Under standing the basis or reason behind a raw diet is the best place to start. I have been feeding raw for almost a decade. It was in the early stages of public education at that point. I was forced into it as I had a dog that was allergic to all the grains used in dog foods at that time.
She had environmental allergies as well. My vet recommended feeding her a raw diet, he didn’t know anything about formulating them so it was up to me to do the research come up with something.
There wasn’t any help that I could find so I experimented. I used millet, and oats for grain, beef and poultry for the meat and a wide variety of veggies. I fed raw bones, eggs, and organ meat as well. It took about 6 months for me to realize that grains just weren’t necessary.
I also started thinking about how their wild cousins survived, what they ate and why it worked. The change in her was amazing, her body sucked everything up, she lost a lot of weight, which she needed to do, and she thrived. She had been surviving, that’s about it, all of our other dogs were fed half and half. Our oldest dog at the time was 8, he took to it real well, and ate it for about 3 1/2 years till leukemia got him.
How to get started
The transition from regular food to raw meat for your pitbull should be a gradual one so your dog doesn’t go into shock or reject the food from the start.
The best idea is to gradually introduce raw meat to your pitbull as a treat during the first three or four days. You can slowly increase the amount of meet you give your dog until he or she is capable of eating an entire meal of raw meat.
If you provide your pitbull with an entire bowl of meat that has been cut up or a bone that is raw and meaty, your dog is likely to either have the runs, vomit, or do both. It will be messy to clean up and potentially frightening if you aren’t used to your dog getting sick.
Many pitbull owners report that their dogs are still likely to get the runs when they are first fed raw meat bones, due to the extra layers of fat on the meat. This is particularly common with puppies that get their first chicken carcasses or raw bones.
However, they will quickly adapt as long as the meat is good and will develop much stronger stomachs that don’t get upset when they are introduced to new food.
One of the advantages of feeding your pitbulls raw meat is that they will develop stronger internal systems because of the process, and you will be able to feed them a variety of new treats and foods without them throwing up or rejecting it in the future.
The types of meat you use are really up to you. There are only a few hard and fast rules to keep in mind:
First, try to avoid raw pork. This isn’t because of anything to do with pork and your pitbull’s stomach, but because some pork can still carry serious diseases that can get your dog violently sick, such as trichinosis.
This is a small parasitic worm that can infect both humans and dogs, and unless you are absolutely sure that you are getting good meat that is worm free, it’s just safer to stay away from raw pork. The worm is killed when you cook the pork, of course, but that would defeat the purpose of the raw meat diet.
Second, try to avoid raw salmon. Similarly, there is nothing inherently wrong with cooked or canned salmon, and in fact, your pitbull will likely enjoy both of these.
However, raw salmon is sometimes infected with liver flukes, which are parasites that go after the liver, and they can potentially reduce your pitbull’s liver to shreds.
Keep in mind that no matter what kind of meat you feed your pitbull, if the meat is raw, your dog will have to go through a period of detoxication. The only real exception to this if you have a pitbull puppy, as it will be less used to any kind of diet, whether dry, canned, cooked, or raw.
Detox simply means your pitbull’s system has to cleanse itself from all of the bad components that built up inside the pitbull from years of eating dry food, no matter whether it was high quality food or lower end stuff. Typically, it will take about a month for your dog to be completely ready to go on the raw meat diet.
During this month, your pitbull is likely to smell more than usual. The coat will become brittle and dull. The skin might become extra oily, and you will probably detect worse odors from their breath and stool.
However, seemingly overnight, your dog will suddenly become completely different, and in a good way. It happens to virtually every animal used to a dry food diet and switched to a raw one, so don’t worry about it.
Another concern to keep in mind is one about bacteria and germs. Sometimes people worry about the switch to a raw meat diet because they don’t know if their dogs will be able to handle it from a health standpoint.
However, dogs are designed to eat raw food; they are essentially domesticated wolves. The digestive systems of your pitbulls will easily break down bones, and in most cases, they will not be too susceptible to listeria, salmonella, or e-coli.
However, certain dogs will be more susceptible than others, including the very old, the very sick, and the very young. Use more caution with these dogs when thinking about transitioning them from dry to raw meat diets.
To take care of germs in general, just use the same ways of cleaning your surroundings that you would if you were preparing food for yourself and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Clean your dog bowls after each meal you give them. Scrub your prep surfaces and wash your utensils. If you use common sense and good practices in the kitchen, germs shouldn’t be an issue.
How much raw food should I feed my pitbull puppy?
Feed at least 5% of body weight daily (about ¼ lb per 10 lbs. of body weight). This can be split into at least 2 and preferably 3 meals per day.
What size portions should I feed?
How much you feed will depend entirely on your dog. How active they are, whether they need to lose weight or not, how big they are, and age to some degree. They also will eat like they are starving, which they are, for all intents and purposes. After the detox period they will settle into normal portions unless their activity level increases dramatically.
For my 70# pit mix she eats about a pound and a half of raw a day. My pup, who is 6 months and 60# eats about the same as she does. He will eventually get more since he will top out around 85 or so. She’s also 8 so she won’t need as much food as him.
My 20# pug eats about 1/2 a pound of raw a day. The meat to veggie ratio, generally, is 85% meat and 15% vegetable. Since bone is free choice I don’t have a percentage for that. The pugs intake is far higher than the other 2 dogs. Organ meat makes up, about, 10% of their diet.
I use fresh garlic for flea control, it’s also good for the blood. I crush about half a clove per dog 4 times a week.
For vegetable content, I go by color. Orange, green, white, yellow, and red, different colors cover different vitamins. I also don’t worry about balancing every day but rather over a weeks time. I use collard greens, spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, and brussel sprouts for the green.
Yams, sweet potato, and orange pepper, turnip, zucchini, yellow squash, radish, cauliflower for white, yellow pepper, the skin of the yellow squash helps with yellow, red is covered by the skins of the radish, a little beet and swiss chard has red in the stems and veins in the leaves.
Imagination and experimenting to see what your dog likes is key. I don’t use a lot of vegetable matter so my mixes use maybe one of each color, as an example:
Puree it in a food processor and put into ice trays. Freeze for a couple of hours, separate into zip lock baggies. I will also add cranberries when they are in season. If I remember I will buy 4 or 5 bags when they are available. Apples are also a popular addition to the mix. I know folks that add apple cider vinegar to their mixes as well. It is a preservative, it also acidifies the dog and makes them less attractive for yeast infections.
For a 60# dog you can give 4 cubes per meal. I actually feed less vegetable matter, the pug gets 4 cubes every other day. The two pits get them every 4th day, mostly because they eat dry. If they ate straight raw they would get 6 every other day. Most of the fruit they get in their diet comes from treats. When we eat it they get some. The only fruit they should not eat in any way, shape, or form are grapes. Absolutely NO raisins.
Everything else is fair game. It’s fun to experiment and see what they will and won’t eat. Sasha doesn’t like Avocado’s, and goes insane for mango and banana’s.
Can you feed Pitbull puppies raw meat?
When can pitbulls eat raw meat?
Can my Pitbull dog eat raw meat everyday?
How much raw food should I feed my Pitbull puppy?