If you’re keen to start off your pup on a raw food diet, you’re on the right track. More and more, dog owners believe that it’s better to go organic rather than feed their pet dogs dry kibble. Having said that, not all dog owners know how and where to start with a raw dog food diet.
A good option is to follow the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) which comprises a homemade diet of raw meaty bones (10%) and muscle meat (70%), veggies (7%), liver (5%), other organs (5%), nuts and seeds (2%) and fruits (1%).
By following this diet, you will no longer find it daunting to switch completely to a raw food diet. By following these 10 rules of raw feeding your dogs, you’ll have a healthy pet, no doubt.
Rule # 1: Include calcium in your pet’s diet
Pups and adult dogs need a lot of minerals in their food, particularly calcium and phosphorus. Your dog wouldn’t survive without them. Ensure that his meal contains about 15% of bones. These could be chicken wings, thighs or legs; beef tail bones, lamb ribs, and turkey necks.
For sufficient calcium and phosphorus, eggs are also a good option.
Rule #2: Muscle meat for tissue-building
By putting your canine on raw muscle meat, you provide him with the amino acids, proteins, and water-soluble vitamins his body needs–70% of his daily intake. He needs this for strong tissue-building and enzymes and hormones for his survival and well-being.
You can give him ground beef, beef heart, stewed lamb, shoulder of pork, boneless chicken thighs, and turkey breast meat.
Rule #3: Organ meat is rich in multivitamins
If you prefer not to give your dog organ meat, you’re depriving him of some basic multivitamins. About 20% of his diet should comprise organ meat.
However, if you feed him only liver, reduce that to 10% because it’s rich in Vitamin A. An overdose of it could give him diarrhea. We all know cleaning even with a robot vacuum is difficult when this happens.
Spleen, brain, kidney, and pancreas are also good for him, nutritious and delicious too, so about 30% of his diet could comprise these in any combination. Liver, lungs, testicles, and thymus are also good organs for him.
Rule #4: Liver: Good source of proteins, fat, and vitamins
According to the BARF diet (https://perfectlyrawsome.com/raw-feeding-knowledgebase/biologically-appropriate-raw-food-barf-adult-dogs/), the liver is a rich source of vitamins, fats, and proteins. A pet dog should be given not more than five percent of his daily intake. By eating liver, not only do dogs remain healthy but keep them in good shape too.
Additionally, the liver is rich in phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, and niacin. It also provides your pet with Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and Vitamin B. It is a basic amino acid that is required to give dogs a balanced diet. It can be derived from chicken, beef, pork, bison, and lamb.
Rule #5: Vegetables for all-round good health
Vegetables provide the necessary nutrients and good phytochemicals that dogs need to lead a healthy life. About 7% of their daily intake should comprise veggies. Plant fibers are good for introducing probiotics in the dog’s stomach; chlorophyll is a good detox for his digestive system and liver.
Carotene found in colored fruits and veggies will keep him from disease and aging, while Lycopene retards the spread of cancer.
Rule #6: Seeds & Nuts
Healthy seed options for dogs include sunflower, chia, and flax seeds. Seeds add protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre, and amino acids. They can be crushed and added as a topping to your dog’s food.
The BARF diet approves of dogs being given raw seeds, rich in fatty acids, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins. This should not exceed two percent of their daily food intake. They should be given cashews, peanuts, and almonds, preferably unsalted and pre-soaked and powdered before feeding.
Giving them any other kind of nuts could affect their digestion, and they could suffer from pancreatitis, and vomit, have diarrhea, and stomach pain. Nuts are good for dogs because they contain fiber that gives them a feeling of satiety for long.
Rule #7: Fruit
Fruit provides dogs with antioxidants, but they should be fed to them in small quantities due to their huge sugar levels. Only one percent of a dog’s daily intake should comprise fruits.
Rule #8: Dog supplements
These days, supplements are a great boon to raw diets. Diets, where the dog eats bones, are woefully short of linoleic acid, Vitamins D and E, DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids) and trace minerals including zinc, manganese, iodine, and selenium.
Rule #9: Reduce fats
True, like us, even dogs need to have a good dose of healthy fats, though in tiny portions. Healthy fats help dogs develop a strong and healthy nervous system and an immune system too. They also give dogs good skin all over the entire body.
However, if he has too much fat, his system will not be able to absorb more vitamins and minerals. But to be specific, you should not give your dog more than 20% fat in his daily diet. He should eat a lot of whole fish, ground beef, pork loin, rabbit and light meat.
Avoid giving him chicken, pork belly and turkey meat with skin, and duck meat.
Rule #10: Avoid starchy foods
Please avoid giving your dog potatoes, grains and peas as they don’t suit them. They cannot digest grains, so it would be dangerous to include them in their daily food. When dogs eat starchy foods, they produce the hormone insulin.
Insulin stimulates the dog to store its food as fat. If your dog is fat, eliminate grains from his diet as this could lead to diabetes and insulin resistance. Besides, starch also adds unwanted calories to your pet’s diet.
Starchy foods also disrupt the microbes that reside in the pet’s digestive tract that give him better immunity and help produce vitamins. Without these, your dog may suffer from yeast, allergies, and inflammatory health problems.
By following these 10 rules as closely as possible, you stand to have a very healthy and happy pet that will live long and serve you well till the end. As a dog owner and lover, isn’t this what you want for him?