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As you may know, even veterinarians do not agree on whether or not raw diets are best for dogs. While anecdotes abound singing the praises of a raw food diet, there seem to be just as many authoritative voices discouraging dog owners from even considering a raw diet on account of safety.
But commercial dog food is fraught with its own problems, making raw diets all the more appealing to pet parents. More and more dog owners are making their own dog food or purchasing subscriptions in order to avoid the problems of traditional dog food. After all, you’re much more sure that your dog will be getting nutrients from the right sources when you make them yourself.
While fresh food subscription brands are the more popular option for pet owners, the homemade raw diet is also taking off as a viable option thanks to the introduction of new studies arguing for the merits of raw food.
Fortunately, for pet owners who truly believe in feeding their dogs raw, there are veterinarians out there who are publicly supportive of this diet. To help pet parents perfect their dog’s raw diet, they’ve put out their own approved recipes, the best of which I’ve compiled in this article. If you’re interested in getting into homemade raw diets yourself, here are some homemade raw dog food recipes vet-approved. Then again, there are pet food delivery service options for convenience.
Fruity Fish and Beef Medley
Fish tends to be one of the most recommended additions to dogs’ raw food diets because of how rich they are in lean protein and important vitamins and minerals.
Coupled with fruits, veggies, and a healthy helping of savory meat such as beef, you’ll have a hearty, healthy meal on your hands—great for an active dog. Just make sure not to include any fish entrails, as no amount of sterilization short of cooking can remove the pathogens in them.
- Mackerel, herring, trout, or other oily, meaty fish: 3 lbs
- Ground beef: 2 lbs
- Beef organs (lung, liver, kidneys preferred): 1 lb
- Lettuce: 1/2 lb
- Parsnips: 1/4 lb
- Carrots: 1/4 lb
- Apple: 1/2 cup
- Blueberries or blackberries: 1/4 cup
- Bone meal (get “bone broth powder”, NOT the kind you buy at hardware stores) : 2 tbsp
- Rapeseed or flaxseed oil: 1 tbsp
- Hemp seed oil: 1 tbsp
- Cream cheese (optional): 1 tbsp
Chop up the fish into thick steaks. Remember to take the bones out as they can get stuck in their throats, proving deadly even for adult dogs. Alternatively, you can also grind up the fish and mix it with the ground beef. You can also use bony beef parts instead of ground to provide some raw edible bone for extra calcium.
Then, finely chop or puree the fruits and vegetables in a food processor. Mix with the meat mixture along with bone meal and oils. Dab on cream cheese to taste. Makes a 4-5 day supply for the average dog.
Fortified beef patties
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dog who turns their nose up at beef patties (unless they’re allergic—but probably rarely even then). But the usual way we do beef patties isn’t the healthiest for dogs, so some veterinarians have formulated this fortified raw dog food recipe so your pooch can enjoy this delicious treat while still keeping a balanced diet.
- Lean ground beef, 30 percent fat: 4 lbs
- Beef liver: 1/2 lb
- Dry chia seeds, ground: 2 tbsp
- Psyllium husk powder: 1 tsp
- Nutritional yeast: 1 tsp
First mix the dry ingredients: Psyllium husk powder, yeast, and ground chia seeds. You can do so dry or blend them in water.
As for the meat mixture, you can grind up the beef liver as well, or chop them up in large chunks to give your pet something to chew on. Mix in the dry ingredients and blend with a spatula or a mortar and pestle as you would regular burger patties.
Sprinkle with bone meal to add extra calcium if preferred (remember to watch your dog’s calcium vs phosphorus balance) . Portion and serve according to your dog’s diet. Makes a 3-4 day supply.
Raw Lamb Stew
For the more culinary-inclined out there, “raw” and “stew” don’t really go together. But this raw homemade dog food recipe is designed to replicate the taste and feel of stew without involving cooking. Here’s how you do it.
- Lamb chops: 3 lbs
- Water: 2 cups
- Carrots: 1 cup
- Apples: 1 cup
- Squash: 1.5 cups
- Peas or beans: 1 cup
- Sunflower oil: 1 tbsp
- Cod liver oil: 2 tbsp
Slice, dice, shred, or puree the carrots, apples, and squash. Remember to remove squash seeds to avoid digestive upset.
Then, thoroughly mix all ingredients in water until it appears relatively homogenous. Add more water if you want to decrease the thickness of the stew. Makes 2-3 days’ worth of food on average.
- How Much Raw Food to Feed a Dog
- Raw vs Fresh Dog Food
- How To Make Fresh Dog Food
- Raw Food Diet for Puppies
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make homemade raw dog food?
A key part of making homemade raw dog food recipes is making sure that the raw meat is free of pathogens, so be sure to source it from certified raw meat providers or have access to sterilization tools yourself.
Why do vets say not to feed raw?
The main issue with raw food is the presence of pathogens, especially in meats notorious for harboring them like raw chicken. But there’s nothing inherently bad about a raw diet once you cut that out.
Is it cheaper to make your own raw dog food?
Absolutely. But if you’re not confident that your raw ingredients are free of pathogens, it may be wiser to accept a higher cost and simply go with a raw dog food subscription service, like We Feed Raw, that is better equipped to sterilize raw meat.
What is the ratio for raw dog food?
The usual ratio advised for a raw dog food diet is 80 percent muscle meat, 10 percent bone, and 10 percent organs, which is further split into 5 percent offal and 5 percent liver.
Some ratios go with a higher ratio of organs and lower ratio of bone, along with some wild veggies and fruits.
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