Raw Feeding Help & Link Page


Gina Heitz, Brier Goldens


Switching to RAW & Why


Recommended Reading: Books by: Ian Billinghurst DVM

Available through: www.barfworld.com

1. Give Your Dog A Bone

2. Grow Your Pup's With Bones

3. The BARF Diet

I base our dogs diet on Dr. Ian Billinghurst's BARF program. BARF stands for either Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. (There are other programs out there, but I am most comfortable with Dr. Billinghurst.) Dr. Billinghurst is a veterinarian in Australia. Kibble dog food did not really make an appearance in Australia until the 1970's. Until then, most people fed a natural, raw diet to their dogs. As more and more people began to feed kibble, Dr. Billinghurst began to notice health problems cropping up that he really hadn't seen before in his practice. Allergies, skin problems, dental problems and orthopedic problems were increasing rapidly. Those dogs that were still fed 'the old way' seemed much healthier. As he put two and two together, he began doing some research and eventually came up with the BARF program.

His first book, "Give Your Dog a Bone" outlines his reasons why kibble is not an appropriate diet for dogs and talked about feeding a raw diet. Many individuals have read only this book and have successfully switched their dogs over to a raw diet however reading the companion book: "Grow Your Pups With Bones" which outlines feeding for all life stages and some medical conditions is an invaluable companion book and is a must read.

"The BARF Diet" is Dr. Billinghurst's third and newest book, it is an easy step by step guide to starting raw feeding, though we highly recommend you read all three of his books starting with GYDAB then GYPWB, (these two books are companion books and must be read in order for best comprehension) The BARF Diet can be read first and you can start your dog on this program by following this book which includes most of the principals and some recipes to get you started.

That said the following is only to serve as a guide and to point out areas where people make the diet too difficult or over do, and is not intended in any way to replace doing you own reading. I would rather see someone feed a good quality holistic kibble than to hear they are feeding a raw diet without first reading the suggested books.


Getting Started Is Easy:


Starting your new puppy on raw food is very easy. Most puppies switch far more easily than adult dogs, however following the same protocol with adults has worked well for me. The biggest mistake people make with puppies/dogs new to raw is giving too much food or adding too many supplements.

Always keep in mind that in when feeding puppies, LESS is more. In the wild, puppies are the last to eat, so they get the scraps of bones and hide and whatever else they can scavenge. They are not eating prime meats and internal organs, they do not get a lot of fat, they don't even get the best bones to chew on. Obviously, we don't want to starve our puppies, but it's important to keep in mind that they will do quite well on a simple diet of raw meaty bones with a small amount of veggies and fruit. They do not need lots of eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, extra meat. In fact, this can do more harm than good. Keeping this in mind when moving adults over too is a good rule of thumb.

Start by feeding turkey necks or chicken backs only for the first few days. If you choose chicken backs, remove as much of the fat as you can. Puppies only need a small amount of fat in their diet. Adults being moved over to raw can react to too much fresh fat in the diet so it's best to treat adults as puppies for the first few days too. You can feed the backs or necks whole, chop them up with a cleaver or grind them. Some puppies/dogs have trouble getting the hang of chewing up bones at first, so chopping them up a little can help. This becomes particularly when the puppy is teething. However, go by what your puppy/dog is doing, not what you think he/she should be doing. Puppies/dogs also like their food warmed up and warming makes it easier for the digestive system. Simply soak your bones in a pan of hot tap water, never cook bones or defrost them in a microwave.

After your puppy/dog has eaten raw meaty bones for a few days and their stomachs have adjusted, you can start adding in fruit and veggies. Fruit and veggies should make up no more than about 30-40% of their total diet.


Amounts to feed also will vary with each individual. A rough guide is to start with about 10% of a puppies body weight per day. This means if a puppy weighs 10 lbs, you would feed one pound total food over the whole day. And then adjust according to their needs and activity level. As in adults, some will need more, some will need less, but you need to keep an eye on their condition. And remember, keep your puppies lean! Carrying extra weight is very hard on puppies and can cause damage to their growing skeleton. Adult dogs eat much less more like 2% to 3% of their ideal weight.


Standard Puppy Veggie Mix:

*Use this same veggie mix for adults new to raw and feed as the dog will tolerate amount wise, but my rule of thumb is 1/4 cup per day for the first week, moving up to 1/2 cup daily in the following week, provided the dog is tolerating the mix well, stools firm and well formed. Some adults will require more veggie mix than others gauge again by how your dog is doing. *

Two green leafy vegetables, for example, one head or bunch/bundle of two of these: spinach, kale or cabbage, collard greens, 4 bunches of parsley. Fruit, 1 total, medium apple, banana, pear, avocado, ½ cup blueberries or 4 medium carrots. One half pound of ground meat, preferably something other than turkey or chicken since the RMB are most likely one of these. (ground beef, lamb, pork are all fine choices.)


Juice or process veggies & fruits using a small amount of yogurt no more than a ½ cup to keep food processor running free if you process; no yogurt necessary if you juice. Add the pulp and juice to the ground meat and mix well.


Storage ideas: single serving approximately 1/4 cup.


· Freeze in ice cube trays, transfer to zip lock bags, feed two cubes per meal.

· Freeze 1/4 cup balls on a cookie sheet, transfer to zip lock bags.

· Freeze in larger containers but be sure to use mix up within 2 to 3 days and keep in a tight fitting container such as Tupperware in the refrigerator.


Always defrost/warm foods by soaking in hot water, do not microwave, this is cooking and kills the nutrients in the veggies & fruits.



(same supplements work well for healthy adults too)

Supplements as previously noted are really not necessary with puppies, but if you must here are a couple that are okay:

· Missing Link Plus (w/Glucosamine) three times per week maximum.

· V-C at the rate of 500 mg per day.

· Cod liver oil ½ teaspoon 1 time per week per 20 pounds. Over 50 pounds ¼ teaspoon per 20 pounds.


Advanced Veggie Mix:

(over 6 months of age through adulthood large batch)


5 lbs ground turkey

5 lbs ground meat (beef, lamb, pork, venison, whatever I can get and I vary it from batch to batch)

5-6 lbs veggies (carrots, broccoli, kale, chard, turnips, beets, parsnips, parsley, spinach, whatever is fresh and not too expensive)

2-3 lbs ripe fruit (apples, bananas, plums, blueberries, pears, again, whatever is fresh and available.

12 whole eggs

5-6 cloves of garlic

1lb cottage cheese or yogurt


Please remember these notes are just basics and are not intended to be complete. I feed my dogs a lot of other things that are not listed here and nothing replaces doing your own homework, reading the books put out by the experts!

On To Links

Good Informational sites:


















Discussion Groups:

try these and look for groups by requesting "canine BARF lists"



web based:



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