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RAW Diet in Steve’s house

A RAW Diet doesn’t need to be something you worry about or stress over, it can be simply prepared at home and meet your dogs nutritional needs.

RAW Diets aren’t new or have as many restrictions as some would have you believe, in fact many people fed raw before commercial diets were available, as there was no choice. A common concern people have who would like to switch their dog/s to a raw / natural / Barf diet is that they will miss some crucial ingredient which will do their dog harm.

Personally I feel this risk is a lot less than you may think, the fact that these people are concerned about this means that they will likely be more diligent than not and the fact does remain that no matter how badly you screw up, you’re not likely to do irreversible harm.

I feed RAW because I can choose the ingredients my dogs eat, I can assess the freshness of the foods and choose the ratios if I want to increase my dogs muscle, decrease fat or weight. I don’t have to rely on what is pictured or written on a bag and “hope” that the manufacturer is as dedicated to my dogs as I am. Instead I can make sure the food makes my grade.

I can also raise or lower the protein levels or fat levels to gain a result, and eliminate something from my dog’s diet I don’t think works for them, I haven’t got that amount of control with a commercial diet.

A fresh caught fish is a meal ready to go

These are my choices though and I don’t expect others to share them or I certainly am not political about canine diets. These are my beliefs which have been generated over my life of owning, training, breeding and rehabilitating dogs and a lot of research too. Some people feel their dogs do better on kibble, there are many good kibbles available now and some dogs do quite well on them. Some people also feel that their dogs do better on kibble than raw, I wonder if they didn’t persist with raw feeding long enough or chose the right ingredients. A friend told me recently that she knew someone whose dog didn’t do well on raw, and her friend followed the diet to the letter.

The first and most important thing is that there is no letter, no program or plan. There is a structure which suggests ratios of muscle meat to bones to extras. You have loads of variations that you can add to achieve the correct ratios. Proteins can be gained from beef, lamb, turkey, fish, pork & roo, and I like the meaty bones to be from a part of the body that the dog can break up and digest, such as lamb flaps, brisket, wingsΒ  and necks etc. I add offal in the form of hearts, kidneys, liver etc which are all easily obtainable now.

Great way to feed puppies too

I pretty much feed human grade foods that I buy from supermarkets, but I think you can do fine with good quality fresh pet meats also. You would be surprised how little it can cost to feed your dog raw if you make use of specials etc at the super market.

Below I have listed a rough table of how I put together a meal for my dogs. You can choose to mix and match from any column based on what you have on hand, but I like to vary the meal content with dogs that I know do well on all of these foods.

I don’t of course use all the supplements, but choose the right one for the dog I am feeding.

[ws_table id=”1″]
RAW Meal choices

 

This meal probably runs about $4.00, which means around $28.00 for a week. I believe he would eat more than that in quality kibble in a week so economics is on my side and I would challenge anyone to provide a more nutritious, species appropriate diet that comes in a bag.

Venom does very well on this, his health, coat, eyes and teeth are excellent and he has excellent muscle development. Since putting him on K9 Super Fuel he has more sustained energy and is developing muscle at a greater rate.

I certainly am not trying to convince anyone to swap to raw, but I hope this article does encourage you to do some research and see what is best for your dog.

Steve Courtney

 

About Stevek9pro

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45 comments

  1. Hi Steve,

    Great article!

    I have a 11 week old Amstaff on the following diet:

    Morning – 200g Chicken breast mince
    Lunch – 1/2 cup Pro Plan mix with 100g chicken breast mince and a little bit of puppy milk
    Dinner – 150-200g Diced roo mince

    My pup will be going onto 12 weeks next week and wanted to try out your recommended diet. I will also be cutting his meals down to 2 times a day (Morning and Night).

    Any advice/recommendations on what I am doing right/wrong?

    Thanks heaps,
    Neil

  2. Hi Steve

    I have recently adopted a Lab X puppy, she is currently 3.5 months old. She itches quite a bit, more when it’s 4-5 days after a bath, so I have to bath her once a week. She has been flea treated. Vet did say about 2-3 weeks ago that her coat is quite dry and has dandruff. After much research, I decided to go raw. She has been on raw about 1.5 weeks now. I have since felt her coat has become softer, though she still itches. However, I don’t understand a few things about raw diet so I was hoping you can help this newbie.

    1) How much should I feed her a day base on her current weight of 10kg?
    2) Do I feed her twice or three times a day?
    3) When they say raw meaty bones, do they mean giving them the whole bone with all the meat still attached? Or do I have to debone and serve separately (after the meal)? I currently put all her food in a Kong. Is that advisable?
    4) Can you give me some examples of ‘muscle meat’ for beef, lamb and chicken please?
    5) Can I give raw fish? What are examples of raw fish that are good for them?

    I would be very grateful if you can help.

    • Hi Michelle, a pretty good guide is 5% of her body weight.

      I feel it is best to feed her at least twice a day, three times if you can.

      I am not sure how “they” are, but Raw Meaty Bones are bones that have meat attached, my eBook gives you a more detailed plan of what bones etc.

      Muscle meat examples, chicken thigh, lamb shank, heart etc, most mince that you buy will be from the muscle regions.

      I would not feed all her food from a kong, this can cause frustration and stress and this can lead to aggression around the food bowl.

      Yes you can give her raw fish, any type of fish that is ready for human consumption is fine. Cheaper fish options are canned sardines tuna etc, or you can feed salmon, salmon heads are a cheaper (nutritious) option, trout, whiting, you name it!

      I would avoid bathing every week, this can remove natural oils and can cause itching too. If you need to bath, try the Aloveen (http://www.k9pro.com.au/aloveen-shampoo.html) as this is helpful for dogs that have skin problems.

      If the itching doesn’t stop in 2 weeks, I would be looking at allergies, like the grass in your back yard , food etc.

  3. Hi Steve, I’ve fed raw for maybe a year and a half and Piper, my 3 year old staffy is doing well on it. A friend hired another sydney based trainer, and this was the advice he gave- he relates agressiveness in breads like staffies and german shepards to their diet. He might suggest cutting all out red meats and putting her on a trial week of fish and kibble.

    I think it’s a load of nonsense, but I’m not an expert so I’m hoping to get your opinion on it?

    • Hi Katrina, some times with some dogs red meat (or any very high protein food) can exacerbate some behaviour problems, but it can also improve the performance of some other dogs.

      Dogs need to harvest amino acids such as L-Tryptophan from their food to have a healthy brain chemistry, you need to know more about Nutrition then trial and error when treating behaviour problems.

  4. Hi there. I would like to ask if chicken legs/drumsticks are ok. I often see wings and necks mentioned, even carcass’s. Above i saw turkey legs in one of the meal suggestions. We were feeding chicken wings and necks quite a lot and ended up our dog having too much fat in his diet so thought legs would have a better ratio of meat on them. We do give him muscle meat and offal too, as well as big bones as an occasional treat.

    • Hi Caroline, I don’t give my dogs weight bearing bones like legs etc unless they are huge like a cow femur.

      Wings perfectly fine. For example I feed lamb shanks and just take away the bone when they have cleaned all the meat off.

  5. Hi Steve,

    I have a maltese x foxy terrier who will be 7 months in 2 weeks. He’s an indoor family dog that we take for a walk or let him play with puppy next door. We have done positive reinforcement for 10mins daily and are now branching out to clicker training. He weighs around 4kgs and is healthy.

    I currently feed him a BARF ready made patty that I add Carlsons Fish Oil (1tsp) and 1 capsule of inner health plus. He gets chicken necks couple of times a week. He also has a lot of chew toys like deer antlers for his teeth.

    What are your thoughts on the BARF patties? Do you think complete RAW is better? What supplement of your would you recommend?

    • Hey Bee, I used to use quite a bit of vegetable and still would if I was wanting to shift some weight. When you talk about BARF patties do you mean those made under the Billinghurst name? If so I believe these are ok nutritionally. But many pet stores sell their own version of what they think BARF is and some of them really aren’t so great.

      I would make my own personally over any patty as I know exactly what is going into it though.

      If you wanted to give him supplements what I would add would be a vitamin E gel cap a day, a little apple cider vinegar couple times a week, sardines and K9 Show Stopper. I would mix this with Raw meaty bones and muscle meat and I think you would have a pretty healthy dog.

      Steve

  6. Do you have any advice on switching to a RAW diet for a dog with allergies? My vet has recommended switching to a prescription food that is WAY overpriced and supposed to be low allergy and limited ingredient.

    How do I keep the diet limited ingredient to try and figure out what my GSD is allergic to while still providing enough variety to ensure proper nutrition? Are there certain ingredients you would avoid starting out because they can be common allergens?

    My GSD girl is 13 years old (adopted 6 months ago) but very active for her age. Should i bite the bullet and try the vet recommended prescription food or would raw work just as well?

    • Hi Jen, how “I” would proceed is: –

      First I would make sure that the allergies are food based, if not and they are from some topical problem such as grass etc. then changing the diet to a medicated kibble may not solve the problem. If the problem IS topical, I would improve the health of the dog, her skin and coat and this would prepare a better defense against these allergens. I would do this again through a raw diet and regular grooming with a rake to stimulate oil release. Also ensure her area is flea free.

      If the problem is diet related then I would try and solve this with a RAW diet, reason being is that some medicated diets will stop the allergic reaction but aren’t very useful in maintaining the dog in other ways, I have found that with high energy dogs this is very kuich a concern. Not enough fuel in the tank to meet energy needs.

      I would start with boiled chicken, muscle meat if you can such as breast or leg meat, boil it for about 3 minutes. I would mix this with grated raw carrot at the ration of 75% chicken, the rest carrot and nothing else. A dog can live onm this, very well in fact and I would do this for 4 weeks.

      In that 4 weeks I would observe her condition, if she had been fed kibble previously you will likely see a slight drop in her coat condition due to her body detoxing then it will pick up.

      If no allergic reactions and I have hit the end of 4 weeks, I will drop the boiling time from 3 minutes out to 1 then none and I would add Young at Heart to your dogs diet. This contains all natural ingredients that are very good for older dogs, feeding their immune system, maintaining strong muscle and heart and eye function.

      If you had your old girl on Young at Heart and Raw Chicken and carrot, I believe she would be doing alright.

      You can at this stage mix in red meats and other vegetables that are suitable for dogs if you like, but keep in mind her age and your looking at maintaining her rather than rehabilitating her, there is no cure for age πŸ™‚

      Thats what “I” would do. If you choose to try it let me know how she goes!

      Steve

      • Thank you for the quick response and advice. We will definitely be giving it a try. I just hate seeing her miserable from all the itching. I’m willing to try anything at this point to make her time left more comfortable/enjoyable.

  7. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. My 4 dogs are on a raw diet. 2 get Show Stopper & Young Heart and 2 get just Show stopper. The 2 dogs on 2 supplements should they get half the amount of each per day or should they get the full amount of each on alternate days. I am a bit baffled as to how to do it. On top of these would Super Fuel help an older dog build muscle or is it a bit of over kill. Thanks Jo.

  8. This article could not have come at a better time for me. Our 2 yr old gsd was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency last Dec. We have been giving him premade barf patties (which cost a fortune) and he is thriving. We have tried 5 different kibbles this year and he absolutely cannot tolerate dry food. I have been researching the raw diet to do myself but could never get a handle on qty and balance. Your table and photo are exactly what I’ve been looking for. I need to feed my boy 3-4 times a day for him to be able to digest his food. The photo of Venoms meal – is that his full meal allowance for the day or does he get that qty twice a day. I’m so thankful for this article. This will help so much managing his epi and we go to All pets pantry every week as well. Thank you again. Deb

  9. Great article. I have been feeding my Great Dane raw since the day she came home at 9 weeks old. She’s just turned 6 and is in the best condition I have ever seen for a Dane of her age. I wish people would be less scared of feeding raw! The pet food companies don’t help, listing all the nutrients and vitamins and percentages and figures on their food, making people paranoid that by just eating a RAW diet their dog isn’t going to get all those things. They don’t stop to think that dry/kibble food is just trying to mimic nature in the first place, and that all the good stuff can be obtained naturally and in a much more bio-available way without all the nasties of processed food.

    • Charlotte we completely agree. The way dried food is marketed to pet owners makes them feel like they need to be a scientists to get the right balance in their dogs food. This isn’t the case at all and feeding raw doesn’t need to be anywhere near as complicated or scary as people are often made to feel!

  10. I love feeding raw but I have a terrible time finding fresh raw meaty bones, they all seem to be bare or all minced up? Need to find a good supplier

  11. So great to see a visual of what someone else feeds.
    I’m very keen on feeding raw, but I worry myself too much about the amounts of food that I feed.
    Not happy with my dog’s condition at the moment either. :/

    How often do you change up the protein sources?
    What do you find the best food is for helping your dog gain muscle?

    • Hey Ashleigh, I find that it is pretty hard to see kibble in a bowl and equate that to enough or not enough to manage weight as easy as raw.

      What breed of dog do you have and what do you find lacking in the condition? Coat? fitness, energy?

      We keep a weeks worth of meat here usually, so quite a few Turkey wings, chicken frames, meaty beef bones and lots of fish. I vary it every day pretty much. In the above meal there is Turkey, beef, sardines, and lamb.

      Tonight will be Chicken, kangaroo, tuna and beef bones with Salmon oil and super fuel.

      Start with your meal weighing 2% of your dogs total body weight if your dogs weight is good and vary up or down from there.

      Venom weighs 29 kilos and the meal above weighs approx. 600 grams.

      • Thanks Steve,
        I’ve got a siberian husky. Last year when we started racing I was told she was overweight, so I’ve tried to keep her slim. She feels quite bony to me, not as muscular as I’d have hoped for and does seem to lack energy.
        I’ve always fed raw, but we’re on kibble at the moment as I was worried I was not getting things right and she wouldn’t be in top shape for racing.
        I’ve also been told multiple times that sibes only need about 60% of what a dog weighing the same would eat. At approx 26 kilograms that would mean I should feed her 312 grams rather than 520grams per day

        • Yeah Sibes have a very slow metabolic rate which means they need less food than other breeds their size/weight.

          However if your trying to bulk her up or build muscle I would increase the food with Super Power and up the workouts, this will help he develop muscle and endurance for racing.

          When she is where you want her then level it off.

          I would be feeding Roo meat 3 times a week at least and working her hard on the following days.

          • Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.
            I’m going to give this a try. (I’m assuming you mean roo, fed in a similar way to venoms diet with the fish extras)

            This week of blogs has been great given us a whole bunch of new things to work on. I would have never thought much about building up core strength. Really appreciate all the blogs this week πŸ˜€

  12. Hi Steve, I feed raw but I’m a little bewildered on the actual meal amount like you say 75% protein/muscle meat but is that worked out on dog weight? Have been buying little packs of lamb of cuts which cost me say $3 a pack and i will and a little heart to that , crushed egg and Greek yoghurt , somerimes minced chicken carcus and he eats the lot ESP after a good walk.. Just worried about the amount I am feeding him not necessarily %.. Am I making sense.. my little man is 9.5 mths and 21.4 kg and is an airedale terrier. This sis fed at 1 meal then the next are bones..

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