Although we don’t eat meat and barely consume dairy, Mojo is fed a completely different diet. The reasoning behind this is quite simple: dogs are facultative carnivores. They can adjust to eating plant material but their bodies are equipped for a meat based diet. Each species is different and although Mojo is a member of our family, she is not a human and her needs differ from ours.
Now although fruit and vegetables are very healthy for humans, not every species of animal has to consume them in order to live in optimum health. Dogs have a very short digestive tract and can’t properly digest most types of plant material without them being steamed and pureed.
Although some people prefer to add a mix of vegetables to their dog’s diet, it is not necessary. Dogs that are prone to yeast infections will benefit from a diet free of plant material. Fruit and vegetables contain high amounts of sugar, as well as carbohydrates that are transformed into sugar when digested. Yeast needs sugar to survive, so excluding plant material from a dog’s diet will help fight yeast infections.
On our page about raw feeding we will explain more about the differences between kibble and raw food, but we would like to dedicate this blog post to explaining the prey model raw diet that we feed Mojo!
Disclaimer: Don’t feed a raw diet without doing proper research. An unbalanced diet is unhealthy and will harm your dog in the long run. Feed a balanced kibble until you are sure you know all the ins and outs! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
Outline of the Prey Model Raw Diet
A prey model raw diet consists of three different components: meat, bone, and organ. In order to provide your dog with all necessary nutrients for a healthy life, these three components are fed in certain ratios, and variety in ingredients is key.
We made a short video to explain the outline of the prey model raw diet, you can watch it here. The text below provides a more in-depth explanation of all components of this diet.
Meat – 80%
Meat makes up 80% of the prey model raw diet. This does not solely include muscle meat however. Tendons, fat, and cartilage also fall under this category. Any non-secreting organs are included as well.
Here’s a list of everything that should be included into the ‘meat’ part of your dog’s diet:
- Muscle meat of any kind
- Green tripe
These types of meat can come from a number of animals, and it is recommended to feed a variety of protein sources from several types of animals. A diet based on chicken alone does not provide everything your dog needs and will harm your pet in the long run! Every part of an animal provides different levels of nutrients and a variety of sources will offer a full range of all necessary nutrients for a healthy life.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of species of animal that can be fed:
Meat can be fed in large or small chunks, but they can also be bought in a ground form (often referred to as MDM – mechanically deboned meat). Meat sold for human consumption, bought fresh from the supermarket or butcher, can be fed as is. Game (meat from wild animals) should always be frozen for 3 weeks prior to feeding, in order to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae.
Bone – 10%
Bone makes up 10% of the prey model raw diet. The name of this diet already suggests that its components should be fed raw, but I’d like to highlight the fact that bones should never be fed when they are cooked or otherwise treated with heat. When bones are cooked, they decrease in moisture and will splinter when pressure is applied. Neither is it recommended to feed weight bearing bones such as legs of larger herbivores, as these bones are very dense.
A raw diet mainly includes raw poultry bones, as well as some other varieties. It is important to feed according to your dog’s size, so that they have to chew the bone instead of swallowing it whole. Never feed bone that is too large or too small. Chewing soft and flexible bone is a great way for your dog to keep its teeth clean.
These bones are always covered in meat. The meat on these bones belongs into the 80% meat category. A duck neck for example consists of 50% bone, meaning that the other 50% is meat. Mojo eats 500 grams of food each day, so she needs 500 x 0.10 = 50 grams of bone. This means that she should eat 100 grams of duck neck to have 10% bone in her diet. The other 50 grams of duck neck consists of meat.
Here’s a list of types of bone that can be fed:
- Wings (chicken, duck)
- Necks (chicken, duck, turkey)
- Ribs (pork, beef)
- Tails (pork, ox)
- Backs (chicken, rabbit)
- Feet (chicken, duck, turkey, pork)
- Carcasses (chicken, rabbit)
Secreting organ – 5% liver and 5% other
Secreting organs make up the other 10% of the prey model raw diet. There is a difference between the organs that are included in the meat section, compared to the organs discussed here: the secreting organs.
Secreting organs are packed with many essential nutrients. They are particularly high in vitamins A, B, D, E, and K, and they contain high amounts of numerous minerals. Since they are extremely high in numerous nutrients, they make up a small amount of the prey model raw diet. They should not make up a larger chunk of the diet as this will have adverse effects.
Secreting organs are, for example, very high in phosphorus. In order to have healthy and strong bones, phosphorus and calcium should be fed in a 1:1 balance. If a dog is fed 20% secreting organ, it gets too much phosphorus and in the long run, this will affect the dog’s health.
An increase in organ meats actually shows up easily in the dog’s stools, as diarrhoea is very common
Secreting organs are split into two parts. Half of the organs fed should be liver, the other half should always be a different type. Liver is extremely high in vitamin A, so in order to prevent vitamin A toxicity, it is recommended to feed 5% liver and 5% other secreting organ.
Other excreting organs include:
Meat that comes from grain-fed animals is very low in Omega 3 fatty acids. If your dog’s diet is mainly made up of this type of meat, it is hence recommended to add oily fish to your dog’s diet.
When feeding oily fish, it is important to feed small species of fish. Larger species of fish usually live longer, and absorb higher amounts of mercury throughout their life. Mercury is a heavy metal, that in high exposure can cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system.
Here’s a list of oily fish that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids whilst being low in mercury:
- Wild salmon
Balancing over time
Although a raw diet is balanced when it includes 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% secreting organ, it is not necessary to feed this balance on a daily basis. It is totally fine to achieve balance over time.
When I prepare food for Mojo (and I will write about meal prep in a few weeks), I simply thaw out everything I need for 5 weeks worth of meals. Every meal is different, the organ intake varies daily in type and amount. Some days she gets more bone than others.
Disclaimer: Because pups are still growing, it is important that their daily intake is balanced.
Here is an example of a daily meal for Mojo: