Well, a species-appropriate diet from bioavailable foods of course, but if you are not immersed in the raw pet food movement, it isn’t that easy. A species appropriate diet is a diet that supports their genetic make-up. Bioavailable foods are foods that the body can obtain proper nutrients naturally through their digestive system. Or simply, feeding the foods their bodies are made to digest and get nutrients from.
Why Raw Is A Species-appropriate Diet?
Great question. Genetically dogs are the same as their ancestors who were carnivores and did not have kitchens with burners, ovens, or microwaves. Therefore their animal proteins, meat, had to be raw. They thrived so today’s dogs must be the same. This is a statement based on reason with a smidgen of science. But it makes sense to me, and feeding extremely processed food pellets instead of real, whole foods don’t.
Common Raw Diets For Dogs
Below are the two main raw dog food diets as well as one sub-diet to consider.
- Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet by Dr. Ian Billighurst, also referred to as Bones And Raw Food, is based on dogs being omnivores. It is made up of meat, bones, (60-80%) fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, and organs (20-40%). B.A.R.F.® has been trademarked by a brand of food so you will see it first when you go shopping on Google. It is a B.A.R.F. diet, but there are many more raw brands that offer this style of diet.
The Ancestral Diet –
- This a version of a B.A.R.F. diet, but has become so popular it deserves its own section. Not to mention that I am a huge fangirl of its creator, Steve Brown. (I’m biased, remember) This diet consists of the same things as the B.A.R.F diet just with a heavy emphasis on it being complete and balanced. He believes that 75% should be meat and organs with 25% vegetables and vitamins.
Prey Model –
- It is based on the idea that dogs are carnivores and need a variety of animals to thrive. This diet is just meat, bones, and organs. Although vegetable mixes can be added they are not necessary for prey model diets. This diet’s breakdown is 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% offal.
What A Raw Diet For Your Dog Isn’t
As you look into raw feeding more you will find many different styles of feeding these diets but as long as it is complete and balanced you are good to go. But, if a company can not tell you what diet they follow. Or, what they do to ensure your dog’s meals are complete be wary. And don’t take that it veterinarian approved as your only trust signal. Vets can receive as little as three hours of nutrition education that is sponsored by a large pet food manufacture as their only education on proper feeding. If you want to know of other trust singles you should look for – hop over to my article on buying raw with Kimberly Gauthier.