We all keep hearing that the best diet for humans is one that is filled with plenty of fresh, natural organic ingredients with minimal preservatives. So it just does not make sense that we keep giving our beloved pets processed food, day in day out. For many pet owners, feeding their dogs with raw pet food has started making a lot of sense. Many pet experts are of the opinion that the dog raw food diet plan improves their pets’ health and prevents some canine diseases. Let us take a look at raw dog food pros and cons, the best suppliers and brands as well as how to feed dog raw diet on a budget.
Concept behind the raw food diet plan for dogs
Raw food diet is also known as BARF or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet or Bones and Raw Food diet. Dogs have descended from the same DNA as wolves and other wild canids. So it just doesn’t make sense feeding them grains and diets filled with carbs. Commercial dog foods unfortunately contain more than 40% carbohydrates whereas dogs are supposed to get their energy from healthy fats and proteins. Dogs have also been gifted with sharp teeth and jaws that are meant to tear meat. Their digestive systems have enzymes needed to digest raw meat. If you observe wolves in the wild, they eat almost everything when they hunt their prey-including the raw bones and nutrient rich contents of their prey’s stomach. Wolves in the wild hardly fall sick and most do not develop diseases like dogs raised on commercial dog food diets. Therefore, it makes sense that feeding raw, fresh diet to dogs will enhance their health and well being. It will also provide them with healthy bacteria to boost immune system and balanced nutrition.
Pros of the raw dog food diet plan
When you remove all cooked grains and processed meat from your dog’s diet, you will notice following benefits:
- Doggy odor will disappear
- Your pet’s teeth will be whiter, brighter, cleaner and stronger; s/he won’t have bad breath
- You can prevent yeasty ears and chronic ear infections with this diet.
- The diet can also alleviate severe allergies; no more itching
- Shinier healthier coat means reduced hair fall.
- Prevention of diabetes, epilepsy and other canine diseases
- No more eye problems, bowel problems, kidney and heart problems or pancreas and immune system problems.
- BARF fed bitches produce healthy litters.
- Your pet will be happy, active, bright and alert.
- You will see escalating energy levels- aged pets become younger, sick pets become healthier again!
Raw dog food for beginners – How to feed raw food on a budget
To start with, feed your dog raw bones, meat, organ meats, vegetables and fruits. Basically, you feed anything that mimics the diet of a feral animal. You can contact animal meat suppliers for cheap and inexpensive carcasses of venison, rabbit, elk and emu etc. Here is what you can get from your butcher and most of these are inexpensive:
- Chicken legs, back, neck, wings
- Pork neck, bones and ribs
- Turkey necks
- Beef ribs and neck
- Lamb kidney and liver
- Beef kidney and liver
- Pork kidney and liver
- Beef heart
- Ground beef
- Canned mackerel or salmon
Some pet parents start slowly with this diet. They feed small amounts of raw meaty bones and many also choose to alternate between regular kibble and BARF diet. It is best not to rely on chicken only-alternate between poultry, pork, beef and other meats for variety. Also add ground, pulverized vegetables to the mix. Do not add too much as some veggies can cause gas.
Sample diet (morning) for an active dog – medium or large breed
- Egg-organic without shell
- Organic, whole milk cottage cheese or full fat organic whole milk yogurt
- Muscle or organ meat
- 6 ounces beef heart
- 2 ounces beef kidney
- 1 egg
Sample diet (evening)
RMB or raw meaty bones-chicken all parts, duck and turkey necks, pork neck, breast and tails, been or lamb ribs, necks and tail, rabbit, canned fish with bones.
- 8-12 ounces chicken necks and back
- 6 ounces ground beef
- 2 ounces cottage cheese
- 2 ounces ground broccoli
Raw diet can take care of 40% of your pet’s calcium needs. Additionally, your pet needs supplements like Immune Blend and Probiotic blend. Here are some supplements for optimal health in your pet:
- 400 IU of Vitamin E for 50lbs body weight
- 500 mg Vitamin C per 25lbs body weight
- B complex-25 mg per 50lb body weight
- Salmon oil- 1000 mg per 20lb body weight
- Probiotic powder
Are there any Cons of the raw dog food diet plan?
Many pet owners are worried about salmonella or e.coli poisoning and infections in dogs fed with raw meaty bones or BARF diet. The key is in handling raw food safely. Always freeze leftovers until you are ready to use them. Make sure to thaw the food overnight before feeding.
Raw dog food products
These days, there are many great products of raw natural dog foods available from top retailers. Such food is usually freeze dried, grain free, gluten free and high in protein. Moreover, all ingredients are USDA approved. The food is available in the form of nuggets or patties. You simply crumble and add them to regular dog food or even feed it as treats. Stewarts and Stella and Chewy’s are mention-worthy brands.