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Canine Starter Guide
This is an example of a complete prey model meal
**If you're swapping a puppy to raw please use our Puppy Starter Guide.**
Having a starter guide is very important when thinking about transitioning to raw. Our starter guide has been used to help tens of 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 over 100 thousand 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 (average) percentages below:
80% Muscle Meat (Recommended 60% skeletal and 20% organ muscle): 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 or wild omnivores such as hogs!
(Organ Muscles) Heart, Lungs, Tongue, Gizzards, Tripe, Uterus, Trachea, Tendons, Pizzle, and Gullet.
Read why no carnivores here. Minimum of 4 proteins with 3 being red, the more variety the better.
*Game/wild animals needs to be frozen 3 weeks to kill parasites.*
10% Raw Meaty Bones (RMB): 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 fully digest them enough to absorb the nutrients. It also adds unnecessary stress to the pancreas and could also cause yeast which will lead to skin problems.
Click here to read more on why we do not recommend feeding vegetables or fruit.
Let's Get Started!!
First things first STOP feeding kibble and begin raw straight away.
We DO NOT recommend starting with any premade/completes, as this can cause stomach upset and makes it hard to identify any sensitivities. Premade raw foods if they are following a good Prey Model feeding ratio will have the 80/10/10 balance. If not we can advise on how to amend them to meet the ratio. 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. Offal is introduced towards to the end so that your dog is more used to raw food before taking on the nutrient dense organs which can cause loose poop. 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 pH will start to lower to be able to digest bone safely and properly.
How Much to Feed: Start with 2.5% and adjust once transitioned as weight will fluctuate during transition. Most adults will eventually eat between 2% and 3% of their current 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*
Click here to get an idea of What to Expect. Don't panic, every dog is different.
If the poop is soft and holds a shape, all is well, then you can move on. If the poop is very loose (Like water/mucous) then pause where you are and feed half the bone amount until poop holds more shape.
Week/Step 1: For the first 5 days we would suggest feeding boneless, skinless chicken, turkey, farmed rabbit or you can mix with green tripe (50%). After 5 days if all is well you may begin to introduce soft bones (the full 10%) the same as your starter protein, such as chicken necks, chicken breast w/ribs or a form of ground (soft) bone. Please note, if feeding bones with skin (wings/thighs/drumsticks), cut off as much skin as you can for the first time feeding, then you can cut off less each time so that we introduce the fat slowly. 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/Step 2: Continue your introduction of RMB along with your starter protein. This will allow more room for adjustment to be ready to start a new protein for week 3.
Week/Step 3: Now it's time to introduce the first red protein such as beef, lamb, pork, or whatever is easily accessible to you. Keep to low fat at this time as there will be no white meat to offset the fat in the red meat. 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 RMB you've previously introduced.
Weeks/Steps 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 3 of your 4 proteins should be red.
Week/Step 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/Step 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/Step 8: You're at the last step of transition and it's time to start introducing fish. Don't forget to introduce it slowly, as to avoid any stomach upset. Fish are recommended to be fed at 33g (1.2oz) of fish per 4.5kg (10lb) body weight, per 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.
Eggs: Eggs are not essential but a good food item to add to the diet. Eggs are advised to be fed up to 4 times a week. This can be 2 for a small breed, 3 for a medium breed, and 4 for large breeds.
Please note: This concludes the basic transition. From this point on do continue with introducing more secreting AND muscular organs as well as more proteins when you can source them!
An example of transitioning:
This is Jasmine she's 4yrs old and weighs 80lbs/36kg. We're going to start her at 2.5%.
80lbs (2.5%=2lbs per day) or 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/Step 1: We're going to use boneless, skinless chicken breast as her starter protein. Feeding her the entire daily amount (100%) of 2lbs/900g of just the meat for the first 5 days. Around day 5 as long as she isn't having issues we'll start to introduce soft bone. Let's use wings, don't forget to remove most of the skin to start off with. On average 1 chicken wing weighs 3oz/89g and is 46% bone. 3oz (46%=1.38oz) or 89g (46%=41g) of RMB 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/Step 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/Step 3: She's ready for a another red protein. We'll go with beef. We're not changing her RMB at this time as we've only introduced chicken so far, and beef bones are very 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.
Weeks/Steps 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/Step 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% (1.6oz/45g of liver). As long as she's not having any issues we'll move on to introducing her other secreting organ.
Week/Step 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 followed by 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 incorporating this with her meals. Once she's been fully introduced to fish, we can split that amount and feed as extras a couple of times a week. Fish can be included in the meals during a period of weight loss.
For eggs we'll start her off at just 1 a week. Should any tummy issues arise, don't feed egg for a few days and offer half next time. Hopefully, she'll be better with a smaller increase.
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 here:
If you are reintroducing your dog to raw, then you can move a little faster as any intolerances will have already been identified.
Using the guide above as a template, start with the first 4 days white meat only then add soft bone for another 4 days.
If all well, you can introduce the next protein. Chicken leg/thigh/drumstick can be fed after day 10.
You can use the 4 days to introduce the new protein (See infographic below) and if all good on full bowl of the new protein for 2 days, you can move to the next protein and so on.
Screenshot and save these infographics for easy reference
Got a fussy eater? Try out some of these Troubleshooting tips.