To ensure a balanced diet you need to follow the 80-10-10 guideline. Meaning your meals or batches will consist of 80% muscle meat (if you have a cat 15% of this should be heart for taurine), 10% bone content and 10% organs of which 5% is liver and the other 5% should be another secreting organ, most popular is kidney and spleen but brain, testicles, pancreas, eyes are other options. Keep in mind this is a guideline not law. This is where "know thy animal” comes into play. For example Jackson our Great Dane, needed a little more bone everyday. How do I know? His poo tells it all. Too soft and runny, you need more bone. Too hard or constipated, you need less bone.
How Much to Feed:
1. Calculate what your companions IDEAL weight should be. Consider the activity level. The higher the activity level the higher percentage you will feed. The guideline is 2-4% of the ideal weight.
Example: Jackson's ideal weight is 150# on an average activity level.
150 pounds at 2% is 3 pounds per day
150 pounds at 4% is 6 pounds per day
Jackson should be fed between 3-6 pounds per day. Since he has an average activity level I would start at 5 pounds per day split into 2 feedings. As a puppy we did three times per day. Puppies (and kittens) are fed a little differently since they are growing. We will address this later. Keeping an eye on their body condition will tell you if they are gaining too much weight or not enough. You should be able to see the last couple rib bones and feel them with ease. There should be a nice "tuck" right before the hind quarters.
We can cheat as well by using google. Simply type in “% you want to feed of [pet’s weight]” If you have a companion under 30 lbs type in “% of [pet’s weight] to oz]
Once you have this number take 80% of their daily requirement. This will give you the amount of meat you need to feed. This can be any combination of typical cut like loin, thigh, shoulder but also can include heart, gizzards, eggs, tripe, lungs etc.
If we use Jackson’s example above:
5 lbs of food total per day
80% of 5 lbs is 4 lbs of muscle meat
Follow this method to determine how much liver and other secreting organs you need
10% of 5 lbs is 0.5 lbs
5% of 0.5 lbs is 1/4 lb of liver
5% of 0.5 lbs is 1/4 lb of other secreting organs
Finally determine how much bone you will need. Every bone has varying meat to bone ratios so the neck of chicken will not have the same amount of bone and meat as a turkey neck nor a set of ribs.
The average chicken neck (without skin) weighs 1.45 oz.
They consist of 75% bone and 25% meat.
To figure out how much bone is in a single neck multiple the weight of the neck (1.45 oz) by 75% (or 0.75)
1.45 oz * 0.75= 1.08 oz
We do the same to determine the amount of meat on the neck
1.45 oz * 0.25= 0.36 oz
*Note the amount of meat on the neck will be factored into the meat section required per day.
To determine how many necks you would need per day we take the bone requirement (for this dog it would be 1/2 lb) and divide by the amount of bone in one neck (1.08 oz)
1.45 oz/1.08 oz= 7.4 necks (you can round to 7.5 as the weight is just an average)
To find the amount of meat that you will be getting from the necks multiple 0.36 oz (the amount of meat on each neck) by the number of necks
0.36 oz * 7.4 necks = 2.66 oz
Than subtract this from the amount of meat to get the amount of meat you still need to feed.
For puppies they should be allow to eat almost as much as they want from a balanced batch in 3 or more meals per day.
2. There are many ways to make the switch to raw. I like the quick and less painful way. I recommend fasting for 24 hours for DOGS (do not fast your cat) and then start with chicken. Chicken legs, quarters, breasts and a few wings on hand in case you need a little more bone initially.
You'll want to feed chicken only for 1 week.
Second week add a second protein and third week add another protein.
Don't worry about organs for a month or so and add them in slowly when you get to that point. You should ultimately be feeding about 3 different proteins and mostly red meat if you can.
Regardless of how you transition always eliminate ALL kibble in the diet. Kibble and raw not only digest at different rates which can cause digestive upset but because of the carbohydrate load (fruits and veggies are carbs in addition to grain) the stomach acid is not strong enough to break down bone or neutralize bacteria which can leave your companion open to illness
Supplements-We don't supplement unless there is an illness, allergy or some ailment that can not be aided with a whole food and natural diet. If we replicate what carnivores would do in the wild, they wouldn't be eating coconut oil, apple cider vinegar or kale. Fruits, veggies and grains are fillers and do not have much benefit to our carnivore companions who are unable to effectively breakdown these food Items. Some advocate for pureeing or cooking to make them more easy to utilize but this is at the expense of destroying vital vitamins, minerals, fats, enzymes and altering structure.
Feeding raw doesn’t need to be difficult. Remember these are guidelines. Keep it simple and you'll have less stress