Basic Components of My Raw Dog Food Recipe
There are different philosophies to feeding raw food. I won’t go into that here. Rather I’ll just present the rough formula I follow.
80/10/10 ratio = Meat + Bone + Organ
What this means is that in any batch of food I make, it will be composed of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ meat (5% liver and 5% any other organ meat).
Meat: Currently my meat choices have been:
- Chicken (chicken thights from Costco at $1.29/pound or from Smart and Final at $.99/pound on sale)
- Turkey (anywhere it’s on sale around $2/pound)
- Beef (Smart and final will sell them in bulk 10 pounds or 20 pounds at $2.89/pound)
In future batches … I will start to incorporate different proteins such as lamb, beef heart, beef tongue. A quick visual guide can be found here: (Link to visual guide of meat and organs)
Calcium is a critical component in Raw Feeding
The reason why you add bones is that it provides calcium which is a critical component to in a balanced raw fed menu. Some people give their dogs the bones … I have opted to grind them. As such I’m currently using chicken thighs as the source of bones. Chicken thighs are 27% bone. (You can find a guideline of bone content of meat here: Link to Bone Percentages)
- If I’m making a 30 pound batch … I’ll use 10 pounds of chicken that I grind …. bones and all.
- If I’m making a 40 pound batch … I will use 18 pounds of chicken thigh that I grind … bones and all.
ADD VEGGIES AND FRUITS
In all my batches I will add a bundle of dark greens (kale or collard greens), another veg (squash) and fruit (bananas and berries). I do this for every 10 pounds of meat mix.
BEEF + CHICKEN RECIPE
- Beef: 20 pounds
- Chicken thigh: 10 pounds
- Chicken liver: 3 pounds
- 3 bunches of kale
- 3 bananas
- 3 squash
- blueberries. I normally get the bigger containers and just put two or three handfuls in each batch.
- Grind the meat in 10 pound batches. Also grind the chicken thighs last. The reason why is the cartilage from the knuckle part of the bone doesn’t go through the grinder and so it’s just easier to grind organs, then the boneless meat first, and then grind the meat with bones last. Also the reason for the “10 pound” batches is that my bowls are only big enough to only hold 10 pounds of dog food mix.
- Put all the veggies and fruit through the food processor. Split it up depending on how many batches you’re making.
- Put the veggie mix in with the meat and mix.
- Make your patties depending on your the portions you are feeding. I make them into 4.4 oz patties. A rough guidline on what to feed can be found here (Link to portion guidelines).
- I have chosen to grind the meat + bones myself. Some raw feeders will give the bone intact. Because my dogs are smaller and I haven’t taken that leap to just give the bones, I grind them. I bought a 1HP 750 watt meat grinder from Ebay for roughly $350. It was on sale at the time and when I went to visit that link it’s now back up to $1286. I posted a similar one that I found on Amazon in the shopping links to the side of this post.
- Dogs cannot process veggies raw. That’s why you need to break it down in a food processor.
- Green tripe is a great addition. But if you add it, make sure you purchase from a dog food distributer. Human grade green tripe has been bleached and not good for dogs.
- Once a week I feed them cooked scrambled eggs for one of their meals.
- Once a week I feed them cooked salmon.
- Smart and final has freezer paper you can buy if you choose to make patties like I do. Another method is to put each portion in little baggies.
- I always make a 3 or 4 week batch.
- I store them in small plastic containers that I got from Costco and I defrost them as I need them.
With each meal I add:
- Fish Oil
Occasionally I add diatomaceous earth (maybe once a week).
Animal Essentials is a fantastic brand that you can order via: Amazon. The Probiotics I got from www.naturesfarmacy.com and the recent batch of fish oil I got from a local dog food store because Amazon was out of stock. Also I’m circulating my fish oil. The last batch was salmon oil. This batch is a sardine oil.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES THIS TAKE ME
- Grinding takes 10 minutes.
- Prepping the veg another 10 minutes.
- Mixing is 5 minutes
- Cleaning 10 minutes
- Forming them into patties is about 25 – 35 minutes for every 10 pound batch
- Basically I’m in the kitchen prepping dog food for 2.5 to 3 hours every 3 to 4 weeks.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
For Maggie and Orbit (16 pounds and 14 pounds), it will cost me anywhere from $2 on the low side to $3.30) on the high side … per day to feed them. It all depends on what is on sale, and my protein sources.
The batch I made yesterday was for 3.5 weeks worth of food total $80 cost. If we had gone out to a very nice brunch yesterday instead of staying in …. then with drinks… that’s roughly what we would have spent. Another way to look at it … if I go to Starbucks every day to buy a latte .. it’s the equivalent to home prepped dog food.
WHY DO CHOOSE TO MAKE MY DOG THEIR OWN FOOD
The main reason I decided to make dog food at home is because I learned about Rendered Products in Pet Food. You can visit the link. Another great resource if you’re curious is www.truthaboutpetfood.com. Once I knew how commercial dog food was made, I wasn’t able to unlearn it.
Before Orbit came along who has only known raw food … I used to make Maggie home cooked dog food. If you only purchased one book, I recommend Rick Woodford’s Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs which can be purchased on Amazon.
I switched to raw since Maggie had rashes that would not go away. The vet said it potentially a grass allergy. And I refused to put her on any sort of medication so I went the natural route. Raw fed dogs suffer from less allergies. In any event … I started raw feeding in May and 4 months later I can say that:
- Maggie’s rash is almost non existent (I do other things as well to minimize this which I wrote about in an earlier post).
- Their poops are smaller. (Link to what your dog’s poop is telling you).
- Less gas.
- Shinier coats.
DO WE STILL FEED KIBBLE?
Yes. On a rare occasion I do. And when I do we feed Taste of the Wild. You can find reviews of dog food brands by visiting https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ . But I consider kibble “fast food”. Or like that dehydrated camping food. To be fed only in a pinch when I have no other option. I’ll admit when we’re on a road trip … we may even eat at McDonalds. And the dogs might eat kibble. But it’s not an every day event.
But home prepping (cooked or raw) is I believe a better choice for our dogs. Feel free to ask me any questions or share comments. I’m still learning and open to discussion.
Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about dog health and wellness.