How to Make a Homemade Raw Paleo Diet for Your Dog
Dogs can benefit from a Paleo diet, too. They were not developed to eat grain, and the commercial dog foods have only been in place since the mid-20th century in the U.S. Those commercial processed foods are not keeping your dog as healthy as his ancestors, and anyone who works with dogs will be sure to tell you about the skin, dental, and obesity problems that have all come about since these foods were introduced.
The Paleo diet will keep your dog fit enough to run with the pack. If a wolf on a natural diet can live 20 years, why can't your dog?
Switch your dog to a Paleo diet. He is ready for a change.
What Goes Into a Paleo Diet for My Dog?
The main ingredient in a natural diet for your dog should be that which has been keeping dogs alive for so long—meat and bones. A lot of the founders of the raw diets recommend that dogs only be fed human-quality ingredients. My dogs and I disagree with this. That is not what has been keeping dogs alive for thousands of years.
Dogs Ate the Food That People Didn't Want
When Paleolithic humans fed their dogs, it was with those ingredients that people were not going to eat. It should still be that way. There are a lot of great alternative feed sources out there. Chicken necks, chicken feet, beef heart and kidneys, and tripe are all easily available since humans do not eat them. Old laying hens and Coturnix quail that no longer lay can be purchased cheaply if available in your area. If you live in an area where you cannot get chicken necks and feet, you can still purchase inexpensive chicken wings at the supermarket.
Since dogs are scavengers and will eat almost anything if the opportunity arises, you can feed them almost anything. (If you want to find out a few things that dogs should not be eating, you can read another article here.)
So feed your dogs what is natural. That is an ideal Paleolithic diet.
Is It Expensive to Feed My Dog a Paleo Diet?
It is actually cheaper to feed your dog a natural Paleo diet than most of the major “premium” dog foods. In fact, if you choose the ingredients carefully and take advantage of inexpensive sources when available, you can feed a Paleo diet for as little as the cheapest dog food at Walmart.
It is not necessary to invest in a big freezer. There are no special requirements to feeding a Paleo diet. I buy available ingredients and feed my dogs this way every week.
To learn more about cheap sources of raw dog food, you can read more here. Be creative. A dog on a natural, Paleo-type diet can and should eat everything you provide.
The most natural diet for your dog is:
What Should I Feed My Dog Every Day?
- Mostly meat and bones. About ¾ of his diet can be provided by bringing home chicken necks, beef scraps from the butcher, and even raw tripe.
- Some organ meat like an occasional piece of liver or kidneys. If you feed chicken backs, the organs are attached to the inside of the back, and it is not even necessary to worry about buying extra organs.
- Some vegetables, mixed with a few tablespoons of raw yogurt to provide bacteria to aid digestion. (In Paleolithic times, the probiotic most commonly consumed was fecal material. Most people will want to look for an alternative.)
- Fresh fruit. Almost all dogs enjoy fruit.
- Some areas of the world will be deficient, and dogs may require some supplements—if there are local street dogs that are healthy and doing fine, do not worry about this. (Commercial dog foods will not take this into account and will just provide enough nutrients to keep your dog alive.)
- All dogs benefit from the addition of fish oil, and some benefit from other antioxidants like vitamin C.
Are Some Commercial Dog Foods the Same as a Paleo Diet?
No. Most dog foods are made up with grains. They are, after all, cheap fillers, and that is why dog foods were invented in the first place. There may be some diets that are now grain-free, but, despite the sloppy labeling, they are not natural, and they're certainly not what your dog needs to be healthy.
Feeding your dog correctly will take a little effort. If you feed your family boxes of macaroni and cheese and go out for fast food hamburgers, you might not consider your dog worth the effort.
How Do I Switch My Dog's Food?
Most dogs will take to a Paleo diet right away—after all, it is what dogs want to eat. Take a raw chicken neck or chicken wing and put it in her bowl when she is hungry. If she does not want to eat raw food, you can cook it in a skillet, but do so quickly, and leave the bone and the meat inside the cut raw. The next day, cook the piece of chicken even less, until eventually your dog gets used to eating it raw.
You can do the same thing with organ meat if your dog does not like it. Most dogs enjoy organs raw, and they can even be mixed in with your vegetable mixture if your dog does not want to eat it.
Are You Ready to Make the Change?
Are you ready to switch your dog to a natural diet like those that have been keeping his ancestors healthy for thousands of years? Find out what your dog needs, and get to it right away.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Are chicken bones safe for dogs to eat?
When consumed raw, chicken bones are digested normally. They are safe and a good source of calcium.Helpful 13
Aren't dogs only supposed to have beef bones?
I am not sure who told you that or what the logic was. Maybe they were thinking of cooked chicken bones, which can be brittle and splinter when eaten. When consumed raw, however, chicken bones are soft and easily digested.Helpful 11
Can you please provide a paleo recipe for a dog? What would a whole week of dog food consist of?
There are already details on what to feed your dog in the section titled "What should I feed my dog each day?". You do not need an exact recipe. As far as amount, and how much you will need in a week, I can not tell you. Base your feeding amounts on your dogs condition. If he is geting thin, feed more. If he is getting fat, feed less. The commercial diets will tell you exactly how much, and always recommend way too much, which is why there is a great problem with obesity in dog fed commercial dog food. Feed your dog correctly and he can stay in great shape.Helpful 10
My dog is older and is missing a few teeth. Is there a diet without bones?
Some of the companies that sell raw food grind the bones so that the calcium is part of the diet. I do not want to recommend one brand, so you will need to check at the pet superstores that sell ready-to-eat raw food.
It is more expensive than making up your own diet. Have you tried to allow your dog access to chicken wings and necks? The bones are very small and unless he is missing all of his teeth I do not see that there will be a problem.Helpful 2
© 2014 Dr Mark