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How to determine a balanced RAW dog food recipe

686 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  briteday
I have a Rottweiler whose previous owners had her on a raw diet so I want to continue that. I bought an AAFCO book for guidance on what a recipe should be. The AAFCO book recommends (in a table) a daily requirement for a dog in maintenance, per kg of body weight. So let's say I want to make up 10lbs of food in a batch. The table recommendation is per kg of body weight per day. How do I equate what's in that AAFCO table to what I need to put in my 10lbs of raw dog food, without adding fillers, or non-natural food sources of the nutrients. One of the roadblocks I'm hitting is for example the nutrient Arginine. AAFCO recommends 0.11 grams of Arginine per 1kg of body weight. If I try to relate that directly to my 10lb batch it says I need 147g of Arginine. In order to get that much, the highest food source I found was Pumpkin Seeds and I'd need 2900g of Pumpkin Seed in my 10lbs batch. That's more than half of the batch which works out to 4.535kg. It thought that it was this simple. Calculate the total number of grams of nutrients in the AAFCO table and see what percentage of that total the nutrient was ( in this case Arginine ). Then I applied that percentage to the total weight of my batch of dog food. This is apparently not the way to do it.
Thanks for any suggestions
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We've been feeding raw for over 10 years now, everything from puppies to geriatrics. As a medical biochemist, I did the same thing at first, weighing out, measuring, calculating. Over time I relaxed more when I realized our dogs are doing great even when I was too busy to make up their special brew. As long as your dogs are getting a good variety of healthy meat (try to source the best possible meat you can afford), strive for balance over time (there are weeks our dogs get all chicken, other weeks all beef...but it balances out over time), and watch your dog's condition. Our vet does not recommend raw due to the liability, but she has been a great help at wellness visits knowing that our dogs eat a raw diet. Our dogs have always been extremely healthy and long lived so she has had no complaints about our feeding.

Our biggest hurdle to raw feeding was finding a reliable and dependable source. We started with a good grocery store meat source, but that can be expensive even when we were watching sales and stocking up. Then a local ranch sold to us but they ended up hooking up with a large breed breeder who was buying in massive quantities. Now we have found a rancher who raises meat solely for raw fed dogs and also sources fish and tripe. He delivers to our area once/ month so we keep a separate freezer now for dog meat. I shop the ethnic market every few months to buy goat, chicken feet, and other delicacies not normally found in the American diet.

I can appreciate the energy you are putting into feeding raw. There are some pinned posts around here for raw feeding to look at too for ideas. Good luck!
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