More dog owners have been changing their dogs from a diet of prepared dog food to raw foods in recent years. There is an inherent logic because animals in the wild would eat raw food. Dogs are natural hunters. If you choose to go to a raw food diet, it's best to consult with your veterinarian first for recommendations. There are many options when choosing a raw food menu for your dog.
Any time you change a dog's diet, you should do it gradually. Rapid changes in food can cause digestive system problems like vomiting or diarrhea. While many people worry about bacteria in raw foods, dogs' stomach produce much more acid than human stomachs. In addition, dogs have natural resistance to many food-borne illnesses. While our pets aren't immune to problems from bacteria in food, dogs are far less likely to fall ill from it than a human is.
There are a number of options available for a raw food diet for dogs. If you've got the time and want to do the research and work yourself, you can purchase all the ingredients yourself. This allows you to control the specific ingredients. You'll know exactly what your dog is eating. If you don't want to make that time commitment, though, a number of manufacturers make raw food diets. You can just buy them at the pet store with instructions.
If you are feeding a commercial raw food diet, the ratios of foods should be handled by the manufacturer. Those making their own food, though, will need to understand that dogs don't need only meat. A good rule of thumb is about 35 percent lean meat, 20 percent fat, 25 percent bone, 15 percent organ meat and 5 percent plant food sources. That ratio will work well for adult dogs. For puppies you are probably better getting a commercial mixture.
You can choose just about any kind of meat. Fish like salmon is good. Bones can come from various animals, but you will want to grind them. Solid bones can splinter and cause internal injuries. Organs also can be such things as chicken livers, beef tripe or just about any other kind of organ meat. Use the most natural meat sources you can find, without additives or spices. Your varieties can be based on availability and the dog's preferences.
You can add most types of fruits and vegetables. Onions and garlic are generally considered off limits for dogs. Raw potatoes also are not good for dogs. Carrots, peas, blueberries and green beans are good options. If your dog seems to have digestion problems frequently or suffers from itching, they might have allergies. A veterinarian can help narrow down the causes by testing your dog's blood.