Hi,everyone i been researching raw diets for my dogs and want to make the switch, but where do i start. I have a Cavalier King Charles mix (25 pounds) and Australian Shepard Border Collie cross (38 pounds). What types of meat/cuts should i begin with ? Where do i buy the meat and bones ?
Any help towards the right direction will be greatly appropriated!!
Discuss with your vet, the one you take your dogs to for annual checkups (hopefully) before making such a dramatic dietary change.
Some science based information here
Thank you for the info, some great topics to take into consideration. I have tried to talk to three different vets in my area, and they all refuse to discuss it. They push for the science diet they have in their office. I`m no veterinarian, but from the research i have done and a few people i have spoken with, i really do believe a raw diet is best for my dogs health.
By research, do you mean reading opinions in forums, talking to pet food supply store employees? Consulting Dr Google?
LOL, good luck with that.
Make sure you have the number for the nearest 24/7 emergency vet clinic and directions how to get there taped to your fridg.
My guess as to why the vets won’t discuss this dietary option with you is because they know the risks outweigh the benefits. Simple as that.
PS: Let me guess, you have been visiting the homeopathic vet sites……
I don`t agree with you at all, but thank you for your time anyway.
BTW: Have you tried the search engine here
Lots of opinions, not to be confused with professional veterinary advice 🙂crazy4catsMember
Hi Jessica M-
I mix some commercial raw into my dogs’ afternoon meals with great results. You could give that a try. I mostly use Nature’s Variety, but have also fed Primal and NW Naturals. These are already complete and balanced so I don’t have to worry about them not getting all the nutrients they need.
Other meals, I mix in either canned good, eggs or fish. I also think that bones are risky. Good luck to you!SusanMember
are you on facebook? join a few raw feeding groups, find 1 you like, also join “K-9 Nutrition” group it’s run by Lew Olson she has a book called “Raw & Natural Nutrition for dogs, very easy to follow recipes, I feed one of her recipes but I cook it instead minus any bone & I tweak it a bit for my IBD boy, there’s also “K-9 Kitchen” run by Monica Segal, follow Rodney Habib on his f/b page & get Dr Karen Beckers book “Real Food For Dogs & Cats” simple homemade food, her books are very hard to get a hold of & some nut was selling 1 of her books on Amazon for a ridiculous sum of money, I cant remember how much they wanted but I saw Karen’s in a video telling everyone do not pay any ridiculous amounts of money for her book as she is releasing another new book, it should be be out by now go onto Dr Karen Beckers f/b page & send her msg she answers, another really good person is Steve Brown he’s often in Rodney Habibs video’s giving advice how to balance your dogs raw diet….
There’s, “Hare Today Gone Tomorrow” https://hare-today.com/ sells what you need
or sometimes there’s places making homemade premade raw diets with human grade ingredients in your area, once you join a raw few feeding groups & ask question people will post cheap places in your area where to buy good quality meats in bulk, the Raw groups I belong too are Australian raw groups, there’s this group called “Raw Diet & Nutrition For Dogs” looks like it might be American, there’s lots of help in this group…
Good-Luck & keep us posted how they’re going…Anita LMember
Kind of interesting that anon101 dismisses “homeopathic” (actually holistic, not homeopathic) sources of information and their own source happens to be quite biased too. The availability of vets who are aware of kibble-alternative diets may depend very much on where you live. Where I live, there are many holistically trained vets do not use only traditional veterinary knowledge, as helpful as that can be for many people.
A well-researched post about transitioning from a brick & mortar organization specializing in raw pet foods: https://sfraw.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/transitioning-to-raw-sfraw-recommends/ Hope it’s useful!
You can get the meats & bones at any butcher you would go to for your own meats. Bones are really inexpensive – just get small bones such as chicken necks, feet, to begin with, and avoid weight-bearing bones.
Personally, we give our 15 lb dog at least 2-3 meals of meaty chicken bones a week. We just approximate her usual 1/2 cup serving size from how big the bone looks. This is as a supplement to high-quality kibble and homemade (cooked) food, using Dr. Richard Pilcairn’s recipe. You may find his book helpful if you wish to learn more about alternative diets.
We have also fed prepackaged foods such as Primal brand, which comes in frozen patties. If you are open to freeze-dried, Stella and Chewy’s is also great. Ziwipeak is air-dried and an amazing food for the money (considering you can use it as a treat since it comes in little squares and is apparently delicious). All are more expensive than feeding raw sourced from grocery stores but those are premium brands for minimally processed food.
Thank you all for the great feedback. Everyone says to start with chicken, and i have given them raw chicken, without the bone, no problems there. I can`t find chicken necks or feet to start them on so, would anyone recommend chicken leg quarters or drumsticks?SusanMember
yes, your better off giving chicken quarters, legs, carcass as the chicken necks are just bone & fat no meat, turkey necks are bigger & might have more meat … Chicken bone is the softest bone & easiest to digest..
Hi Susan, gave them there first quarter tonight and they did great! What are bones are good for them there 25 and 38 pounds?JILL NMember
Good heavens! What a plethora of advice (some good, some not so much), mostly just confusing. I’ll try to give just basic advice. Raw food is going to greatly benefit your fur buddy: white teeth, free of tartar and dental disease, shiny, smooth, oil-free coats, flake-free and itch-free skin, chronic allergies and infections subside and/or disappear, odorless breath and body, improved energy and vitality, decreased visits to the vet, positive changes in poop (consistency, less frequent, smell), mental stimulation from working at mealtimes. Here are the raw food basics: your dog needs raw meals that are composed of “complete” nutrition. “Complete” meals are “whole prey.” For instance, the entire chicken (muscle meat, bones, organs, head and feet). All the nutrition your dog needs is in the entire animal or whole prey. Add some raw fish (mackerel, sardines) 1-2xs week (optional) and you’ve got a good raw diet for your dog. Don’t freak out, your dog’s teeth and digestive system will make quick work of raw and raw/meaty bones. Never give your dog cooked bones. Your dog does not need veggies or fruit for complete nutrition. However, veggies and fruit are great as treats or mixed into your ground complete meals as a bonus. Here’s a great site for creating balanced raw meals for your dog:
If you’re not into customizing each meal (hmmm, shall I give Spot the lamb shank with calf liver tonight or the Turkey Offal with a marrow bone?), then chk out Raw Paws Pet Food at
http://www.rawpawspetfood.com for complete meal orders with free shipping. They also have a raw food calculator based on the weight/age of your dog (type “calculator” in the search field) so you can know how much to feed. Also, review Suzie’s Doggie Delights at http://www.freshrawdogfood.com for complete meals and a la carte items. They have a $10.00 shipping fee but their prices on fresh (shipped frozen) raw meats and bones are cheaper. If you decide to order raw in bulk or per month (so much cheaper!!), you’ll need a food scale (AccuWeight Digital Kitchen scale, $9.99 at Amazon.com), and a 5.0 cu. ft. freezer chest for food storage. Congratulations on making your pet healthier!Marisa AMember
I just started my 24lb Frenchie on a raw diet about 3 weeks ago and he is LOVING it. I ordered my food from rawfeedingmiami.com. My dog is 8 months old so I am feeding him 4% of his body weight per day. I purchased a scale that comes with a detatchable bowl off Amazon and had to do some math to figure out how much muscle meat, organ meat and bone he should be getting every day. Rawfeedingmiami has some great info on their site in terms of how much to feed etc. According to my dog’s weight and the recommended percentage I should feed him, he should be eating approximately .5 lbs per meal, or 8 ounces. 4% of 24 lbs is .96lbs. I rounded up to 1 pound per day, so .5 pounds per meal, which is 8oz.
There is a lot of variation out there on the breakdown of how much to feed when it comes to muscle meat, bone and organ, but generally, 10% of meal should be meaty bone, 75% of meal should be muscle meat, 5% liver, and 10% other secreting organ (ie: kidney, spleen, pancreas, thymus, brain, lung, testicles). I included a smelt fish into each of my dog’s meals as well.
So I ordered everything in bulk, designated a Friday night, and packaged all of his food for the month in ziplock bags. Once I got my muscle meat to equal ~ 6oz, the rest I just eyeballed until I reached the 8oz.
Hope this helps! Good luck!Sloane KMember
@Jessica M, I’m glad you chose not to listen to anon101. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the legitimacy of feeding a raw diet.Smith LParticipant
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- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Smith L. Reason: To optimize
So awesome that you are switching to fresh food! Your pups are very lucky to have you!! 🙂
We switched to home-made meals many years ago and it was the best decision to support our dog’s health. I am happy to share some resources that have been super helpful in guiding us to prepare balanced, home-cooked, and raw meals.
To learn the basics, I suggest you start with this quick and easy Natural Diet Course which contains videos and articles full of information on this subject; https://peterdobias.com/pages/course-rawdiet
This online Recipe Maker will help you build healthy meals for your dogs with the ingredients you have available. It provides guidance on amounts of each ingredient and which ingredients are best; https://recipemaker.peterdobias.com
The key is to offer a variety of both proteins and vegetables and add essential nutrients (non-synthetic, wholefood-based supplements) to help fill in any nutritional deficiencies; https://peterdobias.com/collections/adult-dog-essentials
When it comes to recommendations on where to purchase high-quality meat and bones, it’s difficult to provide specific options as that will vary depending on where you live. I have some general advice that I would like to share and hope you find helpful.
Connecting with your local butcher is a great option, but you can always go to the supermarket as most meat departments have butchers working on site.
Bones that we are looking to feed our dogs are not often packaged for the display shelves. If you chat with them, they might have something you are looking for or can work with you to put it aside next time.
Some people that live in the country connect with local farmers or those that have friends or family that go hunting for a game could potentially give you items that they would discard when they are processing meat.
Pet stores are beginning to carry more natural food including stocking freezers with various bones and brands of pre-packaged, raw dog food. Unfortunately many primarily carry a lot of big beef marrow bones which are very hard and can lead to teeth fractures. On speaking to the pet store owner about what you are looking for, they are more likely to carry alternatives if they know that people want to buy them.
There are many Raw Food suppliers that ship nationwide and you can also try to connect with dog lovers in your area in person or online through Facebook groups etc to see if they have suggestions.
I hope you find the above information useful for your beloved dogs. Wishing you a great rest of the week! 🙂
Can’t add more to Chipy’s ingenious answer but I would also consider Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Turkey Small Breed Recipe. Hope this helps 🙂
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