Homemade raw dog food recipes

Homemade raw dog food diet recipes

Ebook by Lindsay Stordahl

In this post I share my own experience learning to feed my dog a raw dog food diet. You can learn how to feed homemade raw dog food by following some of the recipes in this post.

My ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes” is now available here. The cost is $9, and it includes a guide to raw feeding. Learn more about the book here.
















Feeding raw dog food

First, I’m going to tell you a bit about my raw-feeding experience. For some free homemade raw dog food recipes, just scroll down.

I have been feeding my mutt Ace a commercial raw dog food from a company called Stella & Chewy’s. This is the most convenient way to feed a dog raw food. All I do is de-frost the raw chicken patties over night and toss the food in his bowl at mealtimes. It’s almost as easy as feeding dry dog food.

Of course, the main downside to feeding commercial raw dog food is the price. Ace is a 67-pound black lab/hound mix. A 6-pound bag of raw food from Stella & Chewy’s is roughly $27 and will last my dog just four days. It costs about $200 to feed him Stella & Chewy’s for one month. $$$$!

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.

If you still want to feed your dog raw, you can save money if you buy all the ingredients yourself. These ingredients would be foods like raw beef or raw chicken meat, raw organs like hearts, raw bones and raw veggies.

“Most of us do not have $200 in our monthly budgets for dog food. ”

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.

How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?

Raw dog food diet recipes

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.

(Your dog’s weight in ounces) x .02 = roughly the amount of food your dog should eat in ounces per day. (16 ounces equals 1 pound)

According to the above example, my 67 pound dog should be eating 21.44 ounces of food per day. 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.

I asked some readers and friends of mine to share some of their raw dog food “recipes.”

Free homemade raw dog food recipes

*My ebook has 10 additional recipes. Learn more here.

These raw dog food recipes 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.

This following recipe is from Ace’s friend Biggie.

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.

Here’s another easy raw food recipe from a friend of mine:

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.

The example below is from a blogger and trainer:

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.

In addition to the Kongs, a large portion of their daily food intake also comes from treats. Their owner typically follows the breakdown of 80 percent meat, 5 percent liver, 5 percent other organs and 10 percent edible bone. Vegetables are sometimes fed as treats.

The next recipe is from a reader and her dog with special dietary needs. Pumpkin paws are not intended as a meal for most dogs, but they make a great treat.

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!

Ebook on raw feeding by Lindsay StordahlLearn more about raw feeding with my ebook “10 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes.” Learn more about the book here.

Some reminders about feeding raw dog food:

  • Some fruits and vegetables are not good for dogs such as grapes, onions and avocados.
  • 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. For more information on making your dog’s meals, see my post on how to feed your dog raw food.

Update on feeding my dog raw food – day 39

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

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

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. I am thinking about feeding Ace homemade raw dog food for one meal and commercial raw dog food for the second meal until I feel more comfortable making his food myself.

Ace was on antibiotics to treat pneumonia during the second week of this raw food trial, so that interrupted our raw feeding plan. I switched him back to dry food while he was on antibiotics in order to determine the cause of his upset stomach. As I suspected, it was the antibiotics. He’s back to normal now, eating 100 percent raw and doing great!

Ace started eating raw food again on Monday. So I guess you could say today is really day 6 of his raw food trial all over again.

Gradual switch vs. quick switch

Back in the beginning of March when I first introduced Ace to raw dog food, I gradually switched him from dry dog food to raw dog food by mixing the two together over eight days. Since he had no trouble adjusting to the raw food during the gradual switch, I went ahead and switched his food with no transition this time. He’s doing awesome!

After the pneumonia scare and our weekend trip to the doggy ER a few weeks ago, I am a bit nervous about feeding Ace raw food again. He got sick on day 10 of this raw food trial, so I will be glad when we pass the 10-day point this time around. I realize pneumonia is not caused by diet, but there’s always that chance that something else was wrong. I’m just a worrier.

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.

“I don’t waste time trying to explain the diet to certain friends and family members. I know what’s best for my dog. ”

So, after just six days of 100 percent raw food, here are some updates on how Ace is doing:

Ear infections

Unfortunately Ace has been shaking his head around lately as though he has an ear infection. He gets about two ear infections a year so I haven’t been overly concerned about food allergies or environmental allergies. This is just something we deal with every six months or so. It may or may not be related to his diet.

Itchy skin/dandruff

Ace seems to be scratching a lot less and he has no visible dandruff. It has also been much warmer (until yesterday when it snowed!).We haven’t been running our heater or fireplace at all. I do still notice Ace chewing and licking his feet a lot, and licking, you know, there.

Teeth

I don’t expect to notice a difference in Ace’s teeth, and so far they do not appear any whiter. No surprise there.

Shedding

I don’t notice a difference in the amount of shedding, either.

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! He has no more diarrhea, which was caused by the antibiotics.

My dog is always thirsty

Once again, Ace is not as obsessive about water while eating raw food. I credit this to the higher moisture content in his food. He does seem to be burping and throwing up more often, though, similar to what happens when he does drink too much water at once. It’s usually water with some food substance that he throws up (not bile or foam), and it happens when he gets too excited.

Weight

Ace is a healthy 67.4 pounds. He hasn’t lost or gained any weight, although his weight fluctuated a bit while he had pneumonia.

Gray hair

I’m not expecting to see a change here. If anything, he has gotten more gray hair since starting the raw food. I guess this is just a natural part of aging – my boy is getting old! I can see more gray hair on his feet and legs now, probably because I’m actually looking for it.

Energy

My dog definitely has less energy than a year ago. He doesn’t go running with me very often anymore. We stick to walking. I haven’t noticed much of a change in his energy since he’s been eating raw. He is naturally a low- to medium-energy dog (unless you bring out a tennis ball or take him to agility practice). Plus, at 5 years old, he’s well into middle age for a dog his size.

Do you feed your dog homemade raw food?

Please share some examples of raw dog food “recipes” you have used.



Pin It

246 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. keys on July 1, 2012

    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!

  2. Donna on July 4, 2012

    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.

  3. Donna on July 4, 2012

    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. :)

  4. Rafiq yusuf on July 17, 2012

    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.

    • hayley on August 28, 2012

      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

  5. Jen Bur on August 11, 2012

    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.

    • hayley on August 28, 2012

      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! :-)

  6. Donna Hayes on August 12, 2012

    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 :)

  7. Donna Hayes on August 12, 2012

    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.

  8. Nate on August 25, 2012

    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!

  9. hayley on August 28, 2012

    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!

  10. Eliza on September 1, 2012

    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.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 4, 2012

      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.

  11. Donna on September 4, 2012

    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.

  12. Jamie on September 14, 2012

    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.

    • Darin on November 28, 2012

      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

      • Denni on January 10, 2013

        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!

  13. Jessica Sedmak on September 20, 2012

    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!!!!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 21, 2012

      Wonderful!

    • Denni on January 10, 2013

      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!

    • Payton on January 23, 2013

      I totally understand the portion sizes. I just need to know what exactly is recommended to actually feed the dogs.

  14. Jamie on September 20, 2012

    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).

    • Denni on January 10, 2013

      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!

      • Lindsay on January 10, 2013

        Just leave another comment and click the box to get notified.

  15. Tam on September 23, 2012

    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!

  16. Brittany on September 24, 2012

    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!

  17. michele on September 25, 2012

    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.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 26, 2012

      Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • Darin on October 14, 2012

      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!

    • hester on January 4, 2013

      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

      • michele on January 4, 2013

        Hester, Instead of going to Goggle go to pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. Then, in the blog search bar, type in “Joey.” That should bring it up. Another option is to simply click on this link: http://pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/12790/feeding-joey/

        I’m two batches behind in posting but I haven’t really changed anything except types of innards.

        best,
        michele

  18. michele on September 25, 2012

    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.

    • Blanca on October 1, 2012

      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.

    • Hope on November 26, 2012

      Where do you get duck and chicken necks, etc?

      • Darin on November 26, 2012

        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.

  19. Ty Brown on October 2, 2012

    I don’t do any fruits or veggies at all. I buy chicken legs, thighs, eggs, necks, heart, kidneys, stomach, liver, etc.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 2, 2012

      Good to know! Thanks!

    • Ashley on January 11, 2013

      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…

  20. michele on October 2, 2012

    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!

  21. anna- philippines on October 3, 2012

    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.

    • Darin on October 14, 2012

      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.

    • Shiloh BethEl on November 27, 2012

      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!

  22. Darin on October 14, 2012

    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

    • Hope on November 26, 2012

      Darin, how many baggies do you give Dakota per meal?

      • Darin on November 26, 2012

        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

        • Hope on November 26, 2012

          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

          • Darin on November 27, 2012

            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.

          • Darin on January 14, 2013

            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.

  23. michele on October 14, 2012

    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.

    • Darin on October 14, 2012

      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.

      • anna on October 15, 2012

        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.

  24. Gary on October 15, 2012

    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.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 18, 2012

      Thanks Gary!

      • Sila on January 14, 2013

        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).

        • Darin on January 14, 2013

          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.

        • Lindsay Stordahl Author on January 14, 2013

          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.

    • robin on November 7, 2012

      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

      • michele on November 7, 2012

        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.

      • Darin on January 14, 2013

        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.

  25. Carolyn on October 17, 2012

    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!

  26. Carolyn on October 17, 2012

    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!

  27. Mike & Kim Battle on October 20, 2012

    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!

  28. Wendy/Sampson on October 24, 2012

    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.

    • Darin on October 24, 2012

      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.

  29. Lori on October 27, 2012

    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

    • Donna on November 8, 2012

      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, :)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 10, 2012

      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.

  30. curt on November 8, 2012

    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.

  31. Ceejayed on November 9, 2012

    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!!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 10, 2012

      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.

  32. Tim Coley on November 27, 2012

    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.

    • chaselyn on December 31, 2012

      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?

  33. Temple on November 27, 2012

    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?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 27, 2012

      You could switch from beef to chicken or some other protein as the main ingredient.

    • Tim Coley on November 28, 2012

      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!

    • Darin on November 28, 2012

      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.

  34. michele on November 27, 2012

    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.

  35. michele on November 28, 2012

    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.

  36. Lacey on December 3, 2012

    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!

  37. John on December 4, 2012

    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!

    • Darin on December 4, 2012

      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.

      • Lindsay Stordahl Author on December 5, 2012

        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.

  38. michele on December 4, 2012

    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.

    • Darin on December 4, 2012

      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?

  39. michele on December 4, 2012

    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).

  40. John on December 5, 2012

    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!

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY?