Instinct Raw Frozen Diets Dog Food Review (Raw Frozen)


Rating: ★★★★½

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw frozen dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Instinct Raw product line includes 5 frozen dog foods.

Depending on the recipe, some are available as bites, medallions, and patties.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

Instinct Raw Beef Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Beef Formula

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 43% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 22%

Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef spleen, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, montmorillonite clay, tricalcium phosphate, ground flaxseed, salmon oil, salt, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate), blueberries, spinach

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis13%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%27%22%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%50%17%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 50% | Carbs = 17%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fourth ingredient is beef spleen, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a positive addition to this recipe.

The fifth ingredient includes apples, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The sixth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The eighth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, montmorillonite clay is a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Nature’s Variety Instinct
Raw Frozen Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Instinct Raw Dog Food looks like an above-average raw product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 43%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 22%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a notable of meat.

However, with 50% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 33% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Instinct Raw is a meat-based raw dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Nature’s Variety Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company on its product label or its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews.

However, we do receive an affiliate fee from certain online retailers, including some that offer their own private label brands.

This policy helps support the operation of our website and keeps access to all our content completely free to the public.

In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

07/09/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

{ 792 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. http://cyberb0b says

    If you wanted to feed your dog microwaved food you should have just got it some Hot Pockets.

  2. http://Briggs says

    One of our chronic pukers does boneless raw with occasional (GASP!) canned food, because bone in any form causes nasty issues for him. Our others have no problem! Keep in mind we feed 10% soft, edible bones only, no ground marrow bones here.


    The vet suspects a hiatal hernia but we avoided the scope to be sure because what we’re doing works.
    Vet also asked us to try an acid reducer short term which worked; the stomach problems went away, and once the dog was off the acid reducer the problem came back twice as bad leading the vet to believe a part of his problem is chronic low stomach acid (he’s never been robust or “healthy”). We’re finding what he’s good with and not good with (he does poorly with dry or any edible bones, does very well with boneless raw, cooked meats or canned foods.)

  3. http://anon101 says

    I had a similar experience as a result of listening to the homeopathic crowd.
    Went to the emergency vet, saw the x-rays, paid the vet bill.
    Even finely ground up bone can cause stomach and bowel obstructions (painful condition) it’s true.
    If you are receptive to science based veterinary medicine, go here

  4. http://Joe%20S. says

    Gail, are you a vet? My dog is under the care of a vet so I’m obviously not too concerned with your opinion. If the food is suspected of being a cause of inflamation, then a person can’t wait until things are healed, now can you? So I guess you can now stop being “most puzzled”. YES I can blame this food on the issues I quite clearly explained in my posting, contrary to you saying that I can not.. Your statement of saying that I “probably” switched the food too fast is idiotic. Were you here? Are you a mind reader? If so you need to stay out of my house or switch professions. For the record it was gradually added into his diet over a period of 2 weeks. But he did go off of the food IMMEDIATELY after seeing the x-ray and at the request of my vet. Why don’t you just read the info on the website and use what you want, ignore what you dont agree with and stop with the argumentative type of posts?

  5. http://Gail%20Taraschuk says

    I think “I “would get another vet since she is having issues admitting she is wrong.I think she needs to get updated.

  6. http://Gail%20Taraschuk says

    Thats sounds far fetched. A dog eats many ingredients at once and some digest different than others..I highly doubt that would kill a dog.

  7. http://Gail%20Taraschuk says

    The ingredient in RC are horrible

  8. http://Gail%20Taraschuk says

    Your dog already had issues to begin with so you cannot really blame this food !!! Also you probably changed the dogs food way too fast when it needs to be gradual. Changing your dog’s food when it is already sick is a bad idea. The dogs body should be healed first before switching its diet. Even healthy dogs can get stomach upsets etc… from changing food. it has to be done slow. I am most puzzled that you fed your dog this food when it already had inflamed stomach and intestinal tract and are blaming this food ?

  9. http://anon101 says

    If his anal gland condition becomes chronic, ask the vet about removing his anal glands, it is a simple operation and stops all issues.
    Per the search engine

  10. http://Jennifer%20Fariello says

    My 10 month old Giant Schnoodle has been having issues with his anal glands for the past 3 months. We get the manually drained by the groomer or vet and 2d later, smell is back & he starts to lick his butt. We’ve tried antibiotics, leukotiene inhibitors, FortiFlora, pumpkin, cottage cheese, changing his food, etc. Switching him to NV Raw Insticts was recommended to me by numerous people. I’m really confused on exactly what and how much to give him. He’s about 75# @ 10 months. Most recently he was eating Orijen Large Breed puppy food, 2 cups, 2x/day. Any guidance/suggestions on the amount and type of food is very appreciated!!

  11. http://Barbara%20Brehm says

    The deep chested dogs have more problem with torsion or bloat and it happens to them most frequently, according to the studies. I will go along with the current philosophy until a proven cause is found just to avoid losing a dog with great pain for him in two hours after animal hospital hours.

  12. http://anon101 says

    Next time you want to try a new food, consider Zignature. I am impressed.
    I use the kibble as a base, add bit of cooked ground turkey or something and a splash of water (2 meals a day)

  13. http://Joe%20S. says

    I don’t doubt it.. I felt awful when the vet showed me the xray… Going to try Susan’s recommendation and see how he does..

  14. http://Joe%20S. says

    Thanks for the info Susan.. Although I’m pretty sure I can’t find kangaroo here in Texas, USA, we do have Taste of the Wild.. I just went and picked up a small bag of the Lamb version and will give it a try. Thanks again!

  15. http://Susan says

    Hi Joe, my boy has IBD, I went thru a Animal Nutritionist to put him on a home made raw diet using human grade lean meat Kangaroo mince & blended green veggies & blended fruit & a supplement to replace the bone & organs, no bone or organ meats were added to his raw diet, grounded bone can irritate the bowel & organ meat can cause bad diarrhea with some dogs, my boy can NOT stomach any bone…. Stay away from the big commercial raw pet foods, it’s best to go with the smaller home pre-made organic raw diets, also they can be specially made to order…
    My nutritionist said she has been to a rendering plant where they make raw pet foods & the smell was AWFUL rotting flesh smell…Once your dogs stomach & bowel has healed, I’d start feeding a balanced home made cooked diet, your dog was probably put on a vet diet after this happened, he’ll need around 6 months for his stomach & bowel to heal fully… I feed “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb it has 1 single protein, Lamb & has limited easy to digest ingredients sweet potato egg & I also feed a cooked meal for dinner that I make a big batch once a fortnight & freeze in small meals & I feed the TOTW kibble for Breakfast & lunch…My boy is doing really well now..

  16. http://anon101 says

    I have told people about this, even finely ground up bone can cause intestinal obstructions.
    Glad you were able to avoid surgery.

  17. http://Joe%20S. says

    Per Dogfood Advisor rankings I started feeding this to my dog which has issues with vomiting.. The condition got worse and I took him to a vet where he was x-rayed. My dog’s stomach and intestines lit up like a Christmas tree and my vet immediately asked “what are you feeding him? Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t helping.” Apparently the ground bone tends to attach itself to the intestinal tract and stomach. Without further research it’s unknown if the ground bone could be partially to blame for some of my dog’s issues.. He has been taken off of this food and x-rayed a couple of weeks later. X-rays seem to indicate the excess bone is now out of his system. So anyway, after the information I was given by my vet and looking at the x-rays, I would be careful with this food. Ground bone might not just have the benefit of getting calcium. It quite possible could cause problems..

  18. http://sandy says

    Yes, the frozen foods are formulated for all life stages.

  19. http://Tenerife%20Coton says

    Is Instinct Raw Medallions formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles”?

  20. http://Mike%20Oppenheim says

    If you want her to gain weight naturally I suggest the supplement “Gain & Shine” available at Amazon. Great stuff. Dogs love it. Also UPCO bone meal, just a tablespoon per meal, dogs love it!

  21. http://Susan says

    Hi have you contacted NVI ? send them an email, if NVI is a good company they’ll have a Vet Nutritionist & they will contact you, unless you look for their old formula’s…..I know what your saying, I have a dog with IBD & there’s nothing like the formula being changed & they don’t release anything or tell no one that they have changed something…
    My vet was telling me Hills are really bad for doing this not telling no one they have changed a vet diet, the Hill Prescription vet diet Z/D kibble was changed end of last year & all these poor dogs with IBD & other health conditions became very ill, the vets didn’t know what was wrong, the soluble fiber had been increase & the ingredient list was still the same, so you didn’t know what had happened….
    It’s wrong these big pet food companies have the money to make big signs & put above their foods in the pet store’s & tell their customers we have change ??? formula’s….

  22. http://InkedMarie says

    I believe, by law, that they have six months to announce formula changes on their bags.

  23. http://haleycookie says

    I’ve worked pet retail for quite sometime and I’ve come to expect a formula change with a new look. Every year around summer time almost every brand in my store does a repackaging, reformulation, and/or releases new product in place of old. If you think this is bad you havent seen anything lol. I used to recommend blue wilderness to ppl, maybe a couple years ago, the formulas like rabbit and salmon for dogs who were sensitive to chicken because they didn’t have any chicken and they jammed chicken meal as second ingredient into every kind of wilderness food and raised the bags by 6-8 dollars and told nobody. That’s bad, I no longer recommend blue because of that. This company however didn’t do anything that every other company isnt doing right now. I’m sorry you’re so upset by it. I will still trust and believe in their venison and lamb raw boost formula and their regular chicken raw boost dog food.

  24. http://Jeff%20Spry says

    No that is NOT true. I compared the bags and they are VERY different. Kilocalories much more. Fat, protein, all different. How can you say replacing Chicken Meal with Chicken, which is the inferior form, with all the water weight, is a good thing?! Plus you are avoiding the issue that they DID NOT tell consumers and nowhere on the new bag does it say the formula changed. Only the “look”. They have lost my trust and business.

  25. http://haleycookie says

    NV only changed a few formulas and most of them have improved in my opinion and my rep for the company has already come to the pet store I work at and posted tags on the ones that did change. It’s mainly a bag change. The prices dropped significantly and the bags went down a pound or two.

  26. http://Jeff%20Spry says

    BEWARE OF THIS FOOD. I am a breeder and dog show enthusiast and have used this food for years, BUT, they JUST CHANGED the bags and formulas without telling their customers. IT IS NOT THE SAME FOOD!!!! I compared the bags and they not only went from a 5lb bag to a 4lb bag, but there is not warning of a formula change in their Raw Boost Puppy Food. BAD BUSINESS!! Please call Nature’s Variety and call them out.

  27. http://bohicasis says

    Different types of stones/crystals/struvite require different care. I would suggest finding out which one your canine had. Water and much of it, is very important as well as letting your dog fully empty his bladder several times a day

  28. http://bohicasis says

    There is absolutely no reason to add a dry dog food or kibble. You may want to add chicken necks and chicken back so they can use their teeth and jaws rather than just eating mush.Chicken necks as the Perfect size for them . Just remember, no weight bearing bones and NEVER cooked cones. You can also add any raw meat you wish or veggies. Using canned, you are simply reverting to processed cooked .

  29. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    Feed a wet diet. Dry diets contribute to crystals. Same goes for cats. Add water to raw if you feed raw.

  30. http://disqus_SBl7sCuYS7 says

    My dog had both (struvite and calcium oxalate), you can see my posts (anon101) if you go to forums and search bladder stones.
    The main causes that I was able to determine was inadequate fluid intake and genetic predisposition.
    So, I would add water to meals and offer frequent opportunities to urinate (every 2 hours ideal, at least every 4 hours), keep the bladder flushed.
    Stagnant conditions in the bladder contribute to the formation of bladder stones.
    Also, if the dogs symptoms (uti, frequent urination etc) return after antibiotic treatment(sometimes this happens) ask your vet if he did an x-ray to rule out calcium oxalate? Dogs can have more than one type of stone.
    I would stick with the prescription diet for now, maybe presoak it with water plus add a splash of water.
    Always have fresh water available.

  31. http://Kaywood says

    My dog was diagnosed with bladder crystals a month ago.
    He was put on RC urinary so. His crystals are gone so I would like to look into different food options.
    Does anyone feed this raw food diet to a dog predisposed to bladder crystals or struvites?

  32. http://InkedMarie says

    Five stars except for the one noted that is 4.5

  33. http://Jennifer says

    The varieties without a rating, are they 5 stars or have they not been rated at all?

  34. http://Gabbie%20Grapes says

    Thank you!
    I think it’s so hard to find a “perfect” diet! There so much info and conflicting ways to do things. It sounds like you’re pretty close though!

  35. http://Jennifer%20Ackley says

    Hi Gabbie
    It all depends on your dog. I feed her 3x a day but small portions so she doesn’t gain weight. I’m still trying to figure out the best nutrition for her. Natures variety is not the perfect food but it’s better than what she was on. I give her about 1/2 cup a day because she’s only 10 lbs. I rotate fruits, veggies and fats to try and make it a balanced diet. I’m always searching for better though. I wish I had the perfect diet for her. Good luck with your pooch

  36. http://Crazy4cats says

    Does she think it’s ok to mix canned food in kibble? Like I said earlier, if you are not comfortable, by all means do not mix them. You would feel terrible for not listening to your vet if it caused your dog harm. My dogs have done fine with it for a couple of years now. I also use canned, sardines, eggs, and tripe as meal mixers.

    Are you feeding raw currently?

  37. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    Just checked again with the vet who said this. She said it’s not ideal to mix.

  38. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    Just checked again with the vet who told me this. Now she says she gives both.

  39. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    If raw has supplemental vitamins it’s good. Otherwise give canned too.

  40. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    If there is bone in the raw yes poops are smaller and smell less. Normal

  41. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    You can get good probiotics at Whole Foods.

  42. http://Gabbie%20Grapes says

    I have a beagle boston mix who recently started shedding uncontrollably, has always itched, and just started getting ear issues again. I’m looking to switch her food and saw you mentioned frozen and dry kibble. What kinds?
    Also could you explain alternating the fats? She gets fish oil right now and occasionally coconut oil. I do rub coconut oil on her but don’t fed it often.
    Would you also be able to tell me what kind of fruits/veggies and where you get the kelp and probiotic from?
    Thank you and sorry for the many questions! 🙂

  43. http://Gabbie%20Grapes says

    Could you tell me how much of eat you give your pup. My pup has never had junk food, but I just recently put her on a food that had grains, not realizing and her shedding went out of control, her skin dried right up, and her coat is so dry. I add coconut oil and a fish oil but need to change her food and add the goodies too!
    Thank you!

  44. http://Anthony%20Lozano says

    that theory is just ridiculous… dogs in “nature” would come across all sorts of moisture content food.. little meat.. some dry stuff… to think they would “flip” their stomach and potentially die simply because they mixed a wet and a dry food is silly… the entire purpose of a gi tract (in any mammal) is the absorbsion and balancing of water. while it is moved along by peristalsisand broken down, the gut pulls and releases fluids. to say it gets digrested at “different rates” is inaccurate and no different than you eating a steak with some dry bread. the body is amazing and balances everything out. nature doesnt make it so complicated.. why should we.

  45. http://Crazy4cats says

    That used to be a common belief, however, as raw becomes more popular that theory has been disproven. I have been mixing them together for about three years without issue. There are several other posters on here that do also. I also mix canned and fresh foods in their kibbles as well. They may digest at different rates also and have not had a problem with that either. By all means, if you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it! Btw, I’ve read that adding canned food to kibble may help prevent bloat or torsion. I don’t think it is really known what exactly causes it yet. There are several theories. Best of luck to you. Who knew that feeding dogs could be so complicated? 🙂

  46. http://sharron says

    hi – i did it once, i was told that you can mix both dry and raw, my dog, yorkie/chihuahua, was sick for nearly a week. that was just one meal that i did that

  47. http://Kathryn%20Eden says

    I have been told by a veterinarian never to feed a raw meal mixed with kibble. Feed only one a time for that particular meal. Kibble digests at a different rate than raw and it can result in the stomach flipping ( don’t recall actual term) which can be fatal for a dog.

  48. http://Crazy4cats says

    Hi Leanna-
    I believe all of their recipes are complete and balanced. Therefore, it is fine to feed it without any dry food added. If a food says for supplemental or intermittent use only, then you would need to add something to make it complete. I use commercial raw mixed in my dogs kibble three or four times per week without issue. They love it! Either way works. Hope this helps.

  49. http://Leanna says

    Hello I just started my toy dog on this food . I was wondering if it is ok to feed him just this food or do I have to add dry food to it ?

  50. http://bohicasis says

    I too was concerned about the amount of fat but looking at other pre packaged raw frozen i have seen fat content of over 62% in some. I think i will be using this from now on a only as a supplement. The last thing i want to be hit with is Pancreatitis. Just a concern as my Aussie/BC ages

  51. http://bohicasis says

    Once it is introduced to the microwave it is no longer “raw” even on defrost mode. If you heat or microwave a patty and have it exceed 118 degrees it will destroy the active enzymes and phytonutrients. (from various articles)

  52. http://Florida says

    I have a Shih Tzu that has severe bouts of Pancreatitis. I tried special vet prescription diets that did not work. She is highly allergic to grains chicken and beef as well.
    I introduced the raw duck for small breeds, and it’s been 6 months without an attack!!
    Best thing I ever did, it saved her life.
    She only eats raw now, she looks healthier too.

  53. http://Jennifer%20Ackley says

    After almost 15 years of junk dog food (SD & BB) I have finally discovered a raw diet for my dog. She still gets a variety of other things like organic pumpkin, homemade probiotic goats milk, flax meal & unrefined organic coconut oil just to name a few. She’s lost some weight and her coat is very soft. She has even stopped shedding. I only wish I had discovered it earlier.

  54. http://deedz says

    Would this food be okay for dog’s with a history of Pancreatitis, and 1 of them has a sensitive stomach to foods such as veggies also. Also I’m confused by the amount of fat which of the 3 stats shown for fat is the actual amount in the food? Thank you all, for your help.

  55. http://Crazy4cats says

    This subject has come up before. It has something to do with the high level of minerals in certain vegetables that cause the sparks. Nature’s Variety has a good reputation. I can understand why you were concerned though. I have fed it a lot as a topper to my dogs’ kibble with no issues. I believe you can feed it without worry. I usually defrost in the microwave as well.

  56. http://Amateria says

    I thought raw generally sparked in the microwave I mean I never saw it but I heard it and I’ve heard some other pretty wicked sounds from microwaving foods.

    I even thought the microwave blew up one time because their was like this exploding sound, I went to check it out and it was blowing up the food all over the walls nothing more, I think it’s the design or something but the way it projects some sounds can definitely be scary.

  57. http://Jason%20Kolar says

    Hi I was Browsing your site for dog food for my new puppy. I noticed you rated this Instinct Raw food High. I thought I would share my experience with it. My local pet food supply store was promoting this stuff so I decided to buy some of the frozen Raw food to suplement my dogs food and give as treats. It was frozen so I decided to thaw it out in the microwave. I put some in the microwave for a few seconds and sparks started coming off the food. This was vary disturbing. I have never seen sparks off any food in the microwave before. I tossed the food in the garbage. They clearly put some kind of metal in this food. I am suprised more people have not reported this.

  58. http://Romeo%20Lakis says

    I have been feeding my Pomeranian and Bichapoo the NV Small breed Raw Superfood boost, I cant seem to find any reviews about it on here? Anyone have any input?

  59. http://Mattie%20Claire says

    My 3 Bostons love this stuff! They had bad skin allergies & pustules. After 3 yrs at the vets, removing all dyes, colors, scents, year round allergy meds & flea meds. Oh & steroids, antibiotics. Dietary changes, brand change, protein examined & tested & added junk removed when they said there was nothing more they could do. I won’t accept that. I was a body builder for 20 yrs & the most important thing is diet. So I spent 9 months researching dog nutrition. I tried doing all raw by myself. It’s too complicated & you have to be very careful & accurate so they are meeting their dietary needs. So more research, but I knew I was on to something. I tried them on NV raw frozen beef kibble. That alone cleared up all skin issues in 3 days! Omg I was so relieved cuz they were miserable. They get 1/2c frozen, 1/4c NV Instinct dry kibble. I alternate fats like sardine/anchovy oil, coconut oil (1/2) 2-3 x’s a week. Plus fresh fruits & veggies, pet kelp skin & coat 1/2 tsp 2x day & probiotic/bromaline supp. 1/8 tsp per feeding. No table scraps! They don’t need flea meds, their immune system is stellar, their coat looks like they’re ready for the show ring! They poop a lot less as there is less being wasted. They absorb most of it. They also fast 2times a month for 24 hrs. Their blood work is done 2x year to ensure all is well. No plaque on their teeth either. Their energy level went up. My daughter is a VT & always tries talking me out of feeding them what I do, but the proof is there to see. They tend to put on a bit of weight if your not careful. I have to adjust theirs every so often. Like my male tore his ACL & therefore less active so I cut his food back a bit. His ACL healed itself. I’m not lying. I have no affiliation with anybody any company or anything. I’m a 48 yr old retired lady. Who loves her dogs more than life. ❤️ Sorry so long.

  60. http://sharron says

    thanks again for your help – lexee prefers the canisource dehydrated raw over the NV raw

  61. http://Cannoli says

    shawna is correct feed with what you know is best and keep an eye on your dog. your dog will tell you best. my pup is fed 2lbs a day if he is sokely eating protein. he is a little over 60 lbs. if it’s kibble i feed him only 2 cups a day. if it’s a heavy exercise day meaning we are spending all day outside walking, hiking, and swimming he gets 21/2- 3 cups of kibble OR 3lbs of raw protein that day split into two meals

    on days he doesn’t exrcise or move around much i feed him less.

    people here are just giving you guidelines to experiment with but every dog’s metabolism is different

  62. http://Shawna says


    Don’t do what I say or what Aimee says or anyone else if you think it is not in Lexee’so best interest. You know her best. Start with whatever amount you feel is best and then watch her for signs that she needs more or less food.

    The point of my post was that dogs are different and what amount is best for one will be too little for some and too much for others.

  63. http://aimee says

    Hi Sharron,

    You reported that there are 182 cal in each cup of this food. You are feeding her 1/2 cup of food for a total of 91 calories and 23 from her treat for a total of 114 calories a day.

    Is this the total amount of calories you want to feed every day?

  64. http://sharron says

    i understand what you are saying – so i have Shawna saying to feed 1/2 cup a day – you are saying i should feed her more than 1/2 cup – so which is it? – 1/2 cup or more?

  65. http://sharron says

    lexee is 12 lbs and would like her at 10

  66. http://sharron says

    she gets a dental chew – a whole chew is 70 cals – i break the chew into 1/3rds – and she gets a 1/3 every night – the amt of food i am giving her she seems content with – she’s not looking for more food after she eats and she is able to go from breakfast to dinner – i don’t recall asking about how much to feed her – i thought a 1/4 cup of raw and 1/2 tsp of wet 2 x a day was appropriate

  67. http://aimee says

    For an 8 lb dog the recommended amount would be 8.6 grams and the min would be 6.9 grams.

    Keep in mind when formulating a diet for a dog in kidney failure the NRC rec. value is what is used

    At 1/2 cup you would barely make the min NRC value for an 8 lb dog. If the protein level in the diet is close to their guaranteed min.

  68. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Why don’t you give Lexie a chew every other day since that’s over 10% of her daily recommended calories

  69. http://aimee says

    NRC stands for National Research Council.

    When you feed Lexie a dry diet there is very little water in it so your 1/2 cup of food represents all food for practical purposes.

    When you feed a canned or fresh diet that has a lot of water associated with it, your 1/2 cup of food is ~1/3 cup of water and 1/6 cup of “dry food”.

  70. http://theBCnut says

    I believe Sharron has told us that Lexee is 10 lbs and over weight by a couple pounds, so maybe you should figure for an 8 lb dog.

  71. http://aimee says

    The NRC min and rec amounts are based on proteins of high digestibility and high quality.

    The NRC min amounts are equivalent to feeding 8% of calories as protein and the rec is based on 10 % calories fed as protein.

    AAFCO then interprets this for commonly used ingredients in commercial pet food.. So the AAFCO rec amount for kibble is ~16% calories fed as protein.

    How many grams of protein do you think a 10 lb dog should take in daily?

  72. http://sharron says

    hi and thanks – first, what does NRC stand for and secondly Lexee looks like a Freshpet roll with legs – her max for food intake is around 4 oz a day, no more than that – she doesn’t have a big appetite so i doubt very much that she would even eat a cup of food

  73. http://Shawna says

    The 8 grams a day is based on kibble though, correct?

    If two of my 12 pound dogs ate 1 cup of food a day (even high protein foods) they would be overeating.

  74. http://aimee says

    Hi Sharron,
    If feeding the raw frozen, keep in mind that the food has a much higher water content then dry food. If you only feed 1/2 cup of the raw bites you will not be meeting her nutrient needs or her calorie needs.

    For example NRC recommended protein need for a 10 lb dog calculates out to ~10 grams a day. If you feed 1/2 cup of Nature variety instinct raw bites chicken you would only be feeding Lexee 7 grams protein/day

    NRC min protein would be ~8 grams a day.

  75. http://InkedMarie says

    Yes….one of the best raw perks!

  76. http://sharron says

    hi – since being on this food for the past couple of days, i have noticed that Lexee’s poopies are really tiny and and not as frequent – she might go once a day or not at all – is this normal when you feed raw…thanks

  77. http://sharron says

    thanks BC – i’m feeding her a little less than a 1/2 cup a day – she still wants wet with it, so i have cut back on the raw and give less than 1/4 cup 2 x a day with a 1/2 tsp of wet each meal

  78. http://theBCnut says

    My 12 lbs. active JRT gets 3/4 cup of this. If I were you I would go with the 1/2 cup and watch her weight.

  79. http://sharron says

    can’t find the turkey formula in stores, so i had a pet store ordered one in for me – hope she likes it

  80. http://sharron says

    thanks so much shawna – i thought that a cup seemed a lot for her – will stay with the 1/2 cup/day – like i said last night – i have never fed Lexee a cup of food

  81. http://Shawna says

    I just calculated the amount for my 12 pound Papillon that doesn’t need to lose weight but I said she did. The amount it says to feed is 1 cup of the raw bites beef a day. I feed Kippee about 4 ounces of food a day – which is half the recommended amount.

    Tumbleweeds, also 12 pounds, is older and eats more. He gets between 3/4 and one cup a day. My other Papillon, Mimi, also 12 pounds gains easily and she gets less then Kippee or Tumbles.

    I would definitely NOT use the recommended amount. Use what you normally feed and watch for small changes in weight and adjust quantity fed as needed.

  82. http://sharron says

    NV is coming out with a small breed version of the instinct raw bites
    thought i would pass this little tidbit along to other little dog owners

  83. http://sharron says

    i’ve tried stella and chewy, doesn’t care for it, and primal doesn’t like it either and a couple of canadian brands of raw, same thing – anyways thanks for your input
    a typical chihuahua is a moderately active chi

  84. http://Pitlove says

    yes hopefully someone who has used a commercial diet can weigh in on this!

  85. http://sharron says

    well for lexee 182 cals ‘;imo seems adequate and with her nightly dental chew which is about 23 cals that’s 205 cals a day and from what i have read a typical chihuahua should get around 200-205 – i think a typical chi means between an active puppy and a senior, – will have to check that out further

  86. http://Pitlove says

    I’m not sure how that compares to other raw diets, but if I were thinking in terms of kibble that is very low calorie to me. I’m not that well versed on commercial raw diets though and what consitutes high or low calories.

  87. http://sharron says

    there’s 182 cal/cup

  88. http://sharron says


  89. http://Pitlove says

    It probably has to do with the calories of NV vs the dry foods you’ve fed. Which flavor are you using?

  90. http://sharron says

    hi – well lexee now has decided that she likes NV raw bites after all – the calculator on the NV website says to feed 1 cup/day – i indicated that she needs to lose weight when calculating the amt to feed – i have never fed her a cup a day – should i still stay with the 1/2 cup or even less

  91. http://Christy%20Wrede says

    There was just a great article in the Whole Dog Journal last month about the Nature’s Variety company. Now I like them even more!

  92. http://Crazy4cats says

    Hi Melena-
    We have been feeding K9 Natural frozen tripe, and Nature’s Variety, Primal or NW Naturals frozen raw nuggets as toppers for a few years now with no issue. Hope this helps!

  93. http://Cannoli says

    if you are asking for commercial raw dog manufacture suggestions i don’t have any. i am not yet comfortable using them.

  94. http://Melena%20Peter says

    Thanks Cannoil
    Oh no but thanks for letting me know . Is there any other for Food suggestion?

  95. http://Crazy4cats says

    Yes, and it’s always the chicken that ends up being recalled.

  96. http://Cannoli says

    glad to hear your dog likes instinct raw. my issue with instinct raw is that they have too many recalls which makes me shy away from their food.

  97. http://Shawna says

    Here’s the opinion of another vet
    “The type of food you feed your pet can also be a contributor. The majority of kibble (dry food) on the market contains carbohydrates like corn, wheat, rice, soy and oatmeal. These carbs are highly fermentable, and fermentation produces gas.

    Fermentable carbohydrates can be considered a side effect of feeding your dog a non-species appropriate diet. Dogs don’t have a dietary carbohydrate requirement. The more carbs you feed to an animal with no requirement for them, the more gas they will produce.”

    Fermentation of carbohydrates makes more sense to me as the cause of bloat. If this is true, adding higher protein canned, home cooked or raw to a higher carb diet should reduce the risk of gas and bloat.

    In humans, food sensitivities (like gluten intolerance) seem to be a cause of abdominal gas and bloating. My guess is this would be true in dogs as well.

  98. http://keden says

    🙂 all the same applies. BRAVO is for cats and dogs, cat man do treat my dogs LOVE too, and grain free canned is preferred to kibble.

  99. http://keden says

    agree, vet friend has reported serious problems due to different digestion times. Recommends not mixing kibble and raw in same meal. I think she said it was the stomach twisting thing which is life threatening.

  100. http://sharron says

    lexee is a yorkie/chihuahua, not a cat
    though there are times i think she is one

  101. http://keden says

    Its not easy getting older cats to switch over. Venison is usually liked. Chicken and rabbit are not a favorite of mine. you have to buy in small qualities and try different brands. They outright refuse some. Primal freeze dried is easy if they like that. expensive though. We have BRAVO brand here and my cats like that.It comes in Chubs. Heres a TIP worth trying . Buy life essentials Cat Man Do freeze dried chicken. Crumble it into a powder and sprinkle on top of the food they refuse. It works 100% of the time with all my guys. THEY LOVE IT. I could sprinkle it on dirt and I bet they’s gobble it up. You can make your own raw diet, on the link in my last post. again make a small quantity to find the meat they will eat. You can also try feeding them cooked chicken (organic please). I cook it overnight in a crock pot and it’s so soft the next day it can easily be crumbled. That mixed into grain free canned would be a good second choice if they refuse raw. Again I say unless you have your vitamins and minerals down pat “mix it up”, canned, cooked, raw, so you know they are getting proper nutrition.

  102. http://sharron says

    thank you – will give it a try again…tried about 4-5 years ago with raw and it lasted about 2-3 days…she can be difficult to feed, she’s picky, my fault

  103. http://keden says

    RC is not a breeders choice. DRY IS FULL OF CARBS AND FAT read this: Take her off the dry altogether and feed raw if you can, supplement with a grain free canned.I believe
    mixing it up is the best way to go to be sure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients. Raw with bones can cause constipation at times.

  104. http://sharron says

    would feeding this help with weight loss? – she is still at 5.4kg, even with increased length of walks, i am not overfeeding her, she gets 3 oz/day or 180-190 cals/day and that is including her nightly treat – no human food or other treats are given – she was at the vet yesterday for her annual check up, everything is fine, no issues at all – the vet said she is a little overweight but it’s not serious but i would be more comfortable if she lost a lb or 1 1/2 lbs – i have her still on royal canin moderate calorie dry and for the wet food, royal canin gastro low fat – could it be the food that has made her gain?……..thanks

  105. http://losul says

    el d You really can’t ever stop can you? How can you even expect me to be keep silent this time with all that twist you put on things?

    That post of mine of you referred to above that was deleted, you know the “deja vu” post, I made that post to an id named Billy Barret. who showed up mysteriously as a first time poster and kept calling me a liar over something pretty silly, and hasn’t posted again since. another first and last in that conversation was Sue G.. Billy’s and Sues posts are still actually there. I sent a reply to billy earlier. On top of that, later on, there was a post from “losul the liar”-with some very derogatory commentary that replied to my “deja vu” post. I have that in my saved Email. Strange. I’ve also gotten losultheliar or losulthelier -identities popping up with very derogatory comments, with some later posts I made. I’m certain that I’m not the only one to have seen these.

    “The first thing you did when you returned to DFA (the review side)

    was post in a conversation I was having with Shawna and aimee about the MCT formula used in the Purina Bright Mind study.”

    I posted to Shawna on the MCT formula recently (1st post, and then you asked me (3) questions. more on that below.

    “Can you please link to the product or products you would use to

    “replicate” the ratio of 97% caprylic acid to 3% capric acid that was used in the study?”

    Let’s include the other 2 questions you asked too me, the ones before you edited them out, edited AFTER my reply to you;

    “Can you please link to the product you would use to “replicate” the
    3% capric acid in the formulation, while keeping the formula’s ratio
    of 97% caprylic acid to 3% capric acid?”

    “And if you could “replicate” the MCT formula used in the study, how
    would you incorporate it into a dog’s diet?”

    “Would you also try to “replicate” the total fat of 12.5% and the “tallow” to MCT ratio of 7% to 5.5%, or would you do something

    You appeared to have some kind of problem with the word “replicate” right then and there.I picked up on that and in my reply, I said “To me, replicate means, a similar copy, in the context I used it, i think, or i thought. you can call it mimic or simulate if you rather.” Further I went on to tell you “For me, i won’t even try too duplicate, replicate, or mimic it at all.” I then went on to tell you all the reasons I
    wouldn’t even try to to do so. Next you wanted to argue that usage
    of “replicate”was wrong but you didn’t even supply your source. I
    then gave you the source where I got my definition, and even then I
    said, “But I don’t think it necessary to argue over semantics. :-)”

    Aren’t maybe you the one having a problem arguing over this word,

    “You argued about the meaning of the word “replicate” and then
    things just got nasty.”

    I didn’t argue or want to argue, and yes you started to get
    nasty. Your last post there ( of which there were at least 5 revisions that i saw over a period of several hours) first one and last ones here;

    “Hi Losul
    I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I
    have no respect.
    Edward Gibbon”

    “Hi Losul
    “you know what they say about opinions”
    They say opinions are like Losuls, just kidding ;)”

    I finally replied to that with,
    “C’mon el. How bout we knock this stuff off now, before it turns
    into something not so funny again. We have this huge rift between us
    and always will. So why don’t we just do our best to ignore/avoid
    each other and keep the peace? I’m not on here much anymore anyway.”

    After awhile your post was finally deleted, you never answered mine, yet you then still found it necessary to go to that heartworm forum board and post what you did. I’m certain it was only meant to antagonize further.

    “”You see, I was already expecting a setup and attack of this sort.
    I already saw it coming”

    “As if someone, by simply asking you a question, could set you up to
    lie, and make you claim you had read a report which you in fact, had

    What I said above, was in reply to Billy Bennet, are saying you ARE
    Billy Bennet then? No mention of any of your names were made in that post. Both Billy Bennet and Ann G appeared out of nowhere, never posted before and haven’t posted since. Here was a series of his billy’s accusations;

    “losul I dont know why you lied yesterday or why your desperately
    trying to weave your way out of it today”

    “If i were you I would drop this. It’s your words not mine that
    prove you lied!!!!”

    “Now he’s trying desperatly to cover it up.”

    “You spun a story that wasn’t true and you got caught.”


    “Then you left DFA for over a year, only to return and pick up right
    where you left off.”

    I’ve never left DFA. In the about 3.5 years years I’ve been here on DFA I’ve remained silent and refrained from posting a few times but I’m almost always been very active reading posts. I haven’t missed very many. I’m very aware of goings ons. Manytimes in the wee morning hours (at least by my time) when you tend to post often, I’m here reading here/researching. How long have you been here in total?

    “So now I would like to extend an olive branch to you in hopes of a
    peaceful coexistence for you and I on DFA!”

    That’d be really great, but it’s more like you keep trying to beat me with a thornbush.

  106. Hi C4d

    It was meant as one 😉

  107. http://Crazy4dogs says

    I’m taking that as a compliment! 😉

  108. http://sharron says

    you got that right!!!!!

  109. Hi C4d

    Except you, of course 😉

  110. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Awe, c’mon kids! Play nice! 🙂

  111. Whenever there’s drama on DFA, it doesn’t matter what it’s about, or who it’s between, the same people who are replying to me now, show up.

    And it always goes the same way, first they comment to the poster whom they want “to school”, and then they start gossiping among themselves.

    C’est La Vie 😉

  112. http://aquariangt says

    curious, isn’t it?

  113. http://LabsRawesome says

    It was a very fake “welcome back” You were just building him up so you could knock him back down. You just spelled it all out in your post above.

  114. http://LabsRawesome says

    I agree. His posts are passive aggressive. He tried to make me look stupid by saying that I should have given my condolences in a post. But I had replied to theBCnut, not the op that lost a dog. After I explained his mistake to him he deleted his “shaming” post to me. He’s been deleting a lot of posts lately. The post under this one is one of his deleted posts to Wolfwood claiming that Wolfwood is really losul.

  115. http://Storm's%20Mom says

    I’m a bit are you able to see what Losul said a year ago? Previous posts are hidden, according to Losul’s profile.

  116. http://DogFoodie says

    Your passive aggressive olive branch is very transparent.

    At least you didn’t contest his referring to you as James and even repeated it yourself.

  117. Hi Losul

    The first thing you did when you returned to DFA was post in a conversation I was having with Shawna and aimee about the MCT formula used in the Purina Bright Mind study.

    You said;

    “on the other hand, if one wanted to replicate the MCT’s (those that were
    used in the study), I think that can be done. I don’t see anything unique about the study MCT’s”

    The first thing I did was give you a very warm welcome back;

    “Hi Losul, Welcome back!

    That was a well researched and thought out post, with a lot of interesting questions and observations, great job ;)”

    Then I said;

    “Can you please link to the product or products you would use to “replicate” the ratio of 97% caprylic acid to 3% capric acid that was used in the study?

    Thanks Losul.”

    And as it turns out you were never able to do that because the formula used in the study can’t be replicated using products available to the public.

    So instead of saying you were probably mistaken as Shawna gracefully did;

    “I was likely incorrect in that the exact levels in the research paper could be achieved with supplementation”

    You argued about the meaning of the word “replicate” and then you just got nasty. So nasty in fact, that when I made this comment to you in the forums;

    “Hi Losul

    I’m glad that everything worked out well for you and turbo! I hope the new year brings you less stress”

    You replied;

    “Yeah right James. To all those with the GENUINE words that I hadn’t yet gotten back to, C4C, Glenna, BobbyDog, InkedMarie, anyone else, thank you for all the kindness and support. Turbo’s awesome, and I’m doing fine!”

    Imagine that, I tell you I’m glad that your dog Turbo is doing well, after his bout with heartworm, and you insult me and try to antagonize me by insinuating I’m a previous poster who was not very popular.

    In the past when another misinformed poster accused me of being someone else and using an alias. Dr Mike was kind enough to step in and set the record straight;

    “By the way, our server records do not show any link between this guest (me) and any previous identity. (James, or anyone else!)”

    And if all this is not bad enough, a poster named “Wolfwood” suddenly appears out of nowhere and attacks me for my stance on garlic. which just happens to be the last thing we argued about prior to your recent return.

    That argument ended when you said;

    “You see, I was already expecting a setup and attack of this sort. I already saw it coming”

    As if someone, by simply asking you a question, could set you up to lie, and make you claim you had read a report which you in fact, had not.

    Then you left DFA for over a year, only to return and pick up right where you left off.

    If you returned to DFA to argue with me, then I must commend you on a job well done, but if you returned for a different reason, then I ask you to please stop arguing with me, and get to it.

    Thank you Losul 😉

  118. http://Wolfwood says

    That’s pretty funny – no, there is no alias. I’m a different person who disagrees with you (as do many others on the subject of garlic). The only deja vu here is silly posters such as yourself spouting off misinformation by others.

    Why so many people blindly repeat what others say without doing proper due diligence is beyond me.

  119. http://Wolfwood says

    Nope, didn’t help at all (as I assumed it wouldn’t). You’re just spouting random statements made by others 🙂

    I repeat: Please post SPECIFIC FOOD STUDIES… not statements made by random vets. I can also post statements by random vets making the opposite statement. I really don’t know why you posted a link to “” to back up the safety/dangers of garlic. Is there a study on their website I missed? They actually know nothing on the subject of garlic, even though they post a warning about it. I have twice contacted them (using their contact form) about their stance on garlic, and both times, they were unable to even provide the source that led them to that recommendation, never mind any studies on garlic and dogs.

    Many traditional vets recommend “veterinary diet dog food” which are some of the worst offenders when it comes to the lowest quality pet food ingredients – certainly not the crap I’d ever feed to any dog or cat. In fact, some contain ingredients in these foods are banned in Europe as they are classed as carcinogenic. Yet traditional vets recommend them. Do you believe in such a recommendation simply because a vet made it? Many traditional vets outwardly denounce raw food diets completely with little to no justification. Obviously you disagree with them, based on your posts here… so perhaps consider questioning their logic on garlic and confirm it yourself by tracking down actual studies that prove your point.

    I learned a long time ago to dissect food labels on both human and pet food myself and do my own research. Vets are not pet nutritionists, just like doctors are not human nutritionists (they actually receive about 8hrs worth of nutritional education during their entire medical curriculum).

    I would trust a naturopathic doctor or vet far more than a traditional one on the subject of nutritional and preventative medicine. And I know of none that agree that garlic is toxic to dogs in the appropriate amount – they all recommend it.

  120. Hi Losul

    “Or maybe wolfwood is one of your own aliases?”

    This is what Dr Mike said when someone else mistakenly accused me of using an alias on DFA;

    “…By the way, our server records do not show any link between this guest (el doctor) and any previous identity”

    Bolded words were added by me.

    And as for me using your quote, I thought it fit this situation perfectly. I did NOT mean to imply it was you, that’s why I didn’t mention your name, sorry 🙁

  121. I see what you are trying to imply here el d.

    this was my quote yes: “”Well it’s deja vu all over again… You see, I was already expecting a setup and attack of this sort. I already saw it coming”

    this rest is NOT.

    what does that have to do with the poster wolfwood? I’ve never used any other identities period on DFA. Not once.NEVER. ONLY losul. Nor would i ever.

    That is simply not my M.O. unlike someone else I know. wolfwood’s post did seem strange, especially since it was replied to someone else, but directed to you. Or maybe wolfwood is one of your own aliases? I think Dr Mike has a way of finding where wolfwood originated, and I strongly encourage him to check into this.

    What’s more, my discussion about garlic ended 100% when I said it did. I had/have nothing further to say about garlic, and very little else to say to you.

  122. Hi Wolfwood, Welcome to DFA

    “Well it’s deja vu all over again… You see, I was already expecting a setup and attack of this sort. I already saw it coming.”

    You said;

    “your reply regarding garlic is simply not true at all and is misinformation repeated on various websites.”

    Here is some “evidence” I had posted in the past on garlic.

    Hope this helps 😉

  123. http://theBCnut says

    If you want a specific person to see your post, you should hit the reply widget under one of their posts and reply directly to that person.

  124. http://Wolfwood says

    el doctor, your reply regarding garlic is simply not true at all and is misinformation repeated on various websites. Please post specific studies (the “evidence”) you mention which verifies what you have written. Garlic is NOT TOXIC to dogs in small quantities. Every naturopathic and holistic veterinarian recommends raw garlic, and Dr. Pitcairn, a highly respected and published author on pet health and pet diets advocates garlic on a daily basis in dog food (the amount depending on the weight). I have always used it in raw diets for my dogs and have never experienced any issues with it – in fact, they never get sick at all. Never have parasites, and never have gastrointestinal issues…

  125. http://LabsRawesome says

    Montmorillonite Clay is a great product. Google it.

  126. http://bohicasis says

    ok ok ok..i read it in a feline forum. thank you for clearing it up. very much appreciated. no i didn’t ask.

  127. As theBCnut just stated below their rabbit hasn’t come from China for a minimum of 3 years, perhaps longer. Their rabbit is sourced from France. As also stated, someone has posted very old information in that other group you mention.

  128. http://theBCnut says

    It has been verified several times that they have stopped getting rabbit from China for all their foods. I wish people would stop posting old news when they have already heard the new news until they already confirmed that the new news is indeed correct. Do you expect them to just up and email you, out of the blue? They have been really good at answering other people’s requests for info, so I have to assume you didn’t ask, or at least not until everyone was gone for the holidays, and then decided to post anyway.

  129. http://bohicasis says

    I have changed my opinion on this brand. I feed raw. i supplement with the bites in either chicken, beef or lamb. my info rcvd from another group said their rabbit came form china so until NI tells me differently ( rumor they switched over to France for their rabbit) i’m sticking with it for my canine as a supplement to his raw. EXCEPT for the patties. For some reason or another..he vomits each and ever one up, No, not from gulping, not from being cold (room temp feeding)_jsut something about them..i have no idea what is different. The bites he has absolutely no issues with. As for the person who said that some of her bites were frozen together and she had to break them apart…that is due to them being thawed out and refrozen somewhere along the way. ( i know this as it happens every time i take the long way home and they thaw in my van when i can clearly feel them NOT clumped in the package before i check out) So, somewhere along they way…they thawed and were placed back in the freezer section. I’m a happy camper now, my canine is happy, my old cat is THRIVING.

  130. http://GonzoDeluxe says

    Per their website: Montmorillonite is a natural clay that we source from deposits in southern Utah that is approved by AAFCO for use as an anticaking processing aid. We have used this same natural source for many years.”

    Don’t hesitate to contact their customer service (number online and on the products) with any questions. They’re super helpful.

  131. http://GonzoDeluxe says

    In case you don’t see my reply above, Nature’s Variety has a very helpful customer service team available to answer consumer questions and concerns. The number is on their website and on the packaging. I think they’re available during work hours M-F.

  132. http://GonzoDeluxe says

    Nature’s Variety raw foods vary in color from batch to batch because the meat is not highly processed and they do not add food coloring (which might cover the inconsistencies mentioned below). They use HPP (High Pressure Processing) to kill any bad bacteria while leaving the other nutrients in tact. Further, they test EVERY lot of food prepared four times (at different stages of production) to ensure it’s integrity and safety. If you have concerns or questions, there’s a phone number on the back of the bag and the people there actually answer the phones or call back very quickly. They’re very helpful.

  133. http://Cookie says

    There are a lot of people who think if you mix a cooked meal with a raw meal at once you can cause some digestion upset. I just do Raw morning, kibble night, to be safe. (studied pet nutrition 10 years)

  134. http://Cookie says

    I know the clay is very mineral rich, containing so many minerals that no one really gets these days from the water or soil we have. I’ve always seen the benefits outweigh the cons.

  135. http://Megan%20Smothers says

    I’ve had my Boston terrier on the chicken formula for about 4 months now and I notice that the consistency of the food varies from bag to bag. Sometimes it’s a darker brown. Sometimes it’s a light pink color (more of what I would expect raw chicken to look like). The bites are different size. Sometimes they’re all about double the length of what they usually are and it smells different from bag to bag. Sometimes there will be giant frozen chunks that I have to chisel apart. I buy the food from at least 3 different stores depending where it’s on sale so I don’t think it’s how the store is handling the food. My biggest concern is that my dog’s bowl movements change from bag to bag. I can always tell we’ve started at new bag by her bowl movements. They’re not bad. Just different consistencies. Sometimes hard nuggets. Some times really long and on the softer side and color will change too. She doesn’t get anything else because she’s got a very sensitive system. Does anyone else notice these inconsistencies? Makes me really wonder about how this food is being produced and is it really safe? I hope so because my dog loves it and does well on it.

  136. http://bohicasis says

    Feline does excellent on the rabbit formula. Dog..vomited up every variety of this product. All returned for full refund. It was once hinted the the possibility was the high bone content…higher than recommended. This is a NO for my canine

  137. http://bohicasis says

    Call and ask if they are referring to DE powder. yes, i do have concerns about clay being added to any food.

  138. http://Chris%20Kavanagh says

    Yet many dog foods use Garlic. If it was really harmful, we;d have 1000’s of sick dogs. . Yet, there is some evidence that garlic can be harmful over a period of time.

    In my experience it’s only harmful if given for very long periods of time, and not harmful at all in small amounts periodically. The benefits outweigh the danger in most dogs.

  139. http://Tracie%20Jones says

    I’m curious about the clay ingredient mentioned in a few of the raw diets here. I read this clay has some bad effects, like addiction, med interactions, and cancer. Why would it be touted as a good ingredient?

  140. http://hassan says

    I feed my dog this brand he look great when the package say lean muscle it’s really mean what they say. My pitbull named coco, looks great & he eat every last bite. I highly recommend it. Just remember 7lb bag is 54 plus tax & last almost a week, but he looks great he coat looks great & you know what’s really in the food & it’s not processed unlike any dry or canned food.

  141. http://Massimo%20Reyna says

    Thank you ver y much!! I will try

  142. http://Massimo%20Reyna says

    Thank you very much i”ll try

  143. http://Carol says

    What is your experience with Ziwi? How does it compare?

  144. http://Christine%20Daley says

    Try ziwi peak canned formulas!!

  145. http://Crazy4cats says

    It depends on who you ask! LOL! I mix commercial raw nuggets or medallions into my dogs’ kibble three or four times per week with no problem. As C4D noted, you’ll just have to see what works best for you and your dog. Good luck!

  146. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Some people mix the raw right in with the kibble and have no problems with it. I usually do kibble/canned mix for 1 meal and raw for the other. Just do a slow transition/addition and see which works best for your dog.

  147. http://Massimo%20Reyna says

    Exist any problem if a mix kibble with barf food 2 or 3 days per week?

  148. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Wonderful memories Dori! I do love chocolate and garlic, garlic cloves stuffed in pot or pork roast is to die for! 🙂 Not italian, but have grown up with garlic as well. I too, don’t always cook from recipes.
    Edit: I could possibly see garlic working in dessert in that sweet/savory mix that’s all the rage.

  149. http://Dori says

    I too am a chocoholic. Always have been. The dessert that she added garlic to didn’t taste like garlic to my recollection. I asked my sisters about it a little while ago and neither of them remember it tasting of garlic. My mother always believed that garlic was pretty much a cure all for what ails you. None of us can remember anything else that was in it. Mom never cooked from recipes.

  150. http://Crazy4dogs says

    It is really good drizzled with a little olive oil. 🙂

  151. http://Crazy4cats says

    I almost ALWAYS opt for convenience. That sounds like a terrific idea!

  152. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Whole roasted garlic is delicious! My parents got a special ceramic bowl and you can microwave it (sorry, sometimes I opt for convenience). I would stop @ garlic dessert. I am an admitted chocoholic. 🙂

  153. http://Crazy4dogs says

    LOL on the entire post C4C!!! 🙂

  154. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Thanks C4C. I do follow a lot of the Dogs Naturally articles. That’s where I found the DE & pumpkin for worms. 🙂

  155. http://Dori says

    Oh, I’ve never tried pickled garlic. I’ll have to try.

  156. http://Shawna says

    I give mine a break and recommend it as well (4 days on, 3 days off) but I’m not sure it’s really necessary. If giving a therapeutic dose I might give daily but on a maintenance dose I feel three or four times per week is adequate.

    Several of mine did get hit by giardia when a foster dog brought it in. Gave them a probiotic immediately and garlic with next meal as soon as I noticed symptoms and within 12 to 24 hours all dogs were back to normal. Guessing they all had a milder case allowing for faster recovery..

  157. http://Shawna says

    Garlic dessert — YUM!!

    I don’t eat garlic daily but I do eat it often and, at times, eat HUGE amounts at a time. I’ll eat two or more whole roasted cloves when we “go out for garlic”. 🙂 My grand kids and I also eat pickled garlic — super yummy.

  158. http://Shawna says

    That is another question that I can’t find a common answer to. I have enough going on that if I grate the garlic first it is usually 15 to 20 minutes before I’m actually setting the dog bowls down. I don’t remember where I read the 20 minute thing but it stuck. 🙂

    Dogs Naturally Magazine says 5 to 10 minutes.

    That said, it makes more sense to me that allicin begins to immediately form as it is the plants defense against bugs. If it took 15 to 20 minutes (or even 5 to 10 minutes) for the allicin to form, the bug would have finish the clove. That may be simplistic thinking but… Allicin Facts website says it takes 10 seconds — that actually makes sense. 🙂

    I think you are probably fine with the 10 minutes…

  159. http://Crazy4cats says

    I like garlic too. But, I think the garlic dessert might be pushing it! Btw, Missy, your quarterback is in a little hot water! 🙂

  160. http://Crazy4cats says

    Thank you and yes, I hope your pups do not get them either.

  161. http://Crazy4cats says

    Coincidentally, this was recently posted on Dog’s Naturally’s site:

    Maybe this will help!

  162. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Thanks. I’ll have to read up on dosage, etc. I’ve only used DE I’ve been lucky when it comes to parasites in my personal dogs & my fosters have to go by rescue rules. Most rescues seem to prefer chemical vs natural. :/

  163. http://Dori says

    Glad you got rid of those pesky parasites. Hope to not jinx myself but none of the girls have ever had any parasites. Thank goodness. I think it’s the garlic. lol Of course I think garlic makes everything better. I love the smell of garlic too. Reminds me of home when I was young in my mother’s kitchen.

  164. http://Dori says

    Hi Crazy4cats. I’m a bit of a garlic addict and have always fed garlic daily to all my dogs. Once in a while I’ll run out but those are the only times I don’t give them garlic. Garlic has been a staple at home always. My mother always used garlic and gave it to her dogs also. None of the dogs we had growing up or any dogs that I’ve had either have ever had any ill effects. Of course, it has to be given dose appropriate and I do believe that that is where people get into a whole host of problems. As Shawna and I have both mentioned in the past through the years, you’d have to be crazy to give a dog the amount you would need to to cause problems. Unfortunately, with that said, there are a lot of crazies out and about in the world we live. But if done responsibly, there is no issue, in my opinion, and there have never been any issues with my dogs or myself. I eat an enormous amount of garlic daily. My ancestry is Cuban, we’re big on garlic. Every day in every way we can get away with in a meal. There was even a dessert that my mother used to make when I was a kid that contained garlic. I wish I’d thought to get all my mother’s recipes before she passed.

  165. http://Crazy4cats says

    Hi Dori-
    A few years back, I was advised to give my dogs garlic to help rid of the nasty giardia that we were struggling with. I believe it was both Hound Dog Mom and BCNut that recommended giving the fresh garlic to them only 3 or 4 days a week. They both thought it was best to give a couple days off from it. It would be interesting to see if Shawna has an opinion on that. And, btw, for anyone curious, it was very helpful in finally getting rid of that darn parasite!

  166. http://Dori says

    I agree with Shawna, C4D. Garlic powder does not work as well. It would be nice if we could get the same benefits. So easy to sprinkle garlic on their food but actually it’s not a big deal to do raw. I crush the garlic clove then mince it, wait 10 minutes and divide it into my three dogs bowls.

  167. http://Dori says

    Shawna, I’ve been adding the crushed and minced garlic to their food 10 minutes after I’ve crushed and minced once a day. Usually dinner. I’m too bleary eyes in the morning and their too hungry to wait for crushing and mincing process. Should I be waiting 20 minutes instead of the 10?

  168. http://Shawna says

    I’m not sure about that but I would assume you would need less raw garlic for the same benefits that powdered garlic would provide — especially if the powdered garlic is not organic (as it could be irradiated), is old etc.

  169. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Very Interesting. Would the possible toxicity be the same using equivalent amounts? Thanks!

  170. http://Shawna says

    I think this is interesting to note —- I haven’t researched this thoroughly but found this regarding garlic and humans

    “Things to Note

    The lowest estimated ‘toxic’ dose associated with raw garlic consumption has been noted to be a human equivalent of 400mg/kg (or 25g of raw garlic), which resulted in testicular toxicity

    It is possible to be allergic to garlic supplements, if you are allergic to garlic itself

    8g (about two large cloves) of garlic can cut blood levels of Saquinavir in half

    While moderate dietary intake of garlic does not reduce platelet aggregation or adversely interact with Warfarin, higher doses (2,400-7,200mg of Aged Garlic Extract) may do so

    Contrary to popular belief, garlic may attract vampires[6]”

    From the same paper
    “There are no alterations in red blood cell count with normal doses of garlic (although there does appear to be a decrease when a toxic dose of garlic oil is ingested)”

  171. http://Shawna says

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I believe there is still some benefit – it would still be a source of inulin and FOS for the good bacteria (also for the bad now though). It still has some of its chemical components but it is not nearly as healthy as raw.

    If you want efficacy against pathogens you want to feed crushed or grated raw about 20 minutes after crushing/grating. This gives enough time for the allicin to form but not enough time for it to dissipate. I’ve read the allicin is gone anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours after being formed. I’m not sure which is correct so I feed within 20 to 30 minutes to be safe.

  172. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Shawna, I’m curious. Does garlic powder work with the same efficacy in health benefits for dogs?

  173. http://Shawna says

    I will give you that El Doctor. It is true that there is some red blood cell damage from eating even small amounts of garlic. However, we are in a constant cycle of RBC loss and creation. If there was a concern with red blood cell loss, short of anemia, the Red Cross would not have nearly the volunteers they have as a lot of RBC’s are removed when blood is given — I imagine there would also be a lot of liability cases. A healthy body, however, is quite capable of producing the RBC’s it needs when this happens. I think you can give blood (which causes significant RBC loss) every two weeks from memory.

    Onion appears to cause enough RBC loss that the body is incapable of replacing those red blood cells fast enough and anemia occurs. Garlic however does not have the same concentration of that chemical and only minor amounts are lost. I read one study and if my math was correct my 9 pound dog would have had to eat 7 tablespoons of garlic for at least 3 or 4 days to initiate the beginning process of Heinz body. Hopefully nobody in their right mind would do that.

    To further complicate the issue — garlic seems to, in mice at least, increase the rate at which new red blood cells are formed. So what is lost gets replaced more quickly. Let’s first put this into perspective though — the human body “Take red cells. Millions of them are being made and dying every second.” Back to first statement — “Stimulation of erythropoiesis and related genes (Table 1) by garlic-fed mice is most likely mediated by CO, which by itself can increase the RBC counts, hemoglobin contents, and hematocrit in B6 mice”

    Garlic also increases macrophages (immune system), feeds (inulin & FOS) probiotics which “prime” neutrophils (immune system) as well as is directly toxic to yeast, bacteria and parasites. In fact, garlic is better at killing bacteria than antibiotics and does not cause resistance – allicin in garlic even kills MRSA (lots of research and articles on this available). Garlic also prevents and kills cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and antiangiogenosis.

    When used responsibly, the benefits far outweigh any risks and I stand by my previous comment. 🙂

    Reference for Red blood cell turn over quote —

  174. http://el%20doctor says

    Hi Shawna

    I respectfully disagree!

    In dogs raw garlic, onions, leeks and chives damage red blood cells in ANY amount In small amounts there is a small amount of damage.

    When dogs consume small amounts of raw garlic they don’t show any observable signs of toxicity so people assume there is no damage being done, but there is!

    On a cellular level any amount of raw garlic fed to a dog will cause damage. Raw garlic also has many benefits as you stated but because all those benefits are accompanied be red blood cell damage I don’t feed raw garlic to my dogs!

    Though I confess that on rare occasions I sprinkle a little garlic powder on a slice of eggplant pizza and share it with my cheese heads 😉

  175. http://Shawna says

    Raw garlic is only toxic if consumed in large amounts. To put this into perspective, if water is over-consumed it too can be toxic. Garlic has MANY benefits for humans and dogs if used wisely. I can link posts and videos from MANY vets that use and recommend garlic if interested.

  176. http://Jenedge says

    Wait, I’m confused. I thought raw garlic was toxic to dogs. How can you use it to treat parasites?

  177. http://Crazy4cats says

    Nature’s Variety is highly recommended. Give it a try!

  178. http://Polo%20And%20Cody says

    My dogs are currently on Blue Wilderness adult and puppy formula.
    I would like to switch it up.I had some leftover bacon I wasn’t craving I have them it. They showed it down like crazy,
    So I was wondering if it would be worth it to buy this brand? Does any ody have any suggestions on this brand?I see people buying a bunch of these at petsmart and petco and I wanted to give it a try.


  179. http://Nickole says

    Hi. I want to start feeding my 5mo old Belgian Malinois a RAW diet. Can someone please tell me how to begin. Do I slowly introduce it or just take away the kibble and start raw? Also, I was going to buy raw meat from the butcher instead of pre packaged, any feedback or advice? Thanks!!

  180. http://Dori says

    Your welcome Carol, I’m happy to be able to help.

  181. http://Carol says

    TJ and hamburger – LOVE that idea! I appreciate all the information!

  182. http://Carol says

    THANK YOU for all the great information!

  183. http://Shawna says

    Poor baby!!! That must have been horrifying for you as well!!!!!
    My suggestion that it might be parasites was from the linked material which suggests that parasites might be a cause of HGE.. Looks like there are many possible causes and much not yet known.. Kinda scary!!

    I feed a WIDE variety of foods — Bravo (venison, rabbit, bison and salmon – balanced in a variety of ways), Bravo Balance in beef protein, Darwins Buffalo, OC goat and rabbit proteins, the Honest Kitchen Preference with Trader Joes hamburger, Honest Kitchen Love and Zeal mixed with raw balanced foods (to increase overall protein), Answer’s Pork, Nature’s Variety Rabbit and Lamb and a few other brands and proteins. I used to feed Primal Pheasant and Quail but my Pom reacts to all fowl proteins. I also used to feed Bravo Elk and Ostrich but they are hard to come by now and the Pom reacts to ostrich too.

    I truly hope the HGE was a one time thing!!!!!

  184. http://Dori says

    As I mentioned Carol, I don’t feed any fowl whatsoever regardless of where down the ingredient list it might be. Foods and companies that I trust and that are presently in rotation are: Primal Formulas Raw Frozen, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen, OC Raw Frozen, Answer’s Detailed Raw Frozen, Vital Essentials Raw Frozen, Nature’s Logic Raw Frozen. For treats they only get organic (when available) fruits and veggies raw. If I have made veggies for dinner or I’ve bothered to steam a variety & keep refrigerated for them then they’ll get those also. I realize fruits and veggies raw are not as nutritious as steamed or pureed but since I’m giving them as crunchy and a treat I really don’t care about that. I do on occasion use Primal Freeze Dried and Vital Essentials Tripe as treats in the treat jars. Once in a while for a change I’ll give them dehydrated The Honest Kitchen Zeal. Zeal is the only formula that allergy girl, Katie, does well on. Not really a raw food but it’s nice for them for a change up. Once a week I will split a can among my three dogs of sardines packed in water with no salt. Once a day they get 1/4 tsp. organic coconut oil (I use Coco Therapy). Sometimes I’ll give them 1/4 tsp or so of greek plain yogurt. Not on a regular basis, just if I happen to remember it. Three days a week of give two of my dogs 100 i.u. Vitamin E soy free. Hannah, my senior citizen gets daily 200 i.u. Vitamin E soy free. I should mention that everything I feed is grain free also to the best of my knowledge and research everything is GMO free. I don’t feed any fowl as I mentioned. I also don’t feed corn, white potatoes, white rice, soy. I also mentioned in an earlier post I believe that I feed them all a rotational diet. I switch their food for every meal and none of them have any issues whatsoever. I like switching as often as I do because the level of protein & fats that I feed are on the high side…some higher than others so it keeps them somewhat more level on those counts. I also try to feed as low a carbohydrate diet as I can. None of the three have had any issues with very high proteins (one of their foods is 68% protein) or very high fats. The fats in their diets, though high, are quality fats. I don’t feed them any processed foods or commercially processed and sold treats. I never ever feed them jerky of any sort bought in stores nor do I feed raw hide or bully sticks. Hope some of this has helped. If I can be of any further help or think of anything else I’ll let you know. Forgot to mention that once in a while I’ll give them some B Complex by Thorne for canines. I probably do this once a week or so. It’s a capsule which I pull apart and give them each a quarter of the capsule. For the vitamin E’s I pinch a hole with a safety pin and squirt into their food. I don’t actually give them the outside of any supplements.

  185. http://Carol says

    Conclusively, based on a specific blood test, my yorkipoo had HGE and is currently under treatment for it. They have him on Royal Canin Prescription right now – talk about a “dramatically different food!” I will keep him on it while he’s undergoing the antibiotic, but in the next few days will transition him back to the raw diet. I forgot to mention that one of the foods I rotate is Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated turkey which they love. I typically serve it as their first meal and then the raw in the evening. Sometimes I switch it up. I think Honest Kitchen’s foods are quality — however, it is that food that he threw up twice last week (many hours later) before he started pooping blood in his stool (which made me take notice and get him to the vet). What raw brand do you use?

  186. http://Crazy4dogs says

    Good post Shawna! I saw that article on HGE too. I think sometimes the vets want to blame raw regardless of what the cause might be. The fact that AMVA took a stand against raw feeding reinforces it. 🙁

  187. http://Shawna says

    Is your vet thinking a bacterial infection from the raw? If so, the Nature’s Variety foods are subjected to high pressure pasteurization which greatly reduces the risks of contamination.

    I raw feed too and have had, including my own and foster dogs, about 40 dogs in my home over the last 10 years. None have had any issues with raw.

    I found this info on HGE
    “The exact cause of HGE remains unknown (idiopathic). It may be related to dietary indiscretion (ingesting non-food items or even dramatically different foods than what the dog is accustomed to), immune-mediated disease, toxins, or pancreatitis. Stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity are thought to be possible contributing factors in many cases. Recent research indicates that HGE may be an allergic reaction (food or inhaled). Intestinal parasites and bacteria may also be causes. Dogs who experience HGE may be more prone to developing HGE in the future.”
    If turkey is a new protein for your pup, it may be causing a reaction? My Pom gets ulcerative colitis (massive diarrhea with a small amount of red blood) if she gets chicken in any form.
    If there is a chance that it could be parasites, or if you want to treat just in case, check out info on raw garlic and/or raw pumpkin seeds. Both kill parasites.
    I hope you are able to figure it out without any more flare ups!!

  188. http://Carol says

    Thanks for the feedback, Dori. I do believe my dogs have done very well on the raw diet. My Shih Tzu is 11 and other than the bladder stone history she is spry and well! The yorkipoo has been on this diet most of his life and he, too, has done well. YES, they do get treats…and sometimes fed “treats” from the table — like steak or chicken or whatever meat we are eating. They also love fresh vegetables. The yorkipoo will eat any veggie or fruit. The treats I buy are premium and I make sure they are sourced and processed in the USA. Mostly they get a freeze-dried beef nugget that they LOVE, occasionally chicken breast jerky, and recently a turkey jerky I got at Costco. I did wonder whether the turkey jerky was the culprit because that is new — about a couple or so weeks now. What other brands do you rotate into your dogs’ diet? I only use raw beef or raw deer. They (and I) don’t like the raw turkey or chicken and I won’t feed them duck or rabbit. Just a personal choice. I think the Royal Canin RX diets are GARBAGE. I can’t believe they use these in the name of “prescription” diet! Pork? Cellulose? Really?

  189. http://Dori says

    What else have you been feeding your dogs? Treats, bones, etc. Wondering if the issue was something else your dog ate. I’ve been feeding my girls commercial raw diets in rotation for over 3 1/2 yrs. now and no problems whatsoever. The two you feed along with a number of others are in rotation. I do know, as you probably do by now also, that anytime anything has ever been wrong medically vets will attempt to blame the raw feeders and either want you to feed Science Diet, Royal Canin, Hills or whatever. Two of my girls have a few issues, one more than the other, but what I will say is that all three of my girls have never been better since making the switch to raw. I should mention that as one of my girls is fowl intolerant I don’t feed anything with any kind of fowl in it. Sorry for the long post, I was just wondering if your Yorkipoo maybe got sick from something else. One of my girls is a Yorkipoo also.

  190. http://Carol says

    I came to this site HOPING to get solid information and even PAID to get the “Editor’s Choice” recommendations. I find all of this more confusing than helpful. The “editor” recommends, then you have several posts speaking of things found in foods, horrible reactions dogs have had, etc. I have been giving my Shih Tzu (who has bladder stone issues) and my Yorkie-Poo (who is now 4 years old and was healthy up till now) raw food for about 3 years now. The Shih Tzu has not had a return of bladder stones that we’re aware of (she had surgery 4 years in a row and twice in one year)!! I alternate Nature’s Variety Instinct and Primal. The Yorkie-Poo got seriously ill this week and was hospitalized for HGE. The vet has him on Royal Canin Low fat intestinal prescription canned – it is GARBAGE. They told me the raw food MIGHT have contributed to his intestinal issues. So I’m looking for a cooked, canned alternative, The editor’s recommendations that I’ve looked at (NOT interested in feeding duck or rabbit) have tons of negative comments. What to do?????

  191. http://CAEdge says

    Denamarin is a supplement for cats and dogs with SamE and milk thistle, which is good for liver support.

  192. http://CAEdge says

    When my dog was on chemo the oncologist gave him Denamarin, which has milk thistle in it and is good for liver support. My cat with IBD improved on it too. Highly recommend!

  193. http://Peanut's%20Mom says

    I’d like to know too because the Stella and Chewys is much cheaper at my pet food store.

  194. http://TomB1986 says

    Does anyone know how this compares to Stella & Chewy’s raw frozen food?

  195. http://Jamie%20Schwartz says

    I tried my dog on this food and for a raw food I feel that it’s okay for a raw food. Obviously it is much better than feeding kibble. I already feed my dog raw and decided to try this product out of curiosity. Compared to what I already feed I wasn’t blown away. It has a weird smell to it and I know it’s been pressure treated to kill bacteria. The medallions are very convenient, however convenience isn’t a huge deal to me. The food I feed is also local to where I live, Ontario, and NV is from the US, and I’d rather buy local. The price I paid for 3 pounds of NV food is the same as what I pay for 12 pounds of the raw food I feed.

    Things I noticed: My dog doesn’t eat any fruit and veg and this food contains a small amount. I noticed his breath started to smell when I started to feed this (he’s had no bad breath since switching him to raw from kibble 2 years ago). His poops were great, but one the third day eating this food he was puking up foam (he was fine and this went away).

    It is still an OK product, but depending on where you live there might be better options for raw, foods that are not pressure treated, with options for foods with no fruit and veg, that are local to you and with a lower price point.

  196. http://Crazy4cats says


  197. http://L%20Maurer says

    My cat was in liver failure for unknown reasons and my Vet recommended daily doses so Sam-E. Her enzymes went down and everything was good for years. She lived 5 years after the diagnosis of almost complete failure.

  198. http://theBCnut says

    Try contacting them and asking. If I had to guess, I would say maybe they are using meat from a source where the blood is already drained out, so they think they need to add sodium. Maybe their GA shows it to be a bit low in sodium if they don’t add some back in. Maybe they are hoping it will stay good longer with a higher level of sodium. Too many possibilities, best to ask.

  199. http://Jamie%20Schwartz says

    Does anyone know why they add salt to their raw foods? I’m used to feeding raw foods that are literally just meat/bone/organ, and decided to give NV Instinct Raw a try. The rest of the added ingredients I understand, but I’m not quite sure why they add salt. Just curious!

  200. http://Lynn%20Bland says

    Hi I have a 13 wk old Husky! Is it ok to give him frozen cod pieces as he seems to like them very much & he keeps stealing them from freezer when kids open to get ice cream out!

  201. http://Donna%20Gaumond says

    That is what I’ve been doing. She is healthy and fine. This is the only food she loves. Her weight is perfect. I do add water to the food so that makes me feel better. Thanks for the feedback. Donna

  202. http://Jamie%20Schwartz says

    If you are switching from kibble, yes this is normal. Kibble has lots of fiber, carbs and filler in it. It’s the same as us going from a carb heavy diet to eating mostly fruits and vegetables. Feed the appropriate amount of raw and that’s it, your dog will get used to it.

  203. http://Jamie%20Schwartz says

    Keep her on raw and don’t worry about it! Raw foods are 70 – 80% moisture. It is not uncommon for dogs that are fed raw to not drink at all otherwise. They are getting the liquid they need through their diet. DO NOT change her diet, that is what the vet wants you to do. Raw diets contain protein in the best form, so digestion is not a problem, and raw diets typically contain less protein than kibble diets. If you are still worried about the amount of liquid she is getting then you could add a bit of water to her RAW food, or make up bone marrow broth and feed that as well.

  204. http://Donna%20Gaumond says

    Yes she only gets the raw frozen. She likes the rabbit and duck the most. I took her to the vet and they did a urine sample because she was having a lot of accidents. She had protien in her urine so they told me to change her food and add water because she doesn’t just drink water alone.

  205. I’m assuming you are saying that you feed Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen foods. That is one of the foods in rotation for my three dogs. Kibble, in my opinion, is not a good choice for any dog to be eating but, then, I’m an advocate for commercial raw feeding (I rotate between brands and within the brands). Typically dogs that eat raw foods do not drink as much water as dogs eating kibble. Raw has a great deal of moisture in it. I wouldn’t add water to the raw because it’s not needed but you can if you feel like it. I also only give appropriate fruits and veggies as treats. I don’t feed commercial treats as they mostly all have some sort of grain component to it. Also too many treats have had too many recalls for me to trust any of them, but that’s just my opinion.

    I give one of my dogs 200 mg. of vitamin E daily. She’s a 15 1/2 year old Maltese. I make sure that it does not contain soy and that it is non-GMO. My other two dogs (a Maltipoo and a Yorkipoo) I give 100 mg. three times a week. (I pierce a 200 mg. capsule and split it between the two of them).

    Fish Oil. In place of fish oil twice a week I split a small can of sardines purchased at the grocery store that is packed in water NOT olive oil. I add it to their meals. You can feed it separately if you wish as a treat. I do keep on hand, in the refrigerator (that’s important), a bottle of Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil. On the other days of the week that I don’t feed sardines packed in water, once I’ve prepared their food in their bowls I take out the bottle of Sardine Oil from the fridge, squirt a little on top of their food and immediately put the bottle back in the fridge. Fish oil goes bad very quickly so all fish oil should be kept refrigerated. The Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil bottle is pretty large and seems to last forever. It is a good quality fish oil and will certainly be less expensive than buying fish oil capsules.

  206. http://Donna%20Gaumond says

    I have a shih poo that is 14 lbs. Nature Instinct frozen is the only diet she’ll eat. I tried many other top brands of kibble with no luck. The vet recommended fish oil, I give 500 mg. half of a human pill and vitamin e. I squeeze out some of a 400 mg oil tab. Is this alright? She doesn’t drink water that much so the vet recommended I add water to the food. She also eats carrots and bananas for snacks along with instinct dog treat for training. Is this enough?

  207. http://Scottilee%20Cameron says

    My little dog (6lbs) eats the raw bites. How do I find out about Vitamin D for dogs? Not much sun in Edm, Ab. He seems a little off lately.

  208. http://Linda says

    Have you looked into a vet school to see if they have a holistic or TCVM vet on staff? I have a special needs pup and all traditional vets gave up on her and I contacted the LSU Vet school and they had a TCVM Vet (Traditional Chinese Vet. Medicine) on staff and now my pup is thriving using him and his knowledge of what her body required as to feeding her properly to help her. She is very sensitive to so much and can tolerate very little changes, so this was the best way to go. His advise about her food was spot on.

  209. http://Dori says

    Hi Lyd Bin. Absolutely! I don’t believe in feeding raw and kibble in the same meal as others do but I think, actually I know, that it is perfectly fine to feed kibble for one meal and raw for the other. It can get pretty costly to feed commercial raw foods for both meals especially if you have large dogs. Glad I could answer your question for you and glad that you are feeding some raw.

  210. http://Shawna says

    Hi Judith,

    I agree with Melissaandcrew about whitefish. It creates less ammonia for the liver to have to convert to urea. Dr. Dodds has a home made (cooked I believe) diet utilizing whitefish that can be found online. You might not have to be as restrictive as the diet but it could be used as a base and modified to be suitable for his current values/symptoms.

    Milk thistle is good but I would also suggest raw eggs (white and yolk) and/or Answer’s Raw Goat Milk product. Both of these, if suitable for stage of liver disease, will naturally boost your pups glutathione. Gutathione, the master antioxidant of the body, is the same reason milk thistle is helpful. The eggs need to be fed just as they are when coming out of the shell for the most benefit.

    Also, look at a premade raw diet created by vet Dr. Barbara Royal for Darwins. Based on whitefish — If you can’t afford the diet with your expenses already high, maybe you can use it as a model. Or, use it as half of the diet etc..

    Good luck with your boy!!!! My pup has had kidney disease for eight and a half years and is high protein raw fed and doing well. The one product I won’t do without for her is Standard Process Canine Renal Support. I find it to be invaluable and will pay any cost for it (luckily, it’s reasonably priced). They also make a liver support product — Canine Hepatic Support. The products “feed” the organ they are made for while helping to prevent inflammation to the organ…

  211. http://Judith%20Williams says

    Thanks Melissa. I am currently providing him with Dr. Becker’s recommended supplements and foods I prepare at home rather than commercial dog food. I will try the whitefish though. I’ve been alternating beef and chicken and he seems very happy and his liver enzymes have gone down from 237 to 153. I would really prefer raw though. I still want to get his ultrasound done of his belly but can’t afford to do it yet. Hopefully soon. He is doing better, though. Thank you again.

  212. http://Crazy4cats says

    Hi Aimee-
    If you are still around, could you please check out the forum. I started a new topic on DL-Methionine vs vet food for crystals. I’d really like your opinion. Thanks!

  213. Hi Judith,

    My prior dog had a congenital liver issue. She was initially only expected to live until 9 months of age or so but lived a full life.. til 14.

    She was initially on home made but then on a therapeutic veterinary diet. I understand why you’d think the food “look cruddy” however when I looked at the veterinary literature I did find that ingredients that are often vilified have qualities that were beneficial to liver patients.

    There are a lot of different liver problems and without biopsy liver problems are hard to characterize. The vet diets are made to encompass a variety of liver conditions and your dog may or may not need each of those individual components. For example, some liver diets are restricted in protein but your dog’s liver problem may not need protein restriction.

    As Melissa brought up, copper levels in the diet are important when working with a liver problem in a breed known to have copper storage disease. But any ongoing inflammation in the liver can result in excessive copper accumulation so if your dog’s blood work supports on going inflammation a low copper diet either vet or homemade may be appropriate. Ask you vet. Balanceit has a semi custom diet feature and has a recipe that you can use with your vet’s approval for diets formulated to be low in copper.

    Personally if I had a dog that needed a low copper diet I’d either home cook or use a vet diet.

  214. http://Melissaandcrew says

    I fed our liver disease dog wellness whitefish for 5 yr
    He did great. Not sure if it meets your needs.

  215. http://Judith%20Williams says

    Hi Melissa. I have done a lot of research, and you’re correct. My problem is, the vet only wants to continue doing expensive tests, over-vaccinating him, and really paying no mind to the cruddy food she is telling me he needs. I am very saddened that my dog’s issues have been ignored by the very people that should know what to do. He is the love of my life in white fur. I started him on milk thistle and will change over to a different diet when I can. I was just hoping someone here could recommend a food. Thanks again.

  216. http://Melissaandcrew says

    Hi there. Please Google liver disease in white west highland terriers. They have a huge genetic tendency for it coupled with excess copper storage. Check around..try yahoo groups etc to see if you can find a westies group that could help you with more breed specific info and options.

  217. http://Judith%20Williams says

    I appreciate your recommendation. Unfortunately, we are not able spend so much on these products, and have to go the do-it-yourself route. But, we are learning so much! Thank you.

  218. http://JeremyScottRenolds says

    Perhaps you can get a recommendation on food and supplements from this amazing holistic vet. His products are very pure and this guy is up there with Dr. Karen Becker imo.Check out his liver cleanse which he believes is important for all dogs.

  219. http://Judith%20Williams says

    I found out he does not have Cushing’s. High enzymes and small liver. His vet thinks it is genetic.

  220. http://Judith%20Williams says

    I can make my own raw diet for the dogs, and just add milk thistle and enzymes and anything else that may help him, and I will do that if need be. I would love a holistic vet, if only they weren’t so expensive. We pay a lot for our dogs’ health care now, just for the preventive maintenance. I just don’t have a lot of money to play with and he needs help now. Giving more than just an OK food source is my last gift to him, and I will do it on my own if necessary. I know that the prescribed food isn’t worth the high price tag, and is not even healthy, and puts him at risk. So, it’s a no brainer. I have to find him a usable alternative.

  221. Please post back the results of tests and then we can help give you some guidance.

  222. http://theBCnut says

    Your vet should be able to tell you what protein level to try to match and if there are any specific ingredients you should stay away from. You many want to ask for a referral to a veterinary nutritionist or you may want to go to a holistic vet. They are more informed about nutrition than regular vets. You may have to go the route of making homemade dog food to get a low enough protein and stay with ingredients you want. That’s what I would do.

  223. http://Judith%20Williams says

    I know. Yes. They recommended Royal Canin hepatic formula. He’s on it now but I don’t like him eating that. It’s way too high in things like rice and corn and they have admitted they use ingredients from China, so I am doing my own research before changing to something more helpful/safe.

  224. http://Judith%20Williams says

    Yes, his enzymes are high and they found his liver ‘smaller than normal’. No diagnosis yet. They are checking for Cushings. We paid for the all day test and have waited 2 weeks for results. No news yet.

  225. http://Dog_Obsessed says
  226. http://Kris%20Johnson says

    Can someone explain the difference between dry matter basis vs. Guaranteed Analysis? 15% min. seems low. Am i missing something?

  227. http://Crazy4cats says

    I agree, this food is great. I wish I could afford to feed more of it to my large breed dogs. Good luck with your dog’s treatment. I hope he recovers fully. 🙂

  228. http://Dori says

    Has your Westie been given a diagnosis of liver disease or does he have elevated liver levels?

  229. http://theBCnut says

    Have you talked to your vet about what to look for in a food your dog? Usually, dogs with liver disease need very specific diets.

  230. http://Judith%20Williams says

    Which of these foods would be good for the support of liver disease in my Westie?

  231. http://Bobby%20dog says

    I also feed the same variety to my dog as Crazy4cats does with no issues; every dog is different.

  232. http://Crazy4cats says

    That issue has been debated many times on this site. I use NVI frozen raw nuggets as toppers in my dogs’ kibble a few times per week with no problem. I also feed canned mixed in their kibble several times per week without issue. I guess it depends on the dog.

  233. http://Barbara%20Jeanne says

    You should not mix raw with kibble as they are digested at different rates. The mixing can actually cause the digestive upset. I never had transition issues, but I never mixed raw with kibble. My Mini Poodles get Raw Frozen Instinct in the AM and Dry Fromm at night. No issues.

  234. http://sharron says

    thank you

  235. http://Riley%20Lavender says

    This food is an absolute treasure. My heart dog, my pride and joy… 5 year old sheltie mix has been going through treatment for Valley Fever. Instinct raw is the ONLY food he will willingly eat. I’ve tried other commercial raw foods and they’re evidently not nearly as tasty. Without Instinct, my dog would likely be a rack of bones. It’s a bit on the pricy side if you’ve got a dog bigger than a toy breed, and damn near impossible to afford if you’ve got a large breed and considering I’m a broke college student … it makes my poor wallet cry sometimes…. but by golly it’s WORTH IT!!!!! A Happy, healthy dog is WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT!!!!!! If I have to starve myself for a week to be able to afford this glorious bag of frozen magic, I WILL. NO question!

  236. http://Dog_Obsessed says

    Both are great foods, I would suggest rotating between them.

  237. http://sharron says

    need a recommendation please – which would be better to feed stella & chewy’s freeze dried or nature’s variety raw medallions – she likes both – thanks

  238. http://sharron says

    can NV medallions be mixed with Weruva can food

  239. Actually Lyd Bin, Jeremy was the person that was going to speak to the rep and report back but I guess he may have forgotten. My three dogs haven’t had any issues with the food old or new so I haven’t bothered to check further myself. My three toy dogs are eaters and not the least bit picky about food. If it is that they lowered the fat content, then I for one am glad. Since most raw foods are pretty high in fat, it’s nice to have one that has lowered it a little as opposed to the company that I used to use that actually increased the fat so I stopped using them. Oh, just want to mention that I haven’t had to increase the amount that I feed them with NV Instinct Raw. They continue to maintain their weight. I’m a raw feeder and rotate their proteins and brands constantly (each meal is different) so that could be the reason why no weight loss issues with the girls.

  240. http://Lyd%20Bin says

    So what’s the scoop? Did you find anything out? I found out that they reduced the fat content, which might be why some dogs got disgruntled. It would also explain the lower calorie content. Maybe that’s it? Maybe there should be a petition to change it back to the older formula.

  241. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says


  242. http://sharron says

    can sojos dehydrated complete feed be mixed with NV medallions

  243. I agree! This website and the people here have helped me tremendously!!

  244. http://Oscar228 says

    Awww, thanks again!!! This is such a great community!!!:D

  245. You’re very welcome! We are all here to help each other. 🙂

  246. http://Oscar228 says

    Thank you very much for all your advice!!!:D

  247. http://Amanda says

    My 4-year-old Pekingese, Jax has been on this food for a couple of months now. I work at a pet store and have been through various pet food training classes, so I’d like to say that I know a thing or two about quality foods. Once I started to realize the benefits that raw food can have, I definitely switched. Jax loves it! However, did anyone else have to go through the switching process really slow? Jax eats 1 cup of food a day, so I started out with 2/3 cup of his beef flavored Fromm and 1/3 cup of the Nature’s Variety raw food. Within the first two days, he started to have diarrhea. I’ve read that raw food can take a little longer to get used to, and have now been switching him much more slowly. Has anyone else experienced diarrhea with their dogs?

  248. Here’s the coupon in case anyone wants to use it. Hopefully you can just print it out…

  249. Dr. Mike, thought I’d share this with you & others. I get emails from Nature’s Variety with coupons for their raw food. The pic below is a screen shot of part of the last email I got from them.

  250. http://Julianne%20Sobel says

    Yup. My dog is refusing to eat the new stuff. Tried both the beef and chicken. Will try old fashioned NV turkey/duck without raw. If that doesn’t work I will need to find another brand.

  251. http://Rick%20Culbertson says

    Just put my female dobe back on raw from Orejin kibble. Great food but she was putting on weight

  252. http://Rick%20Culbertson says

    Yes your right I should of specified fresh veggies. Just something to fill them up.

  253. http://theBCnut says

    If you are talking about canned green beans or carrots, I don’t like to recommend carrots because they are full of sugar that, once cooked for canning, is available to the dog, and added sugar calories isn’t helpful. Raw carrots and green beans are less digestable and therefore do a better job of providing bulk without many calories.

  254. http://sharron says

    thanks – will give it a try

  255. http://Rick%20Culbertson says

    Mix some no salted carrots of green beans in with the raw
    Should help fill her up

  256. http://sharron says

    well i’ve finally got lexee eating this food (just started) – giving her 3 medallions a day and i’m finding that it’s not filling her up – is this normal when just starting to feed raw – the last time she ate this food which was about 3 yrs ago i fed her too many and she gained quite a bit

  257. http://Akex says

    Hello Hound Dog Mom.
    I just made the jump to raw with ziwipeak air dried but want to use something more balanced with produce. Which do you prefer NV, primal or Stella an chewy? Also what are you thoughts on Ziwipeak?

  258. http://Dori says

    NO! The rabbit used to be sourced from China. It has been at least a year that they have been sourcing rabbit from France. Do some research before posting negative posts please. Thx

  259. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi Tracey –

    NV imports their rabbit from France. They no longer source from China.

  260. http://Tracey%20Atkinson-Bagatta says

    Great food – but avoid the rabbit variety – the rabbit is imported from China.

  261. http://Cyndi says

    Raw is the best you can feed, then dehydrated raw, then canned then kibble. Whatever you think is best for your dog, is what you should feed. I started my girl on raw a little over a year and a half ago. I did just about 2 months of research before I started though. If you are interested in raw, there are a few good books out there to help you. “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown is one. The other is “Healthy foods for Dogs and Cats” by Dr. Karen Becker is another. Also, there are a lot of people on here that are willing to help. If you check out the Forum section, there is a Raw Feeding section that is very informative. Good Luck! 🙂

  262. http://Oscar228 says

    Hello!!! I have a 6 year old Dachshund named Oscar. Currently I have him on Taste of the Wild. I would really like to have him on the healthiest diet possible. Would raw food be the way to go??? I really don’t know

  263. http://Carla says

    Here is the reply I received from the company:

    “Hi Carla,

    Thank you for writing and sorry for your experience with our food. Feedback like this is very important to us.

    All of our Instinct Raw diets have recently been updated. You can read about the new formulas at The increased organs in the formula add a more vibrant, darker color.

    The information you have provided from the product in question will help us better report this issue to our Quality Assurance Department for further research.

    We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee that covers all of our foods if you are not satisfied with your Nature’s Variety purchase for ANY reason. Were you able to exchange or return this product for a full refund at the store? If not, we can send you a free product coupon to try another bag. Just respond to this message with your physical mailing address and we’ll send that coupon out to you right away. Again, sorry for your experience.”

  264. http://Carla says

    Thanks for the info – my dogs will not eat this. They have refused it for four days now. Not sure what to do!! I have contacted the store and attempted to contact the company – waiting on a reply.

  265. http://theBCnut says

    For a healthy dog, the fat percentage should be 1/2 of the protein percentage.
    A raw meaty bone is NOT a marrow bone. It is a softer consumable bone such as ribs of smaller animals, turkey necks, chicken backs, etc. RMBs are usually not balance though, too much bone, so you usually have to give more meat with RMBs if they are a regular part of the diet.
    Sent from my iPod

  266. Ideally, you want to look for double the amount of protein than fat. But those are few and far between. But active dogs require more energy so can very well handle more fat. If you take a look at some sporting or professional or working dog kibbles, you will find that some have high fat, some have equal amounts of fat as it does protein. You can slowly transition your dogs to a high fat diet. I started by giving my dogs a couple bites a day as a treat. Then I started giving them chicken wings and thighs and drumsticks with fat on. BTW, those are RMB, something they can completely consume. I didn’t give them a marrow bone (recreational bone) right off the bat since those are just fat. Some dogs can handle a fast transition or even go raw cold turkey. But I like to be cautious. My group is accustomed to various amounts of fat as they get a rotational diet. They do get marrow bones too and some of their foods are probably around 100% or more fat-to-protein. But it’s rotational.

  267. http://Dori says

    Hi Nancy. Wait a little while (end of the month) before you order the Zeal from THK. They are removing the Alfalfa for various reasons and though it’s already in production, they are waiting until everyone sells out of their alfalfa inclusive products. I spoke with them again yesterday and they told me to call them again at the end of the month. Apparently there was a lot of product out there with the alfalfa.

    Again, Darwin’s is a great food but so are a lot of the 5 star raws. Remember, don’t obsess too much. Pick one transition your dog then pick another one. Rotate between the proteins in the brand you pick and also with different brands. Don’t feel that whichever food you pick is the one you’ll be feeding for life. The idea is to find as many as agree with your dog (over time) and rotate between foods. Eventually you’ll get to where you can rotate different foods whenever you feel like it even from meal to meal. I believe you are over thinking the whole raw feeding. I believe that HPP raw foods are great also because the simple fact is that the objective is to rotate foods so that your dog will be getting benefits from all different types of ingredients from different companies. It’s easy. Just jump right in and join us raw feeders. When you’ve been doing it for a while and see the difference in your dog you are gonna smack yourself on the head and wonder what the heck to you so long.

  268. http://Dori says

    Thanks for the info Jeremy.

  269. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi Nancy –

    I was referring to “Steve’s Real Food” brand of raw. The review is here:

  270. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    HDM – Better to be a Fool and ask a Q than not ask and remain one.
    WHO is “STEVE?”
    I went to the Raw Food List and saw nothing named “Steve’s” —
    I’ve missed something. Thank you for cluing me in.

  271. http://Jeremy says

    I learned some of it from the representative from the company that visits the pet store I work at, as for the feeding guidelines I looked at the bags we have in stock in our freezer. When our rep comes in again I will try to get some more in depth answers if I can 🙂

  272. http://Dori says

    Thanks for letting us know about the change in NV. Did you get this info from the company or the pet store that you purchased it from?

  273. http://Jeremy says

    Oops, this was supposed to be in response to Carla’s post

  274. http://Jeremy says

    Natures Variety did just change their product and packaging, I’m not sure on what all they changed with the recipe but I know it’s not suitable for cats anymore just dogs. Oh yeah and you have to literally feed twice as much as you used to, I checked between the old package and the new ones since we still have some old ones and it doesn’t seem like the changes to guaranteed analysis would account for this.

  275. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    Okay, Shawna — I am reading this thread at NV’s raw… So how about telling me WHAT commercial foods you DO TRUST NOW?
    BTW I just REvisited Brothers Complete. it is probl a trustworthy food. But it is pricey. I am a Raw Believer now. It’s just that I need to find a trustworthy source. Darwin’s I think IS one. What do you think? Even the Homeopath Vet I have mentioned earlier recommends it FIRST on his website. I aspire to GMO Free and would like to be feeding Organic for those high prices. Thank you in advance for whatever you can say. I am leaning toward THK Zeal also. Just as FYI I have called ZiwiPeak three times now and left a message and NOBODY ever calls me back. Bad sign.

  276. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    Hi Shawna: Thank you for your yet again watchful eye. I am studying Raw now. I do not want the HPP foods either. so, based on your knowledge, and to save me TIME, can you rec a few NON- HPP Raw producers? Sounds like the Pickens will be slim. Thank you!

  277. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    Glad to see someone on here who specializes in GSDs! My GSD had a terrible problem at 16 mos when I transitioned him to Origen and Acana. Terrible diarrhea. Ended up at vet, metronidazole, Hill’s WD. Now he is doing well on Dr. Tim’s Persuit because he is in training until Sept. But when he returns home I plan to move to Raw yet know I MUST do my homework. He will have been on Dr. Tim’s since June and doing well – stabilized from the terrible spring he had. He will be 2 in September and otherwise very healthy. What advice do you have for me in transitioning to Raw, other than going extremely slowly — I am thinking starting him out with 1/8 cup a day of raw (raw patties first) mixed with Dr. Tims, and increasing only when any soft stool stops. does this make sense? What ELSE might you say? Thank you.

  278. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    OKay – just read this. so WHAT IS THE RIGHT percentage of Protein to Fat for Raw? I am seeing variations and wondering about that. Don’t want pancreatitis!!
    I asked Betsy earlier about exactly WHAT IS A “raw meaty bone?” Where do I buy that or do I order? I know this is a stupid Question but I need to be sure that I understand this. I think the Whole foods butcher was wrong when he told me it is a leg bone with marrow. I did not correct him because I am just beginning to learn about raw. Thank you!!

  279. http://Nancy%20Calloway says

    Hi Betsy: I just saw this as am studying the 5 * Raw Products reviews. I don’t fully understand “raw meaty bone–” exactly what it is and where to get them. For dental health they seem to be necessary (?) unless you are feeding your dog things like whole chicken wings and whole chickens with the bones which they have to chew up — or a “rack” of lamb with bones or similar (which I could not afford!). I went to the butcher at Whole Foods and he showed me a LEG bone with marrow inside, calling it a “raw meaty bone” however I think he was incorrect. I have read on DFA (I think) that a weight bearing bone like a leg is NOT recommended bec it can crack a tooth.
    Thank you for whatever you can say.
    Nancy C.

  280. http://Dori says

    Did you call the company and let them know what your experience is? Also did you talk to the pet store where you purchased the food? It would be good that they be advised of the issue and see if they have any answers for you. Let us know please as a lot of us use Natures Variety Instinct Raw. I don’t feed the chicken because one of my girls has allergies to all things poultry but I do feed some of their other proteins.

  281. http://Carla says

    Did they recently change the recipe for the Raw chicken medallions? My dogs suddenly will not touch it! They have been eating it for more than a year, and the latest 3 lb bag I purchased doesn’t even look or smell the same. It looks dark, like the beef formula. And it’s no longer a paste consistency when thawed; now it’s more crumbly, like cooked ground beef. Bad, bad deal, NV!!

  282. http://acozyreaderscorner says

    Amazon, chewy’ and Petco or PetSmart all carry NV Raw.

  283. http://PUNKem733 says

    Funny you should ask. You’re on a thing called the internet. It’s actually the greatest place in human history for gathering information such as this. It’s CRAZY!!!!

  284. http://Guest says

    What’s so great about the raw foods? I keep hearing about it.

  285. http://Pug%20Poppa says

    Hi and you are a Pug Angel. We have 3 pugs, one had multiple mast cell tumors and numerous surgeries, the second, one MCT removed, chronieec ear infections, IBS, liver issues when we adopted him, and our oldest an elongated palate and athrophy of blood vessels behind his eyes causing genetic blindness. They are all doing well on raw diet with fish oil and added vitamin. We do use Darwin’s, which I admit is costly but we save on not having chronic wet bills.

  286. http://Steve says

    I’m replying to a 3-mo. old post, but the question is still valid and unanswered.
    I too am disappointed the mfg’r doesn’t include info on their label or website about ME and Calories for this food. The NI Raw Chicken website says my dog needs 1250 cals. per day. and to feed him 19.5 oz. By weight that equals 2.4 patties per day, and means about 512 cals/patty.

    Can we calculate ME by using the Dry Matter numbers DFA publishes and the Atwater Factor formula found in the article “Metabolizable Energy and Caloric Density” to calc ME. If yes, I get ME 4420 kcal/kg. Would love some other input and guidance on this.

  287. http://theBCnut says

    Especially for your one with mast cell tumors, I think this would be a good one for you to try. Google high histamine foods and you’ll find a list of foods you want to avoid for her. That will help you make decisions in the future.

  288. http://Chrissy says

    Hello! I am wondering if this food would be alright as an introduction to raw for our pugs…we have one pug fully on raw. We were now thinking of trying all raw or at least one meal – it is pricey and we have 4 who all have special needs. We adopted them and they are all doing fantastic, but still have a lot going on right now. One little one just had 4 mast cells removed and a ton of upper airway surgery….then we just found out she also has laryngeal collapse and we adopted her knowing she had the most severe orthopedic conditions. She is one strong little girl! She is just the happiest little girl despite all she went through in those awful conditions before she was rescued and then now…we would like to try the raw thing one more time. Prior to this none have done really well on raw, but we may have tried to switch them over too fast. We were going to try a very slow transition. I am not sure if this is a good one to begin with, or if this is a not so good one. I see mixed reviews. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! I thank you so much for any help! We also have thought about Addiction dog food as well. <3 Chrissy G.

  289. http://Jo%20Ann%20Marlowe says

    try a feed store

  290. http://theBCnut says

    The tubes can be partially defrosted and portioned then refrozen. But my favorite place to order raw from is Darwin’s. it’s shipped right to your door frozen solid and has everything you need except for feeding fish once a week.
    Sent from my iPod

  291. http://Teresa says

    Thank you! I would like to order Raw but it is only offered in Tubes at our Pet store. I am not sure how to get started with buying Raw and from where?

  292. http://theBCnut says

    I might be wrong, and if I am, someone will come along and correct me, but my understanding is that Raw Boost is the regular food with bits of freeze dried raw added and not much at that. NVI does have regular raw in the freezer section.

  293. http://Teresa says

    Is the Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost considered a raw dog food? I always thought of Raw having to be in the refrigerator section of the store, but I see it comes in a bag off the shelf???

  294. http://sharron says

    hi – i would like to try this food again – i think it was about 4 yrs ago – was told it was high in fat so i didn’t continue with it – concerned she would gain weight – but have been told since then that a raw diet is good for maintaining or for losing weight – is this correct? thanks

  295. http://Nina%20S says

    This is honestly the best thing you can feed your dog. This is as close as you will get to what dogs and cats are suppose to eat. The benefits or a raw diet are endless. If you can afford it do it, it will be the BEST thing you will do for your dog.

  296. http://Lisa%20Maxwell%20Emanuel says

    This food saved my dogs life! I recommend it to everyone! My dog’s vitals were always super high since she was a puppy. The vet always said that there’s a chance she might not make it through her dental cleaning under anesthesia so i was a wreck each time. And her allergies were crazy. I began feeding this food for about two weeks when she went to the vet for her yearly check up where they called me and said that all of her vitals were normal and said that she was healthy and her allergies had gone down. I just broke down and cried. I was so happy! i am sticking to this food for the rest of my little girls life! 🙂 iwant her to live as long as possible!

  297. http://Annie says

    If u have facebook there’s a group on it called Raw feeding friends. It has lots of information on raw feeding. Just thought I would mention it to u.

  298. http://Shawna says

    A “balanced” raw diet is the perfect food for any dog. Puppies can be weaned onto a raw diet.

  299. http://Kathryn%20Sinske says

    Is a raw diet okay for a 10-week old puppy or do you need to supplement it?

  300. http://SandyandMila says

    You shouldn’t microwave raw food because it can compromise the enzymes and benefits in the food. You should transition slowly into a new food and take as long as it takes. You can use Answers goat milk, green tripe, eggs, sardines, leftovers to help entice the dog.

  301. http://MaryJ says

    How long do you thaw for that way? I did that a couple times but then I started thinking that made it cooked food and not raw so I try to remember to leave out at room temp. instead.

  302. http://Meghan says

    With these, I put them in the microwave to thaw them and my dogs seem to love it more when I do that. I think it really gets the yummy smell going and makes them want it more.

  303. http://thebarkingcat says

    Hi there, glad you are thinking about making the switch to raw. If you are worried about fat, I would definitely steer clear of duck, but I don’t think the protein would be bad for your girl. The raw diet mimics the diet a dog would eat in the wild and is highly digestible. As a result, you can feed less. You will first notice and immediate change in your pet’s skin and coat, and a dramatic reduction in stool size and odor. Most renal diets use chicken as the protein source, so I would suggest starting there, and if she does well, try exploring other protein sources to rotate in. Because this diet is what nature intended, I think this will also help greatly with her tummy problems. Once her body begins to naturally align, I believe you will see a marked improvement in her kidney function. I am a big proponent of raw foods- I convinced a friend to try it with her dog and she no longer needs the Soloxine the vet prescribed for thyroid function. For now, make sure to continue with regular bloodwork, check-ups and any medications she has been prescribed…but there is a good chance adjustments will be made when she’s feeling better. Best of luck!

  304. http://ab1028 says

    How do I get my picky poodle to eat raw? He has eaten a couple of raw meals before, but 99% of the time he sniffs it and walks away…

  305. http://Janet%20Forero says

    Great explanation of protein content! Thanks! I’m surprised this is not on the label.

  306. http://Janet%20Forero says

    Our toy pups liked lamb and rabbit, but I’ll try every flavor as it goes on sale to determine which they like best. You might want to give them half portions of the raw patties at first, followed by half portion of the canned If they gobble up the raw, you will know by their poop how many days it is taking to adjust. Our pups adjusted to the raw diet in only 24 hours. The food is that good! 🙂

  307. http://Janet%20Forero says

    Don’t worry about the portion size. I have two puppies that are under 5 lbs. I used the quarter-pounder sized rabbit patties, and simply semi-thawed them, then cut them like a pie, into 6 pieces or quarters, as I increased their meal size. The bag actually indicates how much of the large patties to give small dogs per day. Our puppies loved the raw diet at first, then seemed to tire of each flavor. I have only tried lamb and rabbit. Their coats have been beautiful, and despite a very cold winter, had minimal flaking. Our pups seem to get constipated easily, so I added some kibble and water to the food. The extra cost and extra care in handling raw food are worth it if your dogs have have skin or digestive issues!

  308. how can I find out the % ME (metabolizable energy) of the raw beef patties?

  309. http://snootifox says

    Hello, I have a small toy breed dog, 11 lbs, that is almost 14. She has has had stomach upset issues for the last 8 years or so. We can go along pretty well with say, Canine Caviar fish and then all the sudden she can no longer tolerate it. She is also in the early stages of kidney disease. She sees the vet regularly and has had an mri, an ultrasound, xrays, etc. over the years and no one can find anything to diagnos her tummy upset. The vet constantly wants her on a renal vet dog food (Royal Canin), which I hate and which she is not tolerating very well. I was thinking a raw diet might be helpful, but was worried due to her age and the renal issues if this food would be too high in protein or fat. Any suggestions?

  310. http://theBCnut says

    It’s not cheap, but Darwin’s is always fresh and arrives at my door frozen solid. In fact, I got a shipment today and had fun playing with the chunks of dry ice that were still in the packaging. I also get grinds from Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore and add my own veggie mix to them. I feed tripe once a week and sardines or herring once a week too. I also get a couple different premixes and add my own meat to them. I also got the books “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” and “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” and use some of their recipes. And I feed raw meaty bones at least once, usually twice a week.

  311. I use in my rotation. Just a warning, raw tripe smells really bad! I also have Smack, and it hydrates well although smells a little grassy or earthy. I make my own raw so tripe is the only commercial raw product I buy. But a lot of folks like products from Darwin’s, Hare-Today and MyPetCarnivore.

  312. http://Jose says

    Hi BCnut I have been researching for quality raw dog foods. I like a rotational diet for my dog and from time to time I switch off with Nature’s Variety instict raw and Orijen, However I have problems hydrating Orijen because it is freeze dried. I would really like your input on another raw food product I can rely on or even a few if you are able to give me the information. Thanks!!!

  313. http://tenterhooks says

    This owner isn’t stupid. When I put my dog on NV I followed the portion recommendations to the letter. And my dog gets and got a great deal of exercise daily as well – about 14 hours of walking weekly. Since i abandoned NV last March she – now 31/2 – has lost 20 lbs., has 5 to go. She has lots more energy than she had when on NV. When you remove the 62% moisture from the NV provided analysis of the lamb product you get 13% protein and 12% fat with a negligible amount of fibre. So almost 50% of the product is fat. If my dog was pulling sleds in the north, 45% fat may make sense . But otherwise it is way too much fat. Of course, I could have fed her less than the recommended daily amount but that’s just less of the same balance of protein and fat. I spent a small fortune on vet bills to figure out what was wrong with her – thyroid tests, etc. Only to find out that NV had reevaluated their product and what was on the package as 8% fat had suddenly been upped to 12%. Hey Dude, this owner isn’t stupid – I actually called NV on the misleading info on their packaging and they admitted they had revisited their values and upped their fat content rating. I no longer buy the product so don’t know whether they have changed their packaging to reflect the new assessment of the contents: all I know is that a diet that high in fat is a potential recipe for more health problems than I wish to inflict on my dog. A raw diet does not have to be unhealthy. And NV is very pricey: you are paying a lot for fat.

  314. http://Betsy%20Greer says

    Hi kmm,

    I know you posted this a while back, but I just read it and thought I’d comment. It’s not necessary to “supplement” with kibble, unless you’re using it to stretch your budget or for convenience (two of the reasons I also use kibble); as the raw product you’re using is complete and balanced. You could add tinned sardines several times weekly for added Omega 3’s if you like or use raw meaty bones for oral health (it’s a myth that kibble helps to clean teeth), but the raw product you’re using is fine on it’s own.

  315. http://Laura%20Kay says

    Switched our small dogs to raw because one of our girls had terrible allergies and we couldn’t determine the cause. She is now itch free and happy and they both love the lamb formula. We couldn’t be happier with this product.

  316. http://Laurie%20Cederstrom%20Matson says

    Would this be a good raw, frozen Diet to switch 4 small dogs to that have been eating Pedigree canned food all their lives (the oldest is 10)? what frozen raw diet would you folks recommend? and how do I make the switch?

  317. http://Frooma says

    We tried Blue and our dog had really bad gas and diarrhea with it. Then we tried Science Diet and she itched so bad. I have heard bad things about Blue and Science Diet. Our Vet really pushes Science Diet which upsets me because it’s really not that great. Now we have her on Nature’s Variety Chicken Kibble with freeze dried bits. It’s more natural and she is doing so much better on it and she loves it!

  318. http://Steve says

    Link above not right. Should be

  319. http://Steve says

    Sorry for my absence on the discussion I started! I did have Bella in training and it was helpful to a degree. She still shows tendencies of territorial aggression. I, nor the trainer, are not suggesting high protein causes aggression. Rather I was repeating results from a study done several years ago ( where a low protein diet positively affected dogs with territorial aggression.

    Since switching to Instinct Raw, I believe I have seen a slight improvement in Bella’s behavior, but she still has a ways to go. I’ll keep her on raw for now, as I believe the higher quality food is the right direction (as opposed to the Beneful we were using).

  320. http://kkellyCDT says

    I wrote that earlier, as I’ve come to learn that high protein diets can actually affect the tryptophan levels. Learn something new everyday! I would personally find a food that has high quality protein (not plant protein), low in starches and grains, and a food that also has added tryptophan, or find a tryptophan supplement. :]

  321. http://butchroy says

    I must say I spoke too soon without reading and thought the trainer was saying protein did cause aggression, but I am still glad Steve has went raw. Sorry for the comment.

  322. http://butchroy says

    I am so glad you went raw! My dog is on raw and he is so much better with being excited and he has a beautiful coat now. Listen to HDM, not all these so called certified trainers.

  323. http://kkellyCDT says

    As a certified professional dog trainer, I can tell you that the protein content of your food does not fuel aggression. If your dog is displaying aggression, I would consider talking to a professional dog trainer. Check out:

    and look for a trainer near you!

  324. my puppy hates the lamb…. beef seems to be the preferred type! I also supplement with dry Merrick food.

  325. http://Kathleen%20Kincaid says

    with that puppy chow you may very well end up having skin condition problems! I used to breed and train GSD’s for 13 years. For a DRY KIBBLE food… I found, after some research and talking with dietitian of 3 different companies… the formulation of NutraNuggets, has an excellent balance of real protein (not meat meal/byproducts) fats (with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids) and rice (non allergen) price-wise… it’s half of IAMS and the formulations is very close to the same nutrition levels. I always took my German Shepherd puppies off the “puppy formula” at 4 months and put them back on it at 10 months. This slowed their growth curve sufficiently, to prevent elbow “issues! and yet develop excellent joint and bone growth. When I quit breeding and my last shepherd was getting up there in years… I put her on a raw diet due to her developing bone spurs/pain/weakness in her spine/thighs. This made a huge improvement in her over all health and her quality of life for her last year was so much better… without having to give her medications like Rimadyl… I wish I’d heard of the raw diet much sooner..

  326. http://Kathleen%20Kincaid says

    I have been using this as a “back up” for the raw diet I’ve been feeding my little dog… I’m about ready to switch over my geriatric dog also. The little dog does not like AT ALL the lamb formula, seems to do okay..mostly with the rabbit, but her all time favorite is the chicken! I haven’t tried the beef with her as yet.. it hasn’t been available in the portion size I use for my little dog.

  327. http://Steve says

    Thanks for the thorough explanation on protein values. it’s great info.

    My dog has territorial aggression. We have used a trainer, but some of her tendencies still remain. During research I came across the study that was done several years ago that determined that dogs with territorial aggression improved when fed low protein food. I was set to go with that plan when at the last minute I read a thread where most felt this was on par with punishment by malnutrition. Their suggestions were to feed grain free, avoid preservatives, artificially, etc…

    Having had no success at the Petco type stores, and with each vet having a differing opinion, I decid to visit a local pet shop. Had a nice discussion with the owner who showed me to this food. I saw the 15% protein value, and the very short list of ingredients, and thought it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

    It’s only been a week since I started with raw, so I need to give it more time. But we did have a full house for Christmasyesterday, and she didn’t act outta all. So maybe low protein won’t be needed, but maybe a quality feed makes the difference?

  328. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Raw diets are very high in moisture, this needs to be accounted for when calculating the protein content – the actual (adjusted) values are shown on the dashboard. Nature’s Variety’s raw formulas contain 65% moisture (water) so all the nutrient values appear low because the food (as fed) is predominantly water. To account for the water and calculate the actual protein content you subtract the %moisture from 100% to obtain the %dry matter. You then divide the as fed nutrient value by the %dry matter and multiply by 100%. So in the case of the Nature’s Variety:

    100% – 65% = 35%
    15%/35% = 0.43
    0.43X100% = 43%

    A similar approach should be taken for canned foods as well. Because dry foods are so low in moisture (~10%) the actual values don’t differ much from the as fed values.

    May I ask why you were “drawn to the low protein content”? Does your dog have a health condition?

  329. http://Steve says

    I am just starting with the beef variety, partly because I was drawn to the low protein content (15%) shown on the product bag. The dashboard above shows 43%. Can someone explain the difference?

  330. http://InkedMarie says

    It fall depends on your dog (how much he sets). There are kibbles with rabbit, kangaroo, bison…

  331. http://shihtzumom says

    Hi Lauren,

    I have a Shih tzu who has eaten Nature’s Variety Raw quite a bit and he does very well on it. I personally really like it and he has great BM’s which tells me his body likes it to! And they use whole foods for their minerals/vitamins. They have lots of great proteins to choose from,the only thing I would say is the rabbit in the raw I am fairly certain is the one sourced from China. All the other proteins are not. A bag lasts Dawson a fairly long time, but for Tango I would suggest the value chubs would be a better deal if you can get them in the protein you are looking for. I know they have Venison available in the chubs. Dawson personally approves the Lamb, Duck, and Beef. Hes not a fan of the chicken but chicken is his least favourite protein in any form of food. I am sure others will help you as well, but I believe dogs who have had trouble with proteins in Kibble tend to be able to eat them raw but I don’t know for certain and Dawson does not have any other problems (yet!).

    On the website it says Tango would need almost 11 ounces a day, which would depend on how he keeps weight, I always feed Dawson much less i.e he is about 17 pounds but as a rule I will feed him as an eleven pound dog which has kept his weight perfect. But seeing as Shih tzu’s are easy keepers Tango may very well eat the suggested amount or need more. Its a learn as you go type thing. A chub is 32 oz, Medallions are 1 oz each and comes in a bag of 48. To see how long it would last I would calculate how many calories Tango is eating now, provided he is at an appropriate weight, and then compare to the Nature’s Variety, each ounce is 65 calories.

    Then for the skin issues I would supplement with a fish oil, if you dont already, generally some of the better are Krill, herring etc, the smaller, shorter life span have less mercury accumulation. I cant remember the dosage off the top of my head but somebody else may have it or I can find it for you.

    I hope this helps some!

    This is there website:

  332. http://Lauren says

    I’m looking to see on average how long a package of the raw food lasts to see if it is something we can afford. Our vet has asked us to change our dog’s protein source to one he has not had before. She suggested rabbit since it is a “cooling” meat and our dog has already tried chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish. Our 4 yr old cattle-dog mix, Tango, has crazy skin allergies. We would be supplementing some of this “dry” food with a rabbit-formula wet food (probably Wild Callings). Can anyone tell me how much of this food they go through on average? Tango is 50 lbs and is fed twice a day. Currently he is fed 3/4 dry food in the morning, mixed with a couple spoonfuls of wet food, and the same in the afternoon. Any help is appreciated!

  333. http://InkedMarie says

    Please don’t, that is a horrible food. Try the Nutri Source that Patty suggested.

  334. http://Pattyvaughn says

    This is a HUGE change in quality from Purina. It’s like going from prison camp food to gourmet restaurant. A change like that can cause all kinds of digestive issues. To top that off, since you have a large breed puppy, he has his own set of issues you have to think about when feeding him. Large breed dogs need to be on controlled calcium until they are done growing so their joints develop correctly. Over on the forums, Hound Dog Mom started a thread to discuss the issues that large and giant breed puppies have and she has done the research on what foods have he right calcium levels. Here is a link to her list of foods that are OK for large breed puppies.

    For your pup, I would suggests NutriSource Large Breed Puppy. It is a relatively bland food that most dogs don’t have trouble switching over to.

  335. http://Lydia says

    I’m wondering if I should just put him back on purines puppy chow. He wasn’t having problems then.

  336. http://Lydia says

    Hey. I have a four month old golden retriever male. I wanted to feed my dog a high quality food and my vet recommended science diet. My dogs been on this for about two months and seems to have diarrhea all the time. I’ve been back and fourth to vet, given him medicine, but despite what my vet says I want to try switching foods. Someone told me about this. Just wanted your thoughts. Thanks so much!

  337. http://dogslosttochina says

    FYI- NV frozen rabbit product is sourced from China however the label proudly states “made in USA”. Customer service (CS) advised the company produces the product in the USA and it is not necessary to state the rabbit originates in China. CS said NV is being transparent, if you telephone them. WHAT! Odd the rabbit in their canned food is sourced from France. In light of the recent info of dogs dying from China sourced chews, it is obvious to avoid any products from China.

  338. http://Shawna says

    I agree that for some concerned about pathogens, HPP can be an excellent segue to raw feeding. But for many of us that have been raw feeding for a long period of time, even before HPP was introduced, HPP is, in our minds, not really raw. The texture is different, the look is different etc.

    I fed Nature’s Variety BEFORE they began using HPP and I wasn’t in the least bit impressed with how they transitioned over to HPP (which incidentally was in the same timeframe that Catterton Partners bought them out). They lost several valuable members of their staff around that same time as well (Sandy Goodwin went to Stella & Chewys, Scott started Nature’s Logic and Jacqueline Hill started Answers). My dogs went from enjoying Nature’s Variety to refusing to eat it.

  339. ok guest!

  340. HPP is a good thing… yes they are still raw..

  341. eat less

  342. http://Pattyvaughn says

    If NV has more calories than the previous food and you feed the same amount, then the dog will put on weight. Weight gain is all about calories in/ calories out.

  343. http://kiki says

    sh said her dog started getting fat only after eating the NV product…

  344. http://Shawna says

    I agree that fat isn’t bad and that if a dog is gaining it makes perfect sense to feed them less. BUT, if the fat content is too high (and I don’t know if NV’s is?) it can cause the pet to get full (or fat) before it’s protein and vitamin needs are met.

    I personally don’t care for NV’s raw products due to them being subjected to high pressure pasteurizing. In my opinion, they are technically no longer raw. Unfortunately, most raw foods are going the HPP route now… It’s getting to where we don’t have many options if we want commercial, non-HPP raw.

  345. http://Dude says

    OK I’ll let you have the last word!

  346. http://Guest says

    yes and my first response didn’t need any clarification…

  347. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Where did I say that a higher fat content made it a bad product? All I did was clarify that the fat content is likely higher than what’s stated on the guaranteed analysis. Although it should be noted that oftentimes a high fat content indicates that the company is using low quality fatty trimmings versus high quality lean meat. I’m not against feeding fattier diets in some cases – for example my hounds are very active and need more energy dense food to maintain their weight – however I wouldn’t pay a premium price for it, I can get fatty trimmings for less than $1 per pound.

  348. http://Dude says

    yes it may be higher in fat but that doesn’t make it a bad product… if your dog is gaining weight you might think about feeding them less…

  349. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    I believe what the poster is pointing out is that the fat level in the food is much higher than the stated value. “Min” means that there’s a guaranteed minimum of 12% fat – the fat can actually be much higher than this. Judging by the calorie content (65 per oz.) it’s clear that this food is pretty high in fat. Dr. Mike has an article addressing this issue:

  350. which canine nutritionists?

  351. I feed both at the same time and have never seen any problems.

  352. feed your dog less…

  353. http://The%20Admiral says

    My Newfie puppy just recently switched to Nature’s Variety: Instinct Raw Chicken with great weight results. Before, she was on Blue Wilderness LBP–which had a lower protein/fat content, but she was still about five pounds over her ideal weight (giant puppies should be kept “super-model skinny”, as my vet says). She’s done so well on the NV that I switched my cats over.

    What helps, though, is only feeding 3/4-2/3 of the serving recommendation on the packaging. Being a Newfie, my girl has different caloric needs than other (more energetic) breeds, so I’ve always had to adjust her feeding amount based on what’s best for her, individually. I’ll also add that she only eats the Chicken and Rabbit varieties because of their low Calc./Phos. levels.

  354. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    It’s not fat that causes a dog to gain weight, it’s excess calories. Fat just happens to be more calorically dense (9 kcal. per gram) than protein or carbohydrates (4 kcal. per gram). Nature’s Variety states the calorie content on their website, you should always feed based on calorie content not fat level.

  355. I’ve learned over the years to email every company of raw that I fed to find out more regarding the calories, and the more realistic amount of protein and fat in a product since the labeling laws aren’t very consumer friendly.

  356. http://Tallulah says

    My dog was on this food – mostly raw lamb – for about a year and a half. Until 6 months ago. She is now 41 months old. She loved it. Of course she did. Fat makes everything taste great. Despite feeding her per the NV directions her weight continued to escalate. My vet and I were perplexed. We undertook thyroid tests, etc. Then I went to the website to discover that the fat content was hugely greater than what was on the package. I emailed NV to inquire about the discrepancy. Got chipper email back from “Customer care” saying not to worry, while NV had reevaluated their guaranteed analysis the product remained the same as it has been for several years. Oh goody. My dog was feasting on fat and is now under a strict – not-NV diet – to shed the weight. Nothing other than her diet has changed. She gets the same 14 hours/week of exercise she always did. She ballooned to 73 pounds. She’s now 55 lbs with at least 5 left to lose. I feel sorry for my pooch. I got sucked into a trendy nutrition movement that is clearly being exploited by dog food manufacturers. Raw is good. Natures Variety is not.

  357. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Yes, I have. The key is to figure out what your dog is reacting to and to completely avoid that ingredient. That is much easier done with a homemade diet because they are much more limited in number of ingredients. It doesn’t have to be raw either, you can cook your own dog food. Dr Karen Becker has an excellent book called “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” that has the info you need to get started. I only have a toddler at my house once a week so don’t have all the issues you do, but I taught him right off the bat that every time we feed the dog anything we wash our hands. This is vital with kibble fed dogs too!

  358. http://Anivas says

    I have a 3 year old bullmastiff who has terrible skin problems and we are suspecting allergies. Anyone seen improvement in skin after switching to raw? I’m just worried about handling and contamination as I have an infant and toddler in the home

  359. http://Shawna says

    I think that is a myth that was started by the big kibble makers to prevent people from adding “real” food to the kibble.. Yes, they do digest at different rates but so does meat and fat and meat and bone, veggies etc.. Yet we mix those without causing digestive upset..

    One does not prevent the other from digesting in a healthy gut. In fact, it is likely that raw increases the digestibility of kibble by adding moisture and extra protein which increases the amount of hydrochloric acid secreted by the gut.

  360. http://Zoe's%20momma says

    I mix raw into the dry kibble all the time, and my dog has tolerated it just fine. It does not cause gas, discomfort, or any other digestive issues, and she tends to have a very sensitive stomach.

  361. http://Pattyvaughn says

    But it is still opinion. My dog has IBS and has not had a bout of it since I started mixing some raw with his dry, over a year ago. He definitely does produce more gas from eating the dry without raw in it, but he does not produce more gas or show any signs of discomfort when the two are mixed. I was a Vet Tech for many years, I know how to tell if a dog is in discomfort, and I especially know this dog, so I stand by my original statement. I’m sure that somewhere there is a dog that actually needs its raw and kibble seperate, but I believe the vast majority don’t.

  362. When I use to feed commercial raw I bought a couple different flavors at once so I could feed something different for the next meal. I would buy beef, duck, pheasant, turkey and rabbit.

  363. http://Crazy4cats says

    Actually, I have fed the raw medallions with dry on several occasions without issue. It most likely depends on the dog whether or not its a good idea.

  364. http://psudad12 says

    I wouldn’t feed them together. That’s not just my opinion but the opinion of many other highly regarded canine nutritionists. I feed both everyday but I give about 4 hours, or more, between kibble and raw to allow for digestion. I have IBS, and eating foods that digest at different rates is a no-no. There won’t be any serious complications(no worries about it being lethal!) but it can cause some pretty severe discomfort for the dog due to gas or other digestive issues. Since dogs don’t always show when they’re uncomfortable you may never see that mixing raw with kibble is actually causing uncomfortable issues for your dog.

  365. http://psudad12 says

    Please don’t mix dry with raw food. If you are feeding both raw and dry(as I do) then feed them at seperate feedings. Dry digests differently than raw does and may cause gas, or other digestion issues.

  366. http://Mudi%20Mom says

    I know you wrote this 5 months ago, I just saw it. One question, do you wear your shoes from outside to inside your house? If so you could have brought them in, eggs etc.

  367. Hi Oryon,

    After taking only a casual glance at the updated GA figures for NV Instinct Raw Frozen on their website today, it appears the company may have increased the meat content of this product.

    So, it’s quite possible our next visit to this product, it’s likely you might see an adjustment back up to 5 stars.

    This product line is due to be re-visited sometime in mid-October. Until then, this is still an excellent product and I wouldn’t worry too much about these minor differences in our rating.

    Hope this helps.

  368. http://Oryon says

    Dr. Mike,

    This site has been immensely helpful the last few years in helping my wife and I feed our dog better food. I can’t commend you enough for all the information available here.

    I’ve been looking into gradually introducing some raw food into our Lilly’s diet, eventually to the point where about 25% of her daily food is raw. On our last trip to Petco, I noticed they began carrying the Nature’s Variety raw products, and my wife and I began looking into more info about them.

    As someone mentioned in a post down below, Nature’s Variety looks to have changed their formula/guaranteed analysis since this review was last updated. The Beef formula now has a Guaranteed Analysis of 15% protein and 12% fat, up from the 13/8 in the review.

    I see that this product was downgraded from a 5 star food to 4.5 back in December based on new raw category guidelines. I assume it was based on the carb content? I have noticed compared to the 5 star raw foods, this has a higher carb content based on their older numbers.

    How does their new guaranteed analysis affect the food’s rating? Does it leave it unchanged? Does it drop now to a 4 star food, or raise it back up to 5 stars?

    I assume the overall percentage for the dry matter basis for the carbs went down and the fat percentage went up based on the new numbers. Are the carbs now considered average, down from their above average? Is the fat now considered average, up from the below average? How does this food now fit in the raw category guidelines with its new numbers?

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  369. http://Sadie says

    My girl has been excessively thirsty and her labs and urinalysis are perfect. Des anyone know if nv raw chicken could contribute to thirst? What about the clay ingredient? She doesn’t eat processed human food and drinks first thing after breakfast before she has played outside and gotten hot. Help please, insight appreciated.

  370. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I’m using raw, but not NVI, will that do? I defrost something and then I feed it. Then I defrost something else. If it takes 3 days to feed it then I feed the same for 3 days, if they finish it in 1 day, then I feed something different next.

  371. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    There’s really no method – just switch formulas whenever your want. You can also mix raw or canned with the dry.

  372. http://kcvweb says

    Can someone give me an example of how they rotate different NV Instinct? I really just want to feed a raw diet (no kibble. can). Thanks

  373. http://SanDnMila says

    Thanks. They sent me an email a few mins after your comment.

  374. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    It’s sourced from France.

  375. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I do know that they use HPP, so I’ve never seriously considered their food.

  376. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I have no idea.

  377. http://SanDnMila says

    Is Stella and Chewy’s Rabbit sourced in the US?

  378. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Good for you!! I always miss those.

  379. http://Laura%20Vandervelde%20Flack says

    II was thrilled to death today to get the Raw Duck on sale for $8 per bag! Oh my Lucky Day!

  380. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I’ve been reading right along on the website and I still kept wondering if we were still talking about the same thing until someone would say the right thing so I knew we were on the same page. We kept saying “they” instead of HPP.

  381. http://InkedMarie says

    Thanks, I read via email unless I need to respond and got totally lost!

  382. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Go up to RevNyc’s post with the link to Healthy Pet Products. It’s them, not NV.

  383. http://InkedMarie says

    Been a busy weekend and I’m not following along: are you speaking of NV raw or something else?

  384. http://Shawna says

    Me too!! I’m gonna have to go back to home prepare all meals before long.

  385. http://Shawna says

    Thanks aimee!! Thought I was losing it :)..

  386. http://Crystal says

    Thanks I’ll skip the rabbit.

  387. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I totally agree with HDM, but want to add that I won’t use their raw rabbit because the rabbit in the raw is sourced from China.

  388. http://Pattyvaughn says


  389. http://Crystal says

    Thanks so much!!! I’m going to give it a try.

  390. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Definitely a good idea! NV Instinct is a very high quality kibble and feeding raw is the best thing you can do for a dog (imo). No one can really tell you how much – that will depend on age/size/activity level/etc. I’d recommend starting with the feeding guide on the bag (if it’s for adults you may need to feed more than what’s recommend because she’s a puppy). Then adjust accordingly – if she starts to gain too much weight reduce the portions and if she looks to thin increase the portions.

  391. http://Crystal says

    I’d like to know if it would be a good idea to start a 6 month-old Yorkshire tarrier on a rotation of the nature’s variety instinct dry & raw food. She is just under 5 pounds.  If you think it’s a good idea how much?

  392. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    If they would have just said “we use fatty meat to keep costs down” I would have had a lot more respect for their answer and would possibly still consider using the beef formula on occasion because that formula does have appropriate levels of fat. Now I know that they are either a) deceptive or b) lacking knowledge when it comes to canine nutrition – and I don’t want to purchase food from a company that is either of those.

  393. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Oh wow – I didn’t even notice this post when I posted the response they sent me. I guess they send everyone the same bogus response! Well I did like the beef formula, but after receiving a response like this I have to question the company and will no longer use their products. I only tried it once, but it was reasonably priced and looked fresh. I typically make my own but occasionally use pre-made when I’m short on time. Thought this was a brand I could keep on hand but I guess not. The number of commercial raw foods I’m willing to use is dwindling..

  394. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I’m not sure that I would say it is unbelievable, they were honest about the ridiculous amount of fat in the chicken, just that they have serious gaps in their knowledge and maybe no sense of logic to boot.

  395. http://Melissaandcrew says

    I’m glad I am not the only one left scratching their head over this. Bears eat higher calories before hibernation to build a nice thick fat layer, to use later. Since my dog is not hibernating, there is no logical reason, imo, to feed that high a level to the average dog.

  396. http://aimee says

    Hi Shawna,

    Not HDM …but I don’t think you are missing or forgetting anything. : )

    The “bugs” in the ruman can synthesize protein from products of carb fermentation and a nitrogen source. and plant synthesize AA. But dogs making AA from fatty acids… Um no.

    This statement ranks up there with : “Dog synthesize all the minerals
    they need” which was on another dog food manufacture’s site

  397. http://losul says

    I agree, what a strange answer. And comparing feeding a dog to a bear going into hibernation is really weird. The bear does does eat/require more fat before hibernation, but only to keep systems running at a much reduced pace to get through the lean times, not because he can convert the fat to protein.

    I hope Mr Lander is not their nutritionist.

  398. http://Shawna says

    Amino acids can be converted to fatty acids ——- but, fatty acids converted to amino acids? What am I forgetting or missing?

  399. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi Shawna –

    I just got a response and it is what I thought (skin) and I do not agree with their reasoning for including so much skin.



    The chicken skin is used in the chicken because we want the fat as high as possible. Chicken skin is mostly fat. This question comes up often because people think of how fat interacts with people, We’re not feeding people, dogs are a totally different species than people, have different needs and process different foods differently than people.. Simply put, peopleconvert fat to fat, dogs convert fat to protein. It’s similar to a bear getting ready for hibernation, they load up on fat even more so than protein. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Michel Lander


    I’m all for higher fat foods (as you know) but unless a dog is a true endurance athlete, I don’t think it’s appropriate for the level of fat to be higher than the level of protein. I also can’t help but assume that the real reason so much skin is included is for cost reasons. The beef formula is not high in fat, so if it were true that they feel fat levels should be as high as possible the beef would have more fat as well.

  400. http://RevNyc says

    I am disappointed because he loves the beef formula.Once I took him off the chicken his stool was a lot less. I live in NYC (apt) and I used to grind all his food and organs. I just got so sick of it. 5 years every Sunday night for a couple of hours. Then all this pre packaged stuff started coming out so I started buying it.

    I am assuming with the above answer its safe to say that what they say they are putting in their food is not believable?

  401. http://Pattyvaughn says

    And this is “Healthy” Pet Products! Obviously they know absolutely nothing. I have crossed them off my list of products to try with exclaimation points. Along with all their other idiocy, they must not have heard that there is and epidemic of canine obesity. I’m sorry, but saying fat is converted to protein ranks right up there with someone thinling their dog got worms from kibble. No, it’s worse, because as a dog food company they ought to know better.

    That is exactly what I meant about their answer should tell you all you need to know.

  402. http://Shawna says

    Did you hear back from them HDM?

  403. http://Shawna says

    NO!! NO?? Are you serious? WOW!!

  404. http://RevNyc says

    Wow I cannot believe they just emailed me this answer. This actually makes me really nervous about their product. Here is what they said

    This question comes up often because people think of how fat interacts with people, We’re not feeding people, dogs are a totally different species than people, have different needs and process different foods differently than people.. Simply put, people convert fat to fat, dogs convert fat to protein. It’s similar to a bear getting ready for hibernation, they load up on fat more so than protein. Thank you for asking and thank you for feeding HPP. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

  405. When I’m comparing different formulas from one brand whether wet, raw or kibble, I change it to dry matter so I can compare them to each other as the different foods have different moisture content. Also the % of protein and fat are minimums only which means there could be more.

  406. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Then I think that as long as you use wet % to come up with wet % or dry % to come up with dry %, you should get good numbers. You may want to email the company for the ash %, raw food often has higher ash on a dry matter basis, wet would be much lower numbers.

  407. Hi Liz,

    Our carbs figure is only an estimate based upon the company’s posted Guaranteed Analysis numbers for protein, fat and moisture.

    If a company lists its actual carb content on its label or its website, then you should go by their figure. It’s most likely significantly more accurate than ours.

    Hope this helps.

  408. http://Liz says

    So should I break everything down to dry matter and then figure carbs?

  409. http://Liz says

    I got my number from the NV website and I am using the standard 8% ash.

  410. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Where did you get any of your numbers? I’m not positive about this either, but protein should be 13%, fat should be 8%, moisture I don’t know. And do you have an actual ash figure or are you using Dr Mike’s standard 8% which is for kibble and I have no idea what it should be for raw with moisture included?

  411. This article was last done on 4/2012 when the beef formula was different. Take a look at the dashboard above (the yellow box). The 26% carb is also in dry matter. The new beef formula is approximately 15% carbs in dry matter with a fat-to-protein ratio of 80%.

  412. http://Liz says

    I’m new to all this so please bare with me but I figured the carbs in the beef formula and I don’t come up with estimated 26% that the dashboard is showing. How I figured was 100-15 protein-12 fat-65 moisture- 8 ash= 0. So where are they getting 26% carbs???

  413. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Okay I just emailed them and inquired about why the fat level in the chicken formula is so high. I will post their response when I get one. I’m hoping it’s a typo because I would like to try the chicken formula.

  414. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hmm…about a month ago I fed the beef formula to all three of my hounds for about a week (they ate the beef mix for breakfast and poultry RMBs for dinner) and I didn’t see any change in their stool in terms or consistency or volume.

  415. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    I don’t know – that’s all I can come up with. It could very well be a typo on their part though. I may actually email them about it because I liked the beef formula a lot and would consider using their brand again in the future.

  416. http://Shawna says

    That still seems excessive even with the skin??

  417. http://Shawna says

    You could always add it to his rotation if he likes it so well.. Or use it as a topper to a lower protein food — like rabbit.
    This food doesn’t appear to be pasteurized (didn’t see anything on their site at least). That may be why he likes it better than NV.

    Hmmm, maybe you can educate the raw guru!! 🙂

    And you’re welcome.. Sorry we missed it the first time you posted!!!

  418. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi RevNyc –

    I’ve fed my dogs the Beef formula. It seemed like a good product and is definitely reasonably priced as far as pre-made raw goes – didn’t try the chicken because of the fat content though. I like to keep my dogs’ meals rather high in fat, but I never feed foods where the % fat exceeds the % protein. It’s definitely possible for chicken to be higher in fat than beef if the chicken they’re using contains the skin.

  419. http://RevNyc says

    Oh and Shawna thanks for the replies!!

  420. http://RevNyc says

    I got the originals numbers I posted above from the packaging. I bought this from a retailer and she had no idea that the % of fat should not be more then the protein. She is just selling what she thinks is better then kibble just because it has the word raw on it. I may just go back to Nature Variety Raw patties and throw in some k-9 cravings 5 star food here and there. My dog loves this food though. Ive never seen him so excited before when eating this stuff.

  421. http://Shawna says

    It should be on the packaging too..
    What do you mean she had no idea what you were talking about — meaning fat to protein ratio or meaning the food being high?

  422. http://Shawna says

    Yeah, me too.. I think every line I can think of has more fat in the beef than in the chicken..

    If the food is truly organic and grass fed (and more importantly finished) I suppose you could see a mild detox (the runny eye) but poop size still seems odd imo..

  423. http://RevNyc says

    I started writing them asking them this question but I figured they would not tell me what I need to hear. However you are right I should ask anyone. The women I bought it from swears she is raw guru and when I mentioned the fat vs protein content she had no idea what I was talking about.

  424. http://RevNyc says

    I am a gym rat and there is no beef that I have ever eaten that has less fat then chicken. Even 96% lean beef still has more fat and its def not being feed to dogs.

    My dogs stool has tripled in size since feeding him this stuff. One of his eyes started tearing since the switch. I cant imagine everything being a 100% true when my dogs poop size resembles and elephants!

  425. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Go to the website, click on contact us, and ask them if the fat level really is that high. Their answer should tell you all you need to know.

  426. http://Shawna says

    I have to wonder if the high fat amount shown is not a typo?? That seems VERY high for organically raised, free range chicken. It’s usually the beef that is high in fat and chicken is lower..

    The beef looks good. I like that they use the kidneys, lungs and tripe as well as the more frequently used heart and liver. I do prefer whole foods over synthetic and/or isolated vitamins and minerals but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker when used in rotation with other foods.

  427. http://RevNyc says


  428. http://gmcbogger says

    Thank you so much! I will definitely look into doing that.

  429. http://Shawna says

    That’s actually a myth. It is true that the two foods digest at different rates but as the food is digested to chime the chime leaves the stomach and moves on to the small intestines for further processing. What is left in the stomach continues to digest.

    My guess is that it is actually beneficial to add some raw (or lightly cooked) protein to the kibble diet as the extra protein would cause more hydrochloric acid production which in turn activates pepsin which digests protein.

    Certified Nutritionist Monica Segal says this “So, if you feed kibble every day, maybe you want to think about adding a bit of fresh food as well.”

    “Supplementing the dry food with fresh, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruit, yogurt, meat or a bit of canned food is also safe and healthy.”

  430. http://Pattyvaughn says

    My self and several others here do that every meal and have been for quite some time. In case you haven’t noticed, dogs can also handle kibble and canned in the same meal, and they digest at different rates too. People have been doing this for centuries in their own diets. I’m sure that somewhere there is actually a dog that needs its raw and kibble seperate, but I believe the vast majority don’t.

  431. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I think most raw feeders will agree that any small amount of raw is better than no raw. I’d rather see you give a raw meaty bone a couple time a week than the expense of NVI as far as band for the buck. Don’t get me wrong, I like NVI, but as long as you are sticking to 20% or less of the diet, you don’t have to worry about it being balanced and you will see a huge benefit in dental health if you feed an RMB occassionally. If you could do both, that would be even better.

  432. http://crazy4cats says

    LETHAL? That seems a bit extreme!

  433. http://keden says

    DO NOT MIX RAW DIET AND KIBBLE IN SAME MEAL. They digest at different rates and can cause lethal results.

  434. http://RevNyc says

    has anyone heard about this company I bought there beek and chicken thinking it was k-9 kravings brand. When I got home I realized the fat content in the chicken what 25% vs 14% for protein which I know is a no no. However their beef looks alright

  435. http://gmcbogger says

    I have a question about raw food for anyone who is knowledgeable about it. I currently feed ACANA dry to my dogs and they are doing well on it. I was thinking of mixing in a few of the Natures Variety raw nuggets into their food every day. Will this have a positive impact on them or will it be worthless to do?

  436. http://crosswind says

    Bugs in the house can have parasites too. They are all around us. i saw a youtube video one where a lady killed a spider and she thought it came back to life, but it was a parasite coming OUT of the spider that kept it’s body moving. Eww.

  437. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Primal only uses HPP on their poultry formulas, NV uses HPP on all their raw formulas.

  438. http://Red says

    Thank you for trying anyway. Guess I can’t keep her in a bubble.

  439. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Since they can get worms even as much as a year before showing signs, you may never know. A visitor that didn’t remove shoes, something that was sat down before opening the door and coming in, a bug or lizard that got in the house. You won’t necessarily see signs of tapeworms in the litterbox BTW, especially if they have the kind that they get from lizards instead of fleas.
    Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  440. http://Red says

    I was aware their poultry raw foods were HPP but wasn’t aware the lamb was. If you could suggest where they would have come from, please do so! I really want to eliminate all possibilities so I don’t have a wormy kitty again. The vet mostly shrugged it off as commonplace.

  441. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Freezing meat for a least two weeks should kill any parasites if they were in the meat prior to freezing and a commercial food must’ve been frozen at least two weeks prior to purchasing. NV is also HPP so I highly doubt the worms came from the food.

  442. http://Red says

    The vet did not say. I haven’t noticed any “rice” in the litter box so I’m thinking its not tape worms.

  443. http://Melissaandcrew says

    What kind of worms..

  444. http://Red says

    Our shoes don’t come into the house, they are left in the porch. Where do you think they would have come from? I am at a loss to explain it.

  445. http://Pattyvaughn says

    If you ever track dirt in on your shoes your cat is more likely to get worms from that than it is to get then from a frozen food. And they have worms for a while before the worms are bad enough for the cat to get sick from them.

  446. http://Red says

    I’m a little suspicious of NV now. About 2.5 weeks ago I bought some raw lamb medallions to try with my cat. She has been on their raw bites duck for about 3 months with no issues. A few days after we started the lamb she started getting greasy fur and losing weight like crazy. I thought maybe she was just adjusting (even though she’s had lamb before), but I finally figured out it was worms!! She’s an indoor cat with no contact with other animals; I have no idea where she would have gotten them otherwise, and the timing is a little too perfect. This makes me nervous about trying their other products.

  447. http://InkedMarie says

    When I got Darwin’s, it came frozen solid with no ice crystals. Right now, I’m feeding grinds fom Hare Today to one dog completely; the other two get one meal of kibble, other of raw

  448. http://InkedMarie says

    I use fb! How do I find you?

  449. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    I don’t use facebook. 🙁

  450. I feed a mixture also. No one feeds raw but me so there’s plenty of back-up foods. I feed kibble, canned, freeze dried and raw. I use Brothers Complete, Nutrisca, Nutrisource (kibbles), for canned I also use a variety – Merrick, Weruva, Wellness, Tripett, Nutrisca, Addiction and then there’s freeze dried in Vital Essentials and Nutrisca and Instinct. I’d also like to try Ziwipeak but I’m pretty stocked up right now. If no one has told you yet, stools from raw foods are small and turn ashy and will crumble. Didn’t want that to alarm you.

  451. also lilo

  452. also Patty HDM, Marie, if u wanna be FB friends, too, lmk

  453. Thanks, Betsy. your CKCS is adorable (my favorite breed) I went to your facebook page listed on your profile to see mmore pics of your CKCS, but I guess I need to be your “friend to see more pics. If you wanna be friends, lmk. I actually got my little dog Tillie by making a donation to and them they sent me all the CKCS mixes they got into rescue. Tillie is a CKCS/Mini Eskimo mix (called a Cav-a-Mo by some) Her mom was taken into rescue pregnant, and I had her reserved before she was even born. She has all the wonderful carachteristics of eskies and CKCS, sweet, agile, cuddly, smart, fun loving

  454. Thank you so much, Patty, HoundDogMom, Inked Marie, Betsy, and anyone else who replied to my endless questions…It realy has helped a lot 🙂 After I finish my bargain NV purchase, I will try Steves with the free shipping for 20 lb (hope I have that detail right this time) and will also try Darwins and probably try a rotation of different raw brands

  455. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I keep mine on some kibble, because my family can’t handle feeding raw if something happens to me or if I take a trip. I change up what I feed every meal so I change up my kibbles too. I use Darwins, grinds from Hare Today, and homemade raw. My dogs get beef, chicken, turkey, duck, goat, mutton, rabbit, sardine, herring, and soon venison. Variety helps to keep their systems strong.

  456. Hi Judy,

    That $14.95 introductory offer is a fantastic deal and yes, it includes shipping. Darwin’s has great customer service, have you called them to see what type of quantitiy you’d need for future orders? They can quickly put a quantity and shipping costs together to tell you the cost of future orders. There is a weight point (40 lbs if I recall correctly where you get a 10% price break). Once your dog tries it and you see how you both like it, you’ll determine if it’s a good value for you. The Zoologics are less expensive than the Natural Selections and different proteins are different prices with chicken being least expensive. I presume you found this page on their site:

  457. http://InkedMarie says

    I prefer Darwins over Steve’s but its all personal choice.

  458. Yes Patty you were right, I was mistaken (see above) Thx Judy

  459. NO, I was wrong-There is NOT free shipping on auto [email protected] Darwin’s-
    I just saw the replies to my post and you guys are all correct and I
    was wrong. I just went to the Darwin’s website to read morecarefully
    about the auto shipment shipping. I had gottten confused by the 14.95
    Introductory offer with free shipping, and impulsively assumed
    incorrectly that if you sign up for auto-ship that shipping would be
    free- Incorrect- Please forgive me (a newbie) …is it still worth it
    to go with Darwin’s? Or is there a way to get free shipping from a
    comparable quality raw frozen brand ? Again, I’m sorry I
    mis-stated.this & Glad u guys caught it so quickly so that I could
    correct my post

  460. http://InkedMarie says

    Really? The Steve’s was pinkish/grey, can’t remember the NV, the S&C was really light.

  461. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I can honestly say I didn’t find Darwin’s to look any more like “meat” than any other pre-made raw I’ve fed.

  462. http://lilo'smom says

    Steve’s. Always Steve’s. Never had a problem with it. And it comes in plenty of different flavors. Plus I enjoy supporting a local Business that has the recycling on it’s mind. Their 5lb bags are completely decomposable. And in the food, there are no additives, everything comes from the ingredients they put into it.

  463. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi Judy –

    Darwin’s Zoologics would be fine. It really depends on your budget. The Zoologics are made with conventionally raised meats and produce (hence the cheaper price) and the Natural Selections are made with free range meat and organic produce. All of the Steve’s formulas are made from free range, hormone and antibiotic free meats. If you can afford organic/free range that’s obviously preferable, but if you can’t even raw food made with conventionally raised meats and produce is far superior to kibble.

    Honestly, as I just explained to Marie in a previous post, the recent recall doesn’t bother me. Many of the highest quality and most reputable brands have had past recalls (The Honest Kitchen, Orijen, Natura, etc.). To me whether or not a recall deters me from purchasing that company’s product again depends on how the company handles the recall – I like companies that pull the product before there are any associated sicknesses and companies that are open and honest about the recall and don’t try to hide it. Recalls can happen to any company at any time. On the other hand, if a company has repeated recalls (i.e. Diamond) and/or waits until there have been several illnesses/deaths and attempts to downplay the recall (i.e. Blue Buffalo) – I wouldn’t use their products.

    I just got the Steve’s today. It’s my first time ordering so I can’t say anything about the smell yet. It arrived fully frozen. The food comes in nuggets and they are in see through bags – there weren’t any ice crystals or discoloration visible to me just from looking through the packaging (but I haven’t opened it yet). I really like the looks of the ingredients and the protein/fat levels are perfect for my active crew of hounds so I wanted to give it a try.

    Also, it’s not like you have to stick with one brand. Order some Darwin’s, order some Steve’s and whatever else you can find. Find which brands you like and switch things up once in awhile.

  464. http://InkedMarie says

    Hi Judy, I’m not HDM but I can answer a few questions. I fed the Zoologics. It’s the same meat you and I probably eat. Is the other better? Probably. Can you afford it? If yes then that’s great! If you can’t, buy the Zoologics.
    I fed a Bag of Steve’s. I saw on the website that they have burgers but the distributor didn’t have them. They have nuggets. I admit, the Steve’s looked nothing like the Darwin’s. Darwin’s looks like meat, to me, the Steve’s didn’t. My dogs don’t need the higher fat of Steve’s.

  465. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Yeah – I like the fat content, perfect for my crew. The recall doesn’t bother me. I don’t judge companies based on recalls as many reputable companies have had recalls (i.e. Honest Kitchen, Orijen, Bravo, Natura, etc.). The recalls only bother me if they aren’t handled well and/or are repetitive (i.e. Diamond). A recall can happen to any company at any time – and with how stringent the FDA is getting with testing for salmonella, I wouldn’t be surprised is we start seeing a lot more of the “top” companies pulling products for contamination.

  466. http://InkedMarie says

    I got one Steve’s but mine don’t need the high fat (I know yours o well on higher fat). They also had a recent recall too.

  467. sounds like that would be a good business decision to me- wonder if they will ever test that- maybe someone should suggest it to them lol

    – do you folks prefer Darwins over Steves if shipping was equal (free on 20 lb thru

    I am never sure where to post a reply–is it right here under the comment we are replying to or up at top? I also am never sure where to look to read comments, still tying to igure out how to navigate here; been asorbing all this wonderful info here for at least a month now, so you would think I woulda figured it out by now /…

  468. Thanks, HDM, that was quick, will print out that info for my comparison of where to buy from.

    Now aout Zoologic type– would that be not recommended? how much less desirable would that version be? (certainly better than the NB LID kibble my dog has been on)
    The Steves free shipping on 20 lb sounds great, especially in light of the higher cost of raw, at least free shipping is a way to afford it if being shipped.
    I’m thinking that no matter how much the cost, that it is worth it to keep a beloved dog healthy and vet bills are more costly and also if not switching to raw, the beloved dog probably would have a shorter life span and lower quality of health as well as ore vet costs, so all the way around, no matter the higher cost, that the higher cost of raw is well worth it.

    I’m assuming that the past recall of Steve’s is not something to be concerned about, right? (can happen anywhere, right?), and the main thing is that the manufacturer is honest and responsible, and makes any needed corrections, and I’m guessing they did) I really like the free shipping part, cuz with the higher cost of prepared raw (no, I don’t have the time and energy to do it myself at this time-maybe in the future)
    Does the Steve’s raw ever arrive with ice crystals? and are there ever any discolorations or weird smells on Steve’s raw frozen food when you receive your delivery? Is it vacuum sealed like I think I read Darwins is? and does it come in the same expensive dry ice packaging like Darwin’s does?

    As you can see, I am still pondering where to purchase from, and when I saw the NV freezer in Petco last nite, I couldn’t help myself to pick up some to sample raw frozen for the first time. I now see that it is different than I was anticipating, not like palain bloody raw meat, but instead lookks to be meat gound up along with all the other needed ingredients, and the formed into patties or medallions. Is that what Steves and Darwins is also like (ground up raw mead with other ingredients and then formed?)
    Sorry for so many (long) questions. Thank you all so much for our guidance. I am SO glad to have found this site, which will surely improve my little dogs quality of life and lifespan. If only our beloved dogs could live as long as we do…but in the absense of that, at least they will live a better and longer life, now that these diet changes made. Wish I had understood all of this five years ago when she was a baby. Better late than never…

  469. http://InkedMarie says

    Hi Judy, no harm! I was thinking if Darwin’s is doing free shipping, their business is going to skyrocket!

  470. Now that I have corrected my mis-assumption about Darwin’s auto ship, (again NO Darwin’s does NOT give free shipping on orders EXCEPT for the Introductory offer shipment)

    I now have one more question: HGM, InkedMarie, PattyVaughn, and others, you have all been so helpful to me, and I am now making the switch to raw, and would like to know, do you now avoid dry kibble completely, or IF you do supplement with any dry kibble, which brand do you favor? I only have about 2 lb left of my small dog’s kibble that she has been on for 5 years (Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet (in my earlier post I named my dog’s prior food inorrectly as “Natures Select-which is incorrect)
    Anyway, for transition purposes, since I don’t have much of her old (dry) food left to use for transitioning, would you recommend that I get a little more of what she has already been using (although she does not like it and has always been kind of a grazer, or more accuratly, waits until the end of day(when she is sure nothing ore tasty is coming) to eat her NB L.I.D. If I do need to get another bag of dry kibble to use fro transition purposes, I was thinking about getting a bag of BB Wilderness (I have a $5 off coupon for that, but the persona at Petco said that unless my dog is a very active dog, that it has too much protein (although my 22 pound dog has lenty of energy and runs faster than any dog in the neighborhood and jumps high, if there is no one to play with, and if I’m to busy for a long walk, she can be a couch potato)

    She LOVED the raw I gave her last night for the first time (NV Instinct Beef medallions, so I was wondering if I even need to slowlu decreas the kible at all since appetitize-wise she took to it quickly, but for other transitioning purposes ( to be an easie transition to her system, etc), She doen’t have any health issues, nor any stomach sensitivities.

    So, Just for transitioning pruposes, should I bother getting aother small bag of her old kibble (NB LID) or preferably try BB Wilderness (or would that just be adding one more new brand to the undesirable dry food mis?)
    OR should I just go completely raw after the week’s worth of her old kibble runs out, just go completely to raw and supplement possibly with a 5 star canned food when on the go and can’t carry frozen food. OR, do you guys keep your dogs on a little bit of kibble for that _on -the -go purpose? And what do you think about buying the frozen NV Instinct that has a sell by April 19 (today) that was half price, I bought last night? It was frozen solid, pink in color, no odor of any kind, although there were a bit of ice crystals on some of the medallions, which I scraped off with a knife) (the burgers don’t seem to have as much icy crystals, just a bit of ice crumble at bottom of the bag) I was concerned that I don’t want to gamble with my dog’s health for a good deal, even if it is a huge 50% discount, but I did inspect it when opening and it looks and smells fine, and she ate it immediately and has had NO problems, and didn’t even need to go potty again until this morning, so I am guessing that all is well on the freshness front, and the transitioning front. I would like to keep on the lookout for these type deals,(since prepared raw feeding is so costly) but ONLY if I can be sure they are safe for my dog. The Petco salesperson said the the NV rep had just been to the store that morning and marked those packages with the reduced price when she brought more to refil the NV freezer at the Petco store. I am guessing that he Darwin’s is always received by the purchased without any ice crystals—can each of you wwho get Darwin’s confirm this? I’m guesings ice crystals would only affect flavor (didn’t seem to be so with my dog, who devoured it quickly) and I am also guessing ice crystals aren’t dangerous (assuming it hasn’t been defrosted and re-frozen) But if I am buying at top price, I will want there to be no ice cystals (and it sounds like Darwin’s if also vacuum-packed, which I am thinking would eliminate the condensation and air that probably cause ice crystals.. Even the farther dated packaged in the Petco freezer seemed to feel crunchy at the bottom of the bag where ice crystals had formed on my bag of Venison patties. I’m thinking that for the future, the safest practice would be to purchase the vacuum packaged Darwin’s, that I can rely upon the certainty of freshness (albeit more expensive) I do want the vey best for my one and only small dog, in fact my dog will be eating more healthy than me…… Maybe it will inspire me to go more natural and organic for myself than I currently do …
    Anyway, pleas let me know if you all use a little bit of kibble ( and/r canned) and if so which brand(s) do you recommend?

  471. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says sells Steve’s Real Food (frozen raw) and they offer free shipping on orders over 20 lbs. They have an autoship option, but you don’t have to sign up for autoship to get the free shipping. The food is $4.45/lb – Darwin’s Natural Selections average $4.53/lb. and the Zoologics average $3.15/lb + shipping ($0.50 – $0.99/lb.). I ordered some of the Steve’s but I haven’t gotten a chance to try it yet, I really like the ingredients though.

  472. NO, WAIT–I was wrong-There is NOT free shipping on auto [email protected] Darwin’s-
    I just saw the replies to my post and you guys are all correct and I
    was wrong. I just went to the Darwin’s website to read more carefully
    about the auto shipment shipping. I had gottten confused by the 14.95
    Introductory offer with free shipping, and impulsively assumed
    incorrectly that if you sign up for auto-ship that shipping would be
    free- Incorrect- Please forgive me (a newbie) …is it still worth it
    to go with Darwin’s? Or is there a way to get free shipping from a
    comparable quality raw frozen brand ? Again, I’m sorry I
    mis-stated.this & Glad u guys caught it so quickly so that I could
    correct my post

  473. NO, I was wrong-There is NOT free shipping on auto [email protected] Darwin’s-
    Gosh, I just saw the replies to my post and you guys are all correct and I was wrong. I just went to the Darwin’s website to read morecarefully about the auto shipment shipping. I had gottten confused by the 14.95 Introductory offer with free shipping, and impulsively assumed incorrectly that if you sign up for auto-ship that shipping would be free- Incorrect- Please forgive me (a newbie) …is it still worth it to go with Darwin’s? Or is there a way to get free shipping from a comparable quality raw frozen brand ? Again, I’m sorry I mis-stated.this & Glad u guys caught it so quickly so that I could correct my post

  474. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I think Judy is mistaken.

  475. Me too. What’s up with that?

  476. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I pay shipping too.

  477. http://InkedMarie says

    Judy, Darwins does free shipping? I got Darwins but paid for the shipping and yes, I did set up a delivery schedule

  478. I just today purchased some NV Instinct raw 2 different varieties from Petco”s NV Instinct freezer ( I was suprised s=to see this at Petco) Beef medallions (bag says Crude Protein min 13%.; Crude Fat min 8%, Crude Fiber max 2% and Moisture max 68 %)and also some Venison patties bag says:Crude Protein min 13%.; Crude Fat min 8%, Crude Fiber max 3% and Moisture max 68 %(today that have an expiration date of tomorrow and were marked 1/2 off – opened the bag and defrosted medallion of beef and my never before raw feeder 5 year old (see my avitar) 22-pound Cav-a-Mo hybrid devoured it (after I opened the bag of the beef medallions and micro defrosted it for 10 seconds in a small bowl (I won’t typically micro defrost– but she knew there was something for her in the bag and I wanted to try it out for her dinner, mixing in some chicken broth soaked of her prior dry kibble (which is Natures Select LID which she has been on for years., which I will be eventually discontinuing in favor of raw )… when I gave her the bowl, she couldn’t get enuf-she kept licking the empty bowl, (and looking to me for more) so I gave her one more. (bag says for her wt that she can have 4-6 medallions if inactive or 6-9 if active adult (which she is when there is opportunity and playmates-but when I am busy and no playmates she can be a couch potato but always ready for jumping, running and playing I plan to continue only raw ( )I am now beginning to transition to raw (and will mixing in some chicken broth soaked of her prior dry kibble (Natures Select LID which she has been on for years prolly get set up with Darwin’s auto delivery to get free shipping after I get their trial 14.95 deal), and have requested a consult for menu selection with Darwin’s) but I couldn’t pass this up at half price. It was pink and had no odor or any kind. The Venison says Crude Protein min 13%.; Crude Fat min 8%, Crude Fiber max 3% and Moisture max 68 %

  479. http://InkedMarie says

    I’m just a “wee” bit tattooed, PugsonRaw. Well, maybe a little more than wee LOL.
    Funny what you learn here, such as the fat to protein ratio for pre made raws. The Hare Today that I got is just meat/bone/organs and in the case of beef, tripe. That’s it. No fruits or veggies. It’s not that dogs can’t eat those, they can but if I can get the above for less than Darwins, why pay for it?
    I understand about some being grey. When I got a sleeve of S&C’s once, I was surprised at what it looked like. I then got Darwins and it looks so much better.

  480. http://Pugsonraw says

    Hi Inked Marie!

    Love the name….Yes, I was quite surprised on the % of fat in this. I normally try keep the fat to protein ratio in the 50-60% range for my pugs. I ended up taking this back as I didn’t want to feed it.

    I have used pretty much every pre-made raw food out there. I’ve tried Pawnaturaw, Darwin, Lotus, Primal, Bravo, Natures Variety, Stella and Chewys, OCraw and smallbatch.

    If I throw cost to the wind, my faves are Darwin’s, Lotus, and smallbatch…..just because the meat is normally a pinkish red color rather than some that are gray or greenish on the outside.

    I feed kibble occasionally, canned, dehydrated and mostly raw.

    Will have to check out Hare Today….

  481. http://InkedMarie says

    I didn’t know about the fact that the fat should be roughly half the protein, in pre made raws, til I read it here, then I read it in a few other places! It’s one reason I never tried Stella & Chewys. Have you used other pre mades? I’ve used Darwins for quite awhile but just changed to grinds from Hare Today, today was the first meal of just their grinds.

  482. http://Pugsonraw says

    When did NV change their protein/fat content on the medallions? I picked p a bag of lamb today and when I got it home it showed 13%protein, 12%fat. The old product used to be 11.5 %protein, 6%fat….I went tontheir website and looks like all the varieties changed with the venison and rabbit staying at about a 60 %FTP range…..-all the others are pretty high.

    Lesson learned….read the bag even if it is a product I normally buy.

  483. http://sharron says

    problem is, these foods you mentioned i can’t here in calgary alberta what dry food do you suggest – she like natural balance and acana
    but i have been told that with natural balance it is too high in carbs and won’t lose weight and acana is too high in protein and fat and supposedly it’ not good for a little dog.

  484. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    There are raw foods that are lower in fat – Primal has some low fat varieties (pheasant, quail, rabbit, turkey & sardine and venison), all of the Bravo Balance formulas are pretty low in fat, Aunti Jeni’s turkey, beef and goat formulas are low in fat and all of Darwin’s formulas are fairly low in fat.

  485. http://sharron says

    hi and thanks
    yes it does make sense and from what you said i won’t be feeding her this food – she doesn’t need a high fat food
    it doesn’t help her with her weight no matter how little of it i feed her – i’m going to start giving her again the natural balance duck and potato – i suppose this is high in carbs too because of the potatoes – is there any regular food that would be appropriate for her other than what the vet wants me to keep feeding her that she won’t eat because it’s so bland – she 2 lbs overweight – should be 8-8.5 lbs.

  486. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi sharron –

    I don’t think the food actually has the estimated 26% carbohydrates. I think the food is actually much higher in fat than stated on the label and that’s where the “extra” percentages that are being attributed to carbohydrates are coming from. Food is made up of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The problem with accurately estimating the levels of each is that pet food manufacturers are only required to report guaranteed minimum levels of fat and protein and they aren’t required to report carbohydrate levels at all. The carbohydrate levels can be roughly estimated using the stated minimum protein and fat levels along with ash levels (this is what Dr. Mike does) but unless the exact levels of protein, fat and ash are known the resulting carbohydrate estimate is going to be inaccurate. A good way to determine whether or not the fat content is higher than stated is by the calorie content of the food – NV Instinct contains 65 kcal. per oz. this is very high meaning the food is high in fat (much higher than what they state). Also, this review needs updating. NV has updated their guaranteed analysis and now lists the minimum protein level as 15% and the minimum fat level as 12% for their beef formula (probably closer to the actual values) – this would equate to 43% protein and 34% fat on a dry matter basis. I hope that makes sense.

  487. http://sharron says

    the review for this food says above average carbs – where do the carbs come from – reading the ingredient list i don’t see anything that could be carb related that’s because i’m learning about all of this

  488. http://sharron says

    hi kelly and thanks for your reply
    lexee is a yorkie/chihuahua and 2 lbs overweight – should weigh 8 lbs – been told that this food will help with her losing weight – is this true – it has to be either can or premade raw – she really dislikes dry

  489. http://Kelly says

    Yes. When I started our Bichon/Shihtzu on the Duck Bites, she seemed so hungry, I felt bad. It only lasted a few days until her metabolism got used to it. Also she had a bit of diahrrea for the first week or so. I bought pureed pumpkin (organic, for dogs at the pet food store) and added a tblsp or so every feeding until they firmed up.

  490. http://sharron says

    Hi – i started lexee on the medallions chicken this morning
    1 at breakfast and 1 at dinner – this dog is hungry!!!!!
    will she adjust to the new serving amts.

  491. http://Renee says

    I have an epi shepherd as well he stopped eating his kibble innova prime so I switched to grandma lucys but he keeps loosing weight even so he gets b12 shots and pills . Poop is fine but a lot of it …increased enzymes …no luck ….I started him on the nature raw and lucys 50 /50 right now ….how much raw do you feed to maintain ? My boy is at 93 lbs trying to get him back to 100. I cant afford 100% raw so I plan to feed the raw for breakfast and introduce acana grasslands for dinner . Any help and thoughts be great .

  492. http://disqus_3bTgMVQhkU says

    What is a raw diet and how do I prepare it?

  493. http://Tallulah says

    Nature’s Variety has recently upped the fat content in their frozen raw foods. This is not reflected (yet?) on their packaging but can be found on their website. For instance, lamb frozen raw patties now have a min fat level of 12% (up from 6%) despite the fact that their packaging – at least that which is on my neighbourhood shelves – still says the fat level is 6%. The protein levels in the lamb formula increased by a mere .85% in comparison. That’s a lot of fat and a huge jump in the ratio.

  494. http://keden says

    HMMM, put my sphynx cats on this food, all varieties in addition to a home made raw diet. His skin became very mottled and he had rings of red on his stomach. Vet said it was a yeast infection. A mess. Bought two different medicated shampoos, one for yeast and one antibacterial.Also slobbered him with anti fungal cream, have a spray too. All these are available without a prescription. Three weeks later his rings are gone, skin is clearing up .  I’m using a homemade raw diet most days, just using this if I’m away and someone else feeds them.I’ll pay more attention to the days I give him this food.

  495. Kelly, your comment about the tearing and red paws caught my attention!!
    We started feeding our old English bulldog the natures variety raw chicken along with Pinnacle’s dry chicken formula (about 6-7 months ago).  Let me say our dog LOVES this food!!

    However, 2 weeks ago his eyes started tearing; we thought it was allergies due to the change in weather (it’s been windy in So CAL). Also the underneath part of his paws had changed color – they are now a reddish brown.
    We took him to the vet and he doesn’t think it’s the food but a yeast infection because his paws (thru the licking) have been wet and was a breeding ground for the infection.
    I’m not sure I’m buying that diagnosis…he prescribed a topical powder and we’ll know in a week if that is correcting the problem.

    Anyone else notice the tearing and red paws after changing to this food?

  496. http://Kelly says

    I started my bichon/shitzu on the natures variety raw duck, a few months ago, because of her severe skin allergies. Her red, itchy, inflamed skin went away, but she started tearing red gunk and her white chest and paws fur have turned reddish. I’m not too concerned about that BUT I’ve noticed numerous pieces of bone and other hard pieces in the medallions. I am looking at other brands now because recently she was sick for a day throwing up the pieces and also diarrhea. Anyone else have this problem?

  497. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I know what you mean.  If this was still June, I could say I lost 3 in the last year.  It doesn’t get easier, only different.  Hopefully, they will give you a long time before you have to go through this again.

  498. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

     *our dogs

  499. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Sorry to hear this Melissa. Hang in there, it’s tough. Our become such a big part of our lives but are only with us for such a short period of time.

  500. http://Melissaandcrew says

    Thanks guys-

    Its never easy to lose one, even when we know we signed up for it each and every time we choose to share our lives with a fur kid. We still have quite a few old timers, so guessing next year and the year after will not get much better.

  501. http://Toxed2loss says

    🙁 so sorry for your loss.

  502. http://losul says

    Disqus wouldn’t let me edit original comment, so I add;

    Sardines or other oily fish, preferably the fish instead of the oils, are good to add to either beef or chicken.


    Steve Brown is VERY much into the importance of well balanced fats, but he accentuates 

    1)start with very lean meats. This means (at least 90%+ lean beef, or poultry with all/most the skin and most visible fat removed.)

    2) Balance the fats

    3) Balance the vitamins/minerals. Calcium/phosphorus ratio especially important, and also the calcium and phosphorous in total.

  503. http://InkedMarie says

    I used a product called Plaque Off but made by someone else. We had shelties & smooth fox terriers at the time and it didn’t do anything for them.

  504. http://InkedMarie says

    oh Melissa, I am so sorry about your recent loss. I hope things get easier for you. While it’s not the same, I have been in your shoes and know how hard it is.  

  505. http://losul says

    Wow that’s quite a long list of supplements. Not sure at all about so many of the herb/spice ingredients such as carob, rosemary, sage, etc., but the fats appear well balanced, and the anti-oxidant super foods are good, provided you are supplementing a combination of both red and white proteins such as beef/lamb and chicken/poultry, becuase of the varying amounts of SFA’s, MUFA’s, and PUFA’s in these. For example, beef is high in saturated fats (especially grain fed) , low in polyunsaturated, low in linoleic acid LA, and low in ALA alpha-linolenic acid. So hempseed is a good  fat to bring beef into better balance, whereas flaxseed can throw it even more out of whack. Chicken is high in PUFA, and LA, so flaxseed is a good additive whereas oils like hempseed, safflower, sunflower, walnut, canola, etc. are not.

    referenced from Steve Brown’s “Unlocking The Canine Ancestral Diet”

    Steve Brown is VERY much into the importance of well balanced fats.

  506. http://Alexandra says

    So sorry for your loss!

  507. Sorry to hear that Melissa. I keep all my past ones around.  Either their ashes or buried in the yard.  MissyPoo just left us in October but we’re reminded everyday of her as all the dog pictures are the screensaver on the laptop.

  508. I was told brisket bones are softer.  Maybe give those a try.  I was told those were ribs from the breast bone area and are softer and consumable.

    Eating ground meat doesn’t necessarily clean teeth although it does contain raw enzymes.  It is just not in the mouth long enough to clean teeth.  It keeps the teeth cleaner than eating kibble though.

    I’m currently using the  ProDen PlaqueOff dental powder (seaweed) on some of the dogs.  Seems to be starting to work.  One of my fosters had the worst breath.  Had to open the windows when driving him home.  Now after a month of using the product, I don’t notice his breath if he’s in the same room with me.|Pet+Type=Dogs&avs|Health+Condition=Dental+%26+Oral

  509. http://Shawna says

    I’m so sorry for your loss Melissa!! Any time of year is difficult to lose a fur baby but I think the holidays are the worst. We lost my daughter’s Chi last Christmas. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers..

  510. http://exotica says

    thank you sandy but i have a very good mix of vitamins I am on canine caviar right now but i am only allowed to use 25% raw with this food to keep my dogs diet balanced and proper so 3 cups of canine cavair plus 1 cup of raw i was thinking with lots of ground bone. The canine cavier is good for my dogs diguestion and stools.

    This is the vitamin/herbal mix i mix with raw if i get it:

    2 big table spoons of this

    powder, ground sunflower seed, dried parsley leaf, kelp
    flakes, alfalfa greens, ground almond, hulled oil rich hemp
    seeds, hemp seed flour, dried red and green pepper, dried
    celery leaf, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, dried dandelion leaf,
    ground pumpkin seed, powdered carrot, stinging nettle, barley
    grass powder, dried mint leaf, powdered rosehip, paprika,
    burdock root powder, garlic powder, ground walnut, ground
    flax seed, sesame seed, Prozyme, glucosamine, MSM, dried dill
    weed, coriander, anise, fennel, goat milk whey powder,
    powdered marshmallow root, blue Hawaii spirulina, rosemary,
    ascorbic acid, Primal Defense probiotic, oregano, ginger,
    cumin, marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, sage, cayenne, powdered
    yucca, turmeric, fenugreek, bilberry, vegetal silica.On top of this i add a teaspoon of cold water bottom feeding fish oil. I prefer prey bottom feeding fish cause they dont eat other fish so we know they are clean at least.

  511. For starters I would do some reading.  I use the Mercola book currently.  It gives raw and cooked recipes and bone and boneless recipes.  And it gives a vitamin mix.  It seems difficult at first, but once you put everything together and make a batch, it is actually easy.  I have found that heart/gizzards/necks/liver are widely available at Asian and Mexican supermarkets.  You can also purchase organ mixes from Bravo if you prefer.

    I’m using Dr Harvey’s green multivitamin/herbs right now and also give krill oil.  But there’s also many brands of multivitamin.  I also have Super Daily Greens by OnlyNaturalPet (dot) com that I will use after the Dr Harvey’s is gone.

    I vary the meats and the veg/fruit with every homemade batch.

    Also in the forums section, there’s a homemade food thread and a raw feeding thread.

    The initial investment of a meat grinder is well worth it if you decide to make homemade raw.

  512. http://doggonefedup says

    Sorry to hear of your loss. We lost a GSD about 3yrs ago to cancer. We still get sad thinking about him.

  513. http://doggonefedup says

    My GSD’s love meaty beef rib bones. In the summer they get them straight from the freezer still frozen as their “beefsicle” treats. In the winter I sometimes soak them in very hot water for 3-5 minutes. I use the water to moisten their kibble with later.

  514. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Sorry to hear that, Melissa.  That’s so hard to go through even when you know they had a good long life.  Your crew sounds exciting.  I hope they help to brighten your day.  Take care and be good to yourself.

  515. http://exotica says

     i was hoping to give something on a reg basis that would keep them very clean wont ground chicken bone work or ground lamb ?

  516. http://exotica says

     the problem is my dog is not allowed to have full or hard bones now because she bites way to hard and wears her canines down the vet said her canines are a bit worn down from chewing

  517. For teeth cleaning for a large dog, try a femur bone. It can be split lenghtwise or left whole. She should be able to gnaw on it and scrape her teeth on it and floss her teeth with the meat/tendons still left on the the bone as she tries to remove the meat from the bone.

  518. http://Melissaandcrew says

     We have a varied crew of different breeds that consist of-doberman, rottie, schnauzer, standard poodle, shihtzu, Iggy, wheaten, cocker,doxie  and several mixes : ) Smallest is 5.9lbs, largest is 110. Ages are about 2 yrs old to 15yrs. Most are special needs rescues, though not all-We were asked to adopt a special needs doxie/yorkie mix the other day, but its much too soon. We just lost our 14 year old on friday to atypical sarcoma of the jaw, a mere 5 weeks after diagnosis. It was unfortunately a very aggressive cancer with no treatment options and we are devastated.

  519. http://exotica says

     for a a german shepherd what kind of raw meat should i give with teeth? i was going to ask my butcher to just ground some lamb up and then feed it to her 1 cup a day with kibble and a mixture of herbals she has

  520. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Oh man!!  I really gotta get a grinder!!  I thought I was the only one who remembered Witchie-Poo:-)

  521. Hey I’m a pug over too we feed commercial raw and I haven’t transitioned to prey I’m nervous in how to feed and supplements any suggestions?

  522. here is the “Raw feeding picture thread” from  Now that’s a bit crazy!!!!

  523. Grinder!  Grinder!  Grinder!!!  Vrooommm!  Crackle!  Crackle! Pop! Snap goes a spine!!  Crunch goes a neck!!
    and me cackling like a witchie-poo!
    Let me rub it in some more:

  524. If you haven’t been to the new dfa forum yet, there’s a raw feeding section and a homemade dog food section.  Check them out.  You can also start your own thread.

  525. Taking it out of the package and feeding it to them is about as close to non-processed as you can go (other than what happened to the chicken at the packaging plant!)

    I keep mine frozen.  Take out what they might consume in 2 or 3 days.

    They eat it right up. No left overs. No bowls to clean as they eat outside.  Normally they don’t need to touch it with their front paws unless it’s something big like a neck or rib. 

    It’s safe for them. For me, I don’t kiss them or let them lick me for about 30 minutes. As for their paws, they can be cleaned but I haven’t ever done that either.

    Just remember a raw chicken leg/wing is not a complete and balanced diet. I feed kibble and canned food also and a homemade ground raw mixture with supplements.

    The raw chicken parts and other raw meaty bones is an occasional thing they do to clean their teeth.

    For teeth I also give roasted trachea and raw chicken feet.

  526. http://exotica says

     is that safe? my dog does not do well on kibble chicken but i dont know about raw to be honest might make my dog better. I had no idea you can just take it out of the package and give like that though that is a bit crazy lol

  527. http://InkedMarie says

    I had no idea you had so many dogs! What breeds do you have?

  528. http://losul says

    Oh yeah, it’s produced in China for an American Co. Even so, the quality seems to be very good, along with the warranty, and especially for the money involved.

  529. http://Melissaandcrew says


    I have 15 dogs, lol. Just the poodle gets the medallions daily-the rest get a rotating basis : )I find that by feeding a variety, I am able to offer a varied diet and keep the cost lower. Somedays they get the frozen for am, and then dry with canned for Pm. Other times it may be Grandma Lucy for am, then dry with raw in pm. Perhaps I will look into making some grinds over the winter, but I tend to loose interst  in things very quickly with my schedule, : )

  530. http://losul says

    This is the grinder i just purchased about a month ago. I wouldn’t call it a commercial grinder, but for the money,  it’s very good. I’ve ground chicken and turkey bones w/the meat on the bones, but no way would I put beef or pork bones in it. With Bone or not, the pieces still have to be cut up in about 1 1/2 inch cubes. We’ve been also grinding our own human hamburger with it, yummy, much better than pre-ground, and no pink slime or who knows what.

  531. http://Pattyvaughn says

    They never listen.

  532. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I’ve also got a chest freezer out in the garage, but it’s still not enough.  It is packed top to bottom and about 1/3 of it is dog food.  if I could just remember what is on the bottom of the human side, maybe I would use it.

  533. I have a dog who’s going to be dog food soon if he doesn’t shape up. I told him last night to pack his bags and go and this morning… he’s still here.

  534. http://InkedMarie says

    Yes, we have an upright freezer. Two shelves have Darwins, the basket has Darwins bones. There’s a little human food in there too

  535. http://Pattyvaughn says

    Every time you mention your grinder I get this pang of grinder envy.  That’s my long term goal, a grinder and a bigger freezer.

  536. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I don’t have a grinder.  I use regular ground beef/turkey/chicken/pork etc. sometimes, and sometimes I feed them chunks.  You should have seen me last month, the first time I ever used a meat clever and I was hacking apart a turkey!  I started out holding the chunks until I was satisfied that they understood that they had to chew it.  That was yucky.  I feed beef and pork ribs.  I get rabbit, sheep, and goat grinds from Hare Today, oh and tripe,sardines and herring.  My Pet Carnivore has amazing super mixes that I’m going to try next.  And I have a goat that is going to be dog food very soon if he doesn’t shape up!

    In some cases making my own is definitely cheaper, but sometimes I pay a little more to get a different protein in their diet.  I’ve been looking at different premixes because they all have different things in them.  Some are a good deal and some are more expensive.  I’ll use the cheaper ones more often, but I will use the more expensive ones sometimes just to get different stuff in their diet.

  537. If you have the freezer space, the initial investment of a commercial grade grinder and/or freezer is worth it! I can grind duck, goose, pork ribs, necks, turkey, backs, organs, etc, bones and all.  Between the Asian and the Mexican markets, you can find all sorts of organ meats too.

  538. http://InkedMarie says

    I just found that link…..I decided to go through the millions of links I have and make a dog food folder. Well, maybe not a million but it sure seems like it. Found that link and saved it!

  539. http://InkedMarie says

    I admit, I love the Darwins and it’s totally worth it but I can’t feed it to both dogs daily, just due to the cost. Do you find making your own as you do above is cheaper? I have not read the link above, saved it for later but do you grind your own meat or buy it ground from there?

  540. http://Pattyvaughn says

    My Pet Carnivore also has some really good grinds.

  541. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I started out with and their yeast starvation diet after someone else had asked about it here, but I listened to what the great mind here said about it, and modified it.  They have their own line of supplements, that I used for the recipe and when I got more comfortable I started rotating supplements too.  My recipe calls for 9 lbs of ground beef, 1/2 lbs of liver, 1/2 lbs of whatever other organ meat I can get, 18 hardboiled eggs(I change that up too, because I give them some as raw eggs), 2 cups of Dinovite powder, 1 cup of Superomega fish oil, I added 8000mg of a good bone meal because the consensus here was that it was lacking in calcium.  I made that a couple times while I was reading Steve Brown, Dr Karen Becker and a couple others.  Obviously, I also worry about missing something, I am feeding Darwin’s too, and Brothers.

  542. http://InkedMarie says

    One of mine can’t have chicken and my husband is grossed out by prey model raw. Maybe someday he’ll be okay with it, he’s not opposed to grinding our own but I’m afraid showing him some photos of dogs eating pmr did not help sway him at all LOL. Thats why I wonder about either buying from Hare Today or grinding my own. 

  543. http://Pattyvaughn says

    By the way, I love Hare Today.  They have several grinds that are muscle/bones/organs and even have a few that are whole animal!

  544. http://InkedMarie says

    Thats what I’m afraid of, the balancing part. I can’t use chicken for Boone so Ginger gets none, except in her new kibble. Where did you get the recipe from?

  545. Have you tried just plain chicken drumsticks or wings?? Pretty cheap and easy to find! Or can your dogs not have chicken?

  546. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I started with a recipe and kept reading.  I feed raw in the morning and about half the time it’s Darwin’s, the rest of the time it’s homemade.  Now I try to feed whole prey model except that mine get 1/2 a pound a day so it takes a few days to feed a whole chicken.  And last month, it took all month to feed a turkey.  I add in extra liver but not much, and pre/probiotics, digestive enzymes, some kind of super food, fish/salmon/krill oil, a fruit/veg antioxidant mix I make myself.  Plus I give eggs and fish.  Once I got comfortable with the idea of balancing over time, it was a lot easier.  I kind of plan what I want them to have for the week and then work on portioning it out.

  547. http://InkedMarie says

    I’m afraid to try real raw myself….wondering if getting some stuff from Hare Today would be more reasonable.

  548. http://Pattyvaughn says

    It cost you more a month for your dogs than it costs me to keep 4 horses, if I don’t count the morgage payment.

  549. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I used to have large dogs and I do miss that sense of presence and the not having to bend over to pet, but I’m not missing the feed bill.  All three of my dogs on excellent food only cost what one of my GSDs used to eat.

  550. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Easy keepers? Maybe I’ll have to look into a border collie next time I get a dog. These hounds of mine are braking the bank with their grocery bills lol!

  551. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Just give your dog a turkey neck or a chicken back a couple times a week, that will help keep his teeth clean. The ground pre-made stuff doesn’t do anything for dental health.

  552. http://Pattyvaughn says

    You should have gotten a Border Collie.  They are wockaholics and easy keepers besides.  I haven’t given mine enough jobs so he is constantly going out looking for more.  He looks really impressive in his suit and tie.  Even in this economy, I don’t think it will be long before he has another job.

  553. http://Mike%20P says

    I would love to feed commercial raw because I am to stupid to do raw on my own.My dog is a working breed but still has not found any work.She refuses to even look for work.Wow HDM only 400 to 500 a month! Maybe if she gets her lazy stub off the couch and at least goes part time somewhere we could go your route.I’m not thinking that will happen anytime soon.These kids of today…No work ethic

  554. http://exotica says

     mine is 90 i wanted to use it to keep my dogs teeth clean

  555. http://Pattyvaughn says

    I wanted to try the rabbit too, but also found it too expensive, so I went to Hare Today and ordered rabbit to make my own.  Much cheaper.

  556. http://Melissaandcrew says


    Many people here feed the commercial raw products as toppers or for one of the two daily meals-which gives the dog benefit w/out breaking the bank. How much does your dog weigh? My 45 lb standard poodle eats only raw and eats 8 medallions per day-the chicken is $16.75 for a bag of 48 medallions.

  557. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    Hi Exotica –

    If you have large dogs I’d strongly recommend doing some research and making your raw from scratch. Pre-made is ridiculously overpriced and it’s not as high quality as what you can make yourself. I have three lathe bloodhounds – 110 lb. male, 70
    lb. female and a 50 lb. puppy. They all eat 2 lbs. pf meat per day + extras like cottage cheese, eggs, veggies and fruit + supplements. Pre-made would
    not be possible for me, most brands would cost me $800-$1,000 per month to feed. I got in contact with a wholesale meat supplier that supplies grocery stores, restaurants and large kennels, invested in some freezers and I get meat delivered in bulk. Meat, extras and supplements together I’m
    spending about $400-$500 a month. Saves a ton of money doing it this way.

  558. http://exotica says

    So are you guys all filthy rich? or do you own toy dogs? I wanted to put my dog on the rabbit but it costs 40 dollars for 3 days!!!!!

  559. http://Mary%20Lou says

    I have not been on here in quite awhile, but I feel compelled to comment on the Nature’s Variety Raw Bites.  Our Bichon loves them, and has no issues with them at all.  He is eating the bites for his evening meal mixed with Weruva canned.  We may transition away from the canned for one meal; as he picks the bites out first as best he can.  He has had the duck, and he will be moving on to the lamb next.  He used to throw up the medallions; so I am excited about this food.  Very convenient, and appears to agree with an allergic and sensitive pup.

  560. http://Jgeddes223 says

    I use this as a “topper” on my pit-lab pup’s Earthborne Holistic food. And they love it!! It is grain free which keeps plaque away, stools smaller because the body is absorbing all the nutrients, and shinier coats! They are also very trim compared to their sister who eats Eubanka dog food (gross!).

  561. http://holy_grizz says

    For those who feed Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen food or are interested in trying, if your PetCo carries this brand they are offering a manufacturer’s coupon for $3 off any size, any variety. I got $3 off a trial bag (.65 lb) originally priced at 4.99

    I don’t normally partake in all the Black Friday hoopla (not a fan of crowds) but I got off an overnight shift and had a little energy left so…what stores do I hit? A Pet store, that’s right. lol. Can you tell how high my dogs rank in my life? 😉 I normally buy my food at a local feed store but was impressed with Petco’s deal of 9.99 for certain brands of (4-6 lb) bags of dog food including Solid Gold, Nutro, Wellness, Avoderm among others. and I think the deal goes on through the weekend.

    I’m contemplating putting my dogs on raw but I prefer to do a little more research and invest in a decent size freezer before I proceed. I’ll probably prepare myself but it’s always nice to have some prepackaged raw available for when I’m time crunched. BTW, thanks to everyone (you know who you are) on here that’s contributed to my expanding knowledge of dog food…raw included!

  562. http://suzanne says

    I forgot to mention – at first, I sprinkled “digestive enzymes” for a couple of months until he got really used to the food. That might have helped, too.

  563. http://Suzanne says

    My dog had allergies before he went on this food. I only feed him Venison and Bison – he threw up beef, and I heard the chicken and duck were more prone to cause allergies. He was ok on the Lamb, but it made him smell! So we stick to venison and Bison, and he’s perfect on it.

  564. http://Shawna says

    My dog has had kidney disease from birth.  She started showing symptoms at about 6 weeks of age and was officially diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at her 1 year blood eval/check up. 

    I can tell for absolute certainty that “protein” (quality protein) does not cause kidney disease.  It can increase BUN but only if the kidneys are already not functioning properly.  Creatinine is made from the body (muscle breakdown). 

    It is very possible that your dog got into something that caused a mild case of acute kidney disease.  But lowering protein does not reverse chronic kidney disease.  In fact they KNOW from more current research that lowering protein in a kd dogs diet can cause more harm then good.  The kidneys (and liver) need the amino acids in quality protein to stay healthy.

    If you research this further, you will find that I am right.  Nutritionist Lew Olsen and Nutritionist Mary Straus both have excellent info (including research references) on their websites and are (are were) both moderators on the Yahoo kidney forum.  They have also both had dogs with chronic kidney disease on higher protein diets.  Vets, some vets, are treating kidney disease all wrong.

    My dog Audrey, the one born with kidney disease, has been on raw her whole life — HIGH protein raw.  The food she eats ranges in protein from about 45 to 54% — much higher then in most kibbles.  Audrey is 6 and 1/2 years old and still in excellent health.  She is unmedicated except extra vitamins and nutraceuticals.  She has never required sub-q fluids, she never has to go to the vet cause she is never sick etc. 

    Infections and even dehydration can temporarily elevate BUN and creatinine.

  565. My dog was having too much protein on this diet. His BUN and creatin level went to those of a 13 yr old dog in early kidney failure. He was 3 yrs old. After one week on another lower protein food his numbers decreased by 50%

  566. http://Looking4rubi says

    Hi. My dog had a similar issue 3 years ago. First I took her to a vet that did herbal acupuncture which really helped and then when I brought her home I used the products from She bounced back amazingly and actually seemed to act younger than she had for a long time. Three years later (at the age of 15) she is still healthy and young at heart!

    If you ever have issues with runny stool or diarrhea give your dog 100% pumpkin! It settles their digestive system and firms up their stool. Plus it is loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals.

    Hope this helps.

  567. http://Hound%20Dog%20Mom says

    DH –

    Don’t be intimidated by homemade raw. 🙂

    Once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult to make balanced meals. Just think of it this way, do you worry about whether or not every single one of your nutrient needs are met at each meal? Probably not and dogs don’t need to have every nutrient need met at each meal either. If you feed a wide variety of species appropriate foods in roughly the correct proportions all of their nutrient needs will be met over time. The most important thing is getting the calcium to phosphorus ratio correct and getting the right amount of organ meat – approximately 80% muscle meat, 10% organ meat, 10% bone. This muscle meat, organ meat, bone portion should account for between 70% and 90% of the meal overall. You then add cooked, pureed veggies which should be 10% – 30% of the meal, supplements (omega 3’s in the form of fish oil or tinned sardines, vitamin e and whole foods trace nutrient supplements like kelp and alfalfa), extras such as cottage cheese, eggs (I recommend feeding at least 1 egg per week), yogurt, or goat’s milk can be added at up to 10% of the meal. It’s important to rotate proteins (feed both red meat and poultry). And remember the percentages are rough, don’t worry about getting everything exact. has some great information about formulating homemade diets. Some great books to check out are Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” and Dr. Becker’s “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats Cookbook.”

    I really prefer homemade because I know I’m in control of the quality of every ingredient and my dogs can get more variety.

  568. http://Shawna says

    Oops, their not there…

  569. http://Shawna says

    If there tummies are still rumbling after eating then it is possible that their nutrient needs are not being met by the food they eat.  Green beans add bulk/fiber but not a lot of nutrients.  The pups could, over time, become deficient in certain nutrients…

  570. http://Shawna says

    In some dogs it definitely can cause issues.  However, I wouldn’t consider those dogs healthy to begin with..  I’ve been feeding my foster dogs (some of them NOT healthy at all) kibble with canned and raw topper for many many years and I’ve never had one have digestive issues from doing this.  (We’re talking over 30 dogs over the years.)  In my opinion, the raw likely helps the body digest the kibbled food.  By increasing the amount of hydrochloric acid (which then activates the pepsin enzyme that digests protein). 

    However if you can feed an entire meal as raw, there is no reason not to do so… 🙂

  571.  If you hear their tummies rumble… Add a lil organic green beans to the NV raw… it will help w/ the “Seem “Hungry”… Mine get the Organic GB as a treat during day as well as Organic Carrots…

  572.  I just learned NV Rabbit is from China… I gave that one to my pups awhile ago… I’m glad I don’t now. I’ve been doing organic chicken.

    I am getting close to all homemade raw as well.. I am really concerned about getting them the appropriate amounts of vitamins/minerals etc.. I don’t want them to  be lacking in something.

  573. http://Danielle says

     I have two Schnauzers that I give 4 medallions a day…. I add organic green beans to help them feel full and not have their tummies rumble.

  574. http://Carrie%20Cowardin says

    Anyone know why this is? Doesn’t seem to make sense.

  575. http://Kedenlicsw says

    My vet says dont mix aw with kibble as it causes gastric problems. must be separate meals.

  576. You can email them and they will tell you.  It’s been a while since I got that kind of info.  The rabbit for the frozen raw and the kibble and canned come from different places.  China, Italy or France.  But that was over a year ago.

    From an old email:

    “Our ingredients are sourced from different locations, depending on the time of year and batch. The rabbit protein we use in our raw diet is from China. The rabbit in our canned is sourced from Italy and China, while the rabbit in our kibble is from France.”

  577. http://Pkgraham says

    What website did you use to find the meat source for the NV raw?

  578. http://melissa says

    Just a comment on the new NV Instinct raw bites. Bought a 4lb bag of the chicken the other day to try out as a topper and for treats. These are little tiny cylinder shaped pieces.

    Dogs of course loved them, but I was amazed at how quick they defrosted. About 8 mins on the counter top, and they were good to go!  Since I have to be careful with fat content for some of the crew, these worked really well to toss a few pieces on the kibble as a topper, w/out being “too much” Definitely going to keep a bag in the freezer from now on for those days I forget to defrost medallions for the dober gal.

  579. http://Sophie says

    Lamb has a higher fat content, and would definately make stools messier/looser.  Pork eaten raw when not previously frozen a week or longer (salmon also) runs the risk of a particular type of parasite that is known to affect dogs very strongly.  It may be a texture problem with the organs/liver, etc, and you could try chopping/blending up your own concoction of beef organs/liver and blending it with a raw egg and some pumpkin/sweet potato and freezing the batch into patties.  Raw canned pumpkin puree is great for helping with doggie stool problems.  I would just pay attention to your dog’s particular tummy habits and if she only wants a few beef hooves or an additional beef bone now and then, then stick with the chicken and some occassional organ patties you made.  Organs are so rich that they would only be needed about once a week (like fish). 

  580. http://melissa says


    Why would you want to cook it? I think if cooking is an issue for you, then home made would be more appropriate-at least this way, you are not cooking the bone in it. I am not a “raw feeder” but do give the medallions as “treats” and to one dog whom seems to have firmer stool by having 2-4 added daily to her meals.

  581. http://Paulmacs4005 says

    You don’t want to cook the medalions before feeding, it defeats the purpose of feeding raw.  you’ll destroy vital nutrients and alter the consistency of the bone. 

  582. http://Ja43wilson says

    what about cooking the medallions before feeding

  583. http://Lsmith257 says

    Is this dog food safe for dogs with kidney disease? Are protein and phosphorus levels too high? I have a 13 year old dog with kidney disease and I am trying desperately to save her.

  584. http://guest says

     Their raw food is no longer treated as hasn’t been for a while. They use very high pressure to kill the bacteria. Their raw bones go through an acid dip, but they only use citric and lactic acid (both which are fit for humans, for example is common for pre-sliced apples to  have a citric acid dip)
    They use a USA manufacturer and it is a top quality manufacturer. All the meat is inspected and comes from USDA inspected facilities.

  585. http://neezerfan says

    Thanks LA. I’m surprised to hear that, too. Looks like we’ll be sticking to Primal. And thank you too Hounddogmom

  586. http://hounddogmom12 says

    Wow, I always thought of Nature’s Variety as a high-quality raw food – it’s certainly pricey enough! I occasionally use primal mixes in my rotation and have never had any issues, I’ve never actually used NV. And Primal is Human-Grade – it’s states on their website, everything in their formulas is human-grade.

  587. http://LA says

    Hey just found this on a Yorkie Forum – kind of scary – a rather disturbing discovery
    Nature’s Varity uses a denaturant in their raw products. It’s not so much the fact that they USE a denaturant; the denaturant itself is harmless. It’s the fact that they NEED to use a denaturant. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a denaturant is used in meat that is not approved for human consumption. I think this is extremely deceptive for consumers who believe they are doing what is best for their dogs when in reality, they could be feeding the same quality meat that’s thrown into Iams or other grocery store brands. I know I get MOST of our dog food from the grocery store so I expect anything else I feed to be human grade as well.I’ve checked with two other popular pre-made raw brands, Primal and Bravo, and they both claim to use human grade meat (Bravo claims that their meat is USDA inspected, Primal doesn’t say). I will be emailing them to see if this really is the case.Not to mention that I have a bag that I keep on hand for when I forget to buy food or whatnot and I always feel so GUILTY feeding it. I fed some NV medallions to them tonight and the meat looked, felt (the consistency), and smelled SO unnatural. I know part of it is that they grind bone, organs, meat, and vegetables all together but I still think it’s sub-par for my dogs. After I finish this bag we will only buy Primal or Bravo pre-made from now on.

  588. http://hounddogmom12 says


    You should feed your dog based on their ideal weight, not current weight. If she needs to loose weight feed her the amount based on what she should weigh. As a general rule the average adult dog should eat 2% of their IDEAL body weight in raw food. I would suggest using this formula or the feeding suggestion on the product packaging for her ideal weight. Also, if you are feeding kibble in addition to the raw don’t forget to factor that in and reduce the amount of raw being fed accordingly. If the dog still seems ver hungry try adding in some fruits and vegetables, they add bulk without adding a lot of calories. And remember dogs generally will want to eat more than they really need. I know it’s hard not to feel bad for them when they’re acting hungry but it’s very important to keep them at a healthy weight.

  589. http://sharron says

    hi – i started my 3 yr old yorkie/chihuahua on NV lamb raw medallions yesterday. She is about a 1 – 1 1/2 lbs overweight.
    The NV calculator says i should feed her 2.9 medallions/day
    That’s not going to work. She is hungrier in the morning. So i gave her 2 for breakfast this am. My concern is that she is going to gain more weight. Her vet figured out that she should get 218 cal./per day. this dog does not like dry food and if i give her other food plus the NV (not at the same time) it really throws her digestive system into a whirlwind. when she was on dry i gave her 1/2 cup/day. So that’s 4 oz/per day.
    Can i give her 4 medallions/per day since each medallion is an oz. without her gaining weight.

  590. http://KM says

    Purchased a bag of the Rabbit variety of NV along with a couple other brands to see our dogs reaction to different raw meats/brands. Did a ton of searching for best products available here before shopping…it wasn’t random guessing. That night, I happened to stumble onto another site and discovered the Rabbit in NV comes from CHINA. WTF? I posted a picture on FB of the Made in USA flag on the front of their bag. Exchanged it the next day for another brand.
    We are switching to a raw/homecooked diet because of the lack of integrity from food companies. Can’t even buy an expensive bag of raw food without encountering ingredients from China. I have more peace of mind knowing what’s in the food we prepare for our crew. It’s friggin DOG FOOD! It shouldn’t be so friggin complicated and difficult to identify an acceptable and safe brand/formula. Thanks to the greedy punks who make the food, that’s not the case. I’m done. We’ll provide raw or homecooked meals with the support of a nutritionalist until we’re more confident with this new way of life. Screw the food companies and screw the big box stores who refuse to pull the tainted china jerky treats from their shelves. We no longer have to give them a dime of our money…and that feels pretty damn good!

  591. I bought a bag of the Chicken and Turkey. I haven’t tried it yet. Is this food balanced? I wanted to add in some raw chicken and turkey necks with this, but I don’t know if I should be supplementing as well. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

  592. http://neezerfan says

    That’s absolutely fine, no problems with that.

  593. http://Brooke says

    Does anyone know if it is okay to feed raw food without fully thawing it? I feed my dog one medallion with his kibble because it’s too expensive for me to feed only raw, and he munches it down without a problem whether it is frozen or not. 

  594. If the Orijen is working for her, why not continue?  Have you tried topping if off with a little freeze dried food, like the Instinct Raw Boost sprinkles?  I was also going to suggest some raw tripe, but I think it’s mainly beef.  But Tripett makes a canned venison tripe you might could try out as a topper.  And I think ZiwiPeak also has a venison canned tripe.

  595. http://PoochDad says

    I know there are quite a few raw feeders on here and I have a question. My biggest dog is a lab…adopted and senior. She seems to be very adapted to whatever junk she was on before we started living with her. We’ve been attempting to get her on a raw diet for a year but she seems to be a bit intolerant to red meats. Specifically the organs. She generally regurgitates lamb and beef and if it stays down she gets VERY loose stools. Pork stays down for only a few moments. She does a great job with raw meaty poultry of all kinds. Rabbit seems to give her loose stools and gas. I attempted to give her lamb and pork in wet foods and she still has a sick tummy. Same when we tried the Addiction Rabbit canned formula. I haven’t tried bison or venison because they’re very expensive and I don’t want her to throw them up too. I know the poultry alone doesn’t cover enough ground to give her all the amino acids she really needs. Our other dog does great on her raw diet accept she hates liver. I can’t blame her. What do I do? Should I let her keep eating the Orijen if she does well and looks great for her age? This is our third failed red meat attempt with her. And she won’t eat fish canned, cooked or raw. She has always been a very slow eater…like she never really enjoys anything.

  596. http://Breanne%20Long says

    I started feeding Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen a few months ago. I got Dr. Marty Goldstein’s book for Christmas and as soon as I read the chapter on dog food I switched for my 8 year old Papillon. I’ve also fed above average kibble (Blue, Wellness, etc), but felt that it was worth the extra effort and money.
    My Papillon’s coat is shinier, his eyes are brighter and more clear, he’s peppier (we compete in obedience) and he LOVES this food. I free-fed the kibble and he would pick at it every once in a while, but never get excited about it.
    However, I found that he had some digestive upset when feeding the raw beef. He’s been fine on chicken and lamb so I stick to those. He also occasionally doesn’t feel like eating and won’t eat his meal, so I put it back in the fridge and give it to him for his next meal and he’s always ravenous when that happens.
    If I had a large dog I don’t think I could afford to feed this food (I’m a college student), but luckily I go through one of the small bags every two weeks, so it’s do-able. I would definitely recommend this food!

  597. http://Sparky1263 says

    Has anyone heard of Spring Meadows Natural dog food made in Sask. Canada

  598. http://melissa says

     Rottie Mom-

    Someone posted here a while ago that their raw had black tarry stuff mixed in with it, and when they asked NV, they were told it was  an edible denaturent. Since you seem to have a close relationship with this company, can you tell us what the denaturant is, and why they use it? Thanks

  599. http://Rottie_rescue_mom says

    natures variety is the best food you can buy..they have donated to rescue for years..we have done food studies on our rescue dogs for them and the results have been fantastic..the health of the rescue dogs have improved and we had 19 dogs ages 10-14 yr that were in perfect health and for a rottie to live over the age of 11 is a good thing…feeding this food has added 3 yrs to my dogs lives……

  600. http://Jamie says

    Did you mean bison?

  601. http://Marie says

    Rabbit is very VERY low in fat naturally. That’s why they add in extra fat just to raise the fat content to an acceptable level.

  602. http://Jamie says

    There are two things that bother me about NV. 1- rabbit from china, their sales representative told me the rabbit comes from china is shipped to France where it is butcher and turned into meal because it has no mositure content when it arrives in the states. I ask why she said because north American rabbit is lesser quality. Hmm did she really means it costs to much, #2 fat content, why is the fat lower in the chicken & beef formula than the bison. My only guess and it is a guess, is that they add extra fat to offset the high price of bison. I love feeding my dogs raw but will stay away from NV for these reasons

  603. I also use Nature’s Variety and Primal and occasionally Natures Logic raw.  I used Stella & Chewy’s before but it has more fat and I prefer a little less.

  604.  I believe the beef, lamb and poultry are US based and the venison is from New Zealand.

  605.  I Purchased my first bag for my Min Pin. Venison in the medallion form. Of course it is too early to see anything, but I am hoping that I might see improvement soon in her skin and coat. She has dandruff, and her coat is thin in some areas, mostly her underside. I’ve had a lot of people discuss with me the benefits of grain free and raw, and so this was my choice first. I do not know enough, and really, do not have the time, to start my own raw diet from scratch, and it is more affordable in this form. But I chose NV based on word of mouth, lot of people I know or had asked at places like dog sporting evens and conformation shows, recommended this. Hopefully it will provide the results they promise. BUt at least if I am not happy with it, I can get my money back.

  606. http://Kristin says

    What are you feeding now instead of the rabbit?

  607. http://Kristin says

    I’ve seen here that the rabbit is sourced from China, does anyone know about the other raw meat sources? 

  608. http://Shawna says

    Sew ~~ I have 8 dogs right now. Five eat exclusively raw and the remaining three get kibble topped with canned and raw with every meal. I have Dr Beckers bok as well. Look at the fourth page (not page 4 but the fourth page 🙂 of the book). I am a regular on her forum too. I go by swinn. Toxed is a regular too.. 🙂

  609. Shawna,
    Thanks for all the info. As it happens, I just recently purchased Dr. Becker’s book but it’s always good to be able to talk to someone that’s already had success with raw feeding. It’s proving to be quite tricky trying to convert several animals instead of just one.

  610. http://Shawna says

    Sew ~~ Here’s a few ideas.

    1. is a website run by raw feed and nutritionist Mary Straus.  Mary is a balance over time feeder.

    2. is run by Nutritionist Lew Olsen.  She is also a balance over time feeder.

    3.  My fave source of info is Dr. Karen Becker and nutritionist Beth Taylor and Dr. Becker’s site is then click on pets.  She does articles and videos but also has a forum where you can ask questions.  Dr. Becker and Beth also wrote a book called “Dr. Becker’s Raw Food for Healhty Dogs and Cats” which is a guaranteed complete and balanced raw food recipe book.

    4.  Nutritionist Steve Brown owns the website and co-wrote See Spot Live Longer with Beth Taylor.  Also wrote the book “Unocking the Canine Ancestral Diet”.  Doesn’t really have recipes etc but has GREAT info on the ancestral diet.

    5.  Dr. Jeannie Thomason is a Veterinary Naturopath, breeder and raw feeder.  She has lots of articles on her site which is

    Hope something there helps..  I started this almost an hour ago but got side tracked on misinformation spewed by “skeptivet” about garlic and had to post there.. 🙂  Not sure if anyone else has already posted some of this info now..  Sorry if duplicating anything.

  611. Can anyone direct me to some good raw feeding websites? I am just starting the transition to raw for my dog and cats and could use some ideas and advice. It would be nice to find some helpful discussions on the topic.

  612. http://Alyson%20Sharron says

    I started feeding my dog Nature’s Variety Instinct raw frozen rabbit about a year ago. I couldn’t find the meat source on the packaging or NV website, so I asked my local pet store where the rabbit was sourced and they advised me within the US. About 6 weeks ago, my local pet store was out of rabbit, and they told me NV was having a supplier problem. They also told me they had just learned the rabbit supplier was in China. I immediately stopped feeding NV.

  613. http://sandy says

    Their rabbit is imported from China.  It was anyways as of a discusion we had on this sometime early last year.

  614. http://Samantha says


    I sent an email to NV to ask about the source of their meats and they responded with the URL that contains the information.

    From the page:
    Ingredients are sourced from USDA inspected facilities Chicken is certified organic or certified antibiotic-free with no added growth hormones* Beef and Bison are pasture-fed Lamb and Venison are pasture-fed and antibiotic-free with no added growth hormones; Venison is imported from New Zealand Rabbit is antibiotic-free with no added growth hormones
    *Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry.


    Also, the email I recieved indicates that they do not claim that the beef has never been raised without hormones nor antibiotics because there is a small number of cattle raised in that fashion. What they do with the beef is require they go through a withdrawl period and testing to ensure the drugs are out of their system before slaughter.

  615. http://Samantha says

    I have been feeding my Westie the NV Instinct Raw in Beef, Lamb, and Venison for about 6 months. He went from loving it and devouring it to turning his nose up to it about a month ago. 

    Based on the last comment from Shawna about the change to the verbiage about the source of their meats on the website (which I also recall reading when I started feeding NV about 6 months ago), I dropped them an email to see if they did change something with their formulation and/or meat source.

    I will report back to this thread with any response I recieve.

  616. http://Shawna says

    Jeannie ~~ Nature’s Varietys website used to say that the meats they used were hormone and antibiotic free and many were sourced from free ranging fed animals.

    I can no longer find that info on their website..  The poultry products do say that they are “hormone” free but that doesn’t mean anything as it is illegal to add hormones to poultry feed in the US..  So a worthless statement when applied to poultry products…

    NV was bought out by an investment firm called Catterton Partners over a year ago.  My guess is that they changed the source of their meats after the buy out..

  617. http://jeannie says

    is the meat they use antibiotic-free?  thanks.

  618. http://aimee says

    You’re welcome!! Glad I found what you were looking for.

  619. http://Toxed2loss says

    Thank you very much, aimee! That was very helpful. I see now what Dr. Smith was trying to get at. 🙂 Shawna and I had a very in depth offline discussion about hygienic practice. I notice that the abstracts for these articles mentioned proactive measures as well. (I do wish I could have seen the whole article so I could review exactly which ones they tracked.) Apparently I hold an above average level of asepsis, on a day to day basis. Very interesting perspective I hadn’t considered.

  620. http://aimee says

    I took a quick look in pub med and found these studies that compare feeding methods and incidence rate. Is this more along the lines of what you are looking for??
    I thought the last study in which the vacuum cleaner bag material was cultured is interesting 4.5% of non raw fed dog homes were positive and 10.5% of raw fed dog homes. Bacteria does get transferred a lot.
    The incidence rate of Salmonella shedding in the raw meat-fed dogs was 0.61 cases/dog-year, compared with 0.08 cases/dog-year in dogs that were not fed raw meat (P<0.001)….. Statistically significant risk factors for a dog testing positive included … feeding a commercial or homemade raw food diet, feeding raw meat and eggs, feeding a homemade cooked diet, and having more than one dog in the household…..  These results highlight the potential public health risk of including raw animal products in canine diets. jejuni was isolated from 1/42 (2.6%) raw meat-fed dogs. Salmonella enterica was isolated from 2/40 (5%) of the raw meat feeds, 6/42 (14%) raw meat-fed dog feces, none of the dogs that did not receive raw meat (P = 0.001), 4/38 (10.5%) of the vacuum cleaner waste samples from households where raw meat was fed, and 2/44 (4.5%) of vacuum cleaner waste samples from households where raw meat was not fed to dogs (P = 0.41).

  621. http://Toxed2loss says

    Thank you Dr. Smith,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this just says that if fed contaminated food, they poop it out. It also says when they fed uncontaminated meat, there wasn’t any passed through pathogen. Here’s the quote,

    “Sixteen dogs were exposed to Salmonella-contaminated commercial raw food diets and 12 to Salmonella-free commercial raw food diets. Seven of the exposed dogs shed salmonellae 1–7 days after consumption of Salmonella-contaminated raw food diets. None of the dogs fed Salmonella-free diets shed salmonellae. No clinical signs were observed in either group.”

    So, do you have comparable research on kibble? If salmonella contaminated kibble is fed, won’t they shed salmonella into the environment as well? Wouldn’t salmonella contaminated kibble be as much a problem as salmonella contaminated anything else?
    I would think so. So how is one better than the other, in light of these facts?

  622. http://Dr.%20Smith says

    Here is just one article

  623. http://Toxed2loss says

    Shawna, I agree with everything you are saying. And there’s more. Calcium magnesium balance is critical, too. I took a s*** load of cal, mag zinc, those first years. The cal to mag ratio is backwards. Most people get dietary calcium, but very few eat well enough to get sufficient dietary magnesium…I ended up with major heart attacks – coronary muscle spasms due to too much calcium… So yes that’s all important.

    But, I’m just saying that we’re not exposed to any more pathogens from raw meat when we feed our dogs raw, then when we are feeding our selves, handling raw eat. I and a great many people with immune deficiencies don’t need to do any different hygiene practices than what everybody else should do. I don’t wash the dog dish out every day either. I do wash before handling things in the kitchen, and after handling meat, etc… I don’t go digging thru drawers and cupboards with bloody hands. I don’t cut other items on the same cutting board or with the same knife… Normal people who practice good hygiene, do the same things. Those things are sufficient to prevent food born illnesses, immune compromised or not, love.

    My vet told me to treat that lambie’s necrosis and screw worm infestation with soap and water. It killed the parasites and the bad bacteria. No infection. That poor little guy’s butt was like Swiss cheese. He completely recovered. Soap and water kills a lot of pathogens.

  624. http://Shawna says

    So much for trying to keep it short 🙂

    Probiotics are a wonderful start but really only half the battle.  Because of your illness you eat much better then most.  You have to.  Because of that you get adequate calcium, vitamin D etc.

    These nutrients (plus the neutrophils stimulated by the probiotics) and other immune system players, like macrophages, are important in maintaining health.

    One percent of calcium is in the blood/tissue as calcium bicarbonate.  This type of calcium patrols the blood in search of pathogens and once found surrounds them til the neutrophils can get there — the calcium wave.  This is why we (esp kids) get fevers — not enough calcium bicarbone so the body leaches calcium from the bone to fight the invader.  This paper discusses how calcium (as well as C and vitamin F (also known as essential fatty acids)) play a role in the immune system.  I first learned of this several years ago at a seminar called “Back to School for Doctors” that I attended with my dad :).. 

    Here’s a quick quote from the above mentioned paper  “High speed imaging techniques revealed that it is in fact a “cloud” of calcium surrounding cooties in the cell that issues a “callto-arms” for the warriors of the immune system to attack.  How cool is that?  Without sufficient levels of calcium bicarbonate, or ionizable calcium in the tissue, immunity is compromised and viruses and bacteria of all kinds have the opportunity to flourish.”

    Vitamin D plays an integral role in the bodies immune system.  This is why we get the flu and colds in the winter — less sun exposure and natural vitamin D.  Well, in those people that don’t get enough utilizable D from their foods.

    The whole point of eating raw is to get these immune enhancers naturally.  However, how many times (on Mercola and elsewhere) have you seen people feeding raw that don’t add any liver or other organs (where the vitamin D is).  Their pets could become immune compromised in time.  Or they don’t give any calcium or inappropriate forms — in humans (not sure about dogs though) calcium carbonate is digested better but utilized worse by the body — is harder to convert to bicarbonate then lactate or citrate. 

    Okay, I’m done.. 🙂

  625. http://Shawna says

    I started out with this horribly long rebuttal but deleted and started over 🙂

    Everything you are saying is true.  But not everyone immune compromised person (like my daughter’s best friends child) is as health minded as you.  Try talking probiotics with Steph’s friend and you might as well be talking in a foreign language.  Her child (same age as Phoenie) is always sick and what does she do — take her to the doctor for another antibiotic or immunization.

    Can they still feed their dog raw (not that they probably would) — sure but extra precautions might not hurt.  Like feeding Answer’s foods.  They add fermented tea (kombucha) to increase the acid and kill pathogens.  If feeding meat from the grocery store it could be dipped in lemon juice or spritzed with apple cider vinegar etc.  Bowls washed after feeding.  And not by dog tongues like happens in my house.  That’s all I’m sayin. 🙂

    One more thing — these same immune compromised people should be taking the same precautions with the kibbled food they feed.  ESP if they free feed.

  626. http://Toxed2loss says

    Dr. Smith,
    You keep saying this, “The reason is your dog sheds more colonies of bacteria into the environment when fed a raw product. Therefore, the environment is more contaminated increasing your chances of infection.” Would you mind posting those links/citations? I’m really having trouble seeing how that is relevant. I don’t eat where my dogs eliminate. I don’t wear shoes in the house. I use basic hygiene and wash my hands when handling raw meat, or after working outside. I would like to know the details of this scientific literature to know Exactly which variables they took into consideration and how the conclusions were reached.

  627. http://Toxed2loss says

    Shawna, LAWY No, my body is so toxic viruses haven’t been able to survive. I think I may have reached a turning point, though. I think I may have had a virus this last week. In which case, Yay for me!

    As far as the bacterial and parasite pathogens, even before all the stuff I’ve learned from you about healthy gut systems being the basis of a healthy immune system, (thank you again!!) I have never contracted a pathogen from from handling raw meat, wild or domestic, or from handling raw feces… I once had a lamb that was born so large that the tail band, (@ 3 days) split the skin and flies laid eggs in his flesh. I cleaned and treated that with out problems… I assist with lambing and calving, poo, goo & blood. No problems. I can say this, one exposure to a chlorothalonil spill on a neighboring farm and it caused so much internal damage that it lacerated my kidneys, and caused a massive bacterial die off. I had a systemic e. Coli infection from my own resident e. Coli survivors, in a few short hours. We have just as many pathogens in our bodies as the raw meat that we are feeding. I think they get out of balance and cause disease states due to chemical poisoning.

    Fortifying the gut with probiotics keeps the “bad bacteria” in check. I know that probiotics are now “standard protocol” for TIs. That’s somewhere around 140 million “immune compromised” individuals, doin what I’m doin. We cook from scratch. We handle raw meat. It doesn’t give us e. Coli. We eat raw egg yolk. That doesn’t give us salmonella. That’s why I keep asking Dr. Smith my question. We’re not seeing it. If we aren’t, why are the rest of you getting those things. Why are there pathogen problems with dogs, including parasites? I think it comes back to my chemical poisoning event, that caused an over growth of e. Coli. My sheep never had parasites until they got repeatedly exposed to massive amounts of pesticides from adjacent farms!! I think it has more to due with toxic exposures than commonly realized. Toxic exposures stress and weaken the immune system more than any other factor. This discussion ties right in with the fluke discussion. Food for thought.

  628. http://Ntvs-Dr.%20Smith says

    I am relaying info based on science from both the medical and veterinary community. Regarding your question: The reason is your dog sheds more colonies of bacteria into the environment when fed a raw product. Therefore, the environment is more contaminated increasing your chances of infection. Whether you get sick or not is a totally different issue!!

  629. http://Shawna says

    LOL 🙂  If you got a bug, I think you could keep it in check with sheer willpower, if you wanted to, alone!!!  You are da woman!!!!!!

  630. http://Shawna says

    Toxed ~~ on the #2 point.  I do agree with Dr. Smith about immune compromised persons.  As I mentioned in my previous post — it can be done but there are more considerations.  You have to admit that you, my dear, are not the “average” immune compromised person :)…

  631. http://Shawna says

    Depends on your definition of constipated 🙂

    If she can’t poop at all — BAD.  If the poop comes out looking like gum balls — not so good.  But if she is just straining a bit more then before and the poo is coming out small and firm — normal.

    The NV Venison has 3% fiber so its not low in fiber.  Pretty average if not on the high side of normal for a raw diet. 

  632. http://sharron says

    hi shawna

    been feeding lexee the raw medallions and now she is constipated – is this normal

  633. http://Toxed2loss says

    Dr. Smith,
    I’m am an immune compromised individual. I feed raw. I have no pathogen contamination from my dogs, or from my livestock. LOL I even clean the chicken house and am not made sick. Volatizing chicken poo, with all of its bacterial contaminants. Now, that must set your theories on end! With all due respect, I must disagree with you on # 2. Both I and my dogs take probiotics. Good bacteria holds bad bacteria in check. I’m sure you know that e.coli exists in human systems, as well as numerous other “bad” bacteria. Every bacteria has its purpose…

    You still haven’t answered my question. How are we exposed to anymore pathogens feeding raw, than preparing meat for our own meals?

  634. http://Shawna says

    In Response 2.  I agree immune compromised people and pets need to be cautious but it can still be done.  Dr. Martin Goldstein mentions in his book “The Nature of Animal Healing” that he converts most cancer dogs he sees to raw.  5.  I completely agree!! 🙂  High pressure pasteurized is not truly raw 🙂  6.  Thanks for clarifying that 🙂

  635. http://Shawna says

    I’m wondering if the issue with the Greyhounds was due to raw fed 4D meats.  The FDA has a paper implying it is a practice to feed kenneled Greyhounds 4D meats.  Which, of course, is going to be problematic.

    Most companion animal raw feeders try to avoid 4D meats at all cost.

  636. http://Shawna says

    More recalls have been done on kibble then raw foods though?  A different vets opinion.

    “Kibble Fed Pets at Risk of Spreading Salmonella?

    Th majority of pet food recalls this summer have been of processed/kibble and canned foods because they feared contamination with Salmonella. The Delta Society says they are concerned about raw fed pets spreading salmonella to the patients and people they visit. Really?? Funny thing – there appears to be more risk of salmonella contamination in cooked/kibble diets then raw meat and bones for our pets. Is anyone else out there smelling something fishy? Putting two and two together here?”

    She goes on to list the kibble/canned recalls of 2010 — there were many if her list is accurate..

  637. http://sandy says

    I  converted them to dry matter to compare them all as I was looking for lower fat as their moisture content varies a bit.

  638. http://Shawna says