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General Raw Feeding
While many dog owners will enjoy the convenience of shop-bought dog food, serving up a bowl of kibble may not be as good for your dog as natural, unprocessed food, such as raw meat, editable bones, fruits and vegetables.
Research suggests processed dog food isn’t necessarily a healthy option for your canine. It goes against what dogs would eat in the wild and there is also evidence to show the development of certain illnesses and obesity among dogs has been in line with the introduction of processed food. Tins of dog food and bags of kibble are also packed with additives and preservatives.
1) Shinier coat
Many people who have put their dogs on a raw food diet say that both the skin and coat of their pet have improved. Around 40% of the protein a dog consumes goes into their coat. So, naturally, a diet which consists heavily of dried food won't provide much protein to make their coat lovely and glossy, whereas a raw diet with plenty of meat will be much higher in protein.
2) Healthier teeth and fresher breath
Sugar from carbohydrates in dry food cannot be broken down by dogs, as they lack amylase in their saliva. This means the sugar perpetuates bacteria growth in the mouth, leading to bad breath, gum disease and other dental issues. Raw, meaty bones will help clean the dog's teeth naturally, also meaning you can cut down on purchasing dental sticks and treats.
3) Higher energy levels
The vitamins, minerals and macro-nutrients found in raw, unprocessed foods are ideal for boosting energy levels, which also help develop strong bones and muscles. This also promotes weight management. However, if you're specifically looking to change your dog's diet to reduce or improve their weight, it is always best to speak to your vet or an animal nutritionist first to ensure the right balance.
4) Smaller stools
Raw food is considerably better for digestion compared to cook food - which all processed food is. Simply put, this means less waste is produced (and it smells a little better too!).
5) Better behaviour
Dry food is high in sugary carbohydrates which are easy for dogs to digest, leading to high blood sugar levels which, in turn, is said to cause poor behaviour. The chemicals pumped into processed dog food, alongside its low vitamin B content, are also believed to contribute to this.
While it is possible to combine kibble and raw food, it's not something we would advise. If you are considering mixing the two, there are some important implications for your dog's digestion that you need to be aware of.
Kibble is very high in carbohydrates, generally a mixture of different types of starch. These starches can quickly be broken down, and are great for giving your dog energy.
How does my dog digest starch?
Regardless of which kind of kibble you choose, it's likely to contain at least 30% starch, and some kibbles can be up to 60% starch. This is true whether you are feeding them grain-based or grain-free kibble. Although grain-free foods won't contain corn or rice, they will still contain starchy vegetables such as potatoes. These starches will need to be broken down by digestive enzymes. Some of a dog's digestive enzymes are released in the stomach, and others are released from their pancreas into the small intestine.
What goes on in the stomach?
The stomach has many important functions. As well as digesting food, it also helps to destroy any harmful pathogens which might have been in the food. This is done by producing hydrochloric acid, which can destroy many harmful organisms such as bacteria and viruses. The acid also helps dogs to break down bones, which are an important element of raw food diets.
Because kibble contains large amounts of carbohydrates, it can have the unwelcome side effect of increasing the stomach pH. This means that the acidity is reduced, and potentially means that harmful bacteria can survive more easily. As the pre-digested food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, this raised pH can have a second unfortunate impact. It can reduce the production of enzymes in the intestine, increasing the likelihood that undigested foods will reach the lower intestine. At this stage, the bacteria remaining in the undigested food can compete with the 'good bacteria' already present in your dog's gut. This disruption can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
A raw food diet contains elements such as offal and other raw meats which may contain high levels of bacteria. Because of this, the inclusion of kibble in a raw food diet can make your dog's digestive system poorly-prepared for digesting these raw foods. Therefore, although a raw food diet is very nutritious and safe, mixing it with carbohydrate-laden kibble is generally not advisable.
Yes, raw is raw and you can easily swap between brands. Unlike processed foods that use synthetic chemicals and ‘secret’ recipes in their kibble which make it difficult to change brands, feeding your dog a fresh raw diet makes it so easy to offer your dog a variety of textures and proteins. Keeping meal times exciting and the bowls lickable clean!
A fresh raw diet is generally calculated based on your dog’s age and weight and depending on their activity levels you should be feeding between 2-3% of an adult dog’s ideal body weight.
For example, an 15kg dog with average activity levels would need 300g per day costing just 47p per day
Bear in mind though that not all raw is equal, choosing a good quality protein that nourishes your dog is so important to maintain health throughout their life. Many raw feeders often mix and match their dog’s raw food especially if they are on a budget, choosing one or two premium raw products alongside more economy ones. This not only ensures variety in your dogs feeding routine but also spreads the cost.
Try our Meal Calculator and see how little it can cost to swap to a fresh raw diet today.
As a responsible pet owner, it’s natural to want the very best diet for your dog, not just to benefit their health, but also to maximize their enjoyment when they eat.
Texture plays a crucial role
Although smell is a hugely important sense for a dog, it’s important not to underestimate how much other factors can impact their food preferences. Texture plays a crucial role, and food with an unwelcome or unexpected texture is likely to be ignored, no matter how good it smells.
In the same way, an appealing texture can help keep a dog interested in food that they might otherwise ignore, which can be a useful thing to bear in mind when trying to get important nutrients, or even medicines, into their diet.
In the wild, a dog’s diet would include flesh, bone, fur, cartilage and a wide variety of textures. Commercially prepared dog food tends to lack the texture that pets can gain from a raw food diet, which is designed to mimic what they could expect in the wild. Although tinned food is designed to include the appropriate levels of nutrients, the same, and more, can be found in a well-planned raw diet.
Unexpected health benefits of texture
Not only does the variety of textures in raw food provide a more interesting meal for your dog, but it also has some unexpected health benefits. Abrasive textures, for example in bones, are helpful in plaque removal, keeping your dog’s teeth in good condition. Roughage provided by vegetables in a raw diet can also aid digestion, and help weight loss where necessary for overweight dogs.
Texture plays an extremely important part in how dogs interact with their food, and a variety of textures can help keep a dog interested and satisfied by their food. If the texture is unappealing, you might find that a dog tends to reject their food - which can lead to a range of dietary and behavioral issues. If you think about the ancestral diet of wild dogs, it would include a wide variety of textures, such as fur, bones and feathers. Commercial dog foods are often processed to an almost homogeneous texture. A great advantage of a biologically appropriate raw diet, is that you can seek to replicate the varied textures of a natural diet.
We might not think much about texture in our own diets, but for dogs, it can play a much more important part than in our own meals. Whilst humans have around 9,000 taste buds, our canine companions have under 2,000. This means that they are much less sensitive to taste than we are - hence why texture can play a more important role in their choice of food.
Despite their relative lack of taste buds, dogs are assessed to still have the same taste classifications as humans. This means that they are able to detect which foods are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. If you are trying to encourage your dog to up their levels of a certain vitamin or other nutrient - foods with an attractive texture can be a great way to encourage them to eat something that they might otherwise ignore due to taste.
Although most shop-bought dog food comes as a complete nutritional package on its own, it’s hard to find good reasons not to vary the textures you feed your dog.
Firstly, it stops your dog from getting bored of being fed the same taste and textures at every meal. While your shop-bought dog food is probably very nutritional, if it’s wet food, it will be soft and sloppy. Similarly, kibble is often too dry on its own to be textually appealing for long. Quite often, this results in your dog going off his food no matter how hungry he is, so he won’t be getting those all-important nutrients at all.
Secondly, it’s far better for his teeth and overall health to have other textures too, from plaque-removing bones to fibre-full, crunchy vegetables to better aid digestion and weight control.
Additionally, should you ever need to change your dog’s diet at different times in their life, you’ll find it easier to get your dog on board with these changes if it’s something that they are already used to. In fact, feeding your dog the exact same meals day in, day out can actually cause allergies or intolerances, which arise from having too many of the same ingredients/formulations in their system.
For these reasons, many experts now recommend variety as the key to maintaining a healthy balanced dog for his whole life.
For most dogs, unless they have a specific condition or health reason not to, then including a good variety of raw, meaty bones will not only be safe for your dog but is generally recommended to provide more texture to their diet, as well as to help remove nasty plaque from their teeth and gums. Other great benefits include the mental stimulation and engagement that comes from gnawing on a tasty bone along with encouraging the natural canine behaviour of chewing – on edible raw bone only.
But it is important to note that not all bones are created equal! In particular, you should never feed your dog cooked bones. This is because, once eaten, these can splinter inside your dog causing internal injuries.
Size is also important when thinking of your dog’s safety here. You need to make sure that the size of the edible bone is such that it cannot be fitted fully inside your dog’s mouth, nor can your dog swallow it whole.
Also, just watch how often you feed your dog a bone as having too many in short succession can cause constipation. Having a couple of raw bones per week, with a couple of days in between each one is a good rule of thumb, but it may be best to start with just one a week and see how your dog responds.
Finally, it’s safest to only give your dog a bone to enjoy under supervision.
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, dogs, like us, need certain minerals and nutrients. Two of the main ones for them are calcium and phosphorus, which can be accessed from digesting certain types of bones, such as chicken, lamb, beef and turkey. Calcium phosphate is important for their diet because it not only helps dogs to grow, but it aids regeneration and adaptation of the canine skeletal system.
Bones are also an excellent way to clean up and clean out your dog's digestive tract. It adds extra fibre to their diet, meaning fewer tummy troubles and the associated issues around going to the toilet. Healthy and regular toilet habits also naturally stimulate the emptying of the anal gland.
Bones are also champions in the fight against dental problems such as tartar, plaque, gum disease and bad breath, helping to keep your dog's teeth and gums in top condition by stimulating saliva enzymes, especially when enjoyed after a meal.
Providing access to safe and healthy bones in your dog's diet also offers mental stimulation, which can help to stop your dog from chewing on other less appropriate and, sometimes, even dangerous items.
Ultimately, bones provide our dogs with a healthy body and mind.
Dogs, much like humans, need a varied, balanced diet in order to maintain healthy teeth, bones and muscles, as well as a shiny coat, positive behaviour and general health and well-being.
Along with protein, fats, plenty of water and the occasional treat, raw, meaty bones can play an important role in your dog's diet and wider health. From keeping their teeth and gums healthy, to consistent toilet habits, bones can have many positive impacts.
Some bones, particularly necks, wings and ribs, are perfect 'toothbrush bones', acting almost like dental floss in keeping your dog's teeth and gums clean and healthy in a much more effective way than any other chews.
Raw bones also contain vital vitamins and nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus, while chicken cartilage (think feet, wingtips, carcasses) provides glucosamine.
In addition to health benefits, bones can also help to provide great mental and physical stimulation while your dog chews its way through.
It is important to note that bones should always be given to your dog raw. Never feed cooked bones because they become brittle, meaning they can easily splinter when consumed, causing serious - if not fatal - consequences. Bones should also be large enough for your dog to chew, rather than being small enough to swallow whole.
Just like humans, dogs need a healthy, balanced diet to thrive, with plenty of variety and nutrients. This includes raw, meaty bones.
By including bones in your dog's diet, it helps to keep their teeth and gums healthy, provides extra nutrition and can also help to express natural behaviour, as chewing on bones is a great way for your dog to express normal chewing tendencies.
However, as with everything involved with diet, moderation is key. Generally speaking, dogs should be given raw, meaty bones around once or twice a week, although this can vary depending on the breed and even each individual dog. Try to leave a few days between servings, as too many bones can lead to constipation issues.
Depending on the size and shape of the bone, it can provide hours if not days worth of chewing for your dog, so be sure to monitor how much they are getting through and how quickly. It might be that one bone a week, especially femurs, marrow bones or knuckles, will be plenty to keep them occupied.
Other factors to consider when feeding your dog bones is to ensure they are raw. Cooked bones can easily splinter, causing serious and potentially fatal consequences. Also, be sure the bone is large enough that your dog will have to chew it and can't swallow it whole.
For any pet owner planning to feed their dog a biologically appropriate raw food diet, bone will make up an important part of their meal plans. Experts advise that bones should make up about 12-15% of a raw food diet, to ensure that your dog gets enough calcium. Calcium is important for healthy growth, and especially for your dog's bone and tooth development. However, most bones that feature in a dog's diet will also include a certain amount of meat on them. This means that the overall meaty bone mass is likely to make up around a third of your dog's diet.
However, you don't need to stick to just one type of bone - feeding a variety of bone content is an important way to keep your dog's diet interesting and stimulating for them. Beef marrow bones are a great choice for larger dogs, as are the necks of other common meat animals, such as lamb and goat. Chicken wings and other poultry can also be included in a raw diet. As with all bones, it's important to always ensure these are raw, as cooked bones can easily shatter and injure your dog as they consume them.
An alternative to feeding bones, is actually to supply a whole animal, such as a fish or whole rabbit, which a larger dog will be able to consume in its entirety. This will include a healthy amount of bone, as well as fur, fats and other nutrients which will help keep your dog healthy.
Just like humans, some dogs can be sensitive to certain foods and many owners can be surprised to find out that, occasionally, this includes bones.
If your dog struggles to digest bone, then you’re going to want to find a few good alternatives that provide all the same dietary and mental stimulation benefits but with none of the digestive difficulties.
One great option is green tripe, which is a fantastic source of Omega 3. It also offers calcium and phosphate, important minerals for your dog's diet that they normally get from bones. A further good source of much-needed minerals is high-quality seaweed calcium. Ground-up eggshells are an additional source of calcium to consider.
There are also a number of supplements available that can help ensure that your dog is getting access to all the nutrients it needs, which can be particularly helpful with dogs that experience tummy troubles from specific food types that, ordinarily, would make up a fair chunk of their diet. However, feeding a complete raw meal from a trusted manufacture may also offer a solution.
It’s also important to remember that dogs get more than just nutrients from gnawing on bones, such as dental hygiene and mental stimulation, so you’ll have to find other ways of providing these. Stocking up on edible chewing alternatives that don't contain bone. There are also rope toys that can help with hygiene and stimulation too.
Bones are an important part of any biologically appropriate raw food diet. They help supply your dog with the calcium that they need to develop healthy teeth and strong bones. Calcium also plays a role in many other critical bodily functions, including the production of important hormones. Bones also contain phosphorus, which again helps teeth and bone development, but it also has a number of other roles. It helps organ development, nervous system functioning and the absorption of key vitamins.
However, whilst phosphorus is important for your dog's health - it is worth remembering that meat does itself contain a lot of phosphorus. This means there is a careful balance to be struck between getting enough calcium by adding bone content to your dog's dinner, but not adding too much phosphorus at the same time.
Experts assess that bone should make up about 15-30% of your dog's raw diet, in order for them to get enough calcium. However, because most bones that you source for your dog are likely to still have some meat attached to them - this means that they are likely to end up providing closer to a third of the total mass of your dog's food.
In order to stick to the 15-30% ratio, you can blend a variety of whole and jointed meat. For example, a whole chicken is about 25% bone, whereas a wing is about 45%. Ribs of beef or pork can be up to 50% bone, whereas a typical tail bone joint is about 65% bone.
For many people who choose biologically appropriate raw food for their dog, the aim is to replicate the natural, ancestral diet of their pet. This diet would typically contain high amounts of protein, medium amounts of fat, and low amounts of carbohydrates.
Why is fat important?
There are lots of reasons why fat is an important element to include in a dog’s diet. Firstly, it is a very dense source of calories, and calories are important for energy levels. If your vet has advised that your pet needs to lose weight, then you may wish to consider a lower fat ratio for raw feeding. But even then, having some level of fat in their diet is important for many critical bodily functions.
Fats are helpful for the healthy development of nerve and muscles cells, and they are also important for the production of the hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. These substances help to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
Interestingly, fats also play a key role in promoting the absorption of important vitamins, including A, D and K, and have the added benefit of keeping your dog's coat sleek and shiny.
How to incorporate fat into a dog's diet
Both animal and plant fats play an important role in providing fat in a raw diet for dogs. Particularly valuable are sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can be found in a wide spectrum of foods, such as oily fish and flaxseed. Omega-6 can be found in pork or poultry fat.
These days, a growing number of dog owners are starting to take more of an interest in what goes into the daily diet that they feed to their dog.
With fats, it’s important to remember that your dog will need a far higher ratio of these in his diet than you, as a human, need in yours. Dogs tend to metabolize between 90-95% of the fat they ingest, converting it into energy.
As well as being used for energy needs, these fats, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, help your dog stay active and keep his skin and fur healthy and shiny.
Having said that, you can have too much of a good thing! You should be aiming for your canine’s fat intake to be no more than 5 – 18 % of his total caloric intake to avoid causing him health conditions. More than this and there’s a risk of pancreatitis developing or, in more serious cases, even cardiovascular problems.
It’s a good idea to always check the label if you buy commercial dog food but the content here is a fair bit lower than this for just this reason.
Variety is key to balancing your dog’s fat intake. Buying from trusted raw manufactures and varying your dog’s meals, will help your dog get everything he needs.
As with humans, dogs can have both too much and too little fat in their diet.
Too much will cause obesity and the problems associated with being overweight, while not enough fat will mean your dog could lack energy.
Essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, are also found within fats and help keep your dog’s skin and coat in good condition. Fats also help with cellular function, helping your dog’s immune system fight pathogens and diseases.
But while we know not to include too much or too little fat, what is the right amount for our pooches? Generally speaking, dogs require between 5 and 18 % of their diet to be made up of fats, with the lower end of that spectrum being the minimum for a healthy adult dog. This amount is more than a human requires, as dogs don’t suffer from atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) as humans do, while generally, dogs will be more active as well.
Obviously, this percentage may vary from dog to dog, depending on their lifestyle. Active dogs, such as ones used for shepherding or hunting, may need slightly higher fat levels in their diet to keep their energy levels up. An older dog who doesn’t spend all day charging around the house or garden, may not require quite so much.
Even a quick read around the subject will tell you that protein is an important part of your dog's diet. Protein is essential for growth and muscle development, and so should form a key part of what they're eating. This is particularly the case if you're choosing to feed your dog a biologically appropriate raw food diet, as you will need to carefully select what meat and fish to include.
Protein is the substance that helps make up lots of important cells within a dog's body. These include muscle cells, bone cells, and all of the cells that make up their brain and nervous system. Protein isn't the only thing that is needed to form new cells, but it's a critical part - and a dog can't make new cells without it, meaning it's vital for growth, development and repair.
Sources of protein in the diet include the flesh and muscles of other animals, birds and fish. Dogs are able to break these animal proteins into their basic parts, called amino acids, and rebuild them into different types of protein that they need. Other animal sources of protein include hair, bones and internal organs, although these are not generally considered as a primary protein source.
Protein can also come from plant sources - plants need some proteins to grow and develop, but generally, the level of protein in plants is much lower. Nevertheless, some vegetables that are commonly used in a raw food diet, such as broccoli, do contain some level of protein and will contribute to your dog's diet.
When you are planning a biologically appropriate raw food diet for your dog, it is important to think about which proteins you should include. Proteins are a key constituent part of any dog's diet, and so they should make up a significant part of your raw food diet.
Chicken and turkey
Chicken, turkey and any other poultry are a very lean, healthy source of protein for your dog. The inclusion of this kind of muscle meat provides the proteins your dog needs to build healthy tissues, as well as helping your dog produce the hormones and enzymes it needs for healthy digestion.
As well as being a great source of protein, there are various parts of a lamb that can be a valuable addition to your dog's diet. Lamb neck bones are a fantastic source of calcium, which is important for bone and teeth development.
Lots of different parts of a cow can be a useful part of a raw food diet. Ground beef is a good source of protein, and the heart, liver and other organs provide protein, as well as various vitamins and minerals.
Lots of different types of fish can be beneficial for a dog's diet. As well as being a valuable source of protein, they also contain various healthy oils. Tuna, mackerel and salmon are all valuable sources of omega-3 oils, which are important in neurological development.
More interesting meats
There are various other meats such as rabbit, venison and duck, which are likely to be more expensive than the meats traditionally used for dog food, but which are also a great source of protein for your dog.
Variety is really important in a human diet, and it's no different for dogs. Including a range of proteins in their diets is a good idea for a number of reasons.
Keeping your dog interested
Just like if we ate the same meal every day, dogs will quickly become bored if they're eating the same food over and over again. Of course, they will still get nutritional benefits from it, so they're likely to still keep eating it, but adding a wider variety of proteins can help make food more varied, and keep your dog interested. This additional stimulation is a great way to ensure your dog is happy and healthy.
Health benefits from different sources
Although a number of different types of meat and fish can provide protein, there are also lots of other important nutrients that are often found in different animal products. Fish can also be a source of healthy oils, such as omega-3, which are important for a healthy nervous system. Including a variety of fish, alongside meat products can, therefore, be beneficial. Organ meat such as liver is also a great option to include; not only does it provide a different texture for your dog's diet, but it's also a wonderful source of vitamin A.
Texture is important too
While it doesn't alter the nutritional benefit, including different textures can be helpful for your dog. Abrasive textures such as bones help to keep their teeth clean while also providing interest and variety for them.
Including a variety of proteins in your dog's diet is important for lots of reasons. Having a range of different food sources in their diet helps stimulate your dog - the different textures and flavours help keep them interested in their meal, which can help to keep them happy and lively. As well as keeping your dog interested in their food, there are multiple other benefits to varying the proteins that you include in your dog's biologically appropriate raw food diet.
Make sure they're getting all of their vitamins
Another perk of including a variety of sources of proteins - for example, different secreting organs - is that they can also be a great source of a range of different vitamins and minerals. From liver to green tripe, organ meat supplies a variety of important nutrients that can enrich your dog's diet. Beyond the traditional sources of meat protein, it's also important to think about whether it's possible for you to include some fish in your dog's diet. Fish is a fantastic source of healthy protein, but also contains healthy omega-3 oils, which are important in keeping your dog's coat sleek and shiny.
Guard against food allergies
Although it's thankfully quite unusual, dogs can also develop food allergies, particularly to common protein sources such as chicken, turkey and beef. If your dog appears to have developed an allergy to these common proteins, there are ways to help them, which can involve including novel proteins such as rabbit and venison.
Exotic proteins have been growing in popularity amongst dog owners over recent years, with more and more pet parents turning away from traditional protein sources.
While typically, many will provide chicken or beef as part of their dog’s diet, or rely on the protein content within commercial dog food, some are now looking to branch out to exotic proteins.
But what are they?
Exotic proteins are simply those beyond the traditional, such as venison, ostrich, rabbit, kangaroo and mackerel.
To some, providing a dog with such seemingly luxury meat will feel unnecessary but, in fact, it can be really beneficial for your pooch.
Too much of the same thing - like chicken or beef - can cause allergies to develop in some dogs. So, some experts are now recommending rotating the traditional protein sources with more exotic choices to ensure intolerances don’t develop.
Another benefit of exotic proteins is that they can help with weight management. Typically, meats such as ostrich and venison are considerably leaner than conventional proteins, with less fat and fewer calories. While a dog’s diet should be made up of between 5 and 18 % fat, this can be a good way to reduce the fat content if your dog is overweight.
A further benefit is the taste. Mixing your dog’s food options can keep things interesting for them, which can be mentally stimulating as well.
If your dog appears to be experiencing an allergic reaction to any food, you should always consult a veterinary professional, to ensure that you fully understand how severe the allergic reaction is - and seek medication if appropriate. Once you are aware of which proteins your dog is allergic to, you can then decide how best to approach your dog's diet, to make sure they are not exposed to any allergens. This might mean entirely re-planning your feeding programme, but it is not as hard as it sounds.
Meats that are commonly used in commercial dog food are chicken, turkey, beef and lamb. These are also some of the most common foods that are included in a raw food diet - either as flesh/muscle or from the organs of these animals. Allergic reactions are triggered when your dog's immune system misidentifies the proteins as a threat and activates an immune response to them. If your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction to any of the proteins from these animals, then you should remove them from their diet.
One solution which has generally proved to be effective is the use of novel proteins, which are not typically present in a dog's diet. If your dog is used to a diet containing poultry and normal domestic farm animals, you can include novel proteins such as duck and venison. Depending on availability, you may also be able to source more unusual meats such as ostrich or kangaroo. Because your pet has never previously been exposed to these particular proteins, they are less likely to cause a negative reaction.
One of the most common food allergies dogs can suffer from is a protein allergy. When this happens, a dog’s immune system becomes confused when proteins are consumed and the response can be sneezing, diarrhoea, itchy skin, itchy paws, hot spots or ear infections. Food allergies in dogs can easily be mistaken for environmental factors, but once identified by a veterinary professional, the problem can easily be resolved with a diet that keeps them safe whilst still being nutritious.
What are the common problem foods for dogs?
Dairy, meat and eggs are likely foods that can cause an allergy for dogs. For an allergy to develop your pet will have had to have been exposed to the allergen in the first place, which is why those often found in dog food, such as chicken and beef, usually top the list.
What protein should I feed my dog if he has allergies?
One of the approaches would be to feed your dog a ‘novel’ protein – one he has never had before. This not only applies to meat but also vegetables, which contain proteins too. When it comes to meat, try novel proteins such as duck, salmon or kangaroo and when it comes to vegetables try potato or pea. This process of elimination is known as a hypoallergenic diet and allows your dog to still receive the proteins he needs whilst also healing and detoxifying his system.
Typically a dog’s sensitivity will ease after about three months on a new diet. At this point, clean proteins can slowly be reintroduced and these include non-toxic fish and grass-fed and hormone-free meats.
You may have heard of tripe but be curious as to what it actually is. Essentially, tripe is made from the stomachs of grazing animals such as sheep, goats and cows. Animals that graze are known as “ruminants”.
Ruminants have special stomachs made up of 4 chambers. Within these 4 chambers, the consumed grasses are broken down, bit-by-bit, into amino acids, gastric juices and digestive enzymes.
Pet owners can purchase either white or green tripe to feed to their pets, including dogs.
Green or white?
White tripe, also known as supermarket tripe, is intended to be used for human consumption, so it is bleached and boiled before sale. As such, this type of tripe is widely believed to be of little nutritional value to animals.
Green tripe, on the other hand, is highly nutritional for your dog simply because it hasn’t been treated in the same way so it’s full of the very nutrients, good bacteria and enzymes that can be a perfect source of many essential vitamins and minerals vital in the canine diet.
If you do decide to treat your dog to some fantastically healthy green tripe, don’t be surprised to discover that it isn’t actually green but brown! The “green” refers to the fact that, other than being lightly rinsed, it’s a type of tripe that hasn’t been treated.
And we should also warn you about the smell! Your dog will love it of course but you’re likely to find that it has a very potent odour.
Tripe - that is, the edible offal of the stomachs of various farm animals, most typically sheep or cow - boasts many benefits when incorporated as a part of your dog's raw diet. Here are just a few of the best reasons why you should feed your dog a healthy amount of tripe daily.
- High in protein. Tripe is high in protein, meaning it contributes towards your dog building more muscle and repairing tissue faster. This makes it ideal for both younger dogs that need more protein to grow, and older dogs whose immune system and muscles may be weaker.
- High in probiotics. The most common form of tripe in a raw diet, raw green tripe, is extremely high in lactobacillus acidophilus, which is a great probiotic. This probiotic contributes to the combatting of harmful bacteria in your dog's body, such as e-coli and salmonella, which can make your dog sick.
- High in minerals and vitamins. Thanks to being the stomach lining of farm animals, tripe also contains the partially digested greens that the farm animal in question grazed on. This means your dog gets the advantage of ingesting the minerals and vitamins that the grass offered, which would be hard for your dog to otherwise obtain due to being a carnivore.
- High in phosphorus and calcium. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, definitely consider including a good amount of tripe in their raw diet. This is because tripe leans on the acidic end of the pH scale, meaning it's easier for your dog to digest.
While tripe is a great addition to your pet's diet, you might be concerned about how much tripe is an ideal amount to ensure they stay healthy. Too much of any good thing could soon become a bad thing, so it's essential that you feed your dog any food in moderation. This begs the question - how often should your dog be fed tripe as part of a raw diet?
The answer to this is dependent on a few factors:
- The age of the dog
- The dog's metabolism
- The activity level of the dog
However, a good starting point if you aren't sure on any of the above factors is to incorporate tripe as 2-3% of your dog's healthy body weight. While any weight gained will be healthy weight as a result of vitamin intake, it's worth remembering that too much of a good thing could lead to substantial weight gain and thus must be used in moderation.
Could I feed my dog purely tripe?
This is fine if it's a temporary dietary measure for one or two days. Any longer than this is severely unadvised. However, one important thing to remember is that if you do feed your dog a 100% tripe diet for even a day, their next few days' worth of meals should be predominantly made up of bones and organs in order to compensate for the nutrition they missed.
Tripe is an often overlooked, but extremely nutritious source of food for dogs - especially as part of a balanced, biologically appropriate raw food diet.
Tripe is the stomach lining of ruminant animals, such as cows. Green tripe is the name given to raw, unprocessed tripe. This is different from the type of tripe which is generally considered suitable for human consumption, as tripe is only considered safe for us to eat once it has been boiled and bleached. This means that green tripe is far richer in nutrients than boiled tripe, and although it wouldn't be included in human diets, it is great for dogs.
Green tripe is a rich source of protein, and is also low in fat, meaning it can be included as a healthy part of your dog's diet. The protein is different from that found in muscle meat, meaning it provides some amino acids which are not readily available from other meat sources. These include leucine and proline, both of which can help your dog recover from injury and wounds.
It is also full of enzymes, which help your dog to maintain a healthy digestive system - in fact, it's almost the equivalent of a probiotic for dogs! It also contains both phosphorus and calcium, which are important for healthy bone and teeth development. Equally importantly, even a small serving of green tripe contains a good concentration of the healthy fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, which help the nervous system and aid joint mobility.
Offal is the name given to the innards of various animals which are not typically considered to be standard cuts of meat. Some classifications will include organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, testicles, spleen and brain.
Offal is a very useful addition to a biologically appropriate raw food diet for dogs. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it is also rich in important vitamins, and other elements that support a healthy digestive system. As with many other organ-based foods, offal contains some proteins which are not found in muscle meat, but which your dog can still digest, and break down into useful amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for all of your dog's cells, so a plentiful supply will help them to grow, develop and repair any damaged cells.
Because offal can be sourced from various parts of the digestive system of cattle, or other animals, it also contains a lot of digestive enzymes, as well as a high concentration of 'good bacteria'. These bacteria support digestion and help to keep your dog's gut healthy. By including offal meat in your dog's diet, you can provide a very rich source of lots of valuable nutrients.
Amongst the vitamins and minerals that can be found in offal, there are a few that are particularly beneficial for your dog. Vitamin B12 is vital in the production of red blood cells. Dogs, like any other mammal, need to constantly replenish their red blood cells - and so need a steady supply of vitamin B12. Vitamin A is great for supporting your dog's immune system and is also beneficial for eyesight. Offal is also rich in lots of different minerals, such as iron and phosphorus, as well as vitamin D, which helps your dog to absorb many of these minerals.
Offal is a valuable part of a raw food diet for dogs. Raw, unprocessed offal is a highly nutritious food source and can be included in your dog’s diet every day.
A healthy raw food diet should consist of a mixture of muscles, organs, bones and in some cases, a small amount of vegetables. Offal, and other organ-based food, is a rich source of protein, but it also contains fantastic levels of vitamins and some important minerals.
There are different schools of thought as to the exact split of muscle meat and offal that should be included in a raw food diet. Some experts advise an 80:10:10 split, with 80% of the food (by weight) constituting muscle meat (what we might think of as traditional cuts of meat). According to this methodology, 10% should then be organ meat - on the basis that its high concentration of beneficial substances means it is only needed in small quantities. The other 10% should consist of bone to help ensure your dog gets enough calcium.
Other professionals working in dog health advocate a split that includes a higher proportion of organ meat and bone, which would more closely resemble the constituents of a whole animal. This is based around the idea that a wild bird, for example, would be made up of about 25% bone and around 20% organ meat.
Whichever process you follow, offal can, and should, make up a valuable portion of the offal segment of your dog's diet.
Offal is a general term used to describe the organ meat that comes from animals such as cattle, pigs and lamb. It refers to a number of different parts of the animal, and in its most general sense, it can include the stomach, intestines, spleen, lungs, eyeballs, pancreas, heart, liver, kidneys, brain and gonads. However, in many instances, some of the organs like the liver and kidneys may be separated and sold individually.
Although it is an organ, the heart is primarily made of muscle. This means that it should be included in the muscle meat portion of your dog's biologically appropriate raw food diet.
Kidneys are rich in valuable minerals such as iron and zinc. They are also a great source of protein and useful fatty acids.
Liver should make up a significant proportion of the offal element of your dog's raw diet. It is rich in vitamin A, which is great for healthy eyes, as well as teeth and bone development. Liver is a good source of protein, iron - and it also has a lot of flavour, so is likely to be a food that your dog really enjoys eating.
The exact nutritional value of other organs varies, but on the whole, they are a good source of healthy proteins and fats and an important part of a raw diet for dogs.
So-called “green tripe” - or the raw, untreated stomach lining of various ruminant animals, is generally classed as 'offal' by meat suppliers. Offal is a general term for the innards of animals which are slaughtered for meat and may refer to a multitude of organs, including the stomach, heart, kidneys and liver.
However, in terms of a raw food diet for dogs, some of the meats that would generally be considered 'offal' in a commercial sense, are actually very high in muscle (protein) content. This includes tripe so it should be included in the 70-80% meat portion of a raw food diet for dogs.
The same also applies to some other organs, notably the heart, tongue and lung - all of which are thought of as offal but have a high enough protein content to be included in the meat portion of your dog's diet.
Dogs are omnivores. This means that their diet can include both animals and plants.
Here are some great fruit and vegetable ideas to treat your pet to without worrying about their waistline:
- Apples are healthy sources of fibre, vitamins A and C. Due to the seeds containing small amounts of cyanide, the apple should always be de-cored and de-seeded. The same applies to pears which are a great source of copper, fibre, vitamins C and K.
- Peeled oranges are great for vitamin C, but also extra calories, so do adjust their diet to take account of this.
- Strawberries are packed full of potassium and manganese together with vitamin C.
- Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are low in sugar and calories but big on fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
- More exotic varieties of fruit like pineapple, mango and coconut are also great snacks full of vitamins and minerals but give mango and coconut meat in moderation only.
- Pumpkin can be given but only give the seeds once cleaned and roasted.
- Carrots are a natural dental stick for dogs as well as being a great snack. Low calorie and high in fibre.
- Sweetcorn, as long as it’s off the cob, is full of essential fatty acids, protein and natural antioxidants to boost energy.
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as dandelion leaves, are high in vitamins A, C and K whilst also being high in potassium, iron and calcium.
There is a wide range of fruit and vegetables that can safely be included in a biologically appropriate raw food diet for your dog, including:
Apples: Make sure you remove the core and seeds. Apples are full of vitamin A and C, making them a healthy addition to your dog's diet.
Bananas: Because they are rich in vitamins, potassium and copper, bananas are a great occasional treat for your dog.
Carrots: Carrots are high in fibre, and also rich in vitamin C. Raw carrots have a brilliant crunchy texture, which your dog will love. The crunchy, abrasive texture also means they are good for dental health, helping your dog keep their teeth clean.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are a safe, and very low-calorie food for your dog. They are a useful food to include if you are trying to maintain a low calorie diet for a dog that needs to lose some weight.
Peaches and pears: Both of these are a fantastic sweet treat, but make sure you remove the core and stones. These fruits can be sliced up to add flavour, texture, and provide a lot of important vitamins and minerals.
Mangoes and oranges: Both are safe and healthy for dogs, as long as all of the stones and pips are removed.
Green vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach and kale make a healthy addition, they are low in calories but high in nutrients.
Berries: Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all contain lots of minerals as well as healthy antioxidants - most dogs really enjoy them.
Whilst raw fruit and vegetables can be a healthy part of a raw food diet for dogs, there are certain foods that are safe for humans to eat that should never be included in your dog's diet, including:
Grapes or any grape products such as raisins: Even in small amounts, grapes can be very harmful to your dog. They damage their kidneys and can cause irreversible damage.
Onion and chives: Whilst these are less harmful in small amounts, they can nevertheless cause severe health problems to your dog. In even moderate amounts, they can reduce your dog's ability to produce red blood cells.
Rhubarb: This common home-grown fruit can damage your dog's nervous system and digestive systems. In large amounts, rhubarb can cause seizures and heart murmurs.
Unripe tomatoes: Normally, tomatoes are not harmful to your pets, but when they are still ripening, they contain the chemical tomatine, which can have a negative impact on the nervous system.
Wild mushrooms: The kind of mushrooms that you buy from a supermarket are unlikely to harm your dog, but wild mushrooms can be very toxic and so should be avoided at all times.
Avocado: The avocado plant, including its fruit and leaves, contain persin, which helps the plant to fend off harmful fungi. There is some debate as to how harmful persin actually is to dogs, but for the avoidance of doubt, you might wish to avoid feeding any to your dog.
Yes, raw vegetables can be included in a biologically appropriate raw diet for your dog. There are a number of reasons that including vegetables can be beneficial - they are both a cost-effective and healthy way to introduce a wide variety of vitamins and minerals into your dog's meals.
There are certain vegetables that you should not feed your dog, particularly onions and wild mushrooms, which can have harmful effects. However, most vegetables including leafy vegetables, squashes and root vegetables can all add nutritious value to their raw meals.
Green vegetables such as kale and runner beans contain lots of vitamins, including vitamin A. This is critical for many aspects of your dog's health, particularly their eyesight and bone health. Orange vegetables like carrots and pumpkin are rich in vitamin C, which means that they are great for your dog's immune system. The stalks of vegetables like celery and asparagus can also be included in your dog's food - they might not be as appetizing as some other vegetables, but they are still packed with vitamins and minerals.
Another widely unknown benefit of including vegetables in your dog's diet is that they can add interesting textures. Varied textures not only add interest to your dog's meals, but rough textures such as crunchy vegetables are great for your dog's teeth. The rough surfaces remove plaque, keeping their teeth strong and healthy. Top tip: Blitz the veg with a little bit of water and add to your dog’s meal, yum yum!
As with most food types, vegetables are great in moderation. Although they are healthy - packed with vitamins and minerals - it's important not to overload your dog's diet with them. Dietary theories vary, but it's generally accepted that raw vegetables shouldn't make up more than 10% of what your dog is fed daily. There are several possible ways to incorporate a wide range of raw vegetables into your dog's food.
Small portions of raw vegetables make great treats for your dog throughout the day. Vegetables such as carrots and broccoli can be chopped up and fed to your dog as a reward or healthy treat. Remember that it is important to avoid feeding them onions, garlic or chives, as all of these can be harmful. Chopped up tomatoes can also make a good snack for your dog, however, make sure they are ripe, as unripe tomatoes contain compounds which could give your dog an upset stomach.
Within a meal
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes should be avoided but leafy green vegetables such as kale, can easily be combined with the meat and offal elements of your dog's diet. In some cases, you may even wish to cook the vegetables to soften them a little. This is particularly useful if you have a senior dog who may prefer softer textures.
If your dog experiences recurrent skin, ear or gut problems which are triggered by yeast, then there are simple steps that you can take to help them. Medication may be required for more severe cases, so speak to your vet if you are unsure what the issue is. However, if you are aware that your dog has mild problems with yeast, you can take steps to alter their diet, removing carbohydrates to minimise any issues.
How to avoid issues with yeast
Yeast needs sugar to survive. This can come from natural sugars in fruit, or from starch, which breaks down into sugars as it is digested. In general, this means that a raw diet is very helpful for dogs with yeast issues, as there are very limited amounts of naturally occurring sugars in meat, organs or bones. If you include raw vegetables in your dog's diet, exclude any fruit or sweet or starchy vegetables if you are worried about yeast. The best vegetables to choose for very low sugar content include leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard, lettuce and cabbage. Other low sugar options include broccoli, celery and sprouts.
Although fruits such as berries, oranges, apples and pineapple are considered healthy for dogs, they are also high in sugar, so should be avoided if your dog has issues with yeast. Vegetables such as carrots, sweetcorn, sweet potato, pumpkins and peas which are high in sugar should be avoided for dogs with yeast issues too.
Much like humans, dogs can experience seasonal allergies. The root cause is the same too - your dog's immune system can overreact to a harmless substance, such as pollen. Because your dog's immune system is overactive, it can lead to inflammation and irritation. They can also experience food allergies. The physical symptoms a dog will experience are often very similar to those that humans experience - irritated eyes, sneezing and red itchy skin.
There are lots of vitamins and minerals that can help soothe your dog's skin. Some studies indicate that coconut oil may play a role in reducing inflammation - due to the fact that it contains lauric acid. This means that supplementing your dog's food with small amounts of coconut can provide a simple way to introduce an anti-inflammatory into their diet.
If your dog is suffering from longer-term food allergies, vegetables can still form an important part of a hypo-allergenic diet. Combining simple green vegetables, such as kale, cabbage and spinach, can be a valuable way to include lots of nutrients. These vegetables are rich in fibre too, although they do not contain high levels of sugar. Sugar is a key culprit for causing gut inflammation - so be sure to choose vegetables that are high in fibre, without containing too much sugar. Cucumber, broccoli, chard, lettuce, arugula and beet greens are all great low-sugar options.
Some dog owners who decide to feed their pets a biologically appropriate raw food diet will opt to mix various different meats together, following a roughly 80:10:10 split between muscle meat, organ meat and bones. However, others will adopt a different approach, which is also based on the ancient diet of our dogs' ancestors. This is known as the whole prey model.
Wild canines, such as wolves - from which domestic dogs are descended - will hunt a mixture of small and larger prey. Some of the common small prey they consume might include rabbits, ducks, other game birds and small rodents. These creatures effectively provide a complete meal, and wild dogs will eat them all (fur and bones included).
Pet owners who choose this approach source entire animals, usually from a supplier who will provide them frozen. In the UK, rabbits and poultry are some of the most popular choices for owners following a whole prey model for their dogs.
The idea is to feed the whole animal to your dog, which should be encouraged to eat the entire thing, head to tail. This is an extremely efficient way of feeding your pet - after all, it doesn't leave any waste. Fur, feathers, organs and blood are all perfectly digestible for your dog, and they are a great source of various minerals, such as iron and calcium. They are also a great way to ensure your dog gets all of the protein that it needs.
If you choose to feed your dog a biologically appropriate raw food diet, you have three main options as to how to approach this. You can either buy separate meat products and choose the right proportions to feed your dog, buy a pre prepared complete meal already balanced by a trusted manufacture or you can feed them entire animals, known as a 'whole prey' diet.
There are several possible advantages to choosing to feed your dog using whole prey animals. Firstly, they are surprisingly easy to source - lots of reputable pet food companies now supply whole prey animals, usually frozen, so you can easily store them at home and defrost them as and when you need.
A further advantage is that there is absolutely minimal wastage in a whole prey diet. The point of this approach is that it replicates the ancient diets of the wild ancestral dogs that our domestic pets are descended from. These wild canines would eat the entire animal; bones, skin, fur, feathers, blood, guts and all. By replicating this wild diet, your dog can get all of the protein and nutrients it needs from a variety of prey animals, with nothing going to waste. It's also a considerably more environmentally-friendly option than purchasing highly processed tinned foods - or even grain-laden kibble.
By eating the whole animal, your dog can benefit from the complex proteins found in muscle meat, calcium from bones, and minerals such as iron from organs. Ultimately, it provides a balanced, healthy option for your dog's diet.
If you have decided to adopt a whole prey diet for your dog, the first step you will need to take is to identify a reputable, reliable supplier. There are several possible options to explore. As well as commercial pet food suppliers, who can supply a variety of whole prey items, pre-packaged and frozen.
You may be able to source animal carcasses direct from farms. Depending on where in the UK you are located, you may also be able to identify local hunting groups, who may be able to supply whole game birds such as grouse and quail, or waterfowl - or even rabbits or hare.
Feeding whole prey
While it is not a pretty sight to behold, feeding a whole animal to your dog is a very environmentally friendly approach to their diet. It also makes a very stimulating experience for them, as it requires them to rip and tear their food, as they would in the wild. This is a more interesting experience than simply consuming homogeneous tinned food. Dogs should be supervised whilst consuming whole prey, particularly when you first introduce them to a raw diet. Although raw bones are safe for your dog, it is worthwhile ensuring that they do not rush it.
Storing whole prey
A final point to bear in mind is how to store your whole prey. Freezing whole prey before you feed them to your dog is recommended as freezing can kill off microorganisms, such as flukes or worms.
If you are adopting a raw food diet for your dog, your main choices are to feed them mixed raw meats and bones, or to feed your dog whole prey animals. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and it is perfectly possible to mix the two approaches.
If you generally feed a mix of raw meat, it is still nevertheless easy to occasionally vary your dog's diet by including whole prey. This may actually be a very accurate reflection of the ancient diets consumed by our dogs' wild ancestors. Many wild canines, such as wolves, would hunt in packs. The strength of the pack made it possible to bring down large prey animals, such as deer, bison and buffalo. Each member of the pack would then consume some part of this large prey animal - something we can replicate by mixing various muscles, organs and bones in an appropriate ratio, and feeding this to our dogs.
However, it is also the case that wild dogs would not always be able to find these large prey, and may still, therefore, have hunted smaller animals, such as rodents and rabbits. In these instances, it is more likely that they would have consumed these prey by themselves. The small prey would have been consumed in their entirety - meat, organs, bones, blood and all.
If you are occasionally adding whole prey to a raw diet, it is important to supervise your dog whilst eating these whole animals, to ensure that they are able to safely rip and tear the meat, and do not struggle with any of the bones.
Exclusively feeding your dog whole prey is a diet model that is continuing to grow in popularity amongst many dog owners. The idea behind it is to feed a dog the whole animal, feathers and all. Believed to be similar to what wild dogs consume, many owners think it is healthier and more natural than commercial dog food.
In broad terms, this type of feeding is made up of 5 to 10% organs and offal; 10 to 15% raw meaty bones and 80-85% muscle meat. Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and dairy, on the other hand, are excluded from the diet.
Because some commercial livestock can be lacking in essential nutrients, some owners provide supplements to their dogs. If you don’t wish to do this, then it’s a good idea to try to source the generally better-quality grass-fed livestock.
Some owners simply provide their pet with whole squirrel, duck or rabbit, for example, as a way to mimic what a dog in the wild would do, bar actually hunting it of course. Other owners do a “Franken prey” feed, giving different proteins to make up the required whole prey proportions. This can be handy for those who might not be able to source the entire prey intact.
It is, therefore, possible to exclusively feed your dog whole prey, but it depends on your dog’s specific needs and requirements as to whether it’s the right diet for them.
For many dog owners, the thought of their pet consuming a whole dead animal such as a bird or a rabbit is off-putting. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that not only CAN your dog eat fur and feathers, he SHOULD be eating them daily, as part of a healthy diet. Let's look at the facts.
Your dog's digestive system is designed for it
Dogs are carnivorous. Their gut and microbiome contain the correct enzymes and bacteria to break down protein and fat for energy. Wild dog species survive and thrive by eating whole prey, which is nutritionally complete for them.
Fur and feathers contain essential nutrients
Not just fur and feathers, but skin, blood, fat, organs, claws and beaks are a rich source of nutrients not available in muscle meat alone. These include collagen, keratin, elastin and manganese.
Necessary for good digestion
A whole animal is a biologically complete source of nutrition, and a dog will convert more of it for energy than highly processed kibble which contains a lot of fillers. The fur and feathers are essential sources of fibre and roughage, and dog owners report smaller, less smelly stools as a result.
Important for good dental health
Chewing and gnawing at parts of the animal such as fur, feathers, and other non-meat parts is good for your dog's teeth and gums. Eating this way is also more enjoyable for your dog. They will take longer to eat and be more satisfied with their diet.
Whole prey feeding is giving your dog a complete dead animal to consume, complete with fur, feathers, bones, blood, skin, fat, claws, and beaks. The subject can raise passionate discussions among dog owners, but there are undoubtedly some excellent reasons to consider whole prey feeding for your dog.
It's as nature intended
Dogs, descended from wild animals such as wolves and wild dog species, are carnivores. Their digestive systems are constructed to digest raw meat, and they obtain energy from protein and fat. Giving dogs a similar diet to omnivorous humans, containing vegetables and carbohydrates, is not optimal for their health.
It is nutritionally complete
The complete carcass of natural prey – especially from wild animals – is nutritionally complete for your dog. In stark contrast to mass-produced kibble, which contains large quantities of filler, a dog can digest nearly all of a natural prey diet. Their digestion will be better, their overall health improved, and any dental problems eradicated. Just as highly processed food is bad for humans, it is equally bad for our pets.
It is much more enjoyable for a dog to eat
Dogs are hunters. The process of gnawing, tearing, licking, and crunching chunks of raw meat is highly satisfying to a dog. Kibble is too small and uniform for any of these activities, which leads to dogs gulping meals down in seconds, instead of them enjoying the process.
Consider trying the natural route of whole prey feeding for your dog. Your reward will be a happier, healthier animal.