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Do any of you feed your dogs 100% raw food?

This week I converted my dogs diet from a dry vegan dog food, to a 100% whole raw food diet. And by the way, he did really good on the vegan diet and got more than enough protein since I laced it with super foods like spirulina. But anyways, lately I’ve been having a little trouble trying to get him to eat certain raw foods. he loves stuff like coconut and certain nuts but won’t eat a lot of other things like some vegetables,fruits or seeds. I was hoping some of you could give me any ideas or maybe even recipes that you prepare for your dogs or cats. Shedding any light on the subject would be so helpful.




  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Wow, I had friends who changed their dog’s diet (big dog) to vegan… but their dog had problems later and the vet told them he needs protein. So, they converted their dog back to omnivore. It’s neat to hear you were successful!

    Ani Phyo has a dog… mentioned in her book. Her dog is also raw… in her book she said that she would make something to eat for the dog and would give it to the dog for him to eat out of her hand. Since her dog did not eat it… Ani ate it herself right in front of the dog so her dog could see her eating it. Her dog didn’t have anything else to eat (I don’t think) so next time Ani did that… the dog ate it.

  • Wow, I thought the people on here would be a little more opened minded being that this is a community of raw foodists, but I guess not. First off, I find it very interesting that some of you would call it animal cruelty to feed dogs a vegan diet, when most people feed their dogs commercial processed antibiotic, pesticide, herbicide, containing real dogs, allergy causing grains and many other poisons, death food. Its not that I don’t want my dogs to eat meat, its just that Killing other animals and supporting an industry that tortures and then slaughters animals in an unnatural setting just for a profit, now that is animal cruelty. I don’t get mad at my dogs when they eat mice or small birds, and maybe I’ll start taking them to the wild mesa where they can wild craft rabbits. LOL. But I am in no way going to have animals tortured and slaughtered by humans so that my dogs could have raw meat. They can get all the protein they need from spirulina, bee pollen, goji berries, ect these have far more protein than meat and complete protein. They are actually my parents pets and I’m taking care of them because they were like dying before I saved their lives from the standard dog diet and now they are the youngest healthiest happiest dogs I have ever seen! The oldest one had arthritis and looked like he was going to die in like 6 months, and I’ve seen this happen to countless dogs that are feed regular dog food. My dog no longer has arthirits and looks at least 5 years younger. My dogs are so healthy its unbelievable. Yes, a regular vegan diet wouldn’t provide enough protein for an omnivore, but with super foods included, they can actually get more protein than with meat. And again, I am not forcing them to withhold from eating meat, I encourage them to eat bugs, birds, mice, and rabbits, as we have so many of these where I live. I agree that what they naturally eat is probably best. But you have to consider that some foods are still just as sustaining and health giving even though it is not natural for us to eat them. Like spirulina for ex. Our ancestors or cavemen or even monkeys never eat algae as a large portion of their diet, but yet spirulina and chlorella are so nutritious that you can actually totally survive off of it and just water. Buddhists have been know to do this for years and they become healthier than almost all health conscious Americans. Now imagine combining 10 other superfoods this nutritious, and adding it to foods they enjoy, that already contains a substantial amount of raw protein, fats, and sugars. The results are pretty remarkable. I could lecture some of you for your choice of food you give to your pets, but its easier to criticize me just cause mine is more unusual or radical(Remember, all of the greatest people of time were radical, Jesus, Gandhi, ect..) you seem to think what I’m doing is wrong even though you haven’t thoroughly researched the subject.

    So please, if any of you are going to lecture or attack me about this, please don’t even bother to post. Only productive answers,


  • Any suggestions or places where I could find more information about feeding my dog a raw vegan diet? What would be the best way to start? Thanks!

  • Below is a web site, written by a veterinarian, outlining some of the reasons that a vegan diet may not be suitable for dogs and cats. While I am convinced that you, rawuniverse2, have only the very best intentions, and while I don’t agree with everything the vet writes, there is the ethical question of feeding an animal a diet that is outside of its nature. Everyone must decide for themselves, of course, but please also do some research yourself and at least consider some other points of view as well. If I’m going to feed myself foods that are appropriate for my anatomy and physiology (mostly vegan, mostly raw), how can I do any less for my beloved pets?


  • deborahanndeborahann Raw Newbie

    Do you know anyone using any of the raw frozen brands? I understand that you do not like to feed animal products, but do you know anybody who used them and their results? I have 2 elderly dogs that I am seriously considering transitioning to a commercial frozen raw diet. As much as I would like to make their food, I just don’t have the time with my work schedule. I sometimes barely have time to feed myself and my husband. Cost is also a factor. Superfoods are pricey and it is hard enough to pay for our food! What are you feeding your dogs now and how big are they?

  • lstorzlstorz Raw Superstar

    Read Richard Pitcairn’s book “Natural Health for Dogs & Cats”—it will answer all of your questions. Also, you can go to Pitcairn’s website and find a link that will list vets who have trained with Pitcairn or that use homeopathics. They will probably be able to give you advice that is in line with your health goals for your dogs. I found a vet through this website that is willing to work with me on optimizing my cats’ new diet and addressing any concerns that I have.

    I have transitioned my 3 cats to a natural diet (this means that ironically, as a raw vegan, I spend a lot of time hanging out in the meat department of the supermarket) following Pitcairn’s book, and it has gone very well. Good luck!

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    I don’t mean this in a judgemental way, but dogs evolved from wolves, and though their appearance has changed, their digestive system hasn’t. Dogs are natural carnivores, so I would think it necessary to feed a dog animal products. It would be good to find a company that makes raw ground up meat etc. for dogs, preferably organic/free range.

  • Rawuniverse2 You asked what people thought and they are telling you. I don’t think anyone was trying to attack you, they were just giving the information you asked for. Dogs in nature ate meat that they killed. Since we have domesticated them they can no longer do that. It is up to us as pet owners to be responsible and provide them with what is best for them and their health not our ideaology. And are you comparing yourself to Jesus and Gandhi?

  • My cat has been on raw food longer then I have! She’s been eating mostly Nature’s Variety frozen raw food (they have organic varieties) for over a year. It’s great. Deborahann, most non-chain pet stores carry it (petsmart, etc won’t have it). I love it and so does my cat. It has cleared up a lot of her problems.

    I also now have a new dog and I got her freeze dried raw kibble (Nature’s Variety brand as well). I can handle little pieces of meat for my cat, but the thought of a whole ham hock for the dog has me totally grossed out (I was raised vegetarian and have never been used to the sight of raw meat). I’m working my way up to it though and think that I will start to transition her as this bag of food starts to run out. She also eagerly awaits morning smoothie time because I give her pieces of all the fruits and veggies. This dog actually LOVES to eat lettuce, kale, collard greens, etc. all raw! She also gets a raw egg in her dry food a few times a week.

    If you have a problem with factory meat raising (CAFOs, etc), see if you can get local raw meat from a place that humanely raises the animals. Remember that your dog or cat will also need organ meat and bones as well, not just the muscle part. In the wild, they would eat a whole animal, so mimicking that is a good idea. The BARF diet is a good example of do-it-yourself raw food for dogs. I’m a wuss and prefer the commercial pre-ground stuff…

    I think a raw diet is so sensible for our pets. I do not, however, think a vegetarian, especially vegan diet is appropriate. A lot of raw foodists eat raw because they believe it is the most natural food choice. Following this same logic, it is the most natural thing to feed cats and dogs meat. There is a lot of research out there on the subject. Read, read, read and come to your own conclusion.

    Rawuniverse2, do your dogs ever act aggressively towards cats or other dogs (if you have them around your neighborhood)? I just wonder if they are used to killing for their meat if it would ever become a problem with an animal that you DON’T want them to kill. Having your dogs eat your neighbors cat doesn’t sound like the best way to make friends. :P I’m just curious as to how far the instinct to kill for meat goes. The only thing in my neighbor for my dog to eat would be chickens, cats and a pesky skunk. I’d rather her just stay away from all of them!!!

  • Rawuniverse2,

    Personally I find it appalling that you allow (and seem happy about!) your dogs killing wild animals.

    If you knew anything about ecology, you would know that bird populations in the United States are depressed from feral cats and other unnatural predators. Your dogs are NOT a natural part of the environment, they are only there because of you. Food webs take thousands of years to evolve, a time span that does not take into account the recent introduction of predators like domesticated dogs and cats. Allowing your dogs to hunt wild animals puts unnecessary strain on the delicate environmental balance of the area in which you live. It would be a much more ecologically responsible choice to purchase humanely slaughtered meat for your dogs rather than letting them decimate local wild animal populations.

    Please think about that before comparing yourself to prophets.

    Dianna Miller

    Biologist/Environmental Ecologist

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I have met 3 vegan dogs in the last 2 months. 2 of them were cooked vegan and ate a prepared shop bought dry food, and one was a raw vegan who ate whatever his raw vegan mum ate. His Favourite foods are melon and seaweed.

    The two dogs who were cooked vegan smelled awful and although they were older dogs I didn’t think they looked any healthier than a dog fed canned meat.

    The raw vegan dog was a totally different matter. I don’t think I have seen a dog in such good condition. His mum told me that she left him with her dad for 4 months last year and her dad fed him out of a can. She said when she picked him up he could hardly walk and seemed totally depressed. A couple of weeks on raw vegan and he was totally back to his old self again!
    She gives him a portion of what ever she eats and she keeps it well varied although she says he loves fruit the best.

    I used to be very judgemental about people feeding carnivoires vegan food, and after meeting these dogs, who are omnivorous anyway, I have reached the conclusion that giving a dog raw vegan food is better for them than canned meat or dry dog food.

    My own cat eats raw meat, I don’t believe cats are able to be vegan.

  • I can see the possibility of a dog becoming a vegan because in nature they are scavengers. While a vegan diet is perferrable to most of the dog food brands out there, I would not choose it over an omivorious diet. Cats, on the other hand, are not scavengers and they require a higher precentage of meat than dogs. Personally, I don’t think you could convince a cat to eat a vegan meal anyways. I used to feed my dogs according to The BARF Diet and I recommend that anyone read that book who is considering feeding their pets raw food. However, if you are looking for a dog food brand, Evo is probably the best. Also, whatever raw vegetables you feed a dog or cat should be blended up very well, as in the wild they would get most of their greens from the undigested material within the prey they caught.

  • All I can say is hemp, hemp, hemp. We have a Jack Russell who has been raw his whole life and raw vegan for most of that. He loves the hemp protein powder and hemp is such a superfood that we are happy to give it to him. He also LOVES durian and coconut meat. He actually has kind of a sweet tooth and would eat bags of dried fruit if we would let him. We try to blend up his food so he can get the most benifit from it and give him these great hemp pellets to exercise his jaw and keep his teeth healthy. Most of the Jack Russells we see are obese and hyper active whereas our Kumi is solid muscle and very calm (except when it’s ball time!) We have noticed that the few times we have given him raw meat he becomes very agressive and his coat becomes smelly and oily. Since he thrives on a vegan diet we prefer to feed him that although at times we buy this dehydrated raw dog food that contains salmon mostly because it’s convenient. Anyway there is a wonderful book called “Obligate Carnivore” all about why it is perfectly healthy to feed your pets vegan for those that are worried about it. My lovely boyfriend wants me to add that the oldest living dog is living in England on a vegan diet of brown rice and veggies. So if a dog can live a long healthy life on gluteny rice imagine the possibilities of fresh whole foods!

  • rawuniverse2 – you might find browsing through posts / posting your question on this forum helpful:


  • I vote for raw vegetables and raw meat. That’s what I would do. I wouldn’t even consider omitting meat- probably because I am not heavily educated on the subject.

  • The shape that fruits and veggies are cut into can make a difference in whether a dog will eat them. They have a hard time biting down on round objects. For example, our dog would never eat whole grapes; he would just spit them out. But he had no problem eating grapes that had been cut in half.
    Our dog also enjoyed eating stinky things. I once caught him eating compost. He loved kimchee with the hot pepper washed off.

  • KristensRawKristensRaw Raw Newbie

    I empathize and understand your compassion for giving a dog vegan food so animals aren’t slaughtered/harmed for your dog. I have heard of others battling the same issue. Then they thought to themselves…what about harming the dog by not letting him eat what he’s naturally supposed to eat?

    Maybe you could consider feeding your dog organic, no hormones, no steroids, GRASS fed, PASTURE raised meat. This way at least the meat is as “humanely treated as possible” and your dog gets a natural protein source like he would in the wild.

    Best of luck.

    Kristen Suzanne

  • Thanks for all your posts, a lot of different views which is good. I actually caved yesterday and decided to keep my dogs only on the vegan diet. They don’t like raw plant food very much. They like cooked plant food though because their use to it. I actually think one of them is playing with my head though, He acts like he doesn’t want the raw food I prepare, and then as soon as I leave, he starts eating small amounts,but making sure I can’t see him, I spied from the window and noticed this. I think they know that I’ll cave if they hold of from eating, since they probably prefer taste of cooked food, its what their use to. So instead of giving them 100% raw food, I’m just going to try and introduce more and more raw food into their diet.

    By the way, I never meant to compare myself to jesus or gandhi, it was just a simple analogy, sorry if anyone took it that way.

    Some of you might think its wrong to feed dogs a vegan diet, but honestly my dogs are the healthiest dogs I have ever seen. They could be dog models, seriously. Think about what rawmumma said, do you think that the longest living dog in the world would be on a diet that is not suitable or nutritious for them. I think a vegan diet is very clean and healthy way of living. Dogs are omnivorous, they scavenge and live off what is avaliable, kind of like us, and as long as enough protein is supplemented like spirulina or hemp, than I think that all of their nutritional needs will be taken care of.

  • ZaZa Raw Newbie

    I tried feeding my cats—not dogs—some “raw food” cat-food that came frozen, but they didn’t like it at all, I had to “transition” them by sliping it into their canned food bit by bit, and it was also a hassle to have to thaw the frozen stuff all the time…Plus the stuff was hard to find and sort of pricey. I gave up for a while…

    Then one day when I was cutting up some fresh unfrozen wild alaskan salmon for myself I saw my cats begging and fed them some. They loved it. Immeditately. Gobbled it all up. Then I tried different organic grass-fed meats from my local farmers’ market to vary up their diet a bit. They loved all of it. They are so much happier eating real raw food! They won’t even touch canned food any more.

    I understand that dogs are naturally more omnivorous than cats, who are predominantly carnivorous, so perhaps you would want to add some veggies to your dogs’ diet, but I would skip the packaged frozen “raw” food in favor of the real thing!

  • I tried switching my 2 Maltese dogs to a raw food diet. I purchased organic raw food by Nature’s Variety and supplemented with raw meaty bones. My dogs loved it, but they did not do well on it at all. They started getting tear stains and paw stains. They started panting very heavy at all times. As soon as I took them off of the raw diet, they returned to normal. I have no idea what the problem was. I have started giving them INNOVA EVO dog food. It is a raw kibble. The animals they use in the food are not given antibiotics and are grain fed, etc although the meat is not organic. My dogs love this food and are doing well on it. I, too, hate buying meat for my dogs. PETA does recommend vegetarian dog food. But my dogs won’t eat it, so I feel like I have no choice! Best of luck! Love, Tammy

  • DelphineDelphine Raw Newbie

    Hi again,
    Speaking of the raw kibbles option. Here is one brand I recommend: Great Life
    Raw Food layered on Wholistic Kibble, no refrigeration required. Organic meat & vegies which is best. I buy their grain & potato free chicken, buffalo & lamb Raw Food layered on Wholistic Kibble as a back up for travels, black out, disaster supplies kit … since I rarely use them, I end up giving some to my clients for their pets to their delight. www.greatlife4pets.com
    May this be helpful : )

  • LucyLucy Raw Newbie

    My sister has 8 dogs and she feeds them with small quantities of meat,vegetables and brown rice.Sometimes she gives them herbal tea.
    They look very healthy.They love avocados,papayas,bananas too.

  • DelphineDelphine Raw Newbie

    As far as what type of food to give your Animal Companions.
    I will start by saying that whatever is your choice, I honor & respect it completely.
    Now, here is “only” my opinion:
    One: This is a very complex subject. For example, if we (goneraw members) were to share a living food dinner all together, few would eat even the same raw food as our tastes & needs vary greatly. This can be apply to our beloved animal companions.
    Two: Each of my animal companions over the years has shown me what they needed which involved some animal protein. In response to that I chose to honor & respect their needs even though, I eat 100% vegan living food. I have always prepared their food (raw organic vegies fruits meat + coconut oil) with nothing but love for them in my heart & gratitude for each ingredient (vegetable & animal). Their health, well being … have been fabulous.
    I would like to add that our present young dog: Yoko, in addition to her animal proteins, eats plenty of fruits & vegies because she loves every single raw food I make for us, including green smoothies. Also, I have a 3/4 wolf friend who cannot stand meat.
    Three: Additionally, on a personal level, nobody around me is eating 100% vegan living food, they are eating 50% vegan live food max. I embrace our differences which here too includes cooking for them with love, food that I won’t eat. As a result, I am witnessing them gravitate more & more toward raw food year after year.

    May all posts be helpful to you. Wishing you the very best.

  • MopokeMopoke Raw Newbie

    My beautiful golden retriever died, aged 7, from cancer and when I got my two standard poodle cross pups three years back I was determined they would have the chance to live long, healthy lives.
    It was them that got ME started on raw! (I used to think they ate better than me!)
    I started them on the BARF diet – basically green smoothies in the morning and local free range chicken frames, wings, necks or lambflaps for tea along with cod liver oil supplements and additional organ meats and other bits and pieces. Both the pups sadly came from a pet shop and one showed all the symptoms of a bad puppy mill background. Moreover in the pet shop she had been fed repulsive pap for more than a week (a huge part of her life for an 8 week old pup). I literally watched her come alive on ground raw meat and veg.
    Now both dogs eat at least 50% raw fruit and veg, and more makes them thrive even more brightly.
    I know there is room for improvement (some ear canker which I was told is allergy-related and seems to me to resemble a yeast infection) (currently wondering if cider vinegar will help)
    But the dog who is half labrador (very labrador in build) is far more open to being more vegetarian than the one who is half golden retriever (classic poodle in build) and started off pretty sick. She won’t eat slurp that is too green.

    According to the BARF theory dogs are unable to digest cellulose. Their wild ancestors got their fruit and veg (up to 80& of the diet or more at times) either from eating soft ‘forest floor’ fruits or stomach contents of herbivores which had been pre-digested. Therefore it’s imperative to juice, or blend (or lightly steam?) greens etc for maximum nutritional benefit.

  • Hi everyone-

    This is a very heated and serious conversation. I’m glad to know that everyone is as concerned about their animal’s health as they are their own. I work for a homeopathic vet and know a it about this subject. If there is one thing that she recommends to every pet owner, it is to switch to a raw diet. My dogs, per her advice, are now on Urban Wolf. This is a very expensive diet and one that I could not afford without my employee discount. Second to Urban Wolf, Sojourner’s is the next best. Both of these require the addition of raw meat. Urban Wolf also requires the addition of fish oil (either salmon, sardine, cod, or krill).

    There are several things that I would like to mention. One, aside from protein, dogs need fat. They need a lot of fat compared to humans. For a vegan diet, I’m not sure that enough fat can be provided. I will talk to my vet about this to give a more informed post.

    I certainly agree that feeding a vegan diet is better than a grocery store brand of dry kibble. I would imagine that the results in the dogs would be immediate. First, a raw diet of any kind will have a much higher water content which is beneficial. Second, you are no longer feeding all of the fillers that are in commercial dog food. Wheat, corn, and soy are all used as filler in dry dog food. None of these are part of a natural diet for a dog. Even if some of these are ingested in the wild, the proportions would be very different. Any guess what the top three food allergies are for dogs? Wheat, corn, and soy. The fourth is casein, from dairy, which is awful enough on its own. An interesting note, Irish Setters all have Celiac’s disease. They cannot tolerate gluten. After the introduction of wheat into dry dog food, the breed thinned out significantly. By elimating these foods, especially from a sickly dog, the improvement could be amazing.

    Second, the elimation of the chemicals is huge. Aside from this, the grade of meat that is used in the dry dog food is way below anything acceptable. They truly do add cancerous growths to dog food. Anything that is not fit for human consumption is given to pet food industry.

    My worry about a vegan diet is not limited to the protein or fat. Herbivores have longer (and different) digestive systems that allow them to absorb all the nutrients that different plants have to offer. Just because you feed a food that is completely full of wonderful things does not mean that a dog will be absorb it. Much of it may pass through undigested, regardless of the appearance of the stool.

    I also do not like to support the commerical meat industry. My local health food store sells free range organic meats which are an option. Although I do not hunt, many in my area do. I can purchase meat from the processors (where hunters have their meat cut for them). The hunters typically only want the prime cuts. There is plenty of meat, from the wild, that may be wasted otherwise. This is local, organic, and going to waste. You can also buy the raw bones which are the best thing for dog’s teeth.

    For dogs that are hunting on their own, be careful. Many dogs may not go for big kills but instead scavenge. Scavenging dead meat, or eating stool that smells appealing, is how dogs get worms and other things. Also, as another mentioned, it may lead to behavior (such as hunting after a neighbor’s cat) that you do not want.

    For anyone not feeding their dog meat, please be careful. While the short term results transitioning from grocery store brand kibble may be impressive, you may be looking at horrible long term issues. I would worry about joint disease, thyroid problems, dental isses, etc. Are you giving any bonemeal?

    For anyone that is giving meat but is making the dog food themselves, please be sure to check with a vet to make sure that the diet is properly balanced. Many homemade raw diets do not provide the right calcium-phos balance, fat content, etc.

    Here is a great website of a veterinarian (who has Celiac’s disease): www.dogtorj.com Please read the article “Dogs are Carnivores” by Jeannie Thomason under the Raw Diet section.

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    humans can’t digest cellulose either..yes?

  • I’m not sure about cellulose. I think that it is a fiber that cannot be broken down and serves to regulate and clean the digestive track. That’s what I’ve gathered from the forums but am not positive about human digestion. If you find out elsewhere, can you post back here?

  • Rawuniverse2 I understand why you dont want to feed your pets slautered animals. It is bad enough that we have companion animals in the first place that are not allowed to live natural lives in the wild, because man has destroyed the natural world. I have cats and I know they are carnivores. I get around buying them raw meat by #1 dumpster diving. I smell the meat ( i know it is gross) and see if it is fresh enough. # 2 going to antibiotic free organic butchers and asking them for whatever scraps they will donate me. I dont want to contribute financialy to the killing of animals but this seems to be a “freegan” (free and vegan) alternative so my kitty can get fed an ideal diet. I believe though that dogs, unlike cats, are fine being vegan.

  • MopokeMopoke Raw Newbie

    Thanks mmtol :) elizabethh I grabbed my book “The Barf Diet” by Dr Ian Billinghurst to confirm about the cellulose, and what it really says is the fruit and veg should be pulped to mimic the gut contents of prey…..... so much for the cellulose theory ;).
    It’s interesting taking another look at the book however so thank you!
    In case anyone is interested, his diet for dogs is:
    Ingredient Number One: Water
    Ingredient Number Two: Raw Meaty Bones ;”from a purely nutritional point of view, raw meaty bones supply the bulk of your pet’s water, protein, fat, mineral requirements along with enzymes, antioxidants and other anti-aging nutrients” (he recommends mainly chicken wings and necks and lamb flaps because they are small and easy to crunch up)
    Ingredient Number Three: Raw Fruit and Vegetables (at least 15%)(cats just 5%) Green leafy, herbs, root vegetables, and fruit vegetables such as tomato and capsicums(sweet peppers). Plus all raw fruits in season. Limit legumes (although sprouts are OK)...avoid too many high starch or sugar vegetables such as carrots and pumpkin.
    No onions, no potatoes,. All vegetables to be crushed or pulped
    Ingredient number four: Offal.
    Ingredient number five: supplements: cod liver oil, flax seed/oil, probiotics, sardines, garlic (also some meat here and possibly cottage cheese etc),kelp, alfalfa)
    A healthy tip: By adding a healthy oil to the crushed veg. material, you aid the digestion of many of the phytochemicals which are fat soluble.

  • MopokeMopoke Raw Newbie

    I think the reason for pulping or juicing the vegetables is because the dog’s digestive tract is so much shorter than that of a (an?) herbivore. This means the fruit and veg products are given in an already ‘semi-digested’ state and the dog’s digestive tract is more easily able to carry on the work.

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