We have been feeding raw in one form or another for over 20 + years. In that time, we have not had any serious problem of any kind that was related to raw. Dog’s guts are suited to deal with many of the bacterial problems we humans cannot deal with. Jackals, for example, can live off of rancid meat. Dogs are omnivores. They don’t just eat meat and there must be a balance of their nutrient intake. We as humans, make a mistake relating our own feeding habits when in fact, we should look at the way Mother Nature feeds our dogs in the wild. I often joke that “You will never see a pack whip out a hibachi after they make a kill.” Yet we continue to feed our dogs cooked foods with less nutritional value that if it was raw.

 

In the wild, a pack will eat from Alpha down to Omega. The Alpha’s always look the best because their nutritional intake is the best and most balanced portions of the prey for their needs. After a kill, the Alpha’s go directly to the prey’s gut. That gut includes trace elements, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to their own proper nutrition. Most prey are herbivores that eat grasses, berries, and nuts. The concentration varies depending on the availability of food and the region the animals live. It is also in various states of digestion and that is why in our raw diets, we partially cook any vegetables we add to the diet. After the gut, they feed on meat, and then possibly some bone.

 

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Any diet of just one item such as meat will fail to provide complete nutrition. It must be the same balance that exists in a “wild diet”. There are several different raw diets that can be very time-consuming and difficult to maintain. The following is our version that is very easy to maintain no matter where you are:

 

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We feed various meats but primarily chicken. We include organ meat as well as meaty neck bones (veal, pork, beef). We utilize chicken leg ¼’s and thighs. The ¼’s give a good meat, bone, and fat ratio but the thighs are meatier. We chop the chicken into pieces primarily to get them to slow down and not inhale the whole ¼ in one bite. They eat 3 to 4 chopped pieces per meal. That is the equivalent of a thigh and a ½ or almost a whole ¼ twice a day. Invariably there are deals on chicken every week in the paper. We find the average cost for feeding ¼’s and thighs is around $.50 a lb. If we are feeding organ meat, the portion would be 6 to 8 ounces per meal. Such meats include raw green tripe, kidney, liver, and heart.

 

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Veggies…we use a wide variety of veggies. I make them in batches every other week or so or depending on how many dogs we have on a raw diet. Currently that number is 10. We always make sure the veggie mix contains sweet potatoes, greens of some sort such as mustard or spinach, carrots, and celery. We also use veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, asparagus ends…not the tips but still with some green, red potatoes, and virtually any veggie that is fresh. We grind them in a processor, add water, and then nuke them until they are heated through. After they cool, we add a few cans of tuna or mackerel and some cooked oats. I freeze and store them in ½ gallon containers.  When we travel, we buy chicken and frozen veggies at the local market. Frozen spinach and peas and carrots in the large bags works well and can be kept chilled in a cooler right along with the chicken.

 

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Prey’s gut…this is a little trickier but not impossible. I have already touched on the fact the gut contains so many nutritional essentials. Many people try and put together a mix of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other items found in the gut. That can be a real pain but there are a few products that group those ingredients together. We use SuperFuel made by Animal Naturals. It is by far, the most complete and highest quality product we have found to date. It is all “Human Grade Ingredients” and manufactured under USDA specs instead of AAFCO. There are other products though, like Hokka Mix, Missing Link, and Dr. Kruger’s Formula. It is essential to try and emulate these contents in order to create a balanced version of a “wild diet”.

 

Let me; once again stress the importance of not relying on just 1 or 2 of these elements to create a real “wild diet”. Such a diet must be balanced in order to achieve the desired results. That said, even an attempt as such a diet is better than feeding your dogs cooked dried cereal with bad or mediocre protein added to make it balanced.