Both my dogs are on a raw food diet (Darwin’s to be exact) and I need to increase their calories by about 100 to get them to their ideal weight of 12 pounds. I could give them more of the raw food, but I am trying to avoid having to have open packages of raw meat in the fridge. Right now I just split one pack at each meal time between the two of them and then I can just through the pack away. Quick and Easy! To give them each 100 more calories I wouldn’t need a whole other pack so I would have to store part of it in the fridge.
Anyways, I was doing a ton of research and thought about just adding some homemade food items like eggs or spinach or quinoa to supplement them and get to 100 calories. I was also considering giving them a vegan kibble but Darwin’s diet is already well balanced with meat and vegetables so I believe they are getting all their necessary amino acids and vitamins. Can anyone help with some fresh suggestions to supplement their current diet? Or should I just increase their current raw diet?
You can give them about a tablespoon of oil – olive, fish, coconut, etc, would be easy. Or maybe give them a couple whole raw sardines or a couple of eggs a week.
You could add an RMB. If your dogs are small a chicken neck or foot would probably be around 100 calories. If they’re large dogs, you could feed a chicken back or turkey neck a couple times a week.
Supplementing a raw diet (especially one of the best like Darwin’s) is not a good idea. Different types of foods digest at different rates, so tossing in a bit of this and that will unbalance their digestive tracts. Stop counting calories and instead monitor your dogs’ muscle growth & energy levels. You must feed more Darwin’s to get them to a healthy 12 lbs. Increase the Darwin’s per meal, when they get to 12 lbs. you decrease and maintain. There’s nothing quick & easy about feeding a pet. Darwin’s opened pouches are good in the fridge for 48 hours. Throw the pouch into a well sealed glass container like a large mason jar or a rubber sealed food container.
Thank you all for your ideas! 🙂
Hi zolicylus –
Supplementing a raw diet with items such as those suggested above – RMBs, sardines, oils – will not result in the components “digesting at different rates.” Why would a chicken neck digest at a different rate than ground chicken?
In fact, it’s very beneficial to supplement any diet with healthy fats such as coconut oil and sardines, as Sandy mentioned. Coconut oil offers many benefits – it has natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties and may help improve skin and coat health. More info here.
Darwin’s does not add a source of available omega 3’s (DHA/EPA) to their foods so it would actually be advisable to feed sardines (or another fatty fish on a regular basis). The only source of omega 3’s in the Darwin’s recipes is flax. plant based omega 3’s (with the exception of algal oil) contain omega 3’s in the form of ALA. ALA is a a short-chain fatty acid that is, essentially, a pre-cursor to long chain omega 3’s DHA and EPA. It is DHA and EPA that the body utilizes and because ALA is poorly converted (in most cases less than 10% actually gets converted) it’s necessary to feed foods naturally rich in long chain omega 3’s (EPA/DHA) such as fatty fish, algal oil or cage-free eggs.
Feeding RMBs in conjunction with a balanced ground raw diet (such as Darwin’s) will provide the dog with the dental benefits they miss out on when eating ground food.
Awesome info HDM!!! I think I am going to start them on coconut oil and give them duck necks! I saw your link said 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil twice daily for every 10lbs of body weight.
What about OMEGA 6? Do dogs need that too? What’s a good thing to offer for that?
Can I give the chicken necks daily?
Poultry and vegetable oils are very high in omega 6’s. For most dogs, omega 6’s aren’t an issue. In fact most dogs (and people for that matter) get WAY too many omega 6’s. Ideally, a diet should have roughly a 5:1 ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s (some sources recommend a slightly lower ratio, others say a slightly higher ratio is okay) – the diet of a typical America (and most dogs too) is usually closer to 14:1 to 25:1. So it’s necessary to supplement with omega 3’s in order to get closer to that 5:1 ratio.
These articles have some good info:
Yes – RMBs can most definitely be fed daily. My dogs get a ground red-meat based meal in the a.m. (I make my dogs’ meals from scratch – this is when I add items such as vegetables, fruits, yogurt, supplements, etc.) and in the p.m. they get poultry RMBs and some sort of offal (i.e. a turkey neck with a couple turkey hearts or a chicken back with a few chicken gizzards). RMBs are great for the teeth and also the joints as they’re high in glucosamine and chondroitin. Just make sure to feed an RMB that is an appropriate size for your dog because you want to minimize choking risk. The RMB should be larger than the dog’s mouth – my dogs are large (65-75 lbs.) so they only get large RMBs, I wouldn’t feed them chicken necks. For small dogs, however, chicken necks are great.
Both of these articles by Dr. Becker have some good information on selecting bones:
Also – if I’m not mistaken, it’s been awhile since I’ve ordered from Darwin’s – I believe Darwin’s actually sells duck necks. Duck necks are larger than chicken necks but smaller than turkey necks – they’d probably work out well for most small to medium sized dogs.
Yep! I just added the duck necks to my next order!! 🙂 Thank you again!
Have you seen this yet?
i am starting a raw food diet with my dog panda, i am looking for good supplements to feed, i will be feeding a variety of lean meat, RMB, and organs, veggies,fruit, i was looking at these supplements, to feed daily, how do they look to you guys? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AYL6M/ref=gno_cart_title_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A34A7V6YS432AV
if anyone has any suggestions i would be really gratefull, thank you
I’m planning on feeding raw in a couple months when i get my pups and was wondering if it wld be good or bad if i fed Darwin’s food for one meal and a from scratch raw meal for the next?
I would stay away from necks as this might lead to hypothyroidism in dogs. If dogs eat too much necks they absorb thyroid hormone from these animals. Dogs eating too much thyroid can lead to hypothyroidism. I like to rotate between ground rib bones, egg shells, or use seaweed calcium.
If you want more calories use organic Virgin coconut oil stay away from any coconut oil that is not virgin. as none Virgin coconut oil has fillers and it’s processed.
i don’t personally feed my dogs raw but rather lightly cooked(more out of salmonella concerns with the kids getting doggy kisses rather than for the dog herself) but from my research I have read that a raw egg or two are very beneficial, I also second the coconut oil idea, its very good for the body…human or dog. here is a link to a very simple coconut oil dog treat: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AYnmQSeFbOhygDrZaRulwt7a7KZtS6d5EEmZE_K6xUNJYlozNAY1jt8/
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.