1. Majority muscle meat

Muscle meat is one of the richest source of complete protein for our pets and should comprise 75% of a raw diet. Pets should also obtain omega-3 fatty acids from fish, at least once per week. Salmon and sardines are both rich in omega-3’s and an easy way to integrate omega-3‘s into your pets’ diet.

2. Organs provide nutrients and probiotics

Organs are rich sources of vitamins and minerals and are a vital part of a pet’s diet, they should make up 5% of your pets diet to be complete. Offal is often the prized possession that is first to go when our wolf ancestors would devour their prey and should comprise 5% of a raw diet. Liver is a highly concentrated source of critical fat-solvable vitamins and minerals including A, D, K and E, liver should comprise at least 4% of the of a home-made raw food diet (5% if it is the only organ being used).

3. Boost meals with fruits and veges

A diverse selection of plant matter provides a naturally complete range of vitamins and minerals. Mostly green leafy and coloured vegetables, as well as fruits these supply antioxidants, phytonutrients, fibre and moisture as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

4. Variation is key

Different protein sources will all provide different ratios of nutrients that our pets fundamentally need. Feeding a mix of proteins means your pet will also be stimulated by the different flavours coming from all the different protein sources, making meals even more enjoyable for them. Another important benefit of feeding mixed protein diets is to expose your dog to as many different proteins as possible to reduce the chance of them becoming intolerant or sensitive to them.

5. Don’t forget bone

As carnivores your pet is designed to digest raw bone matter, it’s in their DNA and it’s a part of who they are. Not only that, bones are incredibly beneficial to their mental and physical health as well. Bones are natural sources of calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, chondroitin and bone marrow; all of which all play a part in maintaining joint and bone health throughout life and providing natural sources of important nutrition for your pet. Feeding raw bones can help with the removal of plaque buildup which is essential when trying to prevent plaque from building up that may cause irritation and in extreme cases, gum disease.

6. Balance

A balanced raw diet would be summarised as follows:

• 70% lean muscle meat from various sources

• 10% offal including at least 4% liver

• 10% bone with accompanying cartilage

• 10% plant matter and other healthy ingredients

7. Include superfoods

A balanced raw diet may also include a little top up with other health promoting ingredients that include garlic in small amounts, whole eggs, kelp or spirulina, coconut oil, flax meal, probiotics and prebiotics, ginger, turmeric and any other healthy ingredients for pet‘s.

8. Clean up!

Nature always intended dogs to eat raw, hence their bodies are biologically adept to process a raw food diet, along with the naturally occurring bacteria. The highly acidic pH of their stomach and accompanying short digestive tract assists passing of pathogens, without any health concerns. However, to be safe please ensure proper storage and handling methods are followed to avoid development of harmful bacteria. Clean up after preparing your pets raw meal and thoroughly wash your hands.

9. All natural, human grade, locally made and sourced

No artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, no fillers, no chemicals, no irradiation of ingredients, no cooking, no synthetic vitamins, minerals or additives, no high pressure pasteurization and no ultra-high temperature processing.

Human grade foods are much more rigorously regulated than “pet food”. Always look for human grade ingredients and a processing facility that meets the same standards required for human-consumption meat manufacturing.

Not only is it great to be supporting your local farmers, local ingredients allow the company to tell owners that it knows entirely where each ingredient comes from and can ensure its quality and safety.

10. Show us your puppers! (and kitties)

Don’t forget to send us photos of your pets… we LOVE to see them!

Send us your pics on facebook: @bigdogpetfoods, tag us on instagram @bigdogpetfoods or email: info@bigdogpetfoods.com

If you liked this article, sign up to our Big Dog Fam Mail to receive more great pet health and happiness advice.

If you'd like to learn more about raw feeding check out this episode of the Paws & Listen podcast.

If you liked this article, please share on Facebook.