Homemade Raw Dog Food Guide: Easy BARF Diet Recipes
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This is the most comprehensive guide to learning how to make homemade raw dog food with the best raw dog food recipes.
Raw dog food can make our dogs happier and healthier, but you must understand all the components of preparing a complete and balanced raw dog diet at home. A poorly made BARF diet can negatively impact your pup.
Today we share vet-approved raw dog recipes and all the important information about the BARF diet for dogs, including benefits, risks, nutritional guidelines, cooking tips, and everything in between.
Our DIY raw dog food guide gives you step-by-step instructions to make your own BARF diet. Let’s dive right in!
What Is A Raw Dog Food Diet?
Raw dog food, aka BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), is designed to replicate what does ate in the wild thousands of years ago. It’s made up of only raw ingredients.
Raw food for dogs consists primarily of:
- Meat protein
- Bones either whole or ground
- Organ meats (i.e., livers and kidneys)
- Raw eggs
- Dog-safe fresh fruits and vegetables
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery.
- Blueberries or other fruit.
- Some dairy, such as yogurt.
Everything is uncooked to preserve enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
There is a variation in the BARF format known as the “prey model raw (PMR)” food. The only difference is that fruits, dairy, and vegetables are excluded in the PMR.
*There are three types, frozen, freeze-dried, and homemade. This article focus on homemade only.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?
Yes, dogs can eat raw meat and other raw ingredients. Dogs are true carnivores and can thrive on a raw meat diet.
From DNA studies, we know dogs descended directly from the timber wolf approximately 15,000 years ago1. Wolves are clear carnivores. Genetically speaking, dogs demonstrate similar and noticeable carnivorous traits. Their teeth, digestive system, and behavior account for their meat-eating capabilities.
Dogs do not have flat teeth like humans or animals like cows. They also do not chew their cud from side to side. Canines have narrow pointy back teeth, and their jaws operate in a chop-chop motion like all carnivores. In addition, carnivores do not produce amylase (an enzyme produced in most herbivores and omnivores’ saliva) in their salivary glands. Dogs don’t produce amylase in their saliva but their pancreas and small intestine2.
Further, dogs have higher concentrations of stomach acid that help break down animal protein faster, and the stronger acids kill bacteria found in decaying meat.
Dr. RuthAnn Lobos, a Purina veterinarian, says feeding a diet consisting primarily of raw meat may not provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs3. If you plan to feed raw meat to your dog, you need to do so as part of a balanced raw meal plan, and any raw meat needs to be fresh and thoroughly washed before feeding it.
Even though dogs demonstrate a notable omnivorous capacity4, dogs are optimized for eating meat. Whether you believe they’re carnivores or omnivores, dogs possess an undeniable carnivorous bias and can safely enjoy raw meats.
Raw Dog Food Benefits
So, what are the benefits of a raw diet for dogs?
Dr. Ian Billinghurst, a veterinarian and top advocate of raw feeding dogs, mentions several benefits of raw food:
- Shinner coat
- Improved skin health
- More energy
- Lean, strong muscles
- Smaller, firmer stools
- Improved dental health
- Stronger immune system
- Lower risk for allergies
- Improved digestion
- Increased agility
- Brihgt eyes
Research also concluded that raw feeding dogs could add as much as 32 months (almost 3 years) – to a dog’s life5.
Dr. Peter Dobias, who has 30 years of veterinary experience and has advocated for raw pet diets since 1995, says “From my experience, if people feed a raw diet, they will increase their dog’s lifespan by 25 percent,” “Generally, raw-fed dogs are so much healthier. The changes are profound.6”
Food & Health In Dogs: Why Feed Raw to Dogs?
The convenience of kibble and the belief that commercial dog food is a good option is what makes so many people choose it.
Unfortunately, food dog allergies arise from commercial dog food. The culprit? Kibble ingredients such as protein sources, high levels of animal fat, preservatives, meat by-products (animal parts), food coloring, grains, and fillers are responsible for more cases of allergies and several other health problems in dogs.
Dog food-related allergies tend to manifest as dry, itchy, red skin leaving resulting in your dog biting, scratching, and chewing at their skin and paws excessively.
Kibble is extremely processed regardless of the ingredient claims (or pictures). All the ingredients are cooked. This destroys some of the nutritional value of the food. What’s even more alarming is that a study from the University of Helsinki found that processed dog food such as kibble can cause oxidative stress and lead to an unbalance between free radicals and antioxidants a dog’s body, thus increasing their risk of dog cancers.
Another harmful by-product of processed pet food is Acrylamide. This chemical is created during this process and is known to increase the risk of several types of cancer in animals and people8.
Nearly 60% of dogs who eat kibble are overweight or obese, says The Farmer’s Dog9. Sadly high-starch carbohydrates like high-glycemic, genetically engineered corn, wheat, rice, or potato make up most kibble, further contributing to the dog obesity pandemic.
Moreover, powders like “meat meal” can contain meat from diseased livestock. The AAFCO says diseased meats are allowed in dog food if rendered at high heat to eliminate harmful bacteria making it safe for animal consumption10. The FDA says a product needs only 3% of an ingredient to be labeled as made “with” it. So, harmful ingredients can hide behind misleading bags.
This is why alternatives like raw dog food and fresh dog food are increasingly popular.
How Can a Raw Diet Help Dogs With All of This?
There several reasons feeding raw food to your dog is beneficial.
- Raw food ensures dogs always eat fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used in raw diets, hence preventing allergies.
- BARF diets provide healthy fats and carbohydrates. It’s a great way of helping a dog to lose weight or maintain weight. A homemade raw diet allows you to manually control the fat level in each meal, promoting a healthy weight even further. For instance, you can pick lean meats to promote a healthy weight.
- When making your own BARF recipes, you only pick those safe ingredients that won’t cause an allergic reaction in your pet. If you don’t know the foods that trigger allergies in your dog, we suggest doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before picking the ingredients for your pup’s next meal.
- Raw foods that are unprocessed, fresh and whole enable our pets to thrive and avoid issues like cancer.
- Raw foods are more easily digested and contain important vitamins and enzymes, which cooking destroys. More easily digestible food means more efficient absorption of nutrients (i.e., minerals, vitamins, and amino acids) and a faster inflammatory response. This may help prevent or relieve symptoms of allergies or digestive issues.
Homemade Raw Dog Food Risks
Though there are potential upsides to BARF and some veterinarians recommend it, there are some risks you need to be aware of.
- Raw food is more likely to become contaminated with potentially harmful pathogens (e.g., Salmonella or E.Coli) that can sicken your pet or be transmitted to humans.
- Feeding whole bones to dogs present a risk of choking, broken teeth, intestinal obstruction, or internal punctures.
- Providing your dog with an unbalanced raw food diet can harm its health.
The best way to minimize these risks are:
1. Make sure all the raw ingredients and meats are thoroughly washed.
2. Buy raw products from reputable grocery stores/butchers with high sanitary standards.
3. Do not feed cooked bones. They become softer after cooking and are more prone to splintering when chewed. Avoid big bones also. Feed only raw bones that are small with a lot of joints or ground bones.
Raw food should be fed under the guidance of a vet nutritionist. Your vet can offer nutritional guidance, and/or recommend a raw food delivery service.
PRO TIP: Keep all meats in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks to kill any parasites — Research found that Salmonella is highly sensitive to freezing, and only 1% of bacteria would survive after 48 hr. E. coli proved less sensitive, showing a survival rate ranging from 10% to 30% during the first week of storage. Generally, however, most samples showed a decline compared to that of salmonellae after two weeks of storage11.
Raw Dog Food Nutritional Guidelines
What does a balanced raw diet plan look like? The recommended guidelines for a BARF diet consist of 70% uncooked muscle meat, 10% raw edible bone, 10% vegetables and fruit, 5% liver, and 5% other organs.
A homemade raw diet plan should also follow the AAFCO’s guidelines to create a balanced meal that supports life and proper function in dogs. AFFCO (is the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food), and it states every dog meal should have 6 indispensable nutrients. These include protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, activity level, and other factors should be considered when making raw dog food recipes.
*If feeding the “Prey” model, this method typically consists of 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organs (half of which is liver.). No veggies, fruits or dairy is allowed in this model.
Typically, a BARF raw diets for dogs follow this formula:
|70% Muscle Meat||Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and other meats, depending on what your dog tolerates. Choose lean cuts. Aim for 10% fat but no higher than 20%.||Raw meat is the main source of protein. Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.|
|10% Raw, Edible Bone||Uncooked raw bones, bones with a lot of joints, like necks, tails, and feet. Ground bones are the safest choice. Avoid heavy or big bones - They can break teeth or get stuck in the digestive tract.||Provide essential calcium, phosphorous, and other essential nutrients.|
|5% Liver||Livers from cow, chicken, or other animals.||Great source of high-quality protein; vitamins A, B12, B6; folic acid; iron; zinc; and essential amino acids.|
|5% Other Organs||Kidney, spleen, lungs, heart, brain, eyeballs, reproductive organs (testicles, uterus), trachea, stomach, sweetbreads (pancreas and thymus), and tongue.||Organs are a great source of vitamins and minerals. The more organs you add to the diet of your dog, the better the mix of nutrients your dog will receive.|
|10% Vegetables & Fruit||Broccoli, celery, squash, pumpkin, spinach, leafy greens, and carrots. Fruit such as apples, cranberries, and blueberries. |
Fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, and oregano. (Never feed toxic fruits or veggies)
|Fruit provide antioxidants while vegetables have carotenoids, flavonoids, antioxidants, and many other phytochemicals that are beneficial to immune function and health dogs.|
Percentages can vary depending on your dog’s individual needs. For instance, if Fido is sensitive to organs, a 2% liver will provide essential vitamin A, minerals, and other minerals.
You can add some dairy, such as cottage cheese, plain yogurt and/or raw eggs for more protein sources.
Note: It is critical that you use high-quality grade meat.
Dr. Dobias recommends rotating the type of meat every four days to avoid monotony. Dogs can be fed multiple types of meat and various fruits and vegetables on the same day. “Dogs would not be eating one type of protein if they were in nature,” he explains. “They would be eating a variety.”
Always consult with your vet before changing your dog’s diet. It’s advised to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to create vet-approved raw dog recipes. Making balanced raw dog food recipes can be a tedious process.
For more advice on BARF diet nutrition and benefits check out Give Your Dog a Bone by Ian Billinghurst. This book is considered the Bible of healthy raw dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes
Dogs sometimes may develop some of the conditions listed below due to food allergies or other causes.
A raw diet coupled with these dietary recommendations can help improve and boost recovery of these conditions.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
Chart Source: NomNom
How Much Raw Food To Feed Dogs?
You can determine how raw food to feed Fido based on calories needed depending on his weight. The only downside is that you need to know how many calories there are in each ingredient you use and add them up. It can be a cumbersome process if you ask me.
Many raw feeders (both experienced and new) prefer the bodyweight percentage method because it’s easy to measure and works with any raw diet.
As a general rule, an adult dog should eat about 2% to 4% of his ideal weight.
However, these percentages vary depending on their weight, metabolism, and activity level.
You have a 4 scenarios to determine how much to feed your dog.
- Weight maintenance: Feed 2% – 2.5% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Active dogs (canine athletes, sport dogs, or highly active dogs): Feed 3% – 4% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Senior, less active, or overweight dogs (weight loss): Feed 1.5% – 2% of their current weight in pounds per day.
- Underweight dogs (weight gain): Feed 3% – 3.5% % of their current weight in pounds per day.
For instance, if your dog weighs 65 lbs (and that’s his ideal weight), you would need to multiply the weight (65 lbs.) by either 2% – 2.5%. But, which one do you use?
An inactive dog at his ideal weight would use 2%. For an average activity level dog that receives anywhere from an hour to several hours of exercise a day, 2.25% would be the ideal middle ground. If you feel your dog is more active, then you may need to feed 2.5% or more to maintain a healthy weight. (Use this criterion to calculate for all other scenarios)
So, for an active dog at his ideal weight, 65 lbs, your would multiply 2.5%*65 lbs (0.025*65) which equals 1.625 lbs.
1.625 is the number of pounds you would need to feed your dog daily. Adult dogs typically eat 2 meals per day. So, you would need to break 1.625 lbs into 2 meals of 0.81 lbs. each. Talk to your vet if your dog has any special dietary needs or medical requirements that affect her food intake.
Homemade Raw Diet For Puppy
Preparing a raw diet for puppies recipe is different than a BARF recipe for adult dogs.
Puppies require more protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus than adult dogs. Feed puppies 15% bone and less than 20% fat to make sure they get enough nutrients and minerals. Raw food for puppies need to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins per AAFCO guidelines.
When your puppy is growing and developing, it is not advised to skip meals.
Can Puppies Eat Raw Meat?
Puppies can eat raw meat. Many raw-fed breeders wean their puppies directly onto raw from their mother’s milk. You can begin feeding raw the day you bring your puppy home, or you can also do a combination of both worlds (raw food + dry kibble) until your puppies reach 12 months of age. After 12 months, you can transition to 100% raw dog food.
How Much Raw Food Should Puppies Get?
Puppies need more calories than adult dogs. Puppies should eat about 5% to 10% of their current weight to support their growth.
As a general raw feeding guideline for puppies, feed:
Puppies 2 to 3 months: 8% to 10% of body weight daily
Puppies 4 to 5 months: 6% to 8% of body weight daily
Puppies 6 to 8 months: 4% to 6% of body weight daily
Puppies 9 to 12 months: 3% to 4% of body weight daily
Puppies should be fed 3 to 4 times per day. When they mature (12 months & up), you can feed twice a day.
Raw Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a dog owner with a busy lifestyle and don’t have much time to cook for your pet but wish your pup could enjoy the benefits of eating raw food, a raw dog food delivery service is for you.
BARF World is one of our favorite options and the best BARF diet recipes for dogs available in the market.
This raw dog food company is the pioneer of raw diets for dogs. They deliver Biologically Appropriate Raw Food straight to your door. Their formula is a balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables, organs, and bone. Plus, it’s supplemented with 4 other key ingredients.
BARF World states their food has helped generations of dogs become free of allergies, itchy skin and coats, digestive problems, obesity, and weight problems, among other issues.
All of their ingredients are USDA sourced, and their formulas are developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist to meet the nutritional guidelines for dog food.
The best part of feeding BARF World is that you never have to worry about balancing ingredients, portion sizing, grinding, chopping, measuring, mixing, potential pathogens in raw ingredients, and all the risks and hassles involved in cooking raw dog food on your own.
In our experience, it’s a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. We think it’s worth the cost after you add up the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe and the convenience of it.
Our readers have access to the best deals at BARF World, just use this link to get your dog’s first raw meal.
If you are looking for more options, be sure to read our comparison of the best raw dog food delivery options — We cover the best freeze-dried and frozen raw dog food options. Pre-made raw food is also ideal to introduce raw diets to dogs.
Raw Dog Food: Cooking, Handling & Serving Tips
Before we share our homemade raw dog food recipes and get out the apron, is key you apply the following information.
1. Raw pet food and human food should not be store together. Instead, prepare and store raw pet food away from human-grade food as a preventive measure against cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards and different cooking utensils to prepare your food and your dog’s food.
2. Don’t wash raw meat, only produce. Contrary to popular belief, raw meat should not be washed or rinsed because it increases the spread of bacteria and increases the risk of cross-contamination. Meat and poultry are cleaned during processing, so further washing is not necessary, says the USDA.
3. Freezing and storing. Place raw dog food in a secure package and store it in the freezer. Keeping raw food frozen at a consistent temperature of 0 °F will prevent the growth of microbes (including mold and yeast ) and kill parasites if frozen for up two weeks.
4. Raw pet food must never be thawed in water or microwaved. Thawing in water is not recommended; nutrients could leach into the surrounding water. Lastly, do not microwave raw food. You will cook the food. Generally, raw dog food should be thawed in the refrigerator or on a countertop. The refrigerator’s temperature needs to be consistently at or below 40 °F ( 35 °F ideally). According to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), “bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone.”
5. You have 2 days to feed Fido raw food that’s been thawed. Dog food manufacturers and Food Safety.gov recommend storing raw dog food in a container with a lid and placing it in the refrigerator for no more than 24-48 hours. Keeping food refrigerated for 3 to 4 days might not hurt, but it increases the chances for cross-contamination and spoilage. Freeze-dried food can be stored at room temperature.
6. Throw away leftovers from the day, and don’t leave raw dog food out too long. It can result in spoiled food and bacteria growth. If your dog doesn’t finish all his meal, cover any leftover raw food and put it in the refrigerator to be fed at a later meal. At the end of the day, you should dispose of any uneaten food. This helps to keep food at its peak freshness and avoid any digestive upset.
7. Before, during, and after cooking and serving, always sanitize the area where your pet eats. The FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
Lastly, wash cutting boards, feeding bowls, countertops, and utensils such as knives with hot, soapy water after each use. And, do not use the same dishrag you use to wash your own dishes, or you could contaminate them with raw food particles.
PRO TIP: Make sure your dog’s bowl is made from stainless steel like this one. Other materials like plastic and porcelain can trap germs over time due to the porosity of their surfaces.
How to Make Raw Dog Food At Home (Video)
Not sure where to start? Wondering how to make your own raw dog food recipe? Watch this video and learn!
Homemade Recipes For Raw Dog Food
It’s time to get cooking! Here is a list of our favorite balance, vet-approved and complete homemade raw dog food recipes.
As a bonus, we added a recipe for a special treat that is tasty and packed with impressive health benefits. This recipe can do a lot for your canine’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
For even more BARF diet recipes for dogs and cooking options, this raw dog food cookbook can come in handy to have at your disposal. Or better yet, you can have an entire dog raw diet menu at your disposal thanks to the brands we recommend on our Raw Dog Food Guide.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian & use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and health of your dog.
CBD Infused Treat | Ground Beef Raw Mix | Raw Boneless Turkey | Organ Patties | Chicken & Greens
CBD-Infused Dog Treat
Impress your pooch with these nutritious, therapeutic, and appetizing homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin and other essential vitamins and minerals (like iron, potassium, and vitamin A). Pumpkin also helps promote better digestion and hydration. Coconut is also added for skin and coat health and allergy reduction.
CBD can help with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health issues in dogs. Learn more here. You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats.
Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD to make sure it’s safe and feeding portions are appropriate.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
Total: Makes 24 treats
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar together. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
The number of dog treats will vary depending on the size of the mold you use. Try to make each dog treat have 2-5 mg of CBD.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Ground Beef, Chicken Liver Veggies Mix
This raw meat food recipe for dogs is among our favorite. Easy to digest and packed with all the essential nutrients dogs need.
- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 4 oz chicken livers
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 small apple, cored
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 2 whole eggs (including shell)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Put carrot, apple, and spinach in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients except for beef and process until well combined.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add the beef until well mixed.
- Form into patties the size of your palm and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze patties and transfer them to a storage container to keep frozen.
- The night before you wish to feed, remove the patties from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to thaw.
Raw Boneless Turkey & Egg Dog
Looking for raw dog food recipes for large dogs? This recipe will make 11 pounds of raw food, which is 6-7 days’ worth of food for a 50-pound dog. The amount you feed will depend on your dog’s weight and exercise level.
- 5 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
- 2 pounds chicken heart
- 1 pound beef liver
- 6 pastured eggs without shells
- 8 ounces (3 large stalks) kale
- 8 ounces (2 stalks) broccoli
- 8 ounces (4 chopped cups) dandelion greens
- 12 ounces (2 small clamshell packages) blueberries or mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries)
- 6 Tablespoons bone meal (seaweed calcium can be used for adult dogs)
- 3 Tablespoons ground pumpkin seed powder
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon kelp
- If you have a grinder, grind the chicken heart and beef liver. If you don’t have a grinder, chop the liver and heart into small cubes.
- Puree the eggs, kale, broccoli, dandelion greens, berries, bone meal, pumpkin seed powder, salt, and kelp in a food processor.
- Mix the ground turkey, liver, heart, and veggie/berry mix.
- Place the mixture into smaller containers and place them in your freezer. It’s best to freeze your food in 1-3 day portions.
Recipe From: Dog Naturally Magazine
This homemade raw dog food recipe can serve as a tasty treat or as a variety option to feed once or twice a week.
Make it with any excess organs. This recipe doesn’t include bones and cartilage, so don’t use it as a regular meal but as a raw treat, Fido can enjoy every now and then.
- 4 ounces of beef hearts
- 4 ounces of kidneys
- 4 ounces of gizzards
- 4 ounces of liver
- 2 tablespoons of precooked vegetables
- 1 raw egg
- The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare the ingredients. You’ll need to chop up the organs or put them in a food processor. The same goes for the vegetables.
- Once everything is minced, simply mix it all together. Add the raw egg with the shell. You can then form the mixture into patties and pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to give them to your dog.
Recipe From: Daily Dog Stuff
Chicken & Greens
This is another easy homemade raw dog food recipe you can add to your dog’s raw diet menu.
It uses raw chicken with a veggie mix. It’s full of nutrients and vitamins.
- 35% – 50% Chicken thighs or breasts
- 10% – 30% Chicken hearts and liver
- 12% – 15% Ground chicken bone
- 5% lightly boiled chicken eggs
- 5% – 10% Organic broccoli (like kale, broccoli is very rich in vitamin C and fiber and a lot of other nutrients)
- 5% – 10% Organic celery (it’s quite rich in water when it is raw, but it is still a great source of dietary fiber)
- 5% – 10% Organic spinach (very high vitamin and mineral content, excellent nutrient)
- 5% – 10% Organic carrots
- 5% Alfalfa meal
Simply mix and freeze or serve. The eggs should be lightly boiled as a protection against Salmonella.
Recipe From: Top Dog Tips
Best Raw Cooking Practices
Here are some general guidelines to follow when putting together a homemade raw dog food recipe.
- Meticulous care is required in the handling, preparation, and sanitation of raw food (learn more here)
- Meat and other ingredients must be human-grade
- Buy ethically sourced ingredients
- Everything has to be natural, raw (no foods with additives, hormones, and toxins)
- Know by memory (or have a list) of toxic dog food
- Avoid grain, especially if your pup suffers from allergies
- Remove any bones that may become splintered (as your dog becomes more experienced with eating raw bones, this won’t be necessary)
- Avoid heavy, big bones
- Liver is quite slimy. Be cautious and cut into bite-size pieces to avoid choking.
- Feed the leanest ground products possible
- If you feed ground meat, remember that ground meats don’t usually contain bone (unless otherwise specified). You will need to add bones.
Visit your local Mexican market, Asian market, or farmer’s market —Typically, you will find a wider variety of organ meats at lower prices. You can also have frozen organ meats delivered to your door on ice.
Raw Diet Supplements
What supplements to add to raw dog food?
Usually, a dog does not require supplements for his raw diet. However, poorly made raw diets prepared by inexperienced dog parents or dogs with special dietary needs or health conditions will likely need supplements.
Speak to a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your recipe is balanced and appropriated for your dog. If your vet determines your pup needs supplementation, you can add it to your dog’s diet.
These are some of the best raw dog food supplements.
- A multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews (for the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.)
- Calcium and phosphorous, especially for puppy diets
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Trace minerals like iodine, selenium, and zinc
- Vitamins including Vitamin A and Vitamin B12
How to Transition Your Dog To A Raw Diet
Understand, some dogs have sensitive GI tracts. So, to prevent stomach issues, you need to transition to raw dog food, gradually.
Consider the following as a starting point:
Week 1: 25% new food and 75% old food
Week 2: 50% new food and 50% old food
Week 3: 25% new food and 75% old food
Week 4: 100% new food
Some dog owners choose to start at 50% to simplify things but if your dog is hypersensitive, start at 25% (or an even smaller percentage, like a Tablespoon). Extend the transition time to 5 weeks or longer if you feel it will make it easier for your dog to adjust.
Do not abruptly change your dog’s food. It might cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, or vomiting.
What Foods Should Dogs Never Eat?
Before crafting a raw recipe for your pup, learn which foods are safe, and which can send your dog straight to the emergency vet.
Avoid these toxic dog foods in your recipe.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
For a more extensive list, check out this handy list you should consider having on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Raw Food To Never Feed Dogs
According to the American Kennel Club, you should never feed a raw potato to your dog. This is because they contain solanine, a toxic compound to some dogs. Raw tomatoes also have this chemical. Cooking them reduces the levels of solanine.
Avoid raw or undercooked salmon or salmonid species of fish. It can contain the Neorickettsia Helminthoeca parasite, which causes salmon poisoning disease. This disease can be fatal. Plus, the small brittle bones can choke your dog or lodge in his stomach or intestines.
Boneless fish (especially oily fish) is allowed but only once a week. Never give fish with sharp spines and barbs. No wild pork, bear meat, or meats from wild animals is allowed, not even after freezing. Wild meats may contain more parasites than farm-raised meats,
Always research every ingredient so you know they are safe for dogs.
Dogs That Shouldn’t Eat Raw Dog Food
According to Dr. Doug Knueven, a holistic medicine specialist who consults for Nature’s Variety (Instinct, a raw pet food brand) says raw diets do not suit all dogs.
Since raw foods are normally high in protein, they are not appropriate for dogs with kidney or liver problems. Too much protein stresses these organs, which can aggravate these conditions. Dr. Knueven also states that dogs on chemotherapy or immune-suppressing drugs should be restricted from eating raw food.
If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis or digestive problems, it’s recommended to start with a fresh homemade dog food diet like Nom Nom before switching to raw.
Is A Raw Food Diet Good For Your Dog?
Is raw food good for dogs? Watch this video and learn about raw dog food from the experts.
Both diets have their pros and cons that’s a fact but it all comes down to finding what’s right for you and your dog.
Feeding Dogs: The Science Behind The Dry Versus Raw Debate is a must-read for all those interested in understanding one of the most heated controversies is pet nutrition: Should you feed your dog a raw food diet or kibble? It’s worth reading if you are still uncertain about raw diets.
Monitor Weight & Health
Weighing your dog on a scale regularly is the best way to keep an eye out for a healthy weight.
Monitoring your dog’s weight is key as you transition to a raw food diet. An unbalanced diet can lead to excessive energy, skin or coat disorders, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately stop feeding your dog this food and consult with a professional dog nutritionist.
Track your dog’s weight and health closely for about a month to ensure that he is not adversely affected by the new diet.
It’s important to work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy.
Other Food Alternatives
Making your own raw dog food is fun but should be done diligently under professional guidance.
It can be daunting at first but eventually, it becomes second nature and the benefits are worth it.
Now that you know what you want to make, it’s time to put together a shopping list and get started with homemade raw. Have fun! Remember, you can always have already made raw dog food delivered to your dog if you don’t feel like cooking.
Don’t want to feed raw today? Another diet that’s proven beneficial for dogs with meat allergies, digestive issues, or food-related health issues is vegan dog food. It’s worth checking out.
Sources & References:  Genome Sequence  Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine  Purina,  PubMed,  ukrmb,  Darwins Pet  University of Helsinki  National Cancer Institute  The Farmer’s Dog  AAFCO  Food Science