Dogs Are Carnivores
Carbs and grains are not a natural part of a dog’s diet. Dogs cannot digest grains properly. When you feed your dog a grain-based dog food, it puts extra strain on their liver.
Remember: a dog’s DNA is 99% similar to a wolf’s DNA. They’re carnivores and they have evolved for millions of years to be carnivores. That’s why raw food diet dog owners advocate a diet rich with raw meat.
Raw Food Goes through Minimal Processing
The main advocates of this movement argue that giving your dog raw food is the right choice because raw food is unprocessed. It’s just whole food.
You know how modern dietary guidelines tell us to eat unprocessed, whole foods? Pet owners who back the raw food movement believe the same truth applies to dogs. Yes, we’re different species, but unhealthy food is unhealthy for both. Something that clogs your veins because its over-processed could also clog your dog’s veins.
When Food is Processed, It Can’t Be Truly Considered “All Natural”
As soon as your raw food becomes processed, it’s no longer “all natural”. Natural, to some people, implies that it’s taken straight from nature without going through any type of processing.
In reality, the term “natural” can be a bit blurred. Most food manufacturers label their products as natural when all the ingredients are whole foods that come straight from nature.
However, if you want to go “true” all natural, then raw food may be the best choice for you.
Raw Feeding a Dog Doesn’t Mean Giving It Raw Meat
There’s a misconception in the dog community where some people hear the term “raw feeding” and assume that an owner is feeding their dog raw meat. That’s not necessarily true. Raw feeding can consist of cooked meats as well. Some people still call it raw feeding when they serve cooked salmon to their dogs, for example.
How to Raw Feed your Dog
RawFedDogs.org recommends following a balanced raw food diet to ensure your animal gets its nutritional needs. that diet looks like this:
-80% meat, sinew, ligaments, and fat
-10% edible bone
-5% other organ meat
You don’t have to stick with this ratio at every meal. But aim to have this long-term balance in your dog’s diet.
The reason raw food diet fans recommend this mix to dog owners is because it contains a balanced blend of nutrients. Meats, for example, are high in phosphorus and bones are high in calcium.
How Much to Raw Feed your Dog
An average dog eats 2% to 3% of their bodyweight in food per day. When switching to a raw food diet, it’s recommended that you start with 2% of their bodyweight. For a 30kg dog, that’s 600g of food. For a 20kg dog, it’s 400g and for a 10kg dog, it’s 200g.
Gradually, once the dog’s stool starts to look healthy, you can safely increase raw feeding to 3% of their adult weight.
Tips and Tricks for Raw Feeding Your Dog
-Your dog’s diet shouldn’t consist of more than 10% organ meat (5% of that should be liver)
-When feeding your dog pork or salmon, freeze the meat for at least two weeks before feeding to kill any parasites (some people also cook the salmon to kill any bacteria)
-Avoid feeding cooked bones to your dog, as cooked bones can become brittle and break off in your dog’s mouth. Uncooked bones can also break off, but they’re softer and your dog’s digestive system is designed to handle it.
-Give your dog all parts of the animal, including chicken feet, beef trachea, tails, lung, kidney, testicles and pizzles (penis). These “weird and yucky” parts of the animal are often loaded with valuable nutrients like chondroitin and glucosamine that can help boost your dog’s joint health.
Make sure you talk to your vet before giving your dog a raw feeding diet. It’s not suited for all dogs, and some vets do not recommend it.