A Simple Guide to Feeding Your Primitive Dog a Prey Model Raw Diet
Raw feeding has grown in popularity. Our on Facebook community has many members who feed a raw diet. But if you don't that's perfectly okay! We aren't here to make anyone feel inferior about the food they feed. Curious but don't know where to start? With so much varied information out there, we want to provide information and insight for those who may have an interest but aren't sure where to start. There are several different diets within feeding raw, so today I'm going to focus on the prey model.
What is a prey model raw diet?
Prey model raw consists of meat, bone and organs in the ratio of 80/10/5/5. Confused yet? I'll break it down a step further for you. Out of your primitive dog's complete diet of 100% you want the ratio of muscle meat to be 80%, bone content to be 10% and organ content to be broken down into 5% liver and 5% other organs. Now, this doesn't have to be perfect every day but overall should balance out to be in those ratios, give or take a bit here or there. Each protein source brings different vitamins and minerals so as long as your Couch Wolf doesn't have an intolerance or allergy to anything specific, protein sources should be rotated to make sure they don't develop any deficiencies. Any fresh kill from hunters should be frozen for at least three weeks to kill parasites or bacteria.
Where to start?
If you're interested in switching your Couch Wolf over to prey model raw, there are a few ways to do so. The easiest way to do it is cold turkey (no pun intended.) You can start with a simple protein like chicken or turkey and it could be ground or the breast meat. Feed this for a week or two and then introduce a small portion of bone and offal (organs.) Your primitive dog may very well experience some loose stool as their systems adjust. This is often referred to as a "detox" stage as the body sheds overly processed foods. Once their systems have seemed to adjust to their new diet, you can begin introducing different protein sources. If you see loose stools for longer periods of time, you may have to increase the bone content to cause the calcium to bind their stool. If their stools are overly hard or extremely white in color, you've fed too much bone. It may take some time to get the ratios correct but short term incorrect ratios aren't going to hurt your primitive pup, however, too much bone content can cause constipation so be mindful if you see your dog starting to struggle to go.
You can slowly integrate the prey model raw into your dog's diet by adding some ground meat to their kibble (they'll probably thank you for it.) Slowly increase the amount of meat and decrease the amount of kibble until they have been completely switched over. Once they've been switched over, begin adding bone and organ content.
What should you avoid?
I don't feed kibble and any meat containing bone at the same time. I've heard conflicting things about it changing the pH in the dog's stomach and can cause blockages. It's not a chance I'm willing to take so kibble and meals containing bone are kept separate. There is a significant difference in farm-raised or fresh-caught fish. Farm raised fish are not always kept under the best conditions so I avoid those as well and stick to fresh caught. Weight-bearing bones from large animals should also be avoided. They tend to be thick and can break teeth or splinter. NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER feed cooked bones. They become extremely brittle and splinter which can cause lacerations and do severe damage to your primitive dog's intestinal tract.
What to add?
The Couch Wolves team could do an entire blog on supplements and their benefits (and we probably will!) but I'll keep it simple for this article. You can add a multivitamin for dogs if your Couch Wolf has protein intolerances and can't get the necessary vitamins and minerals that protein would normally provide and they can't get it from another source. However, if you can sufficiently rotate protein sources, you shouldn't have to add supplements. Bone broth is an incredibly nutrient dense and made from raw bones simmered in a crock pot with water for 18-24 hours and can also serve as a multivitamin, immune system booster while supporting joint health. Bone broth contains vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, iron, thiamin, potassium, calcium, silicon, sulfer, magnesium, glucosamine, phosphorus, trace minerals, and glucosamine chondroitin sulfates.
How do you make bone broth?
Take any raw bones and stick them in the crock pot, the more bones you use, the more nutrient dense the batch will be. Add water so it covers the bones and then add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. The ACV will help draw more nutrients out of the bones, giving you a richer broth as it simmers. At the end of the 18-24 hours, you can jar the liquid. I suggest skimming the fat off the top before putting it in containers so that it's easier to access the broth itself once it hardens. When the broth cools and it has been placed in the fridge, you ultimately should get a gelatin like consistency. Toss out the bones you used. Why? Because we cooked them!
Prey model is rather easy once you get a feel for the ratios! Once you get comfortable with what to feed and how much, you can have some fun with what you put in your Couch Wolves' dishes. Their diet should make up 2-3% of their body weight. Of course, this differs depending on your dog's metabolism, energy, activity level, and their current weight.
Just a reminder - safety first! We are not vets or nutritionists and you need to feed what is right for your dog. Anytime to try something new, closely monitor your pet, especially with bones. Bones are not safe or appropriate for all dogs. What has your success been feeding a raw diet? Share with us in our Facebook Community!