A raw meat dog food diet is the most natural way for your doggo to access the nutrients that they require for optimum health. Many pawrents are new to raw feeding for dogs and there are plenty of questions to be answered. Should dogs eat raw food every day? How much raw meat should I feed my dog? What should I add to my dog’s raw food diet? There is no strictly right or wrong way to feed your dog raw food, however there are plenty of options that can make dog meal planning much more straightforward – in this article we discuss a few tips to point you in the right direction.
Can dogs eat raw meat? Is a raw meat good for dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat raw meat and naturally they should! Prior to domestication, dogs ate a diet consisting solely of any prey that they were able to hunt for or otherwise find in the wild. Mimicking this natural state, a balanced raw diet is important in providing the biologically appropriate enrichment that doggos require while being sufficient to cater for all canine nutritional requirements. It’s important than an effective raw feeding diet for dogs includes the best quality meat (nutritious and delicious), but we’ll talk more about that later.
Is processed dog food bad for dogs?
Just like humans, processed food isn’t good for dogs. While there are plenty of products on the market that claim to be a balanced or complete dog food, we’re passionate advocates for the natural option. We recommend avoiding heavily processed foods because they typically contain lots of additives, fillers and preservatives. These additives are particularly bad for dogs with dietary sensitivities – learn more at our article Treats and Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs.
We get it, processed food and supermarket barf is convenient, but raw feeding can be just as simple. **Shameless self promotion – as an answer to both convenience and high-quality, hooman-grade meat for dogs Gully Road RAW is portioned into easy to handle portion sizes.
Voila, bon appetit healthy doggos!
How much raw food should I feed my dog?
The recommended raw meat portion sizes for your dog depend on a range of factors including their age, breed, weight condition and activity levels. As a rule, the ideal raw feeding daily portion size is between 2% and 5% of the dog’s body weight per day. Where your dog is within this percentage range essentially depends on their activity levels. For example, a doggo that doesn’t get much exercise will only need 2%, while a very active working dog will require more like 5% of their body weight.
You can use the simple guide below to determine the percentage for your dog;
- 2% – older dog or a lazy doggo that loves to lounge (Bach, *cough*)
- 3% – medium to lazy doggo who gets 30–60 minutes of walkies per day and a moderate level of play
- 4% – energetic doggo who walks for at least 60 minutes per day and likes to do some zoomies
- 5% – working dogs or very active outdoor dogs
The below table will help you convert your dog’s weight and activity levels into the ideal portion sizes;
Raw Feeding Guide
|% of weight/day||5kg||10kg||15kg||20kg||25kg||30kg||35kg||40kg|
As with every dog’s feeding plan, you may need to adjust these quantities based on your individual doggo needs. Monitor weight and general condition over time to ensure that your dog isn’t being under- or over-fed. Two more things! We recommend breaking your dog’s feeds up into smaller portions, rather than feeding one large meal each day. We feed Bach twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. Always take care to introduce new dog food slowly and seek veterinary advice if you have any concerns.
What ratio of raw meat should I feed my dog?
The ideal way to ensure the correct raw feeding ratio for your dog is to feed a balanced selection of different parts of the animal replicating how dogs would dine in the wild (icky bits included). Our favourite diet is the PMR or Prey Model Raw meal plan, which is a primal feeding regime based on an 80/10/10 rule. Following this PMR formula, raw food should be made up of 80% muscle meat, 10% secreting organs (ideally 50% of this as liver) and 10% raw bones.
Learn more about PMR in our previous article – What is the Prey Model Raw diet for Dogs? and try it in our conveniently portioned PMR balanced packs at the Gully Road RAW shop page. If you want to go really primal you can add some animal fur in the mix too – fur acts as a natural de-wormer by sweeping out the digestive tract and is great for dog digestive health. Learn more about feeding fur in our previous article, Hairy Scary Furry Bits – Animal Fur Dog Treats and Digestive Health.
The best raw dog food – grass-fed meat
When feeding a raw diet for dogs, meat quality is of the highest importance and the best raw dog food is without a doubt grass-fed. When choosing meat for your dog it’s important to be aware of the difference between most commercially available meat and grass-finished meat. The latter can often only be sourced directly from an on-farm butcher (like us!). We explain a little about the grass-fed difference in our previous article, The Back Story – Where Gully Road’s Raw Dog Food Comes From – which is summarised below:
“Grass-finished beef has a very different fat constitution to grain-fed beef – grass-fed beef is lower in overall fat content (approximate 65% less than grain-fed counterparts), but is proportionately higher in healthy fats, including many that are known to prevent cancer referred to as Omega 3s, Omega 6s and CLAs.
Gully Road RAW’s grass-fed beef for dogs is;
- Approximately 65% lower in total fat
- Lower in trans fats
- Higher in fat-soluble vitamins
- Three to five times higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – a well known anti-cancer fat with anti-inflammatory properties
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which converts to CLA)
- Higher in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant which has anti-cancer properties
- Four times higher in vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol), which is essential for good for cardiovascular health and is also an anti-cancer vitamin
- About five times higher in total omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the cardiovascular system, anti-cancer and improving mood
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids – good for cardiovascular health, anti-cancer, better mood and reduced potential for obesity
- Lower in the specific types of saturated fats (palmitic acid and myristic acid) that are linked with heart disease
- Contains about four times more anti-cancer selenium, which may also improve mood
What supplements should be added to raw dog food?
The short answer is none! A balanced raw diet of high-quality meat should cater for all of your dog’s nutritional requirements. However, some doggo parents like to supplement a raw diet with fruits and vegetables or meal toppers (see our suggestions at A Guide to Chicken Feet for Dogs and Other Icky Meal Toppers), while others like to feed a raw-only diet. If you’re thinking about adding some veggies to your doggo-gourmet dishes, take a look at Human Food for Dogs – The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs for a few pointers on those that are beneficial to your dog’s health as well as those to avoid.
But some people have told me not to feed raw meat to my dog…
There are some very valid concerns when it comes to contaminants and bacteria in raw meat for dogs. Without a doubt, meat processed incorrectly can be very harmful to your dog. The answer to ensuring your dog’s safety is to purchase your raw dog meat from a reputable supplier that sells human-grade meat (such as us!). This ensures that strict quality, hygiene and safety measures are in place so you can trust that your dog’s food is as safe and healthy as your own.
To conclude, we always recommend listening to your vet’s advice when it comes to feeding your number one doggo. Each dog is different and particular ailments or health concerns may mean that raw feeding needs to be approached a little differently. Your vet will be able to discuss with you the best way to incorporate raw food into your dog’s diet if you have any concerns.
A little footnote about Gully Road RAW for dogs…
Transparency in the pet food industry is a problem. It’s almost impossible to find out where your dog food really comes from or what the actual ingredients are. Gully Road RAW is our solution to this problem. Supplied and processed by Australia’s most ethical meat producer Provenir (who are the number one choice of many of the country’s top chefs), Gully Road RAW is truly human-grade beef for dogs. This raw dog meat is 100%:
- Highest animal welfare and on-farm processed
- Free from growth hormones
- Grass-fed and grass-finished
- Free range (no feedlots)
- Free from additives, bulking ingredients and preservatives.