Ask the Dog Guide: Tastier Raw Food?

September 4th, 2008 by Dan

Question:
I have two senior dogs and I want to switch them to a raw diet. I bought Evo dry kibble and frozen raw dog food at the pet store. One of my dogs ate it and the other one wouldn’t eat it. Is there anything I can add to the food to make it more tasty?

Answer:
First, if you’re feeding the kibble and the raw dog food at the same meal, start separating them into different meals at least 6-8 hours apart. Kibble and raw foods digest at different rates, and when both are eaten at the same meal, the kibble may stop the raw food from digesting as quickly as it should. This could lead to an infection or other gastrointestinal upset.

Secondly, there is no need to add anything to raw food to make it more palatable. Dogs previously fed kibble simply aren’t used to the taste (really, the lack of a taste) of a raw diet, and the smooth, moist texture of raw meat, and some need to be introduced to the concept gradually. Start by feeding a meal of Evo once a day. If the meal isn’t eaten in fifteen minutes, take it away. For the second meal of the day, lightly sear some of the raw food in a hot pan. Let it stand to cool before serving it to the dogs. If the outside of a chunk of raw meat is seared, the smell of cooked meat should entice your dogs to scarf it down before they even notice the meat is mostly raw. Over a few days, you should be able to cook each meal less and less, and soon your dogs will eat a completely raw meal.


Photo by Ninjapoodles.

You can also help to interest your dogs in the raw food, while creating a more healthful diet, by feeding not just raw dog food from the pet store, which usually comes in a ground form, but also whole cuts of prey from the grocery store or an online supplier. Chicken quarters are more fun to chew by far than ground meat. The raw bones are safe for your dog to eat. However, never give a dog a cooked bone. Most dogs prefer whole prey or cuts of meat to ground premade raw dog food. The premade variety also sometimes contains too much bone.

If you use anything other than the premade raw, you’ll need to make sure to offer a balanced diet by feeding organ meats in addition to muscle meats and bones. Use the 80-10-10 ratio to plan your dogs’ weekly diet: 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 10% organ. The organs can be half liver (5% of the total diet), with the other 5% consisting of other organs like kidney, spleen, pancreas, thymus, and sweetbreads. Gizzards and hearts count as muscle meats, not organs.

Congratulations on doing the best thing for your dogs by transitioning them onto a raw diet. Most owners find that the improvements in their dogs’ health and happiness are well worth the hassle of going raw!





3 Responses to “Ask the Dog Guide: Tastier Raw Food?”

  1. Lee Cullens Says:

    There is a lot of confusion about a species appropriate diet for dogs. The “why” is that we have crossed the line between science and prolific industry propaganda. Since the 1950s vast sums of money have been poured into shaping public perception because the profits are enormous. Not to mention that “we the people” have a tendency towards anthropomorphism, and convenience is a driving force.

    For unbiased scientific information see the “Ol’ Shep’s Plight: Diet” article at: http://achinook.squarespace.com/

    There is also a “lighter” fabricated “Dr. P. Kibble Interview” and other articles following different threads of industry’s manipulation.

    My best to you and yours,
    Lee Cullens

  2. louanne studer Says:

    how do you know how much raw to feed a ten pound dog – is there a chart for amounts based on weight?

  3. Dan Says:

    Check out Raw Diet For Dogs: The Basics, to learn more about how to get started with this diet and see if it’s right for you!

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