Learn To DIY Feed

An Introduction to Raw Feeding (Also applicable for cooked)

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Table of Contents

Home Feeding 101

Introduction

A brief guide that scratches the surface for the average dog (adult, healthy) owner in diet formulation. NOT to replace the help of professionals! Disclaimer: Nutritional numbers are only one part of the picture. Ingredient sourcing, quality, unique dog and cat needs etc are just some of the other factors in feeding your dog and cat.’

This guide is centered around raw feeding- but nearly every bit applies to home cooking for your dog as well.

ADULT HEALTHY ANIMALS ONLY

Step 1

Get Familiar with nutrients

Energy & Nutrients

Whether you have been feeding ratio diets, winging it, or are brand new to raw feeding, extremely basic nutritional knowledge is needed. Let’s start with the basics of the basics: Energy

“With the exception of water, energy is the most critical component that must be considered in a diet.”

“Once energy needs are met, nutrients become available for metabolic functions.”

 Canine and Feline Nutrition

Energy is measured in food by calories. If you have looked at a nutrition label, this is not new. Current home feeders can analyze the calories in the food they are using by using a free tool such as nutrition data.

You can also check out Cronometer. But be careful- some food is crowd sourced information.

Some parts raw feeders use are not in the database. Do the best you can. Nutrition information on raw meaty bones are in the group albums. If you are feeding a cooked diet, calcium carbonate, bone meal powder, and eggshells are all great options. This worked for raw diets as well. I will often do calcium carbonate from NOW and add bone broth for other beneficial compounds not present when bone is removed.

 

 

If you already know how many calories your dog is eating and that is working, then congrats on hitting step one. If you are unsure how many calories you are feeding, commercial feeders can refer to their current dog food. Metabolizable energy (ME) is what you are looking for.

Estimate Calories dogs

The best way to determine how many calories your pet needs to is analyze how many calories they have been eating.

Just because a calculator says your pet needs, say, 1200 but your pet does better with 1300 kcal, doesn’t mean you should feed 1200 kcal. 

If your pet has been eating far below the lowest estimate of the calculator, you may consider checking for health conditions.

Most people overestimate their pet’s caloric needs. What may be active for us often isn’t for dogs, who are natural born athletes.

Pick a number: 90-130

Picking a higher number will result in a higher caloric goal. Other factors that influence the number you pick: 

Overall activity level
Age
Altered
Lifestage (though this roadmap is for adult healthy dogs)
Environement (Very cold temps for example mean the larger needs for energy)
Observation from previous caloric intake

LEARN HOW THIS WORKS AND DO IT YOURSELF

Briefly, the calculation works as described by The Possible Canine

“Just take your dogs weight in kgs to the power of 0.75, and you have the Metabolic Weight. (MW from here on in). Using that number, you multiply by as little as 90 (geriatric and sedentary dogs) or as high as 130 for adult active, well muscled dogs. Often, we find that somewhere in the middle works (say, 115). Now –  if you have taken the time to figure out approximately how much you’re currently feeding, then let that figure guide you as you work with the numbers. Calculating energy needs is not as exact as say, supplementing vitamins and minerals, because there is so much metabolic variability. But in answer to the question “how much to feed”? You would feed the amount that maintains your dog at her best weight, and that is best ascertained by assessing her caloric needs.”

All this adult healthy dog calorie calculator does is take your dog’s weight in KG, raise that number to the power of .75 and then multiplies that by the value of your choosing. 90 on the lowest end to 130 on the highest end.

Many factors contribute to a pet’s caloric needs. Always adjust accordingly.

Estimate Calories cATS

Domestic cats overall have somewhat similar body weight when mature. Sometimes, because of the similar body weights, cat’s caloric needs are expressed linear. However, it was learned that this may provide too many calories for large cats. Recent studies show that metabolic weight provides accurate energy intake, just as it does dogs. (Canine and Feline Nutrition)

You should be made aware of the formulas calculators are using- and where the information came from.

The best way to know how many calories your pet needs is by calculating how many calories they are already consuming.

The following came from Canine and Feline Nutrition and can also be cross checked with NRC Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs.

The equation is:
100 x kg^.67 = Kcal/Day

Many factors contribute to a pet’s caloric needs. Always adjust accordingly.

Get to Know Nutrients

Dogs (and cats) require protein. More specifically, dogs require amino acids. Dogs require fat, but more specifically dog’s require fatty acids. Dog’s require vitamins and dog’s require minerals. It is important to differentiate that nutrients are different than ingredients. 80/20 Ground beef, for example, contains a different nutritional profile than ground turkey. This step will be one of the longest steps. The effort you put in will directly affect the rewards you get out. We need to study the nutrients in food, rather than just the ingredients (ingredients come later).

Liver is an ingredient

Vitamin A is a nutrient

Photo: Linus Pauling Institute. Click photo to learn more.

Spend Minimum 1 week

Unit 1 Homework

1. Do your own personal homework and ask questions in the Facebook group. For the following define what they are, research food sources they are found in, and just get a brief and general taste for nutrients. The fall course is a slower moving, free course that is linked.

Resources for this question:

Vitamin and Mineral Cards

The Fall Course

Fall Course Highly Recommended 

Fiber by The Possible Canine

Optional Books But Will Help You Now and In The Future: 

Canine and Feline Nutrition

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition FREE (Very technical for beginners)

Blog

www.thepossiblecanine.com

This step should take a while and is the longest step:

FAT (ALSO FIND HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN ONE GRAM)

FATTY ACID

SATURATED FATTY ACIDS

POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

PROTEIN (ALSO FIND HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN ONE GRAM)

AMINO ACID

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

CARBOHYDRATE (ALSO FIND HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN ONE GRAM)
FIBER

SOLUBLE FIBER

INSOLUBLE FIBER

FERMENTABLE FIBER

 

2. Investigate and figure out how many calories your pet is eating or figure out a caloric goal for your pet.

Homework help welcomed in the Facebook Group!

 

Step 2

How Much of Each Nutrient Does My Pet Need?

Nutrient Needs For Adult Cats and Dogs

Now that you have taken the time to do some research, you may be left wondering how to figure out how much of each nutrient your dog or cat needs. The National Research Council (NRC) has outlined how much of each nutrient dogs need based on lifestage. For puppy nutrition, we advise working with a professional such as Cat Lane or Plear Littlefield.

This section will take less than one hour!

The NRC has provided nutrient requirements for cats per 1000/kcal. That means they have defined how many nutrients are needed within the amount of calories being consumed. Don’t worry, we have a handy calculator that we will share in this section.

The NRC has provided nutrient requirements for dogs per 1000/kcal and also per metabolic weight. Your adult dog’s metabolic weight is your dog’s weight in kilograms to the powder of 0.75. This number, the metabolic weight, can be multiplied by each number in this chart. Don’t worry, we have also built a calculator for you. What is the difference between nutrients per 1000 kcal or on a metabolic weight basis? The topic is a bit complex for a starter’s guide, but if your dog is not very active, metabolic weight ensures that they get all the nutrients for their size. If your dog is eating low calories (and many truly are), then using nutrients per 1000 kcal can yield lower nutrient intake goals. Therefore, we have provided you with a calculator where you can email yourself with your dog’s nutrient requirements! If for some reason you would rather use nutrients per 1000 kcal, click here.

The NRC is the National Research Council and the original document, Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs, can be found here.

We have also found the requirements for free online and have put it into this document here (dogs only).

Dogs and cats per 1000 kcal can be found here.

You will need your pet’s weight in kilograms, not pounds. We have provided you with a handy conversion tool.

Be sure to check your spam when using the calculators below if you don’t see it in your email.

 

 

Email My Requirements!
Email My Requirements!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why don’t the calculators have minimum requirements?

You can grab the minimum requirements from the the links in the first paragraphs in this section.

2. I see there are only some safe upper limits defined… are all other ones safe at high levels?

No. Nutrients interact and safe upper limits were only sometimes defined for some nutrients. Fear not, posting your recipes in the facebook group will provide you with helpful feedback. As you formulate more, you will get more comfortable with this process.

3. Safe upper limit, recommended allowance, minimum requirement…what does it all mean?

“A nutrient’s minimum requirement represents the minimal concentration of a bioavailable nutrient that is needed as supported by published data. Conversely, adequate intake is presented as the amount of the nutrient that is presumed to support life when no minimum requirement has been established for the species or life stage. Therefore one of these two requirement recommendations (but not both) is provided for each species, nutrient, and life stage. The third measure, recommended allowance, represents the amount of a nutrient present in food that supports the relevant life stage. The recommended allowance includes a factor to account for nutrient bioavailability and is calculated from either the nutrient’s minimum requirement or adequate intake value. The final recommendation is safe upper limit, which represents the maximum concentration of a nutrient that has not been associated with adverse effects (when data are available).”

Canine and Feline Nutrition

It is important to note that the RA is NOT the minimum requirements for dogs and cats! This is incorrectly stated in various places in FB groups and websites.

Step 3

Analyzing Recipes and New Recipe Formulation

Recipe Formulation

There are many methods for diet formulation. These include pen and paper, cronometer, Pet Diet Designer, and spreadsheets.

Formulation

The actual part of formulation can be a bit of an art and a skill that takes time. The Fall Course (will or does depending n when you read this), goes into much depth about recipe formulation.

General guidelines

  1. Determine what main protein sources you want to use. Beef? Chicken? Don’t try, unless you really want to, to include 4+ protein sources that many raw groups say you need to have in one meal. Instead, provide variety by rotating out recipes. We don’t need to rely on variety every single day in the bowl. There is nothing ancestral about that (if that is what you are worried about).
  2. Determine the type of cut. Need a lot of energy? Fattier cuts may be suitable. Need less energy? Stick to leaner cuts.
  3. Where will you source your essential fatty acids? If you have not enrolled in the fall course, please at the minimum read the fatty acid units. Will you use fresh fish for this recipe? Or will this be a fish-less recipe and you will use a fish oil. Perhaps your dog cannot have marine lipids and you have to work with plant based oils.
  4. Optional (but often very beneficial): Select a digestible carbohydrate.
  5. Select fiber sources. You may refer to The Possible Canine’s article above about fiber.
  6. Common mistakes include not tinkering with ingredients enough or feeling bound to 80/10/10 guidelines. As a result, people start adding many ingredients to a recipe. See how ingredients affect your recipe!
  7. Try to meet nutrient requirements with primarily animal based foods- especially most minerals. 
  8. When you are limited by food allergies, intolerances, sourcing, or calories, you can definitely consider a supplement. The DSM link above is useful for that and so is posting in the group.
  9. Is the whole food more appropriate than the supplement? Often times, people new to NRC will try to meet things like Vitamin E or Manganese with inappropriate sources such as high amounts of ginger or large amounts of seeds. Others have claimed that brain will meet vitamin E needs. Most are well-meaning, and just want to meet nutrients with whole foods (which we applaud). However, the properties of the ingredient are important. Again, posting in the group will provide you with valuable feedback.
  10. Post your recipe in the group, correctly.

What is PMR+?

PMR+ is a style of ratio feeding. Alone, PMR is not nutritionally adequate or balanced. That is where the “+” comes in. PMR by itself is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ. + are the other ingredients or supplements to fill in the gaps- such as manganese, vitamin E, digestible carbohydrates, oily fish, eggs, tripe, non-secreting organs like heart,  etc. PMR+ means utilizing ratios as a base and balancing nutrients that can be balanced over time. Therefore, one needs the same knowledge for regular NRC feeding. NRC feeding can encompass many different styles of feeding- incluidng PMR+ and BARF. PMR+ means providng water solubles daily, but balancing mineral needs and fat solubles over time- as just one example. There is no scientific evidence that one method of feeding is better than the other. PMR+ is still based on the utilization of NRC nutrient requirements.

To form a basic PMR diet, you often will feed 1.5-2.5% of your dog’s weight. Let’s say we have a 40 lb dog who is eating 2.5% of her weight. That would be 1 lb a day- 0.025 X 40 lb = 1 lb.

The break down of this one pound would be:

 

%

Muscle Meat

lb muscle meat| 12.8 oz

%

Bone

lb bone | 1.6 oz

%

Liver

lb liver| 0.8 oz

%

Other Secreting Organ

lb liver| 0.8 oz

General Guidelines

Determine what main protein sources you want to use. Beef? Chicken? Don’t try, unless you really want to, to include 4+ protein sources that many raw groups say you need to have in one meal. Instead, provide variety by rotating out recipes. We don’t need to rely on variety every single day in the bowl. There is nothing ancestral about that (if that is what you are worried about).

  1. Determine the type of cut. Need a lot of energy? Fattier cuts may be suitable. Need less energy? Stick to leaner cuts.
  2. Where will you source your essential fatty acids? If you have not enrolled in the fall course, please at the minimum read the fatty acid units. Will you use fresh fish for this recipe? Or will this be a fish-less recipe and you will use a fish oil. Perhaps your dog cannot have marine lipids and you have to work with plant based oils.
  3. Optional (but often very beneficial): Select a digestible carbohydrate.
  4. Select fiber sources. You may refer to The Possible Canine’s article above about fiber.
  5. Common mistakes include not tinkering with ingredients enough or feeling bound to 80/10/10 guidelines. As a result, people start adding many ingredients to a recipe. See how ingredients affect your recipe!
  6. Try to meet nutrient requirements with primarily animal based foods- especially most minerals. 
  7. When you are limited by food allergies, intolerances, sourcing, or calories, you can definitely consider a supplement. The DSM link above is useful for that and so is posting in the group.
  8. Is the whole food more appropriate than the supplement? Often times, people new to NRC will try to meet things like Vitamin E or Manganese with inappropriate sources such as high amounts of ginger or large amounts of seeds. Others have claimed that brain will meet vitamin E needs. Most are well-meaning, and just want to meet nutrients with whole foods (which we applaud). However, the properties of the ingredient are important. Again, posting in the group will provide you with valuable feedback.
  9. Post your recipe in the group, correctly.

Tools

There are many free and paid for tools. The following is from Unit 9 in the Fall Course

Contrary to popular belief, excel is not the only option for balancing recipes. Here are some options, pros and cons. Click the titles to learn more or access the tool.

Pet Diet Designer

Price: $20 USD
Subscription: Yes if you want updates, but $20 dollars gets you the actual software for life. Also they basically do not update it anymore,
OS:  Windows 7 and Newer (You can do something like Bootcamp if you have Apple products)
Cloud Based: No
Nutrient Guidelines: NRC Nutrients per 1000/kcal (but you can use the recipe report to compare with per MW)
Pets: Dogs and Cats
User Friendly: 2/5
Customer Support: 1/5

Pet diet designer is a very affordable option for recipe formulation. It receives a 2/5 starts for user friendliness because the user interface can be overwhelming to use. The food wizard can be challenging and there are lots of little “quirks” that can easily frustrate new users. One example of this is when you add a new pet and you add all the correct data and hit save yet your pet won’t appear as an option when making a new recipe until you simply go back in and open up the pet settings and hit save again. Another example is the fact that when you enter in ingredients, it adds it as 100 grams and when you change it, you have to hit “enter” on your keyboard or your change won’t stick. When you add a new food to the food wizard, you have to hit “refresh” on the foods list in the recipe balancer screen. You also have to hit “refresh common measures” for any of your new food changes to show up. However, once you get over the quirks of it and their terrible audio on their youtube channels, you can greatly increase your workflow if you know how to use the program correctly.  

PDD receives the lowest score for customer support because, well, they are terribly rude to our members and even denied glitches (that I have recorded). They really need to hire somebody to interact with the public. There is also serious issues with some of the pre-loaded recipes that come with the program. Don’t use these.

PDD will soon (?) be PetDiet365 and will address a lot of these cons. UI will be totally revamped and will be an entirely different program. They are also testing raw meaty bone analysis and will have those built in as well. Apparently the

Pros:
See how different ingredients effect your nutrient levels in the recipe. Checking and unchecking ingredients reflects visually on the screen.
Organization- Stay organized by storing your pet data with recipes
Built in NRC standards
USDA database built in
In-depth nutrient analysis that give you different balances and include some ingredients on a dry matter basis.
Batch Food Maker
BETA users who buy the 20 dollar version will get 1 year free of their newest yet-to-be-released product PetDiet365

Cons
Hard to know how to use up front.
No RMB analysis- but you can add them in with the food wizard
Not cloud based- BUT you can backup the database and upload it to somewhere like Google Drive when wanting to work away from home
Really easy to screw things up by user error. I mean..really easy.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that PDD will now show you if your are surpassing a safe upper limit. Some nutrients do not have SULs. Please be mindful!

Food wizard

When entering things into the food wizard, it can be tricky. Let’s say you are adding a supplement that says “serving size: two capsules” and the label says “100 mg of magnesium.”  Open the food wizard and enter the information like this:
Amount: 2 (because 2 capsules)
Measure: Capsule
Measure Weight: HOWEVER MUCH THE CAPSULE ACTUALLY WEIGHS. NOT the amount of magnesium in the capsule.  Most people do not know how much a capsule would weigh. One capsule might weigh 0.05 grams. Since this amount is 2 capsules, put 0.1 grams. Then go to the corresponding nutrient tabs and fill in the nutrient value. For example, under minerals, I would add 100 mg by Magnesium.

Save and exit. Refresh food list. Refresh common measures. DONE.

Watch my PDD review video here. Please be respectful of my content. Videos are my least favorite.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V4NARMUyyZhe6brXoBh5odRJbMe3mlMF

Overall, I actually very much appreciate PDD and the work Rene has done. I hope he can forgive us nerds in Raw Fed and Nerdy as we are one of the biggest supporters of his work.

Cronometer

Price: Free* (You can upgrade to gold)
Subscription: Yes if doing the paid version
OS:  Browser based- also has mobile apps!
Cloud Based: Yes
Nutrient Guidelines: FOR HUMANS, SEE BELOW
Pets: N/A
User Friendly: —
Customer Support: —

Cronometer is a for humans web based nutrition program that can be used in a similar fashion to Pet Diet Designer. You cannot use this as is. You must read the cronometer blog! You have to overwrite their values with your pet’s values! You can grab these values by using the Adult Nutrient Requirements (cats or dogs) calculator and by visiting the calorie lesson.

Something you need to be mindful with Cronometer is that you enter your values correctly. If things seem really crazy (a bunch of bars are red), then you may consider posting what you have to RFN for somebody to help you.

I did not rate user friendly/customer support because I personally have not used them. Pet’s set at N/A because you can pretty much user whatever species you have nutrient requirements for.

Pros:
See how different ingredients effect your nutrient levels in the recipe. Checking and unchecking ingredients reflects visually on the screen.
Can use NRC standards with some manipulation
FREE
Mobile app options
Some consider this more user friendly
100% Cloud Based
Option to add more features through low cost subscription service

Cons
Poor fatty acid profile
Entering values can be tricky because dog’s don’t have the same nutrient requirements- such as vitamin C.
No RMB analysis- but you can add them using custom foods
Still easy to mess things up with user error

Please tag Jeanne Moran in RFN for cronometer help. You can tab most admins for PDD help as well.

Animal Diet Formulator

Price: $999 for the first year and $250 the year after + Excel
Subscription: Yes
OS:  Windows 7 and Newer
Cloud Based: Yes- I think
Nutrient Guidelines: AAFCO and FEDIAF
Pets: Dog and Cat
User Friendly: 5/5
Customer Support: 5/5

Animal Diet Formulator was sold to RAHU from Steve Brown. RAHU is different than PDD in the price and the nutrient requirements used. It is also not as visual as PDD and is more spreadsheet based. So spreadsheet based that you actually cannot use the program unless you have excel running on your local machine! This is a benefit to some if you indeed love spreadsheets.  I did meet with them in a virtual meeting and was able to ask some questions before buying it, I will share them here,

Animal Diet Formulator does not use a food wizard. They have foods built in already and you cannot add your own custom foods. They do have a lot of foods and supplements added- but if you want to use a supplement or food in there, you have to request that they add it for you. Commercial clients apparently get first priority- or so I was told- but their customer service seemed great at any rate. The elimination of the food wizard removes a lot of risk for user error but can also present its own set of challenges. It appears to be less glitchy than PDD because it is out of beta testing.

Furthermore, animal diet formulator has RMB built in. However, as of my meeting with them last month- they had less raw meaty bones than in the RFN FB album. You cannot ask them to add them- for multiple reasons. Their RMBs are indeed likely very accurate, though. They said they would be getting more in- but whoever gets to them first (PDD or ADF) is unknown. Commercial option (thousands of dollars) will include more ingredients than the personal use one and I felt it was suggested that that included more RMBs.

You should know that I have not used ADF and am basing my review off of the meeting I had with them and their video.

Can only be installed on 2 computers.

The recipe reports for animal diet formulator is pretty similar to what you can get in PDD but with less options than PDD. Batch food is also an option as well and can be done much easier than PDD.

There isn’t an ability to toggle ingredients on and off like PDD which might bother some users.

Warning: When I talked to them last month, they said therapeutic recipes are not included by any means and their advertisement for therapeutic is very misleading at this particular date. You can indeed build therapeutic diets- but the software in no way suggests how to do so. They said they may implement this in the future but there is no replacement for a professional!

Overall, there is nothing that Animal Diet Formulator has that PDD does not have except the fact it has some of their own RMBs (sorry folks- no duck heads) and uses FEDIAF or AAFCO. Their customer support is better and they were much friendlier to me. They keep their database up to date which is very important.  The entire process is much more streamlined and user friendliness is far greater than PDD. The main catch is the price, lack of adding custom foods, and no NRC if you want to use NRC.

If you like excel and are interested in a different source (although small) of RMBs, ADF may be for you if you can afford it.

Watch their video here.

Old Fashion Pen and Paper

You can always grab a pen and paper and copy down your pet’s nutrient requirements. Then you can print out nutrients in a recipe and compare and do everything by hand. If you need more help with this, make a post!

Excel

Excel presents many possibilities and some people love this method. Just about any spreadsheet software will do- including the one in Google Drive. The one in google drive is also super useful for sharing with other members! Approach is similar to pen and paper.

Raw Meaty Bones + Other ingredients

Raw feeding presents unique challenges as bone nutritional information is not readily available. Many are feeding obscure cuts of meat. There is no perfect answer to these issues. This section is not here to tell you to stop feeding these things! RMB are fantastic! If your dog has a nutritionally sensitive condition, you may consider using values from things you know. Ultimately, it is up to your discretion as the pet owner.

Pet Diet Designer, soon to be PetDiet365, is conducting large batch testing on bones for raw feeders. The release in 2019 will provide bone in nutritional values for raw feeders.

We have RMB bone analysis and other foods in the private facebook group. Check the albums.

Shoot! The USDA database does not contain information for cuts not commonly consumed by humans. You can:

A) Make an estimated guess from values that are in the database. (ex venison liver, beef liver)

B) Take a gamble

Unfortunately, that is the situation we are in.

Example of a Simple Raw NRC Ingredient List

-Raw Beef chuck for stew

-RMB: Chicken Drumstick, Bone, Meat, Skin

-Raw beef liver

-Raw beef kidney

-Raw chicken hearts

-Hardboiled Eggs

-Sardines, raw or cooked (if raw, keep separate)

-Oats, C ooked

-Celery, blueberries, kale, carrots

 

Keep Learning

We highly recommend that you take the FREE Fall Course. 

You can also take some paid for courses here taught by a professional.

Of course, join the Facebook Group!

 

 

Step 4

Materials & Transition

Transitioning to Raw

There are various methods for transitioning your dog and cat to raw. While many look at the cold turkey approach, we promote a gradual transition. This also works with cooked diets.

Useful Tools

 1. Kitchen scale

2. Cutting boards

3. Knives

4. Gloves

5. Cleaning Supplies

6. Bulk making recipes is easier done when you have an extra freezer

7. Storage containers for prepped food

8. Optional: Meat Grinder

9. Large buckets and bowls can also be very useful when mixing together large amounts of ingredients!

For Dogs 

Many raw feeding guides advocate for extremely long and abrupt transitioning. As a result, dogs experience vomiting, gas, and stool disturbances. While hunger pukes and some bone pukes are generally harmless, it doesn’t need to be that way. This type of transitioning is also not backed by science. Neither is the claim that kibble and raw cannot be digested together.

The rate at which you gradually transition your dog will depend on your dog! Below is a general guideline that helps you replace the daily portion of food.

1. If your dog is new to raw, you should formulate a very simple diet. It does not need to be complex with supplements added (unless it is calcium because you are not feeding raw meaty bones). Fish oil or fresh fish can still be included. A sample diet might look like: Beef chuck for stew, sweet potatoes cooked, sardines, beef liver, beef kidney, calcium supplement or chicken raw meaty bone. Many will say to use lighter meats like chicken for transitioning, but you should select the foods that you feel will be best tolerated by your pet. If your pet does not have food issues, going with lighter meats at first may be best! Some may say to add organs later, but when we are replacing just a little bit of food at a time, you may not have to and many do well gradually introducing the ingredients in small amounts in a batch formula. If you feel your dog is not sensitive, you can try using a complete and balanced batch of food. You can also use commercial raw to transition.

2. Make a batch of the food, if not using commercial raw, all mixed together (except the lipids like fish or fish oil)

3. Slowly replace the kibble or previous food with your new batch of food. The rate at which you increase will depend on how well the dog does. You can speed up or slow down depending on the response of the dog. Each time you increase food, you should assess the dog to see how the increase was tolerated. This will let you decide For example, you may choose to increase always by 10 percent. Others may get to day 6 and do only 90 percent. Know Thy Dog.

Pay attention to your dog.

White fresh poop that crumbles easily means the high bone amount is not tolerated. Greasy and yellow stools can indicate an issue with fat. Dark stools (not due to ingredients like blueberries or beets), may indicate you need to use less rich ingredients (dark meat, organ meat).

Gradual Transition Method 1

%

Day 1: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Day 2: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Day 3: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Day 4: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Day 5: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Day 6: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

Gradual Transition Method 2

 

%

Days 1-3: Replace old food with 25% of new food

%

Days 4-6: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Days 6-7: Replace current food with this much raw (or cooked)

%

Finish according to how the dog does during transition to 100% new food.