Why I Started Feeding Our Dogs Raw Dog Food

Why & How I Started Feeding Raw Dog Food

Feeding raw dog food doesn’t have to be difficult!

You guys, I finally finished my transition from kibble via home cooked meals to feeding raw dog food!

Exactly one week ago, I did it.

I mixed raw, organic meat with the pups’ dehydrated smorgasbord from Dr. Harvey’s without cooking it first. 

Up until then, I had cooked their ground beef, chicken, turkey and eggs before I mixed everything in with the rehydrated veggies.

Which, by the way, is a super easy way to make your own dog food at home! You can read more about it in the blog post I’m linking to below:
Homemade dog food with Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl grain-free pre-mix

Preparing Dr. Harvey's Veg-to-bowl with ground turkey

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

So, what changed?

Well, I recently read that cooking the meat as opposed to serving it raw actually gets rid of a lot of its nutrients and can cause food sensitivities.

I also learned that a dog’s stomach is made to absorb & digest raw meat, unlike our human digestive system. That’s because it’s very acidic compared to ours.

When I thought about it, it really made sense!

After all, when our dogs used to hunt for their own food in the wild, there was no human available to cook it over a campfire for them, right? 

Ever seen a wolf grill their prey over a campfire?

Of course not!

So I figured, if I’m going to strengthen the pups’ immune systems, I’m gonna go all in by feeding raw dog food.

Benefits of A Raw Dog Food Diet

As you may know, my girl Missy kicked cancer’s butt about 2 months ago.

It was her diagnosis that made me look into ways to strengthen her immune system in the first place.

After all, she was only 3 years and 3 months young when I felt that lump on her throat. I had no idea that dogs her young age could come down with cancer. What in the world??!!

Missy after her tumor removal surgery at the VSH in Cary, NC
Missy after her tumor removal surgery at the VHS in Cary, NC

Ever since, I’ve done a lot of research on healthier doggie nutrition.

Granted, home cooked dog food is already a lot better than dry kibbles, but I really wanted to take it up yet another notch.

The benefits I kept hearing/reading about speak for themselves:

  • Cleaner teeth & ears
  • Shiny coat & healthy skin
  • More energy
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Smaller poop volume
  • No dog smell
  • Less allergies
The Benefits of feeding Raw Dog Food

What Our Raw Dog Food Currently Consists Of (2015)

  • Chicken gizzards & hearts – One of the raw feeding lessons I learned is that gizzards and hearts are considered muscle meat, not (secreting) organs.
  • Organic ground turkey/beef/duck
  • Raw eggs about once or twice a week (from a local grocery store or farm)
  • Seasonal fresh, organic fruit (puréed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple)
  • Dehydrated, grain-free vegetable mix from either Dr. Harvey’s (Veg-to-Bowl) or The Honest Kitchen (Base Mix)
  • Still left to tackle: Whole raw meaty bones. For now, I feed them ground via Darwin’s premade raw meals.
9 pounds of raw chicken hearts & giblets for homemade raw dog food
Raw chicken hearts & giblets
Raw dog food with raw egg
Raw dog food with a raw chicken egg
Darwin's Natural Selections Raw Turkey for Dogs & Raw Duck For Dogs with Organic Vegetables
Darwin’s Natural Selections Turkey & Duck Raw Dog Food
Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs
Organic raw eggs
The Honest Kitchen Base Mix
The Honest Kitchen Base Mix

What About Salmonella?

One of the concerns I had before feeding Missy & Buzz a raw diet was the potential bacterial contamination we might be faced with.

But after I read up on it and used my common sense, I realized that it’s no different than preparing a home cooked meal for ourselves that includes handling raw meat. 

For example, when I cut up a raw chicken breast for us humans, I make sure to wash the cutting board and knife I used with hot water and soap. Additionally, I clean up the countertop I prepared the food on. 

Well, preparing the raw meat for the pups is no different than preparing our raw meat! 

I go ahead and wash the knives and dishes I used to prepare Missy & Buzz’s raw meat with hot water and soap right after I used them. Either that or I put them straight into the dishwasher. 

The same goes for the countertops I prepared the raw dog food on. I also wash their dog food bowls with hot water & soap as soon as the pups are done eating.

By the way, that’s something I’ve always done, even back when I fed canned dog food and kibble…I just don’t like seeing dried dog food residue in the pups’ bowls.

Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!

Related Reading to Feeding 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.


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8 responses to “Why & How I Started Feeding Raw Dog Food”

  1. MilitaryWifeandPugLife Avatar

    I put eggs in my dog’s food and let me just say, MaddiethePug has SUCH a beautiful, shiny coat because of it! Best thing I could have done for her (and she was my husband’s dog before he met me; he says her coat is so much more beautiful now). I am a big supporter of a raw diet when it comes to my pugs regular meals, 10000%! Of course, MaddiethePug sneaks a cheeseburger here and there….haha. Great post!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks so much 🙂 It’s so great to hear that a fellow dog blogger feeds a raw diet! There really seem to be a lot of benefits to feeding raw! Horray for MaddiethePug’s shiny coat ~ I bet her breath smells good, too 😉

  2. Elaine Avatar

    I’m still in the transitioning phase of some high-quality dry food and cooked meat with lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Your articles have given me more confidence though to go raw.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you, Elaine, it has been a rewarding journey so far, and the pups couldn’t be happier & healthier on their new diet. I’m so glad that you have found my articles helpful ~ you just made my day!!

  3. Lindsay Stordahl Avatar
    Lindsay Stordahl

    Exciting! I’m glad you’re giving raw a try. I hope it’s going well.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      It’s going fantastic!! I can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner! I suppose I really thought it would be so much harder to feed a balanced, raw meal! Once you get over that initial mental hurdle, it’s a breeze!

  4. Anna Avatar
    Anna

    Hi Barbara, another amazing post! So, we finally got our allergy test! Based on your recommendations, I was really looking into buying Balanced Blend, but they have salmon oil:-( While the Darwin foods have yams 🙁
    I will keep reading your blog for more ideas! In the meantime, I can make some food myself based on the results.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Hi Anna, thank you! So Rocky is allergic to salmon oil and yams? Anything else?

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