Components of a Raw Balanced Diet
Here at Instincto, we are here to help you on your journey to giving your pets a balanced raw diet so that they can receive the correct amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins to ensure good health throughout their lifetime! Follow our guide on the components that need to be included in their raw diet…
Dogs, and especially puppies, need a solid source of minerals. Especially calcium and phosphorus. Your dog wouldn’t survive without them. If you feed your dog bones, you’ll mostly get the minerals right. The most important ones to worry about are calcium and phosphorus.
Both dogs and growing puppies need enough calcium in their diet, as well as some phosphorus as these minerals work closely together.
Bones contain both calcium and phosphorus. Meat is high in phosphorus but too low in calcium to get the amount they need to maintain their health. So an all-meat diet will cause bone and nervous system issues in your dog and severe bone issues in growing puppies.
To get enough calcium and keep a healthy balance of minerals, your dog’s raw diet needs to contain about 12% to 15% bone.
To make things simpler, this means about 1/3 of his diet should be nice meaty bones. Here are some good choices for meaty bones:
– Chicken wings, necks, legs or thighs
– Turkey necks (other bones are large)
– Beef tail bones (great for larger dogs)
– Lamb or goat necks or ribs
This also applies to cats!
Organs are the nutrient-rich parts of the animal. Without them, your dog or cat could be missing some important vitamins. You’ll want to feed anywhere from 10% to 30% organ meats in your pets raw diet mix. However this does depend on what organs you are able to purchase. If you are only purchasing liver, just feed 10% organs because it’s really high in vitamin A and can give your dog some messy diarrhea if you give too much. The same applies to any organs as no one organ should be more than 5% to 10% of your dog’s diet. If you can purchase kidney, spleen, pancreas, brain and other delicious, nutritious organs, then feed them as a third of your dog or cat’s diet.
But if you have a few different organs, they can be 1/3 of your dog’s total meals.
Organs you could include:
3. Muscle Meat
Once you get your meaty bones and organs in place, the rest of your dog or cats diet should be nice lean meats. That means half to a third of their total food, depending on how much organ meat you can get your hands on. These are the protein-rich component of your dog or cats diet. They need proteins to build strong tissues. And it supports the hormones and enzymes he needs to survive and thrive. Good choices for muscle meat include:
– Beef heart (but not more than 5% of the diet as it’s very rich)
Fat is healthy for your dog. It helps with nerve and immune function and is critical for skin health. However you must be careful how much fat you include in your pets diet as it contains twice the number of calories as protein. And it contains less vitamins and minerals than other components of the raw diet. Overall, you don’t want the fat to be much more than 10% and certainly no more than 20% of the diet. But this doesn’t mean you don’t feed fat as your dog still needs it.
Here are some examples of some high-fat meats you’ll want to avoid and low-fat meats that are easy to find…
High in fat –
Chicken necks with skin
Chicken or turkey dark meat with skin
Ground beef (85% lean or less)
Low in fat –
Chicken necks with no skin
Chicken or turkey meat with no skin
Most wild game (except for duck)
Just like us, dogs need a variety of wholesome foods to provide them with a wide range of nutrients. Feed a wide variety of different foods, including different sources of meat so that they can receive an array of health benefits.
Don’t forget to feed some of the “weird and icky things”. Such as chicken, duck or turkey feet, beef trachea, tails, lung, testicles and pizzles. Beef trachea and poultry feet are loaded with natural chondroitin and glucosamine. Which help to build healthy joints and they’re reasonably priced.
Browse our range to give your dog a balanced diet that provides them with all of the nutrients they require to function and live a happy and healthy life!
Achieving balance within your pet’s raw diet will come with trial and error and time! Talk to our extremely knowledgeable team about your raw questions, engage on our Facebook page with our passionate following of raw feeders and read our blogs to help build your knowledge!