Raw Feeding Program
The road to raw feeding
is fraught with an abundance of opinion and speculation without much
foundation of factual research to support said conclusions. We have
been investigating this avenue of nutrition for an extended period
of time now in pursuit of providing our beloved filas with the best
possible source of nutrition and health that we can provide. We have
taken the time to compile a nutrition program based on our studies
thus far. We feel that we are firmly on the correct track in feeding
our dogs a solid nutrition program with no missing components. We
have taken much care to keep in mind the necessary vitamin, mineral,
protein, needs and more in computing the ratios necessary in a
complete nutrition program.
We are cognizant of the fact that raw feeding is not feasible for
every owner and we gladly refer you to our Sombra Ultrajante
Nutrition Program to assist you in your search for a complete
nutrition program based on kibble. For those of you who would like
to pursue a raw feeding program with your animals, we gladly share
the program that we have developed with each of you.
Raising dogs on a raw feeding program has multiple benefits. Dogs
raised on raw are prone to have a steadier rate of growth and avoid
the sudden growth spurts that often occur in dogs raised on kibble.
The dogs that are raised on raw also tend to have a healthy coat,
strong jaw muscles, clear/bright eyes, less body odor and no tartar
build up on their teeth. In addition, there has been a noticeable
improvement in the dogs over all immune system. You will also notice
that the dogs will consume less water as meat is 60% water.
Because the dogs do not consume wasted carbohydrates, you will also
notice that there feces are considerably smaller in size. Their
stool will vary according to diet and may change color/consistency
according to protein sources. It is normal for there to be mucus and
bits of bone upon occasion. Over time you will find which meat suits
your dog best. There is a myth attached to raw feeding that this
program will cause dogs to become aggressive or prone to attacking
other animals. This is simply not the case.
In order to keep this as easily comprehended as possible, we are
going to break this down into various areas that need to be
addressed then at the bottom of the article we will provide a sample
schedule that would be appropriate for a one week time period.
Appropriate Protein Sources
This should comprise 40-50% of the diet. Move toward the lower end
of the percentages when feeding puppies as their optimal health
requires a higher bone intake. Heart / Intestines /Stomach /Gizzard
are included in the muscle meat category although we as humans refer
to them as organs. These are in fact a muscle and count as such in
raw feeding. The muscle meat comes in the form of roasts, steaks,
ground, breast meat, and quarters. Feeding whole prey is a wonderful
thing but not always feasible for all people. Whole game, halves, or
quarters are preferable when possible.
~Beef ~Chicken ~Lamb ~Goat ~Pork ~Rabbit ~Turkey ~Fish ~Quail
~Venison ~Egg (with shell) ~Fresh Fish
This should comprise 10% of the diet.
~Lung ~Trachea ~Esophagus ~Liver ~Spleen ~Kidney ~Testicals
Note: Too much organ meat at one time can cause loose / runny stool.
Raw Meaty Bones:
This should comprise 10-40% of the diet. Move toward the higher end
of the percentages when feeding puppies as the calcium in bones is
needed for appropriate bone/joint/dental development. RMB should be
about 10% bone and 40% meat. This of course is dependent on the type
RMB you are able to obtain. Please keep in mind that turkey/chicken
necks contain a lot of cartilage so are not as high in bone as you
~Turkey/Chicken necks ~Chicken feet ~Neck bones ~Rib tips ~Rib bones
~Wings ~Any ground bone/meat mixture ~Any canned mackerel, sardine,
bone in fish
***Only feed turkey necks to medium size dogs who cannot get them
stuck in their throats. Chicken necks are appropriate for small dogs
or young puppies. Necks can be fed to bigger dogs when still
attached to the body of the fowl.
Note: Too much bone can cause constipation.
Veggies/Fruits: Please be careful in the veggies you choose. If it
is a veggie which is known to cause gas to build up, then I would
use small amounts. Often times we take several veggies/fruits and
puree in a blender. We then pour this into ice cube trays and
freeze. These are tremendous treats in the warmer months/climates as
well as make the feeding process much simpler. Simply pop out the
cubes and place in gallon freezer bag for ease of use.
~Broccoli ~Carrot ~Spinach ~Celery ~Zucchini ~Cabbage ~Sweet Potato
~Apple ~Banana ~Cranberry ~Coconut ~Pear ~Grapefruit ~Orange
~Blueberry ~Kelp ~Alfalfa meal
Appropriate Weights / Percentages
Dogs that are ideal in weight will need approximately 2-3% of their
body weight in raw food. An example of this would be: 100# dog would
need 2# of food per day / 135# dog would need 2.5# of food per day.
Dogs that need to gain weight should be fed 3-4% of their body
weight in raw food. An example of this would be: 100# dog would need
3# of food per day / 135# dog would need 4# of food per day.
Dogs that need to lose weight should be fed 2% of their ideal body
weight in raw food. An example of this would be 130# dog that should
weigh 100# would be fed 2# of raw food a day.
Lactating females need approximately 10% or more of their body
weight in raw food. Each female can be different so must be
monitored closely and the raw food amounts adjusted accordingly. An
example of this would be: 100# bitch would need 10# of food a day /
135# bitch would need 13.5# of raw food per day.
Puppies: Young puppies usually need 10% of their body weight in raw
food. In addition with the muscle meat that is fed, 40-50% of their
intake should be bone. Puppy’s growth patterns demand a high calcium
intake in order for their bones/joints/dental to develop properly.
An example of this would be: a 30# puppy would be fed 1.5# of muscle
meat and 1.5# of bone.
When beginning to feed raw, people are often times tempted to cut
the meat into bite size portions. It is important not to do this.
There are multiple benefits to allowing the dog to tear and crunch
the meat as well as work their jaws. There is no danger of choking
on large pieces of meat but do avoid smaller, bite size pieces of
meat which could get stuck in the throat such as fowl neck bones.
Remember that dogs were not designed to “chew” meat. They crunch,
break, and swallow. Give the dogs big pieces and they will crunch
and swallow the appropriate sizes of meat. If possible, feed meat
that is not enhanced with salt nor treated with antibiotics.
Dogs have no trouble crunching and digest raw bone. Only cooked
bones are prone to splinter and are dangerous. Meat can be offered
at room temperature, cold, or frozen. In fact, in the summer months,
you will find that your dogs greatly enjoy the cooling effects of
frozen meat much like you enjoy ice cream.
Meat that has met an expiration date in the stores is most likely
still okay for your dogs. For example, think about how in the wild,
carnivores are prone to bury their excess meat and dig it up to eat
after a week.
There is no need to concern be concerned with a transition period if
you are already feeding a kibble and wish to change to raw. Dogs can
be switched immediately with no real ramifications. It is best to
start with one protein source until the dogs really gets used to the
change. For example, you might start with chicken for a few weeks.
If the dog experiences loose stool, remove the skin until their body
becomes familiar with the new food. After a few weeks you can add
another protein source. Do not give organ meat until your dog has
had time to be fully accustomed to the raw feeding program.
When feeding wild game of any type (such as venison, boar, rabbit,
salmon) it is best to follow these simple guidelines. Freeze the
meat at a temperature of -20 Fahrenheit for up to two weeks to kill
any existing parasites. Human grade meat from slaughter houses
should be fine but if in doubt, freeze the meat first.
Never give cooked bones as they create a very real danger of
puncturing the intestinal tract. Avoid giving weight bearing bones
as they are so hard that they could potentially cause the dog to
break a tooth. When feeding your bone, try to feed bone hidden in
Most dogs are used to getting fed 2-3 times a day. Feed according to
whatever will be compatible with your family’s activities. I have
found that the best results are the dogs feeding routine stays
fairly varied. Some dogs when fed on a schedule will start to vomit
bile in expectation of being fed.
To avoid this, it is best to keep the feeding amounts and times
varied. Some people prefer to allow their dogs to regulate their
food intake on their own or gorge feed. In these instances they
allow the dog to eat as much as they want and then not feed again
for 2-3 days. In the case of dogs which have a deep chest, we do not
recommend allowing gorging as it may encourage bloat in the dog. In
our experience, puppies do best when fed two to three times a day.
Pregnant and nursing bitches need to be fed as much as they want in
order to accommodate the added requirements of their bodies.
You will find raw feeding will be much simpler if you freeze the
meat according to portion sizes in freezer bags. Simply remove from
the freezer the night before and place in your refrigerator for easy
Avoid letting your dog decide the menu. If your dog doesn’t like
what you put before them, simply put the meat away until the next
meal time. The dog may skip 2-3 meals but will eat when they are
hungry. If you will stick to this program, the dog will quickly
understand that you are the pack leader, not he, and will eat what
he is given when fed. If you give the dog what he wants, then you
will create a fussy eater who will eventually rule you. If you find
that the dog absolutely refuses a meat after 1-2 days, then you
might lightly sear the meat until the dog becomes accustomed to the
Most often dogs on a raw diet are much less likely to develop skin /
food allergies. Some dogs that exhibit quite a few allergies while
fed kibble, will clear up completely when switched to a raw diet. If
you notice any of the following symptoms when feeding raw, you might
try changing protein sources to rule out possible allergens. Some
symptoms would be: constant vomiting, constant diarrhea, lethargy,
unwillingness to eat, excessive blood in stool or vomit. If in
doubt, consult a veterinarian.
There are several supplements that we strongly recommend in
conjunction with any feeding program whether it be a raw or kibble
based. Here is a fairly comprehensive listing of the supplements we
strongly encourage to be given in conjunction with any feeding
*Nupro Joint Formula – This is a organic complete vitamin / mineral
supplement with Esther C, MSM, and Glucosmine that is based in a
dehydrated liver formula.
*Probiotics – These are necessary to promote better digestions,
improve assimilation of food, and will optimize the health of the
digestive tract and immune system. Nzymes Bac Pak Plus or Optizyme
are both good options.
*Nzymes – This is a natural live formula that designed to help
replenish enzymes lacking in today’s food sources. This also has the
added benefit of helping clear up free radicals and toxins from the
body which helps off set vaccination reactions and more.
*Source Plus – Unfortunately today’s food sources are very depleted
of the micro-nutrients which at one time were so abundant. Source
Plus concentrates the entire ocean’s bounty which gives our dogs the
a complete rounded nutritional health.
*Omega 3’s – We have always fed our dogs Salmon oil, and Cod Liver
Oil. These oils are rich in omega threes and just further enhance
our dogs overall health and vitality.
This is just a sample list of what a week of raw meals might
include. This has been included for to assist those who are just
beginning to feed their dogs a raw diet. We hope to encourage people
by making the transition to raw as simplistic as possible. Please
understand that there are as many varied ways to feed raw as there
are varied ways to feed our human families. Each person must
research to see what is appropriate for their family both two and
four legged. Please visit the Sombra Ultrajante University for
further research articles / links on canine nutrition.
Monday – AM Venison & veggie/fruit puree PM Venison Ribs
Tuesday - AM Turkey hearts PM Turkey necks or Legs or Thighs or
Wednesday – AM Tripe & veggie/fruit puree PM Beef ribs / muscle meat
Thursday - AM Pork neck with a lot of meat PM Pork rib tips / feet
Friday - AM Chicken Gizzards / livers & veggie/fruit puree PM
Chicken Backs, Quarters, Breasts
Saturday – AM Beef muscle meat /tripe PM Rabbit-bone in, whole Quail
Sunday – AM Lamb muscle meat & veggie/fruit puree PM lamb shanks
Each day will find the above supplements sprinkled on the raw food,
when fed, in the appropriate measure.
You can mix/match protein sources as your dog is comfortable and
tolerates your meat sources well. We also will feed raw eggs,
cottage cheese, and kefir; all of which are healthy additions to the
diet but not needed on a daily basis.
Treats that are given are always grain free and meat based.
It is our sincere desire that this article has helped you on your
journey to raw feeding your beloved dog.
Wishing you much success, health, and happiness….
Sombra Ultrajante Filas
Back to Sombra Ultrajante Fila Brasileiro