Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40

You can find inexpensive ingredients and make your own raw dog food very

You can find inexpensive ingredients and make your own raw dog food very


Can I Make Up a Cheap, Raw Diet for My Dog?

I know a lot of us are forced to buy what is cheapest. Ol Roy, the dry dog
food brand sold in Walmart, is the best-selling dog food in the US. It is not
the best for your dog, so why is it so popular?

It is cheap. Really, really, cheap. A 50-pound bag is about $20. But do you
want to force a food like this upon your dog? It is made up mostly of ground
yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with BHA
(suspected of causing cancer), and corn gluten meal.

Do You Feed Your Dog a Cheap Commercial Diet?

Many of the people who buy this food know it is not good for their dogs, but
blame the high costs of better foods for their continued purchases. Some
websites claim that feeding a raw diet will cost several hundred US dollars a
month. Ol Roy customers agree and use those numbers to justify buying another

They also know that the cheap dog foods include a lot of fillers that pass
through your dog without even being digested. (Anyone who has cleaned up after
a dog knows what I am talking about.) So if you could feed your dog something
just as good and just as cheaply, but not as convenient, would you make the
extra effort? Is your dog worth an extra few minutes each day?

Chicken feet are an inexpensive and easily consumable source of

Chicken feet are an inexpensive and easily consumable source of calcium.


Why Is Raw Food So Expensive?

The main problem I see with raw food is that, since it is so much better, the
companies that are selling it are charging a huge premium, and those dogs that
really need it are still fed Ol Roy and other supermarket brands. Bravo, a
meatpacking company that also sells raw dog food charges anywhere from $2 to
$4 for packaged meat that is supposed to be nutritionally complete. A big dog
will end up eating several hundred dollars per month with pre-packaged raw

Are they worth all the extra money? Not in my opinion. Commercial raw foods
are not as good as the cheap raw diet you can make up at home. The meat has
the bones ground into it, but since they are fine pieces they do not have the
same physical or mental effect that chewing on a bone has. You can do things
yourself cheaper and better, and all it takes is a few minutes of your time.

Dogs love fresh coconut; in fact, they will even fight over the

Dogs love fresh coconut; in fact, they will even fight over the husk.


Raw Ingredients You Can Purchase Cheaply

  • Chicken feet, chicken necks, chicken backs, chicken carcasses that have had the breasts removed for human food, and chicken “giblets”. If you do not have any poultry slaughterhouses in your area, some grocery stores also sell inexpensive human-grade chicken quarters in large quantities; I prefer to purchase the other alternatives.
  • Beef face meat, beef tracheas, esophagus, beef lungs, beef heart, beef kidneys, and beef pancreas.
  • Pork intestines, pork neck, and pig heads (sawn in half).
  • Eggs, plain raw yogurt, and beef trimmings (beef fat).
  • Anything that you might have available locally: lamb necks, lamb tails, whole fish, deer, rabbit farms, etc. I have seen some recommendations to use roadkill, but here in the tropics, this is not an option I would ever want to use. The raw diet will not be frugal if you include an ingredient that makes your dog sick.
  • You can also use vegetable peelings (blended to a consistency similar to rumen contents), extra vegetables from your garden, free bruised fruit and vegetables from your supermarket, and some table scraps (you do need to be familiar with things your dog should not eat).

I cannot state exact prices since they will vary according to where you live.
No matter where you are, however, a raw diet can be purchased for a lot less
than the commercial diets will cost you.

Going Beyond AAFCO Standards

Will the “budget” raw food you make up to feed your dog at home be certified
by the guys in white coats? No, it won´t, but your dogs won´t mind. AAFCO (the
Association of American Feed Control Officials) have standards that have
nothing to do with the quality of food that goes into your dog. Feathers and
leather are fine ingredients and will meet AAFCO standards as long as a few
vitamins and minerals are thrown in.

That list of your dog´s AAFCO-approved bag of food is also what went into it,
not necessarily what is present at the moment. Any pet food that is cooked to
a temperature exceeding 290 degrees Fahrenheit will have some important
vitamins destroyed.

Do you really think dogs have been sitting around waiting for an AAFCO-
approved diet for the last several thousand years? Does that sound like
something that meets “all your dog’s needs?”

You can easily put together a diet that will satisfy all the needs of your
dog. The only ingredient I would always recommend adding (if you can purchase
it in your area) is fish oil. My dogs also get plenty of antioxidants through
eating locally grown tropical fruit (like coconut). If you are not adding
fresh fruit to your mixture, think about this too.

Scroll to Continue

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Why Preparing Raw Dog Food Is Worth the Effort

There are a lot of advantages to feeding a dog a natural diet, but when I
first looked into it, one of the first things I had to focus on was cost. I
live frugally, and always try to live “green”, and I decided early on that a
raw dog food sold in plastic packs or medallions was neither affordable nor
appropriate to my lifestyle.

I do not have a huge freezer, like some of the forums claim you will need to
make raw feeding affordable. It just requires some effort. If most of the
options I listed are not available to you, try calling your local zoo and ask
the keeper there for other ideas in your area. There are good cheap food
ingredients available everywhere.

Your dog does not need to eat human-quality ingredients, and you do not need
to depend on some company to make up his feed for you. In most places, a raw
diet can be put together for a lot less than about $1 a day. Don´t you think
your dog is worth $1 a day? No company is going to do this for you; natural
raw dog food is not commercial. Switch your dog to what is right, but do it
yourself. It is worth the effort.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I’m considering switching to raw food but I always heard
chicken bones can splinter and choke dogs. What needs to be done to
chicken/other bones before feeding to be safe for dogs?

Answer: Nothing needs to be done. If you give the bones raw, without
being cooked or processed, they are fine. The reasons dogs have problems
eating chicken bones is that they become brittle when cooked.

Wolves and wild dogs do not choke when they kill and eat a bird.

Question: My concern is bacteria. How can I ensure that I am not feeding
my dog bacteria in their raw food?

Answer: Your dog is not a human. The dogs GI tract is set up to handle
eating bacteria. (Have you ever had a dog dig up a bone that he buried a week
ago? I have. An old bone will not make him sick, but I certainly could not eat

Question: We have adopted a 150 pound English Mastiff who has been on a
raw diet for last three years. It is very expensive: 2 chicken breasts + 1
pound ground beef per day (in 2 feedings). He also gets legumes. Help! This is
expensive. He has allergies & this was recommended by a holistic vet (and a
previous owner).

How can I feed him for way less than $3/day??

Answer: A dog that is that large is going to cost a lot to feed, whether
it be real or commercial food. (Check the prices on the premium foods that are
prescribed for allergies next time you are at a pet superstore.) You do not
need to feed your dog chicken breasts and ground beef though. Look into some
alternatives discussed in this article (chicken feet, chicken necks, chicken
wings, beef trachea, etc.), feed him vegetable peelings, and put together a
diet that is less expensive.

Question: I am seeing conflicting information about avocados and fat for
my dog’s diet. High-fat ketogenic diets are healthy for omnivores, so the fat
thing makes no sense to me and I would think it is a good filler. Avocados are
great for humans, but I’m reading good and bad about them for dogs. What are
your thoughts?

Answer: Yes, I have also seen stupid comments where the writer claimed
that avocados were toxic for dogs. That is incorrect. They are fine and, if
your dog likes them, avocados make a great supplement for a raw diet.

Question: How do I know that I’m feeding my dog a nutritionally balanced
diet? I can’t just throw some meat, bones, veggies and fruit into his bowl,
can I? How do I know which proportions of each to feed?

Answer: There are numerous sources out there to help you feed a dog a
balanced diet. This article supplies a list of the inexpensive ingredients you
can add to his diet instead of purchasing one of the commercially prepared raw

If you still have not started with this diet, you can read one of the books
from Dr. Ian Billingsworth, a veterinarian from Australia, or purchase the
book “Raw Dog Food” from Carina McDonald and follow her guidelines.

If you want to read more on the internet before purchasing a book, there are
several sources. Just type your question into a search engine. You can also
see an article I wrote at https://hubpages.com/dogs/paleo-diet-dog.

I always start puppies out very early, as soon as the mother starts weaning,
and have had great results.

Question: How do you know what amount your dog needs to eat per day?

Answer: You can estimate how much you need to feed based on your dog’s
weight, but the amount you give depends on what you are feeding so you can
only tell for sure over time. If you feed chicken necks, for example, they
have a lot of fat, so a dog does not need to eat much. A chicken foot has
little fat, so your dog needs to eat more.

Question: My one-year-old Great Dane/Pit mix puppy makes a mess when
eating, and I have a young child so I am concerned about salmonella. Do you
have any suggestions?

Answer: I think it is fine to feed your dog outside. If giving a raw BARF
diet (bones and raw food) just put the food out and call him to it. You can
feed him on your lawn but if feeding on a concrete porch you should spray off
the concrete afterwards.

Question: Have you ever gotten cheap meat at a local Walmart, Publix, or
Farmer’s Market?

Answer: Yes, and often places like Walmart will have a sale on chicken
thighs, wings, etc and you can buy them for as little as most of us normally
pay for other ingredients like chicken feet. Keep an eye on the sales, and
when you find something cheap stock up on it. Do not be afraid to try some
different meats.

© 2013 Dr Mark


Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 21,

Choop,definitely. Costco and Walmart sometimes have much better prices, so
when there is a big sale on thighs or whatever I stock up my freezer. Just buy
wherever is cheapest.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 21,

Choop,definitely. Costco and Walmart sometimes have much better prices, so
when there is a big sale on thighs or whatever I stock up my freezer. Just buy
wherever is cheapest.

Choop on February 20, 2020:

Can our dogs eat raw meat from grocery stores like Costco? Can we give them
steak and chicken, etc or do we have to buy them at pet stores?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on October 07,

Sandy–I would recommend giving two. There is not a definite “dose” like with
medications, but the amount of glucosamine is probably not enough in one foot.

SandyDee77 on October 06, 2019:

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I can get chicken feet from my local
grocery store, so I was thinking of adding it to his meals. So his daily meal
would consist of a leg quarter, small piece of liver, a raw egg, spoonful of
greek yogurt and 1 chicken foot or would I need to give him two chicken feet
due to his size? I only feed once per day. Thanks again.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on October 01,

SandyDee77-I am not sure I understood. Do you mean once per day? That is what
I feed my dogs. I am living in a very isolated area at this time though and do
not have access to enough chicken legs so I only give them about once a week.

SandyDee77 on September 30, 2019:

Thanks Dr. Mark, I appreciate it! Also, I was reading back through some of the
comments and realized that I can pick up chicken feet at my local stores, so I
think I will incorporate those as well. Would 1 per feeding be enough or
because he’s 70lbs would I need to do more? I want to feed them for the
glucosamine. Thanks again.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 28,

SandyDee77–as far as the vegetables go, the method that is recommended by
most people (like giving a piece of carrot) just goes right through the dog.
They cannot digest cellulose. If you want to give veggies, they have to be
finely chopped, like in a blender. I think they should be offerred but in VERY
limited amounts.

As far as feeding the same thing, this is okay but I would allow some
variations from time to time. (You can usually also buy cheap meats like
kidneys and lungs from a butcher.) Try to feed fresh when possible since there
may be some vitamins lost in freezing, but do not be obsessive about this. It
is a small issue.

Fish oil will help but I cannot say for sure it is vital. How about trying a
can of sardines once a month or so? Will he eat them?

Best of luck.

SandyDee77 on September 26, 2019:

I saw you mention a couple times to feed what you are willing to continue to
do, and that makes so much sense. I have a question though, I have a 70 lb
pitbull so I need to keep this as cheap as possible, but would feeding him the
same thing over and over be ok? As in, I would plan on starting with chicken
leg quarters, chicken or beef liver, a raw egg and probably a spoonful of
greek yogurt. Would feeding him this day in and day out over the course of
years be ok? Also, do you feed veggies, I’ve read where you say they are ok
for fiber, but are they really necessary? I plan on bagging it in freezer bags
and freezing it so that it is easy to manage at feeding time. Also, fish oil,
I have some capsule that I used to give him, but he seemed to “smell” when I
gave them to him, not fishy just odd? Thanks!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 14, 2019:

Jeff, I am not sure if your Walmart has necks. They do, however, have periodic
sales and have things like chicken thighs for a great price. Thighs are even
better than necks.

(They do not have the glucosamine like feet though, so to obtain them you need
to go to a supplier, like a butcher that slaughters his own chickens.)

Just be creative. Stock up when you find a great buy.

Jeff on June 12, 2019:

Getting the mentioned meats such as necks, and other bits typically not
purchased by many folks.. from say a walmart would be okay ? or should we
stick to butchers ? What do you think about frozen raw.. like the frozen
boneless chicken breasts ?

Paul Lima on March 08, 2019:

We make raw dog food in big batch and freeze. Lost our butcher. Looking for
nexpensive ground pork in Toronto area!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 06,

Brooklyn, there is more risk to you, yes. You need to cut and prepare your
dogs food separately. As far as your dog, no. Dogs are adapted to take in more
bacteria in their food.

If you are giving raw bones, I do not see anything wrong with cooking the
meat, but I do think it would be difficult to give raw bones with all of the
meat removed. I think you should give no more than about a third of the diet
as meat.

Brooklyn on December 05, 2018:

I want to start my german shepard on a homemade diet but i read that bacteria
in raw meats could be dangerous for me(getting germs from then dog) and the
dog it self. Would it be possible to cook the meat and still give it raw bones
and when it comes to meat is ground beef like 70-30% okay with other things
like veggies eggs fish oil and some raw bones?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 03,

Shaleigh, there are some books that will recommend 1/2 pound of raw food for
each 10 pound of dog but they are not correct. (BTW, none of those
recommendations on dog food bags are worth the paper they are printed on.)

The only way to determine how much your dog needs is to feed him and see how
he is doing. If he is eating too much, and appears to be gaining weight, cut
back. If he is skinny and eating the carpet, well, you are going to have to
feed him some more.

One of the big advantages of feeding a natural diet is that dogs do not
overeat much. If I put too much in my dogs bowl one night she will just leave
it there, or if it still afternoon she will take the meaty bones out to the
front yard to bury them for later. That is an important thing to watch for. If
you are overfeeding your dog will not eat everything and will want to keep
something for later.

If my dogs are hiding food like that, I usually fast them the next day. (Be
sure to always provide water though, even if you do not give food for that
day, which is fine.)

Best of luck.

shaleigh on November 03, 2018:

hi there!

I have been making my dogs 100lb great pyr/Rottweiler cross) food for a couple
weeks now. Beforehand, they were eating bagged food. They are 2yrs old and
have adapted very well to the switch, in fact they love it! However I’m
concerned I am not feeding them enough per feeding. I don’t want to feed them
too much, because the price can rise quickly. How do you calculate the
appropriate amount of raw meat a dog needs a day? Any recommendation will
help. Thanks!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 06, 2018:

In my opinion the best kind of raw food to give your dog is something you are
going to continue to buy in the years ahead. If you start your dog on a diet
of filet mignon (with everything else you need to keep it balanced), realize
it is costing you thousands of dollars a year, and then switch him back to
some cheap dry dog food, that is no good for your dog.

Feed him what you can afford. Read the answer to “How do I know that I’m
feeding my dog a nutritionally balanced diet?” in the Q&A section above this.
It should help.

Veggies are fine, but mostly just to add fiber. They will pass right through a
dogs digestive system unless they are broken down like a smoothie. Fruits are
okay in moderation.

anthony spaulding on June 06, 2018:

I have a 9 mo old female Akita I want to start feeding raw. What is the best
way or kind of raw food to give? Do you include raw vegetables and fruits in
the food?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 04, 2018:

Norma, nothing is missing. Puppies that are fed a controlled diet with less
calories are actually healthier and less likely to develop joint problems as
they age. They also live about 2 years longer. Let the other owners have
rolly-polly puppies that eat commercial food full of cheap fillers and grains.
Keep doing exactly what you are.

Norma Jeanne on March 04, 2018:

Hi, we have an almost 4 month old malamute puppy and have been feeding raw. We
are new to this. We buy from a small company in our mountain community. They
grind up entire hormone free, antibiotic free chicken. We know other dog
owners who use their food only, and dogs are all healthy. The elderly dogs
started in this food have become more energetic, per their owners. Even though
I was told it is not necessarily, I still add fish oil and a ground up fruit
and veggie mix. My concern is our pup was the second weightiest of his litter
and now has fallen to third place. He has grown vertically like crazy, but
sides are slim. Can’t see ribs, but not much of a pad. He is constantly on the
prowl for food. What is missing? I’m feeding 2 lbs of this meat a day plus the
veggie mix. Thanks in advance.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 22,

Ellie, your raw diet sounds great. The only suggestion I would have is to vary
it some. When you do have access to one of those carcasses from the hunters,
allow your Golden to chomp on the intestine so that he will get the vitamins
from there. Not the meat and sausage–your dog does not need them but will
benefit from eating some of the intestines, internal organs, etc.

You do not need to give the rice (dogs do not need carbs) but the fiber in
brown rice may be helpful. It is not hurting your dog at all so if you want to
continue with this diet it is fine.

My puppies go in and pull out the chicken wings and feet, other things like
that which taste good. As long as you are not giving so much per meal that
Ivan can pick and choose there is no problem.

My main concern is that you might get burned out because of the cost of your
diet. Remember that it is cheaper than a premium diet, so keep going with it!

Ellie from Montana, USA on February 22, 2018:

Dr Mark my head is spinning! I have a 5 month golden retriever… I have been
experimenting with raw foods for about two weeks. After reading one of your
articles on raw foods, I have purchased chicken livers, hearts, wings,
gizzards and necks when the store has them. Basically I have been mixing it up
for each feeding:

approx. 3 tblsp yogurt

1 raw egg with shell

3-4 chicken hearts

2 inch piece of liver

4 pieces whole chicken wings

1 capsule fish oil

a little brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potato,

zucchini and avocado mushed in food processor

1/2 cup soft cooked brown rice

1/2 cup bone broth

twice a week I give 3 or 4 smelt (like sardines)

In between I give him a little banana or apple or


In my research on raw food diet, I read that some nutritional elements are
often missing and the dog is in danger of developing disease if raw diet is
not balanced.

I’m not sure if I should be adding anything else?

Also, I live in Northwest Montana USA, we have resources but I don’t think I
can get chicken feet anywhere. I intend to try to find some sources at a small
local meat processor that primarily raising pigs and they are also a
processing service for hunters that bring their kill in to be made into
sausage. Other than that, I know I need to gear up to find affordable meats
for the raw diet.

I intend to ethically stud “Ivan” and I am hoping to ethically breed Goldens
in the future. Therefore, I am trying to learn everything I can to put forth
the healthiest dogs possible for the sake of the animals and the potential new
owners. Any thoughts you may have on my concoction of raw food would be

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 03,

Both of those dog breeds have excellent teeth so unless your puppy has an
underbite or overbite you should have no problems. Be sure to take a look at
my article on a DIY home phyiscal exam and get him used to having his mouth
opened so that you can check on things. Glad to hear he liked the chicken


Julesrn777 on February 03, 2018:

He is 3/4 Aussie and 1/4 Poodle, so I am hopeful his teeth will be well-
spaced, but we will have to see. His mama has normal-looking anatomy and very
nice teeth (she’s full Aussie), so I am hopeful. His papa is half Aussie and
half Standard Poodle, but I didn’t get a good look at his teeth.

I can’t believe no one read your article! Any way to re-post it? BTW – the pup
had his first chicken neck today (took your advice) and did very well with it
– loved it! Thanks for the info!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 03,

It depends on the type of dog. With a large or medium sized dog with normal
anatomy the bones are enough to keep the teeth clean. (My oldest Pitbull is a
senior and has perfect teeth because of her diet.) With a small dog, or one
with bad dental anatomy (like an English Bulldog) the teeth do need to be
brushed because the teeth are so close together that they build up pockets of
pus and the dog has secondary health problems. (My Schnauzer though had wide
spaced and normal canine teeth, so it is not always the size. My Maltese had
terrible dentition and the diet was not enough to do him much good.)

A good diet based on bones is a great thing, and as you can tell I feel pretty
strongly about it. I had published an article on this but deleted it because
no one read it!

Julesrn777 on February 03, 2018:

One other question I keep forgetting to ask – do you really think it is
necessary to brush a dog’s teeth if they are eating a good, raw diet that
includes bones? Quite frankly, I think the idea of tooth brushing seems rather
ridiculous (not to mention, good luck doing that with an active puppy!!), but
I could be completely wrong. One way or the other, please educate me on your
thoughts about this. Thanks!!

Julesrn777 on January 29, 2018:

Thanks Dr. Mark. I completely agree about everything in moderation. The
rancher that supplies our pork, beef and lamb actually sells the pig’s feet
fresh/frozen right after they are processed, so no added salt, etc. thankfully
– I completely agree with you about the added salt and wouldn’t purchase
otherwise. I truly appreciate your suggestions and feedback!! Thank you so

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 28,

That is great news Jules. He sounds like a very lucky puppy. My pups tear into
chicken like that too so that sounds like a healthy normal little guy.

Since you are an RN, you know all things in moderation. The chicken feet do
not have much fat but are a great source of calcium for growing dogs and
glucosamine for those of us with some age to us. Be careful of the pigs feet
because a lot of them are sold heavily salted, way too much for your pup.

Let me know if I can be of any help during your journey.

Julesrn777 on January 28, 2018:

Hi Dr. Mark. Thanks so much for your response! Yes, it was only the one
episode and he has had normal stools since. His appetite is fantastic and he’s
been drinking water all along and never any vomiting and he’s very playful and
happy-go-lucky puppy. He’s 15 weeks now, BTW. I did give him another egg after
his next stool was ok (washed it this time). I gave him the chicken leg and
was almost alarmed at how he ate it (more like tore at it, then crunched the
bones and swallowed it in a few bites), but keep in mind this is all quite
foreign to me, so perhaps that was completely normal. He’s been eating with
gusto since and again, his stools have been fine (and he’s urinating fine,
too) and he’s been incredibly playful today. I keep reading contrasting
opinions about chicken necks – some say they are great, others they are too
small and are a choking hazard. If you feed them to your puppies, then that
confirms for me they are ok. I have some and I did buy a couple of pounds of
chicken feet, so I think I will try those next. The homemade sauerkraut only
has 2 ingredients – organic cabbage and the recommended amount of pink
Himalayan salt. No vinegar or anything and it is raw and naturally fermented,
not cooked. My understanding is that slightly acidic foods in small amounts
can be good, as it is the acid that helps in the digestion/assimilation of
bones (and the minerals they contain), as well as the protein in the meat,
etc. I have only given him 3 tiny pieces of it – all less than an inch in
size. It was recommended only to give in very small amounts (start with about
a tsp and work up to a Tbsp). I am soon going to introduce small amounts of
organ meats, as I am getting a mixture of organ meats, beef tongue and beef
heart from our food co-op. I also have access to things like pig’s feet,
oxtail, etc. that I’ve read all are good meaty bones for feeding. I’m an RN
and specialize I nutrition, so this is sort of all in my “wheelhouse” so to
speak and I love learning about it and want to make sure I’m doing the right
thing. I truly appreciate your feedback! Thanks again!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 27,

Hi Jules is the diarrhea cleared up? I doubt that it had anything to do with
the egg, and you need to monitor your puppy and make sure he is drinking and
not vomiting.

I start my Pitbull puppies on chicken feet and necks (very tiny bones in
necks) as soon as they start eating solids, at about 3 weeks. As long as
things are given in moderation there is no problem.

It sounds like you are doing a great job. Let me know if you have any
questions along the way. Sauerkraut can be very acidic, not sure how much so
if it is homemade. Make sure you only give in moderation.

Good luck with your pup.

Julesrn777 on January 27, 2018:

We have a new puppy and transitioned him from kibble to raw, but all of this
is new and somewhat intimidating. I have him on some immune and digestive
support, too. He is loving everything I’m giving him but last night had his
first runny stool after feeding him a raw egg (with the shell crushed) and
bone marrow. It was a pastured egg from a local farm and I realized this
morning I hadn’t washed the shell before feeding it to him, so am hoping that
had something to do with it? I am also going to give him his first bone-in
meal with a chicken leg and am very hopeful that is a good thing to get him
started with eating bones, as I know they are so important in the diet. I have
been giving him different things to see how he will respond and so far he
loves homemade sauerkraut (only gave him a couple of small pieces),
blueberries, apple, spinach, avocado, raw milk and bone broth. Any
suggestions/corrections or words of wisdom are welcomed and appreciated!!

L.A. Simeoli on January 23, 2018:

Oh you are so right. Raw food is not expensive at all. I can pick up a package
of chicken hearts or chicken gizzards in the meat dept. for 1.48 for over a
pound of raw meat. A can of Pedigree meat is 1.20 for 10 ounces. And the raw
food is of much higher quality. My dogs are part of my family. I want to feed
them the best I can, I just want to encourage all dog owners to look into this
for yourself. read up, educate yourself. Would you feed your child Old Roy Dog
Food, that guarantees your going to have future illnesses in your dogs, due to
lack of nutrients needed to keep your dog healthy. Your dog is like your
child, he depends on you to make decisions in his best interest, just like a
human child would.

Eric on January 01, 2018:

Great info thanks

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 06,

They are probably beef bones and just too hard for a dog that size. My smaller
dogs just chew off the cartilage, or eat the marrow if the bone is sawed in

It is vital that the dog eat the bones, which is why chicken necks are so
good. If you cannot get them in your area, look for chickens that have the
meat removed (like they sell for making chicken soup). If nothing else, you
can purchase large bags of chicken wings on sell at Walmart.

It is not easy for us to switch, and I realize this is not for everyone, but
the dogs really do benefit if you are willing to take the time.

Mary Craig from New York on February 06, 2014:

I give my Min Pin marrow bones once or twice a week. Being a small dog, he
eats the marrow and just chews ON the bone for a while. Like others raised on
the dog food mentality it is hard to switch to total raw.

What would you recommend for my Min Pin?

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 30,

Sorry mary615 but even if your dog needs to be on a limited protein source
diet (like only lamb, only chicken, etc) that does not mean she needs to be on
a commercial dog food that you purchase through a vet. Read the ingredients–
they are not what Baby needs to stay healthy. Look up all of those
ingredients, and see what harm they are doing her. If she is allergic to some
food sources, all it means is that those ingredients do not need to go into
her food.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 30, 2013:

I is so hard to know what to feed our dogs! my Schnauzer is allergic to
“people food”. I can only give her a prescription diet from the Vet to keep
her from scratching herself. Good informative Hub!

Bob Bamberg on December 29, 2013:

I’d rather wrestle Ajej for the coconut husk! On second thought, though, just
maybe, with enough salt, maybe some fish oil, and if you microwave them for 2

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 29,

Oh, come on Bob, you mean your mom never made up a nice chicken foot soup when
you were a kid? That picture does not make your mouth water????

Bob Bamberg on December 29, 2013:

Eeeeewwww 🙂