Home Raw Feeding What is a Raw Diet? The Basics

There is no absolute, 100% right way to feed a raw diet.  Some dogs do better with more meat than bone, some need more bone than meat.  Some dogs need more volume than others, some need less.

What I'm giving you here is a starting point.  Once you have been feeding raw for a week or two you should make any adjustments that are needed.

This is the basic formula for an ADULT dog (look here for information on feeding growing puppies):

45-50% Raw Meaty Bones (meat with edible bone – chicken or turkey necks, chicken backs, lamb neck bones, etc.)

45% Muscle Meat (meat without bones)

5% Organ Meat (liver, kidney, lungs, etc.)

0-5% Miscellaneous items (see below)


I weigh my dogs every couple months and determine if their daily rations need to be increased, decreased or are ok as is.  My dogs get fed anywhere from 2% to 3.5% of their body weigh in food per day – depending on the dog.  Some burn more calories and so get the higher percentage.  Some are less active and get the lower percentage.  If they work a lot in one week I might temporarily increase their food amounts for a day or so.

When the seasons change so do their daily amounts.  In the winter we tend to be less active so the dogs tend to be less active.  If I kept them on the same amounts they would gain weight they don't need.

As I said, there’s no absolutes in the raw diet.  Just like there are no absolutes in YOUR diet!


Other miscellaneous items I add to their diet:

Raw eggs - 2-3 times a week for the Shepherds, 1-2 times a week for the little guys

Green Tripe - this is as close to vegetables as my guys get in their diet so I try to incorporate the green tripe (not the white stuff you buy at a grocery store) several times per week

Salmon Oil - because it is animal based (unlike Flax or Hemp oils), it is high in Omega 3s (which most dog diets are low in) and it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.  The amount I give depends on the dog.  My basic rule is 1000 mg of oil per 30 pounds of body weight if the dog is healthy, 1000 mg of oil per 20 pounds of body weight if the dog is temporarily sick or recovering from an illness or 1000 mg of oil per 10 pounds of body weight if the dog has chronic health issues (like arthritis).

Vitamin E - whenever you add oils to your dogs diet you should add Vitamin E.  The dog's body uses vitamin E to process the oils.  When you add Vitamin E to their diet you assure that they won't end up low on E.  I give them the humane dosage based on weight.

Digestive Enzymes - when they get sick, have surgery or are in any other way not 100% healthy I will give them digestive enzymes to help them get the most from their food.  How long I give them depends on how long the dog needs them.

Multi-vitamin - same as the digestive enzyme.  I use this only when necessary or if I have a hard time getting the variety into their diet.  The key to a well-balanced raw diet is variety.

Last Updated (Sunday, 26 December 2010 08:47)