FEEDING RAW FOOD TO DOGS
I had read about feeding raw food to dogs and cats years before I ate the Primal Diet. I tried it with my cat but I didn’t succeed. He was too old and he was used to easy to eat, mushy food. I gave up.
Then we got a dog for my son. I began reading. I mostly based my dog’s diet on “Raw Meaty Bones” by Veterinarian Tom Lonsdale. But then I learned more and changed what I fed. Here is what I learned:
Dogs can eat raw bones, which they chomp up, (but if bones are cooked they become brittle and dangerous) and bones are essential to add to raw meat. You can adjust how soft or hard your dog’s poop is with the amount of bones you feed. More bones means harder poop, fewer bones means softer poops.
Most animals' bones are soft enough for a dog to chomp up, though not beef bones. Large beef bones (specially marrow bones) can break or grind a dog’s teeth down. The exception is smaller beef bones like short ribs which larger dogs can chomp up. Do not feed the last joint of a chicken wing as dogs have been known to choke on that. I just cut it off and trash it.
I learned that Aajonus, the founder of The Primal Diet, which I myself eat, said to give green juice to dogs. I find dogs get growly tummies (acidic) unless there is a green component. I also learned that it is very important that dogs eat organ meat as approx 10% of their diet. Dogs can develop ACL knee problems as a result of not enough manganese that organs provide. I found this to be true during a period I was being lazy about feeding organ meat. When I reintroduced liver to my dog's diet my dog’s limping leg got better! (Heart is muscle meat and not organ meat).
It is most important that you DO NOT FEED PREVIOUSLY FROZEN MEAT. Only feed “never been frozen” meat. Aajonus wrote: “When only frozen meat was fed to carnivores, they developed mange and other skin disorders, and sometimes scurvy”. I have found my dogs to be sensitive to frozen meat and they developed itchy skin very quickly.
I was staying with a friend whose dog had mange while she was feeding her a raw diet. We read the above quote and went straight out and bought never been frozen meat. The dog healed from mange in about 2 weeks! As a side effect the dog was far more satisfied, so much so that she stopped her annoying begging while we ate!
Note: Most of Trader Joe’s meat has been frozen. Ask in any supermarket if it “comes in frozen”. If you ask if it has been frozen they do not necessarily understand because it isn’t frozen now.
This is approximately what I feed dogs:
80% meat, sinew, ligaments, fat (cheaper cuts, like stewing meat are better. Always meat that has never been frozen)
10% edible bones (dogs can chomp up pork, chicken, lamb and small beef bones, like short ribs)
10% organ meat (heart is considered muscle not organ. I use mostly liver as it is hard to find other organ meat but it would be preferable to mix it up)
Green juice (¼-½ cup day depending on size of dog or if I don’t have any green juice I use chlorophyll drops from a health food store. I use 7 drops twice a day for a 60 lb dog, for example.)
Eggs, preferably unrefrigerated, (1 or 2 a day)
Raw Dairy (unpasteurized), small amount (I use up my sour raw milk, cream or kefir and swish the empty containers with water to give to my dogs)
Human leftovers, small amount and I allow the dogs to lick the plates, which they adore.
Do not worry too much about the proportions.
Here is a raw food for dogs calculator:
If the dog has itchy skin add raw butter, unsalted, to the diet, if you can find it.
Some dogs take to raw meat and bones immediately and some need a little help. Ground raw meat is easiest to start with. If that too is unappealing put something on it like pieces of cheese, bacon fat, anything to get the dog started. Then introduce raw meaty bones. It can take a few days to get them used to it but it’s well worth the effort!
I often get ground leftover raw meat from my health food store butcher or any large chunks of meat. I then buy small sections of beef short ribs, or chicken feet or I go to the Mexican supermarket and buy pork neck bones which are inexpensive. Or I might buy pork or lamb chops, with bones in, if I can afford it. I also give my dogs all parts (except the wing tip) of a raw chicken. It’s particularly easy to find drumsticks or thighs. I might add an extra piece of meat with that, an egg, some human leftovers and green juice or chlorophyll drops. It’s fine to mix different types of meat together, like chicken and beef. No need to give smaller pieces of meat. Large pieces are actually more natural, and the dog will enjoy chewing them up.
Aajonus says not to worry about the source of muscle meat, so buy anything inexpensive, if budget is a constraint. If you can afford it, buy organic meat and bones. But, ORGAN MEAT MUST BE ORGANIC! (Having said that, I have a friend who cannot get organic organ meat so she feeds conventional organ meat and her dog is MUCH healthier than she was on kibble. In fact she took her dog off her arthritis meds as her legs were so much better!)
Dogs fed raw food do not smell bad the way their kibble eating cousins do, neither their bodies, their breath, nor their poop. Their poop is smaller, firmer and easy to pick up. Their teeth and gums are clean and healthy. You can tell how much indigestible food there is in your dog’s food by how big their poop is. Even expensive raw frozen brands, recommended by vets, create large poops. This is not a good sign.
I helped a woman who had a young dog, 1.5 years old, who did not have normal energy levels and had constant itchy skin. The woman was a vegan but understood her dog needed raw meat. She had been using a very expensive frozen raw brand of dog food that didn’t seem to be helping her dog. We switched the dog to the diet described above, with extra butter for his skin and 2 eggs a day. The dog became energetic and no longer had skin issues within a couple of weeks. She was thrilled.
If your dog ever gets a rumbly tummy or indigestion I find a capsule of activated charcoal works wonderfully. Activated charcoal removes toxins from the gut and is supposed to increases life expectancy by 42%.
Another tip, slightly unrelated:
I adopted an older pitbull. After she was spayed she developed urinary incontinence, which is a result of lowered hormones. I took her to the vet. We tried some very expensive Chinese herbs. They didn’t work. I asked if I could give her some of my estrogen/progesterone drops, which I use on my skin and can be taken orally (Bezwecken PhytoB-L 4x, clean and good product). She said I could.
I went home and gave my dog 1 drop of the hormones a day in her food and the problem resolved. It takes a while to build up in the system, so be patient. I had to increase her dose to 3 drops/day as the years went on but I no longer found pee all over my house!
Note: This product has a little progesterone in it which is sometimes given to calm dogs down.
Like my husband says, “I’ve never met a dog who owns a stove”. Dogs are designed to kill and eat small animals in a raw state, bones and all.
On a raw diet your dog will definitely be happier and healthier. Give the dog a bone… a RAW bone!
Happy Raw Dog Feeding
Ronit Corry, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Here is a blog I wrote about dog’s dental health and raw food based on an interesting and shocking study. http://www.ronitcorry.com/blog/dogs-dental-health-and-raw-food
Here is the link for this article that was published on The Primal Diet website WeWant2Live.com on December 28, 2016:
This post is the second part of the above article, the part about feeding dogs. The first part, (both at the link above) is my own experience of The Primal Diet, a raw diet by Aajonus Vonderplanitz.
The Information on this website is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition. Statements should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician. It is recommended to consult with your physician before implementing any dietary or lifestyle changes. In using this website you accept the terms and conditions of this disclaimer. You further acknowledge that you are completely responsible for any changes you make regarding your dog's diet and health and will not hold Ronit Corry or affiliates liable for your own decisions or any results of your decisions.
Santa Barbara Dog Whisperer