Canines are fascinating animals that we continue to discover more and more about each day. From the foods they eat to the behavioral traits they display; as we have learned how to properly care for our dogs, we’re now learning how to craft specific diets for their body.
Ancestrally, there are diets that root back to the needs of canines during their time in the wild. These diets are meant to satisfy the necessary dietary standard for your dog, through serving raw and natural food.
Proponents argue that this is what a dog’s body craves and this is what their body needs. That the benefits are immense and the changes are natural, and that humans will soon discover the truth of what their dog truly needs by understanding what an ancestral diet can do for them!
Tools of the trade: Use our handy Dog Food Calculator to put together a healthy homemade meal for your dog.
First of all, are dogs really carnivores!? (What does the research say?)
These ancestral diets that are becoming mainstream and focus on giving your dog large amounts of (or only) meat; but, is that what your dog truly needs?
Carnivores are creatures that are mostly or strictly meat eaters. They derive their food and energy from sources of animal meat, regardless of what animal it comes from. Although this may have been common in the wild, these days you may be wondering why then is your dog able to survive without needing large amounts of meat? Because, your dog does not need to have a diet that is 100% meat.
When you look at the popular contemporary theory, it says dogs are just like us humans: omnivores. Well, at least according to veterinarian research they are, but the idea of having dogs stick to the diet of a carnivore is becoming more popular (1). There are separate theories for each type of diet for dogs. Dogs are said to be omnivores because of three main reasons: intestine size, wolves eating grains, and the fact that dogs are adapting to eating grains.
Meat is an easy substance to digest, where plants take a bit longer to digest. If you look at the intestine of a carnivore, you will see the length is relatively short. If you look at an herbivore, you will see that their intestine is much longer because they eat plants and plants are more difficult to digest. The intestine of a dog is not short and it is not long. A dogs intestine falls somewhere in between these lengths, which would make the case for them being omnivores a stronger one.
Wolves eating grains
Wolves are wild animals and in their wild pursuits, through our observations we have come to find that they do not only go after the meat binge. Even ancestrally, it is said that grains were eaten by the wolves ancestors and even berries were indulged in during a good feed. Since wolves would mix grains with meat in their diets, the idea of wolves being purely carnivores is up in the air, which carries down into our canines today.
Dogs are adapting to eating grains
When you look at a dog’s body, biologically, you will see their differences compared to their wild ancestors. Dogs have three genes in their bodies that relate to starch and glucose digestion. Thus, dogs can easily eat grains and have been eating grains for a while now. Even if they did not go after grains or if all dog owners switched to a carnivore diet, dogs would still have this biological make-up, which would make it easy to adapt their diet from carnivore one to that of an omnivore.
There have been recent rebuttals to this theory, however, as nutritionists are seeking to further develop their understanding of whether dogs are truly carnivores or omnivores. The omnivore theory has remained universal throughout dog nutrition, setting the tone for how dogs eat.
A rebuttal to the omnivore theory:
Looking at intestinal size is not a reliable source to determine meat and plant digestion in dogs, according to Dr. Hendrik.
Coefficient of fermentation
Looking at the coefficient of fermentation would be more reliable than the intestine size because if you measured the intestines more closely, you would see similarities when you add in the width of the intestine in a feline. The coefficient of fermentation, which is a metric measurement in the gastric system, is low for both felines and canines, whereas with herbivores, it is quite high.
The myth of the ancestral wolves being omnivores
When you look at in-depth research on wolves, it suggests highly that they are truly carnivores. They eat majority meat when they are in the wild, leave behind stomach material, and rarely scavenge for berries and grains. According to this Dr. Hendrik’s research however, the collected wolf research that shows them eating fruits, veggies, etc. is not enough to provide solid evidence of systemic observation and conclude they are omnivores.
Adaption does not solidify whether a dog is a carnivore or an omnivore
Similarly, according to the research of Dr. Hendrik, it is not possible to say a dog is an omnivore or a carnivore plainly off of observational research showing grain consumption. In fact, human beings have evolved over time in many directions and dogs have grown with humans.
Therefore, the co-creative living situation between humans and dogs has made adaptation go smoothly, but that does not change the fact that dogs have many traits that suggest that they shall remain carnivores. You can watch this through their innate behaviors, through how their teeth are shaped, and through their ability to go large amounts of time in between meals. Thus, some argue that dogs are better categorized as carnivores.
Regardless of the previous research that says dogs are omnivores vs. the rebuttals that are arising and saying that dogs are in fact carnivores, our society is still in the current state of keeping dogs as omnivores. Their omnivore diet is consistent and holistically balanced for their bodies at this point in time. The issue is understanding their true nature despite their adaptation to the human world. One day, all may switch the diets of dogs to being carnivores, but for now, the best available option for feeding your dog a carnivore diet is to do it yourself. The raw ancestral diet gives your dog an opportunity to explore a meal plan that is linked to their true biological nature, whether they are omnivores or carnivores.
But: Make sure to note that grains, vegetables, and fruit don’t hurt your dog; in fact, they have been beneficial for quite some time, whether that is from adaptation or not.
Raw Dog Food Diet
Many people have found that there are large benefits when it comes to switching their dog’s meal plan over to a raw food diet (2). These homemade meal plans have resulted in benefits along the lines of brighter eyes, cleaner teeth, brighter and shinier coats, less body fat, and even better energy levels.
The ‘bones and raw dog food’ diet has changed to Biologically Approved Raw Food. Since its rise, having a Biological Approved Raw Food Diet has given every day dog owners a chance to trust the raw food diet for their dogs. This new BARF option balances out raw meats, fruits, vegetables, and bone.
This formula aligns health in a safe way for your dog, so they may receive all of the benefits that are needed. Now: You may want to know a bit more about raw food before you switch your beloved puppy on over to this meal plan.
What does the research say about raw feeding?
There have been many different opinions that have come to surface over raw food diets. In the past, a raw food diet was never a popular or suggested option from veterinarians, nutritionists, or from the FDA.
There were too many health risks for your dog such as:
- bacteria in the meat
- an unbalanced diet that messes with proper alignment
- potential harm of choking
- internal puncturing
- and broken teeth.
With comparisons of different diets, there has not been a ton of proven nutritional value for dogs in this meal plan. Yet, if you find the right meal plan, you can add supplements and give your dog what they need. Although it still is not a well-known and popular option, it has become a diet that is acceptable and may even be beneficial if done right.
Many different books have emerged as well, and nutritionists have come out with different diets that consist of unique ingredients that provide the proper nutritional value.
With raw feeding, there are a lot of benefits that include:
- shinier coats
- cleaner teeth
- less body fat
- and higher energy levels.
This controversy has gone back and forth for a while and the FDA has even come out with a statement suggesting that those who use a raw food diet should make sure that their pets receive enough calcium and phosphorus as well as any other nutrients that are important. It is also suggested to pay attention to any negative attributes resulting from your dog’s meal plan.
Making the switch to raw
Switching to a raw diet can be a scary move, especially if you have never thought about putting your dog on a raw diet or feeding them raw food such as bone or meat. Most times, owners will watch over their dogs when they feed them bone or anything raw that feels suspicious, but more often than not, your dog is going to be just fine. The warnings that go around involving bone and raw diets have to do with bones that are cooked, while otherwise eating bone is natural for canines. In fact, you will notice bone meal in commercial and other homemade diets, even if you weren’t to switch to a raw meal plan.
When you go to switch your dog’s meal plan, you want to make sure you analyze the sensitivity of your dog’s body before you switch their diet. If your dog is used to a commercial food diet, the switch may be too big of a change for your animal. If the first couple days of your switch causes reactions in your dog, you will want to slow down the transition and maybe not go cold turkey.
Try and investigate the ingredients that are in your dog’s diet. Body sensitivities and allergies can be the main reason your dog may be reacting to certain ingredients. Otherwise, the switch normally should go smooth.
What to feed?
There are many different ingredients you will want to add to your dog’s new meal plan. You also want to remember to balance out their meal following the three rules of a homemade diet, which are balance, calcium, and variety over time. Most raw diets are also quite high in fat, but you will want to follow the list of food ingredients below when feeding your dog, so they receive the proper amount of nutrients in their raw diet.
Raw meaty bones
Raw meaty bones should make up 30-50% of your dog’s meal. With this amount, you will not need to add extra calcium to your dog’s diet because it will be provided through raw meaty bone. Wolves in the wild usually will have 15% or less of bone in their diet and you should keep it that way with your dog. If you go a little over, your dog should be fine, but it is recommended to keep it at around 15%.
Raw meaty bone can be fed ground up or on the bone (just make sure to take the bone away once your dog is done eating). Dogs may have issue with bone such as choking or broken teeth and if your dog eats too much bone, there may be issues of constipation and excess calcium, which can cause difficulties with absorbing minerals.
The raw meaty bone material that your dog eats should consist of half animal meat and half bone that is almost or all consumed by your dog.
Here is a list of the common raw meaty bone ingredients for your dog’s diet:
- chicken necks
- chicken backs
- chicken leg quarters
- turkey necks
- lamb necks and lamb breasts
- canned fish with bones, such as pink salmon or sardines (mostly packed with water)
- pork breasts, and pork necks.
If you would like to feed raw fish to your dog, you can also do that but be aware of parasites that may exist in the fish you choose. Canned salmon is an okay option, but it is suggested to avoid feeding your dog raw salmon or trout from the Pacific Northwest region because your dog may be in jeopardy of salmon poisoning, which can be fatal.
Organ meats (liver, kidney, heart, other organs)
Organs are an extremely important part of your dog’s raw diet. There are different types of organs that are beneficial for your dog, but the liver and kidney are the most dense, nutritionally. Roughly 5% of your dog’s meal should consist of these organ meats.
Secondly, you will want to add 5-10% of heart to your dog’s meal. Heart resembles more of a muscle texture, but provides taurine and other rich nutrients for your dog. This is a great organ for your dog because it is quite lean.
Lastly, you can add other organs such as brain, spleen, or even eyeballs. Yet, make sure you do not overdo it on each organ because it can make your dog’s stool a bit loose and you want to make sure your animal remains healthy in all ways.
Muscle meat, eggs and more
The first part of your dog’s diet will consist of organ, muscle, and bone, but the second half of the meal will consist of extra muscle meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, grains, and anything else that’s proven to add value to your dog’s nutritional benefit.
All muscle meat that you add will consist of the meat that is not from animal organs. Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey are the available protein sources you may add to your dog’s meal and it is suggested that you stick to lean meat that has 10% or less of fat. Substituting muscle meat for the raw meaty bone is another option, if you do not want to feed your dog large amounts of raw meaty bone. Feel free to add egg to your dog’s diet, raw or cooked. In fact, you may even want to cook the eggs because it will make it easier for digestion.
You can add dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir to their diet, which also adds probiotics to their system. Dairy fat is much easier for dogs to digest, especially if your dog struggles with fat digestion. The final addition you may want to add to your dog’s meal is green tripe. Green tripe is the stomach lining from cows and other animals. Your dog will absolutely love this if you choose to add it to their meal. It is similar to muscle meat, but be aware, the smell might take you back a bit.
Vegetables, fruits and grains
- brussel sprouts
- bell peppe
- and cauliflower
Are just a few of the recommended vegetables you can add. If you want to add fruit to your dog’s diet, do it in small amounts and do not feed your dog raisins or grapes because they can be damaging to the kidney.
If you want to add fruit, you may want to consider adding:
- and even melon.
If you add grains or starchy food items, then it will be for extra calories.
Vegetables, fruits, and grains are strictly optional for your dog’s raw diet because dogs do not require carbohydrates in their diet. However, adding foods such as leafy greens can provide great nutritional value to your dog.
Fun fact: Some owners actually pursue vegetarian diets for dogs.
If you decide to feed your dogs vegetables, make sure they are cooked, blended, juiced, or put in a food processor so digestion is easier for your canine. A great way to prepare vegetables for your dog is through steaming, but sometimes dogs just won’t eat the vegetables you put in their meal. It is another (albeit funny) reason why it is an optional food item for their raw diet.
Amounts to feed
When you are measuring out your dog’s food, you want to balance out the correct nutrient amounts for your dog’s meal, so they receive the correct nutritional value for healthy balance.
As mentioned earlier, between 30-50% of your dog’s meal should be raw meaty bone. You can decide which ingredients of raw meaty bone you add, but make sure you at least have 30% in their meal.
Organ meats will add and can make up for raw meaty bone, if you do not add a ton. It is suggested that you add 5% liver and kidney, 5-10% of heart, and up to around 5% of any other organs you find your dog enjoying.
The second half of your dog’s meal will contain muscle meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, grains, and anything else that may want to be added. Muscle meat and protein will be more beneficial for your dog than adding loads of fruits, vegetables, and grains. You can choose this amount based on your dog’s liking and body type.
Your dog’s size will determine how much you feed your dog per day. Canines will usually eat around 2-3% of their body weight per day. You can measure out the 2-3% of food per day and divide it into two to three meals they will eat throughout the day. Yet, remember it is better for your dog to be lean.
For guides on feeding each breed size see:
- Best Food for Small Breeds
- Best Food for Medium Breeds
- Best Food for Large Breeds
- Best Food for Giant Breeds
You can always change the amount depending on their growth stage and what types of food they need for their body and energy level.
Role fresh food supplements play in feeding raw
Depending on your dog’s body and the meals you have come up with, your dog may not even need fresh food supplements. Yet, if you want to educate yourself and add nutritional supplements for your dog, they can be extremely beneficial. Here are a few supplements that can help your dog’s health when feeding raw.
Fish oil can provide your dog with Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which reduces inflammation and aids the immune system. When you feed your dog this supplement, you will need to add Vitamin E because depletion may occur in their body. You can feed your dog fish oils through sardines.
Ginger helps your dog digest food better and can also calm any excess inflammation
If you are interested in providing trace minerals for your dog, you may want to add:
- nutritional yeast (also a source of Vitamin B)
- organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- sea blend
- green blend
- and kelp/alfalfa mixture.
You may also want to add honey to your dog’s meal. Raw honey can provide your dog with antibacterial benefits. Garlic can provide this as well and has antiflammatory properties and will prevent fleas. Yet, don’t give your dog large amounts of garlic because garlic may cause anemia.
Although raw diets provide great nutritional value, sometimes supplements can add extra benefits that raw diets do not provide enough of. Vitamin D and E are the common vitamins that may be low. Minerals that may be low and need supplementation are zinc, potassium, selenium, magnesium, and iodine.
Commercial raw food & pre-mixes
There are two commercial raw food diets and pre-mixes on the market that have been quite successful. The first, frozen diet, is a complete diet. Fulfilling standards of the nutritional levels suggested by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
These food mixes can be used like canned and dry food would be used, but you want to keep the rule of variety, balance over time, and calcium in the diet when you feed your dog commercial raw food. You may want to look into Steve’s Real Food for Dogs or Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Formulas. If you can, it is best to rotate between brands and formulas for your dog so they receive all of the proper nutrition that their body needs.
The second option of commercial raw food involves separate individual formulas for dog owners to create a meal that is specific to their dog. You will purchase items of meat, bones, organs, and sometimes vegetables, and those will be the main ingredients that you feed your dog.
If you are interested in this raw option, you may want to check out Bravo! and Oma’s Pride. Most complete diets will add additional foods such as eggs, garlic, ginger, seeds, nuts, and even apple cider vinegar. You want to provide your dog with a meal that has every ingredient, creating a well-balanced diet. You can even add healthy leftovers to your dog’s raw food plan.
Puppies are adorable and innocent, but to keep their happy energy at high levels, they are in need of the correct diet. If you choose to feed your puppy an ancestral meal plan, you will want to pay special attention to the following details so they receive the proper nutrition. It is imperative for healthy growth and a balanced meal plan.
What is the best age to introduce my pet to raw diets?
Depending on what you want to feed your dog, your puppy should be fine on a raw diet just as an adult dog would be. Yet, puppies under six months and puppies of larger breeds will need some alterations to the diet, so that they may receive the correct amount of regulated calcium and nutrition in their diet.
Your puppy will also benefit if you add goat milk to their meals. When you measure your dog’s food out, be precise to the exact amount because it can make a huge difference in your puppy’s health. The raw meaty bone should be 30-50% of their meal and be precise with the measurement of bone. Do not allow too much or too little. It is also wise to keep in mind that a high protein diet for your dog can cause orthopedic issues, so try and keep your puppy lean and slow-growing.
Things to keep in mind when raw feeding a puppy
If you are feeding your puppy a raw meal, you want to measure out the correct ingredients. Puppies need everything in their body to be precise because their bodies may not be able to even out the ingredients.
This is especially true when it comes to raw feeding your puppy bones and a variety of food ingredients. If you feed too much or too little of bone, your dog may end up having orthepedic problems later on and having a variety of ingredients will provide your canine with all of the correct nutrients for their growth period.
If you choose to add supplements to your puppy’s meal, you will want to be careful with Vitamin D because Vitamin D can affect their calcium amount. Make sure you do not overdo your puppy’s calcium intake. It is extremely important that too much is not absorbed into their system.
The potential rewards of implementing a raw dog diet
Although switching to a raw dog diet can seem time consuming and expensive, your dog can benefit from it in the long run. Many people who have switched their dogs to a raw diet have touted beneficial changes in their dog’s health from simple energetic changes to healthier organs. There have also been proven health benefits of shinier coats, cleaner teeth, smaller stools, and healthier skin. In fact, most who have switched their dog to this diet claim to have received lower vet bills in the long run.
The potential drawbacks of feeding raw on your own
The most common drawback to feeding raw is that it is time consuming and it costs more than the average commercial dog food. With the time consumption, owners will need to figure out the proper meal plan and they also will need to know how to incorporate the right ingredients into their diet.
Based on research, the few drawbacks to feeding raw would be that your dog is not receiving the correct nutrition, balance is difficult to maintain, and bone can cause health issues in your dog. Yet, if you do it correctly and follow the research guidelines and planning, this diet can go smoothly.
High Protein Dog Food Diet
When you are choosing your dog’s diet, you are going to want to remember that canines are omnivores. Although there have been controversies on this topic, dog’s are still considered animals that are not primarily meat eaters. Yet, protein is a huge source of energy for your dog and balanced amounts of it can make a world of difference’s for your dog’s health.
In fact, protein is a majority of your dog’s meal. This can help you decipher the ingredients when you are laying out your dog’s meal plan, but you still might be asking yourself what a high protein diet can do for your dog.
The role of protein in a dogs diet
Protein is extremely important for your dog’s health, it makes up the building blocks of the body, assists the immune system, and is a necessary component for your dog’s health. Your dog needs 22 amino acids, and around half need to be produced by the liver while the other half need to be eaten through protein.
Your dog can receive protein from animal meat or from other sources, but to function with healthy levels of energy, your dog is going to need protein in their system. Your dog will use what protein they receive in their meals, save the rest for another time, and may even detox some of it out through their urine. You should analyze the protein your dog is receiving. Your dog may experience health issues, if there are unnecessary amounts of protein for your’ dog’s size and health.
Quality vs. quantity
When you are feeding your dog protein, quality is much more important than quantity. Your dog’s body needs protein that is of high quality because, if it is of high quality, the nutrition from the protein will be of greater benefit for your dog’s health. Every nutrient’s value in a balanced diet is important. Although healthy amounts of protein can help your dog, their body is going to benefit from and utilize the protein that is of high quality much better.
How much is too much?
Protein is a calorie dense nutrient, which can be good or bad for your dog (5). Most dogs gain weight from large amounts of protein in their meal because the large amounts of protein is not being utilized correctly. If you are planning to feed your dog a lot of protein, you may want to match your dog’s body size and lifestyle to the amount they need and measure it properly in each of their meals. If you are feeding your dog a high protein diet, they will need to utilize that protein in their daily life, i.e. exercise!
If your dog is remaining lean, balanced, and exercising properly, their protein amount should be balanced. However, if your dog is overweight, you may need to change something in their lifestyle or diet.
Protein requirements by life stage
When you are feeding your dog protein, you are going to want to gauge how much you give them by the life stage they are in as well as by their lifestyle and breed.
For puppies, you will need to feed your dog 22-32% protein with around 10% of fat, at the least. As your puppy grows, you will be able to adjust their protein amount based on their size, lifestyle, and energy level. On average, puppies will eat 28% of protein in their diet. If you have an adult dog, you are going to want to feed them less than a puppy. (Puppies need more protein because they are growing).
Adults will require anywhere from 15-30% of protein and around 10% of fat, at least as well. Adults, on average, will have 18% of protein in their diet. If your dog is lactating, you will want to feed them 25-35% protein with at least 20% fat.
Depending on your dog’s size and lifestyle, this may be altered a bit. Yet, you want to remain in these percentages for puppy and adult dogs. If your dog is older or not eating much, this could change, but would more than likely just stay on the lower spectrum of protein.
If you have a performance dog, you will want to feed them 22-32% of protein with at least 15% fat. Their fat amount can go up to 30 or 40%. If you have a racing dog you will want to feed them 28-34% of protein with around 50% fat. Their bodies will utilize all of the nutrients they are holding within.
These are the natural amounts that your dog will need in a balanced diet. If your dog receives extra protein, they will store it in their body through fat or they will detox it out through their urine. Whether your dog is a puppy, adult, or older dog, their protein amount will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Although large amounts of protein can be beneficial for your dog, you may want to be aware of potential risks that can occur (6). If you feel your dog is in jeopardy of health risks, you will want to act accordingly when you are laying out their meal plan. Here are the following risks: kidney problems, hyper activity, and developmental issues. Which can occur if you decide to feed your dog a large amount of protein in their daily meal plan without proper monitoring.
The kidney’s job is to remove toxins from the body. When your dog eats protein, it will be absorbed and broken down by the body. If there are toxins or large amounts of protein, this can cause issues with the kidney because the kidney will have to overwork and sometimes, toxins can play a negative role on the organs within the body.
Your dog also needs low levels of phosphorus. If your dog has too much in their body, they may be in jeopardy of hyperphosphatemia, which is a disturbance of electrolytes where elevated levels of phosphate appear in your dog’s blood. You want to make sure if you give your dog a high protein diet, they are receiving correct amounts of water as the kidney needs water to work properly (7).
Protein is processed through the liver and any extra waste that is not utilized in the body will move through the kidneys. The nutrients your dog receives from protein will be extremely important for their energy level and their balanced health. When your dog’s protein is of high quality, it will be extremely beneficial for your dog but if it is not, your dog’s body will need to work harder to process out the toxins.
The idea that protein causes hyperactivity comes from the lower quality and large amounts of protein that are put in some commercial dog food. These may cause issues with the liver as well as the kidney. It is also important to know that the liver produces half of the 22 amino acids that are required through protein. If your dog has large amounts of protein in their system, they may exhibit hyperactivity in their behavior as a result.
When you are raising a puppy, their nutritional value is extremely important. Having the correct proportions can make all the difference in the world for your puppy’s development. If you do not give your dog the correct portions, it can affect their bone growth, their weight, and the health of their organs. As your dog grows, you want to continue to keep their supplemented nutritional values of right proportion. It will help maintain a balanced diet.
Things to keep in mind when buying high-protein food
When you are laying out your dog’s new meal plan, you want to keep a few things in mind. Starting with your pet’s size. A small dog is not going to eat the same as a large dog. Secondly, you are going to want to see how your dog reacts to high levels of protein. Sometimes, their energy will improve and they will stay lean but other times the opposite could happen. Your dog may act sluggish and not have a good reaction to large amounts of protein.
Also, you want to make sure your dog does not overindulge in calories, unless they are subsequently burning the calories via their daily activity. A dog that is active every day as an assistant in snow sledding or even law enforcement will eat more than a dog that goes on a walk or two and relaxes at home.
Our top high-protein dog food pick: Instinct Ultimate Protein
Notable Ingredients: Chicken, chicken fat, tapioca, ground flax seed, dried tomato pomace, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, vitamins.
Flavors: Chicken, Duck.
Packaging: 12 oz, 4 lb, 20 lb
Calorie content (ME): 4,470 kcal/kg or 491 kcal/cup
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein (min) 47%, crude fat (min) 17%, crude fiber (max) 3%, moisture (max) 10%, vitamin E (min) 100 IU/kg, vitamin C (min)85 mg/kg, omega-3 fatty acids (min) .35%, omega-6 fatty acids (min) .20%, bacillus coagulans (min) 60,000,000 CFU/lb
Why we like it: If you are looking for a high protein dog food, this is a great choice. Instinct Ultimate Protein provides dogs with the good amount of protein they need on this type of diet with meat that is not animal meal but pure meat. This brand includes the highest ingredients and does not add any fillers. This brand sticks to what they speak and that is exactly why we choose this brand.
Whole Prey Dog Food
Although there are many ancestral dog food options to choose from, you may be tempted to try out the whole prey dog food meal plan. This plan is not for every dog, but it does consist of the natural ingredients from the wild that your dog would love.
This whole prey meal plan is different because your dog will be eating what wolves would eat in the wild: a whole prey. Yet, you may want to first see if this is an appropriate diet for your dog (9).
Would your dog love food that resembles that of a whole prey – that of the wild?
What is the idea behind a whole prey diet?
The idea of a whole prey diet is that you feed your dog foods of the whole prey, which excludes any other foods. You are feeding your dog as if they were a wolf in the wild. This diet feeds mainly meat with small amounts of bone as well as eggs and organs. When you are feeding your dog on a whole prey, you are feeding your dog the necessary meat components of a whole animal. When a wolf is in the wild, they will eat all of the animal except the stomach and some of the hard bone. Thus, there is nutritional value in each part of the meat that your dog will eat.
Potential benefits of a whole prey diet
If you feed your dog this diet, you will be providing them with most of the nutrients that they need and would receive if they were on their own in the wild. Each muscle, organ, bone, and part of meat that they consume has certain nutritional content (see raw benefits above). You will also provide your dog with dental benefits because they will have to chew through the meat and bone to digest their food. The other benefit to this diet is that your dog will not eat any processed food. This diet is as natural as it gets.
Tips on feeding your dog a whole prey model
When you are feeding your dog a whole prey diet, you want to make sure to balance out their meals and change the nutritional ingredients in each meal. This way your dog will receive the nutritional value they need throughout the week.
When choosing and laying out your dog’s meal plan, you want to make sure you choose a dog food model that consists of high quality food. This will make a huge difference for your dog’s health. Remember to follow the rule of variety, balance over time, and calcium as you prepare your dog’s meal.
If you would like, you can follow the guidelines listed above for a raw diet. This way, you are able to see what is important for your dog’s health as you put together the whole prey diet and curate the meal plan.
Our top prey-model dog food pick: NUTRO Wild Frontier
Notable Ingredients: Pork broth, chicken broth, beef, beef liver, chicken, dried peas, dried carrots sunflower oil
Flavors: Beef, chicken, lamb, and turkey.
Packaging: 3.5 oz (pack of 12) and 12.5 oz (pack of 12)
Value: 4.33 per oz
Calorie content (ME): 831 kcal or 295 kcal/cup
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein (min) 9.5%, crude fat (min) 3%, crude fiber (max) 1%, moisture (max) 82%
Why we like it: This canned dog food is a great option for a whole prey meal plan. It provides your dog with the food they need that is rich in protein and liver flavor as well as all of the proper ingredients that their body needs. It fulfills the perfect whole prey food necessities which is exactly why it is a recommended choice.
Whether that comes out to be raw food, high protein, or a meal plan that is whole prey, our dogs will thank us in the long run. Their bodies will be nourished, their hearts will be wild, and their emotions will be soaring (dogs can become sad too) because they will know that their owners truly understand the needs of the canine body.