Just the Basics

What should I feed?

  • A healthy raw diet must be BALANCED. (You can’t just feed your dog ground hamburger and chicken breast!)

  • General Percentages

    • 80% muscle (includes heart)

    • 10% bone

    • 10% organ (liver + another organ)

    • If you want to include veggies/fruits, that can make up about 10%

  • Great! Can I just feed chicken meat, chicken bone, and chicken organs? or beef meat, beef bone, and beef organs?

    • In the SHORT TERM, yes. When we’re using single-protein blends, we’ll usually feed a chicken blend for a week, then a beef blend for a week, then salmon for a couple of days, etc.

    • In the LONG TERM, no. It’s best to include 2-3 proteins in your dog’s diet, though rotating them is fine.

  • Does every MEAL need to be “balanced”?

    • Adult Dogs - Nope! You can feed a boneless meal, and make up for it with a heavy bone meal (like a whole chicken leg, or the Ross Wells ground salmon or turkey) later. Balance over time is what’s important. (Most of us don’t balance our own meals all the time, but we strive for balance over time.)

    • Puppies - Yes. It’s easiest to feed a balanced blend, especially in the puppy phase.

  • What about fruits & veggies?

    • There are two “camps” of raw feeders - Prey Model (only meat, bone & organ), and BARF (“bones and raw foods” - which includes plants).

    • You don’t NEED to include fruits & veggies in your dog’s diet, but there are some benefits.

    • From January 2017 to December 2018, we fed Prey Model.

    • In December 2018, we started adding a veggie/fruit blend to our dogs’ meals.

    • If you’re going to include plant matter, consider these tips:

      • cook or puree before feeding, to help with digestion

      • rely mostly on leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, parsley, etc)

      • keep fruits & starchy vegetables to a minimum

    • Here’s a great article from Plear Littlefield at The Raw Feeding Community: I Started Adding Veggies to My Raw Dog Food; Here’s Why

    • Here’s another article I like from Kimberly Gunther at Keep the Tail Wagging: 9 Vegetables You Should Add to Your Dog’s Diet Today

  • What is “whole prey,” and do I have to feed it?!?!

    • “Whole Prey” is a whole animal, such as a rabbit, quail, chick, mouse, deer, etc.

    • When feeding “whole prey,” you don’t need to worry about balancing - it’s considered already balanced.

    • If the whole prey is too large for your dog, you can divide it into meals, or take it up after one meal and give it back to your dog for the next meal.

    • You do NOT need to feed whole prey! I think it’s great (dachshunds love it), but it’s a little gross for most people. If you’re on the fence, stick to balanced blends :)

How much should I feed?

  • A general rule is 2-3% of the dog’s ideal body weight per day.

  • Some dogs need more than 3% (like Shani).

  • Split the daily amount into 2 meals.

  • Examples:

    • 8 pound dog (128 ounces) = 2.5 to 3.9 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $10-15/month @ $2/pound

    • 10 pound dog (160 ounces) = 3.2 to 4.8 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $12-18/month @ $2/pound

    • 12 pound dog (192 ounces) = 3.8 to 5.8 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $15-22/month @ $2/pound

    • 15 pound dog (240 ounces) = 4.8 to 7.2 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $18-27/month @ $2/pound

    • 20 pound dog (320 ounces) = 6.4 to 9.6 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $24-36/month @ $2/pound

    • 50 pound dog (800 ounces) = 16 to 24 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $60-90/month @ $2/pound

    • 80 pound dog (1,280 ounces) = 25.6 to 38.4 ounces per day, split between 2 meals = $96-145/month @ $2/pound

    The prices above are based on $2.00/pound, which can be achieved through a co-op (like the DFW Ross Wells Raw Co-Op), Texas Tripe, or DIY raw.

  • These guidelines are a starting point. You’ll want to watch your dog, and adjust if they’re showing signs of unwanted weight loss or gain.

    • Monte weighs 9 pounds. He’s sedentary and a bit overweight, so we feed him 3.2 ounces per day (1.6 ounces x 2)

    • Anke weighs 13 pounds. She’s fairly sedentary, but not overweight, so we feed her 5.0 ounces per day (2.5 ounces x 2)

    • Bernie weighs 16 pounds (down from 18 when he had his surgery). We used to feed him 8.0 ounces per day (4.0 ounces x 2), but we cut his food back 25% when he went on crate rest (3.0 ounces x 2). Now that he’s off of crate rest, we’ve bumped him back up some (3.5 ounces x 2), but we haven’t gone back to his original amount because he needs to stay slim to help with his back issues. He was never “overweight,” but we’re monitoring him closely.

    • Mieke weighs 9 pounds. She’s very slim & active, so we feed her 5.0 ounces per day (2.5 ounces x 2). She used to eat less (2.2 ounces x 2), but she hasn’t put on extra weight with the extra food.

    • Shani weighs 9 pounds. She’s very slim & relatively active, but she has a hard time keeping weight on, so we feed her 6.0 ounces per day (3.0 ounces x 2). She used to eat less (2.2 ounces x 2), but she wasn’t gaining weight and she was more skinny than we wanted her to be. Her weight is holding steady at the new amount.

    • Jack weighs 9 pounds. He’s very slim & super active, and he’s still in his puppy phase, so we feed him 5.0 ounces per day (2.5 ounces x 2).

    • Gracie weighs 8 pounds. She’s very slim & super active, and she’s still in her puppy phase, so we feed her 4.0 ounces per day (2.0 ounces x 2). She was spayed in July 2018, so we’ll monitor her weight and cut back if she starts getting pudgy.

Where do I buy it?

There are several ways to feed your dog a balanced raw diet. You can choose one method, or a combination.

  • Pre-Made Raw

    • available online or through local co-ops

    • this is our our preference - less expensive than Commercial and easier than DIY

    • examples listed in the Sources section below

  • DIY Raw

    • usually the least expensive, but most time-intensive

    • requires you to balance the diet

    • examples listed in the Sources section below

  • Commercial Raw

    • usually the most expensive, but requires almost no prep work

    • some of these are balanced, but others are not

    • often contain a high percentage of plant matter

    • found in the freezer section of pet stores, or online (Amazon or Chewy)

    • examples listed in the Sources section below


Sources for Raw Food

DFW Ross Wells Co-Op

We get the majority of our food from this co-op.

 

Other Sources

Texas Tripe

When we need food between co-op deliveries, we order from Texas Tripe

  • Order anytime

  • FedEx shipping is also available.

  • Drop locations all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee & Colorado

    • drops take place in retail parking lots during the day on weekdays & Saturdays

    • everyone parks & orders are handed off to you from their delivery truck

    • takes about 10 minutes

  • located in Detroit, Texas

  • Quantities of 2-40 pounds

    • packaged in 2 pounds, 5 pounds, and 10 pounds

  • Average price around $2.00 per pound

  • Balanced Blends - These can be fed alone without adding additional ingredients.

  • Other Blends - These are ground (like the balanced blends), but you’d need to supplement with organ and/or bone.

  • Single Proteins

  • Raw Meaty Bones (RMB’s)

  • Ordering Website
    http://www.texastripe.com/Default.asp

  • Delivery Schedule
    https://texastripe.wordpress.com/delivery-schedule/

  • Facebook Page
    https://www.facebook.com/texastripe/

  • Drop Locations (as of January 1, 2019)

    • Dallas/Fort Worth Route 1
      every Wednesday

      • Sulpher Springs (Pilot)

      • Canton (Shell)

      • Terrell (Buc-ee’s)

      • De Soto (7-11)

      • Arlington (G&G Glove)

      • Euless (behind Hobby Lobby)

      • Lewisville (GlowZone)

      • Frisco (Lowe’s)

    • Dallas/Fort Worth Route 2
      every Thursday

      • Greenville (Lowe’s)

      • Rockwall (Home Depot)

      • Buckner (Waffle House)

      • Plano (At Home)

      • McKinney (JoAnn Fabric)

      • Trenton (Exxon)

      • Bohnam (Shell)

    • Dallas/Fort Worth Route 3
      2nd Saturday of the month

      • Sherman (Walmart)

      • Gainsville (Walmart)

      • Denton (Academy Sports)

      • North Fort Worth (The Creek Church)

      • Highland Hills (VA Clinic)

      • Plano (At Home)

      • Buckner (I-30 Bingo)

    • East Houston / Louisiana / Arkansas Route
      1st Tuesday & Wednesday of the month

      • Athens (Fellowship Baptist)

      • Corsicana (Shell)

      • Fairfield (Gilberto’s)

      • Bryan/College Station (Sam’s)

      • Navasota (Hi Ho Shell Station)

      • Plantersville (Shell)

      • Montgomery (Brookshire)

      • Conroe (Sam’s Club)

      • Woodlands (Home Depot)

      • Spring (Barks & Recreation)

      • Pearland (AMC Gulf Coast)

      • Pasadena (Bayou Forming)

      • Beaumont (Triangle Therapy)

      • Lake Charles (Cash Magic)

      • Layfayette (Source Supply)

      • Baton Rouge (Love’s)

      • Alexandria (Burger King)

      • Shreveport (Dillard’s)

      • Texarkana (Lowe’s)

    • West TX / Oklahoma / Kansas Route
      2nd Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of the month

      • Weatherford (McAlister’s Deli)

      • Ranger/Eastman (Love’s)

      • Abilene (Flying J)

      • Midland (Stripe’s C-Store)

      • Lubbock (Medley Equipment)

      • Amarillo (Holiday Inn)

      • McPherson, KS (TBA)

      • Wichita, KS (TBA)

      • Norman (Walmart Supercenter)

      • Choctaw Rd (Love’s Travel Stop)

      • Shields Plaza (Burlington Coat)

      • Edmond (Walmart Supercenter)

      • Tulsa, OK (Hobby Lobby)

      • Webbers Falls, OK (Love’s)

      • Vian, OK (Subway)

      • Roland, OK (Cherokee Travel Plaza)

      • McAlester (Walmart)

      • Hugo (Bus Barn/John Deere)

      • Wewoka (Big D’s Auto Tire)

      • Shawnee (Walmart Supercenter)

      • Exit 64 (17W & 3250)

      • Ardmore (Flying J Truck Stop)

    • South TX / West Houston / East TX Route
      3rd Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of the month

      • Waxahachie (Civic Center)

      • West (Slovacek’s)

      • Waco (McDonald’s)

      • South Austin (behind T-Mobile)

      • San Marcos (Auto Zone)

      • New Braunfels (CVS)

      • Shertz (Park & Ride exit 173)

      • San Antonio (Holiday Inn Express)

      • Corpus Christi (S&G’s)

      • Victoria (Hobby Lobby)

      • West Houston (I-10 & Beltway 8)

      • Kingwood (Lowe’s)

      • New Caney (Valero)

      • Cleveland (Fntg. Road)

      • Livingston (Lowe’s)

      • Lufkin (Best Buy)

      • Nacogdoches (BBQ House)

      • Tyler (Brookshire’s)

      • Longview (Texas Best Smokehouse)

    • Austin Route
      4th Tuesday & Wednesday of the month

      • Temple (Target)

      • Round Rock (Ross)

      • ARF (ARF Co-Op Members)

      • North Austin (Hobby Lobby)

      • South Austin (behind T-Mobile)

      • Marble Falls (Ross)

      • Lampasas (Stripes)

      • Evant (Elk Stop)

      • Hamilton (Frida’s Mexican Restaurant)

      • Hico (Ranglers Exxon)

    • Tennessee / Arkansas Route
      4th Thursday of the month

      • Hot Springs, AR (Doggy Dude Ranch)

      • Little Rock, AR (Walmart)

      • Memphis, TN (Dillard’s)

      • Nashville, TN (Walmart)

    • Colorado Route

      • Stops in Aurora, Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Castle Pines, Denver, Evergreen, Ft. Collins, Golden, Greeley, Highland Ranch, Longmonth, Loveland, Parker, Palmer Lake

      • Also available is pickup at our Denver warehouse.


Raw Feeding Groups & Resources

Groups & Websites

A source of information for all raw feeders.

A Novice’s Blog about Raw Feeding

DFW Co-Op that orders every 2 months & gets great prices.

Lots of good information in the Files section, and a good forum to ask questions.

Ask questions, share experiences, connect, and learn about raw diets.

Recipes and advice for homemade treats.

Advice and support for dog owners who feed raw or would like to start feeding raw. We also welcome other pet owners that feed raw, including cats and ferrets!

This group accepts you regardless of what you're feeding, whether it's kibble or raw - or a mix of both.

Specific Articles

Switching Your Dog to a Raw Diet: The Official RFC Guide

So you want to feed a homemade raw diet to your dog, but you don’t know where to begin. You’ve probably realized by now that there are many ways to feed raw. It all comes down to determining your pet’s individual needs, as well as your own. Figuring all of this out may include some trial and error, which does require some time and patience while you learn and adapt to this new adventure of feeding a homemade raw diet.

How Much Does it Cost to Feed Raw?

A poll was taken to determine the average cost per pound of raw food members of the Raw Feeding Community were spending.

What Kibble Should I Feed My Dog?

Can’t feed raw? That’s okay, here’s a guide to kibble.

The Science of Raw Pet Food

This article aims to address the current science based evidence that can be used as support of the merits of raw food diets.

Study Shows Raw Diet Promotes Healthier Digestive System in Dogs

“…the administration of [raw based] diet promoted a more balanced growth of bacterial communities and a positive change in the readouts of healthy gut functions in comparison to [extruded] diet.” - Sandri, et al. (2016) “Raw meat based diet influences faecal microbiome and end products of fermentation in healthy dogs.” BMC Veterinary Research

Raw Diets: Too High in Protein?

Some say that diets that are too high in protein can cause kidney disease in dogs. Is this true, and does that mean a raw diet might be dangerous for your dog?

Gastric pH in Raw & Kibble Fed Dogs

Are kibble fed dogs’ gastric pH values significantly less acidic than raw fed dogs’, and does this mean dogs are unable to safely consume both raw and dry foods?

Organ Meat in a Raw Diet

Organ meat is a very important aspect of many raw diets. Extremely nutrient dense, it is almost like the “multivitamin” of the raw diet. Without organs, a diet can easily become deficient in many vitamins (especially vitamin A) and minerals. But organ meat is also very rich …

Survive vs. Thrive: Is a Vegan Diet Healthy for Dogs?

There is sufficient evidence that dogs can survive on vegetarian and even vegan diets. But whether or not a dog survives on a particular diet should not be the determining factor in deciding whether or not that diet is healthy.

Green Tripe: What’s All the Stink About?

Green tripe is the raw, unprocessed stomach of ruminant animals, like beef, bison, goat, venison, or sheep. While tripe can be found at some grocery stores, it is not the same thing as GREEN tripe; green tripe can’t legally be sold for human consumption.

I Started Adding Veggies to My Raw Dog Food; Here’s Why

In this article, I plan to bust some myths and explain why I changed my philosophy when it comes to including vegetables in raw dog food diets.

5 Steps to Transition a Dog to Raw Dog Food

Different ways to switch your dog to raw!

What Does “Balance” Mean for Raw Feeders?

What comes to mind when someone asks you about a balanced, raw diet for pets? Does balance exist in commercial or DIY raw pet food? Should we be looking to AAFCO for what should be “complete and balanced?” Is feeding a variety of proteins and balancing over time enough?

12 Reasons Why I Switched My Dogs to Raw Feeding

…I was hesitant to switch to raw feeding, but after doing far more research into this and finally making the leap, I’d like to give you my 12 reasons why I thought it to be a good idea.

Keeping the Kitchen Clean When Feeding Raw Dog Food

“Start Here” document from Keep the Tail Wagging


Pet Fooled Documentary

We aren’t fans of extreme documentaries and scare tactics.
When we watched Pet Fooled, we’d already done the research and switched to a raw diet.
This documentary helped to re-affirm our decision to feed raw. We hope it will provide a good source of information for you, too.

Watch the Trailer

 
 

The full documentary is available on Netflix.

You can also watch it through Vimeo and Amazon Video for $4.99.