Many dog owners tend to feed kibble as it’s easy and super accessible. When I got my first German Shepherd almost 4 years ago, I started off feeding her kibble. She either didn’t like it or it made her sick. We tried multiple different proteins and brands, as well as ones that our vet recommended with little to no success. She just wasn’t handling it well at all.This is where I began my raw feeding journey with my dog.
I decided to do research on other ways to feed a dog to keep them healthy. I came across fresh food companies and thought about trying those and also discovered raw feeding too. Fresh food seemed great because it could be ordered but it was super expensive, especially for a puppy that would grow to be a medium to large dog. This is when I decided to look into making my own food. I couldn’t find much on fresh feeding as cooking food removes nutrients so I dug further into learning about raw feeding my puppy.
As I researched raw food, I found a bunch of companies and joined many Facebook groups to get advice and tips. I also discussed it with out vet who said it’s very common they see malnourished dogs from being fed raw improperly but did advise to try it but to make sure I had it fully balanced and did my due diligence to research it completely before I made the jump to DIY it. If you aren’t someone who wants to DIY Raw but want to feed your dog raw and learn more about it, keep reading. I’ll share some of the top choices of companies I love shopping with to keep up variety but also the ones who sell it already ground with everything your dog needs.
My go to raw food companies that I order from for that extra variety of raw are We Feed Raw, Raw Feeding Miami, and Raw Wild. There are many great companies that offer bulk raw food, organ meats, or full grinds with all your dog needs included. Some companies also offer where you can pick and choose the meat, organs, and bones and DIY it at home. The DIY option tends to be a bit more affordable too.
What I Buy
I’ll be honest that buying raw food for your dog can definitely be overwhelming at first. I started with the research and made my first purchase with Raw Feeding Miami. They were highly recommended to me as a first time raw feeder. My first order with them I ordered, Rabbit, Green Tripe, Bison Spleen, and Raw Goat Milk. I decided to grab the chicken livers from the grocery store. Honestly, I figured getting meats I knew I couldn’t find or source locally was my best option.
I was concerned a bit about price but also knew this was worth trying to see how my dog did. Once the order arrived, I cut and weighed it all out. This super helpful calculator tool will allow you to enter in your dog’s weight. From there you pick if you want pounds or kilograms and click ‘calculate’. It’ll breakdown the daily weight per day and then go further with breaking it down to weight for muscle meat, liver, bone, and organ. The calculator has you pick if you have a puppy or adult dog and if you are feeding PMR or BARF. I have fed PMR and BARF and about 90% of the time I’ve fed PMR (prey model raw). The main difference is BARF includes fruits and veggies to give your dog while PMR doesn’t.
Protein Rotations & Supplements
Personally, I didn’t really do any supplementing of vitamins with my dog while feeding raw because I made sure to keep up a good rotation of proteins. Within the same week she got 2-3 different proteins. Typically I rotated them throughout the month as well to keep up with variety at meal time.
If during month one I fed rabbit, quail, and chicken; I then would pick proteins such as beef, turkey, and duck for month two. She did enjoy the occasional addition of a “luxury” protein like lamb. I made sure to have some as a special meal for one to two meals during the month it wasn’t a protein staple. This isn’t necessary but something I did because lamb seemed to be a protein favorite for my dog.
Discuss it with your vet if you feel your dog is lacking a specific vitamin or mineral and see if you can have a test run to check. I did blood work every 6 months to make sure she was staying healthy on this diet and honestly, my vet who wasn’t fond of raw, absolutely loved seeing her amazing blood panel results come back.
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Looking for some high quality supplements for your dog whether fed raw or kibble? Check out this post on TruDog supplements.