I’m an advocate of optimal nutrition for dogs. Because I am a trainer and work with dogs, hands on, everyday, I can tell you that nutrition directly effects behavior.

When I have to peel a dog off of my head, and then find out they are on some kibble that is high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, well we tend to talk about nutrition and appropriate food for a dog before we start working on behaviors.

You can’t work with an emotionally unstable animal, that has to be balanced first. Emotional stability has many components, nutrition is one of them.

Try eating corn dogs and cotton candy for six weeks straight, and then let’s talk about how you feel. Let’s talk about how others enjoy being around you. Let’s talk about your attitude in general. Lets talk about your ability to focus and concentrate. My guess is, our conversation won’t be roses. Just a hunch.

Some commercial kibbles are worth using, most commercial kibbles are not. You really have to read, stay current, and ask questions. Just for your own edification, here is the HISTORY of commercial dog food.

Commercial dog food companies have some of the best marketing and advertising firms behind them. Their strategies are awesome, and as a business person I applaud them. BUT, it does not mean what they are selling is appropriate for your dog, or even mildly healthy. That is a fact.


I started to feed a raw diet to my dogs in 2002. We started with commercial raw, then moved to carcass feeding and some commercial raw. Now we do a true rotation diet. Carcass and raw meaty bones a few times a week, some mixed ground meat with offal, organ meats, some ground bone, and a little veggie/fruit. And then sometimes whatever we are eating if it doesn’t have a lot of spice in it, and a commercial raw freeze dried complete meal on super busy days. After all of these years I have gotten to a point where it is fairly intuitive what my dogs need on a given day, so it doesn’t feel as big of a thing as it did in the beginning. It’s a process like literally everything else, and for me, I believe worth it.

What takes most people by surprise is HOW LONG it takes to feed. If you’re use to watching a dog gulp down a bowl of kibble in seconds, then raw feeding might seem like an eternity. A dog has to negotiate the carcass part, and work through the meat, fat, tendons, cartilage, and bone. During this process they work all of their teeth for their intended purpose. It’s slow and beautiful to watch. Raw Meaty Bones is a book worth reading!


GUIDELINE – adjust as needed, this is only a guide – make sure their food is balanced

PUPPIES 4-9 weeks – 3-5 small meals a day – this is the supplement, mamas milk is the real nutrition

PUPPIES 9 weeks – 8 months or so – 10% of their body weight in raw a day

ADOLESCENTS to YOUNG ADULT – 3-5% of their body weight in raw a day

ADULT  3-6ish years – 1.5 – 3% of their body weight in raw a day

SENIORS – 1-2% of their body weight in raw a day

Nancy, happy feeding!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim says:

    In the last part of the post, you mention the time it takes to feed raw…the time factor, and cost/storage issue of getting quality raw where I live, is my primary stalling point on making a switch. I would like to try it, but I don’t think my lifestyle (being single and having an on-call job) is suited for feeding raw…nor in the winter do I relish the idea of feeding raw meat inside the house. Thoughts? What is the cost comparison to feeding quality kibble? I’m assuming a freezer is necessary for storage? Do you feed frozen, dethawed or as fresh as possible?

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Hi Kim,
      there are those considerations for sure. ‘Rawesome’ is located in Missoula I believe and she delivers state wide, she is the rep. for Oma’s. You can start with doing a commercially prepared raw diet that is complete, you just measure out the ounces or pounds you want to feed. Good quality. Feed raw meaty bones on the days you know you are home, start with 1-2 times per week. The important thing is, just like everything else in life, get use to it before you jump in. I did commercial raw and bones a couple times a week for a few years while I read and talked to a bunch of raw feeders. I wanted to have a good sense for what I was doing, what it should look like, and how my dogs should feel. A great quality kibble like Petcurean is actually more expensive to feed than raw. So In our house we purchase cornish hens and beef ribs and other raw meaty bones on sale days, we watch the paper carefully. I buy bigger joint and knuckle bones from a local grass fed ranch, I simply LOVE the huge size she can sell to me. We sometimes get offal and organ meats from her but most often from Oma’s. Sometimes I will do a trade with some one who has purchased a side of somethign and we trade that way. I bought a reach in freezer at Costco for a really reasonable price too.

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