I am not here to convince you to start feeding your dog a raw diet. There are plenty of great books written by qualified veterinarians that you should read to convince you. My favorite is Raw and Natural Nutrition by Lew Olson. I highly recommend you read up before you start feeding raw to assure your dog is getting a complete and balanced meal. I am going to tell you how I feed full time raw at my house. There are so many ways to do it, this is just mine.
The only way that raw feeding is possible at my house is with the help of a stand up freezer. It is much more cost effective to buy in bulk and you’ll need a freezer to store all that meat in.
It is time intensive, but worth it in the long run. I spend 2-3 hours, once every other month prepping food for my dogs. I have a ton of tupperware designated for raw meals that helps keep me organized.
I make my own supplements that I feed in addition to a complete raw meal.
There are plenty of Facebook groups that place orders for meat for raw fed dogs. There is also a great company called Raw Dog Food and Co that offers complete meals and they also offer drop off through out the Denver metro area. I am lucky to have friends who work in restaurants who hook us up with meat scraps that would other wise be thrown away. This greatly helps with keeping the cost down. If you have friends that hunt, talk to them about organs and other parts they won’t consume. My husband and his friends recently purchased a whole cow, so the dogs and I were lucky enough to get a ton of scraps and organs. I don’t eat meat myself but I was happy to take in unwanted cow parts to feed to the dogs! If you have a friend who keeps chickens, raw eggs are also great in their diet. A lot of the time I just shop at the grocery store for meat. The grocery store by us sells, chicken feet and pork necks that are a great addition to their meals. As a general rule I never spend more than $3/pound when I buy meat for the dogs. Raw feeding can get really pricey if you aren’t careful.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Get creative, this is just what I happen to have at home. As a basic rule, no onions, grapes or chocolate. Its essentially a green smoothie so if you have other fruits or vegetables add them in! I use a stick blender and then portion and freeze. I give 1 tablespoon each meal.
Pork neck bones
In my own experience I have seen a tremendous improvement in my dogs overall health on a raw diet. Tiva ate kibble for a lot of years before we knew better. Waylon is lucky enough to come into our lives when we know better so he has been eating raw his whole life. I truly believe that a diet with more real whole food is better than a diet of processed food.
-Rachel Harris CPDT-KA
owner/trainer at A Good Feeling Dog Training