One common question I get from readers is what do they have to add to a certain amount of meat to make DIY raw dog food?
It’s a very good question too, because it’s relatively easy to score a great deal on discounted meat from the grocery store.
It doesn’t matter if it’s raw chicken, turkey, beef, bison, lamb or pork either – if you have the freezer space to store it, grab as much as you can!
While that’s a good start to making your own DIY raw dog food, there’s still a few components you have to add.
Which is why next, there’s 3 things to understand/figure out:
1 – the 70/10/10/10 raw dog food formula
2 – which part of the formula the meat falls into and
3 – how to calculate an unknown using the rule of three (yep, basic math)
I’ll add a bonus that explains how to figure out how long it’ll last your respective pup, too!
I Have 10lbs of [insert animal] Meat – What Else Do I Need for DIY Raw Dog Food?
Ready? Let’s figure this out!
First and foremost, you need to understand what balanced raw dog food consists of.
That’s where the following raw dog food formula comes into play:
1. 70/10/10/10 Raw Dog Food Formula
I follow the 70/10/10/10 raw dog food formula when I make DIY raw dog food for my adult dogs. That includes some plant matter as it implies that I’m not feeding whole prey. That would include ALL the gut(s) and g(l)ory!
Whole prey feeders follow the 80/10/10 raw dog food formula without the addition of plant matter. That’s fair enough because it refers to the ENTIRE animal, including the stomach contents, such as pre-digested plant matter (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds).
Let’s break it down further to understand what the numbers mean:
- 70 refers to 70% muscle meat
- The first 10 refers to 10% raw meaty bones
- The second 10 refers to 10% secreting organs (5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)
- And the last 10 refers to 10% plant matter (including about 2% of nuts & seeds)
2. Which Category Does the Meat Belong to?
Meat from the grocery store such as ground meat and breast meat are considered muscle meat and make up 70% of your pup’s raw meals.
Hearts and gizzards are considered muscle meat too, but should only make up about 10-15% within the 70%.
3. How to Calculate an Unknown Using the Rule of Three
OK, now you know that your 10lbs of, let’s say, ground chicken, are considered muscle meat and make up 70% of your pup’s raw dog food.
But you still have to figure out how much 100% is based off the 10lb information.
Here’s where the rule of three comes in handy – as you probably know, it’s used to calculate a fourth unknown based on three known numbers:
10lb = 70%
X = 100%
All you have to do is multiply 10 by 100 and then divide the result by 70:
10 x 100 = 1000/70 = 14.28, let’s round that up to 14.3lb.
So now we know that the final amount of raw dog food we’re looking at is 14.3lb.
Here’s what you’ll have to add besides the 10lb of ground chicken to reach the 14.3lb (100%) of total raw dog food:
- 1.43lb of raw meaty bone (10%)
- 1.43lb of plant matter (10%)
- 0.7lb of liver (5%)
- 0.7lb of other secreting organs (5%)
Bonus: How to Figure Out How Long the 14.3lbs Will Last Your Respective Pup
The average adult dog eats 2.5% of their target body weight in raw dog food per day.
This can and will differ between dogs depending on their respective metabolism, level of activity, breed etc. For example, couch potatoes may only be fed at a 2% maintenance percentage and more active dogs (as well as pregnant and working dogs) may need up to 4%.
But for calculation purposes, we’ll use the 2.5%.
So, if your pup weighs 40lb and eats 2.5% of raw dog food per day, here’s how to do that math:
40/100 = 0.4 x 2.5 = 1lb = 16oz
Knowing that your 40lb pup eats 1lb or 16oz of raw dog food per day, the 14.3lbs will last them just about 14 days!
Here’s another example for a 30lb dog who’s fed at a 2% maintenance percentage.
30/100 = 0.3 x 2 = 0.6lb = 9.6oz.
Knowing that your 30lb pup eats 0.6lb or 9.6oz of raw dog food per day, the 14.3lbs will last them just shy of 24 days (23.8 days).
What Else to be Aware of Regarding DIY Raw Dog Food
For anyone who knows me and/or has read my blog posts for a while, I’ll sound like a broken record, but I’ll repeat myself regardless:
Rotate, rotate, rotate.
It’s so important to rotate not only the protein sources you feed your pups, but also the different cuts of meat.
So, rotate between poultry, ruminants, rabbits and “exotic” animals (camel, kangaroo, ostrich – at least from my US/European point of view!) as much as you can, but also feed a large variety of cuts from that animal.
For example, include kidneys, spleen, pancreas, reproductive organs, brains and eyes in your other secreting organ rotation (besides liver). You can switch between the different secreting organs with every batch of DIY raw meals you make, at least that’s what works best for me.
What Else Do I Need for DIY Raw Dog Food: Bottom Line
Once you understand the different components that go into making raw meals, DIY raw dog food doesn’t seem that complicated anymore, right?
Remember, ground meats as well as breast meat, gizzards and hearts fall into the muscle meat category of raw dog food. All of these cuts are easy to find at any grocery store.
You can use those as the bulk for your DIY raw dog food and then group the remaining cuts of meat and plant matter around it.
- Feeding guide for raw dog food
- Quick start guide for raw dog food
- How to measure percentages in raw feeding
- How to feed raw kidneys for dogs and puppies (with 6 feeding examples)