Today I’m featuring my favorite raw dog food books that have accompanied me on my raw dog food journey since 2015.
That’s when I took a leap of faith and made the switch from kibble to raw. Let me tell you that I’m ever so grateful that I did. After all, I was able to witness many of its wonderful benefits in my 2 Boxer mixes Missy and Buzz, as well as in my Feist mix Wally.
They all had/have shiny, full coats, clean teeth and ears, and none of that typical doggie smell. Raw dog food has also helped Wally with his awful itchiness.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this blog post are Amazon associate links.
Now without further ado, here are my favorite raw dog food books!
See Spot Live Longer by Steve Brown & Beth Taylor
For dogs with health problems (allergies, arthritis, or any immune related problem), we recommend full time feeding of balanced raw diets. Quite often, feeding a raw diet full time will solve the problem. We have known very few ill dogs who could not handle the switch; most frequently improvement is quickly seen.Steve Brown & Beth Taylor, See Spot Live Longer, page 121.
Steve Brown is the owner of the pre-made raw dog food Steve’s Real Food. Beth Taylor teaches people how to train, exercise, and feed their dogs.
Just a quick word on Steve Brown’s food because I’m familiar with it. I feed Steve’s Real Food from time to time when I can get a good deal on it. It’s available in independently owned pet retail stores and at some veterinarians who support raw feeding.
The Turducken formula pictured below consists of turkey, duck, and chicken. Since I found out that Wally can no longer eat chicken, I obviously no longer feed him this particular formula. Other formulas feature turkey, beef, pork, and lamu (lamb and emu).
But back to the book.
See Spot Live Longer is easy to read and full of practical advice. It features several case studies of sick dogs who became much better on raw dog food.
There’s also a lot of advice on how to feed a combination of dry and raw dog food. For example, adding 15% off fresh, real food to your dog’s dry food. These are foods like vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, high quality oils, etc.
Give Your Dog A Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
An incredible change occurred in all dogs fed the new diet. […] Over a period of two or three years I observed the results of many feeding trials carried out by myself and my clients. They all made the same basic statement. Raw meaty bones promote health in dogs. Processed foods and cooked foods do not. I began to realize that most of the disease problems we vets see are caused by only one thing – POOR NUTRITION.Ian Billinghurst, Give Your Dog A Bone, pages 3 and 4.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst is an Australian veterinary surgeon and nutritionist who holds a degree in both Veterinary & Agricultural Science.
Its subtitle is The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs For a Long Healthy Life. That said, the author praises the many benefits of raw dog food, and places an emphasis on feeding raw meaty bones as an integral part of a raw diet.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t include any pictures of raw meals or dogs eating raw meaty bones in his book, both of which I’m always interested in!
It’s still a good read, and I recommend it to anyone who’s nervous about feeding their dogs raw meaty bones. I personally have been feeding them since I made the switch from kibble to raw back in 2015, and I’ve NEVER had any issues feeding them.
That said, it’s important to understand which dog can have which type of bone, and how to feed them.
BARF by Swanie Simon
Swanie Simon wrote several BARF related booklets, and I own two of them. BARF for puppies and BARF for adult dogs. She’s a German Shepherd breeder with over 25 years of experience. She’s also knowledgeable in naturopathic medicine and practices herbalism.
That said, her books are in German since she is German. That’s my first language and of course I had to buy them when I saw them in a raw dog food store back home in Germany.
Although they’ve been translated into a few languages, I couldn’t find English versions. I find this a bit curious because the author grew up and spent her first 30 years in the US!
Either way, I still wanted to share these booklets with you because they offer an amazing wealth of knowledge and actionable advice.
She shares feeding charts, explains how much of which ingredients to feed, and provides sample feeding plans such as these. This example features feeding guidelines for a 30 kg (= 66 lb) dog.
That said, she differentiates between grain free diets (“Getreidefrei”) and those with grains (“Mit Getreide”). Feel free to check them out and let me know if you want me to translate them for you.
As soon as I find any of her booklets or other information in English, I’ll be sure to add it to this post!
Other Raw Dog Food Reading Resources
Dogs Naturally Magazine
Dogs Naturally Magazine is a favorite online and physical magazine that features articles about raw dog food and all sorts of other topics that relate to natural doggie care.
I used to have a subscription to their physical magazines for a few years, but ultimately canceled it. After all, I only have so much room! However, I highly recommend them. Every single issue was filled with valuable bits and pieces of knowledge.
Fun fact: I got my raw dog food nutrition specialist certification through Dogs Naturally Magazine in early 2020.
Whole Dog Food Journal
Whole Dog Food Journal is a website dedicated to “traditional and holistic healthcare methods, healthy dog feeding habits, and successful nonviolent training.”
That said, they also feature a good amount of articles on raw feeding. I’ve been reading their content on a somewhat regular basis over the years.
Other healthy dog food books
The following two books I mention (and own!) aren’t geared towards raw dog food per se, but they do promote healthier dog food overall. That’s why I mention them here in this post. Sometimes a little can go a long way, too!
Chow Hounds by Ernie Ward
The hybrid menu works well for most dog owners and provides a nutritional boost over feeding only a commercial dog food. A hybrid menu means that you prepare your dog’s meals two to three times a week. By rotating fresh, whole foods with commercially prepared diets, dogs enjoy maximum nutrition with minimum effort.Ernie Ward, Chow Hounds, page 135.
Ernie Ward, D.V.M., is an American veterinarian, personal trainer, and the founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (founded in 2005).
In Chow Hounds, his mission is to make dog owners aware of the massive problem of dog obesity in the US and to provide solutions for it. Besides regular, breed-specific exercise, he focuses on healthy dog nutrition.
Regarding the nutritional part, Dr. Ward’s approach is feeding a weekly mix of commercial kibble and whole, fresh foods. For example, oily fish or fish oil, hormone-free and free-range meats like chicken or turkey, veggies, fruits, nonfat plain yogurt, etc.
He outlines this feeding approach in detail in this book, and includes several of his fresh food recipes.
I highly recommend this approach for anyone who’s been thinking about switching their pup to raw dog food, but hasn’t pulled the trigger quite yet. This can be a really good transition phase!
Unlocking The Canine Ancestral Diet by Steve Brown
Based on a review of the literature and my own research, I have concluded that the ancestral diet consisted of about 85 to 90% meat (primarily whole prey) along with small amounts of fish and eggs, 10 to 15% scavenged grasses, berries, nuts, and other vegetation. […] *Note that whole prey includes all parts of the prey animal: fur, bones, eyes, tongue, and all the organs and glands.Steve Brown, Unlocking The Canine Ancestral Diet, page 6.
I already introduced Steve Brown above when I talked about his other book, See Spot Live Longer.
In Unlocking The Canine Ancestral Diet, he explains in detail how to feed a balanced, i.e. nutritiously complete, dog food. This is regardless of whether you feed dry, canned, frozen, or homemade dog food.
He goes into great detail of explaining what the canine ancestral diet consisted of and includes feeding plans to get your dog’s food closer to said diet. Additionally, he provides important information on how to properly store dry and frozen dog food.
These (raw) dog food books helped me become confident in feeding my own dogs raw dog food.
On top of that, they motivated me to share my own raw feeding knowledge in my two ebooks 20 Raw Meals for Dogs and Raw Meal Prep for Dogs: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners. My third ebook 10 Raw Dog Food Recipes & Tips for Dogs With Allergies will be available as of November 15, 2020 and is currently being pre-sold.
20 Raw Meals for Dogs
Raw Meal Prep for Beginners
10 Raw Dog Food Recipes for Dogs with Allergies
All that said, I hope that I’m able to inspire you to learn about healthy dog nutrition. There’s certainly a bit of a learning curve, but it’s so worth your time and energy!
Happy reading and feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below!