At home, your pup sits patiently in front of his bowl while you unpack the bag with a rustic outdoorsy label on the front and an over-sized winning blue ribbon up top. He wags his tail with a smile on his face. Oh those goo goo eyes get you every time. This is it! This bag of pebbly substance is for sure going to provide all the nutrients and supplements for your healthy dog. No doubt! The gentle sound of the pebbles hitting the metal bowl excites the both of you. Not long before you lift the bag, your furry ball is already devouring his meal. Such satisfaction! Walking back to the kitchen your eyes get a glimpse of the back label and a shocking jolt leaves you speechless. Eyes widened, none of the ingredients are pronounceable. A billboard of questions blast in your mind: “Is this really the best choice for my dog? Oh my gosh, what have I fed my baby? Could there be a different alternative?”
Sure there can. It is called a Raw Diet. “A what?” You may ask. Yes, you read right, feeding your dog raw meat and bones is becoming increasingly common. It is a lot more complex than cutting up some meat and chopping vegetables. This regimen may not be for every dog or dog parent and that is okay. However, if you are interested in making the change, but do not know where to start we are here to help you through the process.
What does a raw diet consist of?
A raw dog diet must always have:
- Calcium: 12% - 15% bone
- Ex: chicken wings, necks, legs, or thighs
- Multi-Vitamins: 10% - 30%
- Organs are the nutrient-rich parts of the animal which provide most of the vitamins for your dog to be healthy
- Ex: liver, kidney, spleen, testicles
- Once you have chosen your meaty bones and organs, the rest of the diet should consist of lean meats
- Ex: ground beef, turkey, lamb, and bison
- Keep Diet low in fats: no more than 10%
- Meats low in fat: chicken necks with no skin, pork loin, rabbit, chicken or turkey light meat with no skin
- Spruce the diet up with fruits and vegetables: juice them, puree them, or steam them first
- Benefits: add prebiotics (fiber), chlorophyll (detoxifier), Carotenoids (antioxidants)
- Keep it starch-free:
- Starchy food creates a hormone called insulin which causes your dog to store a lot of its food as fat. In addition, eating too much starch can disrupt the microbes that live in the digestive tract which help your baby’s immune system and vitamins.
- Feed Fish once a week: 5% of the whole diet
- Ex: sardines, smelts, herring, mackerel