Below are raw feeding questions that come up often in our community

Why should I feed my dog a raw diet?

Simply put: A raw fed typical dog thrives. Dogs are built to consume and digest raw meat. If they can’t, then something is wrong. Be it genetics or environmental (I don’t mean the weather. Environmental includes anything affecting a dog that is not coming from within the dog’s DNA itself.) Their jaw structure and digestive systems show us so. When you feed a dog what it should be eating, then the dog is being nourished for optimal functionality. Dogs are facultative carnivores. Commercial dog food companies have only been around since the last century. Dogs thrived for hundreds of years before those companies came along. Ponder for just a moment what it was they were eating before the first dog food company came around. Then, take it a step further and consider what they were eating before they were domesticated too. The answer to both of those questions is: They ate raw meat.

What is whole prey?

Whole prey is the entire prey animal with their fur or feathers and all of their internal organs intact. Whole prey is said to ideally provide a complete diet. *A complete diet is not the same as a balanced diet.

What is prey model raw (PMR)?

A diet provided by humans for their domesticated dogs that mimic the diet of canines in the wild. A Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet for dogs consists of 80% muscle meat, 10% raw, edible bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organs.

What is BARF?

A Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet is comprised of raw meats, bones, liver, offal; vegetables and fruit. A complete BARF diet for dogs consists of 70% muscle meat, 10% raw edible bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs, and 10% veggies/fruit.

Can I feed kibble and raw?

The short answer to this is yes. The follow up to that is typical dogs aren’t meant to eat kibble so if you are feeding them partly raw then moving the dog to fully raw is a more biologically appropriate goal. Feeding a dog both kibble and raw can potentially create a pH issue in the dog’s gut. That, in turn, can cause disruption in many different ways. A raw diet is digested and the nutrients are absorbed into the dog’s body in an efficient way with a lower pH. Kibble does not digest in that same way (the same way and not at the same rate of time mean different things.) and it creates a higher pH level in the dog’s system. Certain things aren’t created or effectively released from foods when the pH is too high. Such as Pepsin. Pepsin is one of three main proteases made in the digestive tract. Some people will say that kibble and raw diets digest at different rates. It isn’t exactly that the two digests at different rates as much as it is the two create different pH levels and are absorbed and converted differently by the dog. If you feed kibble + raw together then a potential pH issue can be created within your dog and that in turn can create issues such as UTI’s and bladder infections/crystals/stones among other issues. 

What’s a facultative carnivore?

A facultative carnivore is a carnivore that does not depend solely on animal flesh for food but also can survive on non-animal food. Dogs should consume animals that are classified as herbivores. They should not eat animals that eat other animals.

What is the boilerplate 80/10/10 and 80/10/5/5 in regards to the PMR Diet?

A prey model raw or PMR diet is based on the average feeding ratios of 80% muscle meat / 10% raw edible bones / 10% organs. <—- This 10% is ideally made up of 5% liver and 5 % offal (other secreting organs also referred to as OSO) Hence the 80/10/5/5 math. That is 80% muscle meat / 10% raw, edible bones / 5% liver / 5% offal.

If I feed 80/10/5/5 but I feed veggies too then how do I do the math?

You can either reduce the 80% muscle meat to 70% or you can feed veggies as supplements and leave the 80% muscle meat ratio as is. Each dog is different, so you’ll need to notice the dog’s physique and monitor weight to decide which is best for a particular dog. If you keep the ratios to 80/10/10 and you add other real foods, this is a feeding style commonly known as PMR+.

Raw Fact: The above numbers are a starting point for ratio feeding and every dog needs to have its particular ratios adjusted to suit its needs for optimal health and a thriving life. A more desired % to feed bone is between 12%- 15%. Adults hovering closer to 13% and puppies at about 15%. Again, these numbers are meant to be adjusted to your dog.

What is balancing per meal?

Balancing your dog’s diet per meal means you measure exact ounces of each needed ingredient for each meal consistently. Do It Yourself (DIY) feeding is the method needed to balance per meal. This cannot be attained via PMR.

What is balancing over time?

Balancing over time means you don’t always measure a balance per meal. Maybe you don’t feed offal every meal, but you feed it through the week on routine so the dog is benefiting from the offal as it should. Perhaps you feed heavier bone for a day because of the weight of a certain feeding bone you bought. Another scenario is you feed premade grinds. With premade grinds, you won’t ever balance per meal. Or maybe you ran out of zinc or magnesium. This would make you a balancing over time feeder. 

Raw Fact: Some nutrients cannot be balanced over time. 

What is NRC?

NRC is the National Research Council and they are the publishers of a series on nutrition requirements for dogs and cats. The last revision was in 2006 and it is the foundation for other nutrition guidelines worldwide.

How do I feed via the NRC standards?

To feed NRC standards, you feed your dog the exact amount that your dog needs per the NRC guidelines. You don’t skimp and you don’t skip any nutrients.

How do I know if I am giving my dog enough of what it needs?

There are many calculators and nutrients charts floating around the Internet that can help with this. The best way to really know if your dog is getting what it needs each meal is to work with a raw diet professional to help you figure out what, how much of, where to get, and how to put together the right ingredients for a complete + balanced meal. #feedthedoginfrontofyou

What’s a premade grind?

Premade grinds are commercially made PMR or complete + balanced grinds made up ideally of the 80/10/10 or 80/10/ 5/5 rule, or the BARF model that can include some, most, or supposedly all nutrients your dog needs. These grinds are convenient and often cost-effective depending on what you buy and where you live. A premade commercial grind marketed to be balanced + complete means that grind has been made of all the essential nutrients a dog requires. The size of a commercial batch can change how much of what a package actually contains. Each package has a minimum and a maximum of its ingredients nutritional values but unless a grind is made per meal, there is no way to know exactly how much of what is in each package.

What is DIY feeding?

DIY feeding is the Do It Yourself method. With the DIY feeding method, you measure each food and feed them separately in the same bowl and it can also mean making your own grinds. When you grind your own batches of food, you have the precise amount of each ingredient and the ability to properly balance meals per your dog’s needs.

Can I raw feed my puppy?

Yes, you just need to do your homework very thoroughly and pay strict attention to your puppy as it grows. There is a guide to raw feeding puppies under the raw feeding guides tab. Feeding pup’s is a very specific job so it is critical to get it right.