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Raw Food Diet for Dogs | Our Thoughts After a Week of Feeding Raw

Raw Food Diet for Dogs

You can read everything I’ve written about the raw food diet for dogs by clicking HERE!

Everyone has been really supportive of our switch and I have to say that I’m pretty excited and happy about the change.  I received a few questions that I’d like to answer…

Why are you still feeding your dogs kibble?

We chose to go for a raw + kibble blend, because (1) we’re still new to the raw food diet and this is our way of easing into the change and (2) I’m worried that my boyfriend won’t be able to handle the raw feeding – keeping kibble in the mix means that I’m not strapped to the house to make sure everyone is fed timely.

We feed raw in the morning (takes 4-6 hours to digest) and kibble in the evening (takes 10-12 hours to digest).  So they’re not mixing in their bellies.

Why haven’t you fed your dogs bones?

Because I want to be at home to monitor them when they eat bones.  I’m thankful that I didn’t just jump into bones, because I would have brought home chicken wings and turkey necks.  I’ve since learned that these are great for smaller dogs, but our dogs may gulp these down and we’d have a choking situation.  By talking to other raw diet families, I’ve been given suggestions on types of bones for our dogs.

Week One on a Raw Food Diet for Dogs…

Last Sunday, I fed the dogs chicken and turkey.  During the week, the dogs tried beef round, a veggie/sardines mixture, and the Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried and frozen raw duck  patties.  They loved it all.  I felt comfortable feeding them a variety of meats, because they eat a variety of meats in their kibble diet – we blend their Halo Pets kibble (salmon) with Natural Balance food rolls (turkey, beef, lamb).

Gayle Pruitt, author of The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and Humans, sent me a great recipe that I tried (partially, because I couldn’t find all the ingredients, like bone meal) and after that experience, I realized that we should consider a pre-made raw food diet.  I barely cook for me and my boyfriend; the idea that I could cook weekly for our dogs made my boyfriend laugh.  *eye roll*

Raw Food Diet for Dogs, Dog Food Recipe

Here’s the recipe: A Raw Meal for the Furry Kid

What We Experienced This Week…

Our three dogs have stronger stomachs than I thought.  I always thought Rodrigo had such a sensitive tummy; even the slightest change in diet drives him to eating grass like crazy to sooth his upset tummy.  Not once this week.

The only time our dogs licked their paws was to groom them after running around in the wet grass.  The obsessive licking of itchy paws didn’t happen this week.  Also, Rodrigo had a recurring rash on his lower back (2 inches away from his tailbone).  It was clearing up after each bath using the Paws on Earth Shampoo Bar, but would return a few days later, just a little.  It hasn’t made a reappearance all week long.

Our dogs’ activity level increased.  It was immediately visible with Sydney, who has been suffering from arthritis pain.  She and Rodrigo still take their Wag Lifetime Joint Care, but the new diet increased Sydney’s energy levels.  Now we have three very active dogs who are bouncing off the walls.  Yayyyy.

Our dogs are pooping 1/3 less than before.  I was cleaning their yard every other day to keep up with the poop clean up.  I waited 3 days to see if there was a difference, there was!  The poop is less smelly, firm, and smaller.

We have to cut the food up into bites they can handle, because they’re not used to ripping and tearing their food yet.  The entire process is time consuming and messy.  I still want to cook now and then, but we’ve decided to go with a pre-made option.  We chose Darwin’s Pets raw food diet delivery.  We received our first delivery Friday.

There was no aggressive eating.  I kind of expected it, because they were being introduced to raw meat and blood.  Nope, they didn’t turn into rabid beasts.  Instead, they ate up their food and looked to me for more.  They treated feeding time just like with kibble.  Rotating dishes to try out what s/he has and make sure they got to try everything.  They loved the food so much that I questioned the serving guide.  I’m an accountant by day and found myself breaking out the calculator, convinced that I added the amounts wrong, because three dogs were sitting in front of me waiting for more.

We can afford to feed three dogs a raw food + kibble mix.  Like I said, I’m an accountant, so I ran the numbers. Here’s a snapshot of a section of the spreadsheet I created.  Can you say “nerd?”

Raw Food Diet Budget

So far so good!


  1. Glad your raw food journey is well on its way! And isn’t the small, firm poop great? When I pass by a big, puffy, light brown mess at the park, I just say thank goodness I have a small dog who eats raw lol.

    PS: The Darwin delivery link goes to a supplement on Amazon? Curious about it (I know they don’t deliver where I am), but seems really affordable!! You have three big dogs!

    • Thanks for the heads up about the link. I’ll fix it now.

      Three big dogs = raw is expensive, but worth it and I’m so glad to see improvement right away. People have been so generous with their time and suggestions. I love it!

      ~ Kimberly

  2. Gosh, we are still considering the switch to raw. We are just nervous about it I guess. Thank you for continuing to share information and your experience. Maybe it will help us make the big step too!
    Gina (and Oz)

    • That’s what took me so long. I’ve heard about it for over a year, but wasn’t convinced – I thought that there has to be more than what people are sharing. I’m glad I waited and that we’re taking our time. It’s expensive for us, because we have three big dogs, but I can see improvements already.

  3. Yay!! So happy it seems to be working. It’s nice to hear that Sydney’s doing better with his arthritis on the raw diet. Charlie has hip arthritis too, and I’m sure there was an improvement in his activity levels with the raw diet.

    • It’s a relief too, because I was worried that they wouldn’t like it. A week in, Rodrigo turned his face away from duck and I panicked a little. I pulled out a different meat and his tail started wagging. This morning has been the best, because they couldn’t wait to eat.

      • Hi! Congrats on making the switch to raw! You and your dogs will love it once you get into a routine. My 3 year old GSD has been fed raw since she was weaned. Just wanted to offer a few suggestions. I would get them off kibble as soon as possible. Most of the time it is better to go cold turkey. Yeah they may have some runs for a day or two, but a couple spoonfuls of pure pumpkin clears that right up. When you feed say like a chicken quarter I would leave it partially to almost frozen. They then have no option but to go slow and chew their food. That’ll help with the scarfing. IMO cutting the meat up only increases the likelihood of them inhaling their food. Having to work for it helps with their jaw muscles and will slow them down. Raw chicken bones are soft and easy for them to eat. Also, stick to only one or two protein sources for the first month. It allows a previously fed kibble eater to build up the good bacteria to handle the raw. Liver should only be fed once a week due to the nature of what the organ does. Sorry if I’m saying things you already know, just giving my experience with the diet. It’s the best thing for them! Congrats and good luck!


        • I appreciate your advice, Merri – thank you. I cut up the food to keep them from walking away with it. They were taking it into the living room (carpet) to investigate. When it was smaller, they ate. We’re lucky, because they don’t woof down food. Some have suggested just feeding them in the yard, but we live in the Pacific Northwest and the weather when we switched wasn’t great for outside feeding, plus we have coyotes in the area and I’d hate to attract them.

          Today, we feed our dogs prepared raw. The kibble is to get them (and my boyfriend) through the transition. I like the idea of giving them a premium kibble for the days when I blow it with raw – like forgetting to unfreeze, but so far so good. I hope to have them on full raw by June/July.

          Thanks again for commenting!

  4. Hi! Glad to hear you’ve switched to raw! My 3 yr old GSD has been on raw since she was weaned. Sooooo much better for them. I would suggest getting them off kibble all together if at all possible. Also, a reason that it’s expensive is the pre-made raw isn’t cheap. You can usually get chicken quarters for under a buck a pound. Also, Sam’s club has good deals on some meat cases…ie a variety if pork products for under $2/lb. It sounds like uou were worried about them scarfing there food? In my opinion cutting it up only increases that. If you feed say a chicken quarter, leave it whole and partially-mostly frozen. Then they don’t really have the option to not chew on it. And it’s great for their jaw muscles. Just some suggestions. Either way, congrats on the switch!!

    • We don’t have a Sam’s Club, but we have Costco, which is similar. I do buy their ground turkey there – they love love love ground turkey.

  5. Will try to give my pet dog raw diet. I know that dogs can take raw food since they eat grasses when they don’t feel well.


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