Raw Food for Dogs: How to Get Started

Raw Food for Dogs: How to Get Started

Like humans, dogs need nutrients from natural foods rather than getting them from processed synthetic sources. Most commercially produced canned or dry food contains artificially-sourced vitamins that aren’t beneficial to your doggo’s health. So, if not processed foods

There are countless benefits of feeding your dog raw food, yet, many pet owners are hesitant because of concerns regarding bacteria and microorganisms in raw food. If you’re in a similar boat, we can clarify your confusion by weighing the pros against the cons of a raw diet. Afterwards, we will provide you with some guidelines on how to get started with raw feed.

What Does a Raw Diet Contain?

Before proceeding, let’s learn about what raw food for dogs is made up of. Is it made of only meat? Not really! Of course, meat is a large part of the diet. Still, it’s not the only thing that it is comprised of.

Raw dog food generally contains protein (meat) from animals such as chickens, cows, lambs, ducks, rabbits, etc. Generally, the meat is taken from the muscles of the animals, but organ meat is also used. Moreover, the diet also contains bones that may be minced or whole. Initially, minced softer bones are introduced. Once the dog gets used to eating bones, harder bones can be given in meals.

The raw diet is also supplemented by fresh fruits and vegetables (only the dog-safe ones). Some pet owners even give probiotics to prevent any gastrointestinal issues. Moreover, some dairy products, such as kefir yoghurt, can also become a part of meals.

Pros and Cons of Raw Food for Dogs

Let’s take an in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of giving your dog a raw diet.


Here are all the benefits of giving your raw feed to dogs:

Highly Digestible

Fillers, additives, and preservatives are present in dry and canned food, which are difficult for dogs to digest. But if you opt for raw food, it does not contain any artificial ingredients or fillers, making it highly digestible for dogs.

Healthy Skin and Coat

When your dog is getting sufficient nutrition, it shows on the skin. Raw food is packed with natural vitamins and nutrients and is highly digestible, so the body absorbs these nutrients, resulting in a healthier coat and skin.

Once you switch to raw food, you’ll see a considerable difference in the quality of the fur. Moreover, you’ll also notice a decrease in how much your dog sheds.

Reduced Odour

When your doggo is given an all-natural diet instead of a diet packed with fillers and additives, their body produces less odour-producing oils. Moreover, the digestive system also performs better, which eliminates gas.

Less Waste

Commercially produced dog food contains filler ingredients such as peas, corn, etc. Since these foods aren’t a natural part of the dog’s diet, it results in a higher quantity of stool. But with raw food, most of the nutrients will be absorbed by the body, resulting in lower stool volume.

Reduction in Allergies

It is often assumed that food is the main cause of allergies. When you give your dog commercially prepared kibble or canned food, it contains filler ingredients not meant for their digestive system. Consequently, it results in intolerance, thus causing stress to the immune system. When the intolerance keeps accumulating, it causes an allergic reaction. But when your dog consumes raw food, it positively impacts the body’s immune system, reducing allergies in dogs.

Increased Energy and Hydration

When your doggo’s digestive system can easily absorb nutrients into the body, more energy is spared for them to be playful. Moreover, raw food naturally has a higher moisture content, which keeps them hydrated. You’ll notice that your dog drinks less water when on a raw diet as opposed to dry food or kibble.


Now that you’re aware of all the pros of raw dog food let’s take a look at some of the cons as well.

Presence of Microorganisms

Raw meat is filled with bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms. Many pet owners are concerned for their dog’s health and refrain from giving them raw food because they fear it can cause adverse effects. However, it is essential to understand that dogs have access to many other things containing bacteria. Dogs were meant to live in the wild, and naturally, their immune system is strong enough to defend against these microorganisms.

But when your dog eats raw food, it can pose a risk to you and your family, especially if there are kids or the elderly around. But some preventive measures can eliminate this issue. For instance, keeping the raw food in separate containers and using separate kitchen equipment to handle it.

Nutritional Imbalance

Not all pet owners are nutritional experts. When you give your dog raw food, there is a high chance you can create a nutritional imbalance. Your pup must get enough phosphorous and calcium, but finding the right balance can be difficult.

However, this issue can be resolved if you purchase from a reputable raw food provider. Plus, we will provide instructions on how much food you should give to ensure your furry friend gets the perfect nutritional balance.

Weighing the Pros Against the Cons

The pros of raw food clearly outweigh the cons. So, raw food for dogs is a safer and healthier option. It can keep your dog in good health. You can always consult your vet before starting the raw feed if you’re still concerned.

Getting Started with Raw Food

Dogs were meant to eat raw food from the beginning. There aren’t any ovens or stoves in the wild. Even domestic dogs have the same genetics as wild ones. Of course, you still need to balance out your furry friend’s diet to keep them healthy and lively. So, we have a detailed set of instructions you can follow when introducing a raw diet to your dog for the first time.

How Much Should Raw Meat Be Given Per Day?

Although bones are also a part of a raw diet, the larger portion of the feed consists of meat. You can supplement the diet with probiotics, fruits, and vegetables. But the main concern for dog owners is how much meat they should give their dogs in one day.

The amount varies depending on the weight of your dog. Generally, puppies require higher quantities of meat, but as they grow older, the amount can be reduced.

Puppies can have 10 per cent meat of their total body weight. As the puppy reaches six months, the amount can be reduced to 5 to 7 per cent of the body weight per day. On the other hand, adult dogs only require 2 to 3 per cent meat of their body weight. But depending on the breed and activity of your doggo, you can increase or decrease the meat portion given daily.

Transitioning into Raw Diet

Switching diets can be a hassle for pet owners. But transitioning from canned to raw food isn’t that difficult. It is best to start with only one protein in the initial stages. Chicken is the most favourable option because it contains a softer bone, and the meat is easily digested.

Generally, it takes approximately four weeks for the transition to complete. We have broken down the steps to follow by weeks for your convenience.

Week 1

In the first week, there are two approaches you can take. The first one is to feed your dog gradually, and the second option is to try a combination of different dog foods.

You can make the switch in three days in the first option.

  • Day 1: Feed your dog half the portion of the recommended amount to ease them in.
  • Day 2: Increase the amount to 2/3 of the recommended amount.
  • Day 3: Make a complete switch and give the recommended quantity

Make sure to monitor for any signs that might be alarming, such as loose stool or vomiting. In this case, consult your vet before proceeding. However, if your dog seems happy with the diet, you can switch to different proteins quickly.

If you opt for the second option, you can divide the meals. In the mornings, feed minced meat and give the old pet food in the evening. Mixing raw and commercial pet food together is not recommended as it can cause digestion problems because the digestion rates for both are different.

Week 2

In the second week, you can introduce a second protein. Preferably beef, but you can use whichever meat you want. Start by feeding a mix of both proteins in a 50/50 ratio in the mornings. You can give your doggo a single protein in the second meal of the day. For instance, 100 per cent chicken or beef.

When you give the meat separately, you can monitor your dog’s reaction to seeing how well they like their new food. Moreover, if they have any digestive issues, you can stop giving them the meat for the time being and try introducing it later when they are more accustomed to eating raw food.

Week 3

You can introduce bones to your dog’s meals in the third week. Start with chicken carcasses, as they are the easiest to digest. Generally, dogs love boney meals, but not all dogs are the same, and some might experience digestive issues.

After your dog passes stool, check if it contains any bones. If you spot bones, that means your furry friend isn’t ready to digest boney meals yet. You can continue with the meaty diet and hold back on the bones. Try again after a few weeks, and your dog should be able to digest the entire meal fully.

Week 4

The fourth week will be the easiest. Your dog will be used to meat and soft bones at this point (in most cases). You can now experiment with any protein you want. Consider adding duck or tripe to see which meat your dog likes best.

In the fourth week, you can use a variety of bones and meats. Since you already introduced chicken, try giving your dog harder bones to chew on, such as lamb ribs. But it is best to give a full meat meal to dogs following a boney meal to strike a balance.

Your dog will be ready for a full-blown raw diet by the end of the four weeks. Minced meat, whole meat, soft bones, and hard bones, all these foods will eventually become a part of your doggo’s daily diet.

Having said that, don’t stress too much if your pup likes to take things slow. Every dog is different and might not be as eager to experience a complete diet change as others. If they don’t get used to the diet in four weeks, give them more time, and they will eventually become used to their new food.

Get the Best Raw Food at Raw Paws Emporium

There are so many benefits of raw food for dogs, which makes a raw diet an obvious choice for all pet owners. Concerns regarding raw foods altering the health of children or immunocompromised patients are still there, but proper precautions can resolve that issue.

Dogs themselves are rarely affected by bacteria present in meat. But if you’re still concerned, purchase your doggo’s raw food and treats from Raw Paws Emporium. We are dedicated to providing healthy, natural dog diets free from processed materials.

Browse through our collection of different raw foods available at our store by clicking here. Our budget-friendly food is inexpensive and the first step towards a healthy dog lifestyle.

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