- REQUIRED: Absolutely necessary daily components.
- INTEGRAL: Highly beneficial and important. Rotated and varied.
- SUPER DOG: Because our pups deserve to be supercharged with goodness and incredible preventive care.
Let’s Break it Down
The closest possible version of a carnivorous animal eating its entire prey: 80% raw muscle meat and muscle organs, 10% raw edible bones, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs, and an animal source of omega-3 fatty acids. This would be an entire wild animal.
Keep in mind:
- Organs that are considered muscle meat: heart, gizzards, lung, tongue, trachea, and tripe.
- Secreting organs: liver, kidney, brain, spleen, pancreas, testicles, and ovaries.
- Liver: although it’s one of the secreting organs, 5% of the diet must come from liver specifically.
- Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids: only healthy pasture-raised (not grain-fed) animals and wild game can provide this critical nutrient. It’s therefore vital to supplement this in the daily diet.
- Protein rotation: to avoid nutritional deficiencies, it’s important to keep balanced rotation of different protein sources in the diet, again mimicking natural hunting for various prey.
To provide additional health benefits and nutrients, we rotate the following in and out of the diet, using usually just one from each category at a time:
a) whole, raw, pasture-raised eggs with shells
b) raw meaty bones: duck, turkey, lamb, and chicken necks. All kinds of meaty bones are fantastic, except for large shanks and beef marrow bones due to dental fracture risk.
c) small pre-frozen raw whole oily fish: sardines, anchovies, and European sprat.
d) non-starchy raw vegetables: green or yellow string beans, summer squashes, celery, and asparagus.
e) leafy greens: bok choy, any microgreens, Swiss chard, kale, dandelion, carrot tops, red lettuce, romaine lettuce, and spring baby greens
f) herbs: parsely, basil, mint, dill weed, and cilantro
g) berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries (wild ones too!).
Keep in mind:
Small oily fish: make sure that they are not sourced from anywhere near where Fukushima happened (the Pacific Ocean) due to the risks explained in the resources of this chapter. Wild mackerel is a great oily fish to feed, but I tend to stay away from it due to the larger bones, unless I can source small mackerel. We always feed previously frozen intact small fish, with heads, tails, and all organs in place.
Eggs: we only feed the shells from organic, pasture-raised eggs to avoid chemicals. Never feed shells with ink stamps on them.
Vegetables & leafy greens: should always be finely chopped and processed (as shown in a later chapter).
Herbs: should be fresh, organic, and given in small amounts.
Edible meaty bones: although we already have ground bone in the “required” category, we also serve whole meaty bones as part of the “integral” category thanks to their benefits for dental health and strengthened stomach muscles.
3. SUPER DOG
To add supercharging goodness and great preventive care, we rotate these sporadically into the diet, typically one at a time:
a) Green tripe
b) Fermented raw goat milk
c) Fermented stock
d) Bone broth (only from bones of pasture-raised organic animals). Download our easy homemade bone broth recipe here.
Check the resources section of this chapter for the benefits of each superdog addition!
Keep Marketers Out Of Your Pup’s Bowl
It’s so tempting to add lots of “superfoods” and fancy supplements to our dogs’ bowls. There are definitely great ways to add nutrition to our dogs’ diets, but our holistic veterinarian taught me to always check my temptation against what we see in nature. We need to find a balance between occasional added health benefits and feeding 20 superfoods imported from around the world. Keeping it simple always wins for us and for our pups.