In this Raw Feeding FAQs section, I answer the most common questions I’m asked about raw dog food. I also provide further reading resources.
If you have raw feeding FAQs I didn’t answer here, please feel free to leave a comment with your question in the comment section under this blog post. I’ll answer it as quickly as possible.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
I Want To Start Feeding My Dog(s) A Raw Meat Diet. How Do I Start?
This is by far the most commonly asked raw feeding FAQ I get!
Check out my Quick Start Guide to Raw Dog Food or start by feeding a commercial raw meat diet that’s pre-made if you want to take the raw turkey approach, pun intended!
Both approaches provide peace of mind knowing that your dog is getting nutritionally complete meals.
Pre-Made Raw Dog Food First
Check out my blog post 3 Best Raw Dog Foods In The US That I Recommend for more information about each brand.
Make Your Own Raw Dog Food Next
Once you get the hang of feeding and handling raw dog food, you may feel like taking the next step and start putting your own meals together.
It took me about 5 months to take that step and has saved me a decent amount of money. I also thoroughly enjoy making my own raw dog food. That said, I still buy commercial raw every now and then for convenience’ sake, but in 70% of the time, I’m the one prepping my dogs’ meals.
If you’re looking for raw meal recipes and more information on meal prep, check out my raw dog food e-books here.
Can Puppies Eat Raw Dog Food?
They most definitely can. However, their daily raw dog food needs differ from those of adult dogs.
Can Tiny Dogs Eat A Raw Meat Diet?
Yes, absolutely. There’s no reason why tiny dogs like Chihuahuas, Rat Terriers, Jack Russels, or Yorkies can’t or shouldn’t eat raw dog food.
Their stomachs are designed just like the stomachs of medium to large and extra large breeds.
That said, they’re very acidic which means that raw meat can be digested unproblematically, including raw meaty bones.
Check out my blog post How to feed your small dog raw dog food for more information!
How Much Raw Dog Food Does My Dog Need On A Daily Basis?
Adult dogs should be fed 2-4% of their ideal body weight in raw dog food per day. If you’re unsure of your dog’s ideal weight, check in with your vet.
If you’ll be preparing your dog’s own raw meals, you’ll want to apply the 70-80/10/10/10 formula:
70-80% muscle meat (feed 70% muscle meat if you’re adding veggies. If you don’t add veggies, feed 80% muscle meat.)
Secreting organs (10%: 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)
Raw meaty bones (10%)
Pureed veggies/fruit (10%: If you choose to add plant matter to your dog’s diet, which I do)
Check out my blog post What does balanced raw dog food consist of? for more in-depth information.
My dog doesn’t seem to lose weight on raw dog food. What can I do?
Make sure to feed 2-4% of his TARGET body weight if he’s overweight, not of his current body weight.
Also, are you feeding more fatty sources of protein like pork or chicken? Try feeding leaner sources of protein like rabbit and venison.
If your dog isn’t very active, try feeding him less than the recommended 2-4%. Stick closer to 1.5-2% and try that approach for a few weeks!
My Dog Still Has Yeasty Ears/Is Itchy On Raw Dog Food. Why & What Can I Do To Help?
There are dogs who are very sensitive to certain types of food, regardless of whether they’re cooked or raw. If they are sensitive to them, their body reacts with itchy skin and yeasty ears.
My current pup Wally is one of those! He can’t have chicken, quail, pheasant, salmon, anchovies, sardines, green lipped mussels, and no grains whatsoever. If he DOES eat them, he gets itchy all over! It’s awful.
You’ll have to find out what your dog is sensitive to/does poorly on, and then find alternatives for these types of meat/veggies/fruit. For example, if your dog doesn’t do well with chicken and beef, you can replace those proteins with duck and rabbit.
I wrote an e-book on this exact topic with all the lessons I’ve learned from Wally!
You can check it out here:
Can Kibble & Raw Dog Food Be Mixed/Fed Together?
Technically it can be mixed together, and some companies even sell raw food toppers for exactly that purpose – to make dry dog food more enticing for picky eaters.
However, some dogs don’t do well with kibble and raw in the same meal and will have upset stomachs as a result. A reason for this may be the different speed at which kibble and raw food digest.
A way around this potential challenge is to feed kibble and raw meat at different times of the day. You could feed kibble in the morning and raw at night, or vice versa.
Check out my blog post Can I feed kibble and raw together? for more information.
Can Dogs With Purine Sensitivities Eat Raw Dog Food?
Certain cuts of meat (and veggies/fruits as well) have a very high purine content. This can contribute to urinary tract issues in dogs who are sensitive to purines. For example, Dalmatians.
These dogs can still eat a raw meat diet, but it should be customized to their specific needs. It’s best to consult a dog nutritionist or veterinary homeopath for guidance. I’ve written about the topic in my blog post Can Dalmatians Eat A Raw Diet?
How Can I Keep My Dog From Gulping Raw Meaty Bones?
I recommend holding one end of the raw meaty bone you intend to feed your dog. That way, he’s forced to slow down, crunch the bone a few times, and practice polite behavior when a human holds a high value (food) item.
Check out my blog post How to safely feed your dog raw meaty bones for more information.
I’m showing how to do just that in the video below. It features my pup Wally politely and slowly eating a raw turkey neck from Raw Paws Pet Food. He’s a 38 lb Feist mix.
Tip: You can save 15% off your Raw Paws Pet Food order with my affiliate discount code K9Savings at checkout.
Is A Raw Meat Diet A Good Option For A Dog With Cancer?
This is a highly debated question with proponents of either side of the camp. My dog Missy had runny poops when she ate raw meat during her cancer treatment.
As soon as I started lightly cooking her cuts of meat according to the DogCancerDiet by Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM, and adding boiled/puréed non-starchy veggies, the diarrhea stopped.
However, I did NOT cook raw meaty bones, nor do I ever recommend you cook bones intended for feeding purposes. That’s because the cooking process makes them brittle and very sharp.
I would recommend seeing how your cancerous dog does on raw meat/food. If he or she does well with it – great! If not, try to lightly cook it.
I would also suggest consulting with a veterinary homeopath as each dog and every cancer diagnosis is different. Personally, I got a lot of nutritional and supplemental advice from Dr. Charles Loops.
Check out my blog post K9 Cancer Supplements Suggested By Our Homeopathic Veterinarian Dr. Loops for more information.
Do you have any other questions that weren’t answered in my raw feeding FAQs section? Please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to answer them.Join the K9sOverCoffee Community to stay in the loop about recipes, reviews, fitness tips & giveaways! Get your free raw dog food recipe as soon as you sign up!