About This Food

Ratio Standards for Raw Food:

Ground bone - 10% to 20%
Organ meat - 10% to 15%
Muscle Meat and Fat - 60% to 85%
Fruit and Veg - 5% to 25%

I. The Essentials:

Raw bones (never cooked) are living tissue composed of living cells and just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of biologically balanced minerals, especially calcium, yet also copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. It is highly probable that bones in a dog’s diet play a similar role to fibre, that is, a role of bulking out the food, thereby removing toxins and promoting general bowel health.  Calcium and phosphorus are in balance in raw bones in a 1:1 ratio, and are the two minerals a dog needs in the largest quantities.

Raw bones are ground and form a part of most of the dinners and pure meats we offer but are also available in recreational and meal replacement formats.

It is strongly suggested that in addition to the ground bones in the food, dogs are fed whole “Raw, meaty bone choices” for at least the equivalent of one day’s food per week – so once or twice a week. This form helps with cleaning teeth, promoting better breath, jaw development, and providing something for the dog to do – they must work to eat which truly satisfies their soul. PLEASE ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR DOG WHEN FEEDING BONES OR TREATS.

While the flesh of any animal is fine, when feeding bones alone, the bone type should be restricted to the size of the dog based on bone density (as opposed to the bone size). Common cuts can include chicken backs, wings and necks (or even whole carcasses), lamb necks, pork necks, turkey necks, pork hocks, duck necks, pork ribs, ox tails, turkey tails, even lamb, pork or poultry heads for the adventurous; any meaty bone that can be completely consumed by your dog in fact. If you are feeding meaty parts then you can feed them alone, if your choices are bonier (such as pork necks, wings or ribs), then you may need to add meat or heart to better balance the ratios.

Muscle meat

is a great source of protein, and protein contains essential amino acids, the building blocks of your dog. Muscle meat also contains a lot of phosphorus and is low in calcium. When fed with 10% bone you have the exact ratios of calcium to phosphorus required by a dog. Free range, grass-fed meat is also rich in omega 3 and beta-carotene – intensively farmed grain-fed meat has very little, if any.

Raw fat

is an excellent natural source of energy for a dog, however too much fat introduced too quickly can cause loose stools so you need to build up fat tolerance nice and slowly – this includes chicken skin which is considered a fat, so for sensitive dogs should be removed in the early stages of raw feeding.  Overall, Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio should be 2:1 to 6:1.

Raw fish*

(preferably whole, small, oily fish) can be added to one or two meals per week (one 3.75 oz can for a 50 lbs dog). This supplementation is recommended if the meat you feed is not grass-fed because grain-fed animals lack Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the dog’s joints and immune system. It is preferable to feed smaller whole fish, than portions of a larger fish since the mercury and toxin levels in fish are a concern.  Sardines in water with no salt added are wonderful and sustainable, low in mercury levels.  (Use up the can within two days after opening so things like DHA don't have a chance to go rancid.) If you are feeding fish, consider using it at about 10% of the diet.

*Never feed raw salmon because it may contain a microbe within a trematode that can kill dogs (but not cats!).  Deep freezing kills the trematode but we have no conclusive proof that it also kills the microbe according to Steve Brown, author of "Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet".

Raw offal

(organ meat such as liver, heart, kidneys, brains, lung, pancreas, spleen) from a variety of meat sources should be fed for one or two meals per week or 10% of the weekly diet. Some dogs do not like the texture of organ meats and need to have it lightly seared to change the texture. Other dogs don’t tolerate offal in larger quantities well, so it may be best to divide it up and feed a little each day to avoid loose stools. Liver is particularly important and should form no more than 5% of the overall diet, as it is the main source of water-insoluble vitamins in organs that a dog needs. Organs in general provide an enzyme-rich mixture of protein, B-complex vitamins, vitamins A and D, vitamin E, some vitamin C, and essential fatty acids EPA, DHA, and AA, along with minerals such as manganese, selenium, zinc, potassium and copper. Like muscle meat, organs contain a lot of phosphorus (and potassium) and are low in calcium. Do not overdo the organ meat! Organs are incredibly nutrient rich and are a necessary component of an appropriate raw diet, since these are a vital source of vitamins and minerals for your pets. Too much organ meat can lead to loose stools and diarrhea, amongst other things. Without organs, it is not possible to get sufficient minerals in the diet without resorting to fractionated and synthetic forms.

Essential organ meats in particular:

Liver

has a vast range of important nutrition – it has the most concentrated source of vitamin A as well as vitamins D, E, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, biotin, folacin and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type. It's a fantastic food for your dog! Sources suggest liver should not be more than 5% to 7.5% of the diet or there is a risk of too much vitamin A which can be harmful.

Kidneys

supply good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.

Heart

is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. It contains some essential fatty acids and a little vitamin A. Heart contains good levels of taurine, which is an important food... for the heart! (Heart is actually considered "Muscle Meat" rather than organ.)

II. Additional Supplements to Consider:

Before adding supplements, check to make sure they are not already contained in the food as you may be duplicating supplements.  Whether reacting to a health concern or wanting to guard against an ailment, supplements might be the boost your pet needs.  As with food, mix it up!  Try not to use the same supplement every day, day in and day out as a body can become immune to the benefits - an example of too much of a good thing is not a good thing:

Raw whole eggs

with shells (a perfect ratio of phosphorous to calcium) can be fed two or more times per week. You might have heard that raw egg whites contain a protein that binds with biotin and that is true. To avoid deficiencies, feed the entire egg, yolk and everything. The yolks are where most of the nutrition is found anyway. Egg yolks are excellent sources of magnesium, calcium, iron, folate, vitamins A, E and B6 and free-range eggs have lots of beta-carotene. We prefer eggs other than chicken.

If you buy your eggs commercially, they are likely sprayed with wax and other chemicals to improve their appearance. These chemicals are harmful for your dog so feed commercial eggs without the shell. If you cannot find fresh farm eggs, it is best to get your eggs from a local organic farmer and feed with the shell on. If eggs are fed with the shell on, they are a nearly complete food source for dogs. The shells can also be valuable for dogs that have difficulty eating bones. Simply dry the shells out and grind them in a clean coffee grinder until they are powdered and sprinkle the powder on your dog’s food.

Raw green tripe 

has long been quoted as being "the finest of natural foods". It should be unprocessed and unbleached – basically straight out the animal, and is a great food as it is the edible lining and accompanying content of a cow or other grass eating animals’ first or second division of the stomach. Paunch tripe comes from the large first stomach division and honeycomb tripe comes from the second division. Both wild canids and domestic dogs benefit from eating tripe as it contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including digestive enzymes, omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin B, probiotics, and phytonutrients. Raw tripe is considered as meat yet has a very good calcium/phosphorus ratio - it's not an essential part of the diet; yet is extremely nutritious if you can get it. Tripe should be from grass-fed herbivore animals (not grain fed) to get maximum nutritional benefit.

Kelp, Spirulina, and Phytoplankton 

is a recognized food supplement for humans. Now vets and advocates of a holistic approach to pet health recommend it for dogs and other animals. This seaweed is rich in natural salts and minerals, and it has a number of benefits for your dog's health: Thyroid, Adrenal and Pituitary Glands - this group is known for being iodine-rich. Thyroid problems are often associated with an iodine deficiency. Kelp, spirulina and phytoplankton also support many of the dog's other body functions: it cleanses the digestive system and keeps its juices balanced, and provide antioxidants.  Mix it up for best results!

Fish, Flax, Phytoplankton, Sprouted Seeds or Hemp Oil 

provides your pet with Omega 3 Fatty Acids to help balance Omega 6 Fatty Acids (ratio should be 2:1 to 6:1).  Proven to improve the shine, softness and luster of your pet's skin and coat! They are also beneficial in healing skin conditions such as hot spots, dandruff and dermatitis. Fish and Hemp oils are natural anti-inflammatories making them an ideal supplement for dogs suffering from arthritis or joint conditions.

  • Red and White meats do well with: Phytoplankton, Fish (i.e. Sardines)
  • Red Meats do best with: Hempseed Oil, Fish (i.e. Sardines), Phytoplankton
  • White meats do best with: Flaxseed Oil, Fish (i.e Sardines), Phytoplankton, Sprouted Seeds
Sauerkraut (low sodium), Sheep or Goat Yogurt and Kefir

are also nutritious and delicious additions a couple of times a week.