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

We 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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. I tried the raw diet with my super sensitive Staffie. EVERY time I tried, he immediately vomited up whatever he ate. Profusely. Repeatedly. It was horrible. The poor baby got so sick each and every time (tried when I first brought him home at 9 weeks and again when he got older around 6 months and 10 months). The whole “ride it out” thing doesn’t reflect the fact that the dog’s body is rejecting the food because it cannot digest it properly. NOT a good idea to put your pup through that hoping that he will eventually “ride it out” -gave me SERIOUS concerns about his health after just one day. Try letting a 75 lb dog vomit for three days straight each and every time you feed him (because you don’t want to mix processed kibble and raw meat diet). At that point, he’s both starving and exhausted from being sick. Day three, I had to give up -worries about physical toll and dehydration. I tried chicken (he is allergic), then beef RMB (vomiting was WAY worse). The only “raw” food he can handle is carrots, and they don’t digest!! lol. Any suggestions?

    Nikki wrote on May 3rd, 2012
    • Hi my bc girl will sometimes vomit after rmb she has raw marrow bones as a treat a few times a week, her meals consist of raw meat that has bones ground up, pulped veggies, fish oil, probiotics/ prebiotics( she has a sensitive belly too) kelp and alfalfa. Try really small amounts of ground raw mince and bone with a little pumpkin to start maybe 4 times a day tk start with and sew how he goes and gradually build it up. I would feel awful if my girl was eating it all then throwing it all up again. Also give him a little time to calm down after exercise and before make sure you give him at least an hour after a rmb to digest it otherwise he will throw it up. Hope this helps let me know how you get on :-)

      Helen wrote on May 14th, 2012
  2. i have learned a lot today – reading here. i have a 2 1/2 year old 11 pound yorkie and we started today transitioning him to raw. we are transitioning with with “instinct raw” (natures variety) we bought from from the freezer at a local pet store. however-we have a freezer full 0f ground elk and deer (hubby’s a hunter) mixed with a little beef suet. is this sound? when i cook wild game for us you can tell he is just praying i will drop some.;o) i feel leery about the bones… are they necessary? is fish oil all (a few veggies) all i need to add? we have been giving him glucosamine for his hips…what do you think? appreciate any response when you get a chance, thx for all this info. cp

    Cathy wrote on May 6th, 2012
  3. Cathy – Uncooked bones are safe, good for his teeth and contain glucosamine. You can add some organs from those deer carcasses, even (ick) brain, tendons, stomach lining, etc. Hope it helps :) Though keep in mind, I’m no vet.

    We just got a three-month old puppy and are agonizing over what to feed him. The raw animal parts diet has me convinced but about everyone I know has been yelling at me that I’ll be killing my dog on this unbalanced diet they are not made to eat, as they have evolved (as have we, apparently) since hunter-gatherer times.

    The only argument raised that truly has me concerned is what to do when travelling. He’ll end up eating 700g-1kg of meat every day. Does anyone have an idea as to how (or what) do I transport all of it (say, if we’re travelling in the desert or an otherwise relatively meat-free environnement) ?

    Thanks, I’m really at a loss here…

    Val wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Hi Val, I go camping a lot with my bc, I had the same problem in my head. A good quality cool box that has hook up to charge from your cigarette lighter in a car. The other thing I did was find a good quality steam cooked food that doesn’t need to be kept cool. If its going to be warm and I don’t have the car, I keep her food in a cool box with plenty of ice packs enough for 2 days then for the rest of the time or until I can get to some raw food supplier I use the steam cooked stuff which doesn’t effect her digestion. As long as you use something that is similar to what your dog eats normally then you should be fine for a week or so. The one i found works best is this :
      Hope this helps let me know how you get on.

      Helen wrote on May 14th, 2012
  4. Max is my 4-year old rescue. He has been on raw for at least 8 months. He has been scratching his ears for about 3 months but not sure why. Vet couldn’t find anything. Everything I have read says it is too much protein.

    My other rescue is great on it. She scratches and was shaking her head but not like Max.

    I’m not sure what to do now. I have Max on only beef mix but he is still scratching/head shaking constantly. Would cooking the meat help?

    Any ideas? Thank you.

    Donna wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Hi Donna,
      What other meat have you tried Max on ? Beef and chicken are apparently the worst ones if your dog has allergies. Also try cleaning his ears with a little vitamin E oil do it on a daily basis for a couple weeks and see how that helps.

      Good luck :-)

      Helen wrote on May 14th, 2012
  5. Is there any site or any advice for breed specific raw diets??? I have an American bluenose pit bull… She is 5 months and I want to start her on a raw diet but mdont want to give her the wrong meats any advice??

    Schaz wrote on June 6th, 2012
  6. Wow!! I am in complete agreement with feeding dogs raw meat! I have just recently started making Molly*s food, I was cooking chicken liver and giblets, but the raw diet makes more sense (Molly is 4 months old), I made some dry food with flower and oil and added turmeric spice(for joints), now I am not so sure if that is alright for here, could you possibly get back to with an idea of how often to feed her raw meat, I feed her 3 meals a day, I give her the liver mixture in the am and the dry food at lunch and supper, now I am wondering if that is too much, she is quite active, anyway I would appreciate any advice you can give. I certainly cannot afford the vet, so I want her as healthy as possible.

    Keep up the great website! I am going to refer it to everyone I know with a dog!

    Kelly and Molly

    Kelly Groves wrote on June 25th, 2012
  7. My vet says that dogs are susceptible to e-coli contaminants and salmonella as we are. It all depends on the butchering of the animal and the processing. She still advises to cook the meat to avoid illness.

    Paula wrote on July 30th, 2012
  8. I just started getting this from What do you guys think?

    Javier wrote on September 27th, 2012
    • Hi javier, I’ve had a look all I can say is try it for a few weeks and note how your dog is getting on with it. Any reason you don’t want to just feed raw?


      Helen wrote on September 27th, 2012
      • It’s mostly a timing thing. I spend so much time cooking for myself and my wife (which she’s not paleo so it makes it harder) that to make something else on top of that would be rough. I was thinking of maybe adding some chicken from time to time. Mostly bad excuses to be honest.

        Javi wrote on September 28th, 2012
  9. I understand but why not try raw for 2 weeks and see how you get on fitting in to your routine. It really isn’t complicated at all you just need yo remember to get your dogs meat for the day out the night before and set it in a tub/bowl to defrost over night. I personally feed twice a day but do what ever works best fr you and your dog. On the evening meal especially if your cooking veg just cut a bit extra and chuck it in with your dogs meal ( you can feed cooked too from time to time, get them left overs used up) once you get into the routine I’m sure you will find it really simple to do.

    Helen wrote on September 28th, 2012
  10. I’m concerned about the quality of the meat. Would I have to buy organic grass fed raw meat and organs?

    Nathan wrote on October 18th, 2012
  11. I have an English Mastiff and an American Bulldog. The mastiff was raised on the raw meat and when we got him earlier this year, we switched our bulldog and she LOVED it.

    I have one problem. The mastiff is a male and his piss is putrid. The smell is just like rotten meat. Is there anything we can add to his diet to help remedy the matter?

    Also as a chime in here – we get all our dog food from the local butcher house. They sell the scraps, bone paste (sawdust from bone saws) and beef hearts. They only charge $0.25 per pound… way cheaper than prepacked dry garbage.

    Kim Mullican wrote on November 26th, 2012
  12. Awesome post! I am going to try and get my parents to switch our dog to raw food- I KNOW she will benefit from it! Do any of you notice a difference in your dog’s energy levels? Are higher energy dogs more mellow on raw food?

    Elisa wrote on November 27th, 2012
  13. I have been feeding my dog, a medium-large yoorkie, since he was a puppy. It just didn’t make sense to me to feed him corn!

    But I have been concerned about whether he was getting proper nutrition. I felt that since wolfs ate like that then his gut was probably designed to eat meat as his primary source of nutrition. I feed him chicken, turkey necks and various type of red meat including some liver and kidneys. I did this just following my one intuition.

    I recently decided to check the internet to see if anyone else was doing the same thing.

    I am glad that I am not alone, and that others agree with me. I am certain we are right. It is so logical. And these purveyors of corn are so full of crap! I hear of dogs that seem to be almost always sick and the incredible fees these vets charge. My dog is five years old and has never been sick, period.

    I think the vets are in with the corn scam. Sick dogs make them rich!

    John Dupont wrote on March 24th, 2013
  14. I am going to start feeding raw tomorrow….to my 5 dogs…nervous though….been reading a lot about it….learned a lot from Pat McKay….

    justjiji wrote on April 10th, 2013
  15. Our beagle Thomas has allergy dermatitis. The infection was so bad, he scratched himself unceasingly, licking his butt, scratching and then infection set in the sores that he developed. The vet gave him an antibiotic. He turned out to be allergic to the antibiotic. He broke out in little bumps all over. His entire body was covered like a gourd with these hard red bumps, that have become very crusted. He is very sad. So a friend of mine suggested this site and diet plan. It makes SOOOOO much sense. I am going to try it. I pulled the kibble, and fed him a few left over fish I thawed from my freezer. He chowed them quickly. We will see how it goes. Tomorrow he will get some chicken legs, carrots, and brussle sprouts (stuff I have left over in fridge) and see how he does. Please pray for my boy! He is such an awesome dog.

    Thomasthetankpuppy wrote on July 17th, 2013
  16. my westie eats turkey mince [ cooked ] mxed with earthborn holistic grain free kibble also chicken mince and kangaroo mince she will eat the fowl raw but backs away from the roo its considered game and maybe too rich she does like her food wet. doesnt drink much at all ritax

    fingerandus wrote on July 28th, 2013
  17. I don’t have any dogs and I’m not much of a dog person, but if I did, I would definitely feed them raw primal

    Irene wrote on July 29th, 2013
  18. I have a 2 year old lab that has had 2 seizures that I have witnessed in the last month. Vet says his blood and everything looks normal, probably epileptic seizures, and that it just happens. Prescribed meds. I am starting a raw diet tomorrow, and have installed a camera in my living room to monitor him when I’m away. I believe paleo can fix something like this with an otherwise healthy dog. We shall see. The overweight puggle is getting in on the action too. So here we go…

    Candace Brown wrote on August 22nd, 2013
  19. I have had my dogs on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken Recipe and I could not be happier.

    I completely agree that a raw diet would be best but this is by far the best alternative. No grains, tons of protein, and easy to feed the dogs.

    Since my older dog has been on this food is gastro problems have gone away, he is no longer taking allergy medicine and both of my dogs are solid muscle. I have 2 rat terriers and they get 1-2 hours of exercise per day. They look amazing and everytime I take them to the vet the vet tells me how healthy they are.

    ANother option for those looking.

    Anthony wrote on September 4th, 2013
  20. I’m considering the switch with my pit rescue pup. she seems to hate everything except for the ‘slop’ I’ve made out of pureed boiled chicken [bones n all] to put in her kibble, but think a raw diet is the way to go with any animal. It’s what their body is built for. I went on craig’s list and looked up beef for sale. Many sell for cheap and even just GIVE away fresh organ meat from their grass fed organic humanely slaughtered cows. I’m waiting on my first purchase. Butcher day is next week. This post has put my trembling soul to rest about switching out her Kirkland puppy chow lol. Only sad that I just bought a whole bag.

    A couple questions though, do I grind it up and freeze it in weekly portions, or do I chop it into cubes? Is it a preference or do they get more nutrients if its ground up or what? Also, what veggies can be added, anything you should steer clear from? Probiotic was mentioned. Do I just buy the powder (which I did for my kids, but its a bit pricey) or can I throw in a tbspn of greek non fat plain yogurt to the mix every meal?

    Victoria wrote on September 10th, 2013
  21. Hi guys!

    So I’m a wannabe Grokster, and my dog is a bit more of a real one. I’ve had him for over a year now (he is about 1.5 years old) and have always fed him grain free food and treats. Despite the hefty price-tag ($60 to $90 for about a month’s worth of dry food), I am disappointed by the quality of even the highest quality food I can find. The Omega 3 to 6 ratio is ridiculous, often 10:1 in favor of Omega 6. I care a great deal about my dog and want him to be as healthy as he can be, but I also don’t have unlimited money. I am wondering about how much I could expect to spend if I go to a raw, mostly-meat diet. Ideally an organic one at that. He’s about a 70 lb Belgian Malinois, and is very active. I take him to the dog park almost every day for an hour (and he’s wearing a backpack with about 8 lb in it these days–was 6 lb until recently) and I know he could exercise even more if given the opportunity. Any thoughts? Any tips on reducing cost while staying organic and whole-food?

    Sam Kay wrote on September 13th, 2013
    • Hi Kay. I write about raw dog food on my web site and have some articles on how to save money on raw dog food. For me, getting a Costco membership helped. Chicken there is about $1 per pound (although he organic is of course a bit more).

      I mostly feed chicken thighs and I also get chicken liver and pork at regular grocery stores since it is cheap. The hardest part is finding a variety of organ meat.

      Anyway without trying too hard to find deals I feed my 70 pound dog raw for $120 per month. He eats about 1.3 pounds per day.

      Lindsay wrote on December 9th, 2013
  22. I have a four year old chocolate lab who has been plagued by allergies since she was 3 months old. She’s had the allergy test done, and has been getting shots for the last 8 months, with minimal (if any) improvement. She is currently on prednisone, zyrtec, and an antibiotic for her staph infections on her skin. My dog and I are both frustrated with her lack of improvement, and have begun taking the steps to put her on a raw diet. My only question is, because of the medication she has been taking for such a LONG period of time, is it safe to just stop it all cold turkey, and start her on the raw diet? Or should I use the Nyzmes product to flush it from her system?

    Marie wrote on October 8th, 2013
    • Hi Marie. Sorry to hear of your dog’s issues and I hope she’s feeling better by now. I’m sure you’ve talked with your vet before stopping your dog’s medications cold turkey, but just in case you haven’t, one thing to be careful of is the prednisone. That is a drug that dogs (and humans too) need to be weaned off of.

      Have you switched her to raw? Hoping it’s made a difference. My black Lab mix does well with it.

      Lindsay wrote on December 9th, 2013
  23. I have a 16yo full Maltese and now 2 6months old Maltese/shitzu. I’ve been worried that the puppies will only eat chicken necks. But you’ve just made me a very happy woman. I had tried a special mince I get from my butcher, but presumed I had to cook it with mixed blended vegies. And they ate it once and never since. But will now try it raw.. I do give them raw carrots but they just seem to play with that at the moment. I do leave a bowl of dry food out for them, which they every rarely touch. But feel if I’m out and about at least they have something if I’m late home, Great to have found this page. Thanks everyone concerned.

    PETA DALE wrote on December 1st, 2013
  24. My dog was 4 when I adopted him, he’d spent his life on mostly kibble with some chicken mince. When I took him for his first vet check up she recommended BARF which is a dog food brand sold here in Australia named after the biologically appropriate raw food diet concept.

    It’s made of frozen raw mince patties with minced up bone, a small amount of partially cooked vegetables, mega 3 and probiotics added. No preservatives, chemicals or grains at all and comes in beef, lamb, chicken and kangaroo mince.

    My dog is sensitive to the lamb but loves the chicken and beef, he also gets big, raw, meaty bones a few times a week. When I first got him he was white and dark brown with a few dry patches and terrible teeth (he had to have eight, EIGHT removed despite his young age) his fur is now so soft and shiny and most amazingly he has turned black and white, no longer brown!

    We travelled a couple of weeks ago requiring a few days in the car so he went onto kibble, not long after he developed horrible diarrhoea and vomiting and which has gone now he’s back on his raw diet. He’s a greyhound so is naturally lean but now has good muscle mass and is not stick figureish like other greyhounds I’ve seen.

    Tarra wrote on December 9th, 2013
  25. Mark…You had me a “What are you feeding Fido?” Then you got all sloppy when you started in on how it’s recommended to feed your dog veggies. Your article is riddled with contradictions, no wonder some of your readers are confused. Dogs/Wolves don’t eat vegetables in their natural environment, except by curiosity mostly. They eat whole prey, except stomach/intestinal contents. Dogs/Wolves are carnivores, not omnivores as some misinformation suggests. Just because they have been domesticated, doesn’t mean their innards have changed. They’re still the same inside as they’ve always been. No, their stomachs do not contain the digestive ability to break down the hard outer shells of most veggies and grains so that should be the first clue they’re not intended to be ingested by them! Cooking veggies and giving to the critters is just bad form. Dogs are opportunists/scavengers and they’ll eat just about anything, including their own filth, and sadly, kibble. However, that doesn’t mean they are ‘meant’ to eat that. In order for a dog/wolf to thrive, it needs to eat organs (eyes, brains, hearts, skin, etc.), non-organs (feathers, claws, testicles, tongue, eggs, etc.), muscle meat, tendons/soft tissue and bones of their prey. They get their complete nutritional needs met, over a period of time (we all know they don’t have regular kills nor do they get to sample a bit of every part of their kill when in a pack–it’s usually a free-for-all and they take what they can get). Lastly, humans have a tendency to think what’s good for them, is good for their dog/cat. Not true! Again, just because they eat it, doesn’t mean it’s good or necessary for them. They are dogs…not babies. They are carnivores, not omnivores. Treat them as such. Vegetables and dairy products have no place in their daily diet. A treat once in awhile, maybe, but certainly not as part of their daily food intake. They need vegetables about as much as they need kibble. That is–None. Period. For the best information, check out this FB page:, and then explore their Yahoo group using the link on the FB page. It’s a really great resource. :) Thanks for all your research and information as relates to humans and our digestive system. My eyes have been opened wide!

    Cathy D wrote on January 23rd, 2014
  26. Hi I thought you’d like to know that chewing bones is extremely calming for dogs as they have special glands underneath their lower jaw that secrete huge amounts of seratonin when the chew vigorously. Why on earth would we deny them that :)

    Jane Jordan wrote on February 9th, 2014
  27. I raise cows and chickens.. A bit concerned about feeding my dog raw chicken, would like her to not help herself to the flock. She has accidentally killed two young chicks but did not eat them. Cows can deal with her and avoid her because she is a pest (heeler type dog, she bosses them around)

    RancHTed wrote on March 2nd, 2014
  28. I hate to be a buzz kill to your raw diet, but it is not all sunshine and roses for every dog. I started my 9 1/2 year old pit bull on a raw diet consisting of Honest Kitchen,(which is good food) mixed with either store bought raw chicken or hamburger On 12/1/13. My dog died of complications from e-coli poisoning on 2/8/2014, barely 8 weeks later. ER vets diagnosis: septic peritonitis.

    E-coli can harm a dog with a weakened immune system, which is hard to know if your dog has until it’s too late. My dog seemed very very healthy before this diet, no issues at all. E-coli is especially harmful to puppies and elderly dogs. And, my vet did not catch it, actually didn’t even look for e-coli, even though I told him she had been on a raw diet. So it’s like a bad thing gone even worse with an incompetent vet. So, now I live with the fact that I killed my dog thinking I was giving her food that would make her healthier and live longer.

    If only I had cooked the food a little, or just not fed raw at all, my dog would still be here. SO, let this be a warning, because when I researched the raw diet, I saw very few bad comments about it. Our domesticated dogs are not wild animals. Wild animals eat their food as soon as they kill it. It does not sit in the grocery store for god knows how long and then they eat it with all sorts of bacteria on it. Plus, who really knows how long these wild animals really live? maybe they have short life spans!
    Long story short, feed raw at your own and your dogs risk. I absolutely would not recommend it to anyone.

    D Larson wrote on March 23rd, 2014
  29. Hi! My wife and I have started our 9weekpup with raw diet, Wall-E is a 5 lb. Doxiepoo that is amazing! He has been the hardest little guy to find a “food” that he likes. He wouldn’t eat kibble of any kind so we went with many different kinds of soft packaged and canned food all the better brands but nothing seemed to catch his attention. We tried raw beef and he absolutely loves it! We are average folks that make a very modest living and can’t afford the “best” food but we want our baby happy and healthy. We would love any and all positive feedback and recipes to
    Help us with our venture. Thank you!!

    scotty g wrote on June 11th, 2014
    • I would strongly suggest discussing your raw diet plans with a good vet. I know most people on this thread are pro-raw. However, be aware that e-coli can kill your dog and puppies and elderly dogs are most susceptible to it. My 9 1/2 year old staffordshire terrier died 8 weeks after feeding her a raw diet. (story above)
      please research thoroughly before feeding your puppy raw food. start here:

      Diana wrote on June 11th, 2014
      • Thank you I have not fed him any raw chicken yet because of my fears of this. We are very cautious using only quality meats and bone but no raw chicken yet, too scared. I am and have been actively researching this and my vet has (without directly saying it) supports this but I do feel as though I am depriving him of the wonder bird. :-)

        scotty g wrote on June 11th, 2014
  30. Hey we have a 5 month old Shar pei/Lab mix and I am interested in starting him on a raw food diet. I read the complete post at the top. I was wondering how much he would have to eat for his age and how often? Thanks :)

    India Torres wrote on September 7th, 2014
  31. I’ve tried switching mine over to a raw meat diet a few times and she consistently had issues. Extremely painful constipation and vomiting that literally won’t stop until I switch her back to a dry kibble. I mean, I feed her a combination of Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Nature’s Domain (both grain-free diets) mixed with bone broth (and sometimes semi-cooked meat bits) and give her beef/venison bones 1-2X/month, which appears to be the next best thing?

    I’m more concerned about the fact that she recently had a large bladder stone removed and my vet seems to think that it “could only be caused by diet-related factors and nothing else” (without the stone analysis back yet), even though I feed her pretty high quality food. I already know my vet will prescribe some high carb/high fat crap that’s supposed to prevent kidney stone formation… I’m curious if anyone else has had this issue of bladder stones and what they did to rectify them? Maybe switching to a totally wet diet with some cooked/raw meat mixed in?

    Charlayna wrote on January 27th, 2015
  32. Raw feeders are in my opinion the smarter dog keepers,why i say this?

    1. kibble companies claim to put real meat in the kibbles
    2. bags stay of shelf for months at a time,meat would spoil and the food would stink and be harmfull to the dog.
    3. protein is found highly in meats
    4. kibbles,even the best kibbles you can purchase passes thru your dog like castor oil,leaving piles of smelly stool in every pen kept dog,on the other hand raw fed dogs leave 2 to 3 hard small firm turds.very little waste.
    5. over all health condition is unmatched by kibbles,energy and blood count is great by feeding raw.
    6. most quality kibbles cost $35-$40 per 40lb bag and yet its still a grain! Raw chicken only cost $17.99 per 40 lb case no grains all protein! $36 for 80 who wouldnt give there dog the better for less expense?

    WALTER HARRISON wrote on April 2nd, 2015

    JEN wrote on May 10th, 2015
    • Add cold pressed organic coconut oil to her diet and coat . add .5 water .25 acv Braggs and .25 lemon juice to spray bottle. Spray dry spots until moist and then rub moist spots with organic coconut oil

      Shawnna wrote on May 10th, 2015

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