Okay, so I know I have been preaching pre-made raw dog food for the easiest way to feed my dogs their Ancestral Diet. Buttt, I switched jobs & started having to pay for my pre-made. All of a sudden finding a variety of options at different price points became very attractive. Here is how I DIY my dogs’ raw meals, the lazy way.
this post does contain affiliate links but as always all thoughts & suggestions are from my experience
Homemade Raw Dog Food Overview
Here we go! DIY raw dog food for the lazy raw feeders of the world. I feed a B.A.R.F. diet so that is 75% meat, bone, & organ with 25% vegetables &/or fruits from James Pendergast, Meal Formulator at Darwin’s Pet Products via Steve Brown. There are other raw diets out there that I hope to cover later but am starting with what I know. I based my meat, bone, & organ ratios on Perfectly Rawsom’s suggested amounts taking into account that I add more veggies than she does.
- 65% muscle meat
- 6% edible bone
- 2% liver
- 2% organs
- 25% vegetables, fruits, &/or nuts
Ground meats, stew meat, tongue, uterus, green tripe, and the meat part of the bone in meats. More on them in my bones section. There are other meats that apply to this section but I haven’t been able to find them easily at grocery stores.
Livers, kidneys, & brains. Liver is a specialty organ due to dogs needing to have liver due to its high nutrient value. But not too much because of the high-nutrient liver. Dogs Naturally suggest 3.5 oz per week for small dogs & 7 oz per week for medium to large dogs. It is also the one ingredient I make sure is the highest quality because everything that has ever gone into that animal has been filtered thru that liver. The other organs can be mixed and matched.
I use raw meaty bones (RMBs) due to their being easy to find. That includes ribs, chicken feet, wings, & backs. As with muscle meat, there are many more options but not easily sourced at your local grocery stores. Now there are times when I feel bone deficient that t is when I add eggshells.
At first, I attempted to make my own veggie mix from Keep the Tail Wagging’s recipe. It is a great mix, but I not only blew up my kitchen blender it also took for-ev-er. I mean an hour or so, and that is wayyy too much work for my lazy self. I did get a new blender that works like a charm but still wanted to find an easier way. Then it hit me. Pre-mixes! I have been in the pre-made world for so long that I forgot that there are loads of great people that make dehydrated veggie/nutrient bases that I can simply buy, rehydrate, & add meat. I’m using Honest Kitchen right now but will expand out to others for my Raw Reviews later.
I add canned sardines a little to each meal during prep or as a treat/emergency meal once a week. Make sure the sardines are packed in water or oil only & you are good to go.
Beginner DIY Raw Dog Food Tips
Make sure you have the proper tools/supplies & are willing to finish the job. I gave this tip in my interview with The Dad Dog Official and then immediately went ahead and started my first DIY adventure on the fly. That resulted in a 2-hour prep time & a broken blender (mentioned above). These are the things I should have done right off the bat.
- Frank-n-Feed: I got this from Dana Scott. Don’t get caught up in making each meal completely perfect. Use the guidelines from whatever recipe you choose and just make sure that by the end of the week, your dog has been fed that general amount.
- Grocery Store Meats: They are all human-grade so I don’t have to worry about quality also so convenient to acquire. The only exceptions are the liver as I mentioned before & fat content. Dogs can’t digest fat the way we can so lean meats are a must. I just get a lean grind or cut off the excess fat.
- Dog Food Specific Containers: What I mean here is a set of Tupperware-like containers that don’t match any of your other sets that is for your dog meals only. Doing this has enabled me to keep my storage standardized and most importantly the lids to match the tubs.
- Digital Scale: I thought I could get away with using an old fashion scale that truthfully I bought for decoration purposes. What I got with that were fat dogs. Since I knew the scale was off I overcompensated for the amount of meat I added and my pooches ballooned up like ticks. Buying a digital scale fixed this.
- Good Knife: Raw Feeding 101 Facebook group unanimously recommended Morakniv Knives. Which, if you know anything about us raw feeders having anything unanimously agreed upon is a miracle. I mean this is our babies’ diets we are talking about here.
- Premix: Highly recommended for first-timers. It cut my prep time down by hours. I also don’t have to worry as much about complete & balanced meals because they have it covered for me.
- High-Powered Blender: Only needed if you are making your own veggie mix. Fresh whole food is always the best so if you have the time & willingness go for it. I didn’t get too crazy with my blender (replacement) and am extremely happy with it.
Legal Disclaimer: This diet is not guaranteed to be nutritionally complete by AFFCO and may require rotation and/or supplementation to meet your dog’s needs. Please consult your veterinarian before making any diet changes.
Starting my dogs on a raw diet has been in the back of my mind for a while now, but I’m still not convinced that I would do a very good job of preparing balanced meals. Not to mention with twins on the way I will have even less time on my hands. However, the pre-made raw might be an option. The big drawback with pre-made is the expense. For now, raw will have to remain in the back of my mind.
Yes, complete & balanced is the most important thing when it comes to your dog’s diet. Pre-made has always been my answer to ensuring my pooches are getting what they need as I learn the basics of their nutritional needs. If that seems overwhelming with, well, life happening you can always add some whole foods to their diets. Check out my post about dog food toppers for ideas.
So glad I found your site. I am a lazy raw feeder, I buy premade raw and so my pups can get their fruits and veggies, I add THK to their food. I went this route because I was afraid of not balancing their meals especially for a growing puppy. Although expensive going this route I get peace of mind that they are getting a balanced meal.
Welcome! I was strictly pre made for years just because of that reason. ☺
I’ve been giving my pup raw for almost 2 years now. Mostly 80%lean ground beef (50%), mixed with cut pieces of steak (30%0 and tilapia fillets (20%). I’ll drop in 2-3 eggs twice a week with the shells crushed and they like that.
I’ve tried adding beef heart, turkey gizzards but she tries to bury the food when I add those ingredients.
What vitamins/supplements do you recommend to help balance out this diet.
Can somebody just give me a pound for pound recipe of every ingredient instead of vague percentages??? Please?!?!?!
Sure thing! Just buy The Honest Kitchen Basemix & follow the directions on the box.