Homemade raw dog food including a raw egg and a duck foot

Raw Dog Food Myths 5/5: Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food?

Are you wondering “will my dog die from raw dog food”?

Well, you’ve come to the right place for an educated answer from a proud raw dog food nerd!

I’m also a certified raw dog food nutrition specialist!

Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist Certificate of Completion

First of all, welcome to K9sOverCoffee and my mini-series about raw-feeding related myths!

I’ve covered different topics in this series and have shown that:

  • Raw-fed dogs are neither aggressive
  • Nor will they make themselves or their human family sick
  • And they also don’t have smelly breath

In today’s part 5, I’m looking at whether or not dogs die from eating raw dog food.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Dog Food Myths: Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food? | Part 5/5

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated in 2024. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food?

I’ve been feeding raw dog food since 2015 and only have good things to report about it.

Most importantly, raw dog food bought my Boxer mix Missy 3 additional years with me after her first cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Back then, her oncologist estimated that she’d have another year, if that.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Missy after her tumor removal surgery at the VSH in Cary, NC
Missy after her tumor removal surgery at the VSH in Cary, NC

I ultimately lost Missy to a second cancer diagnosis in April 2018, but I’m convinced that she wouldn’t have made it as long if I hadn’t made the switch from kibble to raw in 2015.

Missy’s brother Buzz continues to thrive on raw dog food and never had another ear infection since eating raw. Before raw, he had 2-3 every year.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Buzz and I picking up Missy after her vet visit
Buzz, left, and Missy, right

Likewise, my new pup Wally, a 38 lb Feist mix, has been thriving since eating raw.

I adopted him in early 2019 and immediately switched him from kibble to raw.

His new diet cured him of his awful itchiness he came with when I adopted him.

K9sOverCoffee.com | My dog Wally's raw dog food consists of a raw turkey neck, ground turkey, venison, beef, lamb, and a duck egg.
Wally with his homemade raw dog food

So no, your dog won’t die because he eats raw dog food.

On the contrary, dogs who eat raw dog food thrive and are full of life!

Why I Began Feeding Raw Dog Food

For new K9sOverCoffee readers, I’d like to briefly explain again why I decided to stop feeding my pups kibble in the first place.

Missy’s Cancer Diagnosis at 3.5 Years

My girl Missy, a 50 lb Boxer mix, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at just 3.5 years of age. Or maybe I should say “youth” instead.

Either way, it came as a total surprise. 

One morning, I felt a huge lump on her neck when I brushed her which I SWEAR had not been there the night before. 

I had always thought of K9 cancer as a potential evil by-product of senior dogs, but didn’t think it was possible for a young dog such as Missy to be diagnosed with it. 

But sure enough, it was a cancerous lump.

My Research on Dog Cancer

During her cancer treatment at the VSH in Cary, NC, I began my research on dog cancer.

I started reading and watching anything and everything that was remotely related to K9 cancer.

I wanted to know about its causes, treatments, and survival chances because I wasn’t ready to loose Missy yet.

The Importance Of A Strong Doggie Immune System

During the course of my research, I kept hearing about how a strong immune system is an important ally in beating cancer.

Along with it, this so-called “species appropriate diet of raw dog food” kept coming up.

I read so many stories of dog owners who swore by it because the results they saw spoke for themselves.

They talked about their healthy and thriving pups with clean teeth, considerably less allergies, strong immune systems, and more energy.

Just do a hashtag search for Raw Feeding Community or Raw Fed Dog on Instagram, and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of raw dog food nerds with thriving pups, myself included.

Either way, you can imagine that I became more and more intrigued and simply HAD to give it a try. 

After all, if highly processed, dry dog food was really a contributing factor in causing cancer, maybe a raw diet was capable of boosting the immune system?

I figured I didn’t exactly have too much to lose since Missy had just been diagnosed with a disease that would kill her if left untreated.

That said, I simply took the plunge into unknown waters and started on our journey towards healthier pups.

I’m SO glad that I did, and believe me when I say that I won’t ever go back to feeding a 100% kibble diet.

On that note, here’s a few options for how to feed kibble and raw dog food together.

Pet Nutrition Blogger Rodney Habib On How To Approach A Healthy, Raw Diet

I watched an interesting interview with pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib on Planet Paws.

When asked how a kibble feeder should approach the topic of raw feeding, he suggested to add just 1 teaspoon of raw food to the dog’s diet for starters.

That’s because just one teaspoon less of highly processed, starchy dog food can already make a difference!

How I Began Feeding My Dogs A Healthier Diet

I used a slightly different approach when changing Missy’s & Buzz’s diet than Rodney Habib suggests.

Instead of adding just a small amount of healthier food to their kibble, I switched both pups from kibble to raw with a detour via dehydrated and freeze-dried dog food.

I made the switch from kibble to dehydrated raw over the course of 10 days.

After about 3 months of this, I made the final switch from dehydrated to raw.

Dehydrated/Freeze-Dried Dog Food

There are several different brands who offer dehydrated and/or freeze-dried dog food, and I personally fed Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-bowl.

Dr. Harvey's Veg-to-Bowl and Health & Shine Fish Oil Capsules sitting on a stove top

It consists of dehydrated & freeze-dried veggies and herbs you add your own meat and oil to. The meat can either be raw or cooked.

That said, I worked myself up from cooking it at first to finally just adding raw, ground or cut up chunks of meat. 

For example, ground turkey or chunked chicken breast.

It was the perfect way of easing myself into feeding the pups a healthier diet, and they LOVED it so much!

If you’re interested in making the switch from highly processed kibble to a healthier diet for your pup, consider giving the Veg-to-Bowl a try.

Dr. Harvey's Veg-to-Bowl – Grain-Free Base-Mix For HOMEMADE Dog Food

Once I had started adding raw meat to the Veg-to-Bowl, I began exploring raw dog food retailers online.

My Favorite Online Raw Dog Food Retailers

The first two I found were Darwin’s Natural Pet Food and Raw Paws Pet Food, and I highly recommend both!

Darwin’s Natural Pet

Darwin’s sells pre-packaged raw meals with vegetables. They consist of 75% raw meat including 10% bone and 25% vegetables.

The meals are pre-ground and mixed together.

Easy peasy, since you don’t have to worry about feeding a potentially unbalanced raw diet.

Keeping it nutritiously balanced is important in order to keep our pups’ bodies functioning at their best.

A package of Darwin's raw lamb dog food sitting on wood floors

Raw Paws Pet Food

Raw Paws Pet Food also sells pre-made meals, but they also offer individual cuts of raw meat to make your own raw dog food.

Black Boxer dog sits on a raw dog food delivery box from Raw Paws Pet Food. There's also pictures of duck hearts and other cuts of raw meat from Raw Paws Pet Food

While this second option is less expensive, it’s also less convenient since you’ll have to raw dog food meal prep yourself.

K9sOverCoffee.com | A 5 lb bag of raw turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food
Raw turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food

I personally use both approaches. I love making my own raw dog food, but I also still buy pre-made meals whenever I can find a good deal on them.

Raw Dog Food Meal Prep Following The 70-80/10/10 Rule
How I meal prep raw dog food at home

Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference, time, and budget when you make the decision between pre-made meals or making your own.

Tip: You can save 15% on any Raw Paws Pet Food orders with my affiliate discount code K9Savings at checkout:

Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food? Bottom Line

No, your dog won’t die from raw dog food. I personally began feeding raw dog food in 2015, and I would do it all over again!

Because of it, my pup Missy was in remission from cancer for years longer than expected.

Her brother Buzz no longer has any ear infections, and my new pup Wally is cured of his allergies.

However, there is one caveat. You can’t just throw your dog a steak and call it raw feeding. That’s an occasional treat.

Balanced raw dog food consists of so much more:

  • 70-80% muscle meat including fish
  • 10% raw meaty bones
  • 10% secreting organs
  • Optional plant matter

That said, if you’re going to make your own raw dog food, you have to be knowledgeable in how to make it.

Over the years, I’ve written many articles about the topic of raw feeding, and you’re welcome to browse my blog and read them all.

If you’re pressed for time, I recommend you check out my 3 raw dog food e-books.

They explain how to make DIY raw dog food at home along with tips, hacks, resources, and promo codes to save on your ingredients.

Either way, happy reading, and always feel free to shoot me a message with your raw feeding questions!

Has a sickness caused you to re-evaluate your dog’s lifestyle choices?

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this blog post!

Or if you’d like to keep it private, email me at barbara@k9sovercoffee.com.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






8 responses to “Raw Dog Food Myths 5/5: Will My Dog Die From Raw Dog Food?”

  1. Elaine Avatar

    I’m thrilled that Missy and Buzz are doing so well. You’re right, they both look amazing and are in such great physical condition!

    In thinking over the whole raw diet idea, I was wondering if you have an opinion on whether or not to feed raw pork. I’ve heard conflicting advice on whether it’s safe or not. Another reason I’m wondering about it is that my son lives in Texas where wild pigs are a nuisance and he does a lot of hunting. He was curious if raw feeders in his area might be interested in having the meat but he wasn’t sure if it was healthy for dogs. For us here in Ohio, we’ll try the Veg-to-Bowl and grocery store meat option if we decided to go raw, lol!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, Elaine :-))

      What I first heard about raw pork is that it has the potential to harbor the parasite trichinella and needs to be frozen for at least 3 weeks to ensure it’s safe to feed (the long freezing time will kill any potential parasites).

      Lindsay from That Mutt actually wrote about it on her blog:


      You’ll find big raw feeding retailers such as Raw Feeding Miami including it in their store, so I’d say it’s definitely safe to feed our pups – while browsing their selection, I noticed that they also sell Wild Boar Baby Back Ribs (maybe your son should join a Raw Feeding Facebook group and ask their members about whether or not they’ve fed Wild Boar):


  2. Julie Smith Avatar
    Julie Smith

    I am so happy Missy is doing so good. She and Buzz are beautiful and well loved!! I like the idea of food already made with the proper proportions and it sounds like a cool Veg to Bowl for switching over made easy.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks so much, Julie. Yes, Darwin’s was the perfect way of easing myself into the raw-fed world. It’s as convenient as scooping kibble from a bag, except that you’ll be reaching into the fridge 😉

  3. Kate Obrien Avatar
    Kate Obrien

    Great series – thanks for sharing all you’ve learned.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, Kate – it’s been fun reviewing the last year!

  4. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

    Very interesting. I am glad you found something that worked for your dogs.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Oh, me too, trust me!!

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