Over the past several years, I’ve fed all of my dogs a raw dog food diet. I’ve alternated between buying pre-made, commercial raw dog food and putting my dogs’ own raw meals together myself.
Nothing beats the convenience of dishing out a balanced, store-bought raw meal, but it is more expensive. One of our favorite brands is our sponsor, Darwin’s! (aff link)
While it takes more effort to come up with recipes for my pups’ raw meals myself, it’s more cost effective. I combine different ingredients from a variety of sources such as raw pet food retailers, grocery stores and farmers markets.
The recipe below is an example of one of Missy’s & Buzz’s raw meals.
Example of Balanced Raw Dog Food Recipe
I put this raw meal together following the basic raw feeding formula of:
- 80% muscle meat
- 10% raw meaty bones
- and 10% organs
You’ll notice that the meal features a variety of protein sources. The reasoning behind this is to keep mealtime interesting. It also ensures the pups get all the different minerals and vitamins they need. Different cuts of meat from different animals contain different nutrients.
Balance the raw meals over time
Not every single raw dog food meal has to be balanced and consist of muscle meat, raw meaty bones and organs.
Instead, try to achieve a balanced nutrition over the course of 7-10 days. Sometimes I’ll only serve a chicken leg quarter or a duck frame for one meal, and then make sure to add organs in the next meal.
The same applies to different protein sources. Not every single meal your dog eats has to consist of cuts of meat from different animals. You could feed chicken for 2 days and then switch to beef the following two, etc.
I base my protein choices around meat deals found both online and in brick and mortar stores. I also typically stock up when I see organic ground turkey or beef on sale at the grocery store.
If I don’t end up feeding the meat the day I purchase it, it’s going into the freezer for a few weeks until I need it.
I purchased the ingredients for this raw dog food recipe from 3 different places:
- Raw Feeding Miami (duck wing, turkey gizzards, ground beef lung, ground green tripe, beef oxlip, organ mix Monstermash)
- Local Farmer’s Market (chicken foot)
- Grocery Store (canned pumpkin purée & organic egg)
I added some canned pumpkin purée and an organic egg including its shell for an extra nutritional boost.
Pumpkin purée is rich in fiber and good for the digestive tract. Eggs are a complete source of protein because they contain all 8 essential amino acids. They’re also full of minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. See our article, can dogs have raw eggs?
Example of balanced raw dog food recipe:
(To view larger or print, click here.)
It only takes Missy & Buzz a fraction of the time I spent putting their meals together to clean out their bowls, that’s how much they love their fresh food!
I’m particularly pleased with how enthusiastic Buzz is about the raw meals. He used to be a very finicky eater back when the pups ate kibble and wet food.
I constantly had to rotate brands and flavors and come up with a variety of meal toppers to get him to eat. Sometimes he’d even walk away from his bowl. I suppose it was his subtle way of telling me to switch things up!!
What are you feeding your dog this week? Do you have any questions about raw feeding?
Let us know in the comments!
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Related raw feeding articles:
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for That Mutt about feeding her dog a raw dog food diet. She is a blogger and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.
Tuesday 28th of April 2020
I'm wondering if you serve the meat whole, like the chicken wings, legs, etc. or grind it all up? Also, do you figure about 2 lbs of meat stuff for a 70 lb dog?
Wednesday 11th of April 2018
I'm starting to study now to change my dog's food from dog food to a balanced diet.
Your recipes have helped me. I confess I have a bit of disgust at seeing these ingredients but if it is necessary for his well-being, I will do for sure.
I will look for more materials to continue learning with you! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Saturday 14th of April 2018
Yay! I'm happy that you're finding the information on raw feeding helpful and I think it's awesome that you're being proactive and researching a healthy diet for your dog.
I admit that it took some getting used to handling all the different cuts of meat at first (especially heads, hearts, and lungs), but now it doesn't bother me anymore :)
It would be awesome if you would share a picture of a raw meal once your dog is part of the raw feeding club!
Enjoy the journey, it's a rewarding one!
Thursday 5th of April 2018
i feed my girls a combination of kibble, raw venison, steamed peas, carrots and kale, goats milk kefir, non fattening plain greek yogurt. sometimes i will give them sardines in water or cook salmon for them. the venison is human grade.
Friday 6th of April 2018
Nice, sounds like a great smorgasbord, especially the venison. My guys have had some before, but not on a regular basis because it's not the most inexpensive protein to buy and I don't know any hunters ;-)