Raw food diets are one of the healthiest, most popular diets for dogs. It is all the rage right now in the pet community and with a good reason. Raw diet provides a balanced diet and can help your dog with their body weight, and healthy development.
If you want to find out more about raw food and how much raw food your should feed your dog then stick to this article till the end.
What Are Raw Food Diets
Raw food doesn’t mean that you should feed your dog only raw meats. Raw food is every food that hasn’t been processed including fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, raw milk(milk that hasn’t been pasteurized), raw eggs, raw meaty bones, and of course, raw meats(including organ meat such as kidneys, liver, hears, and muscle meat),
Now, I know that there are major dilemmas when talking about how safe raw feeding actually is for your dog, and my answer to that is that it is pretty safe.
Of course, there are always some risks per example if your dog has some digestive issues or can simply not handle any heavier foods like raw meat. But otherwise, feeding your dog a raw food diet is completely safe and actually much healthier then feeding them dry food or canned food.
How To Feed Your Dog A Raw Food Diet Properly
Here are a couple of things all beginner raw feeders need to know before transitioning their pups to raw diets. Even though is much, much healthier for your dog to be on a raw feeding diet, there are some tips and tricks you absolutely need to know about raw diet.
- Always Start The The Switch As Slow As Possible- If your dog is a newbie in the raw diet world, you have to make their transition as slow as possible.When you are switching your pup to a raw dog food diet be very careful not to shock them with the transition. So I would recommend to not do the transition immediately.Start them off by mixing in some raw food in their regular food like kibble and then slowly transition them into their new diet. [Source]
- If You’re Making A Raw Homemade Meal, Make Sure It’s Well-Balanced- This is a mistake that many pet owners make when they feed their pups raw pet food that is homemade. Every dog’s diet needs to be very well-balanced and nutritious. Your dog’s diet should consist of 80% protein, and 20% fat(10% fat if you’d like to feed them some carbohydrates as well). [Source]
You need to meet your dogs needs for nutrition, otherwise they can very easily get malnourished and that can cause some major health problems, sometimes even death is not out of the picture.
- Get Them To Eat Raw, Meaty Bones- Calcium and minerals are also very important for your pup’s healthy development. Getting them to eat meaty bones as a snack can up their calcium, as well as mineral(phosphorus, magnesium, zinc) levels. Meaty bones like turkey necks make a delicious snack for dogs.
- You Can Add Some Supplements As Well- If your dog lacks some important vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, or Vitamin C, you can add in some vitamin supplements into their food. Talk to your designated veterinarian before deciding.
- Include Organ Meats And Muscle Meats- Organ meats like liver and kidneys can do your dog well. Meats like these are full of multivitamins(C and B especially). Muscle meats on the other hand, have a great amount of protein.
- Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fats Are Very Important As Well- Foods such as raw eggs, hemp oil, and fish oil are a great addition to put in your dog’s meal. These types of foods that are rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 have anti inflammatory properties that is definitely a must.
- Don’t Forget To Always Put A Fresh Bowl Of Water- Since raw foods can get pretty heavy to consume, make sure to always put a fresh batch of water near your dog so they can slurp if they have a hard time digesting their delicious meal.
How Much Raw Food Should You Feed Your Dog
To calculate how much meals per day your dog needs, first you need to calculate their body weight of course. Your dog’s current weight will depend on how much you fed them on their normal kibble/canned food diet.
I usually feed my dog 2 portions of food per day, sometime three times per day, depending on her activity level that day. If she had a big day, like going to the mountain or simply just having a field day, of course she is going to be starving.
Also, larger breeds like Dobermans or Pit Bull dogs require more food in general no matter what type of food you’re feeding them. Consult with a veterinarian on what’s your dog’s ideal body weight and start feeding them according to that.
”Ideal weight” can be different for different types of dogs. So, never concentrate on one ideal weight, instead, learn to match your own dog’s weight and energy level, and learn what they like and what suits their digestive system as well.
Health Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog A Raw Food Diet
- Cleaner Teeth- Dental hygiene is one of the “musts” for a healthy pup. Consuming raw foods and raw bones is one of the best ways to keep your pup’s teeth clean, and make sure that they don’t have any cavities. Raw, meaty bones are also very helpful in this field.
- Balanced Nutrition And Weight Control- Now, I’m not saying that dry foods like kibble are not great, especially with such a long life stage but, raw food is so much better. Raw foods(especially organ meat) can provide much more vitamins and amino acids.
- Healthier Skin- Muscle meats are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties that contributes to a much healthier skin. Consider giving raw food to dogs with skin problems.
- Shiny Coat- The Omega 3 fatty acids also contribute to a dog’s shiny coat. With a raw diet, you will have a pup that isn’t just fit as a fiddle but also, you’ll have a pup that looks like they just came out of the groomers every day.
- Smaller Stool Volume And Odor- Raw feeding reduces the volume of the stool as well as the strong poop odor.
- Reduces Body Odor- I’m sure that none of you like that pungent smell that dog’s tend to have sometimes. With raw food, that strong body odor will definitely be reduced.
- High Energy, And Activity Level- After a couple of weeks of raw dieting you will start to notice that your dog’s energy is getting so much higher. So, no more lazy and sleepy puppy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Measure Raw Dog Food
The best way is to first measure your dog’s current weight. 2-5 % of your dog’s body weight is enough food to feed them daily. Split the percentage into 2 meals.
Can I Feed My Dog Kibble In The Morning And Raw Food At Night
Yes you can. Breakfast should be the least heavy meal of the day so it is okay to feed your pup kibble in the morning if you would like to.
Can You Mix Raw Dog Food With Kibble
Absolutely you can. If you afraid to go on a full raw feeding, you can simply just mix a little bit of raw food in their regular kibble. This is actually a great way to get your dog used to a raw feeding.
Do Dogs Poop Less On A Raw Diet
Yes. One of the pro’s of raw feeding is that your dog’s stool volume will be much smaller than it used to be. Also, the odor will not be as pungent as well.
Do Raw Fed Dogs Live Longer
Yes. Raw food increases your pup’s lifespan as well as their energy levels. So, your dog will be so much healthier and more energetic on a raw feeding diet.
Is Raw Food Better For Dogs
There is a serious argument between dog parents if raw food is the right and healthy choice for dogs. My stance is that raw food is so much better for our beloved pets and they can not catch any harmful bacteria from raw meat.
Dog’s stomachs aren’t the same as human stomachs. Dogs can easily digest raw meat and raw food in general without the potential risks of catching a bacteria that can cause a Salmonella disease. If you aren’t sure about raw feeding, please consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions.