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There have been a number of members who are interested in starting to feed a raw diet. They generally have a lot of questions about what a typical raw diet would look like. I think most of us can agree that everyone does it differently, depending on their dog's need. If we can get some good, basic examples of weekly menus I will put this as a sticky at the top of the food forum so that the same questions are not asked repeatedly by new raw feeders. So please keep your post to the point and let's not turn this into who has the best way to feed raw. Thanks!

Here's a typical weekly menu at my house for three small dogs:

AM Meal: always whole chicken and organs

PM Meal: *one meal per week is heart, usually beef is most available
*one meal is whole, gutted fish (never feed pacific salmon, trout and if feeding fish you have caught always check the gut for hooks, sinkers, fishing line)
*one meal per week is a beef rib bone (the kind you bbq in slabs) and when they get it cleaned off they have it for recreational chewing in the house for a few days
*four meals per week are any muscle meat that I have, mostly pork & beef but I would like to offer more variety, working on sources

ADD INs: fish oil 2-4 times per wk, raw eggs 1-2 times per wk, tripe 1-3 times per wk

EXTRAs: anything I think they might like in small quantities, not figured in as part of the diet but rather to add variety to the diet...yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese cubes, vegetables, fruit, ...moderation is the key, for my small small dogs they get just a spoonful in a meal

I do not feed grains because I have one dog that is sensitive to all grains and my dogs do better with less carbs, they have better weight control.
 

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I don't always feed every dog exactly the samething at the same time. It depends what I have (or what stores I can get too, some that are a bit of a drive have different meat sources or cheaper prices), what each dog is doing at the time, what they need, their age, ect.

Here are just some of my meal plans and various foods I feed. They can (and do for me) change/vary as you can feed one thing with another or change it up as you see fit. As long as you keep within correct ratios, varied sources and proper nutrition.

Chicken Quarter/Beef Liver
Beef Brisket/Chick bone/Lamb Liver
Ground Beef/chick bone
Ground Turkey/chick bone
Chicken Quarter/Ground Beef/beef heart
Deer/Antelope roast
Rabbit meat/organs
Turkey meat/organs
Duck meat/organs

Chicken breast, wings, feet, organs (backs on occasion, mostly to a couple specific dogs)
Caned mackerel or salmon
Steak trimming - the fat and small amount the meat
Salmon fillet I buy the big ones and cut them myself
Mutton can't get it close but wish we could
Goat rare occasion

Eggs 1-2 times per week
Ground egg shells
 

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Okay I know I need more variety and I am trying to figure out where to find it.

Every day chicken or turkey right off the bat. Thats their main food source.

Things they get during the week are

chicken gizzards
chicken livers (ugh they smell like egg its SO hard for me to open the container on liver night)
Beef heart
beef liver.

I was giving fish oil pills twice a week but Kody ate the whole bottle last week so I have to go get more.

Once a week they each get a raw egg.

For thos more experienced than me, PLEASE feel free to tweak my menu.. I am trying to hard to get a good balance, but I dont feel like I am giving enough variety.

Oh they also get vegetables tossed to them here and there.. when I am cooking.
 

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I don't really do weekly, I pack meals when I shop.

Daily meal consists of a piece of chicken with bone. Add the bit of beef kidney or liver. Add boneless meat, beef or pork shoulder to make up the weight required. I have used beef heart and chicken gizzards as boneless meat as well. I have used pork ribs for the bony meat. Some meals are packed short weighted so I can add a raw egg yolk without going over the daily ounces. Daily I squirt fish oil and add two pinches of kelp. Twice a week I give a Vitamin E capsule.

Weekly he gets a beef rib, licks out his sister's food bowl, gets a bit of no salt added peanut butter when he gets his VE, dehydrated lamb lung and Natural Balance roll for training treats, licks my yogurt spoon, stuff that hits the floor when cooking, like that.

My raw fed dog has gotten quite 'fluffy' over the past year. I really watch what I am feeding him. I suspect he isn't going to get down to his pre raw weight as I can now feel ribs, hips and shoulder blades and he has only lost 20% of the weight he gained. That is fine, I am looking for the abdomen to lose that cute little pudge now.

If I didn't pack meals I wouldn't be giving organ often enough. If I didn't pack meals I would be giving too much bone. I think it takes up less room in the freezer as well.

I just started feeding once a day last week. So far, a success. He hasn't been hungry or been barfing [he has always been a big barfer!]. The poop is firmer. He eats everything in his bowl happily.
 

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We've been feeding raw since December, 2007. The "menu" we feed is what my mentor - for lack of a better word - helped get us started on raw with, so we've just kind of stuck with the same things.

AM meal - Oma's Pride Turkey Mix which is 70% meat/bone, 10% organ meats (liver/hearts/gizzards), 20% vegetables (green been, yellow squash ,okra). We generally mix in a spoonful of canned pumpkin or natural applesauce or cottage cheese. On Saturdays I usually add in a raw egg as well. Oh, and we mix either green tripe or performance dog tripe in too if we have it. If we've run low or out of the mix, we'll buy ground beef and give them that.

PM meal is their bone meal and right now we have chicken backs. We get them in a 40lb case and break them down...freeze and thaw as needed. We have also fed turkey and chicken necks.

Add ins...Topaz gets 1000mg of Taurine in his along with his medications (he's epileptic). We'll sometimes add in apple cider vinegar and had a supplement (O'Paws I think it was) for a while and when we started we would mix in extra virgin coconut oil, but we ran out.
 

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Okay I know I need more variety and I am trying to figure out where to find it.

Every day chicken or turkey right off the bat. Thats their main food source.

Things they get during the week are

chicken gizzards
chicken livers (ugh they smell like egg its SO hard for me to open the container on liver night)
Beef heart
beef liver.

I was giving fish oil pills twice a week but Kody ate the whole bottle last week so I have to go get more.

Once a week they each get a raw egg.

For thos more experienced than me, PLEASE feel free to tweak my menu.. I am trying to hard to get a good balance, but I dont feel like I am giving enough variety.

Oh they also get vegetables tossed to them here and there.. when I am cooking.
How about some beef. That is pretty easy meat source to get.
 

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This is the diet I am using.....

For meat I am feeding raw chicken parts. Backs, necks, wings, leg quarters, gizzards and hearts. I am also feeding some turkey necks, and a little lamb and beef. Chunked up, venison, and a little lamb,

3 packages of the pre washed collards at Publix
2 Zucini squashes
a package of mixed broccoli and cauliflower

2 apples cores and seeds removed.
4 sweet potatoes
two big handfuls of green beans
1.5 cups of water
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup of ground flax seed
1.44 pounds of beef liver

The dogs are getting about 6 ounces of this mix a day. I am feeding about 2 percent of body weight in raw meat and meaty bones. I am also feeding some fish. Mostly in the form of good quality canned sardines in spring water. They are getting a raw egg a couple times a week and some plain yogart a couple times a week.
 

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This isn't set it stone, but a good general outline. They get fed morning and night...Webster at 24 lbs gets 0.6oz/day, Kim at 52 lbs gets just over 1lb/day. I expect hers will go up over the next few months as she is finally 18 months and has started to do more intensive activities.

Anyway

Sunday: Whole Chicken Portions || Liver or Ground Beef (alternate each week)
Monday: Whole Chicken Portions || Ground Beef, Pureed Egg, Organ/Veggie Cubes*
Tuesday: Whole Turkey Portions || Pork Muscle Meat, Fish Oil Capsules, O/V cubes
Wednesday: Whole Chicken Portions || Tripe, Oatmeal
Thursday: Whole Chicken Portions || Whole Gutted Fish (catfish, tilapia, or mackerel seem to be the easiest to get for me)
Friday: Whole Chicken Portions || Beef Heart, Fish Oil Capsules
Saturday: Whole Turkey Portions || Ox Tail, O/V Cubes

Each night they get each get 500mg of Vitamin C. This is an OD for Web, but it's as the excess is just flushed out, it's no biggie.

Again, this is just a basic skeleton, to give you a good idea what they get in a week. Also randomly getting mixed in or used for treats: various veggie bits, pack pumpkin, yogurt, a little brown or enriched white rice (whenever we have stirfry for dinner...), small bits of fruit, ACV, no-sugar applesauce...I'm probably forgetting stuff, but am hoping to add in other protein sources if I can find a remotely affordable source. Random "treat" meats they have had so far are rabbit and deer.

*Organ/Veggie cubes are basically me getting a bunch of organ (beef kidney, chicken gizzard, chicken liver, chicken kidney, etc...anything I've already tested for reactions) and a bunch of veggies (cucumber, zucchini, squash, green beans, etc.) and pureeing it all together, freezing it in ice trays, and storing it all in layers in a huge tupperware-type container in the freezer...probably did about 5 months-worth in one evening. Cubes are about 1 oz/cube, so it makes for easy portioning. Organ:Veggie Ratio is around 90:10 by weight.
 

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I've been feeding raw to my 9 year old Shepherd/Dobe mix since he was 8 months old. The diet is usually changing and being tweaked but this is what I am currently feeding:

- Lamb ribs
- Beef liver (fed with a bony meal, as a supplement)
- Chicken quarters
-Turkey; rotate necks, thighs & legs. I get the already cut up legs & trim off all the meat so this is a muscle meat meal.
- Ground beef or pork
- Chicken hearts (like the liver this is usually fed with a bony meal)
- Egg yolks (2-3x week)

Those are the basic parts that are always on the menu at least once weekly. On occasion I will feed goat meat, venison, lamb necks, beef kidney, chicken gizzards, tripe, beef trachea & pure beef/pork fat (from Prey 4 Pets).

For supplements and extras I give fish oil, liquid vitamins, brewer's yeast. I do not feed a meat only diet so I rotate between sweet potatoes, brown rice or oats and these are given at least twice a week. I also feed honey once in a while, and lightly cooked veggies as treats only, and occasional leftovers.

For thos more experienced than me, PLEASE feel free to tweak my menu.. I am trying to hard to get a good balance, but I dont feel like I am giving enough variety.

Oh they also get vegetables tossed to them here and there.. when I am cooking.

Can you get fatty hamburger? Red meat is really the best thing for dogs, very high in iron, zinc, b-complex vitamins, complete amino acids, and calorie dense. It's more expensive per lb. than chicken but you feed less beef to sustain. I give fish oil for the joints but when I fed a lot of chicken I needed to supplement with a ton of fish or flax oil! The coat was never as good. The past few years red meats have been the staple of the muscle meat portion of the diet, Shadow's coat is better @ 9yrs than it was when he was 2! Beef, lamb, pork are all fattier and healthier than too much chicken. You don't really have to give variety as much as you need to give foods that are covering their nutritional requirements.
 

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I have no set menu. The one thing that is set is a chicken back in the morning. Thats it. Nothing else in the morning. The evening meal could be any of the following:

Chicken quarters
turkey necks or wings
pork roast or slab of ribs
beef heart
beef liver
Occasional beef roast or ground beef
Occasional other organs
fish, either whole raw or canned
raw eggs
venison when I can get it
left over meats from the human's meals if there is any
Any other meats I can pick up on freecycle or other free sources

Chicken drumsticks or wings for the cats along with the other meats the dogs eat.

No veggies, grains, or fruits ... the only supplement is glucosamine for my 8 year old Dane.
 

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How about some beef. That is pretty easy meat source to get.
Would I feed the same weight as I do chicken if it has no bones? They need bones every day right? How mnay times a week should I do beef?

Ground beef is very cheap and easy to come by. Can they have chicken and beef in the same meal?

sorry for all the questions but I have been wanting to start adding in beef for a while.
 

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Would I feed the same weight as I do chicken if it has no bones? They need bones every day right? How mnay times a week should I do beef?

Ground beef is very cheap and easy to come by. Can they have chicken and beef in the same meal?

sorry for all the questions but I have been wanting to start adding in beef for a while.
You should feed about the same amount. Some dogs eat less because it is typically higher in fat vs chicken. They don't need bones every day but I pretty much like to feed bones everyday. You could add bones if you want. You could also use some egg shell too if you want to keep calcium to phosphorus levels balanced each meal. It is up to you. You can feed it as much as you like, in the big scheme of things beef is really a better meat for dogs. But its up to you. 3xs a week, 5xs a week. Whatever works out. Yeah they can have multi meat sources in the same meal. You can mix it with your chicken and turkey. I mix it with chicken to a couple of mine frequently. I give them straight beef but when I feed chicken to those dogs I also give them ground beef with it.
 

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Would I feed the same weight as I do chicken if it has no bones?
Yes

They need bones every day right?
No, absolutely not. Most people, including myself, tend to feed much more bone than is needed. If you are feeding chicken 3 or 4 times a week, you are feeding more than enough bone.

How mnay times a week should I do beef?
It's up to you. A couple of times a week would be good. More if you wish.

Ground beef is very cheap and easy to come by. Can they have chicken and beef in the same meal?
They could but I usually don't. You are already feeding beef heart. It's pretty easy to add a few cubes of that to a chicken or turkey meal. You can feed a meal of beef heart too if you wish. Beef heart is probably the best of the cow meat you can feed. Remember, for our purposes, heart is not an organ but a muscle.
 

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RE: the ground beef - what % (ie, 73%, 80% lean) is best for active, healthy weight dogs?


My 'menu':

Morning meal is chicken (usually) RMB's; canned salmon once or twice a week

Evening meal is muscle meat (turkey, beef, pork, etc), organs (liver usually), with a bit of goat milk kefir and a small amount of veggies. They get tripe once a week or so, and heart.

Supplements are apple cider vinegar, fish or coconut oil, and glucosamine for my senior.


Finding a variety of meat is so hard around here! :(
 

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You should feed about the same amount. Some dogs eat less because it is typically higher in fat vs chicken. They don't need bones every day but I pretty much like to feed bones everyday. You could add bones if you want. You could also use some egg shell too if you want to keep calcium to phosphorus levels balanced each meal. It is up to you. You can feed it as much as you like, in the big scheme of things beef is really a better meat for dogs. But its up to you. 3xs a week, 5xs a week. Whatever works out. Yeah they can have multi meat sources in the same meal. You can mix it with your chicken and turkey. I mix it with chicken to a couple of mine frequently. I give them straight beef but when I feed chicken to those dogs I also give them ground beef with it.
So if twice a week I feed them ground beef mixed in with a raw egg each I should be fine?

Yes



No, absolutely not. Most people, including myself, tend to feed much more bone than is needed. If you are feeding chicken 3 or 4 times a week, you are feeding more than enough bone.



It's up to you. A couple of times a week would be good. More if you wish.



They could but I usually don't. You are already feeding beef heart. It's pretty easy to add a few cubes of that to a chicken or turkey meal. You can feed a meal of beef heart too if you wish. Beef heart is probably the best of the cow meat you can feed. Remember, for our purposes, heart is not an organ but a muscle.
The dogs love the beef heart, its their favorite of all that I give them. Although the boys really like beef liver too. Bailey doesn't but she goes nuts for heart. I get 3 pounds for like... $3.50 so it's very feesible.

So if I switch it up to chicken 5 days a week and ground beef/add their raw egg into the beef meal 2 days a week and keep adding my organs (and muscle;)) as I am I should be good?
 

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So if I switch it up to chicken 5 days a week and ground beef/add their raw egg into the beef meal 2 days a week and keep adding my organs (and muscle;)) as I am I should be good?
If it were me, I'd add some pork once every week or two and some fish once every week or two just for a little more variety. The fish could be canned salmon or mackerel or something like that. They have valuable Omega 3's in them and your other stuff doesn't unless you are feeding grass fed beef.

However:
"When I ran a busy veterinary practice, many of my clients fed almost exclusively chicken backs and frames -- whether to adult dogs or litters of puppies -- and their animals showed excellent health."
Dr. Tom Lonsdale Work Wonders Page 25
 

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If it were me, I'd add some pork once every week or two and some fish once every week or two just for a little more variety. The fish could be canned salmon or mackerel or something like that. They have valuable Omega 3's in them and your other stuff doesn't unless you are feeding grass fed beef.

However:
"When I ran a busy veterinary practice, many of my clients fed almost exclusively chicken backs and frames -- whether to adult dogs or litters of puppies -- and their animals showed excellent health."
Dr. Tom Lonsdale Work Wonders Page 25
Well I would rather do the fish oil pills. Neither me nor my fiancee are big fish people.. and maybe later on I'll be able to handle dead fish.. but not now. lol.:eek:

I don't see any problem with that. :)
Great! Thanks! I picked up a package of ground beef tonight at the grocery store, and another package of calf liver. What percent fat do you feed?
 

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Great! Thanks! I picked up a package of ground beef tonight at the grocery store, and another package of calf liver. What percent fat do you feed?
The higher fat the better for my dogs. You will have to do what works right for yours. Last time I got the 73% lean.
 

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The higher fat the better for my dogs. You will have to do what works right for yours. Last time I got the 73% lean.
Okay cool I bought the 73% lean last night. A BIG package of it. I'll mix in a raw egg and just pretend I'm making meatloaf! lol.

The grocery store was out of beef heart though.. I don't know where else to find it, but its their favorite thing to eat... I'll keep hunting.
 
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