As you might have expected, I went ape shit on finding what the BEST dog food would be for our little frenchie, Denali, before we got him. There seems to be a pretty big debate in the dog food world about what is considered “best” for all dogs to consume for optimal health + longevity, so I dove head first into all the information I could find before making a decision.
From what I found, most vet’s and dog fanatics would argue that dry kibble is best because it has all the added nutrients, vitamins, and EVERYthing puppies and dogs need to be healthy. Being the NTP that I am, I knew there had to be some bullshit in that argument. Dry kibble brands in my mind (before I researched anything) always seemed like the “processed foods” of the doggie world- which to me is obviously a HUGE turn off. Dogs are family, and I’d never want my family or kids to eat shitty, processed foods that cause allergies and God knows what- So it wasn’t an option in my mind for Denali.
I debated cooking for our new pup-to-be but wasn’t sure if it was the best option. I was familiar with what it looked like to cook for your dog (since thats what my family did for our dogs when I was growing up) but something in me felt like having your dog eat cooked meat, grains, and veggies just wasn’t right and maybe wasn’t the most nutrient dense option.
Long story short, I researched the hell out of everything I could find and ended up discovering the idea of feeding your dog a 100% RAW diet. After reading for a few months (literally) I was positive we would feed Denali a 100% raw food diet when we got him. Why? Here’s some of the main reasons:
- Dogs are made to consume raw meats- do you see wolves and other wild dogs eating cooked meats? Don’t think so.
- Dogs teeth are designed to tear and rip flesh. They don’t have teeth like ours that are meant for grinding up foods and breaking down cellulose in plants + whatnot.
- Dogs fed raw food diets tend to live longer, have shinier coats, cleaner teeth + less smelly breath, less inflammation and arthritis problems, less allergies, stronger immune systems, healthier digestive tracts, better poops, leaner build, more energy, and less “dog” smell to them (we’ve all smelled “dog” before- yuck!)
After digging through a bunch of blogs, forums, research etc. (which I’ll link at the bottom of this post) the raw food doggy diet seemed like the absolute best option.
So now what? Do I make this food myself? Do I buy it at the store? How much I should feed Denali, when, and what’s the adjustment period? Will he shit his pants for a week before things calm down? WHAT NOW?
We transitioned Denali off of Blue Wilderness Grain Free Puppy Food (what the breeder was feeding him) onto Natures Promise Raw Beef Bites over the course of a few weeks, but wanted to scream because it was so damn expensive! Not wanting to give up on the raw dog food thing, I ended up starting a search once again and came across an AMAZING company in Colorado called Raw Dog Food and Company. Rick + DeDe have been in the raw dog food business for over 17 years and source all of their products from grassfed, free-range, properly raised animals in the US, except for their wild caught Spanish sardines- which Denali is OBSESSED with!
A quick phone call with Rick one afternoon helped me figure out what products of theirs would be best for Denali, what he needed as a puppy nutrient wise, and how to make the transition from store-bought raw dog food to REAL raw dog food.
So here we are! Denali has been eating 100% raw for almost two full months now and he is extremely energetic, healthy, shiny, no tear stains, no allergies, and all things wonderful. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what his food looks like + how much we feed him each day, so lets get to it!
We feed Denali 3x/day: 8am, 12pm, and 5pm. With each of these meals, he gets 2.5 ounces of the Wolf Run Plus blend from Raw Dog Food + Co which has green unbleached grass-fed tripe, beef heart, beef muscle meat, ground bone, trachea, spleen, gullet, kidney, and liver. He also gets 0.5 ounces of their Shepherds blend which is also a beef blend but is VERY fatty. (Puppies need more fat than adult dogs because they are growing, so about 20% of Denali’s daily food intake comes from fat. we chose to feed him 3x/day because puppies need more food overall but they also should not have long breaks between meals that cause a drop in blood sugar levels). We also feed Denali 1/3 of a large, frozen sardine each day for extra omega-3 fatty acids for his growing brain + tissues.
Last but not least, our spoiled AF pup gets to enjoy a raw bison knuckle bone for 10-20 minutes each day. This teaches him how to chew his food, strengthens his shoulders + jaw, and sharpens his teeth. He’s never been a big chewer and I swear its because these bones satisfy his craving. He LOVES his bison bones!
This post is just to show you guys what we have personally chosen to feed our dog! This post is NOT to say anyone else is right or wrong about what they feed their own dog! I’ve been getting a ton of questions about this topic and wanted to give you my thoughts + reasons why we went fully raw with Denali. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment or check out these other amazing resources: