We’re always howling from the rooftops about the phenomenal benefits of raw diets. In celebration of raw feeding week this week, we thought we’d share with you our absolute favourite food additions you can make to the raw meat feeding bowl. Side orders which will supercharge your dog’s nutrition to another level.
Raw feeding ingredients
If you’re new to raw feeding, or not yet taken the plunge into the wondrous world of whole food natural cuisine for your canine bestie. We just need to ask one thing:
What are you waiting for?
We make no secret of the fact that making the transition from feeding your woofer processed dog foods, to a quality raw food diet is THE best choice you can make for your beloved’s health and well-being.
Very simply put, dogs have evolved to eat meat. Their physiology and digestive system is designed to process and thrive on the macro and micronutrients found in meat. Highly manufactured dog foods, such as kibble contain high levels of carbohydrates which your doggo’s digestion is just not designed for.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Kibble also contains chemicals, toxins and very little genuine nutritional value. Your four legged friend may well be surviving on processed dog foods. Because dogs are adaptive creatures, their body will adjust and make the best of what’s hitting their belly, but they won’t be thriving. The only diet canines truly thrive on is a species specific one. Quality natural whole food ingredients, sourced from mother nature not from a processing plant.
If you need to know more detail about the benefits of raw feeding and raw dog food, we’ve got you covered!
Check out our RawBellion page, where you’ll find all you need to know about why raw feeding is the bomb! And while you’re there, who knows, you might decide you want to be part of a riot for your dog’s diet too.
Why Mix Things Up?
You may be wondering, if dogs thrive on eating raw meat why add in other ingredients?
The answer, simply put, is the opportunity to take your dog’s vitality to the next level. To revolutionise their diet so they are receiving the absolute optimum in vitamins and minerals, which will fuel their cells from a complete nutritional spectrum.The transition from processed dog food to a raw meat diet alone will go a very long way to enriching a dog’s state of health. And adding in specifically selected additional ingredients for your dog’s individual needs will support them to operate at their physical and mental peak.
And that’s not all…
Once you get into the swing of mixing things up with some of our secret ingredients, it also serves as the most perfect recycling solution ever. Rather than dropping nutrition rich “waste” into the food bin, drop it into your doggo’s bowl instead! You’ll never see any edibles as waste again. Plus you’ll love the feeling of sharing your food.
A word of caution
When making any changes to your dog’s diet:
- be sure to pay attention to any transition reactions during the initial stages of introduction
- if your dog is on any medications, check with an holistic vet or dog nutritionist before changing your dog’s diet and
- If in doubt, give us a call!
So here goes!
Ingredients to work into your dog’s raw diet
1. Egg Shells
Whaaaat? I hear you cry. Yes, you read that correctly. Egg shells are the avant-garde of doggo nutrition. Egg shells are rich in calcium, roughly 40%, so are super strengthening for bones and teeth. High in protein helping to build muscle and repair tissue. Plus. the internal membrane of the egg shell contains a heap of collagen which is great for joint health.
Grind eggshells to powder in a clean coffee grinder or blender. To give you an idea of calcium content, half an egg shell or ½ teaspoon eggshell powder provides about 1,000 mg calcium. Calcium supplementation is super important for a raw feeding diet and egg shells are a great remedy and a robust alternative to bones.
They may be small but blueberries are powerhouse fruits, packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also relatively low in sugar, making them a toptastic healthful reward for good behaviour.
Here’s the blueberry breakdown:
They contain vitamins A, C, E, K, folate and choline. As well as minerals like manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. Plus, their distinctive blue-purple colour comes from flavonoid pigments called anthocyanins, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Vitamins A,C and E are also antioxidants, which serve to protect cells from free radical damage caused by: use of medications, antibiotics, cleaning chemicals and even just toxins in the air absorbed through normal day-to-day living.
To put into context exactly how nutrient-dense these fruits are, a serving of 148 grams provides for an adult hooman:
- 24% of the RDI of vitamin C
- 25% of the RDI of manganese and
- 36% of the RDI of vitamin K.
Despite their nutritional benefit, keep in mind blueberries are best used as a treat, and no treat should make up more than 10% of doggo’s diet.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a compound with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and even anti-cancer properties. To put it simply, turmeric is an absolute gem of a medicinal spice, which has impressive results in treating ailments and also as preventative health support.We at ProDog rave about this little spice as a food supplement. Check out our complete guide to everything you need to know about turmeric for dogs.
4. Psyllium husks
Derived from the seeds of plantago ovata, psyllium is a herb mainly grown in India and is usually found in the form of husk, granules, capsules or powder. Psyllium husks are a soluble dietary fibre, making it a megastar addition for aiding the normal functioning of a dog’s digestion and bowels. These husks are a bulking agent; they can absorb ten times their own weight in water and will add mass to your dog’s stools, and, in turn improve both constipation or diarrhoea symptoms.
Gut health is critical to overall well-being for both mind and body. At least 70% of the immune system is housed within the digestive and intestinal tract and there are proven studies documenting the direct communication between gut and the brain. These facts alone shine a spotlight on the importance of keeping that belly happy, where a happy gut equals:
- Stronger immune system
- Increased metabolism and energy
- Fresher breath and
- Easier weight management.
The gut is home to trillions of bacteria. Stress, poor diet, toxins, antibiotics, medication etc can all impact the balance leading to what’s called dysbiosis (Imbalance of good and bad bacteria) which in turn leads to a whole range of health conditions. One way to keep things in harmony in your canine companion’s gut is to add in probiotics.
- Dandelion greens
- Chia seeds
- Chicory root and
- Goat’s milk kefir or bio live yoghurt.
6. Goat’s milk
Goat’s milk is canine friendly. It’s super nutritious, containing protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Higher in calcium, potassium, niacin, and vitamin A than cow’s milk. You’ve probably steered clear of giving your furry friend milk all together. Hearing or even experiencing the impact on their digestion of cow’s milk, but it’s important to highlight fat globules in goat’s milk are smaller than those in raw cow’s milk, making the milk more easily digested. For most dogs the milk from goats doesn’t cause problems, which is fab because it’s a wondrous liquid supplement to a raw feeding diet.
As mentioned above goats milk kefir is a wonderful probiotic for our doggos. Kefir is a drink created through a fermentation process which increases the levels of friendly bacteria in the milk, which in turn increases the bioavailability of the nutrients. Simply add a teaspoon to your dogs dinner, mix in and serve.
7. Fruits and vegetables
And last but not definitely not least. Good old fashioned fruits and vegetables. There is nothing that beats plant power, mother nature’s produce is packed with a wealth of health giving phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.
There are of course the red flagged veggies, which can cause problems for dogs: Onions, Chives, Leeks and Garlic but aside from these when it comes to veggies go for it. Create a rainbow in your pup’s bowl.
The more varied the colours of veggies means the more of the nutrient spectrum you’re including. The compounds that give plants their rich colours, as well as their distinctive tastes and aromas are called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are the super-heroes of the nutrient world, protecting the body from chronic diseases. Each colour indicates a specific phytonutrient which has its own super powers.
Dogs are carnivores but they are not “pure” carnivores like cats. Wild dogs and wolves have been eating plants for thousands of years. If super-hero level nutritional protection of phytonutrients isn’t enough, check out these six reasons to give your dog some plant power:
- Fruit and vegetables can alkalise the body, helping to reduce systemic inflammation
- They’re often a great source of hydration due to their water content
- They are often a healthy fibre source
- Dark leafy greens especially are a great source of minerals
- Vegetables are often packed with antioxidants and
- They are a source of digestive enzymes.
And one, final, great reason to give your doggo fruit and vegetables: you know that over-ripe fruit or veg that would usually go in the waste? It might be perfect for your furry friend’s belly, leading to zero waste!
We’ve written extensively on what dogs can eat – make sure to check it out for more inspiration, as well as to understand what you should never add to your dog’s raw diet!