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German Shepherd Dog Rescue

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Natural Raw Diet for Dogs – Guidelines

Based on Dr Ian Billinghurst 'Give your Dog a Bone' (BARF) & ‘Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs’, Lew Olson, PhD
DOWNLOAD - Natural Raw Diet for Dogs – Guidelines with 3 week Meal Plan

Back to NATURAL HEALTH REMEDIES

Back to NATURAL CLEANING / WASHING

Puppy Molly Moo fed on rawfood diet

german shepherd puppy molly moo fed on rawfood

Molly Moo came into the rescue at 15 weeks and has been fed on rawfood ever since

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FIRST

It is unlikely for any dog to suffer food poisoning from raw meat, their bodies are equipped to process meat and bones fast, due to how nature designed them, with a particularly short gut.  Salmonella is very rarely a factor, but when some dogs first take raw chicken, the Camphylobacter Bacteria can cause diarrhea, easily treated and once they recover, unlikely to reoccur.  It is widely acknowledged by the raw food experts that some dogs have a reaction to this bacteria, but their systems soon become used to it. There is the exception, when dogs have auto-immune disease and then they do require specialist dog nutritionist advice, in some cases they are advised not to have raw chicken, as a result.   

It is certainly advisable not to feed dogs weight bearing beef bones, it is true that these can cause chipped teeth, thus causing periodontal issues later in life.   When dogs are gradually introduced to raw bones, it should be a process. Start with smaller bones and let them just have a a short time with a bone and gradually build up.  Like us, they need to learn...

When Pippa first had raw chicken backs, she was so enthusiastic, she would eat them far too fast and then bring them up in a pile, not properly crunched up.  This is nature's way of teaching them to crunch them up properly, (the neurons in their brains have to connect, like ours), needless to say Pippa never brings them up now and crunches them up like a true professional.

There are occasions when dogs swallow large pieces of bone, BUT due to the extreme acid environment in their stomachs, they are able to digest bones into a powder. 

Sadly, bones can become obstructive, albeit very rarely.  However, with careful introduction, monitoring and feeding the right bones, it can be avoided, it is very low risk.  The alternative of feeding kibble and/or other commercial foods, hold far greater risks with periodontal, liver and kidney diseases becoming common place as a result.  Even some types of cancers are now thought to be caused by feeding junk food as well as vacinosis etc..

I quote from Tom Lonsdale:

'Anywhere from the mouth to the anus, nasty diseases occur as a result of a junk food diet. According to the Mars Corporation, the world's larges pet-food maker, it's estimated that 10 - 15% of dogs suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.  Many dogs suffer from incurrable, chronic, inflammatory bowel disease as a direct result of their diet.  Every year thousand of dogs die an agonizing death from bloat, where the stomach fills with gas and twists.  Dogs fed a natural diet are much less likely to suffer from bloat.'

Vets often have different advice when it comes to feeding your dog raw food. The little training that vet's encounter during their 7 year course on dog nutrition, amounts to one lecture during this time and as you have probably guessed already, it's sponsored by one of the conglomerates who produce commercial dog food. Let us not forget that veterinary surgeons rely on the sale of pharmaceuticals / medical products and commercial dog foods as part of their income.

N A T U R A L R A W D I E T for Y O U R D O G

Based on Dr Ian Billinghurst 'Give your Dog a Bone' (BARF), ‘Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs’, Lew Olson, PhD & ‘Work Wonders and Feed your Dog Raw Meaty Bones’ by Tom Lonsdale

To substantiate a balanced diet, incorporate all the following food types over a 2 - 3 week period, job done! It really is not natural for a dog to have a ‘complete’ diet in each meal, as suggested by commercial dog ‘food’ advertisements.

A raw diet can be changed overnight, after a meal or two of fasting or can be introduced gradually, perhaps starting with a 100 grams of tripe or raw chicken for breakfast, introducing only one new food per week.

Foods to incorporate into your dogs’ diet include:

1. Fruit/Vegetables
2. Animal products
3. Oils
4. Supplements/Misc.

1.Vegetables/Fruit to include: (liquidise to enable dog to digest)

  • Fresh green leafy vegetables eg spinach, cabbage, spring greens, outer lettuce leaves, cauliflower (plus outer leaves), broccoli, brussel sprouts, best fed raw
  • Pumpkin, squash, marrow, mushrooms, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, peas, celery
  • Root vegetables eg potatoes/sweet potatoes (both should be cooked), carrots, radishes, turnips, celeriac, parsnips, swede etc., (never onions)
  • Legumes - peas, beans, baked beans etc. (always cook legume family)
  • Herbs eg parsley, mint, rosemary, basil, tarragon, dill, sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano etc.,
  • Fruit – to include apples (no pips), pears, oranges, kiwi, peaches, mango, banana, avocado, plums, berries, pineapple etc., (not grapes)
  • Whole grains eg brown rice (cooked), oat flakes, oat bran (Personally, I prefer not to feed grains at all)
  • Food scraps can be incorporated into the diet eg pasta, pulses (cooked), cooked egg, rice (brown is best).

Grains are not necessary in our dog’s diet, despite what the dog food manufacturers would have us believe. Our furry friends are able to manufacture carbohydrates from fats within the body. In countless cases where dogs suffer with auto-immune diseases and/or allergic reactions, feeding a raw diet can cure the offending allergies when grains are omitted. The only carbs that can be beneficial to dogs are vegetables which should not be more than 15 - 20% of an entire meal, 4 – 5 times a week is adequate.

Dinner - 350 gms beef tripe & parsley

beef trip and parsley

Manufacturers’ of dog food put a huge proportion of carbohydrates into dried food because it is cheap, available and essential to their manufacturing process. It is not possible for the manufacturers to add the necessary proportion of fats to processed food, because it would decompose quickly and not have a long shelf life and If they added sufficient preservatives necessary where there is a high fat proportion, these higher levels would be toxic.

2. Oils - Salmon oil (supply of Omega 3) , cod liver, corn, soya bean, wheat germ oil, safflower, sunflower. Omega 3 & 6 are essential fatty acids. Omega 3 is found in oily fish, which is the finest source. A tablespoon of oil can be added every other day, there should be adequate fat in a natural raw diet, so no need for more..

3. Animal Products

  • Raw meaty bones from chicken, lamb, beef, rabbit, pork, game, venison, usually feed one of these most days eg Day 1/chicken back, Day 2/ lamb bone, Day 3/chicken back, Day4/beef bone, Day 5/chicken back, Day 6/ pig’s trotter Muscle meat from chicken, turkey, lamb, rabbit, beef, pork, venison, game eg pheasant.
  • Organ meat - liver, lung, kidneys, heart, brains and tripe. Offal should be fed 3 – 4 x a week
  • Raw eggs, especially the yolks - feed every other day
  • Dairy - cheese, cottage cheese, probiotic yoghurt, milk, butter – 3 – 4 times a week
  • Seafoods - fatty fish eg herring, mackerel, salmon (off-cuts from fishmonger), sardines – feed 1 – 2 x a week.

4. Supplements/miscellaneous

Brewer’s yeast (pasteurised, good for B vitamins, selenium and chromium), Kelp powder (found in Dorwest ‘Keepers Mix), Molasses and/or honey (local is best), vitamin C.

Rib of lamb

rib of lamb

Raw bones and chicken carcasses contain an abundance of glucosomine and chondroitin, naturally.

Tripe, parsley & cooked mashed potato peelings before mixed together

tripe, parsley and mash potato before being mixed

T H E 3 - W E E K M E A L P L A N

WEEK 1
BREAKFAST
DINNER
MON
Chicken back Mince turkey, raw egg/cottage cheese
TUES
Raw meaty lamb bone eg half rib cage/neck Mince turkey, carrot/celeriac, parsley
WED
Chicken back, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt Beef tripe, cooked mashed parsnip
THURS
Raw meaty beef bone eg marrow bone, shoulder, rib Beef tripe/tripe chunks, raw egg/cottage cheese
FRI
Lights/ heart chunks, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt Lights/ heart, mashed cooked sweet potato/mint
SAT
Salmon off cuts Rabbit/liver, raw egg/cottage cheese
SUN
Pig's trotter Rabbit, cooked potato peelings/oregano
WEEK 2
MON
Chicken back, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt Minced chicken, cabbage/apple, thyme
TUES
Raw meaty lamb bone Minced chicken, cooked pulses eg cannelloni beans
WED
Chicken back Lamb/tripe, raw egg/cottage cheese
THURS
Raw Mackerel /tin of sardines, dill Lamb tripe/liver, carrot
FRI
Chicken back Beef, kidney, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt
SAT
Raw meaty beef bone Beef, marrow/pear/mint
SUN
Lights/ heart chunks, raw egg/cottage cheese Lights/heart, parsnip/parsley
WEEK 3
MON
Chicken back Minced lamb, squash/banana
TUES
Salmon off cuts, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt Minced lamb/kidney, spinach/kiwi fruit
WED
Raw meaty lamb bone Rabbit, raw egg/cottage cheese
THURS Chicken back Rabbit, cooked potato
FRI Lights/ heart chunks, outer leaves cauli/peas, mint Lights lung/heart, raw egg/probiotic yoghurt
SAT Chicken back Beef tripe/tripe chunks, carrot/sage
SUN Pig’s trotter Beef tripe/kidney, cottage cheese/egg

Sprouts n apple before liquidising

sprouts and apple peel before liquidisin

After a quick whizz

srpouts and apple after liquidising

Sprouts & apple after a quick whizz in the food mixer, now ready to mix into meat, tripe etc.

FOOD QUANTITY GUIDELINES

Feed relevant % of dog’s current weight per day, to include bones, preferably in 2 meals.

Dogs current weight in kgs Underweight in grams (3%) Maintain weight in grams (2.5%) Overweight in grams (2%)
30.00 900 750 600
32.50 980 810 650
35.00 1050 880 700
37.50 1130 940 750
40.00 1200 1000 800
42.50 1280 1060 850
45.00 1350 1130 900
47.50 1430 1190 950
50.00 1500 1250 1000

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Give one finely chopped garlic clove and fresh rosemary every week, as a natural parasites repellent eg fleas, ticks etc. (twice a week when prevalent)
  • Suggested herbs can be changed around, I just use what is available in the garden at the time
  • Dorwest Keepers mix (containing kelp) is recommended mixed with food a few times a week (www,dorwest.com)
  • Additional oils can be added to food a few times a week, eg salmon (Omega 3 & 6 are essential), olive oil, cod liver oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil etc.
  • Honey – a teaspoon now and again, local is best
  • Organic apple cider vinegar is recommended a few times a week, simply mix in with a meal – many benefits, it is a natural blood purifier removing toxins from the body, helps clear up skin issues, breaks down fats and contains potassium, pectin, malic acid (natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal), ash and acetic acid.
  • Brewer’s yeast (pasteurised) can be added a few times a week, it contains folic acid, potassium, thiamine, niacin and chromium
  • We give Pippa one Vitamin C tablet (100 ml), 3 times a week, we simply say to her, 'sweetie' and she eats it obligingly!

HINTS n TIPS

  • It is essential to feed offal (60 - 80 grams in a meal) about 3 - 4 times a week eg heart, liver, kidney and lung. Heart and lights (lung) can be fed as a main meal with about 80 grams of heart is ideal
  • Add probiotic yoghurt 3 - 4 times a week, 50 - 80 grams - ish, as mentioned, any meal will do or mixed with a raw egg
  • When cottage cheese is added to a meal, give about 50 - 60 grams per serving
  • Mackerel can be cooked the amino acids and oils are not destroyed when lightly cooked
  • Salmon can be lightly cooked, or fed raw if it has been frozen for 4 - 6 weeks to avoid worms and their eggs
  • Raw vegetables should be liquidised to aid digestion
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes should be cooked. Parsnip and swede are best cooked for dogs that are unable to digest them
  • Squash can be used as a laxative when cooked and mashed
  • Other fruits should be incorporated in the diet, simply liquidise with a vegetable occasionally eg cabbage with apple
  • Pulses can be given from time to time, well cooked and liquidised - about 50 grams – ish
  • I buy the chunked heart, liver, kidney and tripe and add to make up meal quantities
  • It is good for your dog to chew muscle meat as well as bones.

Chicken back

chicken back for the dog rawfood diet

Defrost in the fridge overnight, then Pippa has 2 for breakfast. Sheer happiness for Pippa!

EXTRA CARE

  • Avoid grain altogether, when dogs suffer allergies of any kind. Our dogs simply are not designed to eat them eg corn, wheat, rye, barley, rice (contrary to advice), couscous, bulgur wheat etc.
  • Please do not feed potato if your dog is prone to ear infections, as it promotes yeast production
  • Remove any bones that may become splintered, once your dog/s become more experienced with eating raw bone, this will rarely happen
  • Load-bearing bones not recommended for the sick, very young or our old dogs eg large beef marrow bones
  • Liver is quite, hmmm, slimy, so to err on the side of caution cut into bite-size pieces to avoid choking.

If your dog has an upset tummy, give him/her a bone and/or root vegetables (eg cooked sweet potato or carrot) as a mixer the next day. If stools are hard, give some liver with vegetables above the ground eg liquidised cabbage, cauli leaves, spring greens, to address the balance.

All of the above should merely be used as guidelines and does not have to be adhered to per se. It is a typical 3 week menu of how I feed my Pippa. She is a healthy, fit and bouncy 3 1/5 year old white GSD, who before she went on an entirely raw diet had chronic digestive and stomach issues when we adopted her. Not any more...

The 3 week meal plan was written to help everyone that has opted to feed their dogs on a natural raw diet and is unsure about how to start. I opted for 3 weeks because our dogs do not need a balanced diet in one meal (really not), not even in a day but over a 2 -3 week period.

Once you get the hang of the diet, supplements and do's and don'ts, you will find yourself feeding this diet without thinking, just as you feed your own family! Simples!

ADVANTAGES of FEEDING a NATURAL RAW DIET

  • A natural diet alleviates sensitive tummies, the result, easy to pick up well formed stools
  • No more upset tummies
  • The nutrients in a raw natural diet are easily assimilated during digestion
  • Many dogs with serious skin allergies, ear infections, hair loss, regular parasite infections and even aggression benefit from a natural raw diet and become miraculously cured of their long-suffering ailments
  • When you feed your dog a natural raw diet, you know exactly what he/she is eating and are aware of every ingredient that your dog is consuming
  • Teeth that are cleaned whilst eating, naturally, by chewing on bones, chicken backs, meat organs etc., so avoiding periodontal disease, which in turn directly affects the vital organs in the body, so common today
  • Reduces the risk of contortion
  • A real bonus is that a natural raw diet, with the help of your friendly butcher, works out very much cheaper to feed
  • It is a joy to see how much your dogs enjoy a raw diet, they do not leave any and they just love it. The result is a content, happy, healthy dog.

BEWARE - Manufactured Dog ‘Food’

  • Most dog food contains a high proportion of cereal/grains as the main ingredient, because they are cost effective, abundant, durable (long shelf life) and essential to the kibble-making process
  • There is insufficient fat content in processed dry foods to fulfil the dogs requirement. If the fat content was increased to meet this requirement, the preservatives necessary to stabilise it, would be at toxic levels
  • There is evidence that some pet food manufacturers process the protein from dead farm animals unfit for human consumption and from pet animals direct from the Veterinary clinics, yes cannibalism
  • Essential biologically appropriate nutrients are in short supply in manufactured foods
    There is strong evidence suggesting that feeding dried kibble puts the liver and kidneys under enormous strain and in some cases causes disease, including periodontal disease and kills
  • All processed food contains binders, flavour enhancers (including used fats/oils collected from restaurants/take-away’s etc.) and preservatives to give a long shelf life, some are toxic and can kill
  • Dogs require 9 essential amino acids (they are able to assimilate the other 15 in the system). Many essential amino acids are destroyed by the intense heat used to manufacture processed foods
  • Manufactured ‘food’ for dogs has added supplements eg vitamins and minerals, because they are destroyed during the high temperature processes. These added supplements are synthetic ie laboratory produced, (unlike those found in fresh, raw food) and are not readily assimilated during digestion
  • Tinned and wet foods are not a better option, they contain cooked ‘food’ , enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids are destroyed in the cooking
  • Many manufactured foods make our dogs 'hyper' like children on high sugar, highly preserved ‘foods’
  • Teeth are not cleaned when using proprietary dog food, causing periodontal toxins that perfuse major organs and cause long term effects ie bad breath is the first sign of bad health issues, even making them vulnerable to cancers
  • There is evidence suggesting that dogs are more likely to suffer from contortion when fed kibble, in part due to the high % of unnecessary carbs, eg grains
  • Dogs really do get bored of kibble, but my girlie never gets bored with her food, she loves it.

FURTHER INFO

  • Dogs have a short digestive tract, as their forefathers, wolves and wild dogs (shown to be related by DNA research)
  • Canis familiaris is designed to eat a raw natural diet of predominantly muscle meat, fat, offal and bones. Teeth are designed to tear and chew on raw meat/bones, dogs are unable to grind their food, because their jaws are only capable of up and down movement, not side to side
  • Weight bearing bones are much harder, so be careful with sick, young and not so young dogs, because they can damage (chip) teeth
  • When feeding raw oily fish, to ensure that any worms or eggs are destroyed, freeze for 4 - 6 weeks before feeding, or cook lightly, particularly salmon
  • Please do not feed potatoes if your dog has a tendency to ear infections as it promotes yeast production.
  • Grains are not a requirement for a dog. Dogs are able to manufacture fats into sugars (carbohydrates)
  • Unlike human’s, it is essential that dogs eat fat in larger proportions than us, (up to 40% for a healthy dog) to fulfil their health needs.

Suppliers of Natural Raw Meat for Dogs.

Davids Doggie Dinners Small family run business based in Sittingbourne, Kent who have 2 Shepherds of their own and understand the importance of raw feeding and how difficult it is to get a good supplier
Raw2Paw  : delivers south west mainly, high delivery charge/ no minimum order. 
RawtoGo : delivers Nationwide, but high delivery charge/no minimum order
Landywoods : - necessary to ring to check which areas they deliver to. min order of £30
Daf Petfood Durham Animal Feeds
Bulmer Dog Food Derbyshire ,Leicestershire, Lincolnshire,Norfolk,Nottinghamshire Cambridgeshire
Albion Meat Products Based in Worcestershire
Martins Meats Cheltenham
Natural Instinct National
The Dog Food Company East of England
TPMS Weekly Deliveries in the Midlands, West Country and South Wales
Honeys Real Dog Food Small, ethical, family-run dog food company.

What does Molly Moo think of her raw food diet?

molly the gsd puppy who enjoys a rawfood diet

We think she likes her raw food diet. A dog in the bush?!!

DOWNLOAD - Natural Raw Diet for Dogs – Guidelines

Donations are all ways welcome

Please help us by making a donation so that we can help re home more unwanted German Shepherd Dogs. Donations can be sent to Jayne Shenstone, German Shepherd Dog Rescue, Little Vauld, Marden Hereford HR1 3HA. We also accept Paypal payments - just click on the Paypal button below. Thankyou.