Striving for correct, healthy, performance-driven, versatility

Sample Raw Meals

For those that are going to be feeding raw, here are the guidelines that I suggest you use.


Disclaimer... I am not a veterinarian, nor have a been trained in the medical field.

The information provided herein is what I feed and how I feed for the best results that I have seen over the last ten years. No matter what you feed, I ask that you do your homework and feed the best that you can afford to feed for your lifestyle. If you feed raw... please do some reading to make sure they are getting everything they need.


Time, Effort and all that entails....


Time is precious. When people think of raw feeding, I think they are under the impression that it takes a lot of time to prep meals. This is not so. I might spend 30-40 minutes bi-weekly prepping dog meals. Mostly it's separating and putting meat into plastic bags.


When I first started feeding raw, I was weighing, portioning, and pulping vegetables in the food processor.... it was a lot of work... and unnecessary. For the last several years my dog's diet has remained pretty much unchanged. I don't weigh or measure anything. I base what I feed off of what the dog/puppy looks like. Is he looking too thin? Too Heavy? Feed more or less based on what you see.


For young puppies you absolutely need to feed four times per day for the first couple of weeks at least. As your puppy grows you can begin to cut back to three meals per day (splitting the meals into larger portions), then eventually to two meals per day. Some adults do well on one large meal per day at maturity... others need to continue two per day throughout their lifetime. I have found that dogs with a higher energy level will do fine on one, while those that are a bit more energetic, will need two.


For puppies, split the 2-3 pounds of meat, into four meals. My measurement is about the size of a small woman's fist. That's nearly a half pound of meat. That's how much your puppy will get at each meal. If your puppy is looking skinny (not lean) increase the amount at each meal slightly and increase the carbs. Remember your puppy has bone crushing teeth and he has been designed to chew bone and tear meat (yes even chicken bones). Also remember that your puppy will be eating meat before he goes home with you.


Necessary Supplementation


Absolutely make sure that your puppy is getting a high quality fish oil tablet once per day, along with the appropriate amount of Ester-C for his age. If you so choose, you may add a multivitamin, but it's not completely necessary.


IMPORTANT!!! 


Puppies that are going to daycare: It is paramount that your puppy is allowed to rest several times per day while attending daycare. For proper growth and development, your puppy must take naps and rest during the day, while at daycare. Daycare should be able to feed two meals during the day. If they cannot or do not want to do this... find a different place or come up with a new plan. If your puppy is not getting naps, very shortly this will be evident when your puppy starts to go down in the pasterns. The below picture is what you need to look for. This can happen very quickly, so keep an eye out for it. If you are not sure. Send me a photo. Sometimes when you see your puppy every day, it can be difficult to tell.


What To Have On Hand


Okay... onto the the meal plans.


These are the things I have on hand all the time.


Ester C

Fish Oil

Quick Oats

Chicken Leg Quarters or bone in Chicken Thighs

Pork Shoulder


Chicken leg quarters are about the cheapest meat you can find. They are easily found at the grocery store. You can simply split them into two pieces using a pair of cutlery shears or for adult dogs, feed them whole.


Pork shoulder is the cheapest red meat. It comes in about 8-12 pound increments. There is a large bone in the center, so be aware that you will have to cut this out. You can get several meals out of one pork shoulder and I can sometimes find them on sale for less than a dollar a pound. I typically keep a few of the pork shoulder bones in the freezer, for when the dogs are bored and I need a break. I toss them in the yard for chewing exercise.


These are the "other" things I may have on hand... or I may not. Remember this isn't an exact science.


The Honest Kitchen "Thrive" recipe

Turkey Necks

Ground Beef

Organ Meats- spleen, pancreas, lung, liver, testicles, brain, or kidney

Goat

Venison

Beef Tongue or Cheek meat

Beef Heart

Rabbit

 

"Other" Meats


For these "other" meats I have found an excellent source. Please check out Raw Feeding Miami. I highly suggest you order a large amount of food and keep it in the freezer. Occasionally you can thaw something out and add it to your dog's diet. Their items come packed extremely well in air sealed packages. It gets delivered to your front door packed in Styrofoam and dry ice. I typically order 40-50lbs at a time. If you are local I would also consider splitting a larger shipment with you to keep both of our costs down. You may also check out your local butcher as many are now starting to carry some version of raw meats intended for canine consumption. Just make sure you know what you are feeding.


The Honest Kitchen freeze Dried Foods


A word about The Honest Kitchen recipes... absolutely, do not feed them every day. I typically use the honest kitchen a day or two per week at one meal. The Honest Kitchen recipes contain quite a bit of things that have sugar in them. This can create yeast in the ears, so cut back if you notice any type of waxy build up in your dogs ears. I use the "Thrive" Recipe because it does not contain flax or flax seed. Flax can be an allergen and can affect the reproductive system. Since I plan on breeding my dogs, I don't feed it at all. Sources of Omega 3's should come from animal derived oils. Not plants (no coconut, olive, sunflower or flax oils). Always check the latest label. All food companies change their labels, ingredients and sources frequently... yet another reason to feed mostly raw and be very vigilant.


Summary


If you don't remember anything you read, remember this.... it is not absolutely necessary that your dog/puppy get a different type of meat every single day. The goal is to feed at least four different types of meat per WEEK. Variety over time. That could be one two or three meals of a "special" meat that you decide. If you get to the end of the week and realize you forgot to feed organs... don't freak out... It's okay. Sometimes my dogs go a couple of weeks (or more) without eating organs. They will be fine. Look at the big picture of their entire lifetime. Did you feed organs a month ago? Then you are good to go to feed them next week.


The basis of what I feed is chicken and pork. Why? Because it's cheap and they do well on it. My dogs eat at least four days worth of pork and chicken meals per week. The other days, they eat beef, lamb, turkey, duck, venison, rabbit, etc. These "other" meats are expensive, so that's why I feed them less. Also... remember that a wolf in the wild will not eat the same thing every day or even have access to the same thing every day.


Since I am feeding an adult dog, I will lay out an example of what my week of food looks like. If you like, you can split these two meals into four and feed your puppy similarly. The "other" meats are interchangeable with whatever you end up feeding. Remember, your puppy will need more carbohydrates during the growth process. This can be in the form of cooked oats, barley or quinoa. To make things easier you can cook a pot of quinoa or barley at the beginning of the week, then add a scoop with each evening meal. For quick oats, I put oats in the bowl, add hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. At the beginning, feed your puppy some smaller things like chicken wings, chicken necks, bone in breast, until he gets the hang of chewing.


Meal Plan Suggestions


Again... these are just ideas, you can modify these as much as you need to. For puppies, you will want to add carbs (cooked oats, barley, quinoa (or Honest Kitchen on a limited basis) every day. They need the carbohydrates to keep weight on.


Day 1

AM: Chicken Leg Quarter

PM: Pork Shoulder & Supplements


Day 2

AM: Turkey Neck

PM: Pork Shoulder & Supplements


DAY 3

AM: Turkey Neck

PM: Ground beef, Honest Kitchen, Organs & Supplements


DAY 4

AM: Pork Shoulder

PM: Beef Tongue & Supplements


DAY 5

AM: Chicken Leg Quarter

PM: Pork Shoulder & Supplements


DAY 6

AM: Chicken Leg Quarter

PM: Ground "Other" Meat, Cooked Oats & Supplements


DAY 7

AM: Chicken Leg Quarter

PM: Turkey Neck, Organs & Supplements



When Ember was attending daycare, I took her meals in a Ziploc baggie. One baggie for each meal. I labeled them and kept those meals simple; meaning, the daycare meals only had a piece of meat. I did not add supplements, ground meat or carbohydrates to her daycare meals.





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