Suggested Raw Dog Foods

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A raw dog food diet is designed to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral menu. The whole concept of raw feeding is based upon a dog’s instinctive carnivorous bias — a built-in desire to capture (or find) and eat another animal.
Wolf with Raw Food

As unsavory as it may seem, it is completely natural for a wolf to consume the entire animal.

Meat, bones, organs and all.

As direct descendants of wolves, dogs are simply not genetically optimized to consume the 50% carbohydrate content of today’s commercial kibbles.

So, how do these diets compare?

The Ancestral Diet
Compared to Dry Kibble

No one can argue the dry baked pellets we call dog food aren’t convenient. Yet the nutrient profile of a dry kibble is nowhere near the nutrient content of a dog’s ancestral diet.

Canine Ancestral Diet versus Dry Dog Food

Notice the higher carbohydrate content of the kibble compared to the dog’s natural ancestral diet. Or how about the dramatically lower protein and fat levels?

The Benefits of a Raw Diet

Feeding a raw dog food diet has many notable benefits

  • Firmer stools
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Reduced allergy symptoms
  • Better weight management

There have been many reports of improved health when chronically ill pets were switched from a commercial product to a raw dog food.

The Downside
of a Raw Dog Food Diet

A raw dog food diet can’t touch the convenience of a kibble. Just measure and pour. It just doesn’t get any easier.

Yet besides the lack of convenience, there’s another critical issue. Bacterial contamination.

Salmonella and E. coli germs can always be a potential problem with raw meats. Yet the risk of food-borne disease is actually quite low.

That is, low risk for dogs. But not for humans.

That’s because a dog’s digestive system is shorter and more acidic.

Which makes canine infections like these fairly rare.

The real risk of food-borne disease is actually greater for a dog’s human caretakers — not the dog.

Yet with proper care and handling, this risk can be dramatically reduced.

How to Use Our List

Below you’ll find a list of the Advisor’s suggested raw dog foods. Of course, this list should not be considered a complete catalog of all the raw dog foods on the market.

For there are others. Many others.

We only provide this small group as a starting point.

As a matter of fact, if you know of a specific dog food you believe we should have included on this list, please feel free to share your recommendations in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re looking for some suggestions yourself, be sure to look through our readers’ Comments to find more good ideas.

Suggested Raw Dog Foods

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Alicia

    You have to use whole meats and not ground meats. Once a meat is ground the bacteria is all through the meat and lightly cooking can only kil bacteria on the outside, not in the middle.

    Lightly cooking whole pieces of meat will HELP kill SOME of the bacteria on the outside of steaks, roasts, chicken breasts etc.

    When I lightly cook meats for my dogs I use low temps and I leave the middle uncooked. The higher the temp and the longer you cook the more toxins will be destroyed by the heat.
    Cooking more thoroughly also destroys some of the “Good Stuff” that is in the meats and high temps can create carcinogens on the meat.

    Dipping meats in boiling water also helps to kill bacteria on the OUTSIDE of meats.

    A healthy dog who is SLOWLY weaned onto a raw diet has the best chance of being able to deal with the various toxins that can be in raw meat.

    There is NO perfect way to feed a dog. All dogs are individuals and whatever method of cooking or not cooking you choose is going to have it’s own set of risks and rewards.

    Freezing meats for at least 2 weeks at sub-zero temps also helps to kill bacteria and parasites

    Good Luck and may all your dogs lead healthy and happy lives!.

  • Alicia

    How would you go about lightly cooking a meat to help with distroying bad bacteria?

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dori

    I feed my guys & gals a completely homemade diet where ALL the meats are rare (lightly cooked). The veggies are pureed and if I use starchy veggies they are steamed then pureed.

    Pathogens (things that can cause disease) are sometimes found in almost every type of food that we eat. Raw meats are probably the most common foods that contain pathogens.

    So you or your dogs are taking a risk by eating raw meats as well as by eating raw spinach.

    Different types of meat contain different pathogens so doing a Google search of a meat before you feed it should alert you to any special diseases that a certain meat contains.

    BUT let’s not forget that Elk and other Cervids have been widely consumed by wolves for hundreds of thousands of years, (millions?) so they are pretty well adapted to eating them RAW!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer

    Healthy dogs are better able to deal with these pathogens than people are.

    Cooking to high internal temperatures (145 to 170 F) is the single most effective way to destroy pathogens in meat.

    Freezing to -5 F (for at least 2 weeks) is not as effective as cooking but it will destroy a lot of pathogens. The problem with freezing meats at home is you have to make sure that your freezer holds a steady temperature of -5 F to ensure that it is killing all the pathogens you think it is.

    My dogs love game meats.

  • Dori

    Hi USA. Just curious. Why do you cook the game meats? I feed raw to my three girls and I’m wondering if I may be doing something not quite right. Are there certain meats that need to be cooked?

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi justina

    Elk Meat is a low fat red meat and is one of the most species appropriate foods you can feed to a dog. I feed cooked Elk and other game meats to my dogs. They appreciate the variety!

    If your dog(s) are already eating a raw diet and they are doing well on it and they are in good health then raw Elk is certainly an option.

    Good Luck!!!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi losul

    Freezing Elk and other game meats
    ” for few weeks first to kill any possible parasites.”
    is NOT a guarantee that ALL parasites will be killed. You must ALSO cook ALL game meats to the proper temperatures to guarantee that they will be parasite free.

    —————————————————-

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/freezing-and-food-safety/CT_Index/!ut/p/a1/jZFRT8IwEIB_DY9dbw7J8G1ZYtiUTYJK2Qsp7NYt2dqlrU759RZ8EQNK-9LefV-ud6UFZbSQ_L0R3DZK8vZwLyYbWMDEn8aQ5lP_HpLsdZE_xDGEy1sHrP8AsuBK_8KK4D8_vaLAjZ7Hc0GLntuaNLJSlAm0hEszoDaUVUqVxPAK7Sep-M4SUyNalzjEyDFbc1m2jRQO1oh7d3J6SX6YlMXPm0SW-EFXtDh9FfhuJ1mwHM_SLIB8_Bs4M7Zv4PJcXOOiVdvjH60juQ1C16HGCjVq7027cG1tb-5GMIJhGDyhlGjR26luBOeUWhlL2SlJ–6F7R-jGTRP3So00RewPo06/#3

    Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?

    Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites

    ————————————————–

    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/wldhealth/diseases_from_wildlife_safetymanual.pdf

    “Caution: Freezing, microwaving
    or smoking MAY NOT KILL all the
    bacteria, viruses or parasites”

    “Beware: Freezing may not kill all harmful
    bacteria, viruses or parasites”

    ————————————————–

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2010/07/fish-and-game-q-and-a-1.html

    Cook wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing pork products, even for long periods of time, may not effectively kill all worms.

    ———————————————–

  • aimee

    Hi Ryden,

    My opinion isn’t being based solely on that information.

    Currently the available tests measure antibody. Food hypersensitivity reaction are thought to be based in both humoral (antibody) and cell mediated reactions. Even if the test were valid you’d only be testing for one of the two types of reactions. A well executed food trial would still be necessary. Since you have to do a food trial anyway you might as well skip the test and just do a well executed food trial.

    Food intolerance is a non immunologic reaction. Note Dr. Dodds uses the term food intolerance incorrectly. Even if tests were available for both humoral and cell mediated reactions you’d still need to do a food trial to identify food interferences.

    It is interesting to me that Dr. Dodds reports that finding “progressive increase in the reactivities” among the three groups ( normal, suspected food intolerant and proven food intolerant) as ” clearly affirmed the validation of our results and the clinical utility of the test.” as this “progressive increase” is also seen with the current IgE and IgG based tests which she states are “well-recognized to be fraught with errors both in the test systems used
    and their clinical applicability to human (or animal) patients.”

    In regards to the section in which she tries to explain the findings of the blinded samples I’m a bit confused. Twelve samples were sent in. The results of which she doesn’t report.

    Next she reports “In a Second Trial of the 20 samples” and finally ” In a Third Trial, 16 of the 23 samples”. I’m lost as there were only 12 samples defined 11 saliva and 1 tap water.

    I don’t see that she defines the sample populations reported under “Findings” , trial samples 2 and 3 of which only 26 of the 43 were acceptable.

    Of those 26 she reports results from only 19 of the samples.

    This explanation generates more questions than answers.

  • losul

    If raw elk meat were readily available and/or priced right, it would be a staple in my dog’s diet.

    It’s very good. Care to share?

  • justina k.

    Is raw elk meat (not bone) good for dogs?

  • Mark Wagenaar

    I live in South-Western Ontario and I switched my 12 year old Golden Retriever to BigCountry Raw 3 months ago. She is absolutely loving it and is looking very healthy. I highly recommend BigCountry Raw as it is high quality, reasonable price, conveniently packaged, and they deliver! http://www.bigcountryraw.ca

  • Ryden

    I’d be skeptical, too if I was basing my opinion, solely on the information you’ve provided in your post. But, given that I have first hand knowledge of how life altering the testing was for us and our dog, my gut reaction while reading your post was to question the samples provided, as well as the the results.

    Our dog suffered for over 3 years, while we did extensive food trials and expensive testing. Luckily for us, we have limitless financial resources, but not every owner is that lucky. I recommended the testing in response to Michele’s post, because she was already working with a dermatologist and already doing food trials.

    In our case the NutriScan testing DID show reactions to several food items that we had been told were safe for our dog to eat, and I didn’t want to eliminate them, but we did and were happily surprised when our dog’s issues finally began to resolve. I didn’t care about saving money on vet bills, I just wanted to finally stop my dog’s suffering. NutriScan testing is what finally helped us do that. End of story.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen Dr. Dodd’s response to the issues in your post or not, so I’ll include it here….

    NUTRISCAN UPDATE by W Jean Dodds, DVM

    Our test is novel and patented and is not testing for food allergies, but rather tests for food sensitivities and intolerance. These are different body immune responses. Food allergy is a more immediate reaction mediated by production of IgE and IgG antibodies. Food sensitivity and intolerance, by contrast, measures a more delayed body response to offending foods by measuring production of IgA and IgM antibodies primarily in mucosal secretions from the bowel. We have tested 5600 canine samples now , and since starting cats at the end of September, 2013, we have tested nearly 100.

    Since starting the NutriScan clinical testing in May 2011, I have personally compiled and analyzed 566 sequential canine case samples plus 29 other canine controls in preparation for formal refereed publication. This analysis compared results from 208 healthy control dogs, 289 suspected food intolerant dogs and 98 proven food intolerant dogs and unequivocally showed a progressive increase in the reactivities measured in each group, respectively. Statistically significant differences were found, as would be expected based on the clinical classification of these three case cohorts. These data clearly affirmed the validation of our results and the clinical utility of the test. I have follow up profiles now on 80 of these dogs, and am preparing the data for a refereed scientific publication.

    As with any new testing, there will be skeptics. This is especially when the existing serum-based food “allergy” testing is well-recognized to be fraught with errors both in the test systems used and their clinical applicability to human (or animal) patients.

    Review of a Blinded Trial on Samples from a DVM, Dipl. ACVD practitioner

    In a First Trial, 11samples were saliva; one was tap water. Seven dogs had proven food reactivities; one was a suspected case, and the remaining 3 were healthy. Sixof these cases were subsequently retested. In a Second Trial of the 20 samples, two cases had invalid results with Wheat [IgA only] and Soy [IgA and IgM], respectively, as the CVs were above 15%. In a Third Trial, 16 of the 23 samples had insufficient saliva to complete the testing and had to be diluted with saline. Two samples were later disclosed to be from humans with no known food allergies. Three other samples were tap water, distilled water, and a dry dental cotton rope.

    Findings:

    Samples with acceptable CVs 26 of the 43 samples in the second and third trials had acceptable CVs of < 15%. Of these, 16 cases had no significant food reactivities for any of the 6 foods tested, 3 had reactivities to Soy (one case), Corn (one case) and Beef + Milk (one case), and of the remaining cases, 5 had to be diluted with saline, one was a human sample, and one was distilled water.

    Samples with unacceptable CVs 12 of these samples had to be diluted with saline which compromised the buffering capacity of the samples and created reproducibility errors in the mobility of the specimens during electrophoretic analysis by ELISA.

    Conclusions:

    Results indicated that the majority of these specimens were unacceptable as they included insufficient volume, non-bodily fluids, and non-canine saliva specimens. Invalid results were caused by alteration of pH of ELISA immunoassay plate by submission of non-body fluid samples, which caused unacceptable coefficients of variation (CV) on ODs of replicate sample wells. As many of these samples had insufficient saliva volume to assay, they had to be diluted with saline, which further compromised the buffering capacity of the saliva samples, and the accuracy of the OD assay readings.

  • tokies

    does rabbit and cuy count as green tripe for the stomach lining

  • aimee

    I don’t disagree that tap water isn’t devoid of minerals etc. However saliva is a much more complex milieu of proteins, and minerals . If the few compounds in tap water are cross reacting with the test and reading out as canine IgA and IgM I’d expect this to occur with the components in saliva as well.

    Of equal concern is that blood from normal dogs, dogs with known food reactions, and dogs in with food reaction was ruled out all tested positive. In other words the test did not differentiate dogs with adverse food reactions from those without.

    Additionally, a dog diagnosed with adverse food reaction via elimination diet tested “positive” to an ingredient in the only diet that the dog could safely eat.

    While a test that could reliably diagnose adverse food would be most welcome, at this point I couldn’t recommend Nutriscan. Money would be better spent on a food elimination trial which could be both diagnostic and therapeutic.

  • Ryden

    Dori, you have no idea how much I envy you. Unfortunately our dog has always hated everything, including chopped up steak, salmon, etc. After being told that we needed to feed him raw, Darwin’s was my first choice. Unfortunately our dog didn’t love it. Love your Pet Bakery’s raw is actually the ONLY food — raw, fresh cooked, dehydrated, canned or dry that he’s ever actually LOVED. I’m in Nevada, so with shipping, I’m spending about $105 more a month than when we were feeding Darwin’s. But I feel better about it, because of the way he eats it. And once we totaled up the money we don’t have to spend anymore each month on goat’s milk, medications, and specialist and vet visits, It feels like he’s eating for free. Lol.

  • Ryden

    Aimee, I can definitely understand your skepticism, but I would like to point out that tap water is not sterile, and depending on which part of the country you get the water from, tap water is contaminated with “acceptable levels” of various things, including proteins, medications, minerals, etc. The NutriScan instructions I was given said, no food or water for a minimum of 3 hours before the test. So obviously, Dr. Dodd’s is aware that water can skew test results. I think it would be completely understandable to get corrupted test results from any testing, including human blood tests, if the proper medium wasn’t used or another medium was mixed in.

  • Ryden

    Your dog is so lucky to have you. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep researching. Glad I could help.

  • Michele Bottiglieri

    Ryden I have looked at the Nutriscan.org webpage and read Dr. Dodd’s articles-I found them fascinating. I had no idea of how much I would learn just from reading and being pointed to different research. I told someone in Petco this evening it was easier to raise my daughter! I realize nothing is foolproof – the logic of it though is simple. It may be a lot easier to find out if possible what foods she has a sensitivity to than what she is actually allergic to. I appreciate your response and reading about their website and Dr. Dodds.

  • aimee

    Yes I found it very odd. Maybe there is some explanation??

  • Bobby dog

    Just checked out the site. It is unbelievable when people do not credit the original author in any case when copying from another source (Internet or otherwise) let alone post it on a website as they did to sell products.

  • aimee

    Yup! Some company’s don’t deal but others do to our benefit!

  • Bobby dog

    Pet expos are great places to score deals! Thought maybe you bought it over the I-net. I haven’t been to an expo in ages. There are a couple I used to go to near where I live specifically on the last day for just that reason, everyone is tired and no one wants to load up the truck if they don’t have to!

  • aimee

    Made my day!

  • Betsy Greer

    How’s that for being in the right place at the right time.

  • aimee

    I got it at the Backer pet expo. I have found that at the end of the expo some companies sell their products really cheaply rather than have to pack up the booth.

    Last year I scored at the Planet Pet booth and Stella and Chewys. At the Stella and Chewy booth I asked if they had any freeze dried Simply Venison I could buy. They said they don’t sell booth product. :( ….then the guy gave me two full size bags for free!!:).

  • Betsy Greer

    That’s unbelievable! You’re exactly right, it’s word for word plagiarism!

  • Betsy Greer

    I also noticed where they said that if you ordered more than one case, they would ship it via Delta Cargo Shipping. They put it on a Delta flight and you have to pick it up at the “nearest airport.” Wonder how much it costs for that inconvenience?

  • Bobby dog

    Aimee:
    Nice post. Where did you get your New Freedom Harness for $17.00?

  • Dori

    It’s simply insane to think that anyone can afford to feed their dogs for 10 days at $252.00 but $1000????? What can I say except….LMAO!!!!!!

  • Lauri Martin

    I have a food dehydrator. I buy liver and salmon at my grocery store and dehydrate it for treats. The trays of the dehydrator make nice little ‘tear lines’ in the treats to make nice small portions. You can dehydrate meat completely dry for a crunchy treat, or you can make jerky out of it by leaving it moister. I freeze mine and take out only what I will use daily. This way I know my treats are quality treats!

  • Lauri Martin

    It would cost about $1000 for the food, shipping, duties and fees to ship to Canada LOL

  • aimee

    I’m glad you had success with NutriScan. It isn’t a test I could recommend after finding out that tap water, when tested, was reported with various sensitivities.

  • aimee

    Hi Ryden,

    Your post caught my eye as I feed venison to my dog. I went to the website and found very little useful information there. Maybe I’m not looking in the right spot. Perhaps you can lead me to where I can find the AAFCO statements and nutrient analysis of their diets. At minimum I’d want to see a guaranteed analysis.

    I’m concerned that their FAQ questions and answers are direct copies from another site, rawfed.com/myths without giving credit to the original author. It looks very deceptive, never a good first impression I want to have of a company.

    I also wonder what type of mark up they use. For example the harness they feature, though they don’t list it as such, is the New Freedom harness. I bought mine with leash for $17.00 they are charging $65.00! As you can easily purchase the leash/ harness much cheaper it led me to think they left off the brand name to make it hard for someone to comparison shop.

    $100 for 1 ounce of elk antler powder!!!! YIKES

    All in all this company miserably failed to meet the criteria I use before using a company’s products.

  • Betsy Greer

    That’s just crazy.

  • Dori

    Hi Betsy. YIKES! That’s an awful lot of money for 10 days of food. Who can afford that?

    I got the same amount for shipping to Georgia.

  • Dori

    Ryden. What area of the country do you live? Also, Darwin’s carries Bison. My dogs love Darwin’s. Though my dogs have never met a meal they didn’t just absolutely love.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    I have a Great Dane. I feed him Primal, Stella & Chewy’s, Tucker’s, Vital Essentials, and Genesis. I would start with something you can find locally if possible. Once he is transitioned then I would feed a variety of different formulas and brands. Good luck!

  • Ryden

    Betsy, I’m sorry that living in the Chicago area makes the shipping charges too high for you. It’s only $30 to my doorstep. When I compared brands, pound for pound, I find the pricing extremely reasonable, considering that no one else offers wild elk, venison, and bison. My dog LOVES Love Your Pet’s raw food, and it has made a dramatic difference in his health. So in a way, it helps pay for itself by the money I save on vet bills, and allergy medications. Hands down it’s the BEST raw food available.

  • Betsy Greer

    And, it’s only $8.00 per pound for 24 pounds plus $60.00 shipping to the Chicago area. $252.00 for 10 days worth of meals. No thanks…

  • Ryden Bowen

    I’ve never fed HareToday, but tried feeding Darwin’s. The issue I had with Darwin’s, (and the other raw foods I tried) was that my dog never wanted to eat it. I had to add toppers to get him to go near his bowl. But, now that I’m feeding Love Your Pet Bakery’s Elk, Venison, and Bison, my dog LOVES his food. No toppers, warming or coaxing needed. All I have to do is put it in the bowl. Life is good.

  • Ryden Bowen

    Michele, I can totally relate to your dilemma. You should definitely be able to feed raw. Our dog was really suffering until I discovered NutriScan food sensitivity testing. http://www.nutriscan.org It was invented by Dr. Jean Dodds, and costs $280; but that’s a lot cheaper than all the repeat vet visits; and finally knowing EXACTLY what not to feed was priceless. Dr Dodds recommended switching to raw, but finding a brand that only contained ingredients from our dogs approved list and that he would actually eat felt impossible at times; but we finally did it. We currently feed Answer’s Goat’s Milk and Love Your Pet Bakery’s Elk, Bison, and Venison formulas. http://www.loveyourpetbakery.com I’m not sure why their food hasn’t been reviewed here, because it’s absolutely FABULOUS and our dog LOVES it. The change in him has been so dramatic. He runs to his food bowl and eats with gusto, every time. He has so much more energy, is more playful, has no more weeping eyes, and the best part, absolutely no itching. We couldn’t be happier. I hope you get some answers, and that your dog gets some relief soon.

  • Michele Bottiglieri

    I am at my witt’s end – have a white miniature bull terrier who is suffering badly at the moment. Going back to the dermatologist today. She is on Royal Canine Duck and Potato – prescription diet to see if she has any food allergies – I want to ask derm why I can’t try RAW? If I can do this for 8 weeks why can’t I try that? Do not think it will be received well. I am overwhelmed with research, opinions, suggestions, theories..to the point I am ready to explode LOL I have no idea which diet to chose from, whether the freeze dried is better or frozen or what. I do appreciate all of your comments and this website – so far it as the most info in one place I have found. Has anyone out there heard of Acana?

  • Patrick Hoy

    I have a 9 year old pit bull, began raw diet 3 years ago and he has never been better. I also have a 1 year old Boxador who is on the raw diet and is perfectly healthy. I buy chicken quarters, beef kidney and heart, chicken livers, hearts and gizzards from the grocery store. Put a chicken quarter and some organ meat (10-20%) in a plastic grocery bag and freeze them. I try to always thaw it out for them, but they it it frozen if I forget. The puppy eats two of these a day and the old pit gets one. They occasionally get a raw egg and sardines. Sometimes some table scraps, but never very much. Be careful when beginning a raw diet and watch your dog eat for the first few feedings. You want to make sure your dog is capable of chewing and breaking up the bones and not swallowing them whole. Hope this helps. Best of luck.

  • Danielle

    Hi, I have a Great Dane/ lab mix who is 1yr & 3 months. He has been having Pyoderma issues and I want to try a raw diet for him. Can anyone suggest which of these brands might be best for him? Thanks!

  • Mia

    Been feeding my dog raw food whenever I can (usually when we have meat) and have been doing very good! Can’t feed him any rice though, last time I tried he didn’t digest it and you could see it in his poo… Anyway, I would recommend this diet to anyone who is willing to do enough research.

  • Cyndi

    No problem. I give my Bailey a couple raw chicken or duck eggs per week. She loves them!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi-
    Thanks for the article. I’ve been feeding my big dogs two eggs twice a week each. I’ve been separating and cooking the white and feeding the yolk raw. I didn’t realize that cooking the white would cause them to lose their nutrition. Shoot!

  • dchassett

    Hi Aimee. Would you compare this food to Darwins or HareToday? Thinking of ordering. Thanks, Dori

  • Cyndi
  • http://batman-news.com Aimee

    Their food is amazing, we have our food shipped to SC from Valerie at Love your Pet.

  • apeybloom

    http://www.loveyourpetbakery.com – BEST RAW FOOD EVER. Check it out. These people care!

  • Andrea Willits

    Thank you for this list! I am trying to find out more about Halshan’s raw dog food. It’s available here in Northern California, but I haven’t been able to find any independent reviews. I was feeding my dogs Stella and Chewy’s and Primal, but am fostering a litter of five puppies and Halshan’s is more affordable, so I switched to it a couple months ago. Haven’t had any issues and it’s very easy to prepare. They have several products, incomplete and complete, a wide variety of meat sources (antibiotic and hormone free), and is processed in a human grade facility…but that’s the extent of what I have found.

  • theBCnut

    There is no chance of creating a biotin deficiency unless you are feeding too much of them too often, or are feeding a deficient diet in the first place. You are being alarmist for no reason.

  • theBCnut

    Raw eggs are fine as long as the dog doesn’t have them every day. The avidin in the egg whites bind with biotin that is in the same meal, but once the egg is digested it ceases to bind biotin so the dog should still get plenty from a good diet. lightly cooking the egg white deactivates the avidin too, and there are some very good nutrients in raw egg yolk that are destroyed by heat.

  • Kiwi

    I disagree with Hound Dog Mom concerning the feeding of raw eggs. It is not worth the chance of creating a biotin deficiency. A friend of mine fed them to her Irish Setter and he became very ill.

  • Kiwi

    I disagree with feeding raw eggs. It is not worth the chance of creating a biotin deficiency. A friend of mine fed them to her Irish Setter and he became very ill.

  • Kiwi

    NEVER feed your dog raw eggs. It causes a problem with Biotin (a B vitamin). Cooked are fine!

  • Linda Travers

    Blue Ridge Beef is another company you should consider in your list. Please take a look at it as many of my friends and I use this brand. They have been in existence for 30 years.

  • bichonlovers

    There is just one thought to consider. Raw food digests differently then cooked, so the cooked food is working harder to digets in the liver, bowels, stomach, pancreases ect. Before I feed something other than raw, I ask the question would an animal eat this in the wild?

  • Thor & Sadie Girl

    thank you so much for the info! :-)

  • theBCnut

    If the things you are adding to their diet are less than 20% of the diets, then no worries, but if more than that, you have to start considering what you need to add to rebalance the diet.

  • Thor & Sadie Girl

    Thank you so much for the quick reply and also very helpful info, so much appreciated. Sadie girl is my life and like you and so many other dog people, we’ll do anything to keep them active, healthy into years to come.
    P.S. my daughter has beautiful Bloodhound, Penny. She & Sadie but heads as over they try to over alfa each other, then finally give in ;-)
    Cheers & Thank you.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Thor and & Sadie –

    There’s nothing wrong with adding cooked toppers to raw or feeding treats containing cooked ingredients to dogs fed a predominantly raw diet. I have two bloodhounds that are fed a raw diet and I’ll occasionally give them leftovers from my meals (cooked) and they will get biscuits and things of that nature for treats from time to time.

    Eggs are a wonderful addition to any diet – raw or cooked! Eggs are considered a “perfect protein” and have a bioavailability of 100. I’d recommend feeding cage-free eggs if possible as they contain much higher levels of healthy omega 3 fats than conventional eggs. If you are only feeding eggs occasionally (such as a few times a week) I would suggest feeding them raw as raw eggs promote the body’s production of glutathione (the “master” antioxidant) – these benefits are lost during the cooking process. If, however, you plan on feeding the eggs more than 2 – 3 times per week I would suggest lightly cooking the egg as raw egg white contain a glycoprotein called avidin which binds to biotin and (if fed frequently and over long periods of time) could potentially result in a biotin deficiency. My girls get a raw egg each three times per week.

    Adding plain yogurt is a great (and cheap!) way to give your dogs a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria. Another option – which is even better than yogurt – is kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk drink (the consistency is similar to that of a milkshake). Kefir typically contains many more strains of bacteria than yogurt does. Most yogurts I see typically contain between three and five strains of bacteria whereas most of the kefir products I’ve seen contain at least ten. I give my girls Lifeway kefir daily which has twelve strains. Most grocery stores carry kefir (I believe someone even said Walmart is carrying Lifeway kefir now).

  • Thor & Sadie Girl

    I just started my 10 year old Weimeraner on a raw diet, Stella & chewy’s.
    She is recovering for a complete ACL tear. I was mixing it with oraganic steamed rice and organic spinach. Is it OK to add cooked to raw! Have read also that adding a good robiaotic yogurt, which she loves and also eggs is good. raw eggs or cooked eggs. Just now sure about mixinf raw with cooked, and also her treat through the days, she gets a lot of good dry treat snacks. I also give her the stella & chewy freeze dried treats.
    just am confused about the combo of raw along with cooked and treats.?
    thanks for anyone suggestions. Let us all Wag more & bark Less :-)

  • http://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=233871 Elizabeth Savage

    Yeah , that link worked and thanks again

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hmm weird, did for me too even though I copied it directly from my url box. Let’s try this one http://www.urbanwolf.cc/ProductGuide.htm

  • http://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=233871 Elizabeth Savage

    Thank you , the link for urbanwolf came up as an error page I am checking the others and hopefully will find something I can get local

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Okay. In this case I would recommend using a pre-mix and lightly cooking the meat. Pre-mixes are blends of vegetables and supplements (some also contain fruits and grains) designed to create a balanced meal with the addition of fresh meat.

    The three I would recommend would be The Honest Kitchen’s Preference (info here: http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food/preference), See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix (info here: http://seespotlivelonger.com/) or Urban Wolf (info here: http://www.urbanwolf.cc/).

    Most mixes have separate directions depending on whether you’re feeding a puppy or an adult, you would want to follow the directions for puppies.

  • http://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=233871 Elizabeth Savage

    We have already tried several options(scrambled eggs, yogurt, Hill’s etc) and by 24 hrs she had a seizure( from low blood sugar , all other labs normal) . She has seen the vets twice and all they can suggest is that they could keep her and give her fluids . She is drinking lots of water and yesterday she drank a can of the puppy milk replacement . She is also getting calcium supplements . We wouldn’t be so worried but she has 9 pups to feed . It just seems the only thing she will eat is human food and I want to try a healthier alternative .

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Elizabeth –

    Meat is very high in phosphorus but low in calcium, if feeding meat there should be no concern with inadequate phosphorus levels.

    With that said, during lactation it will be crucial that your dog receives a balanced diet. Meat alone is not balanced and while I think raw diets are great (I feed my dogs a raw diet) I don’t know if now would be an appropriate time to start experimenting with homemade raw.

    You could add lightly cooked hamburger to a balanced commercial food as long as it makes up no more than 20% of the meal. If you mix some hamburger in with her regular food she may be interested.

    Have you tried feeding canned food or something like Fresh Pet (refrigerated)? Most dogs find these foods more palatable than kibble. Another suggestion that I would highly recommend would be ordering some Tripett – it’s canned green tripe. It can’t be fed as a sole diet as it’s not balanced but if you followed the 20% rule and mixed it with kibble or a balanced canned food I would be willing to bet that she would eat. Dogs go nuts for tripe. Adding tinned sardines to the food would be another thing to try, they have a strong odor so many dogs find them appetizing.

    If she continues to refuse food I would also highly suggest having her seen by a vet if you haven’t already. It’s normal for the mother to refuse food for about 12-24 hours prior to whelping, but after whelping she should be ready to eat.

    Good luck!

  • http://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=233871 Elizabeth Savage

    Our Beagle whelped Monday and refuses all food , I would like to try feeding her raw meat , what is the safest ? She will eat browned hamburger but I want to make sure she is getting enough phosphorus for lactating

  • Laura

    I am considering feeding a raw diet also to my german shepherd and my lab. My shepherd is allergic to turkey and chicken and corn, so I think he will like this. My pet food specialty store sells SOJO – which is a freeze dried raw food, you mix with water. Has anybody had any experience with this brand?

  • Debra H

    Dogs can also get E Coli from kibble and canned. Two friends lost their dogs to this with a very popular kibble that was recalled. They also can get it eating stuff in the yard. Perforation of bowel usually caused by obstruction

  • Tico

    Whats your take on I and Love and You’s line of raw freeze dried foods? Not many reviews out there. Thanks!

  • BarbaraJR

    For those who want to continue with a quality grain-free kibble, then I would suggest one meal of kibble and one meal of raw.

  • BarbaraJR

    @Nicole Elocin, I can truly relate to the dilemma of making homemade raw for our little Chihuahuas. I have used the recipes in Dr. Karen Becker’s book, but it’s mighty difficult to measure 1/8 tsp of an ingredient or 1/16th of a supplement tablet.

    I resorted to buying a gram scale both for ingredient measurements and portion feeding.

    I would caution you not to make your own homemade without following a precise recipe for feeding raw or slightly cooked. Some vegetables have to be steam cooked and pureed because dogs do not have the enzymes to digest the cellulose.

    As Dr. Becker and other holistic veterinarians say, the absolute worst diet is an incorrectly prepared homemade diet. Ratios of animal and plant protein matter.

    When life gets busy for me, I resorted to pre-made frozen raw diets. Fortunately, a specialty pet store near me sells Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct with meat selections of beef, chicken, duck, venison, rabbit and lamb.

    I buy the medallions [48 in the package] and they are the perfect size for my Chi. He gets 3 thawed medallions a day. To bring them to room temperature, I mix a tablespoon of hot water. A bag of 48 frozen medallions costs $22 and provides 16 days of meals.

    With that moisture content, he seldom, if ever, drinks water. Dogs which eat only kibble are in a persistent dehydrated condition which leads to all kinds of health conditions later, if not sooner.

    There are times when I buy raw beef or turkey hearts from our local butcher and use them as treats.

    I don’t know about your Chi, but my Longcoat gobbles his meals, so I place a golf ball in his food bowl. It slows him down working his way around the golf ball, and spends a long time licking clean.

    It’s small enough to put in his feeding dish and too large for him to swallow or remove from his bowl.

    I wish the best for you and your Chi’s. They are delightful dogs and so portable :)

  • Shawna

    I agree that kibble and raw digest at different rates but raw improves the digestion of kibble. For those that don’t want to or can’t feed raw on it’s own, I’d much rather see raw used as a topper than no raw at all..

  • BarbaraJR

    Do not mix raw foods with kibble. Their digestibility rates vary. I grind my teeth when I hear, “I use the raw as a topper.” I have a 6-pound Chihuahua which has an autoimmune disorder that was supposed to end his life three years ago. Dr. Karen Becker’s book is superb. The downside is the ingredients measurements which don’t make it easy for a dog weighing five pounds. I actually bought a gram scale to measure the ingredients. Then I got hooked on Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw and my Chi is doing very well. When introducing raw, I always suggest slightly cooking the food since it brings out the meat aroma. It may take a week or two, but she’ll eventually eat it uncooked. Cold food doesn’t suit my Chi’s belly, so I add a tablespoon of hot water to the thawed medallion.

    If we’re having steak or chicken for dinner, I lop off some raw to add to his meal. He needs high animal protein. Honestly, for those of us with five-pounder toy breeds, the frozen raw is terrific … and not expensive. I believe you’ll see the colitis disappear with the raw feeding. I rescued an 18-month old terrier mix with gastritis and pancreatitis. I had to semi-cook the raw before he would eat it, but after two weeks, I no longer have to cook it. The gastritis is gone and his pancreas is back to normal. My Chi’s disorder is terminal, but the raw feeding has increased his lifespan and you’d never know by looking at this happy, playful fella that he has a terminal disorder. And best of all, only one annual visit to the vet. Good luck and best wishes.

  • dchassett

    Diana, I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. I know the pain of losing a dog (many times through the years) and I do agree the maddening feeling of having to know what is wrong with your animal before you call the vet and then having to bring all the formation with you to the vet. I feed raw mostly but a couple of times a week for both meals of the day I purposely feed only THK Zeal so that there is enough fiber to push out anything lingering in them. As you noticed probably when feeding raw their poops are very very small. It is said that it’s because the dogs are using up most of the nutrition in the food and I believe that, but I’ve always worried that not everything may be coming out. Again, let me say how very sorry I am for your loss and the pain you are dealing with.

  • Diana Larson

    I know there are a lot of people who feed raw and love it, that’s why I switched my dogs to it. I thought I was doing a good thing and keeping her healthy so she would live longer. I truly did. But there are things I didn’t know. It’s not as simple as it seems. For instance, I was not told not to mix kibble with a raw diet. I was feeding them an organic brand of kibble in the mornings because it was easier than mixing the Honest Kitchen etc, and the HK with raw at night. The kibble however, does not digest as quickly as the raw, so it was contributing to the constipation, and the bacteria was in her intestines too long, thereby causing the e-coli. and the eventual perforation. Nothing happened to my other dog who is only 4 yrs old. She is fine. So you just really never know how something is going to affect your dog adversely I guess. But when I took my baby to the vet and we discussed the raw diet, and he diagnosed constipation, HE should have known that it was imperative to unplug her asap. he gave me nothing to treat her for it. The ER dr. report which I just got,diagnosed her with septic peritonitis, with possible GI perforation. When I googled septic peritonitis it said that it can be caused by a bacteria such as e-coli and one of the symptoms is hypothermia, which she had, although he paid no attention to that. It’s maddening that we pay exhorbitant amounts of money to take our animals to people who are supposedly trained, and yet I feel I have to reasearch every symptom and have a diagnosis myself before I even take them to a vet!!

  • Shawna

    That is so very sad!! :(

    I completely understand how you must feel about raw but there is A LOT of us that do, and have been, feeding raw for a very long time without issue. This includes a lot of vets. My puppy has had kidney disease since birth. I am 100% sure that she would not still be with me, and healthy, if she ate anything but raw. She’s had the disease for almost eight years and was not expected to live past age two.

    I’m so sorry for your loss and my heart aches for you.. I LOVE all the bully breeds. Your sweet baby looks VERY similar to my Staffie when I was growing up. His name was Morton.

    We are praying for you!!

    Edit – - for the record, I do have one pup (I have eight total) that I would not feed whole raw bones to (or chew treats for that matter). She swallows whole without chewing and we’ve had to save her from choking more than once..

  • Crazy4cats

    This is awful. I’m really sorry! I hope you can find some peace and not blame yourself.

  • Diana Larson

    thank you. she was my heart and I am so devastated. I walk around my house completely lost without her, crying constantly. I thought I was doing a good thing by giving her what I thought was a better diet. The honest kitchen by itself would probably be ok. or mixed with cooked food, but I would not suggest raw.

  • Cyndi

    I’m so very sorry for your loss! :(

  • Diana Larson

    I did not get an autopsy done, but I did pick up the report from the ER dr. yesterday. her diagnosis was septic peritonitis, possible GI perforation. I googled septic peritonitis and her symptoms were there, the main one being hypothermia and abdominal cramping. she was cold to the touch when I took her to the vet the second time(his tech even commented on that) when he casually diagnosed constipation and told me to “take her home and put her in the yard for a while, I can’t find anything wrong with your dog”. My suspicion is that something I gave her caused an e-coli bacteria to grow, maybe because she was backed up and the poop was in there too long. (he didn’t give me anything to clean her out and suggest another x-ray, or follow up blood tests, or a urine sample or anything at the second visit) the e-coli, from what I’ve been told, can cause the intestinal tract to weaken and just about anything could have caused it to tear at that point. I have filed a complaint with the Arizona veterinary board but I doubt they will do anything. And the guy (can’t bring myself to call him a vet) hasn’t even called to apologise, or offer some of my money back or even say sorry. I’m just sick to my stomach because I know the diet is what the underlying factor is that caused this.

  • losul

    Do you have an idea what may have caused the possible intestinal perforation?

  • Diana Larson

    I changed my nine year old pit bulls diet from kibble to Honest Kitchen mixed with raw hamburger and alternated with raw chicken in December. She died February 8th from complications of e-coli and a possible perforated bowel, which my vet did not detect or treat, even though he knew she was on a raw diet. I took her to the vet twice, he said nothing was wrong with her, within a week it was septic and she was dead. Be very very careful with this raw diet.

  • morgaine

    Marv, that sounds like what my dog was doing when he was diagnosed with diabetes. He’s managing on daily insulin now, and I m using a prescription Hills W/D food, though I’m looking for alternatives and leaning towards a raw diet. I wouldn’t recommend hills, but I might ask your vet about canine diabetes if you haven’t already.

  • Cavalier

    There are 2 posts that dissappeared today where people recommended lower protein

    History log dissappeared too so you can’t check anymore

  • dchassett

    To bring the cost down if you can find a kibble that they do well on you can use The Honest Kitchen as a topper with the kibble. My dogs only do well on the Honest Kitchen Zeal which, unfortunately, is the most expensive of their formulas, so I use it as a topper or as their food and top with raw. Presently using Primal Pronto Beef or Lamb as the raw. Be careful with the lamb it has a lot of fat to protein ratio. One of my babies has to many food allergies/intolerances to stray too far from what she can tolerate. I feel The Honest Kitchen is an excellent food in my experience with my dogs. Yes, to can be expensive BUT my dogs spend a lot less time at the vet which is way more expensive than any food I feed them.

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve been feeding THK for around 8 years. Great product but it’s not raw (unsure if you think it is, just saying that because you posted in a raw food forum). It is expensive, you can still feed it since I assume they like it, feed one meal of THK & a meal of raw or raw with their Preference.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you are up to a little bit of a challenge, making your own raw is cheapest. Dr Karen Becker’s book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” is a great resource and so is Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.”

    You can make large batches when you have time and portion it out and freeze it until needed.

  • LabsRawesome

    What kind of food are you looking for? Raw, dehydrated, kibble, canned?

  • Jeanette

    I’ve been feeding my dogs “honest kitchen”. Do you have any thoughts on this brand? It’s quite expensive and I’d love to hear alternatives as I have 3 dogs and we go through a lot of dog food.

  • Norma-Jean

    Pets4Life isn’t sold in the USA. So I think that is why it’ s not at the top of this list. It is currently the only commercially prepared raw dog food in Canada that is certified by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials , Inc.,)

  • Jean Michele

    Pets4life???

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Here is another reference for homemade food:

    http://dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html

    You can also add your raw organic meat and oil of choice (preferably an omega 3 oil) with a Premix like Grandma Lucy’s, The Honest Kitchen, See Spot Live Longer, Urban Wolf, CarnivoreRaw, etc. They make home-made easy.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Mike Fickling,

    That’s awesome!

    But, on its own it’s a diet that’s severely lacking in many key nutrients.

    If you choose to go organic raw, pick up Steve Brown’s book, Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: http://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Canine-Ancestral-Diet-Healthier-ebook/dp/B004I6DP0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390401150&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+brown+unlocking+the+canine+diet, and learn how to make a complete and balanced meal for your dog.

  • Mike Fickling

    How about raw organic meat from my butcher?

  • Marv

    I’d really appreciate suggestions on how to change my dog’s diet. Sierra is a rescue dog that I’ve had since she was a puppy and she’s going to be 13 years old next month. She was recently diagnosed with liver disease after the vet did blood work because we told her that she drinks water like she’s never going to have any again plus she’s always starving. We currently have her on special dry food for liver diet but I read recently that it can take up to 16-24 hours to digest kibble and probably even longer because she doesn’t chew any of it. Anyway, she’s allergic to chicken and weighs about 65 lbs. Any suggestions????? Thank you so much!!

  • Michaela Ufkes

    :-D

  • Michaela Ufkes

    start out with a small amount of beef cubes. I have also noticed many of the tiny dogs ravish the fish. maybe you could try her on cubes of raw salmon or even tuna. my girls gobble the raw frozen fish about 3 times a week. but they have gotten use to the raw beef and chicken too. so I mix it up. along with top kibble. I also give them spring water from a natural spring and not water from the sink. (the same as for myself).

  • Michaela Ufkes

    I so agree with your methods. more raw foods less kibble.

  • Petwaggin

    I just started feeding Small Batch Raw Chicken recipe to my dogs 1- terrier poodle mix and 1- boxer pit mix. the terrier is itching like crazy since he started eating it and the big guy won’t eat it after the first couple of days and is apparently on a hunger strike. I would really like to feed them a raw diet but don’t know where to turn from here. I should note that they are both about 8yr old so fat content is a concern for me and the protein in the kibble they were on was chicken so I doubt the itching is an allergy to the protein. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I love Hare Today! I get the 1# chubs. I know I pay a few cents more, but I love the convenient size. They aren’t complete though, so I add vitamin E and D, omega 3s, a whole food supplement, oysters once a week, ground nuts and seeds, and a little bit of fruits and veggies. Or if I’m being lazy, I might use a premix.

  • Blaze’s Mom

    I imagine by now you’ve settled into a feeding routine for your pup that’s working for you. I’ve also read both of Steve Browns books and Dr Karen Beckers book. I’ve also been in email contact with Steve Brown. I’ve tried to keep Blazes diet as natural as possible so I’ve decided to get his food from http://www.haretoday.com. I can choose what type of meat to feed him, even how finely it’s ground, and if it contain bone and organs. Once I slice it up into daily portions I freeze it. I can control what and how much purred vegetables and fruit to add to it, also. I don’t trust any commercial companies, I guess, and like getting his food from a supplier that’s a family-run business. I just found out they take their dogs to the same Holistic Vet I use!

  • Blaze’s Mom

    I have my dog’s food mailed to me by http://www.hare today.com. They raise rabbits and other small animals for pet food. They mail it in an insulated box. It comes to me frozen solid in 2-5 lb packages. There is a lot to choose from but I get mostly rabbit, beef, venison, turkey, chicken, duck. I let the package partially thaw in the fridge and cut it into daily portions and freeze it. A shipment usually lasts about 5-6 weeks and it takes me about 45 min to prepare it for the freezer. I order the meat that contains organs and bone. He loves his food and gobbles it up! It may be a little extra work than just reaching into a bag of dry kibble but it gives him what his system has evolved to expect!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I use freeze dried as training treats. My dogs gobble them up.

  • Chrissy Zemanek Newberry

    I am just starting my pack on raw foods and we have chosen Stella and Chewy’s. We are starting with the freeze dried and crumbling it in their grain free kibble. I gave it to them today to start and at first they were like wth mom, but then once they got pass the texture they lapped it right up!!

  • Diane

    There is a raw dog food made in Manitoba that is not on the list. It is called Perfectly Raw. I have not used it but know people who do. I wouldn’t mind seeing a breakdown of it on your site.

  • Pattyvaughn

    For how all my dogs do on it, my favorite brand of kibble is Brother’s Complete, all formulas. I also feed Nature’s Variety Instinct, Earthborn Holistic, just started Canidae Pure Sky, and have a bag of Nature’s Logic in the line up. There are many more that I will try in the future and some of the ones I’m feeding now one dog does great on and another doesn’t because of food intolerances. I also feed 1/2 raw, commercial(Darwin’s), with a premix(Dr Harvey’s Veg to Bowl and See Spot Live Longer), and completely homemade. And I use freeze dried dog food for training treats. In other words, I feed a variety. I would feed all raw, but I have too many squeamish people living in my house that may have to feed sometimes, so I keep my dogs used to some kibble.

  • Pepe

    You seem to know a lot of pet nutrition, I always wanted to know, what do you feed your dog(s)?

  • Pingback: Daine’s raw diet | From The Desk of Mommah

  • Ida

    Good to know, would much rather purchase a product that is already balanced. Thanks!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I just checked out their website. It looks like they make meat/organ/bone grinds. Their products would definitely make a good base for a raw diet, just keep in mind they aren’t balanced foods. It would be necessary to add appropriate supplementation and other whole foods to ensure that your dog is getting a balanced diet. The chicken formula is way too high in fat though.

  • Ida

    What about Spring Meadows Natural pet food (Canada); I havent used them but would love to know your take on this product?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Freeze dried is a great way to have good food to travel with. I use it for training treats.

  • guest

    after reading I did some research and I think that freeze dreied would be a good start and way to go . I think orijin’s freeze dried would be my # 1 next to that would be ziwi’s I like the fact that orijin has it’s own factory and no other food made but their’s. I do home cook . I too have two chi’s they do not know what kibble is and I will keep it that way. I never saw a kibble plant or tree growing … so wouldn’t it be like us eating chip’s or cracker’s? i buy all food from a health food market that sells everything in the way of food’s milk, egg,s meat,fruit and veggies, and ect. but sometimes it’s hard to home cook and having freeze dried would be good to have on hand and travel with my fur children. they are middle aged and have never tasted of dog food ever even treats are home made. I just don’t trust dog food is what is holding me back. as my girl’s were about 3 years old in the 2007 recall. with one so tiny and the other little one if they had eaten that bad food with their size they would have lost their life and I would have just died.i will think on it and in travel would be good to have freeze dried foods.

  • Shawna

    Sure!! :)

    After the three month elimination I
    started with just one food and added that back into the diet feeding it
    at every meal. I waited at least three days before adding the next food
    back in (I may have even went a week — can’t remember for sure).

    If she reacted to the food I quit feeding it. If she didn’t react I moved on to the next food. At that time I was home preparing so I did add in ingredient (food) by ingredient — chicken meat, hamburger, pumpkin, garlic, goat cheese etc. I also did the same thing with her supplements. The only supp she took during the elimination diet was her Standard Process Renal Support. She reacted to the Standard Process Whole Body Support however — has bovine bone in it. “Veal” bone, oddly enough, she doesn’t react to. Just cow bone in all forms (fresh ground, bone meal etc).

    When she reacted to a food I let her system calm down and get back to symptom free before adding the next food.

    PS — my MD, CCN had me follow a similar, but not quite as strict, elimination diet to find my problematic food..

  • Betsy Greer

    Hey Shawna,

    Could you also explain the process of how you added those foods in that Audrey reacted to, please. : )

  • Shawna

    Hi Perplexed Jane,

    That’s kind of a tough one… What were you feeding your boy before and what raw are you feeding now. The reason I ask, my Pom (the one sitting in the above pic) reacts to chicken in any form – kibble, canned, raw etc. Her reaction is quicker to come on and more intense on the raw though.

    My point, if you are still feeding the food that your pup reacts to you will not see any improvements and potentially things could be worse.

    Often when dogs are switched to a different diet they can go through a cleansing phase if you will.. I am allergic to dairy.. When I QUIT consuming any dairy in the diet my symptoms will worsen for several days to a week but usually not as long as two weeks and I will begin to feel better in other ways. I really do think you should be seeing at least minor improvements after two weeks. Example — the intensity of the itching could be worse but the frequency better. Or the sores are larger but maybe don’t take as long to heal.

    If you feel that things aren’t progressing in the right direction, since you know your pet better than anyone else, I would certainly try a raw diet with a novel protein and starch (something he’s never eaten before). Darwins has duck or venison. Bravo has ostrich, rabbit or buffalo (not balanced so keep that in mind — NOT for long term use). Maybe mix the ostrich or rabbit with sweet potato or pumpkin as the starch source. Primal has quail or pheasant. Just pick something protein and starch wise that he hasn’t eaten before.

    Vet Dr. Karen Becker has some great advice in her article “How to Heal Your Pet’s Food Allergy” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/07/protein-diets-for-pets-allergy.aspx

    Do keep in mind that a wide variety of foods can be the trigger for the symptoms you are seeing — any meat, potato, green beans, peas, tomato, garlic, barley, rice and on and on.. Sometimes it helps to keep a journal of what foods have been tried and what ingredients are in common.

    I put my pup Audrey (the white and tan next to the tiny Chi on the far right of the pic) on an elimination diet. For three months she ate nothing but ostrich and sweet potato. When I introduced foods back into her diet she reacted to goat milk, cow tripe, cow bone and barley.

  • Perplexed Jane

    I started my 2 yr old golden, who has struggled w/allergies that aren’t fixed with shots, on a raw food diet. His scratching, chewing, sores have worsened. His coat seems worse as well. It’s been two weeks and I am trying to decide if to continue or go back to the easier, less expensive dry dog food. Any thoughts?

  • Nicole Elocin

    I have always wanted to cook more for my dogs but the “nutritionists” at Pookies told me exactly what you are saying about dogs needing the right balance of calcium and phosphorus. I have 2 chihuahuas (4 and 5 pounds) and I’m unsure of how much to fed them when I cook them chicken and vegetables. I have 2 dog cookbooks which aren’t clear on portion size for little dogs. My dogs don’t like cold raw food, I have tried samples of different brands from Pookies. They will eat the stella and chewy (I’ve read on this site the controversy over the pressure used with preparing it). Someone suggested trying Sojos- another freeze-dried. . THe Chi that I rescued in March has a luxating patella – I give him a supplement for it. The Orthopedic at UF small animal hospital did a radiograph and didn’t recommend surgery at this time. So its important for him not to gain excess weight and for him to have good bone health. I have both ziwipeak and stella & chewy at the house and mix up their meals with those foods and warm veggies. It’s hard trying to be a good dog mom nutritionally with all the crappy dog foods out there

  • Nicole Elocin

    My 2 dogs like the dried ziwipeak too. I don’t feed them can food often but once in awhile as a “treat” – luckily they have not gotten sick from the ziwipeak can food. Thank you for letting me know about that ingredient being in there, I’ll stay away from it now. They both like fruitables canned pumpkin which I’ll mix into their food sometimes, I’ll have to check the ratings/ingredients on that can now….

  • Loren

    My doxi is over the moon about S&C’s surf and turf and he is just so healthy and energetic on it. Also it is hard to beat the freeze dried for convenience.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    I personally don’t buy that carrageenan is a carcinogen. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12389870 If you are really worried about it, I would check any canned food you buy very closely because a lot of them use it.

  • John Mips

    Ziwipeak canned has carrageenan, a carcinogen. While I don’t usually fall for the mass hysteria that some ingredients get, I did experience 1 of 9 dogs throw up when I fed them Ziwipeak canned. It’s the first time I’ve fed any of the 9 a food with carrageenan in it. It might just be bad luck, but I’m not going to test it again.

    Edit: I should add that I feed them the air dried ziwipeak and they love it and seem to do great on it.

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  • Nicole Elocin

    Thank you Hound dog mom!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    High pressure processing – it’s essentially a non-thermal pasteurization process. Here’s some info: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/high-pressure-processing-raw-dog-food/

    Stella & Chewy’s is a fantastic company that makes a fantastic product. If your dog is doing well on it don’t worry about the fact that it’s HPP. I (along with some other raw feeders on here) just prefer to feed meat in its completely unadulterated state.

  • Nicole Elocin

    Oh no, I give my dogs Stella and Chewy’s Freeze dried raw food bc they don’t like cold raw food. What is HPP?? I also feed them ZiwiPeak which they like too.

  • Nicole Elocin

    haha I just replied above to you and mentioned Ziwipeak. My dogs love it & Stella and Chewy the same. Ziwipeak also has a 5 star can food, which I’ll mix with my Chihuahuas food sometimes. If you get the Ziwipeak, keep in sealed tight (get out the air) b/c its dehydrated and will lose some of its texture. I learned that the first time I bought it. I always have Ziwipeak and Stella and Chewy on hand for my fur babies.

  • Nicole Elocin

    My 2 Chihuahuas love the Stella and Chewy’s freeze-dried raw dog food & treats (on list above/5 stars). You have to go to a local organic type of dog store to find it or online. The big retailers don’t sell it. I tried cold raw food for my chi’s but they didn’t like it. If they don’t take to raw food- the next best is ZiwiPeak Dehydrated (5 stars on this website). Chewy offers a lot of meat sources which keeps my chi’s interested in their food. :)

  • Shawna

    I’ve not used Ziwipeak but others here have with good results. Unfortunately it will not work as a mixer though.. Mixers are unique in that they are high in calcium and low in phosphorus which allows them to balance the high amounts of phosphorus in meats and organs. Since Ziwipeak is already “balanced” it will not have enough calcium to create a calcium to phosphorus balance when combined with the meat. This is one of the things you will learn about in the two books..

    What you can do is add a small amount of meat and other foods to the Ziwipeak — keep it at or under 20% so as not to unbalance the Ziwipeak. This will allow you to start raw foods before you have had an opportunity to purchase/receive and read the books.

  • Jessica D.

    Thank you all for the usefully advice. I am going to purchase those books on amazon today! I am very excited to start this new diet for her, I know she will benefit from it so much. Is anyone familiar with Ziwipeak? This is the kibble I currently have her on- I read up on it and it says it’s a dehydrated raw food with main ingredient- venison. Will this food work as a mixer for raw meat?

  • Shawna

    Like the others, I think homemade is a great option if done right. Dr. Becker/Beth Taylor’s and Steve Brown’s books are awesome.

    You have many options though.. I did homemade for many years but I simply don’t have the time right now so I had to switch to mainly commercial. I really like Darwin raw foods which have the ideal protein to fat ratio (Steve Brown helped formulate the Darwin diets). The foods are SUPER fresh. You order them online and they are shipped direct to you still frozen solid. The packing is fantastic for a toy breed dog only family as well. They have one line that is organic and grass finished as well.

    For those times when, if you are anything like me, you forgot to thaw anything out you can use premixes. Swing by the grocery store for a pound of meat (already thawed of course) and add Steve Brown’s premix (or another) to balance the pound of meat. The premix, as well as a mini booklet of his “Unlocking” book, can be found on his website — see spot live longer. I also buy organic vegetable/fruit baby food pouches to add to the meat and Steve’s premix.

    My Chi is 4 pounds and 16(ish) years old. She has been raw fed since we adopted her from the humane society 7 years ago. Her coat was HORRIBLE and her eyes were cloudy when we got her. The improvement once on quality food was dramatic. I think you’ll be very happy with the results you get!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yeah, I’m still working on figuring out what works for mine. I thought I had nailed down his intolerances, but just a few days ago, I found one more thing he can’t handle.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    That is true. Thankfully I’ve found out what works for my dog. A lot of trial and error.

  • Pattyvaughn

    With many commercial raw foods, unless you know what you are looking for in the GA, you still won’t know how high the fat is since they only have to state the minimums. Labeling laws are a shame.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Commercial raw foods tend to have higher fat contents. I would make sure you look through the guaranteed analyses very closely to make sure you don’t feed anything too fatty which might upset her. You would have more control over a homemade diet. You can choose very lean meat as well as organic meat. The only commercial raw brand that I know of that uses some organic ingredients is Stella & Chewy’s. I’ve used their food a lot and my dog really likes it. I was going to suggest the same books that Patty did. If you are really interested in making homemade food they will help a lot! I own both and they helped me get started. Best of luck!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Scroll up the the red bar above and click on forums. There is a LOT of info there to help you get started. You have to register seperately over there, but there are a number of raw feeders who will do their best to answer any questions and point you in the right direction.
    As a quick and easy way to start feeding raw, I would like to suggest See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mixes. It is a powdered whole food supplement that you add to your meat. That way you can start with low fat turkey or chicken or even beef. That will give you a good start while you do more research. A couple good books are Steve Brown’s “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” and Dr. Karen Becker’s “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats.”

  • Missjess03

    Hello! I’ve been reading this feed for an hour now and have finally been convinced to start my 3 year old, 5 lb chihuahua (Cosita) on a raw food diet. A lot of the information posted on here has been very useful- I’m taking notes! However, I still feel a little unsure which route to start with my pup. She slightly suffers from colitis when I feed her anything too fatty. Any suggestions on how to introduce raw food into her diet? I currently have her on a new Zealand based organic dry food called Ziwipeak which seems to be working for her well. I, myself have been introducing a new organic diet into my life and this has encouraged me to get Cosita on the same page with me. Longevity and disease prevention is what I am aiming for with this lifestyle change. I am interested in possibly making homemade organic foods for her. I’m not sure which route to go first- homemade or commercial brand raw food? Any information or suggestions would greatly help this transition! Thanks! :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    Pull the skin off some of it so that the meat is more exposed.

  • Sugar

    My dogs won’t eat raw chicken wings either. I personally would not trust a grocery store brands with raw chicken because it if often contaminated. I personally feed my dogs K9 Natural raw and also the Addiction dehydrated, and some Ziwipeak dehydrated. My dogs love all of these foods.

  • Kathy Lagnese

    My GSD 10 1/2 month old will not eat raw chicken wings. I have been feeding her the Raw Diet for a couple of weeks and have tried it twice. She just picks them up and drops them beside her bowl. ANy suggestions to make them more appealing?

  • Sugar

    Hi Pam, Addiction is one of my most favorite brands.

    I have known the company for years and the food is great for digestion. I feed my dogs in the morning the dehydrated brushtail and I think it is of high quality.

    Also the dry food lamb (now grain free) is of very good quality. I also tried the kangaroo and it is very good as well.

    The only food I do not recommend is the canned as Evanger is (at the moment) producing them and they are having some issues. Also the dry food venison I don’t recommend it since it is made by a company in TX and the kibble have some issues.

    However, all the other dry foods are made in NZ or AU and they are amazing! The vitamins they use are from Europe and nothing is from China.

  • Pam

    Does anyone have any experience with Addiction Foods, they have a raw dehydrated line using different proteins.

  • UncleBob

    Chicken drumsticks at $1.30/pound and Guts/Gizzards at $.80/pound keeps fido from eating poop and grass.

  • Holly

    Darwin’s Natural Selections has organic and they’ll give you any info you want regarding how the meat is raised. Give them a call…super nice and informative people. My dog’s have been on Darwin’s for 2 months and I’ve never seen them go after any dog food like they do this stuff.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I have a lot of the recipes I use posted in the forum area – in the raw food topic area there’s a thread called recommended menus. If you’re interested in making your own I’d also suggest picking up a copy of Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” – it has complete and balanced recipes and they’re all pretty simple.

  • Anita

    Can you please offer any advice on how to make this raw food, or what to feed? I have a 140lb Bullmastiff who could lose 15-20lbs, she has TONS of allergies it seems, and I want to nip this in the bud. She is our foster, but I would like to make her 100% again. I just have no idea where to start, I also think she may have a chicken allergy.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I think Stella and Chewy’s uses very high quality ingredients and I’ve always had good experiences with their customer service. I just really wish they didn’t use HPP. :(

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I really think homemade is the way to go, especially if you’re really concerned about ingredient quality. However if I had to recommend commercial raw I would recommend Answer’s or Aunt Jeni’s – I feed homemade but if I were feeding commercial these are the only two brands I would consider feeding long term.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Darwin’s Natural Selections gets my vote too!

  • Shawna

    I vote Darwin’s too.. One of the few companies that has organic/grass finished and that doesn’t use high pressure pasteurization (which in my opinion makes the food no longer technically “raw”). The meat looks and smells like meat — some don’t.. They also have an appropriate fat to protein ratio — many don’t. And they have a fantastic introductory offer.

    Two fantastically wonderful vets are fellow vegetarians that also feed their dogs raw (and recommend to their clients). They are Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Martin Goldstein.. You are in good company :)

  • InkedMarie

    BeaglesMom said what i was going to, Darwins, their Natural Selections

  • GSDsForever

    was looking for my email from S&C from a while back, since I also feed S&C . . .

    “All meat, poultry and fish is free of added hormones and antibiotics as well as humanely raised and humanely slaughtered.

    • The red meats (beef, lamb and venison) are from Australia and New Zealand—they’re grass-fed and free range.

    • The poultry (chicken, duck and goose) are from the US—they’re cage-free.

    • The fish is also from the US and is wild caught.

    • The rabbit is from Western Europe (specifically France).”

    That’s from Emily Thompson @ Stella & Chewy’s. Hope that helps!

    I would also encourage you to consider feeding homemade. I’m also vegetarian, btw, and extremely selective about sourcing. One very good option in feeding homemade is wild caught sustainable fish, such as Alaskan wild caught — salmon, whiting, herring, pollock, etc. as well as Pacific Ocean sourced sardines. Don’t forget about organic, free range eggs either, which you can find locally from small farms. I find these to be the most vegetarian friendly protein sources of the very highest quality.

  • beaglemom

    Darwin’s! Check out their “Natural Selections” line. Great quality frozen raw shipped right to your door. Their website is http://www.darwinspet.com. Many people here (me included) can attest to the success their dogs have had on this food (and it’s also reviewed here on DFA).

  • GSDsForever

    Stella & Chewy’s

  • Laura

    Can anyone recommend a raw frozen food that uses grass/pasture raised animals and organics? I am trying to find a food for my dog that isn’t part of a feedlot or cruel factory farming chain. : ( I’m a vegetarian, but have no desire to make my dog be one too. But it seems that unless I make the food myself, there isn’t a commercial product out there that meets my needs. Any advice? Thanks!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    That sounds like a pretty good plan! The only other suggestions I would make is to add a vitamin e supplement. To my dogs’ meals I also add ground nuts and seeds occasionally (usually sprouted pumpkin seeds or sprouted sunflower seeds) for manganese and canned oysters which are a great source of copper, zinc and selenium (probably not necessary if the dog is getting beef liver on a regular basis). Basically, the more variety the better.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is what they said

    We recommend supplements like:
    Apple Cider Vinegar
    Cod Liver Oil
    Sea Kelp
    Alfalfa
    Flaxseed or Flaxseed Oil
    Vitamin C
    Vitamin E

    And I have the same pet peeve. It’s like they think that the dog is somehow magically not going to need these things just because they eat meat.

  • SpencerB

    I thought the same thing in regards to looking at it more as a base. I was thinking I could supplement by adding eggs, sardines, kelp, cod liver oil, and some offals like liver, heart, and tongue. I was also planning in using RMBs to help with teeth as well. I also thought about every month switching between their Chicken, Turkey, and Beef formulas. I would use the Alpine with Veg for all aside from the beef which is there Ascension line. Does this sound like a good balance? Any tweaks or suggestions?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Oh that’s good then. I missed that, I just read the ingredients on their products. It’s a pet peeve of mine when places sell meat/bone/organ grinds that they (obviously) have to label has intermittent and supplemental only then try to convince people they’re balanced foods and that’s all the dog needs (like Hare Today does).

  • Pattyvaughn

    One of the things I liked about their site was that they made suggestions about what needed to be added, instead of pretending that it’s in there.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’ve never heard of it but I just checked out the website. It looks like their products would make an okay base but keep in mind it’s not a complete and balanced food if that’s what you’re looking for. So if you feed it you’ll still have to add appropriate supplements.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Disqus, the commenting software does that from time to time.
    I like MDFs website. It has a nice amount of info on it. They don’t use multiple different organ meats in their foods, but several raw companies don’t. And they seem to rely on the same 4 fruits and veggies for their formulas that have fruits and veggies, but lots of other raw companies do that too, or tell you that they use what is seasonally available and don’t give you any idea abou what they really use. I would use this food sometimes if it were available to me. I just wouldn’t use only it.

  • SpencerB

    I made a comment a day ago about Mountain Dog Food asking if anyone has used it or if anyone can provide some information on the quality of it for me but it seems to have disappeared? Regardless, here is a link to their site (http://www.mountaindogfood.com) Any opinions would be appreciated!

  • InkedMarie

    I may be wrong but I don’t think any of the foods that are just meat/bone/organ are reviewed.

  • Chuck Pilny

    I don’t see Blue Ridge Beef (blueridgebeef.com) on your list. Any reason for this?

  • SpencerB

    Hi there, I’m currently doing research in the diet I’d like to provide for my soon to be dog. Ideally I wanted to do a raw based diet because I’ve read from various places its the best diet I can offer. Originally in pricing it out it worked out to be around $180 a month (before taxes) to feed a 50lb dog, which frankly isn’t an option for my income. I’ve worked it out to that I can afford to spend roughly $100 a month on food so I thought I would be stuck with a high quality kibble (Orijen). I did intended to mix various high quality low carb canned foods in to provide more moisture and help mix up the protein sources. Though a co-worker of mine introduced me into a brand of raw called “Mountain Dog Food”, price wise is extremely cheap, $27 for 20lbs! When he first told me all I could think was, it has to be ‘too good to be true’. Upon investigating their website (http://www.mountaindogfood.com) their foods seems to be alright to my eyes but I’ll be the first to say that I’m still new to this and can’t scan through it with the level of expertise as some of you can. Their meats are offered with or without fruits and veg, but have bone included in the diet. I’ve tried to find reviews or even of anyone feeding this raw diet but I’ve found very little information so I can only assume their a small and relatively new company. If anyone could provide some advise on their foods from a nutritional stand point and if I would be better off with my original plan of a stable of Orijen kibble and then various low carb grain free canned foods (Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Merrick and EVO) or going with this brand of raw food?

    Thanks so much!!

  • somebodysme

    Ask your vet to do a scraping to see if it’s demodex or some other mange. It does sound suspicious of mange, with it being the same on both dogs…

  • erin

    Sounds like mange. All three of my bullys got it. Only thing that got rid of it was three doses of revolution a couple weeks apart. Good luck

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I’m Pugtown in my other forum!

  • Shawna

    Thanks Melissa :)
    Recently I’ve been having this horrible itch for a puppy (foster puppy) but hubby would KILL ME if I bring another in right now with the grandbabies living with us etc… I’m gonna have to hang out at the humane society so I can get my puppy fix!!!! :)

  • Shawna

    LOL!!! Waking up in the morning is the BEST… All but two sleep in bed with me (so six total) and they take turns giving me kisses and getting lovies :)…
    The toilet ;) is another place they like to catch me at.. They know they have my undivided attention there :).. hee hee

  • InkedMarie

    You have your own PugVillage!