeding on a daily basis??? Kind of like a schedule I suppose…I just want to feed my boys the best and keep them healthy!!! Thanks!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m afraid there is no answer to that, Payton. The rule of thumb is about 2 percent of their body weight, more for the growing puppy.

    2. Hi!! If you look through the posts here in this column you will find raw dog food recipes and diet plans. Once you get the gist of it you can create one that you feel is suitable for your dogs.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        I agree! Lots of great recipes listed. They key is to find the foods that work well with your dog, and you can add variety over time. I started feeding my dog a raw diet about a week ago, and I’ve been starting with raw chicken (whole, cut up). I am starting to add organ meat and veggies, too.

        Just start with one protein source and then slowly introduce the new foods.

  87. Payton, I go into a lot of detail in my blog post. My rule of thumb, which is based on recommendations from my vet and a local company that makes raw pet food is:
    2 parts meaty bones (chicken and duck necks work best), 1 part muscle meat and innards, 1/2 part vegetables + dried seaweed. It breaks down thusly:
    10 pounds duck and chicken necks; 5 pounds liver, heart, kidney, tongue and gizzards; 2 1/2 pounds raw mixed broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash; 2 bunches Italian parsley and about an ounce of dried seaweed.

    I give complete details at my blog, which you can find at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. When you get there, enter “Feeding Joey” in the search bar and the blog should come right up. I post every batch I make, though I’m currently 2 batches behind in my posts. Still, I do it the same way and simply vary the specific meats and vegetables based on what is available at local farms and ranches.

    Joey is 12 years old and he is thriving, with a shiny soft coat, no shedding, no health issues and lots of energy. He’s been on this diet for almost two years.

    For treats, I give him meaty bones, duck feet and dried duck liver or gizzards. He gets nothing commercial any more at all.

  88. Hi there! I have a 1 year old yellow lab whippet mix that weighs 45 lbs. I have been giving her cooked meat and veggies mixed with regular dog food ever since I got her. I have recently been educating myself on the raw diet and am excited to get started. My husband doesn’t believe in feeding her anything but commercial dog food so it’s been a huge challeng for me. I wanted to know if there was any specific diet best for her type of breed. Like things to avoid or any beneficial types of veggies for her breed. Also if anyone knows any other websites, blogs, etc for recipes and more info on the benefits of raw diet so I can show my husband.
    Thanks!!!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Natalia! I started a homemade raw diet for my dog last Friday and things are going well so far! If you let me know your husband’s specific concerns, maybe I can lead you to the right place to help him feel better about it. Is he worried about the hassle? The cost? The risk of your dog getting sick or choking on bones?

      I started out feeding my 70-pound dog chicken legs, breasts and thighs, but I learned through talking with other raw feeders that it’s best to feed larger portions of meat so the dog has to tear and crunch rather than attempt to swallow. Since your dog is a little smaller, chicken legs, thighs and breasts might be perfect. I recommend holding the food while she eats it the first couple of times so she learns she has to chew it.

      Other people have highly recommended fruits and veggies like strawberries, blueberries, apples, carrots, peas and green beans. Also canned pumpkin. My dog loves all of these things. Spinach is also healthy for them, but my dog won’t eat it unless it’s blended with other food.

      Good luck! Here are some of the recent posts I’ve written:

      On saving money:
      http://www.thatmutt.com/2013/01/19/affordable-raw-dog-food/

      On general health benefits:
      http://www.thatmutt.com/2013/01/05/health-benefits-to-buying-raw-dog-food/

  89. My 2 yr old GSD has been on a raw diet for over a year. He had chronic digestive problems which were corrected almost immediately on a raw diet. Now though he has a horribly itchy condition that’s been going on for months. He’s constantly chewing his legs and itching his mid section so much so that he’s creating bald spots. I’ve increased the amount of oil and probiotics in his food but no changes. I just can’t figure out the source of the problem. Is it dry wintry weather or an allergy?? It has been suggested that I avoid all fowl – no chicken, duck, turkey – since these often cause allergic reactions. Thats too bad because Ita wht my dog most likes to eat. I’m confused because reading the comments here, the majority seem to use and recommend chicken as the base food. Has anyone had a problem with this? Any recommendations, insights?
    Thanks

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      This probably wont’ be very helpful, but I just wanted to tell you my dog has similar problems.

      My dog also had digestive issues and itchy skin on the kibble I was feeding him for years. I usually fed a chicken or turkey based kibble, grain free. I switched him to homemade raw food a week ago, and his digestive issues cleared up immediately. He is, however, still very itchy. I’ve only given him chicken so far.

      I tend to think, for him, it is the dry air that makes him itchy. But sometimes I wonder if it’s an allergy to the chicken. I’m going to give it some time since I don’t want to be switching his food too fast.

  90. Temple – I recently picked up a book called – unlocking the canine ancestral diet. Although I can’t say I’d recommend the book because it’s very confusing to try and figure out, it does talk a lot about matching the type of fat with the protein and how this is a key part that many don’t get right.
    For example: if youre feeding beef – the accompanying fats should be sardines, hemp seed oil, walnut oil (or ground walnuts) and even canola oil. Not flaxseed or chia seeds.
    If you were feeding poultry the fats to accompany it should be flaxseeds, chia seeds. Do not add corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, hemp or fish oils.

    He also says chicken/turkey necks with the skin removed, are the best things to feed our pets because they have the perfect balance of fats, protein and also calcium.

    Are you feeding organ meats? I added chicken hearts to my dog’s diet (was just giving livers here and there before) and his coat looks extra shiny.

    The quality of the oil matters also – buy organic when possible.
    I started adding coconut oil to my dog’s diet because it’s good for me so hopefully it’s good for him – the book doesn’t talk about coconut oil but I just did it anyways.

    So you might want to switch the type of oil you’re feeding and see if that helps.

  91. I never feed my boy additional oil and haven’t heard that it is a good idea.

    This web site will answer a lot of questions about raw food. I found it very helpful as I was figuring out how I would do it: http://feedthis.com/ After you get to the site, click on “Basics” for a lot of specific information.

  92. Thanks Lacey The protein fat relationship makes sense. I’m going to look in to that further. Meanwhile does anyone have any clever and successful strategies for dealing with hotspots and places where my dog is scratching and chewing himself raw? Our vet wants to go the predinisone route but I’m wary of that.

  93. I have been feeding my 14 1/2 yr old Bichon, Angie, a raw diet for about 9 months. She stopped begging for “people food” after 2 days and she has stopped licking her forepaw raw. She loves her meat – even though she still sits in front of her dish to reconnoiter and decide how to attack it all – which takes her about 10-60 mins depending on her nightly menu – soft vs. boney. For beginners, I would recommend “Raw Dog Food” by Carina Beth MacDonald. It is an easy, funny read and very down-to-earth. When we finally need to get a new puppy, it will be raw all the way from the beginning – naysayers be D____d – vets included!!! Good luck everyone.

  94. I tried a raw food meal for my 1.5 yr old 150+ lb lab-rottweiler mix tonight; he sniffed it a couple times and wouldn’t even try a single lick for a taste. I used raw turkey, raw chicken gizzards and hears using one of the ratios mentioned above. I pureed some cabbage, squash, green beans and radicchio before mixing it with the meat at approx. a 50/50 ratio. I made a patty and put it in his dish and could hardly get him to sniff it.
    Up to this time we have used a ‘higher quality’ kibble style food with no fillers (corn, soy, wheat) and is composed of only lamb and rice or chicken and rice depending on which flavor we pick up.
    I thought for sure he would go crazy over the raw food meal like the stew bone we gave him earlier tonight. He ran around outside in the snow tossing the bone around and pouncing on it for a couple of bites in between like it was Christmas.
    Is there anyone who has had a dog refuse a raw food diet?! I don’t know what to try next and would love to hear some ideas.
    And thank you so much for this site, it gave me the info I needed to give this a try, even our pup isn’t going for it just yet..

    1. The liver can go bad much quicker than the meat. That could be another reason why he wouldn’t eat it. My dog refused one time. I made him a new dish without the liver and he ate it. I would also agree about the cabbage and radicchio. Maybe try squash, green beans, broccoli and carrots. I would up the ratio to a minimum of 60% meat and as high as 70%.
      One last suggestion is to add a tablespoon of yogurt to the mix. Dog’s seem to love yogurt and the probiotics are good for their tummy.

    2. I realize this defeats the entire purpose of raw, but you could try cooking the food and gradually transitioning to raw. My Siberian Husky was diagnosed with IBD late last year. Her system can no longer tolerate kibble, even the expensive perscrition foods. I decided to start cooking all of her food myself. She LOVES it. We can’t go raw because of her weakened GI tract (she can’t fight off the bacteria a healthy dog can). At least with cooked you know what is going into the food and that your dog is still receiving a healthy diet. Once he is into the cooked diet maybe try slowing phasing out cooked for raw. As for veggies steamed carrots, sweet potato and pureed pumpkin are quite popular. Both of my dogs also really love fish oil. Smells very fishy, but they seem to love it and it makes their coats super soft. I just poke a hole in one capsule and squeeze the oil into their food. Good luck! It’s a ton of work, but very worth it.

    3. In the book I cited, it says that keep putting it in front of them – they will not go hungry…. Angie did that a little in the beginning if something was cut up just so or she deemed it not worthy. But, eventually, she ate it.

    4. Have you tried mixing the raw meat/veggies with a can of his wet food? This could help with the transition. I have a 90 pound labs that is on a raw diet. His favorites seem to be carrots, beans (lentils, black, soy), brown rice, Greek yogurt, and eggs. Keep us posted!! I’m interested in seeing what works for your pup! My other lab has zero allergies and her coat is great, so we are waiting until her last batch of kibble is gone before she makes the switch. She is insanely picky!! I’m a little worried about her transition.

      Good luck!! 🙂

    5. I too gave my dog the most expensive high quality kibble dry food. I was only turned to this raw food meal by my new holistic vet after facing many health problems for my buddy – Buddy. From the handout he gave me, it states you should try mixing his favorite kibble with egg and milk. Then slowly add more raw food while removing the kibbles. So instead of 50-50 raw to kibble, try 10-90 so he barely notices it. Buddy will eat rocks if I put it in his bowl so this wasn’t an issue for me. Buddy just started this raw food deal so he’s at 50-50 right now but I’m hoping I can up to 90-10 by next month. And hopefully 100% by next months end. Good luck.

  95. Your dog might be unsure of the gizzards and hearts or maybe the radicchio.

    Maybe try simplifying it at first and just start with the raw meat. If he eats that, then add the vegetables.
    He might not want to eat the vegetables if they’re raw and radicchio is very bitter so that may also be an unappealing smell to him. You may want to try blanching the cabbage in a little water or chicken stock and cooking the squash as well. My dog won’t eat raw lettuce or spinach so I mix those with a little cottage cheese, egg or whole milk yogurt but all his other vegetables get cooked (he loves cucumbers and yellow bell peppers but he only gets a few of those when I’m chopping some for a salad). My dog doesn’t like green beans but I think it’s more the texture he doesn’t care for, I never tried pureeing them for him.

    Also, make sure the organ meats are very fresh. They should not smell like much of anything. Any off odor and they might be bad (I don’t really know how to describe the proper odor but it should just smell like fresh blood I guess). If I use livers for more than 3 days and I forget, my dog lets me know and will turn his nose up at his food.

    Good Luck!

  96. I think the pureed cabbage and radicchio likely put him off, as their smell, especially pureed, would be overpowering to the pup. And the ratio is off, based on everything I’ve read. The mix should be 4 parts meaty bones (chicken, turkey and duck necks, hacked into pieces), 2 parts innards and muscle meat (chopped) and 1 part vegetables, chopped. A three-month batch for my small dog is about 12 pounds meaty bones, 6 pounds muscle meat and innards and 3 pound seasonal vegetables and Italian parsley, with about 2 ounces of dried seaweed for minerals.

    Most dogs like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, zucchini, pumpkin and other winter squashes when they are chopped and combined with meat.

  97. I have 3 dogs, a cavalier king charles spaniel 5 years, american staffordshire 7 months and 4 months old english staffordshire bullterrier. I used to mix can food with a dry food for my oldest dog, but he was overweight, so i have switched for cooked chicken breast n mixing with dry food, but somebody told me that by cooking meat its loosing its nutrients, so i did my research on raw food n also asked around. My friend in Europe owns a big farm where he breeds pitbulls and argentinian dogues. He told me to give them plain raw meat as it is, either chicken or beef plus some vitamins. His dogs have lots of exercise and r very lean. In our local pet store (Lake Worth, Florida) i found an organic brand named Mother’s natures recipes, from a farm based in Florida. Its around 30$ for 4lb./64 small patties.im giving each dog 2 patties mixed with a holistic dry food blue buffalo, but i’d like to switch to all raw diet, but with 3 dogs it would b over 500$/month, so im looking for a home made recipe to be able to feed them raw food only. I also heard that raw meat should be frozen for dogs, and just defrost slowly in the fridge prior to serving, because of the bacteria in it which when the same meat would be served to humans would be destroyed during cooking. So, im going to try the recipes from here and freeze it first and then serve it the next day same how i do it with those patties from the shop. Will see how my dogs like it 🙂 i also add a salmon oil and some seaweed,flax seeds etc vitamin mix in my dogs food every day.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I usually freeze the meat before giving it to my dog, but not because I am concerned about bacteria. There is always going to be bacteria on raw meat, and dogs can generally handle it, unless they have a weakened immune system or something like that. I only freeze the meat for storage reasons.

      I understand, though, that you would be worried. I worry, too! I have gotten over my fear of bacteria, though. My dog has been just fine 🙂

      1. Im just going to make a big amount of it and freeze it, with 3 dogs its not gonna last too long anyway 🙂 i know that dogs have an acidic stomach, so the normal bacteria can’t hurt them, more i research more confident i am, that the raw diet is the way to go.
        But still need to find a cheaper, good quality place where to buy the meat from, because walmart or publix isn’t probably the best way too go… Both quality and financially. I haven’t seen many butchers here in Lake Worth area, south Florida.

  98. I have fed my two (male 4 yr old large 20lb average active miniature schnauzer and 2 yr old 65lb very active female pitbull) Raw food for a year. My schnauzer was having UTI issues and that’s how I ran across the raw food diet over the Internet. He hasn’t had an issue since. For the most part they get ground meats mixed with blended veggies (broc, blueberries, spinach, carrots, sweet potato, and pumpkin, squash, green beans, peas, apples, strawberries and I rotate them out) organ meats as well as green tripe when I can find it. Chicken bones, turkey necks, and occationally beef rib bones on a sunny day they can chomp it outside. Yogurt, cottage cheese, tuna, salmon, and oatmeal once in a while as a meal replacement. I do put their food in kongs once in a while and freeze it hard and let them eat it outside for mental stimulation and to get them out of my hair for a few hours. (My pit is an aggressive chewer, she ate through a black extreme kong that was for her weight according to the sizing chart…so I replaced it with the biggest they make) on average the male gets about 10 oz of meat and organ, then a cup of the veggies and other things. The pit get about 3 lbs of meat and mix as well as about a lb of meaty bones. I have a really hard time keeping her at 65 lb because she is so active.

  99. Please check out earthclinic.com for remedies for your pets (ear infections ,dry skin,kennel cough etc. ) You can cure ear infections with organic apple cider vinegar ,and get rid of itchy dry skin by giving your dog a tsp. -tbs. of organic virgin coconut oil-good for shrinking tumors too and gets rid of bad breath. Please do yourselves a favor and always check earthclinic before making a vet appt. ,save time & money as well as improve your pets health naturally ,at least less anti-biotics. has people section tooo

  100. 17 years ago I adopted 7 month old chow chow cattle dog cross. Her skin was in awful condition. She was so itchy and had chewed all the fur off her belly and hind quarters. Different vets posed theories, flea allergies, allergic dermatitis etc. etc. The only solution offered was steroids. It is a well known fact that long term use of steroids can cause negative health affects. I was desperate to find another avenue. Pre Internet this involved reading every book I could get my hands on about alternative pet care. The one I found most helpful was “Give Your dog a bone” by Dr. Ian Billinghurst. I switched Stella to a raw diet Andy within 3 months she had a regrown all her fur and had stopped itching. Many people including my vet, friends and family were quite vocal with negative opinions but it was hard to argue with the results. Stella lived to be 16 and a half with no major health issues her whole life. A beautiful shiny coat, healthy teeth and lots of energy.
    I now have two new dogs, a 8 month old Chinese crested. Oston terrier mix and an 8 month old Chinese crested pug mix. Both are fed a raw diet.
    I feed two different frame mixes, one consisting of chicken, offal and bone the other is beef lung and green tripe, I alternate these. Mixed in is ground veggies whatever is on hand (but alway leafy greens) carrots,sweet potato,pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans etc. etc. I also will occasionally add raw eggs, plain yogurt,cottage cheese a couple alternating a couple of times a week. They also get raw meaty bones a few times a week, chicken necks, turkey necks, chickens feet and beef and pork marrow bones, (always freeze the pork bones for a couple of weeks to destroy potential parasites) The only supplement I add a commercial product called missing link. This provides omegas and probiotics.
    Both pups are thriving!
    I hope this helps some one who is curious if any one has had long term experience with this type of feeding. I can’t say enough good things about how it helped Stella live a long and health life.

  101. Every article from advised sources reminds me that dogs are not herbivores, hence they don’t have the enzymes to digest raw fruits and vegetables. The suggestion is to either to par cook them or give your dog “green tripe” that comes from the intestines of cattle. I’ve read contradictory opinions about yogurt. I always include eggs plus their crushed shells. I’ve read that raw egg whites can cause digestive problems that are balanced out to a degree by adding the yolks as well. I make my dog food in large batches and freeze it in feeding size containers. That way the danger of more perishable elements can be avoided, just take one out to thaw as you feed.

  102. I have a second doxie now, a 3 1/2 month old miniature longhaired girl I named Lark. She has has several seizures, which lead me to a local homeopathic/holistic vet. One of the things we talked about was diet. Her recommendation to use meat from animals that have been fed on grass, not corn and other grains. Sh recommends 75 percent meaty bones, organ meat and muscle meat (with as much organ meat as possible) and 25 percent organic vegetables (no onions, no garlic). She also said it is important to limit liver to no more than 5 percent of the overall mix. This is very close to what I’ve been dong for my adult doxie, Joey. This is the first vet I’ve met who not only approves of a raw homemade diet but advocates for it. Some dogs can tolerate yogurt and keifer, some can’t. I also keep meaty bone broth on hand for snacks. I had a splash of apple cider vinegar, which helps leach calcium and other minerals from the bones. Both doxies love it.

  103. I’m just beginning the raw food diet process by mixing in the raw meats and veggies
    with my dogs dry food (Wellness). I’m buying organic/natural/free range so I know they are getting quality…..
    I must admit to being a little nervous about going all raw fearing I may be leaving out some important vitamins and minerals but reading as much as I can about it will certainly help me out…..although it seems like there are conflicting suggestions about what to feed….like bananas? Not sure that falls into the natural diet of canines.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yep, there will always be conflicting views. Some people believe dogs are omnivores. Others believe they are true carnivores. I am somewhere in the middle. I believe they are carnivores that can benefit a bit from some fruits and veggies.

      Wolves are considered carnivores, however they will eat small amounts of berries in the summer such as blueberries and cherries, according to the book “Wolves” by L. David Mech and Luigi Boitani.

  104. I have been giving my doggies raw for years, it it is only diet for
    cats and dogs that makes sense. Your suggestion regarding what to feed a
    100 lb. dog seems inadequate. I would feed a dog that size twice as much, leave the skin on for healthy fat, and give raw bones and whole veggies to chew in lieu of the raw meat!.
    I use raw beef, chicken, turkey, organ meats and shredded veggies, kelp, and some fruit as their meal. They also may get raw chicken/turkey/beef bones in their diets.
    It may also be healthy to give yogurt or cottage cheese. namaste’, rachel

  105. My dog a lab/St. mix loves bananas. He turns his nose to liver and gizzards. I do not like those parts either so I’m not going to push it. If I put any sort of meat based broth in his bowl with vegetables he will eat them.

      1. Is any type of “meaty bone” okay to give my dogs (Arlo and Molly)? I’ve often looked at beef ribs and even though I know in my heart raw bones are okay, there is always a concern with ribs for some reason.

        I’ve recently contacted an organic farm that processes their own meats looking to find remnants. I just don’t seem to find good bone selections from the grocery store.

        And finally, one of my dogs, Arlo, doesn’t respond well to yogurt, unlike Molly.

        Has anyone found this to be the case?

        Thanks,
        Annoel

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          I only feed raw chicken and turkey bones. I know other people feed pork and beef bones, but I don’t. I worry my dog will hurt his teeth or swallow large chunks.

          Some dogs do well with yogurt, and some don’t.

  106. I was looking through your recipes and noticed that you don’t add any supplements to your recipes. No fatty acids, minerals, calcium, etc. Some of the recipes look like they are deficient in areas. Are you opposed to be using supplements? Also what’s with the yogurt? Dogs don’t eat veggies or milk in the wild, why add it to their food?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Eileen. Not sure which recipes you are referring to, the ones in the post or the ones in my ebooks or the recipes left by others in the comments.

      Either way, my goal is always to feed variety. Every meal that my dog eats is not necessarily balanced. But I shoot for balance over time. I don’t think supplements are necessary for most dogs, but they can’t hurt, either. My dog gets more than enough bones so theres no need for me to give him extra calcium. I do give him a fish oil tab most days. This helps his skin and coat. Yogurt, as well as veggies, are controversial. Dogs probably don’t need either as long as they get their nutrients through bone, meat, fat and organs. I give natural, plain yogurt for the probiotics and because my dog loves it, and it seems to sit well with him.

  107. Canines do eat some plant-based foods in the wild and the vets I know who advocate a raw diet recommend a 75-25 mix. Most recommend yogurt or kefir, too. Cats, on the other hand, seem to do better without plant-based foods.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Michelle. I also give my dog veggies, although im not convinced he actually needs them. They cant hurt, though.

      Gray wolves will eat grass and fruit, although not the stomach contents of their prey, according to the book “Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation” by L. David Mech and Luigi Boitani. The vets I’ve talked to don’t recommend raw in general, but if they do, they believe dogs are omnivores in need of grain and vegetation. I’m so glad you have a vet on your side!

  108. I am unsure about feeding my dogs the raw bones. How would I go about grinding them up? Right now they get butcher bones but they have been smoked. Any suggestions?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m not sure how you would grind the bones yourself. You can buy commercial raw dog food. That has the bones ground up. I feed my dog raw chicken and turkey bones that are not ground. They are soft enough that he chews them up a bit and then his system digests them just fine. I don’t feed him larger bones like beef or pork.

      1. I always thought that you couldn’t give dogs chicken bones because they would splinter? Do you know if this is true or not? Thank you.

  109. I was always told that you couldn’t feed dogs chicken bones because they would splinter. Is this not the case?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Cooked bones can splinter. Raw bones are soft and safe to feed, but you want to supervise to make sure your dog chews up the bones.

  110. Thank you for what I have learned from you about feeding my dog raw food. I have always thought that chicken and other dairy products are not allowed for dogs. My shih tzu keeps on scratching and gnawing all the time on his paws. What could be the reason for this? Hope to hear from you on this.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Chicken is fine for most dogs, although it is possible for some dogs to be allergic. They generally shouldn’t need dairy products, although I do give my dog some yogurt once a week or so. They need calcium, but they should be getting that through bones. Each dog is different. If your dog’s paws are itchy, I would be tempted to think it’s due to an allergy related to the grass or something on the street or carpet in your home. It would be a good discussion to have with a vet.

      1. you can’t rely on bones to give your dog the proper amount of Calcium. Dicalcium Phosphate is available at most feed and tack stores. this is an important vitamin especially when on a home made or raw diet.

    2. Definitely discuss the paw-chewing with your vet, but other than possible food allergies, it could be caused by boredom/anxiety, spinal misalignment (it can make the feet tingle), or all the stuff your dog picks up on a walk (oil, grit, pesticides, bacteria, fungi, etc). I wash my dogs’ feet in a bowl of water with povidone iodine (Betadine) after our walks and gently towel dry (in between the toes, too). This has reduced my male’s foot licking (which started with allergies and became habit/self-soothing), and I know that when he DOES lick, he’s not licking off all the junk from outside.

  111. I really want to start my dogs on a raw diet, but I am so confused after all the research I have done. I have three Chihuahuas that are from 3 pounds up to 7 pounds. Everyone has a different opinion about what to feed – supplements or no supplements, veggies, fruits, or not. Large bones or small bones. They say “go big” with small dogs, but can they really handle a big bone and especially if they have bad teeth? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Here is a post I wrote about veggies. There is no clear answer really. Some say dogs are omnivores. Others say carnivores. Most vets say they are omnivores, but most vets also approve of corn based kibbles.

      http://www.thatmutt.com/2013/01/26/raw-dog-food-do-dogs-need-fruits-and-veggies/

      Chicken should be ok for your little ones. I would start with thighs or quarters. The bones are soft and will not hurt their teeth. They shouldn’t choke because the pieces will be too big to swallow. Just supervise and encourage them to crunch on the bones. Beef bones can break teeth since the bones are stronger. Each dog is different and some do ok, but I do not give beef or pork bones.

      Hope that helps. My raw feeding guide has more info if you haven’t read it. http://www.thatmutt.com/ebooks/10-easy-raw-dog-food-recipes/

    2. I have saved my then 9 year old diabetic Shepard chihuahua mix Now 13 year old with a home made diet.
      I cook large batches of protein (wild game scraps with fat and muscle meat, salmon, etc…) large batches of equal parts carrots and green beans,or instead of carrots use sweet potato. greens such as kale, spinach, and beet greens, then I measure out the portions along with cottage cheese & dicalcium Phosphate (which is an essential vitamin needed when feeding a home made diet), into quart freezer bags and store each meal in the freezer.

      I think you can do this with raw food as well, but you may need to cook and blend the veggies.
      you also do not want to feed your dog raw salmon. I have heard of something called salmon poisoning that only happens to dogs. Usually Raw salmon makes them throw up anyway.
      blueberries, salmon berries and raspberries are great to add to your dogs food or give as a treat. Wolves eat these in the wild for vitamin c, they also eat things like chickweed and grass shoots (although you might want to research this more).
      I try to give a small amount of coconut oil as well for a bit more fat content.

    3. I usually toss out anything a veterinarian says about nutrition for dogs. Unless they are a canine nutrition specialist – which is rare for common small animal vets. Also, like Lindsay said, most vets approve corn based dry food. Yuck.

      There are other good resources on raw diets that you can find online, too, they parallel this article and some give info on small dogs. For Chi-Wow-Wows I would stick with small bird bones – cornish game hens, chicken tracheas and ribs. I supplement calcium when I don’t feed bones – so you may want to skip bones and give a calcium supplement. Baked, ground egg shells are an amazing source. I give my dog 1 TSP as a supp – he’s 60#. For your Wows a little goes a long way. Other things you can do for bone nutrients is make a bone broth. Throw in some bones (any kind, in fact bigger marrowy bones are better) in a crockpot and cover with water. Cook on high for 24 hours . Toss bones and serve liquid over some rice. Good stuff there! Look up bone broth for dogs.
      Veggies? I give pumpkin, sweet potato, and green beans. 1/2c total for my 60# guy everyday. He has sensitivities and the fiber helps him potty better, but I don’t count it as part of his 2-3%. He gets rice or oatmeal during high intensity times, but Wows likely don’t need it so it can be a treat if you want to feed it.

  112. I feed a prey-model raw diet to my border collie/terrier mix, so no veggies or a very minimal amount. If I put meat and veggies side by side, she will always go for the meat, no exceptions. My husband hunts so she gets venison meat and offal, the entire antler which is really a sight to see :). She mainly eats chicken quarters or backs and necks and any other meat I find on sale. I fed her pork side ribs yesterday morning and her afternoon poop had three 1-inch pieces of bone in it which is the first time I’ve ever seen bone come out that end of the dog. She has been eating bone-in meat since 9 weeks old, and we have had zero problems. Trying to figure out what her adult body weight will be is a problem as she’s a rescue mutt, but she will happily eat 2 pounds and then try to steal more food. I once dropped a 3-lb freezer burnt deer brisket while trying to cut it up and she grabbed that thing and ran like the wind. She ate all 3 pounds in one sitting and still came looking for more.

    Quality is important as well. I thought she developed a dislike for chicken as I would give her a thigh and she would eat the skin and then bury the rest outside. I finally realized that it was Wal-mart chicken (first time I’ve bought meat there), and she wasn’t burying any other chicken. I’ll stick to my local butcher and the better grocery stores from now on.

    My parents grew up in Europe on farms and always had dogs. Back then, every single part of the animal (pig/lamb, etc.) was needed for people food. Dogs would get table scraps and whatever they could catch such as rabbits, rats, etc. My mother was horrified at dog poop in North America, because she had never seen anything so big and stinky. My mom still doesn’t “get” kibble. She calls it McDonald’s for dogs.

    Again, thanks for a great blog, Lindsay!

  113. At age 2 my Doberman girl was a mess. Constant diarrhea, stomach upset, bladder infections, gummy eyes, ear infections, dry flakey skin, irritable and hard to train, and very gassy. My trainer suggested a raw meat diet and I worked out an easy to make formula. In only one week her diarrhea stopped and in 1 month she was a different dog. I had been feeding a good quality dry food that my former Dobes did well on. The vet had recommended a dry food that made her worse. The formula that worked best was 60% raw meat, just about anything I could find cheap, 20% cooked sweet potatoes and 20% cooked vegetables, 1 lb. of liver for 5 lbs meat. After I found a butcher that had meat and organ scraps I added 1/2 lbs bone dust from the cutting saw. I make a big batch every two weeks and freeze it. Robin is now 6 and a beautiful, slender, very healthy girl. Low vet bills more than compensate for the cost of the food, only $120 a month.

  114. Hello I have a question, me and my sister have dogs and one of them is really high allergy for like potatos fish pigs duck and goose and many grains, like wheat I think, so I wanna try do just give them raw food, do you recommended it?
    the dog is feeling so terrible because in all dry dog food in my country there is always something she cant eat mostly some grains,

    so my question is do you think we should let our dogs on raw ?

  115. I’m a believer in the raw food diet but my recommendation would be to find a Holistic Vet who can talk to you about the specific needs of your dog. I found one in Burlington VT. at the Qi Vet Clinic. My dog Molly has a certain makeup that was determined by the Qi Vet Clinic which would require her to eat and not eat certain foods. It’s important to know what your dog’s specific needs are.
    Ann Noel

  116. In response to Sigrun, annoel is right, find a good holistic vet that can help you put together a good raw meat formula. It’s not rocket science and very simple. I observed wolves eating and realized they eat the stomach, organs, brains first then finish with the muscles, bones and marrow. Dogs have a very short digestive system and cannot digest vegetables and grains easily (reason for gas) so they let the herbivores digest the veggies for them and take advantage of the vitamins, fiber, and minerals in the stomach and intestines. All the good stuff is also in the organs.
    In the 1930’s slaughter houses figured out a way to get rid of their offal, make dog food and process it so much that humans would not realize what they were feeding their dog. All the enzymes, vitamins, minerals were processed out and so had to be added back in, but in a synthetic manner. By feeding your dog raw , unprocessed meat, bones, organs you are giving your friend the food he evolved on. Cooking veggies (carrots, green beans, kale, turnip greens,) and carbs (peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, ect.) will simulate the partial digestion of a herbivore and the dog can digest it easily, no gas. Just forget grains, unless you want to spend most of your time at the vet.
    Vets will say, No raw food! Really, they have been brain washed by dog food manufactures. Most of the meat I obtain is leftover meat scraps from a butcher, food that I could eat safely. Besides, a dogs digestive system can tolerate less than fresh food better than humans. Oh, and people food, come on, what did dogs live on for thousands of years before meat packing plants invented ‘dog food’, Just remember the calorie intake needs to be watched to keep your friend slender and healthy. No junk food, it will force you to eat healthy too.
    Remember, no sugar, spices, garlic, onion or salt, you are not eating it, make sure there is adequate fat,(animal fat only) that comes from meat scraps and bone saw dust. A dog needs fat to digest food. Apples and bananas , pears are great, no grapes or raisins.
    My girl at first did not like the food so I gently cooked it in the oven. Over two weeks I slowly left more and more raw until all of it was raw. She still does not like raw chicken so I hide it in the raw beef. Now she wolfs down her food. You will feed a lot more than dry food, lots of moisture in a raw meat diet. My 85lb Dobe gets 22 oz twice a day (2 1/2 cups), and maybe several treats and a chewy during the day. When she needs to do some weight loss I increase the percent of veggies. Robin’s slender dog mix is 5 lbs, meat and organs, 5 lbs, veggies, 5 lbs carbs (sweet potatoes) and 1/2 lb bone saw dust.( Bone saw dust has bone dust, marrow, fat and muscle, I can tell the difference when it is not included).
    Wishing you a happy and health dog

  117. I started feeding my Dane raw chicken leg and thighs along with brown rice and wheat germ, eggs and veggies. He now has a shiny coat and is no longer battling diarrhea. He’s gained weight and is no longer skin and bones. My hubby worries about him eating raw bones. Will these hurt the Dane?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Raw chicken bones should be fine. They are soft and easy to digest. I do worry more about raw pork and beef bones because they can crack a dog’s teeth.

      1. I have found pork ribs (especially baby back) are actually quite soft. I can cut through them with my meat scissors. (It does make using said scissors a little scary, though, knowing that those ribs are thicker/harder than my finger bones). I personally use whole turkey wings as my bone content, however, because my dogs don’t do well on chicken, and my 11yo dog can no longer handle the ribs.

          1. So long as your dog is getting the appropriate amount of calcium from bones and you’re providing plenty of variety elsewhere, there is no need to feed something you’re uncomfortable with. I started with pork ribs because I knew my dogs couldn’t have chicken and I was too scared to start with turkey. Turns out they are fine with turkey, which is great because turkey wings are half the price of pork ribs, and I only have to feed about half as much turkey because they are about 30% bone, whereas pork ribs are only about 17% bone. Ends up being 1/4 of the price to feed turkey in the end!

  118. Gatorade… Give your pup Gatorade to drink. 1/2 & 1/2 with water. That will help plenty when restoring electrolytes. I used orange Gatorade with my Dane when he threw up. Worked like a charm.

  119. I have 2 Dobermans. Just a quick note about the chicken portion of my dog’s raw diet. I have found a chicken processor that sells 40 lb boxes of ground chicken backs & necks. I believe they call it MSM. It cost me $40 (Canadian) a box. I feed approx. 70% per day of the MSM and add my other stuff like muscle meats, organ meats, and veggie glop. The MSM is very easy to portion out, mix up, weigh, and freeze. Nice for making patties. Economical too.

  120. hi I have two labs, they have been fed a dried food, a very expensive dried food, done ok up to now, but just lately my male Sidney has started to loose a lot of fur, his coat looks lifeless and bad condition, my vet has suggested a raw diet for them, but to be honest iam baffled by all the information, my labs weigh 32 and 35 kg I think it is, I just cant work out how much meat and veg they would need, mine are fed twice a day and always have been, were both brought up on natures diet as pups with mixure, please can anyone tell me where to start and what bone dust is please, julie

  121. I have a 2 year old bullmastiff/boxer rescue pup. When i got him from the shelter, he was a magnificent looking dog. 105-110 Lb. of solid muscle, energetic and happy. I was told he was fed half raw, half kibble as his diet. His stool was huge and very smelly (20′ away smelly). I found out later on this could be due to a GI issue. He has been off and on diarrhea since ive gotten him (more so on with the diarrhea). His weight has fluctuated from 100-90 LB. this entire time. I have taken him to the vet for answers. The vets ( yes PLURAL) I have taken him to have run blood work and stool samples. Each one has given him a clean bill of health. I have tried pumpkin, prebiotic yogurt, prebiotic/probiotic powder, grain free kibble, and all natural cooked dog food from “just food for dogs” (for sensitive stomachs). all have failed. I am losing my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!! He itches a lot, shakes his ears, has hot spots, and is miserable. I want to help him but i dont know how. Neither do the vets apperently as well. I have not tried raw yet though. what recipe could you give me to start him on raw chicken? I am convinced this is the way to go for him. although a lot of people (friends and family) have been giving me a hard time relating to RAW feeding.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Raw chicken is a good place to start. Since he is a large dog, start with big pieces like chicken leg quarters. Don’t worry about “recipes” right away. You can add as you go. I’d start with chicken and then try some boneless pork if all goes well.

    2. Hi Kevin, my dog Harley was healthy as can be till he got an infection and went on antibiotics at 11 months he’s 2 years old now, he was scratching like crazy shaking his head, losing hair from scratching, I’ve tried a ton of stuff that hasn’t worked but i was introduced to Dr Maggies skin and coat supplement about a month ago and my baby’s scratching less and has new hair growing in every where in such a short amount of time. i’m giving him the puppy does 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs and it’s working miracles , he also gets raw and kibble diet

  122. i obtained 2 havanese from a girl who worked all the time and hated leaving them at home, when i got them about 6 wks ago now, i started feeding them homecooked food as they absolutely refused to touch the kibble that was taste of the wild hated it and after the food recalls that hurt my previous dog i was very reluctant to buy more dry food etc. so i started reasearching and feeding them
    a variety of food, eggs, chicken, beef liver, chicken hearts,turkey, pumpkin, apple, parsely, red pepper, celery i added safflower oil, and right before serving i added bone meal calcium
    and kelp , as well as nutritional yeast a few times a week.
    they used to have alot of tearing when i first got them, that is gone, they have put on some wait, never had loose stools, and seem to be thriving better on this as they for sure would not touch the other. i first gave them fresh pet, which they liked so much that is what pushed me to do this, i enjoy cooking for them.. i give them canned mackeral that i rinse first to make sure their is not too much salt, which they love, usually 2x a week, and cottage cheese as well, they don’t like yogurt but will eat the cottage cheese. one of them eats virtually anything i make, but the boy is a little picky which havanese are known for.. he wants me to hand feed him, and also i noticed that the girl havanese always eats first and he waits to see if anything is left, so i have to watch her as she will eat all of the food. i hide the kelp formula under the bottom of the food, as they are not crazy about it but once they eat and get to the bottom it is licked up with the other food and they don’t seem to notice it. i usually cook chicken thighs, with celery, and then any other meat i will add first , then put in blender, and add the parsely, apple, red pepper, and pumpkin, sometimes i do add rice or egg noodles .. blend it all together add eggs blend and then roll it into a roll where i can cut off a slice and heat it up..
    i am getting better at judging how much to feed them, and as when i got them they had a thing about eating anything out of a plate, bowl or other and liked just eating from the floor, at least now i have them eating out of a plate, so we are making progress..
    they are truly loveable sweet dogs, and are adjusting daily to their new surroundings, settling in and doing so well. this month i have to find a vet i like and get them to the vet.
    so far so good..
    i recommend feeding your dog homecooked food, i think i threw away so much of their kibble it was too expensive just to end up being thrown away..
    and they seem to be thriving well. now.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Wow, so inspiring! Congrats on your new dogs. Everything seems to be going really well so far. I’m sure they absolutely love the new food. Thank you for sharing what you feed them to give the rest of us some ideas.

    2. Lisa,
      I am a RVT and one of my co-workers, Heather, has her cat on a raw diet that she has done a lot of research on and consulted with a vet that is a cat guru. She has a blog if you would like to check it out with her raw diet advice and recipes. rawdietforcats.blogspt.com

  123. I am so glad you have these tips on here! I am wanting to convert my Gerberian Shepsky- Ricochet (Ricka) on the raw diet. Seeing all the medical problems with dogs now and days, and their behaviors from being on kibble makes me so paranoid and wanna make sure my pup is thriving. My issue though is my budget. I don’t make that much plus i’m a student, but my dog is child and she’s starting to get chubby. I’m just not fully sure where to start. Some say chicken, others say beef or so on . It’s kinda confusing haha. I’m glad you have all this on here though. It’s wonderful help and not filled with Nazi Pup parent “facts” haha.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’d start with chicken. It is the most affordable and it’s also an easy way to include edible bone.

  124. Pingback: Raw Dog Food Diet

  125. Helen Gruenhut

    I am feeding my two dogs raw, however I am confused about weight of food, if they are eating
    meat with bones. Do you still feed the same weight amount, if bones are included??
    Thanks for your answer

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, that’s what I do. I don’t actually weigh the food anymore but it helps when you’re first starting.

  126. Julie Barker

    Hi Linda, I have a little shoodle (shih tzu toy poodle), 5 months. I am trying raw to assist with dental care. She has been eating a chicken neck, takes about 20mins , i think she is savouring so no gulping. I have read that the chicken pieces should be bigger than the dogs head but since she is a nice slow eater for now was wondering if chicken winglets could work. I did try a wing but was worried when she munched and swallowed some bone. Do you think if the dog chews enough the chicken bones will be soft enough. many thanks, Julie

  127. Julie Barker

    Also, about the veges. As dogs digestive tract is shorter and faster processing time is it easier for them to digest lightly steamed veges or can you just pulverise raw and mix with the meat – thanks , very new to your site and love it!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Julie. The concern with chicken bones is that they could choke on a bone. Since your dog seems to be taking her time and eating carefully it seems like she would do ok with wings but you would just want to watch her. The choking is the concern. They can generally digest raw chicken bones just fine. Each dog is different so it’s about knowing your dog, supervising, introducing things slowly.

  128. My scottie has skin problems. I have given her chicken a lot, and chicken necks for calcium. I decided to take her off of all chicken, even eggs.

    My butcher gave me bonemeal from his shop made when they saw meat with bones. He told me to be careful not to give my dog too much at a time because it is so rich that too much could cause diarrhea. Chicken necks have a lot of fat on them, so I’m wondering if the bone meal with meat, bones, bone marrow, and fat is richer than chicken necks. I gave her about a tablespoon of the marrow last night with about a third cup of ground turkey. What do you think?

  129. I have a 12 year old long haired miniature Daschund. I used to feed him a high quality dry dog food with a little canned food with water to make a gravy. Every couple of weeks he’d have an off day…his stomach would be gurgling, he wouldn’t eat, and he’d lay around all day. He shed like crazy, his skin was dry and flakey, his paws were dry and rough and he had terrible teeth. But, weirdly, he was a happy dog! And the Vet said he was healthy! I happened to see a recipe for raw dog food on Pinterest and I delved into the world of homemade dog food with a passion. Duncan has been on raw food for a little over a year now. No off days. Skin is no longer dry and flakey, his paws are smooth, his ears never get gunk in them and he has started chewing again. He used to be a great chewer but slowly stopped due to bad teeth. I give him chicken bones and beef soup bones. The soup bones are big and he works on them for several days.
    I wondered if I should be giving him grains but after some research, I know he’s fine without them. He gets chicken or beef, livers, hearts, gizzards, eggs with the shells, veggies. I give him Omega 3 oil and a supplement for his joints (for the back issues these dogs sometimes develop and he likes to jump!) His goodies consist of carrots, apples mainly. He still looks like a young dog. And doesn’t sleep as much as most male Daschunds after the age of 2.
    To all the people that are a little freaked about what to include in their dog’s diet….all I have to say is that many of us fed our dogs the exact same thing every day for years! Start simple. Experiment a little. Read a lot. Watch your dog.

  130. Thanks this article was helpful and practical. I especially appreciated seeing how to calculate an amount to start my dog on.

    Anyone have recipe recommendations for smaller dogs? I have a chihuahua mix and we are looking into if he is having liver or digestive issues.
    Also, How do you know what to include nutrition wise when making a recipe for your dog?

  131. Loved reading your article. Even though it is based on your own science and beliefs, I thoroughly enjoyed reading how everything you do is for the benefit of your dogs. Everyone will never agree on the same things, scientifically tested or not. No dog is the same, nor are the needs of everything individual dog. I have 2 boxers, who for those that don’t know; are prone to allergies, cancer, hip and joint issues, Head tremors, you name it a boxer is prone to it. I’ve been feeding my two raw for 3 1/2 years, they will be 4 next week. Not only do they devour their meals, their overall health thus far is astronomical. Thanks for sharing your opinions and I wish the world would be more open minded about something a lot of people are ignorant to.

  132. Hi My Name is Triane
    My daughter and I adopted
    pittbull terrier in August
    so right now we are feeding Bella raw food beef and sweet potatoes and mix it with grain free food. I’m not sure if that’s a good for her.
    So that’s why I have decided to start making her raw food and also continue too mix it with her dry food.
    Help we love our Bella!!
    Thanks!

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