❥Best Raw Food For Beginners – How Does It Affect Your Pit Bulls Diet?
According to the basis or reason behind a raw diet is the best place to start. I have been eating raw for almost a decade. It was in the early stages of public education at that time. I was forced to do so as I had a dog that was allergic to all the grains used in dog food at the time.
She also had environmental allergies. My vet recommended that I give him a raw diet, I didn’t know anything about how to formulate them so it fell to me to do the research to find something.
There was no help I could find, so I experimented I used millet and oatmeal for grain, beef and poultry for meat, and a wide variety of vegetables. I also fed raw bones, eggs, and organ meat. It took me about 6 months to realize that grains weren’t necessary.
I also started thinking about how their wild cousins survived, what they ate, and why it worked. The change in her was incredible, her body absorbed everything, she lost a lot of weight, what she had to do, and she prospered. She had been surviving, that’s all, all of our other dogs were fed half and half. Our oldest dog at the time was 8 years old, he took it really well and ate it for about 3 1/2 years until he got leukaemia.
❥Start feeding raw
It is best to start raw food if you slowly introduce raw meat as a treat for the first 3-4 days. Gradually increase the amount you give until they can actually eat a full meal. If you give them a whole bowl of cut meat or a meaty bone (RMB), they will vomit or run, or both.
I have found with RMB that they can still get the run the first time you feed them, it is usually the extra fat that causes them. My puppy ran with his first bone and his first chicken carcass. It is now rock solid and no longer reacts to the introduction of new things.
One of the benefits of eating raw is that their system is stronger because they have no problems with the “new” foods or treats.
The sources of meat you use are up to you. The only quick rules I follow are :
NO raw pork, trichinosis is still a problem unless you are POSITIVE the meat you get is clean. It’s a nasty little worm that does a lot of damage. I do not feed during the period of pork products, it is difficult for them to digest.
NOT raw salmon. You may have a liver fluke that can potentially destroy your dog’s liver. Cooked or canned is fine. One part of raw eating that happens across the board, unless you’re a puppy, is detox. Your system has to get rid of all the junk that has accumulated over years of eating dry, good or poor quality food. It usually takes a month with worst-case scenarios.
They smell, their coat becomes dull and brittle, their skin is oily, their breath and faeces stink, then one day, bingo. Beautiful dog. It has happened to every one of my animals that I have given raw, to one degree or another.
Another frequently raised concern is bacteria and germs. A dog system is designed to eat raw food. Their digestive juices are strong enough to break bones, as a general rule they are not very susceptible to e-Coli, listeria, or salmonella.
The dogs that are going to be susceptible are the very young, the very old and the sick. When it comes to germs, if you use the same cleaning practices that you do with your own food, everything should be fine. Dog bowls are cleaned after every meal, prep surfaces are scrubbed, and utensils are washed. Common sense and good cooking practices will keep everything in your hands.
❥What size portions should I feed?
How much you feed will depend entirely on your supers. How active they are, whether they need to lose weight or not, how big they are, and to some extent they age. They will also eat as if they are starving, which they are, for all intents and purposes. After the detox period, they will settle into normal portions unless their activity level increases dramatically.
For my 70 # pit mix, she eats about a pound and a half raw a day. My puppy who is 6 months old and 60 # eats about the same as her. Eventually, you will get more as it will top around 85 or more. She is also 8 years old, so she won’t need as much food as he does.
My 20 # pug eats about 1/2 pound of crude oil a day. The ratio of meat to vegetables is generally 85% meat and 15% vegetable. Since bone is a free choice, I don’t have a percentage for that. The intake of pugs is much higher than the other 2 dogs. Organ meat makes up approximately 10% of your diet.
I use fresh garlic for flea control, it is also good for the blood. I crush about half a tooth per dog 4 times a week.
For vegetable content, I go by colour. Orange, green, white, yellow and red, different colours cover different vitamins. I also don’t worry about balancing every day, but rather for a week I use collard greens, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts for the greens.
Yam, sweet potato and orange pepper, turnip, zucchini, yellow squash, radish, cauliflower for white, yellow pepper, yellow squash skin helps with yellow, red is covered by radish skins, a small beet and chard has red on the stems and veins on the leaves.
Imagination and experimentation to see what your dog likes are key. I don’t use a lot of plant matter, so my mixes use maybe one of each colour, as an example:
- 2 green cabbage leaves
- 1 small to medium head of broccoli
- 1/2 a small yam
- 1 small turnip
- 1 small yellow squash
- Maybe 1/4 of yellow bell pepper.
- 1/4 of a beet.
Puree in a food processor and put on ice. Freeze trays for a couple of hours, separate into zip-lock bags. I’ll also add blueberries when they are in season. If I remember, I will buy 4 or 5 bags when they are available. Apples are also a popular addition to the mix. I know people who also add apple cider vinegar to their mixes. It is a preservative, it also acidifies the dog and makes them less attractive to yeast infections.
For a # 60 dog, you can give 4 cubes per food. In fact, I feed less plant matter, the pug gets 4 cubes every other day. They get both holes every 4th day, mainly because they eat dry. If they ate directly raw they would get 6 alternate days. Most of the fruits they get in their diet comes from candy. When we eat it they get a little bit. The only fruits that you should not eat in any way, shape or form are grapes. There are absolutely NO raisins.
Everything else is fair game. It’s fun to experiment and see what they are going to eat and whatnot. Sasha does not like avocado, and she goes crazy for mango and banana.
❥As far as meat feeding is concerned
As for the meat and how much to feed. To facilitate feeding, I would not grind anything. It is a time-consuming pain and 99% of dogs don’t care what shape it is in.
Vegetables stacked on top of pieces of meat go very well. If they are a bit reluctant to eat vegetables, mixed with yoghurt or cottage cheese generally works.
In our house, regardless of which dog is getting the meat, everything is cut the same, about 2 inches from square cubes. It eases the breeze, they pick up the bucket and swallow, not realizing there’s a pill there.
To get an idea of how much to feed per meal you would start by weighing portions until you get used to the volume, here is an example:
A 3 pound roast with our animals will take care of 1 1/2 dinners. The 2 holes get about 3/4 pound each and the pug gets about 1/4 pound per meal. That does not include vegetables. Sorry it’s not more accurate, I look at it most of the time. I judge what needs to change by how they look and act.
I use organ meat regularly, it gives them liver, heart, pancreas, tongue, kidneys. What I can get. I feed him twice a week for his dinner, straight organ meat.
I feed dry to the wells so that they become raw at night. I will give them vegetables a couple of times a week. The pug eats straight raw, we feed a commercially prepared raw food for variety, he has veggies so we feed him our mix twice a week.
They all have bones available all the time. The two holes get half the chickens twice a week, Sasha will have half a dry meal in the morning on those days, they tend to be VERY full after they are done. Not that they wouldn’t eat a whole one if they had the chance, as Garrison grows up, he might end up doing it as an adult. We’ll see how big it gets.
For example, for a 60 # dog:
- 8 Oz meat cut
- 5 vegetable cubes
- 1 tablespoon of yoghurt or cottage cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon flax or salmon oil
- 1/2 clove of garlic, crushed
- Or chicken leg quarter, or wing and breast sections, or back and breast.
- 5 vegetable cubes
- Oil supplement
- Or, for a day and a half of food in one sitting, you can throw the whole chicken carcass at them. It won’t take them long at all to eat that fool.
For dogs with skin problems, animal fat will help as it goes directly to the skin. Since it is not cooked, they can use it in its entirety. Oil supplements will also help.
Most skin conditions will clear up with ease because it is fully usable by the animal and actually allows the conditions to heal. For dogs with severe food allergies, you will need to watch out for reactions to protein sources; It can be a bit difficult if you alternate protein with every meal or every other day. If there is a reaction to a protein over a period of 10 days and see what happens. It will be a process of elimination.
❥What about supplements?
I am not a huge fan of supplements. If you’re good with using vegetables and a variety of colours, I feel like a lot of the necessary vitamins are covered. Using bone, organ and muscle meats will take care of the rest. When I keep the meat in the refrigerator, I will give you the blood that is filtered from the meat, it is full of nutrients.
If supplements are given I think they should be plant-based and as natural as possible. I don’t like to see chemical names for vit / min. Using oils is a good idea. Flaxseed oil or ground flax seeds work well, salmon oils also reverse well.
Dogs don’t tend to be terribly fussy, therefore, unless there is a particular reason to use one over the other. You could also toggle if you choose.
Be careful when you first start. Don’t just jump straight into raw food. It is always a good idea to get as much information as possible about raw diets.