3 Alternatives to Raw Feeding for Dogs
7 March, 2016

by Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging

When I transitioned our dogs to a raw food diet, I was 100% sold and wasn’t turning back.  We saw changes immediately – better skin and coat, the rashes went away, and more.  Raw was the right diet for our dogs!

But what if I couldn’t feed raw?

I can imagine many people saying that they’d make every sacrifice to make sure their dogs ate a raw diet, and I feel the same, but for many of us, there is only so much we can do – so what would I do if I couldn’t feed raw?

After giving this question some thought, I came up with a few answers.

Half Raw / Half Canned Dog Food

You can feed raw in the morning and canned food in the evening (or vice versa).  Our local raw food co-op offers deals on commercial dog food, and I can buy dry and canned dog food at an affordable price.  Because kibble is hard to digest for some dogs, I’d focus on canned food.

Feeding a half raw diet will cut back on the prep time for our dogs’ meals, but may not cut back on costs.  Quality commercial dog food can be expensive.  And by adding it back into our dogs diet, we’re giving up knowing precisely what our dogs are eating – so, when possible, choose food from a trusted brand with ingredients that you understand.

Home Cooked Food for Dogs

Some people with a compromised immune system may be advised against handling raw meat.  Cooking for their dog is an excellent alternative, because you can control the ingredients just like with raw feeding.  It’s important to remember that with the cooking process we’re destroying the nutrients; therefore, we need to understand what vitamins and minerals to add back into our dogs’ meals.

If you’re interested in feeding a home cooked diet, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of cookbooks for dogs available to help get you started.  I suggest starting with Feed Your Best Friend Better by Rick Woodford.

Commercial Dry Dog Food

This is my least favorite of the options, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t add it to the list.

I’m not a fan of dry dog food, because if you’re raising a dog with allergies, it’s difficult to narrow down what ingredient in the food is leading to the reaction.

If dry dog food is your only option at this time, here is what I suggest:

  1. Soak your dog’s kibble in bone broth (CLICK HERE for the recipe). Bone broth is filled with nutrients, easy on the tummy, and will make your dog’s diet healthier.
  1. Add a quality canned food like PetKind green tripe. Tripe is a healthy food that is a regular part of our dogs’ diet.  It smells like Satan’s butt; however, the dogs love it, and it’s good for them.  CLICK HERE to learn more about the benefits of green tripe for dogs.

When it comes to feeding dogs, I’m a little biased.  I think raw feeding is the best for our dogs.  I’m also realistic and understand that raw isn’t for everyone.  I hope my list of alternatives gives you some ideas on how to improve your dog’s diet.

About the Author:  Kimberly Gauthier is the blogger behind Keep the Tail Wagging, a blog about raw feeding, dog supplements, and raising littermates.  Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of littermates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run and explore.  Kimberly finished her first e-book on raw feeding called Raw Feeding from A to Z.  Rodrigo, Sydney, Scout and Zoey are all herding mix dogs, including Blue Heeler, Border Collie, Catahoula, Australian  Shepherd, and Labrador (a lover, not a herder).


Photo credit:  DepositPhoto/ots-photo

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