Raw Pet Feeding

This is a question to everyone who serves their pet/s homemade raw food - meaning you make the raw food mixture yourself. What exactly do you serve your pet and how much per meal? how many meals a day? I am not looking for raw pet advice, my dog has been raw for almost 2 years... He is almost 2 1/2 now and has responded beautifully to raw. Anyhow, I am curious to know how others are preparing raw for their pets!

I switched my German Shepherd from Primal *organic, frozen patties that are locally made* to fresh, homemade raw food awhile back and he LOVES it. I don't blame him, fresh sure beats frozen. Anyhow, he enjoys fresh raw beef from the butcher up the road... raw bones - chicken or turkey ... fresh thai young coconut meat - one of his favorites but not with every single meal... and with every meal of raw meat I include fresh fruits and vegetables (especially bananas, carrots, apples, bell peppers, melon, etc) and Vitamineral raw green powder which he devours. Lately he has been enjoying treats if fresh irganic barhi dates from my local farmer's market. We share them! When i juice I will share the pulp with him and is an easier way to include greens like parsley or vegetable tops in the mix. Otherise I grind his produce in my processer and mix it with his meat and green powder. His diet is very in tact. I would love to hear what you all prepare at home for your pets and what their favorite tastes? treats? etc? are - come one, parade your pet! Oh and pictures welcome!!! I need to get some updated ones of Dante, my Shepherd, soon.


  • Hey Rawdance! Fun topic! I have been feeding my 9 year old Doberman, Toby, raw for about 3 years now and making it myself at home for close to two years I think. Like you, I started out feeding him Primal and Nature's Variety raw frozen patties for a while then started occassionally geting him all natural whole chickens (quartered up but with bones still) and chicken hearts, beef liver, and chicken gizzards from Whole Foods. Well after a couple of "treats" of the fresh stuff he promptly decided to refuse to eat any more frozen patties! He went for three days without eating before he broke me and I started feeding him all fresh meat and bones from Wholew Foods. I always buy him the grass fed beef, as I know that's much better nutritionally than the natural corn and grain fed cows. Expensive, yes, but he's worth it! :)

    I rescued him from the pound as a 7 month old puppy, an obvious purebred, already cropped and knew to sit and shake. Weird that someone didn't come claim him. Originally I was as ignorant as the regular population on dog and people nutrition and fed him crappy storebought dry kibble for years until about four years ago when I started learning about what was really in the regular dogfoods. I switched him to Evo brand dry kibble only osld at specialty pet stores, all real meat and veggies, human grade, and no grains and saw a positive difference. Then later learned about raw and started him on the frozen patties and saw even more positive changes in his health and vitality.

    About once a week I process fruits and veggies (apples, carrots, lots of green lettuces, cucumbers, red peppers, blueberries, zucchini, sometime I'll add in some mango, strawberries, avocado, and/or pears. I never use spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbages since they can prohibit thyroid function when raw and he has had thyroid issues in the past.). I add ground beef or ground up chicken necks and backs (sold at Whole Foods, too) and add two or three raw eggs, and sometimes some all natural goats milk yogurt (for the probiotics). I fill my processor to the top with the fruit/veggie mixture then pour it into a big bowl and add the meat stuff to stir. I put it into a sealed container in the fridge and it lasts me about 3-4 days of two feedings per day, about a lb. or so each time. The other days of the week that I don't feed him the veggie/meat mixture i feed him whole chicken thighs w/the bones in of course, grass fed ground beef, and sometimes raw whole duck. He gets a 3 inch cut of beef femur bone each evening with marrow in it to chew on for his teeth and jaws.

    I'm looking into buying pasture-raised/grass-fed beef, given no chemicals, hormones, nor grain-fed from a local, humane farm that sells their beef in bulk share (yearly) through the CSA I joined. Hopefully a bit cheaper, I can visit the farm and see how the animals are treated and live, and I'll be supporting local farmers.

    I feed him twice a day, about a lb. each meal, sometimes more. Typically you should feed your dog 1% of his/her body weight (ideal body weight) to maintain the weight. More if you're trying to gain, less to lose. I'm going to start adding flax seed oil or ground up raw flax seeds to his meals, too. Thinking about trying adding some blue-green algea, too. Did that in the past and never noticed a difference, but it was raw powder in a gel pill, not the fresh, live stuff. He does like my raw coconut oil and I've started giving him a tablespoon of that each morning, too. Occassionally I make him fast a day with only water as I know that's supposed to be good to give their stomachs/intestines a break since they take a lot longer to digest food than we do (up to 24 hours they say), but lately I haven't done it.

    Whew! You got a book there! ;) I haven't tried feeding him bananas or melons, but I'm gonna try them now. I'm sure he'll like the melons, not sure about bananas. He also like green beans, but they don't really provide any nutirents to the dog, just extra fiber in my understanding.

    For anyone interested, do not feed dogs tomatoes, white potatoes, onions, grapes/raisens, or too much garlic as they are toxic to dogs. And of course chocolate. Nor cooked bones as they are the ones that splinter.

    I sure wish I'd known about true dog nutrition (raw) when Toby was a puppy. All those years of forced horrible food on him and now we're trying to undo the damage. He knows how much he is loved now though! You're young guy is very blessed to have you such a caring and educated companion to him. :)

  • ras-saadonras-saadon Raw Newbie

    I give my two dogs raw meat&bones for 6 months now, most of what I feed them I get from a meat shop that all their extras\leftovers\cutting\parts that are "unappropriated" for human consumption, they freeze and give me, I have two malamutes a female weighing 40-42kg and a male at 45kg, the male get a 1-1.2kg of meat&bone a day and my female around 0.5kg, he is much more active and I'm trying to build him up a bit, both eat 1 meal a day, it seems to be working pretty good and much simpler for me, I usually water fast them a day a week to ease off the pressure on their stomach and also to keep their hunger up, my male has some feeding issues, thats why I started raw, so that one day a week keeps him balanced and he doesn't get bored with the food, no treats or supplements since they are doing so great.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    I am gonna switch over my cat in the summer. Do they get any bowel problems during transitioning?

    Do you guys soak the meat in lemon juice or can the animals handle the bacteria?

  • ddigiacomoddigiacomo Raw Newbie

    Where do you feed your dogs raw? I attempted to feed my dogs raw and it was a huge mess. They would bring the bones and meat all over the house. I couldn't have that raw meat everywhere in my house. I am now feeding my toy poodle the frozen patties. My yorkie hates them and refuses to eat them. He wasn't so happy with the raw food, the poodle however devoured it. I would like to attempt to make my own raw food for them and or feed them raw again but how do I do it without the mess? Also my Yorkie would vomit up all the ground meat or ground chicken after he ate it.

  • Carnap- I don't soak the meat in lemon juice. I've never worried about any bacteria, salmonella, or ecoli contamination affecting my dog. From what I have researched on the net and read about in natural healing/remedies and raw feeding books, dogs intestines are designed to handle that stuff and are also much shorter than ours so if any is present it rarely affects them- the old or very sick possibly. Most dogs/cats it doesn't affect. Of course I wouldn't necessarily feed spoiled (rotten) meat to my dog either though, that might be another story. And spoiled is different than fermented which is what naturally happens when dogs bury their raw meat in dirt for few hours or days before digging it back out to eat later when they're hungry again. The bacteria in the soil ferments it which adds pro-biotics and is good for them. Some people actually try to ferment some of their dog's meat before feeding it to them, but I haven't tried that.

    As far as trouble with bowels- if you feed a dog or cat too much raw food at first, when their system has been used to dry kibble or anything non-raw, you will see bowel trouble in the form of them vomiting it back up not too long after eating it. Too much shocks their system (stomach and intestines) which only has the type of enzymes that are used to break down the dry foreign kibble, not the same normal enzymes used to break down the, once natural, raw diet. They say to add just a bit each day along with the dry or regualr food your pet's been used to for the first week, gradually increasing the raw and lessening the old/dry until you are feeding all raw. This gives their systems time to acclimate and re-create the necessary enzymes needed for the change in diet. Last time Toby ate some dry kibble (and it was high-end, grain-free kibble even) at my sister's house he threw it back up because his system rejected it after being used to all raw now, so it goes both ways. I have read that cats are more of a challenge to get to go raw once they have been eating dry or canned for years, but it can be done. Just because they are more finicky though, not because of any health reasons. I know there is lots of info out there on the net and a Yahoo Group for feeding raw cats and pets with lots of advice. Have you tried looking them up?

    Ddigiacomo- There are Poultry Scissors/shears you can buy that have a rounded notch near the back of the cutting shears to cut through the bigger chicken bones (like the legs, wings, or even breast bones). I know Target sells some for around $10-15 and they go up from there. The first time I gave my dog a raw whole chicken leg he didn't quite know how to handle it and kept dropping it while trying to figure out how best to chomp it up- and he's a big 120 lb Doberman. So I bought the shears and would cut up all his raw chicken into much smaller pieces- about an inch or two big. (Beef bones are too big and strong, but also too big and strong for your dog to normally break, they should only chew on.) He had no trouble figuring out the smaller pieces and also wouldn't drag them around, droping them on the floor away from his bowl like he would the big stuff. When he got comfortable manuvering the pieces in his mouth quickly and easily so he could chomp right down on the bone without dropping it I started making the pieces bigger, until now I just feed him whole thighs and quartered chicken pieces. When the pieces are bigger he is more apt to pick one up and take it away from his bowl and then drop it to reposition it when he picks it back up. His food bowl is not far from his "bed" that he knows is the only place he is allowed to chew his raw bones at night (since I can wash it every week) so if he picks it up and takes it anywhere, that is where he takes it and I don;t minf that since he eats his bones there, too. So I haven't had to worry about him dragging it all over since he was new to raw meat with bones. SO! I would suggest cutting your dogs' meat into smaller pieces and possibly teaching them they are allowed to eat their bones on a towel near thier bowl or their washable bed or something, so if they do feel the urge to move with it they only take it there. See paragraph above this for info on why your Yorkie could be throwing up his raw meat and how to transition their system to raw without making them throw up. Check out Yahoo Groups raw dogs forum and search the net, as there are lots of great info on feeding and transitioning your pets to raw.

    Best of luck to you both and congrats on taking the steps to improving their nutrition and health!

  • Aspire, three words: YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

    My dogs meat is all natural. I get it from the butcher right up the street, small/ritzy market but good deals on meat. Surprise surprise. I also have gotten it from the organic meat sellers at my local farmer's market. Aspire, I think it's wonderful you are switching over to high quality meat, very good call. Also, thank you for pointing out what NOT to feed dogs as some may not know these things. Your comments show you are very well educated - do you work with animals?

    As for location of raw feeding - generally in his dog run. I never give him raw bones in the house, always outside. My dog has his own outdoor patio/dog run gated space so he has lots of room to eat out there. I also make sure he eats out of a BIG and heavy bowl, stainless steel is best for raw, and he doesn't make a mess even if I decided to feed him indoors on occassion.

    Happy Easter Everyone!

  • swayzeswayze Raw Newbie

    I feed my dog outside in the grass and my 3 cats eat on paper plates in the laundry room. Sometimes the cats get a little messy, but it only takes a couple seconds to clean up.

    At first, all of my animals had some troubles adjusting. My dog ate immediately, but her tummy was a little upset for the first week or so. No accidents in the house or anything, though.

    Only one of my cats took to the food immediately (he's partly outdoors and likes to catch little critters). The other two took time. If your cats won't eat, try putting a little tuna fish or their favorite canned food on top of the meat. If they still won't eat, give them their regular food with just a little bit of the meat and gradually increase the meat as they get accustomed to it.

    It's always a good idea to start with poultry, for both dogs and cats. This is the easiest meat for them to digest.

    My animals have been eating raw meat, bones and organs for 1.5 years now and they have all seen major health improvements. :)

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