Feeding a Raw Diet
There are a number of different philosophies regarding raw diets, including ones that believe feeding grains is okay, so long as they've been cooked! Other diet proponents believe that in order for a raw diet to be "balanced" a dog must have daily servings of fruits & vegetables (also known as BARF - or Bones & Raw Food), as well as numerous other supplements for optimum health. We don't believe that this is correct, and we do not feed any fruits or vegetables, except for the odd treat. Research done on wolves (who are 99.9% genetically identical to the domestic dog) shows that while wolves go for the stomach & internal organs first, the contents of the stomach are most often spilled onto the ground & left (instead of being eaten like many people think) to decay.
Many thanks to Bev Molloy of Banda Mastiffs, who introduced us to the world of healthy, species appropriate feeding; and without whom the following information would not be present here.
How we feed:
Variety is important!! Dogs get different nutrients from different meats & organs - all of which are necessary for optimal health. Try to get several different meat sources. Beef, horse, pork, chicken, turkey, emu, ostrich, beefalo, bison, rabbit, quail, lamb, etc., etc.
Make sure your dog gets organ meats from a hoofed animal (Internal organs from a hoofed animal contain zinc.)
Green tripe - perfectly balanced as to calcium and phosphorus.
Eggs (You can throw in the shell of organic eggs, however store bought eggs have wax covered shells & should not be used)
Whole Fish (head, tail, guts & all) - tuna, salmon, sardines, halibut, trout, catfish, etc
You should be trying for an overall ratio of 70 - 80% meat; 20 - 30% organs and bone. Don't try to get this balance daily, but rather over the course of a week, or even month. Feel free to fast adult dogs on occasion - puppies should never be fasted.
If you find your dog is having difficulty passing powdery, white/yellow stool, they are getting too much bone and should have their meat:bone ratio increased. On the opposite end of the spectrum, all meat & no bone will give your baby "runny bum"!
Never feed kibble and raw at the same meal!! It takes different digestive juices to break each down and can cause real upsets. If you are switching over, use one meat source for a period of time - say a week - before moving on to the next meat source. Some dogs don't do well with certain types of meat. It's not necessary to make a gradual change from kibble to raw.
Whole prey model is ideal. This is giving the dog the whole carcass - like a whole chicken at a time. This stimulates the dog both mentally and physically, and gets their digestive juices going.
Check out www.rawmeatybones.com for a diet guide of Dr. Tom Lonsdale's RMB diet in .pdf format. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BlighParkPetHealthCentre