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Homemade Diet For Dogs

Updated: Mar 8

For those of you who know me, know that I am a German Shepherd connoisseur, I just really love the breed. They are so incredibly intelligent, obedient, loyal, really entertaining and they love to work and exercise. Basically they just love life and all that it has to offer – my kind of best friend.

As a Naturopath, I had changed over every area of my life to a natural way of life. The one aspect, that I had not at that time was my GSD's diet. I was giving him real food, but sadly, it was mixed in to his “grain free” high quality” {processed} kibble. After his last rabies vaccine (which he was injured from), he had developed a double ear infection along with a lymphatic infection and it would not clear up, and I had him on every powerful probiotic, homeopathic and supplement that I had access to. I struggled with those issues for about 16 months. All signs at that time, were pointing to switching him to a completely homemade diet. Within one week, one week, of him being on this nutritious real food diet – his infections started clearing up. Just like that! They were completely gone within 2 months. He lost 10 pounds of kibble fat and his teeth are at least a shade and a half whiter, he had a growth on his front paw and mysteriously – it vanished. We are never looking back.

I am here to tell you there is one main principle that will no doubt, add years to your dogs life – and that is feeding your dog wonderful fresh food.

If you ask any dog owner who has fed raw for more than a few weeks, if they would ever go back to kibble,100% of them would say NEVER!

The raw food diet should contain minerals – especially Calcium and Phosphorus and their proper ratio.

As far as minerals, dogs and especially puppies need a solid source of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus. Your dog wouldn’t survive, let alone thrive without them.

Meats are naturally high in phosphorus, bones are naturally high in calcium. When meat is fed with 10% bone you have the exact ratios of calcium to phosphorus required for your dog. Whole prey, fish, eggs and tripe have a balanced ratio. An all meat diet is too high is phosphorus and too low in calcium and will most likely cause nervous system issues and bone problems in your dog and severe bone issues in growing puppies. If you also feed your dog raw meaty bones regularly, the minerals and their ratios will be correct. To get enough calcium and keep a healthy balance of minerals, your dog’s raw diet needs to contain about 12% to 15% bone. Which means about 1/3 of his diet should be from meaty bones.

Great choices for meaty bones:

-Chicken wings, necks, legs or thighs

-Turkey necks

-Beef tail bones (great for larger dogs)

-Lamb or goat necks or ribs

-Whole animals are perfect too, because they contain the muscle and bone in a complete meal

-Whole poultry

-Whole rabbit

-Whole fish

-Farm fresh raw eggs with the shell (grocery store eggs have a toxic spray on their shells)

Note about bones: Never ever feed cooked bones or cooked meat with cooked bones, raw bones are perfectly fine. But always supervise your dog. **Never let them eat bones or food with bones without supervision.

Buy Bones here: Don't have a good quality place locally? Check out top quality grass fed meats and bones HERE.

The raw food diet should contain organs – these offer vitamins, DNA and rebuilding

Organs are the nutrient dense parts of animals and offer your dog rebuilding and repairing DNA for optimal gene expression. You will want to feed anywhere from 10% to 30% organ meats overall, depending on what is available and what you can find. If you can only find liver, just feed 10% organs. You can find heart, kidney, liver, tongue and many more organ meats HERE at Grasslands Beef, 100% grass fed meats. But be very careful with liver … limit it to 5-10% because it’s really high in vitamin A and it can cause intestinal distress if too much is fed.

Organs would include:

-Liver (limit to 5-10% max)

-Heart (limit to 5% max)






-Thymus or also called Sweetbread



* Pancreas and thymus are both sold under the name sweetbreads

The raw food diet should contain muscle meats – this is the foundation

Once you get your meaty bones and organs in place, the rest of your dog’s diet should be nice lean meats (half to a third of his total food, depending on how much organ meat you get). These are the protein-rich component of your dog’s diet and he needs proteins to build strong tissues, as well as the hormones and enzymes he needs to survive and thrive.

Good choices for muscle meat include:

-Pork (pork shoulder or butt, cushion meat, boneless rib meat, loin)

-Turkey (ground turkey, boneless thighs, breast meat, tenderloin)

-Beef (ground beef, steak, stewing beef)

-Beef heart (but not more than 5% of the diet as it’s very rich)

-Bison (ground bison, stewing bison meat)

-Lamb (stewing lamb, ground lamb, shoulder or breast meat)

-*Chicken (boneless thighs, ground, legs, breast meat)

*A note about Chicken: Chicken is one of the top allergenic meats for dogs. I would avoid offering it if possible. And if all you feed is chicken, it will most likely create nutritional deficiencies over time, you need to rotate proteins. If you’re starting out, poultry is okay … but once you get the hang of raw feeding, and if you can afford to, you'll might want to reduce the amount of poultry and rotate other nutritious meats.

Add vegetables in moderation – if you choose to feed them.

There are two schools of thought on vegetables with dogs. Some raw feeders believe in NO fruits and vegetables and that dogs are true carnivores, while others believes they are omnivores and see the benefits in small amounts of vegetables and some fruit. Canine's classification falls somewhere between omnivore and carnivore, as long as you follow the rules above and they are getting plenty of minerals – fruits and vegetables should be fed to your discretion and in moderation. Fresh vegetables do carry many health benefits, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and in the wild your dog's ancestors would have been munching on berries and green grasses, but too many and too starchy one's or too much fruit will cause stress on the pancreas. If your dog has a current infection or is prone to yeast, allergies, cancers, I advise against offering fruit. And vegetables only is very small quantities.

Some suggestions:


-Green beans

-Brussel sprouts

-Squash (small amounts)



-Red cabbage

-Wild blueberries


The raw food diet should be low in starch.

Starchy foods like corn, wheat, grains, rice, peas and potatoes are not suitable for dogs at all and not for humans either. Starchy foods break down to sugar and feed pathogens including all cancers and create base line inflammation. Starchy foods can also cause your dog to continually produce a hormone called insulin. This causes him to store a lot of his food as fat. Starches and higher carbs can also lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, same for humans.

The raw food diet should have some variety.

Just like us, dogs need a variety of wholesome foods to provide them with a wide range of nutrients. Note that many dogs have allergenic reactions to chicken, I would avoid chicken if possible. Feed a wide variety of different foods, including different sources of meat … and don’t forget to feed some of the not so standard items such as duck or turkey feet, beef trachea, tails, etc… Parts like beef trachea and poultry feet are loaded with natural chondroitin and glucosamine, which help to build healthy joints and they’re reasonably priced.

Add these in at least 2x a week.

Other ingredients that can be used to add variety and extra nutritional value to raw dog food recipes. They do not need to be added daily, perhaps 2x a week for most is generally enough:

-Plain Yogurt or plain Kefir

–Pumpkins seeds (ground) these are excellent for helping to expel parasites!


-Bone Broth


Be confident that you will balance nutrients over time.

One meal could have more bone content, another more meat or organ. The approximate ratio to aim for overall is:

~70% meat, sinew, ligaments & tendons

~10% fat

~10-15% edible bone

~5% liver

~5% other organ meat

One common concern with pet owners and veterinarians with regards to raw feeding is that it’s not “complete and balanced.” This isn’t true for two reasons. First, nobody knows what complete and balanced is and it is impossible to even create a “perfect/balanced” diet with the soils so depleted in this day and age, so it’s difficult to make this claim. Second, balance happens over time, every meal doesn’t need to be completely balanced as long as your dog’s nutritional needs are met over the course of a few days or weeks, just like humans. A challenge I find is that many people want to know the exact amount of nutrients their dogs need and how we can guarantee that their dogs' diet will be 100% complete. Pet food companies often use terms that give people the wrong impression that their kibble is 100% complete which is totally misleading.

Feed fish 4x a week.

Instead of fish oil capsules or liquid, a better option is to feed whole fish (like sardines, smelts, herring, mackerel) a few times a week or you can add a little fish to several meals. At the end of the week, you’ll want whole fish to be about 5% of your dog’s total diet and this will balance out his fats.

How much to feed.

As a starting point, feed your dog about 2-3% of their ideal adult weight PER DAY. So, if he weighs 50 pounds, feed him one pound of food or a bit more. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more and if your dog is more of a couch potato, you may need to feed a little less. The best way to tell if you’re feeding the right amount is to run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, but not see them, your dog is at a good weight.

Puppies need more calories and nutrition, so they should also receive about 2-3% of their ideal adult weight -as a starting point. When puppies are four to six months old, they will need a lot of food and a good amount of calcium because they’re building their adult teeth. If they don’t get enough calcium in their diet at this critical stage, they’ll pull the calcium from their bones and either develop bone or dental deformities. So, throw a few extra bones at your puppies at this age, just for a little extra insurance.

The key points to remember with a raw diet are: Balance over time – one meal could have more bone content, or more meat or organ.

Raw feeding is actually quite easy, especially if you follow the rules above, and it keeps getting easier with time. It's second nature for me now. You will be so proud when you see whiter teeth, a slimmer dog, more natural energy, a vibrant immune system, great skin, softer fur and virtually no health issues.

When to feed.

Two times a day is perfect, unless your dog burns more calories that day. For example a hike, doggie daycare, an usually busy day, then you can feed 3xday and increase the calories on days when he/she burned more calories or still just feed 2xday but closer to 4-6% of their body weight in pounds PER DAY, again the best way to tell if you’re feeding the right amount is to run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, but not see them, your dog is at a good weight.

Weight and Body Shape.

I feel very compelled to talk about dog weight. In America, we are used to seeing rolly polly grain and kibble fed dogs & cats and think that shape is “normal” and healthy” and CUTE. I am here to tell you, it is not. This excess weight WILL lead to health issues at some point. Your dog should be thin and lean with virtually no body fat. Since switching Tuck over to raw, he has lost ~ 9 pounds. That is a lot of weight for a dog. He lost all that kibble filler weight in addition to clearing up a lot of health issues. He is thin and very lean, and is in the best shape of his 6 years on this planet.

Some Typical Meals for Tuck

am: beef, raw egg, broccoli, sardines, topped with bone broth