Your Raw Feeding FAQs answered on the K9sOverCoffee blog

Your Raw Feeding FAQs Answered

Raw Feeding Questions? I’ve Got Answers!

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.

Alternatively, you can also send me a message to and I’ll answer it that way.

Raw Feeding FAQs Answered On The K9sOverCoffee Blog

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Optional: Use the links below to quickly jump to a specific section.

Raw Feeding FAQs: I Want To Start Feeding My Dog(s) A Raw Meat Diet. How Do I Start?

This is one of the most commonly asked raw feeding FAQs 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!

For example, complete raw meals from Raw Paws Pet Food. I recommend their Complete Intro Variety Free Ship Pack if you’re completely new to raw feeding.

Both approaches provide peace of mind knowing that your dog is getting nutritionally complete meals.

Pre-Made Raw Dog Food First

Brands I recommend and have fed are: 

Check out my blog post What is the Best Raw Food Company for Dogs? for more information about each brand.

Can I Mix & Match Different Raw Dog Food Brands?

Yes, you can.

Just make sure to monitor your dog’s weight, energy levels, and stool consistency when you mix different raw dog food brands.

For example, if you notice that your dog’s poop suddenly starts being on the harder side, contact the brand whose raw food you’ve been feeding.

Ask them about the raw meaty bone amount in their recipes. If it’s too much for your pup, switch brands or supplement with some muscle meat.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

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 raw meals together.

Raw dog food meal prep featuring duck feet, duck gizzards and ground lamb, hread herring, beef green tripe, and secreting organ mix Monstermash

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’ raw meals.  

If you’re looking for raw dog food recipes and more information on raw dog food meal prep, check out my raw dog food e-books here.

You can also book me for a custom raw dog food coaching session here.

How Do I Keep Raw Feeding Affordable?

The first piece of advice I can give you is to make your own homemade raw dog food.

That’s always going to be less expensive than buying premade raw from specific brands.

For more actionable tips and hacks to keep raw dog food on budget, check out my blog post How to keep raw dog food affordable.

Can Puppies Eat Raw Dog Food?

They most definitely can. However, their daily raw dog food needs differ from those of adult dogs.

Check out my blog post about raw dog food and puppies here.

Raw Feeding FAQs: 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!

Picky eater Lila tasting some raw salmon

How Much Raw Dog Food Does My Dog Need On A Daily Basis?

On average, adult dogs are fed at a maintenance percentage of 2.5% 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.

Here’s how to measure percentages.

Or grab my raw feeding ebook below to get access to pre-calculated raw feeding charts for adult dogs and puppies (for both BARF and PMR feeding):

Pregnant dogs, working dogs and doggie athletes will need to be fed at a higher maintenance percentage, up to 4%.

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 What does balanced raw dog food consist of? for more in-depth information.

Raw Feeding FAQs: 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!

For more detailed information, check out my blog post:

How to feed raw dog food for weight loss

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:

Raw Feeding FAQs: 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.

Some companies who offer those toppers are Stella & Chewy’s and Instinct Pet Food

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 dog food are said to digest. 

K9sOverCoffee | Boosting foster dog Pablo's kibble with an organic raw egg
Cracked raw egg over dog food

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 I Mix Different Raw Meats Together In A Single Container To Freeze?

Yep, I've been doing this since 2016 and have never had any issues whatsoever.

The only time when I freeze anything separately is when I get meat from wild deer (either from my boyfriend who hunts or from a wildlife processor). Those items I freeze separately for 3 weeks to get rid of any potential parasites. 

If you feed salmon from the Pacific, you’ll also want to freeze it separately for 3 weeks to get rid of an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca.

Should I Feed Fruits & Veggies, Seeds & Nuts?

This depends - do you want to feed a whole prey diet that includes a large variety of odd cuts of meat (heads, brains, ovaries, pancreas...), stinky green tripe and whole stomachs?

Then you don't necessarily need to add plant matter.

If you don't, you'll want to add fruits & veggies and select seeds and nuts to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients they need.

However, don't add more than 10% of their daily raw dog food allowance in plant matter (2% seeds & nuts).

Also, make sure to serve it puréed or steamed. That's because dogs don't have the enzyme that's responsible for breaking down plant cell walls.

Check out my blog post Vegetables in raw dog food: Yes or No? for further reading.

Raw Feeding FAQs: 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 this video.

How To Feed Your Dog 🐕 🦃 RAW TURKEY NECKS From Raw Paws Pet Food

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.

What's A Good Meat & Bone Grinder for Raw Dog Food?

One of the advantages of feeding raw meaty bones whole is that they exercise your dog's jaws and keep their teeth clean.

However, dogs with poor oral health or those who don't have (m)any teeth left obviously can't chew bones.

For those pups, you'll have to grind raw meaty bones.

I recommend two meat grinders:

(1) The Weston Butcher Series if you're looking for a powerful, commercial grade meat & bone grinder for your raw dog food.

They're a bit more on the expensive side but will get the job done, guaranteed!

(2) The STX Turboforce II Platinum is another heavy duty meat & bone grinder that comes with a foot pedal.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Brains?

Yes, dogs can and SHOULD eat brains as part of their raw dog food.

Find out why it's safe, where to get your hands on raw brains and more in my blog post Raw Brains for Dogs: How to Feed & More.

Raw Feeding FAQs: How Much Liver Can I Feed My Dog?

5% of an adult dog's daily raw dog food allowance should be raw liver.

For puppies, feed 7% of their daily raw dog food allowance in liver.

For more in-depth information about raw liver including concrete examples of how much to feed, check out Raw Liver for Dogs: All Your Questions Answered.

Are Hearts Secreting Organs?


Raw hearts are a heart working organ for sure, but they're not classified as secreting organs.

Instead, they're to be fed as muscle meat.

To learn more about raw hearts for dogs, check out my blog post Why raw hearts for dogs are a powerful raw organ meat.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork?

Yes, as long as it's from a reputable source.

Learn all about raw pork dog food, including trichinosis, wild hogs and freezing times in my blog post Pork raw dog food: Yay or nay?

If you're looking for specific information about raw pork trotters for dogs, check out my blog post Can dogs eat raw pig feet?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Fish?


Raw, oily fish is an important part of raw feeding because of its Omega-3 fatty acids.

Check out my blog post on dogs and raw fish here to learn more.

It covers topics like which type of fish is best to feed, where to source fish, which types of fish to avoid, and alternatives to whole, raw fish.

how to eat raw fish for dogs - wally likes his herring whole from Raw FEEDING MIAMI

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Marrow Bones?

Yes and no because raw marrow bones are not classified as raw meaty bones.

That means that you should only feed one part of this particular bone.

To learn more about when & how to safely feed your pup raw marrow bones, click here.

How Do I Slow My Raw-Fed Dog's Eating Down?

It's so rewarding to see our dogs love their raw dog food, but they're also not supposed to just gulp their meals down in less than 30 seconds.

Thankfully, there's an easy solution for this problem: Slow feeder bowls for raw-fed dogs.

Check out my blog post on slow feeders here. It features a vast variety of slow feeder bowls I use for my pup Wally.

How Do I Feed Raw Dog Food When Camping With My Dog?

Over the years, I've figured out several options of feeding my pup Wally raw-ish when we're on the road together.

Read all about them in my overlanding-with-dogs blog post here.

How To Feed Raw When Overlanding With Your Dog

What Are Acceptable Alternatives To Raw Dog Food?

Along those same lines of raw-ish dog food, I dedicated an entire blog post to the topic of alternatives to raw dog food.

128, to be exact!

Now, I stand by my decision of feeding raw dog food as the healthiest of all dog foods (in my personal opinion) throughout the vast majority of the year.

But sometimes, life happens and for whatever reason, feeding raw may just not be practical for a while.

So for those days, I think it's totally fine to feed one of the alternatives I listed.

Where Do I Find Vets Who Support Raw Feeding?

If you're having a hard time convincing your traditional vet that raw feeding is beneficial for your dog(s), see about finding a holistic veterinarian who understands the power of raw dog food.

Check out my blog post on 24 strong vets who endorse raw feeding here.

Didn't Find An Answer To Your Raw Feeding Question?

Do you have any other questions that weren't answered in my raw feeding FAQs section?

Please leave them in the comment section below this blog post or email me at

Enjoying K9sOverCoffee & Looking For A Way To Pay It Forward?

Whether you're an aspiring raw feeder or a long time raw feeder looking for recipe inspiration, I hope you enjoy learning from my raw dog food (and exercise) blog posts!

But either way, K9sOverCoffee is a totally free platform that costs me a decent amount to run.

Keeping that in mind, there are 2 ways you can support the platform and my work, either of which is massively appreciated:

Thanks so much,


Resources To Help You Feed Raw Dog Food

Homemade Raw Dog Food Resource Library

This ebook bundle gives you full access to my complete homemade raw dog food resource library. It includes 7 raw feeding e-books and multiple work- and cheat sheets that teach you how to make your own balanced raw dog food meals. Includes 32 raw dog food recipes.

Best Bang For Your Buck Raw Dog Food

Save 15% on anything at Raw Paws Pet Food with code K9Savings. They’re located in Indiana and ship nationwide within the US.

Different cuts of raw meat from Raw Paws Pet Food

Best Variety for Individual Cuts of Raw Meat

Save 10% on your first order of anything at Raw Feeding Miami with this referral link.

Raw Liver For Dogs: All Your Questions Answered

Best Maze Dog Bowl for Raw Fed Dogs

Mighty Paw’s Silicone Slow Feed Insert combined with the indestructible Yeti Boomer 4 Dog Bowl. Both are top rack dishwasher safe.

Mighty Paw slow feeder insert for dogs combined with the Yeti Boomer 4 dog bowl

Best Foundation for Balanced DIY Raw Meals

Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Base Mix. It’s low-carb which is particularly great for dogs on a keto diet and those with health issues like diabetes and cancer. Also works great as the 10% plant matter addition in BARF raw feeding.

I use Dr. Harvey's Green Superfood Pre-Mix Paradigm to put vegetables in raw dog food
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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.






4 responses to “Your Raw Feeding FAQs Answered”

  1. TERI WEST Avatar

    Looking for why dogs regurgitate raw food and easy solutions; the hyperlinks appear to be mismatched to another article ( making homemade raw food)

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Hi Teri, I’m so sorry about the hyperlink not working – I fixed it, and you can read the regurgitation blog post here.

  2. Liesl Avatar

    Hello! I was so happy to find this blog, as I have recently adopted a Feist mix myself! I was wondering if you have any recommendations for toys? My Feist pup Disco is 2 years old and LOVES to chew on his toys (and rip out the stuffing) and also dig in the carpet. 😂 We would love to provide him with active, mentally challenging toys that won’t break the bank OR cause a health hazard to him!
    Thank you for this blog!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Hi Liesl and welcome to the Feist family, ha! What a fun name – how much does Disco weigh?

      Wally’s about 38 lbs and also LOVES to shred stuffies to pieces…and when I had just adopted him, he surprised me with highjacking plush dog toys from brick and mortar pet retail stores I took him to!

      I lost count of how many I ended up paying for, lol.

      So these days, he mostly has KONG dog toys, both plush ones (they’re pretty durable) and the hollow ones you can stuff with food.

      Feist mix Wally with one of his plush Kong dog toys

      The fillable KONG dog toys make great boredom busters when you freeze them after you filled them. They’re made of natural rubber which is awesome because the material isn’t toxic at all. They come in different strengths, and for Wally I have the medium red one and the extra strong black one.

      Here’s a video of Wally getting a filled, frozen black Kong dog toy extreme:

      I hope this helps!

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