Canine Starter Guide
This is an example of a complete prey model meal
Having a starter guide is very important when thinking about transitioning to raw. Our starter guide has been used to help thousands of pet owners make the switch to prey model raw feeding their pets. You can rest assured that if you follow our guide you will be in good hands. We also have a Facebook group with tens of thousands of members to help support you on your journey. Click here to join our group today!
What Does Prey Model Raw Diet Mean?
In simple terms, Prey Model Raw (PMR) means we try and mimic how a dog would eat in the wild. When a dog eats in the wild, it eats full prey which breaks down to the following 80/10/10 percentages below:
80% Muscle Meat: White Meats: Chicken, Farmed rabbits, Turkey
Red Meats: Pork, Beef, Lamb, Goat, Duck, Goose, Venison, Elk, Bison, Roo, Wild Rabbit, Game Birds, Moose, Bison, NO Carnivores! Read why no carnivores here. Minimum of 3 to 4 proteins, the more variety the better with more red meats.
*Game/wild animals needs to be frozen 2 to 3 weeks to kill parasites.*
10% Bones: No cooked bones or weight bearing bones.
5% Other Secreting Organ
*See the infographic at the bottom of the page for reference on what organs are classed as muscle meat and which are fed as organ.*
NO VEG/FRUIT/CARBS/GRAINS are needed as dogs are carnivores and carnivores cannot digest them; it stresses the pancreas and could also cause yeast which will cause skin problems.
Let's Get Started!!
First things first STOP feeding kibble and begin raw straight away. We DO NOT recommend starting with any premade/complete. Most premade raw foods if they are following a good Prey Model feeding ratio will have the 80/10/10 balance. However, when first starting raw we would suggest that you steer clear of feeding these mixes due to their offal and bone content. We suggest boneless for the first few days for the PH to adjust and offal is a very nutrient dense source and as such can cause stomach upset. We advise it being added slowly and in smaller portions at the appropriate time in the transition to allow the dog to get used to this new power pack of nutrition. For the first 7-10 days of transition the stomach PH will be adjusting. Once you start to feed raw the stomach acidity will start to strengthen to be able to digest bone safely and properly. From a kibble PH of around 4-5 feeding raw will encourage the stomach acid to drop to PH 1-2.
How Much to Feed: Most Adult dogs eat around 2% to 3% of their ideal adult weight per day. Start with 2.5%, more if active, less if couch potato – depends on individual dogs. *See our Body Condition infographic at the bottom of the page for reference*
Week 1: For the first 3-5 days we would suggest feeding boneless, skinless chicken, turkey, or you can start with green tripe. After 3-5 days if all is well you may begin to introduce soft bones (the full 10%) such as chicken necks, chicken breast w/ribs or a form of ground (soft) bone. At the end of the week you may start to introduce the more slightly dense form of bones at the full 10% such as thighs, drumsticks, etc.
Read more about what bones you can feed and how to calculate the percentage in our Feeding RMB's (Raw Meaty Bones Guide
Week 2: Continue your introduction of bone along with your starter protein. This will allow more room for adjustment to be ready to start a new protein for week 3.
Week 3: Now it's time to introduce another protein such as beef, lamb, pork, or whatever is easily accessible to you. To introduce the new protein properly you need to phase out the first one through the week a little bit at a time. By the end of the week the new protein should have replaced the first one entirely. *See our How to Introduce New Proteins infographic at the bottom of the page for reference*
Note: You do not have to replace the bone content with the new protein. It's OK to continue with the bone source you're using.
Week 4-5: For these next two weeks you should be introducing new proteins in the same fashion from week 3. One new one for week 4 another for week 5.
Remember the more reds the better!
Week 6: If all has gone well so far you may begin to introduce liver. We suggest to do this EXTREMELY slowly as liver is power packed with nutrients and can cause loose stool if introduced too quickly. Start with the smallest sliver maybe the size of a fingernail and work your way up to the 5%, only increasing when the poops are well and formed. This could possibly take longer than a week. Please do not rush this step.
Week 7: Time to introduce your other secreting offal content such as kidney, spleen, etc. Introduce the same way as you did the liver. *See the infographic at the bottom of the page for reference on what's classed as a secreting organ*
Week 8: You're at the last step of transition and it's time to start introducing fish and eggs. Still remember to introduce each slowly one at a time as to avoid any stomach upset. Fish and eggs are recommended to be fed 3-4 times a week. All fresh caught AND store bought fish should be frozen for 3 weeks to kill any parasites. Read what fish is recommended here in our Fish Feeding Guide.
An example of transitioning:
This is Jasmine she's 4yrs old and weighs 80lbs/36kg. She's a good weight so we'll feed her to maintain it at 2.5%.
80lbs *2.5%=2lbs per day/36kg *2.5%=900g per day
Her 80/10/10 break down is as follows:
80% Muscle Meat= 1lb 9.6oz/720g
10% Bone= 3.2oz/90g
5% Liver= 1.6oz/45g
5% Other Organ= 1.6oz/45g
Week one: We're going to use boneless chicken breast as her starter protein. Feeding her the entire daily amount (100%) of 2lbs/900g of just the meat for the first 3-5 days. Around day 4 or 5 as long as she isn't having issues we'll start to introduce soft bone. Let's use wings. On average 1 chicken wing weighs 3oz/89g and is 46% bone. 3oz*46%=1.38oz/ 89g*46%=41g of bone the rest will be meat. Since she needs about 3.2oz/90g of bone per day we'll start her with 2 wings and adjust to add another if her poops aren't well formed. She's now at 90% meat & 10% bone. We'll finish week one with the wings and the breast meat only.
Week 2: Now Jasmine has had no issues and is ready for a more dense bone. We're going to go with chicken drumsticks that weigh 5oz/142g and are 33% bone. 5oz * 33%=1.65oz/142g * 33%=47g bone the remainder is meat. So she'll need about 2 drumsticks a day. We'll continue to feed her still at 90% meat and 10% bone for the rest of this week.
Week 3: She's ready for a new protein. We'll go with beef. We're not changing her bone at this time as it's not a must and beef bones are pretty dense and not recommended anyway. We'll begin by introducing beef at 25% of her meat portion. The next day will be 50/50 (half chicken half beef). We'll continue to increase until beef has completely taken over her meat portion.
Week 4 & 5: We'll continue to introduce Jasmine to new proteins. One protein per week using the same pattern as when we introduced beef.
Week 6: Jasmine is ready for liver! We'll start off with just the size of a pinky nail and work our way up to her total 5%. As long as she's not having any issues we'll move on to introducing her other organ requirement.
Week 7: Now she's eating 27oz/765g of meat, 3.2oz/90g of bone, and 1.6oz/45g of liver. It's time to introduce Jasmine's other secreting organ. We'll do this the same way we did liver. Starting small and working our way up to her 5%.
Success! Jasmine has now reached her full 80/10/10 requirement and is ready for week 8....fish and eggs!
For fish, according to the Fish Feeding Guide she'll need roughly 9oz of fish per week according to her weight. So slowly we'll begin to incorporating this to her meals. Once she's been introduced to fish properly we can split that amount and top her meals off with it a couple of times a week.
For eggs we'll start her off at just 2 a week. Should any tummy issues arise, we'll back down to 1 and work our way up back to 2-3 a week.
Now Jasmine is fully transitioned and is thriving! We can introduce new proteins as we find them. Just making sure we remember to introduce anything new slowly to avoid any stomach upset :)
Not really into all this math?! Try these Raw Feeding Apps out!
Screenshot and save these infographics for easy reference
Got a fussy eater? Try out some of these Troubleshooting tips.