· Raw bones are living tissue composed of living cells and just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of biologically balanced minerals, especially calcium, yet also copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. It is highly probable that bones in a dog’s diet play a similar role to fibre, that is, a role of bulking out the food, thereby removing toxins and promoting general bowel health. The easiest way to provide balanced calcium is by feeding a Rawlicious diet of meat and bone from many different sources of meat. A whole processed chicken is considered to be 33% bone, with some parts higher in bone content such as the wings (46%) whereas the bone-in breast portion is lower, perhaps 20%.
· Raw, meaty bone choices – beef, poultry, pork, lamb/mutton, cow, deer, fish etc. Common cuts can include chicken backs, wings and necks (or even whole carcasses), lamb necks, pork necks, turkey necks, pork hocks, pork ribs, ox tails, turkey tails, even lamb, pork or poultry heads for the adventurous; any meaty bone that can be completely consumed by your dog in fact. If you are feeding meaty parts then you can feed them alone, if your choices are bonier (such as chicken backs, pork necks, wings or ribs), then you will need to add meat or heart to correct the ratios. Basically, you are trying to replicate whole prey.
· Whole prey, as the name suggests, is the whole ungutted animal or bird.
· Raw muscle meat from a variety of sources should be fed daily. You can feed heart as a muscle meat yet not exclusively. Cheap sources are waste trim from the butcher – this is often fatty, yet also has some lean, sinewy content. Muscle meat is a great source of protein, and protein contains essential amino acids, the building blocks of your dog. Muscle meat also contains a lot of phosphorus and is low in calcium. When fed with 10-20% bone you have the a great ratios of calcium to phosphorus required by a dog. Free range grass-fed meat is also rich in omega 3 and beta-carotene – intensively farmed grain-fed meat has very little, if any.
· Raw Fat is the excellent natural source of energy for a dog. Choosing the right formula for your dog is important. Working dog and sport dogs require a much higher fat to meat ratio for non stop natural energy. Best not offer you couch potato the same meal as your working/sport k9. For very sensitive dogs and dogs in transition choose a lower fat content Rawlicious product like the PSP or ASF formulas.
· Raw fish (preferably whole, small, oily fish) can be fed for one or two meals per week. You may also opt to feed fish body oil such as Salmon oil. This supplementation is recommended if the meat you feed is not grass-fed because grain-fed animals lack Omega-3 fatty acids which protect the dog’s joints and immune system. It is preferable to feed smaller whole fish diet on one to two times per week.
· Raw offal (organ meat such as liver, heart, kidneys, brains, lung, pancreas, spleen) from a variety of meat sources should be fed included in your dogs diet. Liver is particularly important and should form 5% of the overall diet as it is the main source of water-insoluble vitamins in organs that a dog needs. Organs in general provide an enzyme-rich mixture of protein, B-complex vitamins, vitamins A and D, vitamin E, some vitamin C, and essential fatty acids EPA, DHA, and AA, along with minerals such as manganese, selenium, zinc, potassium and copper. Like muscle meat, organs contain a lot of phosphorus (and potassium) and are low in calcium.
Essential organ meats in particular:
- Liver has a vast range of important nutrition – it has the most concentrated source of vitamin A as well as vitamins D, E, and K in substantial quantities. Liver is an excellent source of the minerals zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. It also contains all the B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, B12, biotin, folacin and is a good source of vitamin C. Liver provides a source of good quality protein and the essential fatty acids, both the omega-3 and omega-6 type. It’s a fantastic food for your dog!
- Kidneys supply good quality protein, essential fatty acids and many vitamins including all the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Kidneys are a rich source of iron and all the B vitamins. They also have good levels of zinc.
- Heart is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and iron. It contains some essential fatty acids and a little vitamin A. Heart contains good levels of taurine which is an important food… for the heart!
· Boiled whole eggs with shells are perfect ratio of phosphorous to calcium. Whole boiled eggs are one of the best proteins you can give your dog. To avoid deficiencies, feed the entire egg, yolk and everything. The yolks are where most of the nutrition is found anyway. Egg yolks are an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, iron, folate, vitamins A, E and B6 and free-range eggs have lots of beta-carotene.
· Raw green tripe has long been quoted as being “the finest of natural foods”. It should be unprocessed, unbleached – basically straight out the animal and is a great food as it is the edible lining and accompanying content of a cow or other grass eating animals’ first or second division of the stomach. Paunch tripe comes from the large first stomach division and honeycomb tripe comes from the second division. Both wild canids and domestic dogs benefit from eating tripe as it contains a very diverse profile of living nutrients including digestive enzymes, omega- 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin B, probiotics, and phytonutrients. Raw tripe is considered as meat yet has a very good calcium/phosphorus ratio – it’s not an essential part of the diet; yet is extremely nutritious if you can get it. Tripe should be from grass-fed herbivore animals (not grain fed) to get maximum nutritional benefit.