The idea of feeding your dog a raw vegan diet is extremely appealing. After all, dogs were meant to eat the food that is best for them. Dogs are part of the predatory canine family, which means they were meant to eat only the highest quality foods, such as raw meats, bones, and organs. Dogs are carnivores and, as such, they need to eat a diet that is rich in animal protein, which is why raw vegan diets are so popular with dogs.

Dogs are carnivores by nature. They need meat and bone to survive and thrive, and the protein in bone is especially important for dogs with certain health conditions. If your dog is suffering from any of these health issues, it’s important to consider switching to a raw food diet.

Did you see our previous article on 8 reasons why the keto diet might be right for your puppy? If this is the case, you can go one step further and feed your dog raw food.

Dog food as we know it has come a long way since people started keeping dogs as pets. Unfortunately, the development is going in the wrong direction! Like modern human food, industrially processed dog food would be unrecognizable to your puppy’s ancestors. This is not something their bodies were designed for and it can prevent them from enjoying optimal health.

If you’ve been on a keto diet for any length of time, you know how much better life is when you give your body the right nutrition and eat the foods your body needs to process effectively. Why not do the same for your furry friend?

Today we explain how to feed your dog raw food, and how your pet can enjoy the benefits of such a diet without breaking the bank.

Why choose a raw food for your dog?

The raw diet for dogs has been adopted by the Ancestral Diet, which is based on the belief that dogs are healthiest when they eat the foods that nature intended for their species. The goal of the ancestral diet is to provide the same nutritional profile that dogs got from eating their prey, thousands of years before the invention of kibble.

Your puppy’s ancestors were primarily carnivores and their diet was highly competitive because they hunted in packs. Their diet consisted of about 55% protein, 30% fat and 15% carbohydrates. Although dogs have evolved to process carbohydrates better due to their proximity to humans, they are still inefficient at this process. It’s a familiar concept to anyone following the keto diet!

Wild dogs had a digestive system that helped their bodies process raw meat, and they never ate wheat. The same digestive mechanisms that enabled dogs to digest raw meat make it much more difficult for modern domestic dogs to eat a diet of complex carbohydrates.

If a dog dies without protein or fat, it does not need starch or carbohydrates. Follow this link to discover all the benefits of eliminating carbohydrates from your dog’s diet.

Although raw meat may seem distasteful to us humans, it is important for dogs to eat raw meat to preserve the enzymes in the meat that are necessary for digestion.

If you feed your dog food without these enzymes, his pancreas has to work overtime to produce them itself. This impairment of the pancreas is associated with both acute and chronic disease in dogs fed primarily processed foods.

While there aren’t as many medical studies showing the benefits of raw food as we’d like, the anecdotal evidence is compelling. Pet owners report many improvements in skin and coat, immunity, general energy level, athletic ability, fertility, and relief from various illnesses in dogs that eat raw food.

What is the raw food ration for my dog?

The amount of raw food needed per dog depends on its weight. For example, a 15 kg dog eats approximately one pound of meat per day. However, meat is not the only food source for your dog. Here’s the list of raw foods your dog needs for optimal health:

  • Lean meat. Ideally, 75-80% of your dog’s diet should consist of raw, lean, muscle meat. Good choices are beef, bison, turkey, lamb, pork and chicken. Your dog also needs some fat, but be careful not to give him too much. This is one of the most common mistakes dog owners make when starting with a raw diet.
  • Bones. About 10-15% of your dog’s raw food should consist of bones. They are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B12 and E. Your dog can’t survive without these essential elements, and he can’t get them all from meat alone, so don’t skip the bones. Offer your dog chicken wings, necks, legs or thighs, turkey necks, oxtail bones (for large dogs), lamb or goat necks and ribs. You can also feed your dog whole animals, such as fish, rabbit and poultry. Another option is to feed your dog fresh shelled eggs, as they contain a good balance of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Bodies. The rest of your dog’s raw food (about 10%) should consist of organs rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B. Choline. Organs rich in nutrients include the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, thymus, brain, lungs and testicles.
  • Fruit and vegetables (optional). By feeding your dog the above mentioned amount of meat, bones and organs, you ensure a balanced raw diet with sufficient vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy. Fruits and vegetables offer unique benefits that your dog cannot get from animal products. Your dog’s ancestors ate herbs and berries in search of prebiotics, chlorophyll, carotenoids, lycopene, lutein and flavonoids. When giving your puppy fruits and vegetables, try to avoid starchy varieties like peas and potatoes.

For more practical advice on feeding your dog raw, check out this helpful infographic and a sample weekly raw feeding plan on the Dogs Naturally website.

How to feed your dog raw food without breaking the bank

If money is no object, you can find excellent commercial food with excellent ingredient lists on the internet and in pet stores. But there are many ways to save money!

  • Buy local. National availability comes with significant hidden costs for raw dog food producers. Fortunately, there are regional brands that usually work exclusively with local, independent pet stores. You may never see these cheaper brands on the shelves of chain stores. So call your local pet store and ask about the local brands they recommend. Grocery stores and farms often sell locally produced raw dog food.
  • Look for a brand that only produces meat. Recently, it has become increasingly common, especially among local raw food brands, to offer only meat and organs for a raw diet. Coordinating the supply of meat is usually the most expensive part of raw feeding, but once this is done, it’s pretty easy to supplement each meal with mashed sweet potatoes or a meal of bones. You can even try goat milk or fillings.
  • Talk to your butcher. Some butchers make raw dog food! You can use cuts of meat that your human customers are not normally interested in, which means a lower price for you. Even if they don’t regularly sell dog food, many butchers will save cheaper pieces for you if they know you’re interested. Butchers can also be an excellent source of raw bones.
  • Buy in bulk and make your own products. As with any other company, you can save a lot of money by buying in bulk. Go to your local store and use a meat grinder to prepare a month’s supply of pet food for the freezer. If you don’t need that much food to justify a bulk purchase, ask like-minded dog owners if they would like to join you in a bulk purchase.
  • Supplement your dog’s diet. This is a great way to transition your puppy to a raw food without making a financial commitment or pressuring your dog to become the sole source of nutrition right away. Add raw meat when possible, crack a raw egg into the food or look for commercial options that offer some of the benefits of raw food without the high cost. Ask your veterinarian about raw food supplements or kibble, which contain freeze-dried raw kibble.
  • Share your leftovers. If you stick to the keto diet, much of what you eat is probably good for your dog too! The minced meat left over from Taco Tuesday is an excellent source of protein. Salmon skin is a good source of fat. The fat from your steak and leftover green beans can add real nutrients to your dog’s diet.

In general, raw food is pretty intuitive and easy once you get started with it. You can start this gradually as you and your furry friend get used to this new way of eating. Over time, you and your pet should notice the difference and be happy with the changes in diet!

Message from Maddie Miller

Maddie Miller, MFA, is an animal-loving writer who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her Belgian Malinois, Freya. His areas of expertise are rational nutrition, behavioral training with positive reinforcement, and the benefits of CBD oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I feed my dog on a raw diet?

The amount of food you feed your dog will depend on the size of your dog, how active they are, and their age. For a general guideline, we recommend feeding 1/4 cup per 10 pounds of body weight.

How many times a day do you feed a dog on a raw diet?

A raw diet is not a meal plan, so it’s hard to say how many times a day you feed your dog.

Is a raw food diet good for dogs?

A raw food diet is not recommended for dogs.

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