Raw Feeding

IMPORTANT NOTE:  IF your dog has a compromised immune system, please consult a Holistic Veterinarian who specializes in Canine Nutrition for specifics on how to feed fresh, real, living food to your pet.  THESE SPECIFICS MUST BE OUTLINED FOR YOU BY A HOLISTIC CANINE NUTRITIONIST if you have a pet with health issues.   I can assist you with a list from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association in your state.


Now……Dogs are carnivores……yes, even a Chihuahua!

The domestic dog differs by only 1 percent from a wolf! See the sharp pointed canine teeth they have?  Those are for crunching bone and tearing flesh.  Their teeth are not flat like a horse or cow, who are omnivores/herbivores…..whatever.  Their jaws ONLY move straight up and down (open/close). They cannot move their jaws side to side like a horse chewing hay or a cow chewing its cud.  Dogs are wolves……carnivores, their genetics say so.  They need MEAT not a bunch of grains.   Their systems were designed to eat meat and utilize the nutrients and enzymes from it. OK…now, that we have that cleared up, 😉 there are two schools of thought to feeding raw diets:

Dr. Becker’s in-depth explanation can be read at:  http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/03/17/prey-model-diet-sparks-online-demand-for-wild-game.aspx

1. THE PREY MODEL:   has a couple of variations:

  • Feeding whole prey (all inner’s included) and nothing else.
  • Feeding chunks of meat with some amount of bone, plus organs and eggs.

2. SPECIES APPROPRIATE OR BARF: contain muscle meat, organs, a vegetable/fruit puree, supplements, possibly ground bone, eggs & fish.

Unless you are feeding the whole entire animal, such as a rabbit, that contains everything such as its spleen, brains, pancreas, the blood, and yes, even the fur, it is NOT a complete diet.  People who are feeding bony meats and chicken quarters are missing components that provide an essential balanced diet.  These components should not be omitted.  We need to substitute the specific nutrients that are missing, through vitamins, minerals, organs, eggs, sardines/salmon and oils. Dr. Becker says that she is seeing more and more raw fed dogs coming to her clinic with irreversible damage due to an incomplete raw diet.

As for kibbles, they are cooked at high temperatures killing off most of enzymes and nutrients.  Did ya ever wonder how long your kibble sits on a shelf and what kind of preservatives they have to put in it to keep it there for a year or two?  What if your dog was lost out in the country, would he run into a corn or wheat field and chow down on the grains OR would he find some road kill or a nest of bunnies and eat that?  Hmmmmm 😉

I realized years ago, when I first did research, that most people could not or would not feed raw because of it being time consuming and a little more expensive than high quality kibble.  I recently re-researched dry kibble and wrote the “Dog Food Brand Review” so that you could become informed of what the ingredients are in the kibble that you are feeding your dog and maybe change to a better, cleaner food.  Of course raw, real, unprocessed food is the best choice, but, let’s face it:  it is a commitment and it takes a little time.  But, keep an opened mind and maybe consider a combination diet of kibble and raw food!

The following explains how I got to where I am today and why I feed the way I do.

I have been feeding raw food and using a “natural” approach to health for about 20 years now which began in desperation to save our beautiful black, long coated, GSD, Shamrock. She was suffering and literally dying from a sever condition called Enzymatic Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI which we believe was caused by over-inoculations, food.   I had to find a way to help her.

I read the book “Food Your Pets Die For” by Anne Martin, and many, many other articles and books.  I found out that there were actually COMPANION ANIMALS in my dogs expensive kibble (at that time)!  It was then that I determined that I wanted to prepare what went into my dogs body myself.  I wanted to have complete control over the ingredients to try and get her as healthy as she could be, considering her condition. Back then, there wasn’t too much out there on the subject of raw feeding. I found two books, “Reining Cats & Dogs” by Pat McKay, and  “Natural Nutrition For Cats and Dogs” by Kymythy Schultz and combined the two diets. I also used homeopathy, many different supplements, acupuncture and chiropractics.  We had many ups and downs finding the right balance of things for her and had to adjust many, many times, but she survived until she was almost 12 years old!

9 years ago, when we got our new GSD puppy, I was fortunate enough to find a book by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, titled “Real Food For Healthy Dogs & Cats”.   I re-formulated parts of my version of a raw diet to hers and have followed it ever since.  Book: https://www.amazon.com/Beckers-Real-Food-Healthy-Dogs/dp/0982533128/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469100603&sr=1-1&keywords=real+food+for+healthy+dogs+and+cats

My suggestion is to get Dr. Becker’s book and consider switching your dog to a raw diet.  Her diet is basically contains, 75% meat (which is 93% lean muscle meat, 7% fat) organs (heart and liver) and about 25% combination of vegetables and fruit and added vitamin supplements, fish, eggs, and oils. I recommend her diet instead of others, as I do not believe that the others are “complete & balanced”.   The Whole Dog Journal also recommends it.  Quote: “Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats is the perfect book for those who want simple, clear recipes that meet NRC and AAFCO requirements for both puppies and adult dogs.”  Whether choosing her diet to make yourself or a choosing a commercially prepared raw food diet, it will help your dog live a longer healthier life, have a healthier immune system to fight against disease, less allergies, beautiful coats AND lower vet bills!

If you feel you cannot commit to a total raw diet, consider a combination diet of high quality kibble and raw food. It could be in any combination such as kibble in the morning and raw food at night, or raw 3 times per week or raw on the weekends.  The point is to feed your dog SOME raw, to give your dogs body what it really needs.

Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance in planning your move to raw or partial raw and kibble meals.  I have coached many people in different states and internationally. I’d love to help!  :+)

Commercial raw diets are not all the same.  They tend to have the same problems as dry dog foods…………cheap ingredients or questionable supplements.  They need to contain vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, they MUST be a balanced diet.

There are many raw dog foods on the market today.  If you have questions about the quality of a particular raw food that is not listed here, please contact me with the name.

These are just a few:

Darwins:  www.darwinspet.com

Steve’s Real Food:  www.stevesrealfood.com

Bravo: Discover Balance Raw Diet | Beef Frozen Raw Dog Food Diet – Bravo Pet Food Find a store: Find a Bravo Retailer – Bravo Pet Food

Northwest Naturals: Beef Find a store: Store Locator

Primal: Complete Raw Diets for Pets: Canine Beef Formula Find a store: Primal Pet Foods: Store Locator

Feeding calculator: http://cms.nw-naturals.net/raw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=448

Stella & Chewy’s:  This food is HPP (High Pressure Pasteurization)  If your dog is or has been ill OR if you are afraid to feed raw because of possible bacteria, this is the food for you!    From S & C site:    ” All product is manufactured using our patented SecureByNature® food safety process. A key feature of that process is High Pressure Processing (HPP). All Stella & Chewy’s products are cold-pressed, using water at pressure equal to that found at the bottom of the ocean (87,000 lbs. per square inch), where harmful bacteria cannot survive.
HPP inactivates pathogens and harmful bacteria without high temperatures. It remains the only recognized process to not use heat as used in pasteurization, chemicals, preservatives, or irradiation, which while effective, can also erode the flavor, texture, color, and nutrition of food.”  Frozen Raw Dinner: https://www.stellaandchewys.com/prod…rozen-patties/
Store locator: https://www.stellaandchewys.com/where-to-buy/

ZIWIPEAK:  This is a fantastic food, again, GREAT alternative to feeding raw!  It is expensive but it is a CONDENSED food so that you actually feed a small amount.  11 pounds ($135.00) will feed a 70 pound dog for approximately 20 days.   “ZiwiPeak pet food is a complete, natural balanced real-meat diet prepared with care in New Zealand. All of our natural ingredients are sourced from the green, free range farms and blue, pristine oceans of New Zealand. The twin stage process eliminates pathogenic bacteria, such as e.coli, salmonella and listeria, while protecting the natural nutrition of our ingredients. As a further safety step, our products are mandatory tested and only released for sale after approval by the New Zealand government’s regulatory authorities.
Air-drying is a technique that has been used for centuries to naturally preserve meats. Our modern method stays true to this artisan approach, while eliminating the need for artificial preservatives, salts, sugars or glycerines. Our slow, gentle, twin-stage air-drying process crafts a food that is as nutrient-dense and digestible as a completely raw diet but safe, clean to handle and can store for up to 21 months.

ZiwiPeak Daily Cuisine Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
There is a feeding calculator at the bottom of this page; Our Ingredients | ZiwiPeak

Purchase Ziwi at auto ship price: https://www.chewy.com/ziwipeak-daily-dog-beef-cuisine-air/dp/104801






35 thoughts on “Raw Feeding

  1. sharron

    hi – your thoughts on orijen freeze dried – thanks

    • I like the Freeze Dried Orijen option.
      Will Lexee eat it once it’s re-hydrated? You had said that she didn’t like De-Hydrated foods, but maybe she’d like this one! ;+)

  2. Kristin

    Love your blog, Karen! I feed primarily Honest Kitchen to my 11.5 year old golden retriever. Made the switch from grain-free Taste of the Wild almost 2 years ago on the advice of my vet. I had learned from the breeder that I got my dog from that several of my dog’s litter mates were dying from hemangiosarcoma, a cancer I was all too familiar with. So my vet said “no more kibble” and encouraged me to consider raw, dehydrated, or freeze dried. I feed Zeal (grain-free fish) and Kindly (low starch base mix) plus raw.

    The Honest Kitchen is in the process of becoming certified Non-GMO (yay!) and is also removing alfalfa from their recipes.

    Two years ago, we discovered on ultrasound that my dog had IBD: inflamed small intestine and adjacent lymph nodes despite having no external symptoms. Five months later, after switching to Honest Kitchen, we repeated the ultrasound and the gut was no longer inflamed; everything was normal and healthy. This is why I’ll never feed kibble again — because the dog can appear healthy but have chronic inflammation internally. My vet estimates this silent, chronic inflammation in the G/I tract occurs in about half of kibble-fed dogs and cats.

    The Honest Kitchen recipes are also AAFCO certified, so I was curious to see your comment about Stella & Chewy’s inclusion of sodium selenite. How does THK get away with not including it?

    Finally, are you aware of the raw brand “Small Batch”? I’ve recently discovered this food, just available on the West coast. I’m very impressed with their quality, local sourcing and the use of organic produce.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Kristen and Thank You!
      You have a VERY WISE vet!

      Congratulations for feeding The Honest Kitchen Products! I’m happy to hear that your Golden is doing well on it! THK products are definitely the the best commercially prepared “real food” on the market! They are the ONLY pet food that the FDA legally allows the words “HUMAN GRADE” to be used on their products and advertising! NO other company in the USA can claim this!

      Click on the ingredients tab of any HK product, then cursor down to where you see “Full AAFCO Nutrient Profile” and click on it. When the pdf loads, cursor down the list and you will see “SELENIUM” listed instead of “Selenium Selenite”. The SELENIUM in the THK product is the real deal instead of Selenium Selenite which 90% of pet food companies are using! I actually contacted Emily Thompson from Stella & Chewy’s about the Sodium Selenite and this was her response: “Our diets do include foods that contain selenium, but we also add additional supplementation to ensure that our diets meet the minimum levels for selenium as set forth by AAFCO.” So, IMHO, they fouled their great product with a vitamin “pre-mix” that Emily states, later in her response, is from the US and Europe!

      I was curious about your comment that THK was in the process of becoming Non GMO, since being NON GMO is a big part of what sets them apart from any other pet food company. So I contacted Kat Pennick from The Honest Kitchen, who I’ve emailed questions to for several years. The following in bold is her answer:
      “Hello Karen,
      All of the produce we use is non-GMO. We require each supplier to guarantee this for all our raw ingredients, that the ingredient is non-genetically modified or subject to engineered recombinant DNA technology.
      In regards to our meats: Our chicken, from Petaluma Poultry in California, is USDA certified free-range and humanely raised. It is 100% vegetarian fed (with the exception of any natural grubs that may be consumed by the hens during time roaming outdoors) and raised on a diet free of animal fat or by-products. Our chickens are never fed antibiotics or hormones, and Petaluma Poultry uses natural and homeopathic remedies to maintain health. Our Turkey is 100% cage-free, and the meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Our beef is predominantly range / grass, fed, but may be finished in feed lots where they consume a grain based diet. Our beef meat is free of hormones and antibiotics.
      We do not yet have complete visibility into the exact diet that each and every meat-producing animal used in our foods, consumes at each stage of its life. We are yet not able to provide guarantees about soy-free and corn-free diets for these animals, since these ingredients are the most commonly used for food-producing animals in the United States. As visibility and traceability improves, our goal is to get to a point where we can prove 100% GMO free, soy free and corn free diets for every meat producing animal used in our food. We are currently working on becoming verified through non- GMO project. Some of our treats have already passed and we’re working on the verification for our base mixes as we speak. We’re very excited about this, as you can imagine!
      All our meats are sourced from United States ranches, and are USDA certified fit for human consumption, just like all our ingredients.
      I hope this is helpful to you! Please feel free to pass along to anyone interested!”
      Kat Pennick

      I could not find anything on the brand “Small Batch” that you referenced. If you send me the link, I’d be glad to look at it for you.

      Best regards,
      Karen :-)

  3. Darci Michaels

    Just happened upon your site and am impressed and happy to see you are so pro-raw and cautious about the vaccine etc. You even know about Homeopathy!! YAY! I have added you to my list of resources and have already shared your page once.

  4. Jennifer R.

    Hi Karen! Your blog is wealth of knowledge. Thank you for sharing so much! So a bit about my story… I have 2 mini dachshund puppies (6 months old). They are so much fun and I am getting a kick out of experiencing the world through their eyes. When we first got them, the breeder had them on a terrible kibble and they were having lots of staining around their eyes. So we switched to a grain-free kibble. Definitely a step up but they continued to have occasional GI issues. They’ve had 2 bouts with giardia and whipworms and now have a clean bill of health. But GI issues remained. I did lots of research on raw food diets and have started feeding Stella and Chewy’s but will be transitioning off that and onto homemade raw meals. My question to you is do you think it is safe to purchase frozen raw pet foods from local farmers? They sell necks, organ meats, and frozen packs of ground meat with bone. This would be much more cost-effective and I can add in my eggs, veggies, fruit and other supplements. What say you? I’d love some feedback.

    • Hi Jen!
      My pleasure!
      It sounds like a great cost effective deal to purchase from a local farmer who packages raw meat for dogs! How lucky are you??? :-)
      Couple of things I will caution you about. Do they list the amount of fat in their ground meat? You want to be careful the content is not over about 10% or so or it may put weight on your dog. Second, you will need to add certain supplements. This needs to be considered carefully as just not any old multi-vitamin will do because it may not balance the diet. Third, there are ratio’s of organ to meat and veggie/fruit to meat that you may have researched already????? Are your mini’s use to eating bone fragments and necks?
      I think you have a good thing going here! Also make sure the prep areas of slaughtering and packaging the meats are sanitary.
      Good Luck! Feel free to send any questions.

  5. carla steinman

    Hi, Karen!

    I was so excited to find your site! I use Dr, Becker’s book, and I have been wondering whether to measure the veggies BEFORE or AFTER I have processed them in the food processor (makes a big difference in quantity)! Which method do you use?

    Can’t wait to spend more time reviewing your info. I have a gorgeous GSD that I got from a very reputable breeder. She has/had horrible allergies and I couldn’t keep weight on her. My first inclination was to get her on real food, and I found Becker’s book. It is my bible! (except I don’t do the fruits since reading they should not be mixed w/protein to help prevent bloat). Since changing vets, I also found someone smart enough to get her on good digestive enzymes. Now we titer her instead of doing automatic immunizations and she looks BEAUTIFUL! (No coincidence that the previous vet overvaccinated her)! We are doing oral immunotherapy too, and are seeing vast improvement! No more staff infections, steroids or antibiotics. It costs me about $100/week to feed her, but I would NEVER go back to kibble. It just makes sense that real food=real health!

    • Hi Carla!
      This is a FANTASTIC story about your dog and your journey with her to better health!

      Awesome that you are feeding Dr. Becker’s diet! I personally think it is the greatest raw diet out there! It’s not the cheapest, because you are using all muscle meat instead of “meaty bones”, so it does cost more, but in my opinion, it’s the best! I’ve been feeding this way for 19 years and have had outstanding results with all of our dogs!

      About the veggies: Yes, I do weigh them before pureeing them in the blender, without their skin/cores etc. I also make my meat mix a little different from the book. 12 years before I found Dr. Becker’s diet, AND before feeding raw was popular, the only people on the internet promoting raw was Pat McKay (Reining Cat’s & Dog’s) and Kymythy Schultze (Natural Nutrition For Dogs & Cats). Not feeling that one or the other was totally the correct way, I combined them!!! Pat McKay’s Diet mixed the pureed vegetables and fruit with the meat, so that is the way I continue to do it. Separating the pureed vegetables into one container (and then measuring it out during feeding time) and the muscle meat and organs into another (and then measuring them too) is too much work and time consuming for me. I’ve personally asked Dr. Becker and Beth Taylor (author’s of the book) if this was acceptable and they both said yes. When I am making 20 to 30 pounds of meat mix, I simply put all the ingredients (pureed vegetables and fruit, the organs and the ground meat) into a large plastic storage box, mix, separate into 3 or 4 large tupper ware containers, and freeze them! Then take a container out about 3 days before I need it, and let it defrost in the frig. If you have a small dog, the small BPA Free Zip Loc containers are perfect for this!

      You and I will have to “agree to disagree”- LOL 😉 – about using a small percentage of fruit in the meat mix! In all the years I’ve been feeding this way, I have only heard Dr. Peter Dobias support this theory. So I use small amounts several kinds of fruit and incorporate them into the puree with every batch I make.

      Digestive Enzymes and Pro-Biotic’s could cure many a dog for many things if people just knew about it! About the only time that a regular Veterinarian might suggest an enzyme is if your dog has EPI or SIBO! Fact is, since most dogs are not eating a “Fresh Kill” the enzyme availability doesn’t match what the dogs body needs, especially if they are kibble fed. There is a product I use myself called Digest All Plus and really like for 2 reasons. (1) it has a combination of Digestive Enzymes AND Pro-Biotics in the formula and (2) it is derived from “real” food (no chemicals involved) most of which are organic. You can read about it and purchase it here: http://www.thewholisticpet.com/products/canine-product-line/health-care-supplements/wholistic-digest-all-plustm.html

      Thank goodness you are titering Eva! Most people just trust their vet and quite honestly, if they are not trained holistically, the majority just don’t know how bad this is for dogs and cats! Here is an article that explains “what Vets REALLY DON’T know”. Vets On Vaccines: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/vets-on-vaccines/

      It is quite remarkable that you are doing Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) for Eva! This is unbelievable! You are the FIRST person I know of who has taken these steps! Congratulations! Maybe you could write about your total experience with SLIT , and we can share it here on the blog so that people could get an understanding of it! I think that it could benefit MANY dogs with sensitivities!

      Thank you SO much for sharing here on the blog! I think pet parents that have dogs with this type of problems will be encouraged by your story!
      Best of luck and please post again!

      • carla steinman

        Hi, Karen!
        I finally found your post reply, and thank you so much for the awesome information!
        I certainly cannot take all the credit you give to me for my journey with Eva. It has just been a learning experience. I am BY NO MEANS an expert on canine nutrition or holistic medicines! I am simply a person who will not give up on any of my “charges”. I had a dominant aggressive GSD about 13 years ago, and I just had to “figure him out”, much to my husband’s chagrin. I learned a lot about “dog psychology” from that experience, which was amazing, since I was working on a psychology degree at the time! We were able to “turn him around” with the NILF program, and I was able to practice positive reinforcement with much success. Life is amazing! What do they say?….Something like..”When the student is ready, the teacher will appear?” Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed all the learning experiences I have been exposed to with my children AND my “fur babies”! Life is a journey, right? I have always had dogs – all of my life. But, before I had my two GSDs, I just thought you bought a dog, fed it kibble and took it to the vet, and it was that easy. Well, my GSDs taught me otherwise!

        I also cannot take credit for feeding raw. UNFORTUNATELY, Eva refuses to eat raw foods, and yes (I AM crazy), I do lightly cook her food. I have tried over the two years or so to reintroduce raw, b/c so many people say it is superior, but so far, no luck. Like Karen Becker says, it is still better than kibble! As for the fruit, I actually just recently read something about that, and, wouldn’t you know, I can’t find the source now. I’m sure it was Dog Naturally Magazine or The Whole Dog Journal. When I read it, I remembered Suzanne Sommers always said never to mix fruit and protein b/c it would cause gas, so I thought maybe it held true for dogs too. Not that she’s a nutritionist, but I knew it was true for me. So, I thought I’d just give Eva her blueberries or other fruit in some Greek yogurt ’cause she likes it better that way anyway (she probably doesn’t need dairy, either, though…right?).

        Thank you for the Digestive Enzyme/Probiotic info. I have just used “Vet Classics” recommended by my vet, and it has worked WONDERS, but I do not know if it is derived from “read food”. I will check out your source.

        As for the SLIT, again, it was out of frustration and a “need to know” that I came across this treatment. I knew that sublingual drops were being used for humans with allergies with some success, so I just googled the same for dogs. Low and behold, I came across an article by Dr. Doug DeBoer, DVM,and Mary Morris from Allergy Associates of LaCrosse, and the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, which gave me hope. You can google the title to get the article, “Sublingual Immunotherapy for Pets: A Guide for Veterinary Dermatologists.” This article has some very specific scientific information. The product that was developed from that research is by HESKA, and more can be learned about it from their website: http://www.heska.com. It has been a miracle for us! We have gone from constant scratching leading to staff infections because of the environmental allergies to an occasional biting of the feet, maybe a little scratch here or there. Giving two pumps of the allergy drops each day sure beats chasing my girl around with a needle to inject the therapy. That wasn’t working AT ALL! We were fortunate that we knew what Eva was allergic to: insect bites, some grasses and molds, DUST MITES (yes, impossible to control), which are related to grain mites (frequently found in kibble). So much to learn, and I’m sure everyone’s case is different. I was very compulsive about getting this dog healthy, because she is, without a doubt the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had.
        For those who struggle with skin allergies, there is another article I came across that was worth it’s weight in gold. It is “Atopy, pyoderma and the skin: Barrier function and beyond…” by Rusty Muse, DVM. It has several wonderful ideas for treating an itchy dog. He points out that it is very important not to disrupt the protective epidermal barrier of the skin, which I was doing by scrubbing Eva’s skin during bathing. On day, after 3 nights of listening to her constant scratching all night long, I used his “tip for severely itchy dogs” in this article. I didn’t have the products he recommended, so I improvised. I immersed her in a bath with Flax Oil (didn’t have the QV Oil, but I got it later, and it is great), applied a topical corticosteroid, put her in a wet T-shirt, and covered her with a hot pad on low. Her skin got hydrated, and she CRASHED on the couch, exhausted from no sleep and finally getting relief. I nearly cried, I was so happy to see her finally comfortable! There are many other good points in this article. Good luck to anyone struggling with these issues. They are frustrating, but help is out there!
        Thanks for the opportunity to share, Karen. I hope my experiences can help someone else! Sorry for writing such a long “book”!

        • Hi Carla,
          Thank you so much for sharing your story! Like me, you were NOT going to settle for a diagnosis and just give drugs! You have to get to the root of the body’s system and try and fix it. Is it a lot of work on the pet parents part?????? SURE IS…..BUT as the commercial says….”PRICELESS”!
          I think your info and comments can be a great resource for other pet parents whose dog’s are suffering with these issues.
          PET PARENTS: Please DON’T settle for a life of allergy shots, steroids and other drugs for you Fur Babies! There are other answers! Please contact me and I can help you find an American Holistic Veterinarian Member Association Vet in your state that could help you with these types of issues. You can’t just GOOGLE “Holistic Vet’s” because “Holistic” is now just a buzz word that everyone is using! A change in food and alternative modalities for your baby COULD change his/her life!
          I hope Carla’s story has encouraged and helped you!
          My best to all,

  6. Jennifer

    Hi Karen,

    I just got my sheltie puppy. He is 12 weeks old and weighs around 5#. He’s going to be around 15-20# as an adult. What I want to know is what should I feed such a small guy. I want to feed him raw but he needs such a small amount, I would think it would be a huge hassle preparing the bones and muscle meat. I was looking at Oma’s pride and bravo but I don’t know what to order. Oma’s pride had some blends that I liked but it says it can be fed as a primary component but not be fed as a sole component to the diet. What does that mean? I’m feeding him thrive by the honest kitchen but I was just looking at some alternatives. I’d appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!

    • Hey Jenni!
      Nice to hear from you and CONGRATS on your new baby! I’ll bet he’s a doll!
      “can be fed as a primary component but not be fed as a sole component to the diet” means that it does not have all of the vit/min required by AAFCO to be complete. Omas doesn’t mess around with that, they just supply “the meat” for folks and it’s up to them to supplement it. I’ve been buying their mix organ products (to add to my own meat to make the mix) for years.
      GREAT that you are feeding The Honest Kitchen…..100% HUMAN food! HK employee’s even taste every batch they make there! So, 3 things that you could try. 1. Add some Omas blends to his HK or 2. If you want to feed total raw, use Dr. Becker’s diet which is made with ground meat from the grocery store and add Omas organ mix to it along with the necessary supplements. or 3. Primarily feed HK, but on the weekends feed Becker’s Meat Mix, that way he’ll be getting the best of both worlds! We can email for more specific’s if you are game! :-)
      Have fun with that “Little Fur Ball”!!!!

  7. Sondra M

    Hi Karen,
    I just recently found your website and Dogs Naturally and am really excited to try and switch to a healthier food for my dogs. One of the reasons that we haven’t really made the complete switch is that with 2 large dogs and two small dogs the cost of purchasing raw food can seem a bit steep. Our local pet store recommends one, but didn’t see it listed on your site, and I was wondering if you had heard of Northwest Naturals and what you thought of it?

    • Hi Sondra!
      I have another suggestion for you at the end of this note as 2 large dogs and 2 small ones will eat quite a bit.
      NW Naturals raw nuggets are quite impressive! Their mixes have approx. 10% fat, “minimum” means it could contain more. but, this is good compared to some which are 15% fat or more. It also includes real bone providing natural calcium.
      Here is a great statement from NW Naturals: “Entering into the raw diet business was a natural outgrowth of our expertise in the purchase, processing, packaging and distribution of premium quality meat products. NW Naturals is made with the same high quality; USDA inspected and approved meats, in our USDA inspected facility, under the same processing regulations, that apply to our human food products.”
      Also this is impressive:
      ALL NW Naturals Products are produced under the following food safety programs:
      · HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
      · GMP – Good Manufacturing Practices
      · TQC – Total Quality Control
      · SSOP – Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures
      · PREOP – Preoperational Inspections
      · PIP – Planned Improvement Program
      · Always scoring among the highest scores in ANNUAL 3rd PARTY FOOD SAFETY AUDITS
      It’s about $6/per pound (a 6# bag costs $37 from what I’ve seen) and you would feed an 80 pound dog approximately 1 1/2 pounds per day, depending on their activity level (this is in general). So this would last about 4 days for one large dog.
      Here is another alternative for you to feed your Babies healthy!
      Dehydrated food called The Honest Kitchen “PREFERENCE” is a base of Alfalfa, sweet potatoes, other vegetables and added vitamins/minerals. When mixed with your own raw meat, completes a balanced diet for “All Life Stages”. The GREAT thing about HK products is that they are “Human Grade ingredients, manufactured in a Human Grade facility”. It is the ONLY pet food on the market that the FDA legally allows to use the “Human Grade” statement on their products and advertising. You can purchase ground turkey and ground chuck/round (to rotate) on sale and mix REAL meat with this! It’s the best of both worlds! You purchase this a Doggie Boutique’s or the internet. If you like it, you can purchase directly from The Honest Kitchen on their auto-ship program. You can also email for samples! http://www.thehonestkitchen.com
      If you’d like additional info about feeding this way, just let me know! I’d be happy to coach you!
      “Bone” Appetit’ to your Fur Babies!

  8. tanya shotwell

    Karen, I see you said “Steves Real Food” was one of the better ones. I was wondering what you thought of his “Healthy Dog Food Dinner Mixes”?

    I want to feed raw all the time, not just a couple weeks a month, but am afraid I’m not getting everything in the meals they need. Thanks!

    • Hi Tanya!
      Thank you for the question! It is fantastic that you want to feed this way!
      Yes, I believe that Steve has a GREAT product and I would definitely be confident using it! There are a few other things that you can add, as I will mention below.
      Another rotation you could use for feeding raw along with Steve’s to give your baby variety, is to use The Honest Kitchen “Preference”. This is an Alfalfa and Sweet Potato based dehydrated product that you also add your own raw meat to. It contains all of the vitamins and minerals your pup will need. Don’t be shocked by the price as a box re-hydrates to two or three times its dry amount.
      I would also suggest to add the following oils Daily to provide the “missing link” so to speak, in the meats:
      Cold Pressed Hemp Oil when serving Beef
      Cold Pressed Flax Seed Oil when serving Fowl
      Neptune Krill Oil several times per week (unless a small dog). Krill is better than Salmon Oil. Quality is key, so don’t be fooled by cheap brands. I rotate with a few different brands but a good place to get started is DaVinci Neptune Krill from http://www.pureformulas.com/neptune-krill-oil-60-gels-by-davinci-labs.html#sthash.aO0SfNiV.dpbs
      If you are interested in the oils, I can give you more information and dosages for the size of your dog.
      Hope this helps your decision! :-)

  9. Ohhhh, I never forget the little fur babies I work with! :-)
    I am so very sorry to hear about Wally! What a shock for you guys! Charlie must have taken it hard too!

    I can’t believe Charlie was also struck by the “Big C”! I can’t recommend the following product from personal experience, but the articles I’ve read support it for immune compromised and cancer patients, whether animal or human. There are a few ingredients in it that I don’t like, but it seems that the good may outweigh the bad in this case. I’ve read that you should consider the “Human” formula for your dog because the pet formula contains yeast which could lead to problems. You’ll need to read the data and decide for yourself but here is some info on it and the sites.

    Transfer Factor Plus by 4Life
    Transfer factors are the primary communications mechanism used by the immune system to defend against harmful microbial threats. Transfer factors are small molecules that consist of specific sequences of amino acids. These small compounds naturally occur in all mammals and are passed from mother to newborn through the mother’s first milk called colostrum. These small transfer factor molecules then start to educate the newborn’s naive immune system, which in turn will protect them from the microbial threats they encounter all their life.

    Transfer factors have three primary functions. When we encounter a potential microbial threat transfer factors: 1) recognize and alert our immune system to the “threat” 2) condition our immune system to respond quickly to “threats” 3) remember the threats we encounter to quickly respond in the future

    Derived from bovine colostrum, transfer factors are immune system molecules that contain the intelligence codes for immune recognition and balance. They literally transfer immunity across species from a competent host to a recipient.

    ThymuPro™- Thymus Complex Containing Thymus Protein and other Proteinaceous Compounds which support T-cells.

    Cordyvant™ Cordyvantª is a proprietary combination of glyconutrients (IP6, Beta Glucans and Aloe Vera) which support the innate immune system. In addition, glyconutrients activate white blood cells to produce antibodies without the help of T-cells.

    “Many veterinarians recommend giving the human formula, TF Plus, to their animals. The content of the capsule can be sprinkled in the animal’s food.”

    Reviews and Recommendations: http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/tf/s/pets.htm

    Another site with recommended dosage for dogs when using the Human Trans Factor Plus (about half way down on page). http://www.preciouspets.org/4life/pets.htm#Why

    Another product I’ve just recently found and ordered is called “Health Force Green Mush” which is made from “whole living food sources”. http://livesuperfoods.com/pet-care/pet-supplements/healthforce-green-mush.html Quote: “Green Mush is a pesticide free, whole food, green plant based combination. It is completely unlike traditional multi-vitamin/mineral products in that it is truly effective, totally non-toxic and exceptionally absorbent with no toxicity (not excreted as expensive yellow urine or settled out in the tissues as toxic deposits). There are absolutely no synthetics or isolated nutrients whatsoever in Green Mush! The nutrients are exactly as they occur naturally in whole plant foods. They are fully recognizable and absorbent with NO toxicity!” Unquote
    Go down the page and look at the list of “real food” ingredients! It’s fantastic! I’ll be reporting about it on the blog after my dogs’ have been on it for a while.
    My best to you! Karen 😉

  10. Hi Jennifer!
    So nice to hear from you! It’s been about 3 years now, right?
    How are your little fur babies? Sound like Charlie is doing great and has benefited from The Honest Kitchen!
    I think the only other thing I might add, because of his pancreas problem is a digestive enzyme and maybe a probiotic. This is a great one and organic! http://www.thewholisticpet.com/products/canine-product-line/health-care-supplements/wholistic-digest-all-plustm.html
    Although the “Preference” does contain Vitamin E in it’s analysis, you can add more. Here is info from two other commentaries on dogs and vitamin E that you can adjust the amounts to: -200 to 300 IU (International Units) for a dog weighing 15 to 50 pounds, and 300 to 400 IU for a dog heavier than 50 pounds. Another expert recommends 400 IU for all dogs under 2 years old, and 800 IU for dogs over 2 years old. No known side effects occur as long as the dosage stays below 4,000 IU of vitamin E each day.
    Below is some info I thought you and other readers may be interested in when choosing a vitamin. ALL VITAMINS ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY! So READ READ READ! MOST vitamins are created in a lab with chemicals and are not sold in a natural form! Vitamin C for instance: synthetic or synthesized ones such as Ascorbate Acid (which was the first compound to be synthesized from Vitamin C), Calcium Ascorbate (Calcium ascorbate is a calcium salt of ascorbic acid, vitamin C, which is chemically bound to calcium), or Magnesium Ascorbic (is ascorbic acid chemically bound to magnesium). Not that these are bad……just not the whole food form of Vitamin C that your body can absorb fully. These are the types mainly sold in health food stores. You need the Vitamin C that contains citrus bio-flavonoids.
    -Vitamin E is available in “natural” or “synthetic” forms. The body, dog or human, cannot assimilate the synthetic version as well as the natural version. The difference??? Availability to the body. Quote: “Specific binding and transport proteins produced in the liver select the natural d-alpha form of vitamin E and largely ignore all other forms.” Un-quote. Natural Vitamin E has roughly TWICE the availability of the synthetic form. So although it may be a little more expensive, you do not have to take as much of it as you do the dl form to achieve the benefits.
    -Now your next question may be…..how do I know which is which????
    Select the ones that say D-alpha NOT DL-alpha. If a particular brand contains additional Mixed Tocopherols (d-alpha, d-beta, d-delta, and d-gamma) and Tocotrienols all the better! Just NOT the DL
    NOTE: Synthetic Vitamin E is usually made from petroleum, refined oils, turpentine, sugar, and artificial preservatives.
    – Natural Vitamin E will never have dl-alpha tocopherols. If the first letters of the name are dl then it will always be synthetic. The “d” form of vitamin E is the only type that the body recognizes.
    -Also, be aware of which vegetable your E comes from. A lot of brands come from Soybean of which I personally am not a fan as soy products contain hormone’s of which your dog AND you do not need! Dr. Karen Becker: “Soy is estrogenic (estrogen like actions in the body) and can wreak havoc on your dog’s endocrine system.” Also, beware of Corn or Maize (Maize IS corn) based Vit. E. If you dog has a sensitivity to corn in his kibble, E made from Maize/Corn could produce an allergy type reaction.
    – In choosing a vitamin E or ANY supplement, you should carefully read the label… the ENTIRE label. It is remarkable how many natural-looking brown bottles with natural-sounding brand names contain the synthetic form. Even if the bottle says “natural” the vitamin may be partially synthetic. The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredients. Concerning Vit. E, anything with dl-alpha tocopherols is, at least, partially synthetic. Generally, if it is a blend it is mostly synthetic vitamin E.
    Here is the label from “Naure’s Bounty Natural Vitamin E”: Vitamin E (dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate). See the dl? That is synthetic, there is nothing natural about that! The word “Natural” seems to be a “buzz” word these days . There may be “some” natural ingredients in different products but when you read the other ingredients, they are far from “natural”! Here is “NOW” brand Vit E: Vitamin E (as d-alpha Tocopherol from Vegetable Oil Concentrate) (SOY). Although it is a natural E it comes from soy, so the oil source choice is up to each individual person.

    -When shopping for a fish oil supplement, choose one that has adequate amounts of EPA and DHA (100 to 500 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA per serving). Make sure that the amount for each component is labeled separately.
    -Choose a supplement that indicates that states that contaminants, such as mercury, have been removed.
    – Note: Vitamin E is often included in fish oils as a preservative so you may want to take this into consideration if giving the extra E and check the amounts, although I’m sure it is very small.
    -I choose to give my dogs “human” quality supplements instead of supplements/oils that were manufactured for “pets” as the regulation by the FDA on pet products are very low and ingredient quality is very poor. The exception would be the pet products that are organic or “whole foods” type, such as The Wholistic Pet Products.
    -There are different grades of oils. What distinguishes one from another is the purity and concentration of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Each step in the refining process adds additional cost to the final product, but the increased purity justifies the cost and the benefits.”
    -Krill Oil has better benefits from other fish oils. This is because the EPA’s and DHA’s in Krill Oil are in the form of phospholipids. The phospholipids contain natural choline which benefits the liver and the brain. Krill oil is better absorbed by the body. Another reason krill oil is better than fish oil is that it contains Astaxanthin which is an antioxidant found in the algae krill eat.
    Krill Dosages: By Dr. Karen Becker
    If your pet is currently in good health, I recommend supplementing with krill oil as follows:
    • 250mg daily for toy breeds and cats (1-14 lbs)
    • 500mg daily for small dogs (15-29 lbs)
    • 1000mg daily for medium dogs (30-49 lbs)
    • 1500mg mg daily for large dogs (50-79 lbs)
    • 2000mg daily for dogs 80+ lbs

    I hope this all helps!
    Best regards to you and yours!

    • Jennifer Schindler

      Wow, I’m surprised you remember! Charlie is doing wonderful with his diet. He did have a tumor removed from his leg that was cancerous. Hopefully if we monitor the area it shouldn’t be fatal. Is there anything I could give him that might help keep him with that?? I am giving him a Pancreatin enzyme with each meal, which helps with his digestion.

      Wally, the three year old, passed away this past July. He had a tumor hidden up near his pancreas and spleen. We had no warning.

      Thanks for all the info on vitamins.

  11. Jennifer Schindler

    Hi Karen,

    You helped me switch my two Shelties, Charlie (the one with pancreatitis), and Wally, to Preference by the honest kitchen several years ago and I can’t remember what you told me about vitamins. I am currently giving Charlie fish oil and vitamin E every other day. Should I give him anything else?


  12. christine mancini

    i feed my 65 lb lab a raw food diet. I get everything from fiesta pet deli in pompano. I read Dr Becker’s book and now I am doubting what I am ordering from Fiesta and can see that this is going to be work even at this convenient store. Perhaps i could send you their extensive menu and we could look at it together. I spend a lot of money and this would be a shame if I am doing it wrong. i would like to speak w you.

    • Hi There!
      Looked at a couple of things on the Fiesta Deli site. I did not know
      exactly which product you were feeding so here is a quick re-cap of
      food items.
      No Dry Food listed
      No FAQ’s on the faq’s page
      Couldn’t find their “gravy” at a quick look
      You can look at my site for the definition of what I’ll list next to
      the food name as possible UN-desirables:
      RED BARN: Wheat, Egg Product, Copper Sulphate and a “Selenium
      Supplement” (don’t know which kind: sodium selenate or selenium)
      GRANDMA LUCY’S: Cyanocobalamin (vit. B12) is man made. Quote:
      Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory.
      It’s virtually impossible for you to find this form in nature. Low-end
      vitamin manufacturers use it because it can be bought in bulk and
      added to products with claims that they “contain vitamin B-12!
      Also, does not say what kind of copper they use.
      BIO COMPLETE: Beef: ingredients sounds good but NO INFO at all on
      calories, fat, or carbs. If this is the one you are using, copy the
      ingredient list from your package and send it to me and I’ll look at
      it. (-:
      DELI FRESH: Says “poultry liver”…. should define which poultry they
      are using (could be anything with feathers), Dried Egg Product,
      Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite
      NATURES VARIETY INSTINCT FROZEN: This is better than dry kibble but a
      healthier, cost effective choice would be BRAVO COMPLETE
      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.
      My best to you and your fur babies!

  13. Thomas Ball

    Hi Karen,

    This is a wonderful and very informative website, thank you for creating it! I have been on the search for the ‘perfect’ dog food (which, of course, doesn’t exist, at least it’s not the same for all dogs) for a very long time, and have come to the conclusion that home-made food (be it raw or cooked) is the number one choice, when balanced. And the tricky part is balancing it. I’d like to ask you to give some pointers on how to create a vitamin/mineral mix, what kind of stuff do you use? Where do you get them? What ratios? etc.

    I’ve found some nutrient calculators online, so I can see what vitamins/minerals are missing, still, it’s difficult to get everything in the correct amount, so I’d like to ask for your help in figuring out a solution for this.

    I’ve only come across your website a short time ago, haven’t read everything yet, but I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot from you and your website, thank you again!


    • Hi Tom,
      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      Yes! It would be my pleasure to help you “find your way” so to speak. When I started, there wasn’t much out there on the subject, but now, there are many…..some good…..some, not so good.
      While you are in the process of contemplating raw feeding, you could start your fur baby on The Honest Kitchen brand foods. These are 100% HUMAN GRADE ingredients, made in a Human Grade facility, and THE ONLY pet food on the market today that has been allowed by the FDA to use the words “Human Grade” on their products. You will not find ANY other dog or cat food that bears this stamp of approval! Their ingredients and facility has to conform to about 15 pages worth of “Human Food” regulations by the FDA! The staff there actually taste tests each batch! You could also begin to add a few tablespoons (or more if you have a large dog) of ground raw turkey or ground round beef mixed right into the Honest Kitchen! This would make a great transition from your current food. You won’t find “HK” in the pet stores, but you can find it in health conscious Doggie Boutiques’. On The Honest Kitchen site (www.thehonestkitchen.com) click on “find a store near you” in the upper right hand corner. It is a dehydrated food that has to be re-hydrated with water, so don’t let the price of $80 for 10 pounds fool you! 😉 This 10 pounds re-hydrates into about 35 pounds of food! The cost is approximately $2.25 per pound.
      The first thing that I would recommend is that you purchase Dr. Karen Becker’s book titled “Dr. Becker’s Real Food For Healthy Dogs & Cats (3rd edition)” which can be purchased through Amazon. The “analysis of the ancestral diet comes from information gathered from anthropological studies and work done by Ellen Dierenfeld, PhD on the composition of prey animals” (which can be viewed at naturalpetproductions.com along with other info).
      In my opinion, this is the BEST BALANCED homemade raw food diet out there. And, it has a chapter on how to prepare a homemade vitamin/mineral mix for your dog or cat to balance what is missing from the diet. Since your dog is not eating a fresh kill, things like fur, for roughage, and spleen, pancreas, organs, brains, blood and guts, providing specific vitamins & minerals and enzymes will be missing. Just feeding a dog or cat chicken thighs will not provide all the nutrients to sustain health. It would be like us just eating spinach every day for our lifetime. Is it good for us? Sure! But… does this provide ALL of the nutrients our body need to be as healthy as we can be????? Absolutely NOT! 😉 To quote Dr. Becker….if you leave out vital minerals, vitamins, bone meal and fatty acids…. “irreversible damage may show up down the road”! This book has all of the tools in it to accomplish the type of diet you are searching for concerning your dog, and I would enjoy helping to make it a little easier for you by answering questions (that may not be in the book) and providing you with some short cuts on how to do things and where to find items!
      Does learning to make the meat mix and vitamin/mineral mix take a little practice and time? Of course! But…..will you have the satisfaction of knowing EXACTLY what your dog is eating and will he/she be healthier from it? Absolutely!!!
      I look forward to our conversations!
      Best Regards,

  14. Lynn Maniatis

    Karen can I give my dogs whole pigs feet for a treat? Checked the internet everybody says yes, but want to check with you first. Thanks Lynn

    • It will be fine if they are use to eating bones.
      If a dog has not grown up on bones, one should be cautious. You wouldn’t want them to gulp it and choke. If they are not use to them, lay down an old sheet or blanket, hold on to the bone, or in your case pigs foot with a paper towel, and let your dog chew away while you are watching TV!
      Also, if they have not eaten these before, they might get a stomach upset and possible diarrhea, so limit the time they have it. You can also freeze it to make it more of a challenge to them!

  15. Sounds like Honest Kitchen Preference may fit well with you by adding your own ground meat to it, but make sure that you use 93%meat/7%fat. That seems to be the problem with commercially made raw foods, the fat is too high. Also the Orijen is one of only a few better products. Using Pumpkin and Carrots is giving you a lot of carbs (k-cals) but you might need that with your active/working Terriers, when others shouldn’t get that much.
    Dr. Becker says that she is seeing more and more dogs come in to her clinic with various problems, some major, because people just thought that throwing there dogs/cats pieces of meat was a sufficient diet. There is a science to it to mimic a wolves’ diet. The raw diet is basically raw meat, organs, and and about 25% vegetables/fruit. For instance, you would get 9 pounds of ground turkey (93%meat/7%fat, very important raito), 1 pound of chicken liver, and 2.5 pounds of ground vegetables/fruit, that would make the meat mix. You would rotate the meat source and vegetables periodically or weekly or even daily, if you choose, so that the dogs would not possibly become allergic to one type of meat/veg. To that, you at least, would need add a calcium supplement (if you were not grinding your own whole chickens with the bones included) and a multi vit., enzymes and omega’s like Krill Oil, Hemp Oil for beef and Coconut Oil for chicken/turkey because the meats do not provide it all. In her book, she also suggests things like pro-biotics, joint support and super green foods if you really want to do it all. There is a little more to the diet than this(I wouldn’t want a reader to think this is the whole diet), but that is the basics.
    Let me know if you want more info! :)

  16. wendy hudson

    Hi Karen I do feed raw a good part of the time. Just not sure my dogs are getting what they need.
    Grinding is not a problem.
    Just am not sure what I should be adding.
    Right now i use carrots, pumpkin, green beans.
    I used to buy Omas but that got too costly.
    I also feed sum Orjen.
    will look into Honest Kitchen.
    Thanks and yes I would love to talk to you.

  17. wendy hudson

    HI Karen??????
    Its that time of years 3 rabies vac. due now. Ive asked my vet to get the merial 3 year for me I hate to vac. at all, But the boys go out of state to tourys. Any other ideas for me.
    Also have food question just don’t know what to feed any more??????
    Have time please get back to me…

    • Hi Wendy!
      PLENTY of ideas for ya! 😉 Sorry for the long answer, but I think necessary to explain in detail.
      First and foremost, get your babies “titered” before ANY vaccinations are done! “ An “antibody titer” is a laboratory test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in blood. The antibody level in the blood is a reflection of past exposure to an antigen (namely rabies, parvo, distemper, etc) or to something that the body does not recognize as belonging to itself.” And, if it is present….the dog or cat does NOT need another one! There are separate ones for all 3, Rabies, Parvo, & Distemper and WELL worth the price considering the money you will spend to deal with the aftermath if they should develop a reaction to vaccinations, let alone the pain to the animal, and the heartache to you. I am SURE there are plenty of antibodies in them from the previous vaccinations! No one at the competitions is going to ask you to see your vaccination records! :-) So don’t trouble yourself with that! Also, don’t forget that they are giving your 10 pound Terrier the same amount as they are giving a 250 pound Mastiff! One size fits all???? Doesn’t sound logical to me! :-)
      Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Ronald Schultz, through their extensive studies on the subject of vaccinations, have found the following:
      Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines per Dr. Schultz:
      Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
      Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
      Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
      Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
      Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.”
      He adds: “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be re-vaccinated. Annual vaccination for diseases caused by CDV, CPV2, FPLP and FeLV has not been shown to provide a level of immunity any different from the immunity in an animal vaccinated and immunized at an early age and challenged years later. We have found that annual re-vaccination with the vaccines that provide long-term immunity provides no demonstrable benefit.”
      These studies are out there for vet’s to re-educate themselves, problem is, they make too much money giving “booster’s” to all their clients, so they really do not want to know!

      As for food, if you cannot feed raw, the second best is definitely The Honest Kitchen dehydrated brand products. They are ALL HUMAN GRADE……NO garbage or chemicals in them! You could also do a modified feeding program of half raw by feeding Honest Kitchen Preference to which you add your own ground meat. I prefer the “non-grain” items but if your dogs do not have any issues, they have come out with some cost effective ones too. If you decide to go total raw, let me know and I’d be happy to coach you through it and tell you the in’s and out’s!
      Let me know how I can help! :) Karen

  18. Thank you Madelene!
    Sure, I’d love to help!
    There are different amounts of Bone Meal Used depending on the product itself and whether it is a pup or adult dog.
    Example for amounts of Bone Meal per one cup of raw meat mix for an adult:
    Swiss Bone Meal: 1/4th teaspoon
    NOW Bone Meal: 1/2 teaspoon
    I use the NOW Bone Meal.

    As for the Multiple Vitamin Mix, you do use it daily PER CUPS OF FOOD fed.
    Example for Supplement Recipe A: 1/2 cup of food gets 1/8th teaspoon.
    Supplement Recipe B amount varies somewhat when you get up to the 3 cups per day range, but I don’t think your Chiweenie eats that much. ;+)

    Let me know if you need anymore help!

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