Want to feed a raw diet but not sure you can afford it?

Or do you find it hard to fit raw into your busy schedule?

Let’s face it … most of us agree that a raw diet is much healthier for dogs. But when it comes to actually buying and feeding raw, your plans can get hijacked.

Today’s post will help anybody (literally) with any budget or lifestyle feed their dog a raw diet. We’ve compiled expert advice from Julie Anne Lee to help you get started without the fuss and drama …

Basic Feeding Rules To Get Started

Keep the Daily Diet Simple
Stick to a ratio of:

  • 75% meat/bone/organ
  • 20% colorful vegetables
  • 5% fruit
  • rotate proteins and give salt water fish not from Pacific once a week

Add in essential fatty acids (no fish oil) such as phytoplankton, hemp oil or coconut oil.

Give recreational bones 2-3 per week. Feet, backs, necks, knuckles, and femurs are great choices.

Rotate the support foods: bone broth, pre- and probiotics, enzymes, liver support, turmeric paste. Use one for a week, then move on to the next one, use it for a week … and so on. Once you’ve used them all, start back at the beginning.

Then … Pick Your Philosophy And Lifestyle

1. Passionate Home Chef – You can always cook from scratch and get creative, just be sure to:

  • Switch things up and just follow the basic rules. Do rounds of amino acids, spices, antioxidants and herbs
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate – don’t overuse those support foods – don’t add thousands of things a day to your dog’s food – remember your rules

2. Health Conscious – You know what’s healthy but sometimes fall off the wagon? Don’t complicate the raw feeding process.

  • Add phytoplankton for extra vitamins and nutrients
  • Add your essential fatty oils
  • Remember to rotate your support foods – just keep them in the cupboard and use them up then move on to the next one

3. No Time To Spare – You feel like you barely have time to feed yourself, but you love your dog and want him to be healthy.

  • Find a commercial raw food that’s close to the 75-20-5 rule
  • Add phytoplankton for extra vitamins and nutrients
  • Add your essential fatty oils
  • Keep an eye on your dog and add support foods if you feel he needs an extra boost

4. Money Is An Issue – You can still feed raw on a budget!

  • Source chicken backs and necks to supply your meat, bone and fat
  • Add some extra on-sale gizzards and muscle meat
  • Stock up on veggies and fruit that are on sale and freeze them in the 20% and 5% ratio
  • Quality hemp oil is often very reasonably priced and this covers your essential fatty acid

Raw Feeding Videos

Dogs With Health Issues

Allergies
If your dog has allergies, you need to focus on a healthy gut first!

Use the same 75/20/5 ratio that’s established in the basic feeding rules, but only use one source of protein you know your dog has never had (rabbit, venison, bison, pheasant), and use it for everything (meals, treats, supplements).

Once you’ve healed the gut, you can start reintroducing other foods. Give lots of antioxidants and essential fatty acids as well as products specifically for leaky gut to help maintain a good balance and protect your dog’s gut.

Arthritis
If your dog has arthritis diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve mobility.

A traumatized gut creates inflammation which can make arthritis or any disease worse. If collagen is lacking in your dog’s gut tissue, chances are it is really lacking in his joints.

Use diet to increase that collagen and to reduce the inflammation. This means feeding lots of bone broth, mussels, oysters, antioxidants, essential fatty acids.

Life-Threatening Illness
If your dog has cancer or another chronic life-threatening illness, you can definitely support healing with food … but it’s best to do that by consulting a holistic nutrition expert who can help you design a diet specific to your dog’s individual needs.

Supplements
Don’t get caught up giving your dog supplements all the time. There are just a few supplements Julie Anne suggests giving your dog and you don’t have to give them every day!

  • Essential fatty acids:
  • No fish oils – they can turn rancid…
  • Other easy to add food
    • Mussels, clams and oysters – B vitamins, vitamins C & A, riboflavin, niacin, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium
    • Bone broth – source of collagen/gelatin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous – support a gut that has been damaged by overuse of drugs and antibiotics.
    • Seaweed – iodine – great for supporting cell metabolism and healthy thyroid function
  • Fermented foods, prebiotics, probiotics – support beneficial gut flora
  • Digestive enzymes – aid digestion and absorption of nutrients

Keeping the Balance
Your dog needs a balanced diet containing a variety of vitamins and nutrients to keep him healthy and to prevent chronic disease. This means macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) for energy and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to support the biochemical processes in the body.

Those macro- and micronutrients come from whole food – from muscle meat, bones and organs as well as vegetables and plants.

Kibble manufacturers rely on supplementing cheap ingredients with synthetic vitamins and minerals in the food so they can tell you the food is complete and balanced … but those synthetic supplements don’t supply the life-sustaining nutrients found in whole foods.

Remember, the word “supplement” means “in addition to” not “instead of” … so you can’t just add some vitamins and minerals to the food and assume your dog’s getting a healthy diet. Feeding your dog kibble every day is a lot like giving your child cornflakes at every meal … your child wouldn’t be healthy on a diet like that and neither will your dog!

Related: Why 99% Of Dog Food Is Fake.

Instead, feed whole raw foods that supply your dog with all the nutrients he needs.

Don’t Stress!

Julie Anne’s biggest piece of advice is … don’t stress about your dog’s food. You really can’t go wrong if you follow her guidelines.

Meals are some of the most exciting times in your dog’s day so relax and let him enjoy his dinner!

If you’d like to learn more, check out Julie Anne’s whole talk: