How about a few healthy, whole food raw dog food recipes?
A natural barf diet is a combination of all the best quality foods we can feed our dogs, whether you choose a grain or no grain recipe.
Not all raw food recipes are created equal, so stick with me while I explain some basics.
First, let me get the question of grains in dog food out of the
way. Dogs have absolutely NO NEED FOR GRAINS. None. Zippity-doo-dah.
You must decide for your dog.
The sad truth is grains cost less.
I won't feed them to Lulu - not even in a treat because now I know their side effects. . . but when I had 5 big dogs and a pocket book the size of a Cheerio? You bet I did ~ because I didn't think I had choice at the time.
Let me repeat. Dogs do NOT NEED grains in any form (or potatoes). Dogs need meat, organs, bones period.
I think we’ve gotten into the whole grain/carbohydrate thing for a couple of reasons.
That being said, I admit I didn't serve a grain free diet until 2013. Still, I was picky and used only certain whole grains. I will leave it up to you whether you use grains in your raw dog food recipes.
Meals are less expensive when adding them to homemade raw dog
food recipes and your dog may feel more full simply because grains are harder to digest.
If you do serve grains, please be picky. Here are some dos and don'ts when it comes to our carnivorous canines and grains.
If you want to use grains, add them to the recipes on this page. Keep grains and vegetables combined at 20% or less by volume.
When there are any kinds of dog skin disorders such as hot spots,
redness in genital area, dry itchy skin or any other canine skin
conditions I haven’t mentioned, then no grains in your raw dog food recipes!
If yeast is a problem, like dog yeast ear infections, then no grains!
Above all, if your dog has cancer, then no grains ever.
The above conditions can be either caused or aggravated by grains. I suggest starting raw without them and once the dog is feeling better and problems disappear, then try them if you must and monitor.
If you haven't guessed by now, a barf diet is the best dog food for skin allergies and food allergies in dogs.
Okay, we're to the recipe part! I'm going to give you 4 recipes and we'll see how much you've been listening. Three of the recipes are good and one is not.
Even with these recipes I believe in supplementing just a bit. I do not use nor recommend "dog supplements". Instead I use human supplements I know are tested (as in every batch) to be certain they contain what they claim without any toxins (you'd be surprised).
Combine all ingredients together like a meatloaf. Get in there and mix it up! Form into patties the right size for your dog. (See table at bottom of page.) Refrigerate or freeze, thawing in the fridge the day before feeding.
I will note the suggestion for thawing out the day before feeding is for those who worry about bacteria. Personally I don't and it would make me crazy to have to remember to thaw something out every darn day so I leave out 5-7 days worth in the fridge.
I also know that a dog's digestive system is so much better at handling bacteria than ours, I don't worry about it.
Obviously you don't have to agree but my dogs have never become sick from their food (but then they've never been on antibiotics either.)
Note: This recipe should NOT be the only one you use and you should vary the meat for complete nutrition.
This is an important variation of the first recipe because dogs NEED organs and/or offal. Feed this recipe at least twice a week or better yet, daily as long as heart is included.
Heart is actually a muscle meat.
Let's go with a small batch here in case you have tiny dog:
Again, you can mix this up like a meatloaf and freeze in meal size patties depending on the chart at the bottom of the page.
This is in fact the best combination of ingredients you can give your dog. The only thing missing in either of these recipes is bone. Bone is full of minerals so please give your dog a meaty bone several times a week. A chicken neck is enough for a small dog and a chicken back is excellent for all other dogs.
Now if all this sounds like a pain in the behind, I can tell you this. After doing this for several months I didn't even think about raw dog food recipes because it simply became part of my routine.
Now it's so easy I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so used to my dog's nutritional needs I buy various meats and organs on a monthly basis, some with bone (again chicken backs are excellent and inexpensive) and some without; different organ meats and put a combination in her bowl twice a day. There are no meat patties in my house.
And since Lulu takes specific herbal supplements (herbs are after all, prized healing plants) from my ABC program, they put veggies to shame nutritionally. No vegetables are needed.
The next picture is one I used before I began supplementing. Super easy.
By the way, my dogs could swallow a whole piece of this meat without chewing and it would still be fully digested before its exit. Dogs have amazingly powerful stomach acid (which is also why bacteria rarely bothers them.) Cool huh?
In a hurry? Here's a quick one with no prep time but do not use it daily. This would be for a dog about 80 pounds.
Toss it in a bowl and its gone in 60 seconds!
I will say, if I had a small dog I would make recipe #2 increasing it to 5 pounds of heart meat/organs. I would only have to make it once every three or four
What's terrible about this recipe? There are at least five things wrong. See if you can figure it out before you read below the ingredients list where I spill the beans so to speak.
Before you leave this page I want to be sure you know the difference because your dog's health is important to me.
I saw this recipe being prepared on You Tube and I almost cried. I've seen many others across the web that are just as bad.
This is terrible so let me count the ways...
Ground beef (versus ground chuck or ground round etc) has a lot of fat. If your dog has ever suffered an attack of Pancreatitis, you know how dangerous this can be. And too much fat could bring on a bad tummy episode for a dog with IBD or Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well.
There is a comparison of white rice and brown rice at the link.
I've been purchasing supplements for roughly 25 years, first for myself and my family I got specific supplements only available through holistic practitioners.
When it came to my dogs I researched products until I was blue in the face. (Now doesn't that saying give you a funny visual?)
Here's what I have learned.
There are tens of thousands of products to buy in this unregulated industry. They are not equal in ingredient quality, source or potency. I literally searched for years before I decided who I could trust.
As a dog health coach when I work with an individual I have them start with recipe #2. Then add specific supplements to strengthen the body system which needs support. (Examples are things like arthritis, IBD, kidney stones, fatty tumors, skin disorders etc.)
To see if I have any consultation spots open, please see my contact me page. Unfortunately I'm booked pretty solid so I've added a carefully constructed program I call the ABC Program. Check it out.
For those who want to add pure nutrition which is so good you can go without the veggies, please use NSP Spirulina.
Spirulina which is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. You can read all about it on my page titled the Benefits of Spirulina. One capsule of Spirulina is more nutritious than a cup of veggies. And there's no prep time!
NSP also carries a nice healthy supplement called Super Omega 3 which you can read about on my page titled Fish Oil for Dogs. You could purchase this or stick with the water packed canned sardines.
A new and totally awesome supplement I'm now recommending is called NutriBiome. You can find more and order it at NutriBiome
To get a hefty discount, purchase two of these products and sign up as a member. And don't forget to share the dog's supplements. We do at our house!
You can get Spirulina, Super Omega 3 and NutriBiome through my Nature's Sunshine Website.
Thanks for visiting and using my basic raw dog food recipes page. If you want to learn to prepare the ultimate raw dog food, I've now got the perfect class for you.
After years of serving raw, reading the research done by a dog food formulator who began his own raw food company and learning from a raw food feeding veteran whose dogs really do reach old age ( well I consider 20 to be old age for a dog, don't you? )
The class comes in both written (with pictures) and audio versions to give you the best value. To check out The Best Raw Dog Food course, just click on the picture.
Here's a sneak picture of a perfect meal that takes about a minute to throw together.
And it costs no more than a premium bag of kibble.