Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
21 Aug

The Primal Eating Plan for Dogs

250889210 b51d6bb154We imagine many of our readers are strict adherents to the Primal Blueprint. You’re downing almonds by the bushel, guzzling fish oil, and avoiding grains like the plague, but what are you feeding Fido? Our bodies have had over ten thousand years to get used to agrarianism – and the stuff is still killing us! Commercial kibble has only been around for fifty years. Imagine how dogs feel.

Consider the wolf, a dog’s closest relative. Wolves are hunters and scavengers, relying primarily on animal protein. They are not, however, accomplished chefs. Check out a wolf’s den. No pots, no pans, no range stove. Not even a salt shaker. They were on the raw diet before it became hip. You won’t see wolves feasting on Purina; they eat raw meat, and lots of it.

Genetically, dogs are virtually still wolves. They weren’t even domesticated until 15,000 years ago. So, for some 5,000 years the furry guys were tagging along with hunter-gatherers, munching on the leftovers: meaty bones, organ meat, maybe a bit of mammoth rib-eye (if they were lucky). They were scavengers – like their wolf ancestors – and they flourished as our utilitarian companions. Why else did we keep ‘em around for so long? Sure, eating our leftovers may not have been the optimum doggy diet, but it was certainly better than the dry, over-processed sawdust that passes for dog food today. Modern dogs are pampered softies. Store-bought dog “food” works for them because they don’t do much more than sit around and sleep.

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And does commercial dog food really work? Well, it certainly keeps them fat and alive. On the same token, the Western grain-based diet keeps us fat and alive, too, but we all know how we feel about that. Just as Big Pharma’s tendency to prescribe expensive band-aids masks the insidious nature of modern nutrition, so too does the veterinary community give the impression that cancer, bone disorders, and other canine illnesses just happen to man’s best friend. Nutrition, according to them, has little to do with it. But just in case it does, they just so happen to sell an expensive kibble – Science Diet, Nutra-Max, or whatever garbage their corporate sponsors have paid them to promote – that will fulfill all of your dog’s dietary needs. What luck!

Before you listen to the vet, check out the ingredients on the package. For you Primal Blueprinters, the results will shock you. You’ll see stuff like lamb meal, ground rice, wheat, corn, sorghum – and that’s for the premium brands! Why would you feed a carnivore grains? Somehow, we doubt wolves were out there shucking corn and harvesting rice. And just what is lamb meal? From Wikipedia, it is “the dry rendered part from mammal tissues, prepared for feeding purposes by tanking under live steam or dry rendering.” After all that processing, what little remaining nutritional value of the “meat” cannot possibly counterbalance the filler ingredients. The dog gets full, and even happy (hey, we all know that dogs will eat anything with a stupid smile on their faces), but the nutritional deficit adds up. You can stick with the kibble, but prepare yourself for a lifetime of vet bills, doggie dental bills (the most preventable expense ever), and vast amounts of smelly stool.

The truth is following a Primal Blueprint for dogs is the best way to ensure happy, healthy dogs. Best of all, you’re already used to preparing your own Primal-friendly meals, so the transition to a specialized dog diet shouldn’t be a huge leap. It’s easy, too: no cooking, no seasoning, no prepping. Just look at what wolves eat (read: any meat they can get their paws on) and go from there.

The Chow

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A Primal eating plan for dogs should consist mainly of organ meat, raw meaty bones (like chicken carcasses or turkey necks), and muscle meat, naturally and humanely-raised if you can swing it – just like us! Really, any animal product is acceptable. Wolves ate a wide range of animals, but it’s probably unrealistic to feed your dog antelope, elk, and deer on a regular basis. Some pretty affordable options include:

Turkey: necks, backs, wings, drumsticks, gizzards, hearts
Chicken: carcasses, backs, necks, legs, wings, organs, eggs
Whole, oily fish: sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel
Beef: stew meat, ground chuck, organs, marrow bones

Dogs don’t need filet mignon to lead happy, healthy lives. The first things wolves go for are the organs of a fresh kill. They prefer the cheaper, fattier, more nutrient-dense meats, and sticking to them makes it possible to feed your dogs grass and range-fed animal products.

The Transition

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Going from traditional kibble to raw feed can be a little unnerving for newbies. Try to resist the impulse to do a half-kibble/half-raw dietary transition. This will only confuse the dog’s digestive system and lead to explosive diarrhea. Remember – you’re not switching kibble, you’re replacing poison with real food! Go cold turkey (pun intended). Puppies are blank slates and will take to the diet immediately, but older dogs may need a couple days to get used to the new food. Prepare for detox if your dog’s been on kibble for awhile. Vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, and itchy skin are all par for the course. Don’t worry… ride it out!

Stick to fairly basic foods at first, like turkey and chicken necks. Dogs love to gnaw and chew bones, so this will come natural to them. If your dog’s a gulper (and most reformed kibble eaters are), hold the bones for them while they eat to promote proper chewing. Once they’ve figured out how to chew, you can start adding different meats.

The Benefits

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To truly see the benefits, you have to try the diet out for yourself. Results tell the tale, but some common benefits include:

Shiny, soft coats: the Primal eating plan for dogs will imbue your pal with a beautiful luster. Heads will turn at the dog park; you better get yours spayed unless you want a promiscuous, irresponsible single mother on your hands. Fish oil supplementation makes this even more noticeable.

Pearly whites: eating clean food and chewing raw bones will clear up any plaque deposits and leave your dog’s teeth gleaming.

Lower vet bills: eating food the dog is evolutionarily designed to eat will take care of the allergies and minor illnesses that account for most vet visits.

Lower costs: buying wholesale and shopping for bones and organ meats are actually considerably less expensive than purchasing “premium” commercial dog food.

A happy, long-living best friend: the oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who dined exclusively on kangaroo and emu. Your dog will live a healthier, fuller life on a Primal eating plan.

Firm, odorless poop: on a raw, Primal eating plan, dogs waste little of what they eat. That means stool is small, hard, and without much odor. It also turns into white powder after a day or so, making cleanup effortless. Also, the added strain of passing hard stool will naturally express your dog’s anal glands, rendering another expensive vet trip obsolete.

Common Concerns

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Don’t dogs choke on bones?
Not on raw ones. Cooked bones splinter, and they can get lodged in a dog’s throat. Raw bones are pliable, and the calcium content is absolutely integral to a dog’s health. Plus, chewing bones keeps the teeth clean. No more astronomical dental bills!

What about food-borne bacteria? Isn’t raw meat dangerous?
Wolves seem to do just fine eating days-old carrion. Dogs’ stomachs are equipped to handle bacteria in much the same fashion, so don’t worry about contamination. Still, humans are vulnerable, so wash up!

What if my dog is constipated?
Again, the straining is actually good for your dog. But if it absolutely refuses to come out, a little raw canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) will do the trick. Raw pumpkin also firms loose stools.

How much should I feed?
Let’s use a sixty-pound retriever mix as an example. Assuming it gets plenty of exercise, feeding about a pound and a half to two pounds of assorted meats and bones is plenty. Everything varies from dog to dog, of course. If you can’t feel its ribs, reduce the food. If its ribs are a little too prominent, feed more.

Just meat?
Vegetables can be added to your dog’s diet. In fact it is recommended. Carrots are fun to crunch, and broccoli, spinach, and celery can be ground up and added to a mixture of ground meat. Supplementing with fish oil is also recommended for a shiny, healthy coat.

Have Fun

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Have fun with it. Your dog is an incredibly eager eater, and watching the transformation is a true joy to behold. Go slowly and listen to your instincts as a Primal eater yourself.

Do you have dogs you feed Primal food? If not, are you thinking about making the switch? Hit us up with a comment and share your stories!

Kamia The Wolf, storm gal, This Year’s Love, Crocodillicus, tanakawho, NiteLynx Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

What is the Primal Blueprint?

The Definitive Guide to Primal Eating (for Humans)

Raw Meat (for Humans)

The Primal Eating Plan for Cats

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My little wolf (toy poodle) follows the primal diet.

    Crystal wrote on August 21st, 2008
    • Hello,started my pitbull pup on raw food when he was about 5 months old.He started by eating everything I put down,5 weeks in hes goten pickey and eats very little.Any ideas? THANKS

      james wrote on December 12th, 2010
      • My boxer-pit doesn’t like raw chicken (I spoiled her by putting pieces of cooked chicken in her kibble) so I found an excellent starch-free (don’t be fooled by the companies who claim to be “grain-free”…potato is still a starch just like rice or corn!) kibble that I can add sardines, soup bones, organ meat and turkey necks etc to. It’s by Wysong and called Epigen.

        Wysong completely embraces a primal lifestyle for pets. Check them out:
        Wysong.org

        Edie wrote on March 9th, 2011
        • Wyson has rice and corn. Why are you saying this is starch and grain free?

          http://www.wysong.net/products/labels/MAINTEN.pdf

          INGREDIENTS
          Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Ground Brown Rice, Ground Corn,
          Ground Extruded Whole Soybeans, Carrots, Barley, Bone Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate,
          Whole Egg, Yeast Culture, Ground Flax Seeds, Dried Kelp, Dried Wheat Grass
          Powder, Dried Barley Grass Powder, Sage Extract, Rosemary Extract, Garlic, Black
          Pepper, Artichoke, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E
          Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate,
          Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin
          Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement,
          Vitamin D3 Supplement.

          research247 wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • To the person thinking Wysong only has the grains and starches in their food:
          The Wysong brand carries grain-free and starch-free food for dogs. This line is called “Epigen”. You have to look for that specific line in their products.

          Monika wrote on August 27th, 2013
    • Hi,
      I have a little dog also. An 8 lb brussels griffon. He is always sick. I want to start him on a raw diet. Can you elaborate on what you feed your smaller dog?

      Thank you

      Linda

      Linda Morgan wrote on June 4th, 2013
    • What about lamb or goat bones anyone know where I can find

      Joyce James wrote on August 12th, 2013
  2. My dog snappy love chicken, so I give him raw chicken!

    James wrote on August 21st, 2008
  3. for an excellent – science based discussion about myths and truths about feeding you dog (same applies to cats too) this is the best site so far:
    http://rawfed.com/myths/
    my old dog was put on a carnivorous raw meat and bone diet 5 years ago – she never looked back – at 14 and still going strong
    our new pup took to it no problem – we look forward to a long vet-bill-free life

    markus

    markus wrote on August 22nd, 2008
  4. This doesn’t apply just to dogs, the same thing goes for cats. I had a cat who was having bladder issues (which can get quite costly and quickly be life threatening) and the research I did on line all pointed to a raw meat diet with certain supplements being the best answer, the commercial “urinary tract health” diets not being as helpful as claimed by the manufacturer and veterinarians. I never did get a chance to go 100% raw with him as we no longer have the kitty, stress seemed to be a trigger and I figured moving to Europe from Texas would be stressful, and force him to have to hold his urine (another no-no). Hopefully his new owners are at least keeping him on wet food if they haven’t gone raw. Anyway, here is a link with more info:
    http://www.catnutrition.org/index.php

    Nancy S wrote on August 22nd, 2008
  5. I am curious about where people feed their dogs raw chicken. I know my dog would leave chicken residue all over the house.

    Vendo wrote on August 22nd, 2008
    • in answer to a mess around the house from raw bones/meat, it is a good idea to either have one spot on a ceramic floor (easy to clean and not porous) or in a kennel, crate. you can easily clean that area with an antibacterial soap.

      or, if you have a yard, your dog will love the benefit of having their own space to chew on their bone.

      also, cleaning the dogs mouth and paws with a white vinegar/water solution is recommended. this kills bacteria just as well as bleach does and is not harmful to your pet.

      keep this solution handy in a bottle along with paper towels after each feeding.

      this diet becomes easier as time passes.

      it is so worth the time put in!

      florence wrote on June 9th, 2009
      • Hey Florence, just FYI, a white vinegar/water solution of any strength will not kill bacteria.

        While white vinegar is great for removing odours, the concentration of acetic acid in vinegar is nowhere near enough to be an effective sanitizer.

        Great idea on the ceramic area, I hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps it should be a meat tile rather than a kibble bowl?

        Tim wrote on March 21st, 2011
      • My name is Lisa Smedy and I have 7 yr old American Eskimo Dog.. His name is Blake.. We have recently started feeding him the raw chicken diet and so far it has worked for him.. The only problem we have been having is that everyone that has been saying it’s bad..

        lisa smedy wrote on December 17th, 2012
    • I feed my dogs one at a time in a metal crate/kennel to keep from messing up my house. They run into that crate so eagerly!

      Karen wrote on August 23rd, 2010
    • We feed our dogs twice daily, morning yogurt, pumpkin, raw eggs and whatever other veg I can con them into eating. They eat in the kitchen on the linoleum. In the evening, they have raw chicken legs, sometimes turkey, OUTSIDE on the back patio. Both dogs always take the legs out in the yard to chew on them, and one is an inveterate “hider”. I definitely don’t want to find 3-day old chicken “buried” under the guest room bed!
      Best of luck!

      Rachel C wrote on January 18th, 2011
    • My dog will eat the bones where I put her bowl down just like eating dry dog food and I mince the meat up in the blender so she eats that like she would when I used to feed her commercial wet dog food

      Adele wrote on November 30th, 2011
    • I feed my dogs in the kennel

      Jessica wrote on March 13th, 2012
    • To feed raw poultry necks or other meaty bones, I put down an old towel on the tile, and I clip a light rope to the dog and attach the other end to a chair or table leg. The dogs like lying on the towel to chew and the towel collects any blood and can be laundered.

      Judy wrote on February 14th, 2013
  6. I feed my dog anything ‘gross’ outside; oxtails, tongue, bones, whatever all goes out the back door for him.

    Alchemyguy wrote on August 22nd, 2008
  7. Thank you for this post, I hate that so many people feed their pets this garbage and genuinely don’t know the harm they’re doing. Why do people not stop to ask, “Why would a dog need medication?” or “Why would a cat be obese?”

    Heather wrote on August 22nd, 2008
  8. Another excellent post! The most amazing thing is I myself just made this realization on my own about 3 weeks ago. I thought about how they say you should never, Never, EVER give your dog table scraps because it’s bad for them. Well, I realized that it depends what exactly you’re giving them. If you are giving them donuts, pizza crust and cake, then they are going to get fat and require some medication. Hmmmmm…… isn’t that EXACTLY what happens to humans too if you eat like that?

    There are arguments as to whether a human diet is supposed to be animal based or a diet that is varied with less emphasis on meat. I happen to believe that a human diet is definitely supposed to be animal based, but the point is that there can be no argument about the fact that a canine diet is supposed to be animal based. I’ve since started giving my buddy any meat and fat scraps we have and he gobbles them down like you wouldn’t believe!

    Thanks again for another great post!

    ega278 wrote on August 22nd, 2008
    • Great point ega; Guess what two inventions marked the 1950′s?

      The refrigerator and commercial dog food. coincidence? I think not.

      Kenny wrote on September 28th, 2012
  9. Great post! Also, dogfoodanalysis.com is a good resource for dog food critiques. All of their highest rated foods are high in quality protein and grain free. My basenji (African hound) does very well on Evo by Natura Pet. It’s not raw but it’s the next best thing.

    Nicki wrote on August 23rd, 2008
    • Any 90 – 100 year olds living now did NOT eat what ppl eat today. They were raised when food was either what you grew on your farm, or what your mother made you. There is a serious problem with what we eat today. Do your research, or what the documentary “FoodMatters” then comment.

      Hudson2012 wrote on December 24th, 2011
    • sorry, meant for the guy below you!

      Hudson2012 wrote on December 24th, 2011
  10. “Our bodies have had over ten thousand years to get used to agrarianism – and the stuff is still killing us!”

    Are you flipping kidding me? I guess that’s why people regularly live into their 90s and 100s–because our food is killing us…

    Teresa wrote on August 28th, 2008
    • Yeah, but how many old people have you seen at the hospital all drugged up and on respirators? It’s mostly medicine and machines keeping us alive after we hit 60
      :/

      Raye wrote on February 1st, 2011
      • Not true at all. My Grandfather passed away at 92, mostly because he chose to let death come rather than fight it with medicine and hospitals. He had never been sick in his life, ate an incredibly healthy diet (aside from his whiskey consumption), played golf and took long walks daily and believed in alternative medicine. His brother lived to be 96- similar circumstances, very healthy and active. He simply died in his sleep. My grandmother is 89 and aside from breaking her hip hasnt been sick much. She has stayed active and eats all unprocessed food. Lifestyle has much more to do with it than medicine when people reach these higher ages.

        Bridget wrote on May 30th, 2012
    • How many 90- and 100-year-olds do you know?

      David wrote on September 29th, 2011
  11. I want to thank Nancy for the cat food link. I have a siamese that became allergic to many things a year ago. After all the testing and predinose pills I am looking for a better way. I don’t like her being on the drug, but everything in the stores and special diets by vets have things in them that bother her. Thanks again Nancy.

    marilyn zorn wrote on August 28th, 2008
  12. Even if your dog is doing “okay” on regular dog food, switching to feeding them a diet better suited to their system is going to show a tremendous improvement.
    (Except that now I’ve got a dog who’s hooked on yams. Something about them really satisfies her sweet tooth!)

    Merry wrote on August 29th, 2008
  13. Great post! I’ve been feeding my 5 month old Rotti a raw diet since we got him at 6 weeks old and he is triving. But I do have a question, other then fish oil you don’t suggest any other vitamins or minerals. I’ve been adding the “healthy powder” that I make according to Dr Pitcarins recipe found in his book. My concern is the quality of meats found today and I can’t aways afford the organic meats. Any further information will be greatly appreciated.

    Sharin wrote on August 31st, 2008
  14. My two little dogs have been on grass-fed raw pet food (from US Wellness meats in Mo.) for about a year now and they love it. Since one is old and one has been injured, I add shark cartlidge to it and they gobble!! They also get Seagate’s shark liver oil once a day which they also gobble! Dogs are much smarter than people!

    I did not know about raw chicken, but will surely try it now that I do. My littlest one loves to chew on bones, but has had to rely on the grass-fed steaks I could afford to buy for myself in order to get any bones for her! I will not buy them from the local grocery stores.

    Virginia wrote on September 1st, 2008
  15. Humans aren’t living longer because of their current diet, but in spite of it. We have managed to eliminate or control most of the diseases that use to kill hundred/thousands of people at a time. The asian diet consists of a lot of raw foods (including raw fish), and they are traditionally longer lived & in better health than we are. Our children are obese–children!…no, our current diet isn’t why we are living longer. Like the old saying goes: if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. Start now, not later

    gloria wrote on September 1st, 2008
  16. This diet is for fools. Raw chicken bones will kill your dog. Dogs are NOT carnivores. Dogs ARE in fact, omnivores. Therefore to have a healthy and balanced dog, you MUST include vegetables, and grains in your dogs diet.In fact, with many dogs, food allergies are often present. Many dogs actually require low protein diets. High protein diets can cause your dog to not recieve enough nutrition from its food, and this can cause the dog to eat its own feces, in an attempt to acquire enough.

    If you love your dog, do NOT take any of this advice on this site, and consult your vet before altering your dogs diet.

    The author of this article didnt do his/her homework, and should NOT be reccomending any sort of advice on canine diet.

    anon dog trainer wrote on September 3rd, 2008
    • As mentioned earlier, there are some great sites out there about the fact that a. Dogs are in fact carnivores (opportunistic, admittedly, but just look at their teeth) and b. benefit from the raw diet. If you feed a dog a carrot, look at what comes out in his poop – the same carrot, with minimal changes. Dogs’ digestive systems have not changed since they became domesticated – they are still less than .2% different in their mitochondrial DNA from their wolf ancestor, and in fact when people want to know more about the wolves’ physiology, they will often use dogs for their studies. A raw meat diet (I personally feed a whole-prey model) is lower in protein than dog food – in fact, other than adding fish oil (to counteract the lack of Omega 3′s in store-bought meat), my dogs don’t get anything else…and are thriving. Their fur is shiny and soft, they don’t have bad teeth, they have much smaller poops (because their body actually uses what it ingests), and they are very happy.

      So please do your homework – try http://www.rawlearning.com, or http://www.rawfeddogs.net; join a rawfeeding group on Yahoo, or in general look at the possibility you might be mistaken and dogs are really carnivores who benefit as much from a good diet as we will.

      Kerstin DeRolf wrote on April 12th, 2010
      • Thank you Kerstin, for your well stated, informative response. I am happy that there are people in-the-know on this subject and that your reply was both kind and factual.

        Kim wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Dogs cannot digest grains. They are an unnatural food source to them.

      Kibble can legally contain euthanized dogs and cats, roadkill, leather shoes, etc. I’d rather try a homemade diet because I KNOW WHAT MY DOG IS EATING. Pick up a little book called “Scared Poopless: The straight Scoop on Dog Care” it has won to awards and comes with award winning nutrition CD’s that discuss the myths of low protein diets with experts on dog nutrition.

      Evie wrote on April 26th, 2010
    • Bwahahahahhahhahahahhabwhhhahahahahah!!!!!

      Wow, do you actually THINK for yourself?

      Msfit wrote on May 10th, 2010
      • You have made nothing but rue comments towards everyone. If you disagree so wholeheartedly with the home made diet discussion then WHY do you keep coming back? Rudeness does nothing to make your point valid or clear.

        Then again, maybe the idea of realizing that heavily processed food is bad for everyone is hard to swallow. Regardless of whether or not you feed the omnivore way or the carnivore way, it is downright idiotic to trust anyone who profits off of your dietary decision. Research it for yourself, make up your own mind. I have seen footage of a dog being processed in a rendering plant. “Foods Pets Die For” another book, yes I READ, tested commercial kibble and found euthanasia agent is some lines. Why? When any animal is humanely euthanized the agent stays in their body for months and can easily survive the rendering process. Don’t believe me? Good, never a bad idea to question things, but instead of just dismissing it, why not actually research things for yourself?

        Evie wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • Really? because the merck veterinary manual state that dog have not dietary need for carbs of any kind.
      Inferior protein like the kind found in dry overcooked, previously rotted and or euthanized animals is not a good quality protein. Tell me why my dog stopped aging once I got him off of kibble?
      Why he stopped chewing himself raw and why he has sweet smelling breath and a full shiny coat? because I am killing him with good health.
      You on the other hand are ok with mediocre health and a dog that just lives. I believe you have never seen a dog that thrives.

      Andrea wrote on December 15th, 2010
    • Hahaha right.. soo the people up the road from me who have a meat farm have been feeding their dogs chicken backs for decades. Their last dog lived to be 19, and their dog now is 17 and still running around. Oh, must be all the chicken bones inside him killing him, eh? Breeders everywhere of show and working dogs are feeding raw to maximize their dogs and puppies health and potential. It works. Of course vets will tell you there is no point, because they want to sell you their crap. But how many vets have now converted to raw? Just look it up. Hundreds of vets are changing their minds and recommending raw diets. Veggies are necessary for vitamins, and they benefit from them, but grains and fruits are definitely not needed. Apples are the only fruit they could benefit from. High protein KIBBLE can cause what you said, because kibble can cause virtually any problem, but a raw natural balanced diet will not lack anything and there is everything to gain from it. People need to do their research and feed many variety of foods to make sure their dog gets vitamins and minerals needed. I feed my dogs one chicken back in the morning, and at night they get mixed veggie pulp with raw ground meat, Apple Cidar Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Coconut oil, and eggs. They love it, and have been absolutely amazing since the switch. My rottie, who has dysplasia and arthritis and could hardly get around, can’t stop running now and our 12 year old Retriever is just as much. We also supplement Omega-3s. RAW IS THE WAY TO GO!!!

      Hudson2012 wrote on December 24th, 2011
    • Unfortunately you are the one who hasn’t done your homework. Dogs are carnivores and raw chicken bones won’t kill them. Cooked bones will. You should spend time researching the concept of raw food both for humans and animals. There are incredible health benefits. Dogs in the wild don’t eat cooked food so why should domesticated animals? We are killing our pets with processed food just like we are killing ourselves with food full of chemicals out of boxes and cans. It’s unfortunate more people don’t do the time to do their own research and trust government organizations like the FDA have our best interest in mind. They don’t.

      E K wrote on March 10th, 2012
    • You obviously have little to no educated knowlege of dog nutrition. From your name I assume you are a dog trainer, and from your attitude I assume you are not a very good one. Although it is RECOMMENDED that you feed vegetables, there is no need for grain. There are so many grain free diets out there (even kibble now) because so many dog’s systems can not tolerate them. I love my dog, and that is why I feed her a natural diet, with everything she needs to be happy and healthy, which does NOT include kibble! Also, many small animal vets do not have a great deal of knowlege of advanced Canine nutrition. I know this for a fact, but even if I did not; If they knew all you seem to think about dog nutrition, why would they highly reccomend kibble with corn as the first ingredient?

      GSD wrote on March 22nd, 2012
    • this guy is so full of it.. he knows nothing about dog nutrition.. I was lucky I learned about raw meat diet for dogs in 1975, when I worked for a breeder Trainer who fed RAW and I fed 120 dogs a day at her kennels for 2 yrs I saw what different diets and foods did for dogs and there is nothing wrong with high protein it is the carbs that make them sick and nuts!

      zaza motyka wrote on August 29th, 2012
    • a friend of mine who has trained Schutzen dogs for decades feeds raw chicken thighs to his dogs.

      How many foxes do you find dead from bone splinters near the chicken coop. Ya, that’s what I thought.

      Kenny wrote on September 28th, 2012
    • Contrary, a raw meat diet is not a high protein diet. Most raw meat has ca. 20% protein, a lot less than many commercial feeds. Most wild dogs eat a small amount of berries and vegetable matter. No wild canine or vulpine eats grain unless it is a small amount, predigested, in the gut of a small mammal or bird. Raw bones from small prey rarly cause a problem. your dog is more likley to die from choking on kibble or swallowing a toy.

      po wrote on January 7th, 2013
    • You’re a tool.

      slappy mc slapplestein wrote on February 9th, 2013
  17. ear anon:dog trainer.

    I can see why you want to stay “anon”. The only fool in this group my friend is you! I do include veggies & grains in my dogs ALL RAW diet and they are doing just GREAT!

    Time for you to find a blog that agrees with you.

    Virginia wrote on September 4th, 2008
  18. anon dog trainer,

    Wow, thanks for pointing us in the right direction! I had no idea that my dogs ancestors had mastered the art of growing, harvesting and preparing grains for use as food. Could you please, Please, PLEASE give us a link that shows where you got your information from so that we can all become enlightened.

    ega278 wrote on September 4th, 2008
  19. You’ve never heard of sprouted grains? I grow them on my kitchen counter and they are much the same as the greens wild animals tear from trees and shrubs where they live.

    You’ve become obnoxious and I will reply no more!

    Virginia wrote on September 4th, 2008
  20. There is a lot of confusion about a species appropriate diet for dogs.
    The “why” is that we have crossed the line between science and prolific
    industry propaganda. Since the 1950s vast sums of money have been
    poured into shaping public perception because the profits are enormous.
    Not to mention that “we the people” have a tendency towards
    anthropomorphism, and convenience is a driving force.

    For unbiased scientific information see the “Ol’ Shep’s Plight: Diet”
    article at: http://achinook.squarespace.com/

    There is also a “lighter” fabricated “Dr. P. Kibble Interview.”

    My best to you and yours,
    Lee C

    Lee Cullens wrote on September 20th, 2008
  21. The persistence of varied views seen here has more to do with the “quality” of research employed, and not recognizing the potential shortcomings of our mental facilities in arriving at “beliefs,” than it does on the extent of unbiased scientific support. For a better explanation see the article:
    http://achinook.squarespace.com/journal/2008/10/11/mankinds-achilles-heel.html

    My best to you and yours,
    Lee C

    Lee Cullens wrote on October 13th, 2008
  22. I have just started my labradoodle on the raw diet. My concern is his beard and ears in the raw meat. Should I worry?

    Joi Whaley wrote on January 23rd, 2009
  23. Hi Joy,
    A clothepin on the fur (not the flesh) of my cocker spaniels ears held them up while she ate and a wet paper towel cleaned the beard of my brussels griffon after she ate. Probably no need, but I worried about “rotten” meat too, so I soothed my worried mind with these extra measures.

    Hope your labrodoodle does as well on this diet as mine are doing!

    Virginia wrote on January 24th, 2009
  24. Thanks so much! I will do just as you suggested! So far so good, except Maxx plays with the chicken bones and roles in them:) But he sure seems happy so we will keep moving forward with the new way of feeding. Thanks for the reply

    Joi Whaley wrote on January 24th, 2009
  25. I haven’t went raw because of the difficulty traveling while feeding it however I have switched to high protein, grain free Orijen and my dogs are doing great on it!

    onelasttime wrote on February 24th, 2009
    • Me too – best “dry” food in the world

      mark wrote on February 27th, 2012
  26. Thanks for the article Mark.

    btw the link to the wiki is broken
    here is the real one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluey_(Australian_cattle_dog)

    That dog lived for 29 years! Wow.

    Yavor Marichkov wrote on February 25th, 2009
  27. Great article, thank you

    Nick wrote on February 25th, 2009
  28. We have a Dal. Dalmatians are prone to bladder infections, it turns out. What do you think about adding raw cranberries in with the meat? Or will switching her to a raw diet eliminate the need for cranberry “supplementation”?

    Stacey wrote on February 25th, 2009
    • If you want to raw feed a Dal then look into low purine raw diets. Also, BARF feeders have a special section on raw feeding dals, though I’m not a BARF person I still think it would help you. I hope that it helps!

      Evie wrote on May 10th, 2010
  29. I put raw pumpkin in my dogs “mix” to prevent diahrrea and/or constipation and it is working really well, so I bet cranberries would do just fine for your Dal! I would puree them so your dog won’t get a full “blast” of the sourness!

    Virginia wrote on February 25th, 2009
  30. My mim pin started on a raw diet at 12 weeks old. I got nervous of the chicken necks because she’s only 5lbs, so I just feed the pre-pared raw foods at my local raw food dog store. They’re frozen in individual trays by the day, so it’s super easy. I add in salmon rolls as a chew toy, instead of the chicken necks, as well as Tripe once a day.

    This dog eats better than I do!

    After our last dog developped allergies and licked off all his fur and had to be put down, I no longer feed SAWDUST! I wanted to be sure my newe puppy didn’t develop allergies eitehr! Most dogs are ALLERGIC to wheat and corn!

    People are so brainwashed by marketing!

    Patricia wrote on February 26th, 2009
  31. “I haven’t went raw because of the difficulty traveling while feeding it however I have switched to high protein, grain free Orijen and my dogs are doing great on it!”

    I had mine on Orijen for a few weeks while I was away to make it easier on the dogsitter… her poop STINKED and she was thirsty all the time, peed all the time!

    So happy to have her back on raw!

    Patricia wrote on February 26th, 2009
  32. I made the switch to feeding my dog a completely raw diet about 6 years ago, after reading the compelling evidence.

    She’s a bit sensitive to lamb and salmon, but she does fine with chicken, turkey, bison, venison, rabbit. Loves it mixed with kale, spinach, apples, carrots, berries – all mixed together in the food processor. Oh and she loves tripe. It’s a ‘treat’ about once a week. I still gag everytime I open the package, the smell is so bad!

    I used to prepare everything myself, but now have an excellent pet food store in the neighbourhood that specializes in 100% organic raw food and the farm it comes from is less than 50 miles from home.

    Anna wrote on March 3rd, 2009
  33. Hi, i have a 10 month old APBT, and his stools are HORRENDOUS!! Even the gas he passes is deadly. I feed him Nature’s Choice puppy food and i dont like the soft feces he passes. Its also very light colored. He about 70 lbs and i am extremely anxious to start him on a raw diet. I just need a few tips on how to start him on it!

    Marcella wrote on March 13th, 2009
  34. my shih-tzu pup is on raw diet and loving it! question: grains or no grains.What do you suggest for morning meal? she gets turkey, beef, chicken for dinner and we are going to try bison, buffalo and veal. We have very good supplier in our area.
    Another web site suggested oatmeal with either banana, raw honey and bee pollen, kelp. She doesn’t like the oatmeal Coco loves blueberries, carrots, non fat yogurt. Will try broccoli and just purchased beef bones as snack. I want the best for her and would like to know if you recommend supplements and if so which ones. The confusing aspect is Coco is only 19 lbs and the amoumt to feed her is hard for me to figure.
    Thanks for any help you can give.
    Stella

    stella harris wrote on March 13th, 2009
  35. Your shih-tzu has no need for grains. Despite what the blowhard above said, dogs are carnivores and not omnivores. They also don’t need fruits and vegetables, but you’re not going to hurt them by giving them some produce. The grains however are a complete waste of time and counter-productive. If you’re going to feed grains then you could just use the junk kibble.

    As far as figuring out how much to feed you can generally go by feel as the article says. If your dog starts to lose weight, feed a little more. If he starts to get heavy, feed less. If you’d like something a bit more scientific though feed him 2-3% of his ideal body weight every day. So if 19 pounds is what he should be at then you’re looking at a third to a bit more than a half pound of food per day.

    Good luck and keep it up! Your dog will thank you even if a few humans won’t get it.

    Shawn wrote on March 14th, 2009
  36. Hi I have done sooooooo much research on the raw food diet sussed out the pro’s and cons and realise all the con’s come from miss-informed individuals who have tried this diet. ALL the pro’s have been made by well informed people who have fist hand experience in the fantastic effects of this diet,many of these are veterinarians and dog trainers who recommend this diet over any other. Some reading that I have had the pleasure of are the books from Dr Ian Billinghurst, there are also tons of websites!

    helen wrote on March 26th, 2009
  37. Hello everyone, could someone please tell me why the first sustenance wolves and lions eat from their kills are partially digested vegetation contained in the stomachs’ of their kills, and then of course they eat the meat. Is it also true that wolfs and lions don’t produce enough digestive enzymes naturally to break down vegetation. Perhaps this could be why dogs don’t digest vegetables well and by lightly cooking them we help the dog digest it better. I noticed my dogs will eat grass and its roots, and they will also eat clay from time to time.

    Susan wrote on March 31st, 2009
    • ” Is it also true that wolfs and lions don’t produce enough digestive enzymes naturally to break down vegetation”

      Um, I think you’ve answered your own question!

      Msfit wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • I bring home whole geese (with feathers and everything) and they dig the stomach out and toss it aside.
      Even after they eat the bits and pieces off skin off the feathers they still ignore the stomach completely.

      All 4 of my dogs ignore stomachs.

      The head is always the first thing to go.

      Suvetar wrote on May 18th, 2011
  38. To answer Susan:

    Sounds like you’ve been reading more of industry initiated misinformation :o) I’m currently trying to write a book about canine natural care, so I’ve accumulated loads of research. Too much to include here, but as to your initial mistaken point you might try reading “Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation” by L. David Mech et al. In chapter 4 “The Wolf as a Carnivore” on pages 123 and 124 you will find the following quotes (along with many many unbiased scientific references):

    “Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and…consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]…is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site.”

    “To grow and maintain their own bodies, wolves need to ingest all the major parts of their herbivorous prey, except the plants in the digestive system.”

    The mucus membranes in the stomach lining are important sources of fatty acids in the wolf diet. The stomach lining, known as “green” tripe is an item that natural feeders try to get a little of into their domestic wolves’ diet.

    Hope this answers your question,
    Lee C

    Lee Cullens wrote on March 31st, 2009
  39. I completely agree with this post, Mark! You’ve got it.
    An interesting story, though; my mother has problems keeping her Golden Retriever out of the garden. She picks Mom’s sweet corn, shucks it and eats the corn right off the cob. She loves it! She should still have raw meat only, but because she’s kept outside, where she belongs, she can get her own veggie intake if she wants it.

    Kristie wrote on April 3rd, 2009
  40. I have a toy poodle that loves tomatoes. She will test the ripeness by smell and by bumping it with her nose. She will wait to eat them until they are ripe. She guards the plants and will chase the other dogs away when they get near.

    Susan wrote on April 4th, 2009

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