What is a complete balanced diet for dogs? Here’s What to Do Next

I was told that dogs cannot digest carbohydrates. Is this true?

To meet their energy needs, dogs have evolved to use proteins and fats as their primary energy sources, but they can also use carbohydrates for energy. The fact that the dogs digestive system produces enzymes that are specific for digesting starches and sugars shows that they are capable of digesting carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates such as grains are more digestible when they are cooked.

Recipes after choosing meats and organs:

✓ 5 pounds of 90% lean ground beef

✓ 0.5 pounds of beef livers

✓ 0.5 pounds of beef hearts, with any separable fat removed.

✓ 5 pounds of 85% lean ground beef

✓ 0.5 pounds of beef livers

✓ 0.5 pounds of beef hearts, separable fat removed.

✓ 2.5 pounds chicken dark meat, skin and separable fat removed

✓ 2.5 pounds of chicken necks, with 50% of the skin and separable fat removed.

✓ 0.5 pounds of chicken livers

✓ 0.5 pounds of chicken hearts.

Between 10% and 20% by weight of the meats should consist of freshly ground seeds and nuts and vegetables that have had their cell walls broken down. For an understanding why vegetables are a natural and important component of the canine diet, please see Yes,Vegetables for Dogs.

We are adding 0.5 pounds of spinach, a nutrient-dense vegetable, and 0.5 pounds of carrots to our recipes, adding about 125 kcal to each recipe. The recipes are now seven pounds.

What to look for at the grocery store:

For growth stages, it is important to look for meats that have at least two times more protein, in grams, than fat. Examples: a 100 gram package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs lists 22 gm of protein, 8 gm of fat; 100 gm of 90% lean ground beef lists 20 gm of protein, 10 gm of fat.

For adult stages, look for meats that list 20% more protein than fat. Examples: meats that list, per 100 gm, 15 gm of protein and 12 gm of fat are acceptable, those that list 14 gm of protein and 14 gm of fat are not acceptable. 85% lean ground beef provides 19 gm of protein and 15 grams of fat.

Follow the 50/50/50 rule, which helps balance the protein, fats, calcium and phosphorus needs of dogs for growth and adult recipes.

✓ 50% thigh meat with skin and separable fat removed

✓ 50% necks (or backs), with 50% skin and separable fat removed

Organs from the same species should consist of 15 – 30% of the weight of the muscle meat. It’s okay to exceed this guideline if using hearts, but not with ruminant livers (beef, bison, deer, lamb), which are very high in copper and should consist of no more than 10% of the amount of muscle meat. For copper-sensitive breeds, keep the ruminant livers amount to 2.5% of the muscle meats. (See my article on Copper.)

With the boneless meats recipes that we’re building in this blog series, we’re using 5 pounds of muscle meat, 0.5 pounds livers, and 0.5 hearts. For the more demanding growth recipes, we’ve use more hearts and less muscle meats.

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Nutrition

Steve Brown is a renowned dog nutrition expert who has been in the raw dog food industry since its start. He’s been called the Godfather of Raw Dog by many, but is most known for his book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” and “See Spot Live Longer.”