Just thought Iíd share my recipe for feeding my guys a raw diet. It can be a little intimidating for the first timers. For the most part I gathered this from various websites and put it together in a recipe I am comfortable with. I may enhance this as I go along and learn more but for now it appears ideal for my guys.
I recently found a new place where I get all my food http://www.heronviewrawandnatural.com/products.htm
. They are located in Whitby and offer a wide variety of meats and fantastic prices. I go there and stock up for the month.
So letís begin.
Meat (Muscle Meat)
I primarily use ground beef, ground chicken, ground lamb and ground turkey. Organic if I can find it. Organic is more expensive but I figured itís worth it. Also use normal fat if you can find it rather than extra lean. For chicken dark meat is more nutritious than white. I try to use both. You can buy chicken drumsticks and cut the meat off. I use ground meat because it's easier to mix all the ingredients with. If you get ground beef or chicken with bone in then skip the supplement for Calcium.
Bison and Venison are good to use as well but due to cost I use them sparingly.
I've also read that for the first 2 weeks let you dog eat as much as it wants by putting out a whole load of meat. Apparently your dog will adjust itself and then only consume what it needs. To be honest I haven't tried this as I'm a little worried I'll end up with two Oompa Loompas.
You will need to add approx 10% organ meat to the raw meat above. You can feed organ meat in a larger quantity once or twice a week or in smaller amounts with each meal. It's easier for me to add it in each meal but on occasion I may just buy Urban Carnivore Offal Patties and feed about 4oz each a week. Start slowly, feeding too much the first time can give your dog the runs.
Nutrient dense so feed lightly.
Heart, Liver and Kidney. Mostly heart, then some liver and a touch of kidney (I don't always add kidney).
Use a larger portion of heart than liver. Heart is high in Taurine. Too much liver is not good.
You will want to add aprox 15% to the raw meat. I wouldnít go higher than 15%. 10-15% is a good range. Some people believe vegetables are not necessary.
I try to usually use 5 different vegetables at once. I try to mix in green with dark colours. As a general rule the darker the colour the more nutritious it is. For ex if using dandelion leaves you can get red dandelion leaves. Take it easy on beets and parsley.
You will need to put these into a food processor and make into a pulp. Dogs cannot digest vegetables unless they are pulped up (talking raw not cooked) otherwise what goes in goes out pretty much the same. I usually pulp enough to add to about 40lbs of meat. I just put what I didnít need into the freezer and take it out as needed. On the odd occassion I might also add an apple and if blueberries are cheap I'll had some of those too.
Use any of the following vegetables.
peas (& pods)
Putting on the Mix
When putting this all together keep in mind that the organ meat should be 10% of the raw meat and the vegetables should be 15% of the total meat volume. So, to make an 8 ounce patty, I use 7 ounces of meat and one ounce of vegetables. Of the 7oz of meat, 6.3oz is raw meat, 0.7oz is organ meat, and 1oz is vegetable matter. 7oz total meat x 10% = 0.7oz organ meat. 7oz Ė 0.7oz = 6.3oz meat. 7oz total meat x 15% = 1.05oz vegetable matter.
Iíve been using this mix since beginning of 2008 and my dogs are doing great. Stools, hair, and skin look good.
When making a batch I make 4lb batches portioned into somewhere around 3.75 oz patties. I don't worry about making all the portions exact. Some days my guys get more some days less. I usuallly make about 20lbs in one day and it lasts me over a month or so. I will buy 8lbs chicken, 6lbs of turkey and 6lbs of beef.
4lbs makes approx 27 patties at 3.75oz each
Batch below is without organ meat mixed in and instead feeding once or twice a week.
Patties -----------------------Per Patty------------4lbs of meat
Cottage Cheese ---------------0.60oz---------------16oz
Fish Oil - tsp ------------------0.25------------------7
Nupro - spoonful ---------------1--------------------27
Alfalfa - tsp -------------------0.25------------------6
Kelp - tsp ---------------------0.25------------------6
Bonemeal - tbsp - non bone meats---1----------------25
Apple Cider Vinegar ---sprinkle a few tbsp over the batch and mix in
Just a note about supplements. You don't need to use all the supplements at once. I've started making batches with different supplements, for ex make one 4lb batch with Nupro and the fish oil. Then the next batch with Kelp, Alfalfa and fish oil. Maybe just the Feed-sentials. You could even make a number of batches using the Nupro and fish oil, then when you have run out of the Nupro then just use the Alfalfa, Kelp and fish oil. The point is to mix things up for a variety!
The point is to give a balance over time. It doesn't have to be with every meal.
Mix well then portion into approx 3.75oz patties and wrap in plastic wrap then into a freezer bag.
Each portion needs about 24 hrs to defrost. As well I usually mix in about 3-5 tbsp of boiled or hot water to the mix when feeding. Adding the water creates a little bit of gravy and warms up the food. Also when feeding chicken necks I usually add a good sprinkle of Nupro or Alfalfa leaves or kelp for flavour. My guys love it!
I'm now adding a package of low fat cottage cheese and 1lb cooked lentils to each 4lb batch as well. I'll make one 4lb batch as per above with cottage cheese, then another batch but with the lentils. Lentils are a good source of protein and cuts down a bit on meat. My guys are doing well on this mix.
Thatís it! Thatís pretty much one meal. For breakfast I give them one patty each and sometimes throw in half a baby carrot at the end to freshen their breath. Twice a week in the evenings I give them half a patty each and 1-2 chicken necks each or simply 1 patty each and one chicken neck each. I also buy Venison, Bison and Elk premade patties from Carnivore to give my guys more variety. I'll give my guys 1/2 a pattie each every week or two and mix in some Nupro. As mentioned earlier I'm also buying the Carnivore Offal patties and feed half a patty each once a week now instead of mixing the organ meat into the mix above. With the Offal I found it better to take one 8oz offal pattie and mix a little into their food over the course of two days rather than giving it to them as a full meal. It's so rich that it could cause loose stools.
Also once or twice a week my guys will get beef necks for recreational chewing. These have quite a bit of meat on them so the beef necks would replace their dinner.
Hope that helps anyone considering feeding raw. There are endless options, just find something you are comfortable with and that your dogs enjoy.
Update: October 21, 2009
I stopped with the lentils. Just going back to a more basic recipe.
I also swapped in a supplement called Feed-sentials http://www.stalworthkennels.com/feed-sentials.htm
instead of the Nupro. It appears my guys may have a beef allergy and the Nupro uses beef liver in it. I may still switch between Nupro and Feed-sentials throughtout the year though once I get a better handle on Bogart's allergies.
Updated: Feb 27, 2010
After trying the various supplements such as Nupro and Feed-sentials and trying a few other, I really didn't see any improvements from what I had originally started with. So with that in mind, I decided to stop with the supplements and only add in some Alfalfa and Kelp with shot of Salmon oil.
Also found out that my Pet Food store sells some packaged raw pulped veggies, 3lbs for $9.99. I probably spend just as much with the veggies I buy at the store and always have way too much left and no room in my freezer to store so I am now just going to use the packaged raw veggies mix and may mix in an extra veggie once in awhile such as red pepper.
Here's my new recipe which I will be using from now on.
I usually buy 12lbs each of chicken, turkey, lamb, and salmon.
For a 12lb batch of lamb or salmon - making patties between 3.75-3.9oz.
12lbs of meat - no offal
26oz of veggie mix
For a 12lb batch of chicken or turkey- making patties between 3.75-3.9oz.
12lbs of meat - no offal but does contain ground bone.
20oz of chicken hearts and liver
30oz of veggie mix
With each breakfast I give each of my Havs one pump of Salmon Oil with their meal - only with breakfast.
Then once a week, usually Monday, I mix in 2oz of offal to each dinner - this is when feeding lamb or salmon. My chicken and turkey patties have offal already mixed in.
Twice a week I will give each half a patty for dinner with 2 or 3 chicken necks each.
That's pretty much it. Of course once in awhile I'll mix in an egg or cottage cheese but the above is pretty much my standard meal.