Best Raw Dog Foods


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

  • Shortstuff

    Thanks so much! So because he’s on “prednisone and antibiotics” I’ll wait til meds are done – then proceed (per vet) anxious to get it started.

  • Dori

    From personal experience and, in my opinion, I don’t think it’s ever too late to switch to a raw diet. I switched my three girls to commercial raw diets a little over three years ago. At that time my Maltese was 12 1/2 years old. She’s now 15 1/2 and still enjoying every day of her life. There are two schools of thought on how to transition a dog to a raw diet. One depends on what you’ve been feeding your dog to begin with. Grain inclusive or grain free. Have you been feeding him the same food for a very long time or have you done some transitioning of foods with him before. Do you feed a rotational diet or same food for every meal. When I made the switch to commercial raw diets I had already been feeding my dogs grain free for a couple of years and they were having no digestive issues so I did the switch “cold turkey”. They never skipped a beat. But, their guts were healthy. If you’ve been feeding your dog the same food for a long time and it is grain inclusive than I would suggest that you just initially remove a little bit of kibble or whatever you’re feeding him now and add a little raw and see how he does. Every time you see his poops are looking normal (not loose or runny) then you can add a little more raw and remove a little more kibble. Check his poops again. Anytime you see his poops are a little too lose go back to the point where they were good and give him a day or two to acclimate and then start again by adding a little more raw and removing more kibble. You’ll continue doing that until you see that you are feeding all raw and no kibble. This of course is for a commercial raw diet. If you are doing home made then you’ll have to read up on home made raw because you’ll have to get the balancing of supplements and ingredients correct. If your dog has a healthy gut and has been on high quality grain free then just go for it without transition which is what I did. I’ve counseled when asked and have given the same info and they’ve gone “cold turkey” with no digestive problems whatsoever. One of my dogs has a lot of food intolerances which is what brought about my switch to commercial raw diets. I avoid any and all poultry (all fowl), grains, corn, soy, white potatoes and rice. Try to avoid pro-inflammatory ingredients as much as you can an that will help with any allergies to foods that he may have. Allergies are inflammatory issues. Let me know if I or others can answer any other questions for you.

  • Shortstuff

    Just had a thought – maybe this is why my 11 year old German Shepherd has had skin issues and ear infections his whole life. Is it too late to “switch” to a raw diet? If not how do I transition? Thanks.

  • Len C

    I use to feed various Blue Ridge products but all to often the products were scary bad, with what I felt wasn’t any part of the cow. The quail would smell really bad in 2-3 days. Liked them at first but finally gave up on B/Ridge.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    It does, but that doesn’t mean there are no problems. From what I’ve seen though, there are no more problems with commercial raw food than there are with kibble. I’m not a raw feeder, but I certainly support commercial raw food.

  • Shinji’s Soul Reaver

    I thought commercial raw dog food in the US had to be tested and salmonella-free.

  • Kim Barrow

    I would love to have the beef pepperdogz analyzed.

  • Sharon Remeikis

    USA Source For Dogs and Cats

  • WandaSteeves

    Ru only in bc, do u ship to calgary, if so let me know! As for assessment, contact the owner of the site. My Lelos eating rabbit, bison ( when ava), salmon, beef. I’m always interested in canadian product.also do you have a recall system?

  • WandaSteeves

    I noticed PETS GO in Canada is not on the list, but I switched to raw, to give LELO better food, it’s been over a year, she is so full of energy, and happy to eat..only downside is her tear ducks are tearing bad, I think it’s because it’s so pure. If u have one dog and can afford it, go raw, no

  • Matic


    I have one question regarding the protein intake. I am
    trying to increase the protein part in the dogs’ diet to around 50-60 %,
    but if you check official nutritional requirements for dogs (eg.
    veterinarian study books) , the maximum intake of protein should be
    around 25 g for 8 kg dog (and consequently 300 mg of phosphurus)…
    There is no way you can achieve this by having more than 20 % proteins
    in the diet. Do you perhaps have any information/articles about higher
    intakes of protein/phosphorus. I remember I read somewhere (but cannot
    remember where exactly) that the absolute quantity of phosphorus is not
    that important, it just needs to be in the right ratio with the calcium
    (1,4 to 1) … Thanks

  • josh

    Sojos is an awesome dog food!

  • Kelly

    I do not see Blue Ridge Beef on the list. That is what I feed my little one.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Okay, thanks for clarifying!

  • Laurie Lamarche

    Agreed. I would only cook the leg bones for the purpose of grinding. It was mentioned as they grind up really nice when cooked. Right into powder! But that’s after I take the raw flesh off for the dogs. And it’s only the leg bones that I’ve cooked and ground in the past. I don’t usually cook them anymore as I’m not having any problems with it.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Just to be clear, cooked bones should never be presented to a dog to chew on, especially chicken bones. They present risk of choking, inessential puncture, inessential blockage, and splinters. Raw bones are good though.

  • Laurie Lamarche

    How you present bone depends on how much of a chewer your dog is. If they are light chewers then they can have raw meaty bones. If they are hard core chewers you run a very serious risk of teeth breaking which I had with my pittie and shockingly enough, with one of my pugs! :S So I can no longer give them raw meaty bones (beef leg bones). Chicken bones are softer and digest faster when raw. Cooked chicken bones (leg bones specifically) are more brittle. The carcass, neck, and other bones of the chicken are very safe and the softest bones in a chicken body. But raw leg bones will break apart into shards (I’ve been feeding raw for 7 years). So I have a tendency to remove the leg bones when making a batch of food. I have de-boned a chicken and put the carcass bones through the grinder raw, and then cooked the leg bones up and ground them up after they’re cooked. When cooked and ground up, the leg bones grind into powder. So to be clear (I tend to ramble ;), chicken bones are mostly find except leg bones, but I’ve not had any problems with the leg bones even when ground up or given straight to them. But if you’re worried, when making a batch of food, another option would be to cook the leg bones (not the meat) and grind them up, which will powder up nicely. Oh and best grinder? Sam Baere! Have gone through 3 and this ones the BEST!!! 5 years later it’s still kicking unlike the other two we had.

  • Laurie Lamarche

    Almost any meat is good. The key is to make sure you have enough bone in it for calcium as well as organ meat. Hit your local pet store for a good multi vitamin. The typical raw recipe included about 5 to 10% bone, 10% organ meat, 5 to 10% veg (I use zuccinni, sweet pot, carrots, sweet peppers, turnip etc), and the rest meat. I typically grind it all together to feed my guys, but I know someone with a Staffie who feeds her a whole chicken leg, a couple of chicken hearts or gizzards (or whatever) and fresh veggies during the day for treats. IE: carrots, apple slices, sweet potato slices etc. I dehydrate my own apple slices and sweet potato as daily treats for my guys. I also found out that freezer burnt meat is fine for dogs. So you could potentially get some free meat if you offer to go pick up peoples freezer burnt meat. Try to be sure your feeding a balanced diet.

  • theBCnut

    Thanks for posting that!

  • Bobby dog

    I mix all forms of food as well. Bobby does wonderful on a variety of kibble topped with either canned, commercial raw, or fresh foods.

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you. Very interesting!

  • sandy

    Here is an article from The Raw Feeding Community:

    DIGEST THIS: Kibble May Actually Digest Faster Than Raw

    That was interesting. I sometimes mix all kinds of foods together!

  • Bear’s Gwamma

    I don’t know if this posting is closed, but if not, check out this shampoo. It’s called ‘Buddy Wash’, but the line also includes ‘Buddy Rinse’, and ‘Buddy Splash’. I’ve used all three on my very sensitive, double-coated Border/Chow for many years, and will NEVER use anything else again.

  • Samantha

    Hi susan, I just wanted to update on how my little fur baby is. I took her to a new vet, and come to find out one of her problems is she is allergic to fleas! Ugh the other vet told me that was not the problem. But she gets a new kind of flea pill and in addition to that I also use a spray on her and she is taking temaril in which the vet perscribed. Seems to be working for the most part.they want to drop the medication down to a small dose but I’m finding the more I break the dose down the more irritated her skin is getting. I will be calling to let them know that though. Also u said a few things about shampoo and lotion, I wanted to share with you what I found and started to use, it works so much better than the mesalab. From the makers of Pet Armor it’s called VET TRUST and it’s medicated antibacterial antifungal shampoo. Then I use the lotion from the same brand. I have come to love this shampoo although it has oatmeal in which makes me nervous, but so far it Seems to have no negative effects. So I thank you for your advice and your time!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m not really an expert on raw food or tripe, sorry. :( Hopefully another user that know more about this can help you.

  • ♡Dane Mom♡

    I currently feed Bravos Green Tripe, manufactured in Carneys, NJ. I’m just wondering if there’s any ratings like the raw.
    Crude Protein 16% Moisture 71% Crude Fat. 12% Calcium. 0.12% Phosphorus. 0.14% Ash. 1% Calories 765 cal/To
    pH. 6.12. Linoleic Acid. 2.7% Lactic Acid (no rept) Bacteria. 12000 CFU/G

  • Guest

    I currently feed this kind of tripe. Is this 5* or is there something better I can get?

  • Natalie

    I cureentry feed Oma’s Beef, Turkey and Salmon. I was told that if you feed Tripeople with this you don’t need a probiotic. So I was asking why there’s NO RATINGS for Tripe brands.

  • DogFoodie

    Here’s a link to Green Tripe. There’s a regular poster here that loves their Tripe Stuffed Raw Cow Hooves.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Here is the link to Oma’s Raw.
    Some formulas are rated two stars and some are rated five.

    I don’t know what “Green Tripe” food you are talking about, not sure if it is reviewed here.

  • Natalie

    Oma’s frozen is not in the list. Nor is green tripe

  • JeremyScottRenolds

    Banana…yes a raw diet will help with chewing issues. All the raw foods you mentioned come in smaller bags so they don’t take long to go through. You can make pieces small for her and add enough water…at least 2 tablespoons or more to one patty and make sure water gets absorbed all the way through. Primal, Stella and Chewy’s, Stewarts and Nature’s Variety will all get soft but Vital Essentials stays fairly hard even after soaking in water so may not be a good choice for her. You can add enxymes and probiotics for maximum absorption of nutrients and less chance of stomach upset. Some people add a teaspoon of canned pumkin or HK Perfect Form to avoid loose bowels as well as constipation.

  • Samantha

    If the dog has a yeast problem makes sure ur shampoo does not contain oatmeal, as the yeast will feed of the oatmeal.

  • Samantha

    My dogs love the freeze dried food mixed with their kibble! However If he’s stopped eating his food but not yours, I would suggest not to feed him yours anymore. Offer him his everyday for 30 minutes 2 times a day, (but be sure to put the food away after those 30 minutes r up) try this with the freeze dried and kibble. He may hold out a few days but he’ll not starve himself to death. If he doesn’t eat after a few days u might want to go visit ur vet

  • Crazy4cats
  • Adera Angelucci

    How do we get on the list? :)

  • Angelina

    My dog seems to have gone off his food..but wouldn’t mind eating ours! Typical.. He’s a staffy what sort of raw meat is best for them? Thank you

  • Chey Halye

    Dogs do not require fruit or vegetables in their diet. Dogs are carnivores, not omnivores. Yes they can eat those things and there’s nothing wrong with feeding them some once in a while, but it is not a nutritionally required thing that you need to give them.

  • Chey Halye

    Raw bones pose little risk of puncturing the lining of the stomach or intestines. It’s cooked bones that are more likely to do damage as they’ve been tempered by heat and are more prone to splintering rather than being broken down by chewing, and are more rigid in the GI tract which can cause a puncture.

    Ground bones provide less interactivity, doesn’t help clean their teeth/gums and is less of a workout for the jaw/neck/shoulders during chewing. It’s just not necessary.

  • Samantha Mikesell

    The calcium and things I would think would help her with her chewing giving her more strength in her jaw if that’s part of the issue

  • Samantha Mikesell

    So I’m wondering about the ground diets? I know raw bones pose a risk of puncture but will grinding them take away some of the benefits? I know that it helps with their teeth and probably more but I want to make sure my baby is safe

  • Banana

    Hi, I’ve been thinking about switching my almost 5 and a half years old Maltese to raw. She have some serious dental issues that makes her hard to chew on things, will raw diet help with that? Also, I heard some older dogs get diarrhea and other similar similar symptoms when they switch to raw; it it something temporary and rare? Will it have negative effect on my dog? I plan on using one of these brands: Primal Formula, Stella & Chewy, NV Instinct, or Vital Essentials; what type of brand and meat would suite my dog the best? I never did the allergy test on my dog, so I kinda have no idea what she is allergic to. She did threw up on us few time, but usually it was from her stubborn refusal to eat her food(she would not eat only kibbles and have gone starving for up to 4 days… We added some canned dog food to her diet, which made her eat :P But then she still won’t eat same type of can food for more than 5 times in a row and will go into starving mode D: Btw, our family did a full checkup including all the unnecessary and expensive things on our dog and the result said she was perfectly healthy :/), but she never really had bad skin reactions except for one time when she had swollen eyes about 3 years ago. I know people say that it is best to rotate raw food brand each day, but I only have one small Maltese, so I don’t want the raw food to spoil or anything :/ I guess I can have two different brands or meat at once. A store near us also sells Answers goat milk (but not their raw food) and I just bought a pint today and is thawing in the fridge. Any other advice on switching my dog to raw food would be helpful :) Thanks

  • aimee

    I’ve never seen such a comparison.. I kinda doubt it exists. But I don’t know that significantly different result from a raw vs a cooked diet would be seen if the macronutrieint profile was the same

    It is interesting though to see the variation from the different studies. In the one you cited ( Banta) the pH’s were higher than I’d expect for both the meat and cereal based diet. Whereas in the kibble fed dog study (Sagawa et al) the reported pHs near 1 is what I would expect.

    I didn’t read through this piece but found the abstract interesting.

    Acid-Sensitive Enteric
    Pathogens Are Protected from Killing under Extremely Acidic Conditions of pH 2.5 when They Are Inoculated onto Certain Solid Food Sources Scott R. Waterman1 and P. L. C. Small

    Additionally of interest I found it reported in dogs that fat delays acid secretion.Considering that many raw diets are relatively high in fat when compared to kibble, esp commercial raw I wonder what the overall effect would be of a diet high in both fat and protein on pH.

    More questions than answers. As for myself I don’t see that based on the available information it can be said with any certainty that the pH of a raw meal would differ from that of a mixed raw and kibble meal enough to be of significance.

  • theBCnut

    I’m much better this morning. I finally got my back loosened up enough to pop something back in place, so now I’m just sore like I over did it, instead of like I tried to kill mself. Now if I can figure out which way my knee wants to pop, I’ll be great!

    I wonder how much difference there would be between canned meat and meat meat, raw or cooked. I’m not sure there is any mechanism by which the stomach can detect any difference, or that acid production would change in an way due to presence of bacteria. I do know that acid production is affected by the presence of protein, but not whether it matters what form the protein is in.

    I was looking for this type of info a while back when some of us were talking about digestive enzmes. The only feedback info I could find had to do with one specific enzyme and I never found any info for the things I was specifically looking for.

  • Susan

    My dog is on a vet diet Eukanuba “Intestinal” for his IBD & this has also fixed his skin problem, & the thing is it has corn in it & corn is suppose to be no good but its been good for Patch, weird I know…but he still gets the odd itch after walks, so Id say its environment allergies now that hes itchy from, the Malaseb I just buy at Pet Barn but I live in Australia….I know you can buy it from vets & online…when Patch has his red paws, I wash in the Malaseb & the reddness goes away also have u try antiseptic soaks that helps stop the itch, but too much can dry their skin more, I use Detol but I dont know if you have Detol in America , if u google Karen Becker she talks about Bentadine soaks but it works out tooo dear using Betadine in a bath as it has to look like tea the bath water, so u’d need the whole bottle of betadine so I use to just buy antiseptic lotion (Detol) & add a couple of caps to a shallow cool bath then rinse in the Detol water, you can also do vinegar soaks but I found its not as good as antiseptic lotions..or maybe see a vet thats what I did in the begining, & the vet did scrapings to make sure he didnt have a parasites its cheap the vet does it there at the vets, it only cost about $17 for a skin scrapping, also FLEAS, some dogs are allergic to fleas,1 flea bite can make a dog itch like mad, some dogs are allergic to the fleas saliva, I think Patch is cause if he has just 1 flea on him, he scratches like mad & comes & shows me he has a flea & I have to kill it, Hes a funny dog…

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    My own reference compared a canned meat diet to a cereal based diet. What I was looking for was a reference that shows the stomach pH of a raw meat diet vs a kibble diet!

    If you find any could you please post the links here?

    Thank you!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    I edited my comment above to clarify how many raw feeders were in the group of 500 dogs:

    “In the approximately 500 or so dogs with whom I have worked with on their diet over the past 10+ years (approx 10-15% raw feeders), I found there is a definite population of dogs that have problems eating a raw diet.”

    I did discover an interesting fact about the graph I posted that I SHOULD have caught sooner, the “Meat” diet was CANNED.

    So even though the meat was canned it still resulted in a lower stomach pH than the cereal group.

    This may be due to the protein alone, since the bacteria would be about as low as in the cereal fed group. I will see if I can find any studies that compare the stomach pH of dogs fed a RAW meat diet vs dogs that are fed a kibble diet.

  • theBCnut

    Thanks everyone! No reality shows, I don’t want the goat to get any more ideas. But you’re right, life is never dull here, except when I’m trying to stick to bed. That is killer dull.
    Thank goodness I have kids and cell phones. I had to call them to come out and peel me off the ground out in one of the pastures and help me make it back to the house. Otherwise I would still be out there and it has poured here ever since. Nasty weather to sleep outside.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hey BC, I think that you could have a great reality show. You always have something crazy going on! Hope you get better soon.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Feel better soon! And I hope your goat keeps her hooves to herself from now on!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • theBCnut

    She swept my legs right out from under me and I’m messed up! I thought we were herding, she thought we were doing MMA cage fights. I think this one is going to take me a few days. I’m going back to bed now.

  • Dori

    Hi BC. Just wanted to say that I hope you are on the mend and that you must stop wrestling with said goat. He seems to have gotten the better of you. We here on DFA cannot afford for you to be out of commission.

  • theBCnut

    For the one with issues, try to keep the canned/freeze dried/or whatever the same as the kibble. You might want to look at Canine Caviar or Nature’s Variety Instinct LID. They have only a few ingreidents and so it is easier to start figuring out what your dog doesn’t react to, which really helps you to figure out what he does react to. I just end up giving all the foods I have to reject to my dog that has no food issues.

  • theBCnut

    With my dog, I can tell within 3 days that he is starting to get better. It takes about 10 weeks for all symptoms to completely disappear though. So you should know pretty quickly if a food is helping.

  • theBCnut

    I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this interesting discussion. One of my goats tried out some new ninja moves on me and I’m a bit laid up at the moment.
    I’m afraid you misunderstand me. I also believe a dog’s ability to deal with bacteria is multifactorial. I do believe that the pH in the stomach is lower with raw food and that low pH does kill some of the bacteria in the stomach. I have had this discussion before with me on that side, and I’m not trying to deny these things. Sorry, I haven’t been expressing myself well.
    What I don’t know is at what pH this happens and whether or not it is happening well enough on a pure kibble diet. I do know it is working great on the dogs I know who eat both raw and kibble. I don’t in any way believe that transition issues are related to bacteria, that’s stupid, and while I may not catch everything, I’m not stupid. What I was thinking when I made that post, was more having to do with dogs that are on one kibble and then suddenly get sick on that SAME kibble. They don’t have a diverse enough population of probiotics to help deal with the increased bacteria in the kibble, the ones that don’t get killed by stomach acid.
    BTW, your comment about working with 500+ dogs intrigued me. Are you saying that all 500+ of those dogs feed raw? That seems unbelievable to me. I have worked with well over 10,000 dogs in my 30 year career path and I don’t think even 500 out of 10,000 were raw feeders.

  • Dori

    Are you making sure that any treats your dog is getting contain no grains? We often forget about the treats. Also, have you tried grain free, white potato free, corn free, soy free and poultry (including all fowl) free? Just a thought.

  • Samantha

    What do you feed ur dog? The only thing I can s say I’m giving my dog that you said not to would be the starch ( not on purpose though). I check her food to make sure there is no grains, and no potatoes, and I didn’t know carrots were bad, but there are no carrots anywhere in her diet anyway. I’ll try the shampoo for sure. Can I order it online?

  • Samantha

    Lol! Well I figure you can get a variety in one dog food, so I don’t mix brands or flavors when it comes to the kibble, but I do add freeze dried meat to their kibble and that is a different brand than the kibble. The last few weeks I have been adding the freeze dried salmon, thinking maybe she’s needing the fish oil. If I start today comparing ingredients what dog food do u suggest I should start with? I would like to keep adding a freeze dried meat or a canned food to the kibble, my dogs seem to do and better with the food being moist. ( I suppose it could be they are just spoiled) but I don’t want to do any kind of harm to them or be responsible for them having digestive issues because I’m feeding the wrong thing or doing something I shouldn’t. What canned food would u suggest I mix with their kibble. Right now most of them are getting canned pure balance mixed with earthborn holistic kibble for small breeds, taste of the wild kibble bison and rice, nutrisca kibble salmon and chickpea (this is what my dog with the skin issues is being fed mixed with freeze dried salmon. Those are the same brand though.

  • Samantha

    She gets only 5 star no grain and all natural food weather its kibble or the freeze dried or both. I have 5 kids and 9 dogs so going the all raw food route was so hard to do I decided I just couldn’t do it the time was hard to find. I want only the best for them but watching my poor dog go thru this I feel guilty like I should be finding the time, but it’s just not there. All of my dogs eat a different brand of food, all 5 star and natural. How long should I try her on one food before switching to another if I see no change in her condition?

  • Samantha

    We have taken her to 3 different vets, been prescribed 3 different shampoos, and medications none in which helped. The benadryl maybe only because it makes her drowsy. So because of that she only gets it at night and I cut the dose in half. That’s the only way I feel she’s been able to sleep comfortably. The rest of the time she is miserable. I cannot take my dog and lock her in a box away from the world. I’m sure she has been exposed to some of those things u asked about in the outdoors, but no not on a regular basis, yes I’m sure! However I do live in the woods in Texas. Sand fleas are awful I have done everything in my power to try and prevent them from getting on her however that’s much easier said than done so she does get bathed much more than most. I have 9 dogs and all of my other dogs have just as many baths and are exposed to the same conditions she is but none of them have the same conditions as her. What shampoo would you suggest. I switched to veterinary formula about 5 months ago with a hot spot spray containing lidocaine when I see her itching the spray does help but only for a short amount of time.

  • Samantha

    Yes, I have tried it seems like everything. I’m thinking maybe she could be allergic to poultry maybe, idk! I’m at a loss

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    You said

    “I believe feeding one food long term limits the number of different strains of probiotics in the gut, and that limits how much bacteria a dog can handle”

    I agree that there will be more strains of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in a dog’s gut due to the consumption of a diverse diet.

    Where we disagree is you think that the diversity of the probiotics in a dog’s gut will not only help with different strains of bacteria that dogs consume but that it will also be solely responsible for a dog’s ability to deal with the higher bacterial load of raw foods.

    I think that the diversity of the foods a dog eats will create a more diverse population of probiotics in the gut, BUT it is the INCREASED bacterial load of a raw diet that is largely responsible for the adaptations that will allow a dog to deal with a diet that contains a large amount of bacteria.

    You also said:

    “I believe if raw feeders fed raw the way many kibble feeders feed kibble, that the raw feeders would have the same issues with dogs not being able to handle bacteria.”

    I think that if someone were to feed their dog the same exact raw diet day after day, that dog would STILL adapt to the higher bacterial load of that diet

    The problems he would incur from a diet that contained a different protein, fat and carbohydrate source would NOT be due to the high amount of bacteria, but due to the fact that he has not been exposed to those specific bacteria before.

    There is a difference!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aquariangt,

    If your goal is to move from kibble to full raw, you do NOT need a middle step of freeze-dried or dehydrated.

    Though a middle step of lightly cooked could ease the transition. Once switched from kibble to lightly cooked you would just cook the food less and less until you reached full raw.

    I would just add that if the move to full raw doesn’t work out then a move from kibble to freeze-dried or dehydrated could be very beneficial!

  • aquariangt

    I’m not moving to raw anytime soon (i do use it as toppers and RMBs as chews, but not full raw). But out of curiosity, do you find moving to dehydrated or freeze dried as the main diet from kibble is beneficial as a middle step before full raw? Or is it an unnecessary step

  • theBCnut

    LMAO!! I had to enlarge the graph quite a bit before I could see which line I was actually following. I guess my eyes are officially old.
    My personal belief about dogs handling bacteria is not raw versus kibble. I believe that it’s in how we feed kibble. I believe feeding one food long term limits the number of different strains of probiotics in the gut, and that limits how much bacteria a dog can handle. I believe if raw feeders fed raw the way many kibble feeders feed kibble, that the raw feeders would have the same issues with dogs not being able to handle bacteria. Which may be why all the dogs I know that mix raw and kibble don’t have issues, they rotate kibble and raw like I do. And the one dog I know of that the owner says has issues is not rotated. The owner believes the dog can only handle one kibble, and not, in my opinion, a good one.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! I am currently feeding a mix of high-quality kibble and canned food, but I am thinking of trying THK dehydrated food. My main aversion to raw is that I’m sort of germophobic, so even though I know companies test for bacteria, and that dogs are unlikely to get sick anyway, I am still somewhat afraid of raw. Also the price, though there seem to be some reasonably priced freeze-dried options.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dog Obsessed,

    That’s a GREAT question!

    I would say that it will not be more difficult to make the change to raw from freeze-dried raw, than it will be to make the change from kibble to raw.

    But changing from kibble to a properly balanced freeze-dried raw as a first step WILL be a HUGE upgrade in quality!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    Please take another look!

    The meat graphs wind up at a lower pH than the cereal meals.

    But as I said in the post you are replying to, I don’t think it is wise to focus on ONE indicator to determine if raw fed dogs can handle more bacteria in their meals than kibble fed dogs. First of all different studies give different values and contradict each other regarding stomach pH and content of meals.

    Second of all I am sure that there are several chemical and biological differences in the guts of dogs depending on the content of their meals, that account for the ability of raw fed dogs to handle more dietary bacteria than kibble fed dogs.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! I’m not currently considering feeding raw frozen or raw prey model, but I am considering raw freeze-dried. I will keep your guidelines in mind if I ever want to try other kinds of raw or if I am talking to someone else who does. Would it also be an option to transition the dog to freeze-dried and then to raw?

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dog Obsessed,

    You’re right, during the transition you are mixing the 2.

    Switching a dog from a kibble to a raw diet can be a great leap in quality and a return to a diet that closely resembles that which a dog is designed to eat.

    So in my opinion it is worth it. Some dogs will never be able to make the transition successfully, but it is worth a try.

    If you are going to try the switch from kibble to raw this would be my suggestion:

    1st week) 90% kibble, 10% raw, fed in 2 separate meals.

    2nd week) 75% kibble, 25% raw, fed in 2 separate meals.

    3rd) week) 50% kibble, 50% raw fed in 2 separate meals.

    4th week) 75% raw, 25% kibble, fed in 2 separate meals.

    5th week) 100% raw.

    If everything goes well with no vomiting, diarrhea or other issues, then you have successfully switched your dog to a species appropriate raw diet!

    If you run into a problem at any stage then return to the previous stage and stay there until the problem resolves and then continue at a slower rate until you reach 100% raw.

    If you run into a problem in the first stage then return to 100% kibble until the problem clears up. Then start over at 5% raw instead of 10% raw and increase by 10% a week until you reach 100% raw.

    If switching to raw in this manner does not work you can do the stages with cooked meat until you reach 100% cooked meat and no kibble.

    Then you can attempt to reduce the amount the meat is cooked slowly over a month or two and see if that works.

    As I said before not all dogs will be able to transition to 100% raw from kibble. If your dog can’t then I would go with the cooked method because that is still a HUGE improvement over kibble.

    ALL homemade or commercial raw or cooked used should be nutritionally complete by adding supplements where necessary and nutritionally balanced by making sure the caloric distribution of the meals are close to:

    protein 49%
    fat 42%
    carbs 8%

    Sorry for the long post but it is not easy to convey how to make this switch without leaving anything out, and still I know that I left some things out anyhow!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    But if your transitioning a dog from kibble to raw, then aren’t you mixing the two?

  • theBCnut

    Hmm, this chart seems to say that the pH is higher with meat meals, not lower.

    I suppose my opinion will change if I see some of these kibble/raw fed dogs that have issues, but so far I know many who have no issues at all and only one who has issues, but it’s a dog that has issues with everything, not just raw, so I don’t even count it.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    So true!

    Here is a chart that shows the pH of meat vs cereal meals in dogs at different times after eating.

  • Dori

    Jillybean. What grain free food are you feeding her and which shampoo are you using? I’d like to help if I can. If you are going to try one of the commercial raw diets that are complete and balanced then, in actuality, you don’t have to add any vitamin supplements to the food. They are complete and balanced. If you are going to attempt to feed raw yourself by buying the meat, etc. then I’ll have to let someone like HDM answer that part of your query because doing it yourself will need a lot of different supplements to make sure that it is complete and balanced. Also, you might try going to the Forums section of Dog Food Advisor and post your question their too so that it can get seen by more posters that may have more advice. I have three dogs all of which I feed and rotate their foods with commercial raw diet formulas that are all complete and balanced. I have never had the inclination to do it myself. Two or three times a week I split a can of sardines packed in water as a topper on their foods. Only the one meal of those days, not both. Other days I add a little squirt of Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil that needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Oils go rancid very quickly. If you are going to stick with kibble I would suggest that you give Nature’s Logic Sardine Formula a try. It is the only kibble that my one dog that has a ton of food and environmental allergies and intolerances to is perfectly fine with. Also, even though you are feeding a grain free food, please check ingredient list of any treats you and others may be feeding her. Most include grains. We usually forget to include treats when we think about what they are eating.

  • theBCnut

    The only problem I see with this logic is, we don’t know if a pH of 2 kills all the bacteria or all the bacteria that is killed by low pH. If that is the case, a pH of 1 has no additional benefits as far as bacterial destruction. Maybe a pH of 3 does the job, but if we don’t know, well, then we don’t know. We have no evidence that feeding a mixed meal is a problem for this reason. Of course we have no evidence that it isn’t a problem, except for a very small sample size, statistically insignificant.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    I found this reference and it will take me a while to read it and digest all the data. I think you will like it. It’s called:

    “Feeding Fido”

    “Development, validation and application of a dynamic, in vitro model of the gastrointestinal tract of the dog”

    As far as your original question:

    “what pH do you need to make raw food “safe” Is there one??

    I think a pH of 1 will kill more bacteria than a pH of 2 (duh) but I think we would have to say a pH of 1 is safer for the consumption of any bacteria laden food than a pH of 2, rather than look for a number that will make it unconditionally safe to eat “raw food”.

    Although I haven’t really researched it I’m sure there are also issues with having a stomach pH that is too low in dogs, and I’m sure that the value of what pH is too low varies from dog to dog.

    My original concern is because I subscribe to the position that the pH and enzymes (and lactic acid production?) are ALL affected by the content of a meal.

    I worry that the eating of a mixed meal of raw and kibble may raise the pH above what it would be if the meal was raw alone, and cause a state of stress, imbalance, infection, or inflammation that results in disease.

  • Bob K

    See a professional for a diagnosis of the condition, allergy, parasite or other. You can play the guessing game for months trying all sorts of supplements, shampoos, expensive foods etc…… There are medicated dog shampoos but you need a diagnosis first to use the right product. There are also dog dermatologists. Sometimes a poor diet is the cause of bad skin and things can heal over time.

  • Bobby dog

    That’s nice Bob…

  • Bob K

    There are several medicated dog shampoos, some are by prescription The key is determining which product is appropriate and a diagnosis needs to be done by a professional. See your vet for details. Virbac is one of the mfgs of these products.

  • aimee

    I can understand how you would see it that way. But we have to remember these are means that were plotted on a graph.

    Statistical analysis is used to determine if the data are different enough that it is unlikely that they were drawn from the same population vs seeing that variation just by “luck of the draw”.

    In this paper numbers were not different enough to conclude a significant difference existed. In other words the variation in the means that you are seeing is meaningless as the numbers that made up those means were likely drawn from the same population..

    How did you interpret the high lactic acid, purportedly reflective of fermentation, in the meat diet at 2 hours ? The high protein meal didn’t prevent microbial growth/the authors. What bearing do you think this has then on the original question of mixing raw with kibble?

    Is a pH of 1 which was found in the real time study of dogs after eating kibble not low enough? I think it would be. but ???

    This goes back to my original question “what pH do you need to make raw food “safe” Is there one??

    Hopefully there will be some more information in the other references.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dr Mike,

    Why was my reply to aimee removed?

    She is allowed to say this about Dr Karen Becker a respected Vet in the Holistic health field for dogs and cats whom you have used as a reference for several of your articles:

    “I think she means well, (Dr Karen Becker) but I find too many major flaws in her writing to place much stock in what she says..”

    Yet I am not allowed to voice my opinion that
    “One could say the same about aimee.”

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    “The average 2 hour post pH in the distal stomach looks to have been about 4.3 for meat and 4.7 for cereal. At 4 hours, meat group about 3 and cereal 3.5 and at 8 hours about 2.8 in the meat group and 2.6 in cereal. The authors did not report any of the differences as significant.”

    Each point on the pH scale is ten times the point before, so a pH of 1 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 2.

    At 2 hours after a meal the 4.3 pH value of the meat group is 4 times more acidic than the 4.7 pH value of the “cereal” group.

    At 4 hours the 3.0 pH of the meat group is 5 times more acidic than the 3.5 pH value of the cereal group.

    That is a significant difference in my opinion.

  • aimee

    If a “target” pH hasn’t been determined, than how can it be said with any basis that the gastric pH of a dog eating kibble isn’t sufficiently acidic?
    It wasn’t clear where you took that quote from but it provide me with some names to search on, so many thanks!
    Unfortunately I don’t have the time to commit to this topic right now but I did read the first reference paper.
    Interestingly enough the authors reported a longer transit time in the dogs eating a meat based diet vs cereal based and in regards to gastric pH did not report that there was a significant difference between the two groups.

  • theBCnut

    Wow! Really? I didn’t get out my calculator and dig up the conversion equation, but I really thought they would have to be much further apart than that. I never thought about what going that far into the negatives would do to the numbers.
    Sent from my iPod

  • Storm’s Mom

    “Why the difference in temp from C to F when freeze drying?” – are you referring to the sentence “In freeze drying the food is frozen very quickly to temps below -50 degrees C, or -58 degrees F”? If so, -50C is actually the same temp as -58F, they are equivalent temps using different measures.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Jillybean:
    I am not a raw feeder; I feed some commercial raw with kibble in a rotation. Check out the DFA forums (top of the page, “forum” tab on red bar) for more info on raw/homemade diets and itchy dogs. There are several regular posters that will be able to help with your questions.

    Check out this website for more info on raw and homemade diets:

    This page has info on dog food mixes; the second chart lists vitamin pre-mixes:

    Edit: These books are often recommended by regular posters “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet,” by Steve Brown and “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats,” by Dr. Karen Becker.

  • Bobby dog

    I agree bathing a healthy dog more than necessary can contribute to skin irritations. However, when a dog has a skin infection bathing therapy is necessary to help heal the skin and rid the dog of infection, bacterias, yeast, or any other microbe feeding from it.

  • Kathelin

    She may be missing something. Have you tried adding omega 3s (herring oil) to her food?

  • Kathelin

    First, you should not be bathing your canine that often, even bathing once a month is more than enough! If you want to do raw, try giving her fish (70% new, 30% old food) or herring oil mixed with her current food. You could also try a blend of turkey, salmon, lamb, and kelp.

  • theBCnut

    Thanks for the info. I have never heard that freeze drying kills bacteria, so I assumed that once moisture was added back, all the bacteria would start reproducing again.
    Why the difference in temp from C to F when freeze drying? Those are nowhere near equivalent. Are companies using F being penalized for living in the stone age, or was that a typo?
    I still feel completely safe mixing raw and kibble for dogs that are not immune compromised, and for that matter, for my dogs that are immune compromised, due to allergies, not severe immune issues.

  • USA Dog Treats

    “Like other articles she (Dr Karen Becker) has written,”

    Could you please share with us any articles that you have written on the subjects you so often critique?

    “I think she means well, (Dr Karen Becker) but I find too many major flaws in her writing to place much stock in what she says..”

    One could say the same about you.

  • USA Dog Treats

    “Please provide the reference for this statement:
    “When a dog eats a high protein minimal carb raw meal the pH of the stomach gets lower (more acidic) than when that same dog eats a kibble that is 30% carbohydrates or more.”
    “Modern studies note how the canine gastric pH response will vary with the type of meal ingested, a meat based diet causing a noticeable drop in pH (Banta et al. 1979; Carrière et al. 1993).”This is because gastric secretion is also influenced by the amount of protein in as well as the volume of the meal itself (Carpentier et al. 1988).”

    “In this way when a dog has been “programmed” to expect their cereal based and extremely (unnaturally) high carbohydrate meal at 6pm, the stomach will begin to prepare, with stomach acidity adjusting upwards (more alkaline) to the required pH. The pancreas and liver in turn will produce the enzymes necessary for the job, each operating best at particular pH levels, depending on the animals requirement.”

    “If you now chose to include a lump of raw meat in the dogs food, it is theorised that the dog will neither have the appropriate enzymes nor the correct pH to digest the meat lump in the meal. The animal will find itself in the unfortunate position of having the wrong digestive machinery to hand.”

    “At any rate this is why you are advised to change your dog over to a fresh, raw food diet very, very slowly. 5% mince one day, 10% the next etc. This method works, reducing vomiting episodes to almost zero, which lends strong support to the above hypothesis. Start off with something very easy to digest, tuna fish for example. Pour the water / brine over their current food the first day, then introduce a teaspoon of the meat the next, table spoon the next, slowly building the dog’s system up to a more natural and robust state. Tinned tuna is a great starter for another reason. With dry fed dogs expected to have a stomach pH slightly more alkaline, nastier raw meat microbes could be expected to survive for passage into the intestines. These can result in diarrhoea or worse. So work on reducing the dogs stomach pH for a few days before the main event.”

    “What pH is “needed” for a raw meal to be “safe” and how was that determined?”

    That’s a great question!

    Unfortunately I have no idea and I don’t know that it has ever been determined.

  • aimee

    Hi USA,
    Please provide the reference for this statement:
    “When a dog eats a high protein minimal carb raw meal the pH of the
    stomach gets lower (more acidic) than when that same dog eats a kibble
    that is 30% carbohydrates or more.”

    I haven’t come across a study that looked at that parameter.

    What level of protein was considered high protein and was that on a caloric or as fed basis?

    What is the average gastric pH when kibble that is 30% carb or more is fed vs a high protein minimal carb meal.

    Did the amount fed impact the pH?

    What pH is “needed” for a raw meal to be “safe” and how was that determined?

  • aimee

    I think Dr. Becker means well when she writes what she does, but I have to wonder, why didn’t she discuss the study that linked increased rates of mammary cancer in dogs to high red meat intake?

    Apparently a link between the carbohydrate content of the diet and mammary cancer wasn’t found, but dogs that consumed a lot of red meat had higher cancer rates.

    I found the findings of that study very interesting as red meat has been linked to increased cancer in people. Why leave this pertinent piece of information out of the discussion?

    Also I would have liked to see her mention the decreased rate of TCC in Scottish Terriers who regularly consumed green and yellow/orange vegetables instead of only recommending “a few fresh cut vegetables”

    It could be that she doesn’t think those studies are valid. But then to be complete she should include them and critique them for her reader, otherwise it looks like she is trying to hide the information from them because it doesn’t support her personal opinions.

    Like other articles she has written, I think she means well, but I find too many major flaws in her writing to place much stock in what she says.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dog Obsessed,

    Please see my reply to BC for the long answer.

    It would be a GREAT idea to add freeze-dried raw to a kibble. The freeze-dried raw will have even less bacteria than the kibble and it is a much higher quality food.

    The bacteria would start to grow on both the kibble AND the freeze-dried AFTER you added the water but that would only be a problem if you left the food out for several hours or overnight!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    I went over the moisture because no matter how the moisture is removed, once you go below 10% bacterial growth will slow or stop.

    So you have the raw scenario down perfectly!

    In freeze drying the food is frozen very quickly to temps below -50 degrees C, or -58 degrees F. This kills all (or most) of the bacteria so once the food is freeze-dried you have a bacteria-free food that will stay bacteria free until moisture is added.

    Freeze dried food is as good as it gets if you’re looking for a minimally processed, as close to raw as possible, bacteria -free food with a long shelf life!

    Dehydrated foods depend on the temps they are dehydrated at to determine if the existing bacteria are killed off. Once they are dried to a moisture level below 10% whatever bacteria is present will no longer multiply (in theory).

    If you dehydrate a food to an internal temp of 145 degrees F and a moisture level below 10% you will have a bacteria-free food that will stay that way until moisture is added.

    If you air-dry like Big Dog Naturals does over a 24 hour period at temps of 80 to 100 degrees F, even if you go below 10% moisture you will still have all the bacteria that was originally on the food PLUS all the bacteria that grew during the 24 hours at 80 to 100 degrees F.

    So to sum up:

    Once a food is below 10% moisture with NO FAT (fat goes rancid no matter what) whatever bacteria is on the food should cease to multiply.

    If you go below 10% moisture AND either freeze-dry, OR dehydrate at 145 degrees F or above you will have a bacteria-free food that will stay bacteria free.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! Your answer makes sense. So I guess it would be a bad idea to feed freeze-dried raw mixed with water and kibble in the same meal?

  • Jillybean

    I have a 14 month old Boston terrier that I rescued about 4 months ago we were told that she had some skin issues and was missing some hair on her back. Now we have her on grain free food bath her with special shampoo at least twice week and now she is missing so much hair and is extremely itchy! Help I was thinking the raw diet but wanted to know what kind of vitamins I should supplement with?

  • theBCnut

    I totally agree! Knowledge is power and I love learning new things!

    Now bear with me and see if I’m understanding this or if I’m missing something.

    In raw food, bacteria is possibly growing from the time the animal is slaughtered through processing to the time the meat is frozen, and then at a much slower rate during defrosting and through digestion.

    In freeze dried food, bacteria is possibly growing from the time the animal is slaughtered through processing to the time the meat is freeze dried, at a much, much slower rate or not at all when dry, and then begins to grow again when reconstituted and through digestion.

    So, to my way of thinking, the problem is still the same, but maybe, maybe not, to different degrees.

  • Dori

    Of course you can. I’ve been feeding my three toy dogs raw every day for approx. the last three years.

  • Bobby dog

    I use it regularly for my dog and cats. Here’s some info and dosage recommendations for organic unrefined coconut oil for dogs and cats:

  • Gilda Politzer

    How much coconut oil do u give a day 70 lbs

  • ddseelbach

    can you feed your dog raw dog food every day?

  • Susan

    What are you bathing her in, I use the “Malaseb” medicated shampoo its excellent for yeasty skin problems,its an anti-fungal shampoo, it kills the bacteria on their skin & doesnt dry out their skin.. I have to bath Patch every 5-7 days as soon as I see him rubbing & rolling on the rug… as soon as he has his bath in the Malaseb he stops his scratching & feels good again,,also stop any foods with Potatoes any high carb starchy foods as yeast lives off carbs when they are converted to sugar.. you have to starve the yeast…
    Google “itchy smelly dog, yeast may be the problem ” you’ll see “Eating these foods can cause dog yeast infection” Mercola- Karen Becker click on that…Karen explains everything in a video how to go sugar free & change diet…you need to start an elimintion diet {no potatoes, carots, bananas}, also sardines in spring water are good… stop feeding any kibbles as they all have starch in them…no starchy foods.. once you change her diet, no kibbles & bath her weekly in Malaseb you’ll start to see a difference…make sure u disinfect her sweat shirt… I wouldnt put any shirts jumpers on her, let her skin breath..once you bath in Malaseb the itch will slowey stop…also I give Patch a good Dog Probiotic.. Karen explains this all in her video…Good Luck…

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Dog Obsessed,

    NV Instinct Raw Boost mixes freeze-dried raw with kibble. Please read my post to BC below for the long answer.
    The short answer is all the foods (freeze dried and kibble) in the raw boost are 8% or below in moisture, and bacteria won’t flourish with a moisture level that low.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi BC,

    Simply put, water (moisture) helps bacteria to multiply. Freeze drying is a very effective way of removing moisture from food. Freeze drying removes moisture more effectively than dehydrating.

    Science uses a scale that measures “water activity”. This measures the “freely available water in a material”. The scale goes from 0 to 1. Bacteria are said to need a water activity level of at least 0.85 to multiply.

    I don’t know how accurate that is but I do know that at 15% moisture a food is roughly at 0.70 water activity. There is no direct conversion so this example does not hold true for all foods.

    But I do know that once you go below 10% moisture (dehydrated can go down to 5% and freeze-dried even lower) you are WAY below the moisture level needed by bacteria to flourish.

    This does NOT guarantee a food that is bacteria free, but it is the reason that a properly dried piece of fat free all meat jerky will last more than 6 months without becoming rancid (no preservatives needed).

    I’m happy that a lot of dogs don’t have a problem with meals where kibble and raw are mixed and in your case it was a definite boost in palatability AND quality.

    My goal in posting this is just to let people know there could be a problem and the reasons why I think there could be a problem with mixing kibble and raw in the same meal.

    I know that we both agree that knowledge is power and the more we know the better we can take care of our furry friends!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Also interested in why you say freeze-dried is okay but other raw is not. I know NV Instinct Raw Boost mixes raw and freeze dried.

  • theBCnut

    Hi USA
    You are the only one I have heard bring up that argument. Aimee once posted a study that didn’t show much of a difference in pH at all in kibble fed dogs. And if you are mixing raw with a 30% carb kibble, it’s no longer 30% of the diet, so if there was a pH difference, it would be even less.

    You may be on to something and aimee may be wrong, I don’t know. I just know that all the raw feeders I know, except for 1, don’t have issues with this, and I don’t have issues with mixing either.

    I started mixing because my picky dog had to have something on his kibble to eat it, so feeding it as separate meals didn’t really work for us. This was when Micah was a pup and having major issues digesting food. Once I started mixing raw into his food, all his digestion issues, except for food hypersensitivity, went away, so for him, it has been quite a relief to find something that helped him digest kibble better. I wish I could retrain my husband, so I could go completely to raw, but that isn’t likely to happen.

    According to your theory, why is freeze dried OK? It can still have bacteria in it. Or at least, that’s what I was told.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi theBCnut,

    The reason I recommend you don’t feed raw (freeze-dried is OK) and kibble in the same meal is not because they may digest at different rates.

    The pH of the stomach in dogs is affected by what they eat. When a dog eats a high protein minimal carb raw meal the pH of the stomach gets lower (more acidic) than when that same dog eats a kibble that is 30% carbohydrates or more.

    So when you mix raw and kibble in the same meal I believe the stomach pH winds up somewhere between the lower (more acidic) pH of a raw meal and the higher (less acidic) pH of a dry kibble meal.

    This could be a problem because who really knows if the pH being raised due to kibble is enough to cause the bacteria from the raw to be properly dealt with.

    And I don’t see any added benefit that feeding raw and kibble together might provide to the dog (not the owner) so I recommend people feed raw and kibble separately, if they must feed kibble at all.

    Mixing canned or any other cooked food with kibble in the same meal is a different story because they have both already been cooked and the danger of bacteria is removed by the cooking.

  • USA Dog Treats


  • handsome bob

    To wit: A nice summary of what I was trying to explain with the primary problem with kibble, even if it’s the best kibble… from a cancer-prevention guide for pets…

    “Feed an anti-inflammatory diet.
    Anything that creates or promotes inflammation in the body increases
    the risk for cancer. Current research suggests cancer is actually a
    chronic inflammatory disease. The inflammatory process creates an
    environment in which abnormal cells proliferate.

    Cancer cells require the glucose in carbohydrates to grow and
    multiply, so you want to limit or eliminate that cancer energy source.
    Carbs to remove from your pet’s diet include processed grains, fruits
    with fructose, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Keep in mind that
    all dry pet food contains some form of starch. It may be grain-free, but
    it can’t be starch-free because it’s not possible to manufacture kibble
    without using some type of starch.

    Cancer cells generally can’t use dietary fats for energy, so
    appropriate amounts of good-quality fats are nutritionally healthy.

    Another major contributor to inflammatory conditions is a diet too high in omega-6 fatty acids and too low in omega-3s.
    Omega-6s increase inflammation while the omega-3s do the reverse.
    Processed pet food is typically loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and
    deficient in omega-3s.

    A healthy diet for your pet – one that is anti-inflammatory and
    anti-cancer – consists of real, whole foods, preferably raw. It should
    be high in high-quality protein, including muscle meat, organs, and
    bone. It should include moderate amounts of animal fat and high levels
    of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids, such as krill oil), a few fresh cut
    veggies and a bit of fruit.

    This species-appropriate diet is high in moisture content and
    contains no grains or starches. I also recommend adding a
    vitamin/mineral supplement and a few beneficial supplements like
    probiotics, digestive enzymes, and super green foods.”

  • handsome bob

    The most important difference between feeding a dog kibble, even “five star kibble” with whole ingredients and no recalls is that kibble needs a binder to be able to be processed into the tiny niblets that we recognize. This binder has to be a starch. Additionally–the food must be cooked at a high temperature in order to fully render and then bind the ingredients. I won’t go too far into details here, but it’s becoming widely accepted that cooking food at high temperatures generates carcinogens and mutagenic changes that contribute to cancer. This isn’t some hippy-dippy paranoia, this is researched and reported at, The National Cancer Institute.

    So basically–feeding your dog ground meat is absolutely fine, provided you know what goes into that meat. If you are getting it from a raw dog food supplier, they typically source their meat from humanely-raised and organic sources, and if they don’t, you shouldn’t feed it to your dog. That’s the first major benefit to being able to select the meat that you feed to your dog.

    As you guys have already discussed, there is a difference between trying to feed your dog like a wolf, and feeding your dog a whole food diet. Perhaps ‘raw’ isn’t the best way to describe this. You can cook the meat at a low temp if you have concerns about bacteria or an immune-compromised dog.

    If you are utilizing a base mix (some excellent ones were already listed) there’s no need to go crazy feeding tripe, bone meal, etc. Though you can still add those things, and any number of excellent other ingredients into your dog’s diet, the base mix makes it easy to provide (here in the US, at least) FDA-inspected human-grade fruits and vegetables. No, wolves, typically don’t eat veggies, or the stomachs of their prey, as previously thought (not if they don’t have to, anyway), but our dogs are not wolves, and as the difference between ourselves and chimps and pigs shows, very small differences in DNA make major differences.

    Our dogs benefit from eating ‘whole raw’ in the sense that they have to chew, and their bodies prepare for the nutrition ahead of time, so they digest it better when it finally arrives. They also get cleaner teeth, etc. But you don’t have to feed this way every day, or go ‘whole hog,’ if you will…

    Kibble is convenient- no doubt about that. And many kibbles really do have top quality ingredients, but overall, the percentage of starch will ultimately have negative effects on our dog’s health. The female dog that I mentioned who was recently diagnosed with a mast-cell tumor has been a lifelong exercise in finding the best quality kibble, thanks to her food intolerances, but it turns out that even the best kibble made her itchy. This systemic inflammation results in diseases like lipomas, and mast cell tumors, etc. What goes in, must come out, and not always in the most direct way. This would be like a lactose-intolerant person drinking milk every day of their life. Eventually, they wouldn’t feel very well, in a myriad of ways.

    See my other comment, but you can also add coconut oil and coconut water for excellent health benefits.

  • handsome bob

    I should also add that coconut oil is excellent for dogs with skin issues, bad breath, and a host of other things. Coconut water also has anti-cancer properties. I personally *hate* the taste of anything that comes from coconut, but I’ve had great results mixing it in to my dogs’ food. Coconut water as well. Fish oil never did quite as much for them. My senior pit-boxer mix had constantly itchy skin and gunky ears, so far, he’s doing very well on the dehydrated raw mix with some real meat… no one can believe he’s almost 14! He looks amazing. Excellent muscle tone, no fat, no arthritis, shiny coat and now- not itchy!

  • handsome bob

    I have a female pit bull who had lifelong food allergy issues. I tried literally everything. Every single kind of kibble, even the hypoallergenic formulas (which actually have preservatives in them that most dogs are allergic to, ironically). She was recently diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. Mast cell tumors are a result of chronic inflammation. Long story short–it took a cancer diagnosis for me to acknowledge what I already knew: kibble was no good for my dog. I switched all three dogs to a whole food diet (not totally raw). I use Honest Kitchen’s base mix, which you just add water to, and then you add a meat of your choice. This gives you a little more control over the source of the meat and allows you to feed more specifically to your dog’s needs. I found that my dogs got a little too lean when eating just the dehydrated raw formulas. I cook the meat at a low temperature (no higher than 160-165) for ease of digestion, and since the dog with mast cell disease is immune-compromised.

    Since I switched my dogs to the base mix with meat added, their itchiness has disappeared (my female was ALWAYS itchy. Always licking her paws, etc). The insides of their ears are a nice cool pink, rather than the hot pink that kibble diets always created (with brown gunk, ew). It’s been a few weeks now, but the difference has been huge. It’s definitely worth trying for your dog. And if you don’t want to worry about proper nutrition and vitamins, etc, I do recommend using a base mix that takes care of that part for you. I definitely don’t want to have to worry about trying to find the right vegetables, etc.

  • Bob K

    Samantha – See a vet for starters to make sure there are no skin parasites. What are you using for dog baths? How often do you bathe your dog? Where does your dog, play, eat ans sleep? Any herbicides or pesticides being used in the area? Are you sure? ANy lake, swamp or stagnant water? Vets can prescribe special shampoos for your loved one. Perhaps its time to visit a dog allergist/dermatologist. Your dog must be miserable in that condition.

  • theBCnut

    I don’t frown on it at all. Some people say that you can’t feed raw and kibble in the same meal because dogs digest them at different rates and it might cause the raw to sit in their gut and the bacteria would grow, blah, blah blah and cause upset stomach. But dogs digest canned and kibble at different rates and nobody is saying you shouldn’t do that. If your dog doesn’t have a problem with different types of food mixed together then I’m all for it.
    Where I don’t like mixing is with same types of food, other than transitioning to a new food. Some people buy a few different bags of food and mix them all together so their dog will get variety, but if you do that and they react to one ingredient, you have no way of knowing what they are reacting to and you can’t sort out all those kibbles again. Even if they looked vastly different, the crumbs of each have contaminated the others. Also, for dogs with food intolerance issues, I like them to have a break from each ingredient, hoping that if I’m not overexposing them to one particular thing, they won’t develop another food issue.

  • theBCnut

    Gather the ingredient lists of foods you have tried on her and start comparing them. If she did bad one 3 foods and they all had chicken but nothing else in common, she may be reacting to chicken. If they had chicken and grains, she may be reacting to both, or one or the other. Take ingredient lists with you to the store and try a small bag of something that is as different as can be from what you have fed in the past.
    Yeast is almost always a sign of a food hypersensitivity, so first you have to get your dog on a food that doesn’t aggrevate her, then to combat the yeast, you need to give probioyics and cut carbs as much as possible. The gunk left on the skin due to yeast is itchy so you need to bathe once a week. Do not use oatmeal shampoos, just in case the yeast can feed off the oatmeal. I don’t know if they really do, but it is one thing I was cautioned about when my dog had these issues.

  • Samantha

    I was just reading everything u feed, and I noticed you wrote it’s good to have a variety, the more the better. If you don’t mind me asking why is it so frowned upon to mix foods if you feeding a 5

  • Samantha

    I also have the same problem, but my dog is very tiny she can fit in the palm of my hand. She’s my smallest chiweenie. I tried the raw diet and it is very time consuming and can be very costly. I finally switched to a kibble and mixed in a freeze dried meal, where it didn’t help my little dog, it helped my bigger one and he no longer has inflamed irritated skin patches and his fur is so thick, shiny and beautiful. I know how u feel watching your dog tear away at itself, my dog is in a bad right now and she gets benadryl every night so she will sleep. I can’t watch her 247 and if I didn’t give her the benadryl at night she would have her whole top layer of skin itched off. I too am desperate for some advice, I’m willing to try just about anything

  • Samantha

    Could the yeast be why my dog is always scratching and her poor skin is always so red and irritated? I have to keep a sweat shirt on her at all times just to stop her from tearing her skin off. I started a month ago the nutrisca dry kibble and the freeze dried primal she loves it, my other dogs really love love it, but it just doesn’t seem to be helping. I so wanted it to help her I know she is miserable and I feel so bad for her. I’m open to Any suggestions from anyone please I’ll try anything of there’s a chance she can get better.

  • theBCnut

    Make that almost always.

  • DogFoodie

    Yeast is often the by-product of food intolerance / allergen exposure.

  • Alex

    one thing we should consider when a dog seems to be very “allergic” or have food sensitivities is that the problem might actually be yeast overgrowth. Underlying allergies can be there, but they will reduce the skin’s resistance to the overgrowth, and if you don’t treat the yeast, you won’t see much improvement in the so-called allergic symptoms. Take a look at these pages for more guidance:

  • Chandler

    Chicken was not listed on there for his allergies so I would say that’s the best choice, it’s also the cheapest/ leanest meat. You still have to include veggies, fruits, bone, and some other various organs, so don’t forget.

  • Chandler

    I have a bluenose pitbull with the same issues. My recommendation is to most certainly try raw food, but that may not take care of the issue. From my experience, the raw food keeps my dog active, strong, and lean. It does improve skin and coat, but the insides are what matter most. Now the bad news; Bluenose pitbulls have a mutated gene that can cause them to be more susceptible to catching things or getting skin allergies. Our pitbull still has her skin allergies and we have tried everything you can think of. I mean hours after hours of research, along with many different health products made for these these issues. The one thing I have yet to try, it’s a full panel blood test to determine what her allergies are specifically caused from. Most common allergies are from Flea bites Mosquitos bites, Pollen, Carpet, Grass, and so fourth. The full panel will determine the dogs allergies to save you more time and worries. It’s costly, but worth it.
    Good luck with everything.

    Sincerely, Chandler

  • Amber Gilpin

    I have a 2 year old pure bread blue nose pit bull(Razors Edge&Guatti) she has really bad skin allergies but we can’t figure out to what. The vet said it was to food, but we’ve tried everything and every different type of grain-free dog food and she still is miserable. Could a raw dog food diet help my baby? I just want her to stop itching and biting herself. She’s so pretty without these skin issues. Help please anyone??

  • Gwen Sweeney

    Raw would definitely help your pup. Here’s a good site for you!


    I just found out my ShihTzu. Is allergic to beef, liver, lamb, venison and milk. He’s been looking hair in a couple spots as a result. Can you recommend a raw diet?

  • theBCnut

    Frankenprey is kind of a jokish way of saying that you try to feed what they would get if they were eating a whole animal, but you put the pieces together and it may be multiple species before you get a whole animal. The most basic raw diet is 10-15% bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs, and 75-80% meat. My preference is to add a variety of low carb veggies, high antioxidant fruits, and super green foods making up about 20-25% of the diet. This diet still needs a source of vit D, vit E, omega 3s, zinc, selenium, manganese, so I add ocassional sardines or herring,canned oysters, ground nuts or seeds, vit E and vit D capsules.
    There are websites, like dogaware dot com, that have recipes for raw that are easy to follow. Also, Steve Brown has a great book called “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” that is great for helping to learn how to balance raw. Dr Karen Becker’s book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” has more recipes. Basically, the more different recipes you have, the more variety you use, the better off your dogs will be. And you’re right to worry about how much calcium your puppy is getting. It will affect him for life.
    The enzymes in meat help to keep teeth from getting nasty, but they can’t do the whole job, so feeding something like a beef rib that still has the meat on it, so they have to pull the meat off and they can gnaw on the bone, really helps keep the teeth clean.

  • Gilda Politzer

    thank you for helping.
    I didn’t realize that there are different raw avenues. I am definitely not prey model. I just wanted something better than kibble and my dog wasn’t doing well. It seems on raw she is better with the itching. But the puppy I worry about. Is he getting enough calcium? Vitamins? Basically I am just giving different kinds of ground up meat from this place where they sell human grade for dogs, and some comes with bone and some without. But in order for their teeth to be cleaned, I understand they must tear and shred meat? Cleaning their teeth isn’t enough with doggie toothpaste and not letting them shred or tear food is defeating the raw diet? I am not sure what I am on …BARF don’t think it is Frankenprey but I do do offal as in organ meat. I am not a die hard raw food person, throwing them whole rabbits etc.

  • theBCnut

    Some premixes are See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix, The Honest Kitchen Preference, Dr Harvey’s Veg to Bowl. They have everything that the dog needs except the meat, in the right preportions. Yes, premixes have veggies. Plants have micronutrients and antioxidants that dogs may live without, but IMO they do better with, because they help your dog deal with enviromental toxin and such things.. The best premixes have low carb nutrient dense veggies in them.
    If you want to feed prey model raw, then you HAVE to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of everything, including bone, and it really is best to feed whole animals so your dog is getting the nutrients that are specific to specific organs, like brains and eyeballs and hearts. If you are going to feed Frankenprey, you need to get as wide a variety of organs as you can find and feed the right proportions. Don’t forget to feed fish once a week or give fish oil.
    Weight bearing bones of large animals are definitely hard on teeth, but smaller bones are usually not a problem.
    I feed grinds too sometimes, and they are fine as long as they have in them what is needed or you add what is needed. I get grinds from Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore. I don’t believe either of those will ship to Canada, but you can go to their website and see what is in their “whole animal” grinds and see how it compares to what you are feeding.

  • Gilda Politzer

    also aren’t the premixes vegetable
    I thought we were not to use vegetables

  • Gilda Politzer

    Yes I am giving different types of meat. What would you consider a premix?
    Where I buy my meat – it is with bone or without, and I also give them offal. I don’t know if the raw turkey neck is considered raw meaty bone for their teeth, but I watch them with that. They also have brisket but too nervous, i watch. I also use a product called feedsentials, powder food supplement and fish oil – I haven’t raw chicken breast yet, still nervous about choking, but notice everyone does it. Now I am doubting myself thinking I should go back to orijen or some other quality dog food?

  • theBCnut

    A badly balanced raw diets is worse than a good kibble. You may want to look at premixes as a way to balance your dogs diet. With most premixes all you have to add is boneless meat, as long as you are varying the types of meat that you use.

  • Gilda Politzer

    My 6 year old golden has allergies so about 4 months ago, I switched her to “raw” – I was going to this place where most people go here in Toronto as a raw dog distributor. Mainly I am giving her a variety of different ground meats they have.After reading forums of the prey diets, I am realizing that giving my dog the minced or ground up raw foods are no better than kibble. In order to have any benefits, she must be fed “raw” in the true sense. Is this true? The raw newsgroups are giving, road kill, hunters prey, rodents, and supermarket or asian food market food. Being somewhat squeamish, the raw ground meats are the best I can do. I was told to give a raw chicken breast or raw chicken with bones, but still worried if dog would choke with bone. Basically I was giving a meal (minced meat) with bone and some without, plus some offal, and some tripe. Sometimes I try turkey neck, but watch so carefully. I have fish oils etc. The other problem is I also have a puppy 6 month old golden. Worried he is not getting all that he should in his first year of life being on “raw” I tried the kibble, but he seemed to always have stomach issues. I have also tried ready made “patties” of raw which I do not see reviewed here as they are Canadian. They seem to have good reviews in Canada. I heard raw meaty bones were good and yet other sources said no as they can be teeth wreckers. If anyone can offer advice …please. Is using ground up meats better than going back to kibble?

  • Milo

    HAHAHAHA, Raw Dog!!

  • Jude

    Thanks guys! :)

  • Dori

    The really are adorable!

  • theBCnut

    They are still the cutest!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Their ears are so cute!

  • Bobby dog

    They are precious!!

  • Jude

    Here are my puppies, but awake this time lol
    Opie is the all Brown, and Jaxx is the white with brown spots :)

  • Dori

    Hey, it’s a different culture. My husband and I, at the time, thought it bizarre at some of the things that they thought was hysterically funny. In turn we scratched our head trying to figure out what we had said that made them laugh so much. Misinterpretations I think was at fault some times. As I’ve said. Very lovely people.

  • Dori

    Hey! Technology. Part of it’s mystic to us non techie people is that it’s a mystery. Gotta love the good part and put up with the mysteries of it all.

  • theBCnut

    I have a friend that was a pro golfer, and he went to Japan as a missionary because they love golf so much. He had the funniest stories to tell about their sense of humor and how appalled they were with his sense of humor.

  • Cyndi

    I’ll sell it to my half sister, lol! She’s planning on going back, then she’ll already have her Yen! See, I can’t even make that symbol if I try, lol! I don’t know how the heck I did that before, lol!

  • Dori

    Japan is actually a very interesting place to visit. Really lovely people.

  • Dori

    Unless you are actually going to Japan and then you’d better save all your yen!

  • Cyndi

    Yeah, I’ll just stay home. I have no interest in going to Japan anyways. Although my half sister went there over the summer for a while and wants to go back badly! Not me though. I’ll keep my feet firmly planted in good old Northeast Snowhio! Yuck!

  • Cyndi

    Lol! Thanks Dori, that sure would be nice!

  • theBCnut

    Yes, it’s the Japanese dollar, which one would normally get in Japan, but peopel do use it to denote money in general, not just Japanese money. I suppose you can just stay home, if that;s really what you want.

  • Dori

    Love your sense of humor BC.

  • Dori

    Keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed Cyndi, the yen may be coming your way.

  • Leroy Williams

    After her presentation at this years IACP convention I thought I would see Wendy Volhards Raw food diet on here.