I don’t feed my dogs raw.


I know. It’s kind of a big deal. And I may get totally obliterated by the Internet Bullies, but by now, I’ve gotten used to it.

Here’s the thing.

My dogs… they are my entire life. They are my best friends, and they form the foundation of my business. While my dogs are darn stable and have no issues when I walk out the door to run errands, I, on the other hand, suffer separation anxiety when I’m away.  

It’s OK to call me crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time.

When I first started my journey in dog training, I drove myself completely insane with two things: (1) Keeping my dogs healthy and (2) Guilt that I wasn’t getting it right.

I was so afraid I would do something wrong, that I spent countless hours scouring the internet for the latest information on diet, training, and vaccinations. I was convinced that if I didn’t do everything “by the book,” my dog would get sick and it would be my fault. I was terrified that I’d misstep. And I loved them too much to let that happen.

The problem was, there is NO BOOK.

Go ahead. Poke around online. Find scientific research that supports things like a raw diet. And then go ahead and keep looking. Because I’m certain you’ll find scientific research in support of kibble.

And surely you’ll find arguments for and against vaccinations, with scientific research supporting either stance. And of course, you’ll find arguments both for and against holistic remedies, coconut oil, fish oil, raw eggs, and the like. And don’t get me started on the many opinions out there, each with their own supporting evidence, about dog training methodology.

The information is so convoluted, and there is SO MUCH of it. Navigating it all can get overwhelming. And it can be so easy to think you’re going to get it wrong, and your dog’s health will suffer as a direct result. And that’s terrifying!

So here’s what I did.

I bought what I believed were the best foods. I wrapped my dogs in proverbial bubble wrap. I went through phases where I vaccinated. Then I didn’t. I tried it all.

And I learned, over the decade or so that I FREAKED OUT about my dog’s health, that there is one thing that matters more than any Internet Forum. More than marketing agendas, and more than scientific studies.

The one thing that matters most (to me at least) is my experience.

Here’s what I mean. You bet I will research and weigh information. You bet I will read about dog foods, vaccinations, heartworm preventatives, etc. And you bet I will form an educated guess (because that’s what it really is, right?) about what will be best for my dog. But then, I will apply my information and gauge my experience. And it’s only through experience will I develop a plan.

I do the same thing in my training. Plainly stated, my experiences mean more than any scientific study. Because I can guarantee for every study that says one thing, I can find one that supports a counter hypothesis.

Guys, I’m a biochemist by degree and a statistics nerd who actually TAUGHT statistics for several years.

I promise, I can argue just about any study you throw at me. I can absolutely insert a good amount of reasonable doubt.

So when it comes to forming an opinion about my dog’s health, I use the studies to fuel my choices. After that, how I proceed is purely experiential.

For example, when I was navigating dog food choice, I cycled through it all. I have a LOT of mouths to feed at any given time, so what the dogs eat matters.

I fed pre-packed balanced raw food I was able to buy in bulk. But my dogs began dropping weight, and before long, my working dogs were skin and bones. Even with supplementation, we struggled to keep weight on a few of the really active dogs.

I moved on.

Next up was high-quality kibble. I tried Orijen – and hated it. Then we tried Merrick, Innova, Wellness, and Victor. But with all of those foods, we could never strike a balance. Some dogs would get digestive upset. Some would be thin, yet others would bulk up. I’d regularly find myself stocking two or three dog food options in order to keep everyone at their best.

Back to raw we went. The websites and forums were convincing! This time we went for meat, bones, organs and fat only straight from the butcher. Worst. Choice. Ever. The inconsistency, intermittent vomiting and diarrhea, coupled with a broken tooth on one of my malinois and a partial obstruction on another, and I jumped ship fast.

We migrated to a whole prey model, feeding primarily birds and rabbits whole, with smaller, more digestible bones.

We supplemented. We didn’t. We played around so much with their darn diet but couldn’t get something that worked for everyone.

Through all of our experimentation, I realized one thing very quickly. I’m not a scientist. Well, I am. But not a dog food expert. There are gobs of information available online and experts popping up on the daily. Unless studying this is your career, there is someone out there that knows more than you.

Malinois standingLate last year, despite quite a bit of peer pressure and, let’s be honest, bullying, I made the move back to kibble. I couldn’t deal with the hours meal prep took. I couldn’t deal with skinny dogs. Or vomiting. Or diarrhea. Or inconsistencies. I feed a truckload of dogs every day. It’s not just one or two diets I’ve got to get right.

These days, you’d be hard pressed to pry the kibble I’ve chosen for my dogs from my hands (or my dog’s bowls). Go ahead. Throw a study at me. I won’t be swayed. Why? Because I found a family owned pet food company with a kibble that works for everyone. A kibble that not only reads well in ingredients, but also performs well for EVERY one of my dogs. The high energy Malinois hold weight, the low energy basset hound isn’t getting fat and doesn’t have to feel deprived. Cleanup of doggy messes has never been easier, and there is rarely gas (unless we get crazy on the treats). I’m a convert. And I won’t budge. My dogs are doing better than ever, and that means more to me that a study I found online, or what someone says on a nutrition forum.

I share my story with you for a few reasons.

First, if you don’t feed a raw diet, believe it or not, it’s OK. People get passionate and can bully a bit if you opt for kibble or (GASP!) grains. But you need to choose what works best for your dog and your situation. Don’t take the Internet Forums as gospel. If a particular diet makes them sick, they struggle to gain weight, or they gain TOO much weight, don’t be afraid to try new things. 

If you don’t love kibble, that’s OK too. I’ll always celebrate your choices because they are in fact yours and I know you are doing what works best for your dog.

You know your dog best.

Second, if you are passionate about your nutritional choices, your vaccination choices or any other choices, please seek to educate, but let dog owners make their own decisions. Don’t bully other dog owners. We are all trying to navigate this maze the best we know how. We all want what’s best for our dogs. Let’s not forget that. And just ask my basset hound, Mimi: Raw doesn’t work for everyone.

And finally, you can’t control everything. So stop freaking out. Take it from me, you can’t wrap your dog in proverbial bubble wrap. It isn’t good for them, and it isn’t good for your stress and anxiety. Do your best. Educate yourself, but don’t drive yourself crazy. Make a choice and let your dog tell you if it’s working for them. Your experiences are more important than anything you read online. So trust them.

Meagan Karnes
Meagan Karnes

Meagan has been training dogs professionally since 2002, most recently working with private security, military and law enforcement to provide K9s for high level applications. She owns both The Collared Scholar, an online dog training academy, and 690 Security Services, a company that trains and deploys Executive Security and Protection K9s to private customers. She recently partnered with both Average Frog and SM Leaders, who repurpose the proven performance principles of the Navy SEALs for individuals and organizations.

    164 replies to "Experience Matters: Why I Don’t Feed My Dogs a Raw Diet"

    • Cheryl Zovich

      Great post! I feed Eagle Pack Lamb & rice. I’ve fed it off and on for 14 years and yes, I’ve stepped away with disastrous results. Raw led to an ER visit and pancreatitis in one dog, chronic diarrhea in another. I tried other variations of Raw; Dehydrated. Home cooked. Pre-made. None of it did what everyone was raving about and with multiple dogs and horses to feed daily, it was a royal pain in the neck. I tried other kibbles … brands touted to be ‘better than’ what I was already feeding. I got gas, tummy noise that kept me awake nights and lots of loose stools. Every time I strayed and then went back to Eagle Pack all was well until I let the naysayers badger me into trying something else. So like you, I won’t switch again because no matter what you think or do your dog isn’t going to live forever anyway. There. I said it. Once you deal with that brutal reality the great food debate becomes a moot point. 😉

      • Julie

        I’ve fed mine Eagle Pack for a while, and for the most part they’ve done well on it. One of my dogs developed a food allergy (probably chicken), so I had to switch him to a hypoallergenic food. But before he developed some chronic senior dog problems and the allergy, he was doing well on Eagle Pack.

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you so much for posting this! I too have gone back and forth between feeding raw and feeding kibble. Both have their merits, but we are on kibble now and I think this is where we’ll stay. Thank you for sharing what kibble you feed as well!

      • Meagan Karnes

        Yes. For sure. Both have their merits! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

    • Jee

      I fed raw for about a year. Like you, I went through a phase where I obsessed over every little detail, it took some time to grow out of it. I was obsessed with researching raw food providers, keeping bacteria at bay, and making sure green tripe didn’t touch anything I would be exposed to. The meal preps were exhausting. I got to the point where I caught myself trying to place an online order with a local farm that sells organic, grass-fed meat. I was ready to drop over$200 on “organic and grass fed” meat for my dog. It dawned on me that it was ridiculous that I was willing to do this without a second thought, knowing that I was an unemployed and full-time student struggling to pay my rent. It was ridiculous.
      Now my dog is on Diamond Naturals lamb and rice. I throw some broth and coconut oil in there once or twice a week just to make myself feel better. I can argue the health benefits of turmeric for dogs all day, yet can never put myself on a consistent schedule. No one who meets me will ever say that my dogs are not well-cared for, or that I do not love them. Learning to find balance in my life is a never-ending journey it feels like, and I appreciate all the little tidbits of knowledge I collect along the way.

      • Meagan Karnes

        Thanks for sharing your experience. Those are awesome points. Key statement: “No one who meets me will ever say that my dogs are not well-cared for, or that I do not love them” YES!!!! We all feed what we feel is best. And we all love our dogs!

    • Joe Fisher

      Thank you for this. I’ve only fed my dogs kibble, they do very well on it. One of my dogs has an autoimmune disease necessitating daily prednisone.
      Sure, I’ve had people telling me that “switch to raw, he’ll straighten out”

      My experience has been that when I change his food, just from Canidae kibble to Origen or Acana kibble, he has a flare up of his disease. He’s doing well now, and I refuse to use him as a test subject.

      • Leslie A Lawrence

        Raw really is helpful specifically for autoimmune issues. I don’t think you would be making him a test subject by trying raw any more than you are with feeding kibble. As people have said, raw and kibble both have the merits and demerits. But if you are dealing with an auto-immune issue, raw is likely to work far, far better and is really worth a try (or at the very least, more research).

    • Carol Crosby

      Great post as always. Food for thought LOL. I’ve fed raw for the last 6 or so years and moved to it from kibble because my dogs were having so much trouble on the kibble. Believe me I paid top dollar too for what was considered the best. Skin problems, gastric upsets, refusal to eat etc. were frequent. The many kibble recalls didn’t help either. Happily when I moved to raw everything cleared up and my dogs were happy eaters so I became a convert. It’s hard to move us when we find what works. I’m not a hard ass though and I respect choice. In fact the raw movement, I believe, has influenced the kibble folks to look at fillers vs real protein in dog food so we get better choices now. I’ve fed my three from puppyhood (and two before them) with raw and I have a good system now so it doesn’t kill a lot of time. If I had a pack I might feel differently. I have a nice butcher friend too so I get liver, tripe, meat bones, hearts, tongues etc on the cheap. I belong to a co-op for blends and chicken necks. lately, after a bit of research, I experimented and tried some of the kibbles that look more like freeze dried food. The dogs like them as training treats too. I could someday see myself mixing raw with kibble, especially if my sources dry up or get too expensive but for now I’m OK. The dogs probably don’t care but a bowl or kibble that looks like bits of cardboard every meal vs a bowl of mixed meats is just more appealing. That and a good meat bone rib to chew on and it’s doggy heaven. At least this owner thinks so. Two Mals and a Dobe seem to think so too. Love your blogs. Thanks

      • Meagan Karnes

        Yes! I love this comment. That’s the beauty of the dog world I think. We can do what is best for our dogs and support one another even though we may do things a bit differently. I love the concept of raw. I just couldn’t ever seem to get it right for my dogs. So I love when folks have good luck with it!

    • Kathy Santo

      I’ve been feeding raw for 20+ years and my dogs do great on it. But very dog is different, and it’s awesome that there are so many options for people to feed their dogs what they need to be at their best! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the focus could be on the joy of the freedom of choice vs “you have to do what I’m doing”/bullying (in everything!)? My mantra? “Allow. Allow. Allow.” ????

    • Leigh Smith

      Since dogs have been opportunistic scavengers for thousands of years, and they still manage to keep healthy enough to procreate in some of the toughest areas of the world to live, I am guessing that well made kibble and an assortment of cooked or raw stuff on top when convenient or possible, is going to be a better diet than most of the aforementioned animals have ever seen.

      • Meagan Karnes

        Awesome point!

      • Loretta Goclowski

        This to me seems the best thought on the subject so far. I personally use kibble that I rehydrate with hot water and let it sit, then add stuff to it. I use hard boiled eggs, cooked or raw veggies, and their favorite is when I make a stew for them. Ground turkey being top of that list. I can’t imagine eating the same thing all the time so I try to vary it for them. I don’t do raw simply because I couldn’t afford an emergency visit if there was any type of issue from food poisoning or bone issues. And I have watched dogs fed raw their whole lives and they don’t seem to be healthier or live longer, so I figure cooked fresh meat is just as good and safer. I think making them a home cooked diet is probably best and safest and you know there is no scary stuff in it or funky additives that might cause reactions. And it is minimally processed. But if you have a large dog or multiple dogs it can be very expensive so I think doing a blend of rehydrated kibble with home cooked stew is the best reasonable diet. And varying it is helpful like the scavenger comment said as well as keeping it interesting. I give my large older Golden Husky vit e daily(what I got from reading a canine nutritionist online) and tumeric because it works for me . She doesn’t tolerate anything fish or seafood so I can’t give her typical joint supplements. The tumeric and vitamin e seem to help.
        Thank you for this story, it is really well thought out and you are so right, experience is really key.

    • Hannah

      People are weird about their own diets, so no surprise that they’re also weird about what they (and others) feed their critters, too! I’m always interested in what works for people and I love learning new tricks; I do recreational raw bones now, frex, and it has been a really positive change! But any time food talk starts looking like magical thinking and cure-alls, I’m out. There is a level in investment that inspires good research and decision-making and then there’s a level that clouds judgment.

      • Hannah

        Of investment, not in! Oops.

    • Diane stern

      Oh I understand science people need science , i a nurse understand

      I went to school for just that ,not to be inadated with internet pros and cons
      Had to learn physiologically the canines abilities
      And of course all issues consider in health also
      One of my favorite educators a chemist ,from Belgium studied canines for decades he did search and rescue also. Morgen eliasen. Unique
      But his studieds ,was in depth ,so much to know in how to do it right.
      Puppies digestive tract are immature till 4- t months ,so that is done much differently then most know ,otherwise it can set them up for digestive disorders all their lives ….

      Then are we really mimicking nature properly ,just a lot more to it. Just me I want to do it the right if I can,but I do like to help dogs feel better also !

      I do raw ,but it’s different then anyone else,

      I have opportune to do it ,I own a retail shop and I’m a certified nutritionist for canine equine and feline with American Council Vetrinary Naturopathy

      I. C An only tell by my testimonials ,of my own experiences in what I see right in front of me, I’m a big observer !! U hav to be , nursing helped with that

      My rescue x military’s ,improved skin wise , thrilled to eat all the time ,that I like

      But I also had dogs not well on raw or kibble had to cook ( no fun ) but u do it !

      So , the jury is out
      It’s the multi generational issues of today that our dogs are not the same wolf in the living room theory ,
      But built exactly alike ,just the two are living two different lifestyles now ,so
      I like the wolf in my living room hearty tuff ,nothing gets them sick a constitution like cement

      I still think if u are happy the dog is ,if u r confident and know they r fed to their work and needs and show that, then you r on the right track,
      As soon as u see tendon ligament weakness or anything else .always check diets and supplements ,even with raw !
      Thk you
      Diane Stern RN. C.c.n.c.
      I do a whole food supplement I like by a phd in nutrition ,
      Whole Foods safer for liver and kidneys FYI

      • Patricia

        What whole food supplement do you do?

        “I do a whole food supplement I like by a phd in nutrition ,
        Whole Foods safer for liver and kidneys FYI.”

    • Amy Samida

      I’m super tired of the raw feeding bullies. I feed my dogs a combination. They get kibble, raw, home cooked, and canned. They are thriving and have excellent blood chemistry results. I’m very happy with how healthy they are. As a veterinary nurse, I’ve seen plenty to make my decision. I’ve seen raw fed dogs thriving and raw fed dogs dying. Same with kibble and everything else. As long as we feed our dogs the best quality we can, I’ll wait for peer reviewed studies (which are just starting to show up) before I start bullying anybody into feeding a certain way.

      • Meagan Karnes

        I so very much agree with you! Thanks for your comment.

    • LeeYong Wong

      Thanks for sharing your story…. I started my Norfolk Terrier when she was a puppy on kibbles… she was certainly allergic to this and that – then I decide to give commercial raw a try and I noticed a huge difference in her overall appearance… I think it depends on the dog – no two dogs are going to be the same – even in the same household… you have to do what works for your pup… and that’s really the bottom line. 🙂

    • Alec

      After feeding only 2 different brands of kibble food (20% fat) to over 800 working/sporting dogs encompassing a wide variety of ages, breeds for an average training stay of 3 1/2 months over the last 24 years, I can’t remember a single one that did poorly during their stay. That includes a great many dog that arrived on some special owner or vet prescribed diet then switched to my food.

      I (GASP) feed once a day, slightly damp and don’t ever intermix their current food to transition new dogs to my brand.

      I say feed whatever your dog(s) do well on.

      • Meagan Karnes

        Me too! Once daily. Wet the food a bit. No transitions. Works brilliantly 🙂

      • Carla

        My dogs would have a heart attack on once a day, lol.

        Maybe if started from puppy, but my 19 yr old Sheltie is more accurate than an atomin clock at feeding times (2x a day), and my others are right with her.

        We travel lot from coast to coast, so lots of time changes, they adapt.

        I also went through the various “only this is the best, you must feed this” trying to please everyone phase, including home made raw (blech, and no fun to travel with). but no more.

        I did enjoy this article

      • Tyler

        “That includes a great many dog that arrived on some special owner or vet prescribed diet then switched to my food.”

        This just…wow. You have no business switching a dog off of a veterinary diet without permission and veterinary approval.

        You may think they didn’t “do poorly during their stay” but you didn’t have to deal with the aftermath and vet bills AFTER the stay.

        Just wow.

        THIS RIGHT HERE is why I don’t trust anyone with my dogs. Damn.

      • Arielle Harvey

        What food do you use, if you don’t mind sharing

    • Erin

      Very well written. I hate the trend of judging other people based on what they feed, . If the dogs are healthy, then that’s all that matters, not if it’s raw or kibble. I love your blog, keep the posts coming!

    • Ruth

      Yup. I’m pretty happy with my kibble feeding program for my 2 critters. One of them has skin issues and we have absolutely jumped down some rabbit holes trying to sort THAT out and where we are now is mostly good.

      We chased the ‘food allergy’ rabbit for a while and ultimately I found that he simply does best on a relatively low carbohydrate food. So we go with a grain free, high protein food and his yeast issues are 99.9% gone. (and OMG the Science Diet Z/D, which is the allergy diet, was the WORST. FOOD. EVER. for him.)

      I tried a run of a single ingredient raw diet for about 6 weeks as part of the food elimination/trying to figure out allergies process and mostly I found it was a gigantic pain in the arse (Dogs thought it was fantastic though!). I don’t live close to a grocery store so it meant buying a lot at once and then having to immediately do a massive meal prep (refrigerator space is small too) to get it all in the freezer. Feeding during warm weather was fine (out on the deck or grass and have at it critters!) but cold weather feeding sucked as I either froze in the yard watching them (I wasn’t comfortable with leaving them unsupervised) or policing the ‘keep it on the towel’ dance. So once I realized that the raw thing wasn’t causing enough improvement in his skin to be worth the hassle we went back to kibble. And we went through LOTS of different brands and flavors. I finally decided that food might not actually be the issue (beyond him down better with low carb). I grabbed a can of athletes foot spray and treated his belly and feet like he had athlete’s foot and well, no more yeast issues. Go figure.

      Now if anyone has a magical cure for his dry skin I’m all ears (seriously. From greasy yeasty boy to dry itchy boy. He just can’t win!). Currently we’re trying some coconut oil in his diet but I don’t think it’s helping at all.

      And it’s not just the main food that I’ve explored and converted on either. Chew toys too. I have pit bull shelter mutts and they are both pretty powerful chewers. I loved giving them real bones and antler to chew because they lasted, the dogs loved them, and hey! Healthy right? Well a few cracked and chipped teeth later and I finally listened to my vet and got bones and antlers out of the mix. And now I’m dipping my toe into the world of rawhide chews. It’s hard folks! I’ve been told and read and heard for so long over and over that rawhide is the most dangerous thing out there but it’s what my vet recommended. And…. I think I agree now. I had to find the RIGHT rawhide (no ‘bone’ shapes because they can get hunks off and swallow big pieces). So in case you are in the same boat, take a look at Wholesome Hides brand thick retriever rolls. One dog starts at one end and eats it like a burrito, the other has been slowly unrolling it. But they haven’t managed a single large and scary chunk, I think we’ll get about 3-4 hours of chew time out of each of them, and the dogs think they are fantastic. These are the ones I’m talking about https://www.mickeyspetsupplies.com/Wholesome-Hide-USA-Rawhide-Super-Thick-Retriever-p/retrrollst.htm

      • Kristin

        My dog used to have pretty itchy, dry, scaly-patch skin until I switched him off of chicken. Someone told me he might have a chicken allergy. Once I eliminated the chicken (and anything with chicken as an ingredient) the skin condition cleared up. Maybe try that?

      • Melissa

        My dog was itching a lot and I used Aveeno colloidal oatmeal (not the soap, it’s actual packets of ground oatmeal) on him after his baths, once every 1-2 weeks. Seems to help… you just have to manage keeping him in there pouring it on him for a full 10 min ( I use an extra pair of hands to give him a steady stream of treats or kibble while I’m pouring. You can actually use a mealtime to do this and have another person feeding him bits of his kibble while you work) I rinse mildly but not thoroughly as I like him to have a small layer of it. It feels a little slimy if you pet him after the bath but it’s just oatmeal so no harm no foul. And he can lick it without consequence.

      • Desiree

        Grain free is what you need

    • Debbie

      Thankyou so much for this. I have two Tibetan terriers who are so different. Try we’re both on kibble/tinned food doing well. I have a friend who convinced me that I was feeding my dogs rubbish, so I switched to raw. Well after battling on and off with one for 3 years I switched her back, she’s doing fine, better than fine. my friend thinks I’m wrong and says it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t like raw it’s better for her, make her eat it! I’m sorry wrong or not I want my dogs to enjoy meal times, not dread them. I’m in the uk but going to check out the kibble you feed. Thankyou again for not making me feel like a monster.

      • Melissa

        Forcing your dog to eat raw if she doesn’t like it I think defeats any benefit. After all if the intention is making your dog happier and healthier, then feeding her something she likes is just as important as feeding something healthy. I think your friend is a little overzealous on ideals, and in trying to do what’s best for the dog is ignoring what’s best for the dog! And if your dog could talk I’m sure she would say she loves you for trying and ultimately taking her side.

    • Rhoda E

      I have fed raw for 15 + years, three generations of raw fed in my house. BUT it is not for everyone, and I preach that on the FB “raw fed” groups. I also feed kibble, freeze dried, and every bitch that is pregnant will get kibble added to her diet, and every pup will leave on a mixed kibble and raw diet.

      • Linda

        We just got an 8 week old mini Aussie shepherd puppy. She has been eating some raw and mostly NutriSource kibble. I have been giving her frozen raw ground beef 80/20 and she loves it. I keep a little kibble in her dish and she goes to it once in awhile to nibble on one or two, and I give her fresh lettuce from our windowsill garden here in Alaska. I also, have some frozen 80/20 grass-fed hamburger patties; no antibiotics, no preservatives that I have cut in 4ths to give through out the day (1 patty per day).
        I would really like to know how you have fed raw safely for the past 15 years…I, like Melissa talked about, am so afraid of doing it wrong. When we were children growing up with dogs and cats, we just fed them dog food and table scraps. I appreciate your response. -Linda. PS we are using the Puppy Culture training and have amazing results.

    • Estela

      I have a very anxious dog and when he was a puppy the vet put him on wet food cause he was having gastric issues with dry food. The one day, he had a severe anxiety phase (we moved to another house and that freaked him out) and he stop eating all of the sudden. We tried everything, from raw food to every brand of canned, frozen and dry food…. after many trips to the vet, the pet store and the internet, we settle on cooking for him. He started eating cooked chicken with frozen peas and carrots… until he had another crisis.
      The anxiety is under control for now, and his feeding is getting better. And because the anxiety and crazy feeding gave him a bad case of pancreatitis, he is now on a broiled chicken (store bought) diet with some turkey ham. Lately, I’ve been adding kibble to his chicken and he seems to like it and really looks forward to it.
      As he is getting healthier and happier, he is working better with me and will re-trained him on a feeding schedule. The only good thing about all this is that my dog is not food driven, so I can eat on my bed with him next to me and he won’t even bother…

    • Heather Rolland

      What a sensible and calm post about food! I do feed raw, but it’s a choice, not a religion. We keep kibble in the house. The foster dog eats kibble. If I forget to thaw something, my dogs eat kibble. Raw involves a ton of time, and a ton of freezer space, and not everyone has access to those resources the way I do. And internet bullies… well, that a whole separate post, isn’t it?

    • UrbanCollieChick

      I tried raw because my current dog, also my first ever…an Australian working kelpie, came from a sheep farm where they ate both kibble and raw. The farmer encouraged me and said not to be afraid to try everything. And when I got him, he was VERY skinny ( this didn’t just look like a good lean working weight) with a dry and flaky coat, and she handed me a bag of Taste of the Wild kibble. She said her dog s only got the runs when going back to kibble from raw. So I went raw altogether. At first it seemed okay. He got mucous poop with raw chicken, so I fed other things. It seemed good for the first couple of years. Fur got more lustre and the teeth lost their brown stains.

      However over time, he was less and less tolerant to other foods. He was great at carefully chewing raw bones. No obstructions. He took his time even when starving. But I also noticed it was taking more and more food to keep weight on. He also was getting mucous more often, then here and there he got watery runs! Like water shooting out of a hose! Everyone fed amounts guesstimated by their dog’s weight. So much food per pound of body weight. It turned out that in terms of actual calories fed, that could be extremely calorie deficient, especially depending on what you fed. NO ONE in raw feeding forums ever spoke in terms of calories, and they considered adding grains or carbs blasphemy, even if it added needed fiber and calories!

      On top of that, feeding it in NYC was madly expensive. I’m still paying off credit card debt largely attributed to raw feeding!

      I’ve done the gamut. I’m not saying I’ll never feed a little here and there or, wonder of wonders, COOKED fresh foods, but commercial dog food is just fine! If it weren’t, dogs wouldn’t have survived this long on it and the research is better than ever. Companies know how much dog owners care these days and they have responded.

    • Carmen

      Great article, thanks.
      I went though a similar process and also being confronted with skinny workingdogs finally decided to go back to kibble and choose Royal Canin and my whole pack, from retired 13,5 year old to full active KNPV sport dogs, are doing really well on their program. Great stool, good weights, excellent coat condition and more.

    • Nancy

      First I would like to say that if you feed your dogs raw because “it’s all the rage now” that is doing it for the wrong reasons. In the past I have fed my dogs/dog kibble then went to kibble & raw. For the past 4 yrs my current dogs are fed all raw and I believe are doing better than my past dogs on kibble. When I first started them on raw I also did tons of reading about it and made it sort of a project to put their food together which was time consuming. Now I buy complete mix (protein, bone, organ) from a local company, occasionally throwing in eggs, cottage cheese, other organs, etc. so it may take a little longer to put their bowls together at each meal but all 3 dogs are doing great on it. I will agree that it is more difficult to keep weight on an active dog feeding it raw and agree that for households with many dogs it can get expensive. Everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their dog.

    • Maureen Osborn

      Meagan, you know I love you and your training methods and all…but a scientist vs someone with a degree in HEALTHCARE is no comparison. I have treated and CURED CANCER HOLISTICALLY as well as MRSP, where the vets that used conventional medicine basically bout KILLED my dogs. You can’t PAY me to feed my dogs kibble with the nasty poop they leave in my yard from ANY of the kibble I have tried. I make my own raw mix, grind it up with a $700+ grinder, add some vitamins, add some supplemental dehydrated raw and only do core vaccines as per Dr Jean Dodds protocol….guess what? Poop that disintegrates into white dust in a week, no more allergies (having dogo argentinos, they are very prone to allergies, but not since I stopped most vaccines). Oh, and the dehydrated raw I give is USDA CERTIFIED. As far as your dogs being thin…I guarantee you weren’t feeding enough and you were just going off the bag recommendations. Mals that live in kennels have a tendency to not rest and spend a lot of energy on, well, being mals….the % of food based on weight MUST be dramatically increased to support that metabolism, can’t use that 2.5-3% of the wanted body weight crap. ANd one MUST increase the amount of FAT , can’t go by the ratios for a normal house dog that is on the bag of store bought raw premade crap. Both my going on 12 year old male and going on 9 year old female dogo argentino run and play like puppies still, no signs of arthritis and in great health.

      • Maureen Osborn

        forgot to add, I have a full kennel full of dogs all on the same raw diet, not just 2 or 3 housedogs, and they ALL do great, different breeds too.

        • Maureen Osborn

          another thing…why do you think cancer is so prevalent in dogs? KIBBLE. Why do you think humans have cancer and so many health ailments ? PROCESSED FOODS, JUST AS KIBBLE is processed.

          • Meagan Karnes

            Hey Maureen. We definitely have a different opinion on this. But I’m super happy raw has worked so well for you guys!

            • Alexo

              I’m a raw feeder too, and I’ve tried kibble, it just never worked for my dogs. I watch other peoples dogs for periods of time, they are fed kibble, and when they stay with me they get switched to raw. They have never had intestinal issues, and if anything, they go home much healthier than they came.

          • Anita

            I agree that a good quality raw is excellent for some dogs, but not all dogs.
            No one can escape the many prevalent toxins that are in our air, water, and soil! It doesn’t mater how good your raw quality is, those toxic elements will be in it.

        • Jackie d

          The main thing that causes in cancer in both dogs and humans is… Old age. I would bet my bottom dollar that the next most important factor in dogs is genetics, and after that it is most likely to be obesity, as with humans. A dog can get fat on any diet.

      • Meagan Karnes

        It’s awesome that it works well for you. It didn’t work well for me. And we fed our dogs as much as they would eat and supplemented with significant amounts of fat. We tried many protocols with no luck. Pre-packaged balanced, food straight from the butcher, etc. We supplemented per a holistic doc’s recommendations. And still my dogs were thin with occasional stomach upset. So I found something that works better for me. And I’m very happy with it. Like I said, I’m thrilled that raw has worked so well for you. That’s awesome! It’s not for me though …

    • dawn

      I have to admit that RAW feeders can be almost religious in their devotion and drive to make converts. We should all have that kind of passion to make things better in our world. That being said, I had a dog live well into her teens eating (gasp) grocery store dog food. Of course now I read ingredients, read reviews, supplement our locally made kibble with fresh food, and watch our dogs weight, etc etc.
      If the dogs are thriving, no need to make big changes. Thanks for your 2 cents.

      • Rob

        Absolutely. Some tend to froth at the brain, don’t they?

    • Meagan Karnes

      I use Nutrisource High Plains Select. They have a guarantee that your dog will not get digestive issues and they have one of the lowest return rates in the industry. Very highly recommended. It’s the only one that’s worked for my crazy, varied pack 🙂

    • Alexo

      Thanks for sharing. I feed raw, and have done it since I can remember. I’ve done a lot of research, and I’m not afraid of kibble so I have done my research and tried it as well, as I use a lot of food for training. I haven’t found a kibble that works great for both of my dogs, and I enjoy, a.k.a. love mixing food. I also got into dehydrating the raw food that I mix, and make my own “kibble”. Both of my dogs are now, aside from doing sports such as agility, being active on farm chores, moving livestock, and keeping some types away from the humans while feeding. They are really active and I pride myself of the shape they are in. Know your dogs and what works for them. It’s all about what works for you and your dogs.

    • Rob

      I’m very sorry to hear that you’re getting a lot of “heat” for your post. We should be supportive of one another and do what is best for our dogs. Raw isn’t for everyone, not all dogs like or can tolerate it and it just isn’t as convenient or as easy as dry food, especially logistically speaking.

      Conversely, dry food isn’t for every dog either.

      Do what is best for your dog and share your experiences with others and you should be able to do so openly too.

      Dog training isn’t black and white and can be summed up perfectly with “how long is a piece of string?” Like every person, every dog is an individual and should be treated as such.

      Keep up the good work.

    • Mary Beam

      Actually, there is a tiny bit of research on feeding of Canine Lupus Famliiaris, the dog. The problem with research is it cost. In both time and money. I remember when Kibble was first on the market aback in the early ’50’s. Until then, most dogs were fed what people eat. Now, that said, I do not recommend any specific diet. What you feed your dog is up to you. In the end, we are all responsible for our own decisions. If someone wants to know the best diet for their dog, I always suggest they do their own research. My personal choice is to feed a variety. Some people feed one thing and one only. I have no problem with that. I feed primal frozen and freeze dried raw along with turkey necks, duck necks, chicken parts, eggs and organ meet. Some people cannot manage this either due to cost or personal problems with handling raw foods. And, that is ok with me. I also make sure my dogs get some kibble. Not knowing what the future will bring, I want them to be able to digest as many types of food as possible. That requires that they have the bacteria in the gut needed to digest and get the most nutrients from their food. Here is the study I mentioned above. http://www.ukrmb.co.uk/images/Research%20Paper%20-%20Raw%20Diet%20v%20Kibble%20Diet%20.pdf It is from the UK. Here is one from Tufts University.
      http://vet.tufts.edu/wp-content/uploads/raw_meat_diets_memo.pdf So, yeah, the research is out there but so are sites that are predigest both for and against either type diet. And, no matter what you do, stuff happens. Cancer happens. Diseases happen. Injuries happen. All we can do is what we think is best in our situation.

      • Melissa Coutts

        Thank you for the articles!!

    • Jan ashby

      I am curious how big is your pack?

      • Meagan Karnes

        Depends on the day 🙂 On any given day, I’m responsible for the care and feeding of anywhere from 8-14 dogs, most working dogs. They aren’t all mine though. Many are being raised and trained for my clients. My personal pack is 6 strong 🙂

    • Shari Dale

      I have to admit, I sometimes don’t read your articles (like most of us, there’s never enough time in the day, but when I saw the title of the article, I was intrigued to read why and what you chose to feed. I do store demonstrations and community events for Nutrisource. And trust me, I am NOT a salesperson. But when you have a food as great as NS, you don’t have to be. It sells itself. I could write a book on why the food is so great, and list the many people I know who have switched to this food. I always tell people to do what is best for their dogs. You have to do what works. I have worked for them since 2011 and can count on one hand the number of people who tried the food and it didn’t work for their dog or dogs. I won’t go into all the reasons it’s so great. All I can say is if you’re looking to make a switch, try a bag. It’s 100% guaranteed you can return it to the store you purchased it from. Even if the reason is your dog just doesn’t like it. Thanks for taking the time to write about what I feel is an amazing food and an even more amazing company too work for!

    • Patti

      Great article. I feed a mix of raw and a little bit of kibble with fantastic results. The raw is from a company that makes the meals for us, organic, affordable, local. We buy it frozen in one pound or two pound servings. Totally convenient. If it wasn’t for this solution I wouldn’t bother because it’s a lot of work.
      Both dogs are in complete opposite life stages. A 4 month old Malinoi. A 7 yr old doberman with end stage liver fibrosis. The diets work thru trial and error and tons of research.
      As long as owners are educated and look to their dogs for feedback without bias then they are doing the best they can.

      • HealthAdvocate

        Patty – what’s the name of the company that makes the raw meals for your dogs. I’m looking for a nutritious balanced raw food. Thanks

    • Sue Betteridge

      I switched to raw nearly four years ago as my little collie suffered from allergies.. She was diagnosed with a dustmite allergy ( as are most dogs. it seems) but her condition was much worse in the summer, so we suspect grass/pollen or something similar.. She was on immunotherapy for four years, which alleviated it but did not solve the problem.
      Since switching to raw she is 90 percent better. Last year I stopped the immunotherathy and she has continued to improve.. Also the anal glad problem to which she was prone has resolved. So has her coat.
      My GSD eats really well. Their poos are small and not evil smelling.
      They are fed mainly DIY meals, supplimented by high quality commercial for the meats I cant obtain locally.
      Having said that, I have friends who feed kibble and have fit and healthy dogs!
      Hope this is helpful.

      • Melissa Coutts

        I had the skin allergies. Same problem. Raw diet works best. Grain free kibble can be a place to start, also.

      • HealthAdvocate

        Sue, what was the immunotherapy your dog was on? Thanks!

    • Carol S.

      I feed Northwest Naturals frozen raw for the most part. There is a big difference in stools when I feed kibble. They go from small and compact to large, mushy mucousy.
      They seem to do well on raw and I have small dogs so it is not as expensive for me.

    • UrbanCollieChiq

      I fed my kelpie raw for a few years. It was great, until it no longer worked. My dog slowly revealed, as we had to eliminate one food at a time, that he was developing what we suspect to be a mild form of IBD. Scoping was not done but under the guidance of a veterinary IM/gastroenterologist, we did bloodwork which had a value considered pretty consistent with IBD onset.

      Maybe the bacteria itself caused an imbalance or issue, but my dog had parvo AND whipworms on the farm where i got him, and where he was being fed a mix of kibble and raw to being with. All I knew then was when he came to me, he had been put on Taste of the wild under the presumption he would be eating dog food. He was skinny as hell and his skin was dry and flaky, his coat rough in texture.

      The raw had cleaned the brown from his teeth and his coat has lustre, and it took him time to finish his meals, so I was happy for a time. However I live in NYC and the location, plus the more and more obscure and exotic meats I was trying to use as chicken, beef etc, become intolerable to him, cost me a fortune! I’m still paying off CC debt from it to this day.

      We ultimately had to abandon raw and now, on the other end of the spectrum, we feed a hydrolyzed kibble from Royal Canin. After a year or so I found I could give him one sterlized marrow bone stuffed with his kibble, 1x a week, for teeth cleaning. Nothing else help. He’s a very careful chewer so I don’t have real worries that he’ll break a tooth, but I do supervise. But other than needing other items for teeth cleaning, the kibble has his coat just as luscious and shiny and soft as the raw diet ever did, even with raw lamb fat! The kibble is made from feathers and corn! A horror to most dog food foodies today. It wouldn’t be my first choice normally. The Rx kibble is pricey too. But my dog has all the energy and shine he ever had on the raw diet. So I cannot complain. There’s sardine oil in it too. It must be refined to remove proteins.

      What can I say? It works!

      I am not against raw but it is definitely not for all dogs, and needs some careful considerations. A lot of the raw groups out there run by dogmas, myths and half-truths. Some of these guys feed road kill, raw deer ncluding all parts ( think Hydatid tapeworms), and meat that has rotted a bit. Some insist every dog can handle it! Please be careful who you listen to!

      Better yet, pay a few bucks to talk to a professional with a background in dog nutrition. There is no “nutritionist” degree for dogs, but there ARE programs in Animal Care through universities. Monica Segal was educated at the U of Guelph and is pretty fair. Susan Lauten has a PhD in biomedical sciences and an MS in Agriculture, specializing in animal nutrition. They can help you formulate a diet in raw or cooked fresh foods.

      Yes, COOKED! Since when is that not a fair compromise?

      • Anna

        I know this is an old post but I also tried raw and hydrolyzed kibble (Royal Canin Ultamino) and the kibble was good at first but my pup became sensitive to it over time. His coat was dull, his fur got lighter, and he was a little plumped up even though he didn’t eat all that much of it. Raw was wonderful for his general health and gave him a super shiny coat but didn’t clear up his allergy problems, so after trial and error I’ve found homemade cooked to be easier on his digestion. Since I’m still figuring out which proteins he can have, I limit it to turkey, green veggies, and rice. My boy loves it and doesn’t seem to tire of it, plus his coat still looks lovely. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to work in a little more variety. Wish everyone luck in their food trials and getting out pup’s on their ideal diet!

    • Lynda Jao

      Thanks for this post! I am a first time dog parent and we bought into the whole raw diet thing when we got our dog as a puppy. Because we didn’t want to break the bank, we fed our bloodhound mutt a mix of raw food and
      kibble. He gets 1 raw Patty and 1 cup kibble, 2x a day. The thing is, he is only a 50 lb dog. I think we are feeding him almost 2x what his body weight should require and he’s still so skinny (his ribs can be seen). He’s not food motivated and begrudgingly eats most of the time – he sometimes throws up bile from not eating. We tried Nutrisource for the first time the other day and he gobbled it up. Is it possible that the 50% raw is making him too lean? Do I test by going 100% raw or 100% kibble?

      • Meagan Karnes

        It’s hard to say without seeing the ingredients in your raw but I’ve always struggled to get my dogs to hold weight on raw unless I was feeding a considerable amount of fat. I think you could absolutely experiment by giving him 100% raw or 100% kibble. But I can’t imagine 2 cups of kibble + raw is making him thin. For my dogs, I feed a considerable amount more than recommended because they are highly active. For their weight, it is recommended 3-3.5 cups of kibble and I feed 6. 🙂

    • Jackie d

      Hallelujah. Yes, the raw brigade can be very bullying, and very dismissive of the experiences of people who don’t feed raw. My dogs didn’t even like raw much, apart from the bones; then one of them managed to crush ‘safe’ raw bones into razor sharp shards and had bloody diarhoea for days. Meanwhile a friend’s dog nearly died of an obstruction. I have now found a kibble that suits one of my dogs (orijen) and a wet food that suits the other (meatlove). Everyone else’s dog will vary!!!

    • Laura K

      Thank you for sharing your story! I have a very similar one and this made me feel better. I’m obsessed with my mini schnauzer, Jane. She’s 6 years old and I still have been trying to find the right food for her. First of course it was kibble, then eventually we started adding Stella & Chewys raw patties to her kibble, then we switched to Honest kitchen, then with the raw patties, then The Honest Kitchen with raw turkey from the grocery store that we made into patties ourselves, then back to Stella & Chewys and finally a brand that I won’t mention but that my local organic dog shop HIGHLY recommended and pushed hard. They LOVE to also bully and tell you what you should or shouldn’t be feeding, what you should be doing differently, raw raw raw. Well, this has been a very scary mistake to listen to them and not listen to myself and my experience. They talked me into buying this raw turkey product that has rave reviews. Because the protein was the same and we were only switching brands, I didn’t think I needed to transition the food. Two days later my dog has chronic diarrhea, she’s throwing up and we ended up at the vet being very very scared. It was the new food and affected her terribly, as it was too rich for her and higher fat content. We’re lucky we didn’t lose her and the vet tells me how important it is to keep her on a consistent diet. I think I’ve learned my lesson, a very pricey and scary one and will stop continuously searching for something better. Think its time to just feed what works and that is NOT raw for us!!

    • CJ

      I have found the opposite when it comes to “bullying”. My goldendoodle is currently thriving on pre made raw. I am constantly made to feel bad about my choice. “She sure licks up whatever that stuff is” “There is nothing for her to chew” I don’t really respond and never try to sway anyone one way or the other. If I ever do talk about my feeding choice, I am always dismissed. It makes me question myself, especially since this is my first dog. I guess I need to find a different kind of support group. Your post about your experience and choice helped, so thank you. 🙂

    • Zeke

      I have done raw and kibble and have found that raw is expensive and works, kibble is cheap and works. I use a kibble that my dog is adjusted to for his staple (anytime you switch kibble even if for the better, it could cause some stomach issues if not done gradually), however, I do supplement raw ground beef or slightly cooked chicken when its available. Also leftovers from dinner, I wash off seasoning and give him the carrots, beets, rutabaga, and any meat. He doesn’t like fish or squirrel, and rabbit weirds him out too. He doesn’t like lamb. I also supplement with egg, both raw and cooked as it presents itself. I have too kids so wether they accidentally drop a raw egg or suddenly decide they no long like them after their mother graciously prepares their breakfast, plenty of eggs would go to waste if I did not choose to use it for my dogs benefit. I too really enjoyed your blog.

    • Marsha

      Great read and so refreshing to read something that isn’t so set in stone and bullying other options out there.
      I’ve had such a hard time feeding my pug (when I got him as a puppy I did a lot of research on kibble- grain and grain-free) tried both after and, a few times of eating the kibble he would grow bored to the point of not eating it what so ever once even going three days without eating!! I ended up needing to always either use coconut oil or a topper to put on top of his kibble so he would eat it. I watched a documentary on netflix on dog food and the kibble industry and I was floored. I didn’t know what to do anymore and as fate would have it a raw dog food store opened up not too far away from me. I switched him to raw and of course he ate it up! Slowly, however he started developing infections (yeast and even podo dermatitis) Since switching him to raw I saw the vet 3 times and she kept giving him antibiotics that would mask the problem and the symptoms started again when he was off the medication. I was in denial because everything that I read online was saying all the symptoms Winston was having, a raw food diet would cure! I did extensive research to the point where I felt like I was becoming a nutritionist.
      He just recently got off antibiotics ( I forgot to mention that while he was on kibble, he never had any of these issues) and began licking his paws and scratching his ears. I believe that this is of course some sort of allergy, I did the elimination diet and had him on a salmon and lamb blend with various organ meats (tripe, heart, liver, etc) as I believed that was a protein he was okay with because it’s the protein that was in the kibble when he was a puppy.
      All in all, I am not bashing the raw diet at all. I do believe it works wonders for some dogs but something in me told me that it just wasn’t right for Winston. He’s a pure bred pug, my mother got him from Serbia from a man that has been passionately breeding them and competing them in dog shows for 30 years. I know all dogs are the decendants of wolves but call me crazy to believe that a pug who has been breed to be a lap warmers to Chinese emperors and German shepherds will have the much different dietary needs?!
      I now have him on canned food so we’ll see how it goes!

    • Mary

      Thanks for this article. I was feeling guilty for switching my 2 year old dog back to kibble from raw. I had been reading the articles about feeding dogs a raw diet vs. the “evil” kibble. So, although he seemed perfectly healthy and at a good weight, I transitioned him from a locally sourced kibble to a well-known, high quality, nutritionally balanced, frozen raw brand. He dropped a lot of weight on the raw food diet, looked too skinny, and he also lost all of his fluffy undercoat during the cool fall season when he should have, instead, been growing more. He maintained his usual energy level but he really didn’t look right, and it frightened me. I put him back on the kibble and he gradually put the weight back on. He is at a healthy weight again. Also, his is eyes look brighter and his coat is fuller and shinier again, like before I switched him to the raw diet. I also like to give him raw eggs, sardines, yogurt or kefir occasionally, which I was doing while on both the raw and the kibble diets.

    • Jessica Anderson

      I was going to try raw… but ive spent WEEKS reading from the moment i wake up till when i fall asleep… After after all the reading ive done and trials of dog food (samples and bags alike of high quality KIBBLE) Ive decided a ROTATION diet will work best for my dogs… so im doing fromm in the morning, victor for lunch and will be doing nutrisource large breed puppy for dinner (all the foods my pups like the best) I also give missling link plus supplement for dinner and a little natures domain spoonful… but this way they get something from each food thats different from the other, they all taste different so my dogs arent like getting pizza for every meal forever 😉 its really trial and error finding what your dogs like, whats good for them and what doesnt make their stomache upset… and what you personally believe is the best for your dog.. everyone is different..

    • steve

      I wanted to chime in on this post regarding raw food diet and losing weight to help anyone else that may experience dog dropping weight on raw diet. I have 3 dutch shepherds – all very active. Just to maintain their weight – I had to feed a lot of kibble. Problem with so much kibble is the mounds and mounds of waste. It was like dogs just constantly going # 2 everywhere. So I switched to raw diet thinking the higher quality food would produce less waste – and it did. What the dogs did expel was next to nothing. Everything was great. About 2 months into raw diet two of my dogs began losing weight. The 3rd dog was fine. Full and plump. So I increased amount of food to other two dogs and still dropping weight – the point where rib and hip bones starting to show. Took to vet to see if anything wrong. Enzymes on high side (which is to be expected with raw diet) but everything else ok. Vet just slammed the raw diet. Told me I needed to go back to kibble. Said raw diet not good for dogs etc

      I might have listened to vet but my 3rd dog was perfectly fine so I started digging online. Read something on forum that said one cause of rapid weight loss in dogs can be worms – tapeworms, whipworms etc. So I bought panacur c through amazon. On 2nd day on de wormer – out came their waste absolutely loaded with white worms – all mixed throughout. Dogs began gaining weight weight and now back to normal.

    • Melissa Coutts

      Thank you for your comments. i started out on dry kibble. I swithced my dogs to raw when they were having had major skin problems. It works great! I went back to kibble for awhile, the grain free, the grains seem to be the allergy issue with my dogs. I recently swithced back to raw. I reccommend raw ,especially when someone’s dog has a skin issue. But I am not going to push any diet on anyone. Everyone needs to do what they feel is best for them & their pet. I will say ,one of my favorite things about raw, is their bodies use most of what they eat, so very little poo! I did have a little diarrhea with the intial switch. I recently learned probiotics can help there system adjust betwee the two.

    • Sarah D

      Thank you so much for the information!
      I have six rescues of varying breeds, ages and sizes, as well as digestive and allergy issues, so feeding here is a bit complex bit definitely worth the time. I feed a mix of kibble (I mix a 20 lb nag of Nutrish and a 10 on bag of Purina One together and everyone agrees on that. I switch up the formula flavors at times and no one gets tummy troubles), and I guess what you’d consider raw. I take vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, green beans, pumpkins or squash, celery), eggs, lean meats (pork, turkey, chicken), and a little bit of fruit (bananas, apples, mango, sometimes a little melon in the sumemer, blueberries, strawberries, peaches,pears, and the fruit is no less than 10% of the food), and once in awhile a few chopped peanuts, put the random mixture in the crock pot with a big soup bone for at least 12 hrs on low heat. I also put in a lemon slice and a spoonful of concentrated cranberry juice for their kidney health. (This has helped two of them successfully pass stones), and to go with this I cook up either a pot of brown rice or old fashioned oats.
      Now here’s where it gets complicated.
      The oldest, my 17 year old staffy/pointer mix, whom I have been cooking for and feeding kibble her entire life, gets a cup and a half rice or oatmeal for her heart health. Then she gets two cups of the vegetable soup mixture. To that i add a half can of ProPlan, ProPlan BrightMind, Pure Balance, or 3x a week a can of mackerel, tuna, or salmon. She’s been eating this way so long changing things up does her no harm, and she enjoys the variety.
      The 2nd oldest is a ten year old black mouth red curr, who had colitis so bad once he had to get 5 blood transfusions. He enjoys just a tad bit more of the rice or oatmeal and veggie “soup”, and a half a can of the Pure Balance. Sometimes he will eat a little crunchy, but for the most part he takes his meals soft and soupy.
      The little maltese was my late mother’s dog and has had kidney issues that were not addressed till she came into my care 6 months ago. Her dish is the size of a cat dish, so she gets 1 spoonful of kibble, which is easy on her kidneys, 4 spoons of the veggie soup, which has really helped her with her stones tremendously, and 2 spoons of the oats or rice. If she’s good I give her a little bit of whatever canned food my red curr is munching on.
      My three big doggos, 9 year old female blue pit, a 6 year old female black mouth black curr that bears strong resemblance to a rotti/lab mix, and a One year old austrailian shepherd (someone threw him out in front of me. After many efforts to locate his owners and rehome him, we have decided our dogs like him too much, we adore him, and this is his home. Besides I’m about to get livestock so he’s a perfect guardian for them), they get a half cup of veggie soup, a half cup of oats or rice, and a cup and a half of the kibble mix. They all also get their food cut with broth on occasion, as well as a generous dash of olive oil, and in the summer they get electrolytes (plain Pedialyte) cut into their food depending on how much we’ve been outside. During Harvey we ALL (save for the maltese) drank a whole bottle each of Powerade and were all so hot we were barely peeing. When we got to a hotel we no longer needed this, but it certainly kept diarrhea and dehydration at bay.
      They all get omega 3 capsules, and I grind up b12, niacin, folic acid, c, d, magnesium and calcium with a mortar and pestle ahead of time, store it in a jar, and add a pinch or so to a 4 qt crock pot of their cooked food. They don’t get the soup bones from the soup, so I use them for garden fetilizer. For treats we buy rawhide or antlers from Petsmart, and they like them with a little peanut butter rubbed onto the cracks and crevices of the bones before we leave them alone for awhile. I also make them jerky out of apples, carrots, sweet taters, chicken and livers on my dehydrator. They also get bananas, apples, boiled eggs, and peanuts for treats as well. In addition to giving them wheat rolls for biscuits, I love to bake them biscuits with an egg, whole wheat, and oatmeal base, and I blend fruits and veggies and add them to the dough for a variety of colors and flavors.
      It’s taken a good while to develop their diet, but it was worth finding out what suits everyone’s preferences and needs.
      I’m supportive on either end of the spectrum. Whatever your dog needs, based on your observations and experiences, is what you should base your food choices on.
      It’s good to see people who support each other for the better interest of their fur kids.

    • Susannah Bruck

      Great post. I’ve been very successfully feeding raw for 12+ years (ground meat, veggies, eggs/organ meat, kelp plus chicken necks) and have had fantastic results, but I totally understand it doesn’t work for every person or every dog.

      My concern in this “battle” is that much of the commercially produced food in general is making dogs sick. So many recalls of both kibble and raw food–it makes me so scared and disheartened. I’ve never had a problem in my kitchen and I’m sure a smaller company with more control over each batch is much safer than the larger brands. It’s just pretty scary to see all the pet food news as recall after recall. How do we make the industry safer? I don’t know, but too many dogs and cats are getting sick.

    • Hannah W

      love. this. I feed raw to my dog, and have just gotten a meal plan to help me just plan it out and such… a main reason why I do raw is just simply because it’s actually a lot cheaper for me and I enjoy making my dog’s food. Also, the health benefits, but, you know. There’s on social media though, and I will say, Raw Feeding Warrior right there!!! I feel as though they pressure people very much into feeding raw and I recently got into an argument with them about feeding turkey… ugh don’t even get me started lol. But anyways, the pressure can come from either side-outside of social media, like in my town for instance, people are like, raw food is so bad, because your dog will get sick and aggressive! You need to try this complete and balanced Hill’s Science Diet, etc. The other side of pressure and bullying I see is online, more specifically, social media: “Anything but raw is bad! If you don’t feed raw, you don’t love your dog and want them to die of cancer and disease from eating kibble.” This pressures many ‘newbies’, if you will, into trying raw because it is “the only good way” and they often get confused and mess up their dogs’ diet more than it used to be by having it completely unbalanced and such. I say, if you feed your dog a healthy dog food/healthy balanced food and they do great on it, then who cares?? Just let people do what they know is best for their dog!!

      • Hannah W

        haha I meant to say in the third sentence “There’s one social media account though,” not “There’s on social media though,”!

    • Laurie

      Thank you for this wonderful site. My dog just recently passed from kidney disease. My vet said it was due to feeding raw. His whole life he suffered from allergies and it seemed my life was devoted to doing research online to try to find the best food, supplements and, like you, I tried everything! I finally came to the point of feeding him raw (because everyone said it was so great and the ingredients in dog food are horrible) and this is what I got, my baby had to be put to sleep. I wish more people would know that feeding raw can have consequences and is not all what the online hype is cracked up to be. I lost my dog.

    • Teresa Perryman

      I have a 4 year Siberian Husky / Alaskan Malamute that is spoiled rotten. He is such a picky eater. I have tried everything. Different types of canned, kibble, store bought raw, home made raw and even tried cooking the raw, and it’s always the same thing. He will eat with gusto for a few days and then totally snub it til I find something else. I have even tried putting down fresh food daily for him a few days in a row, and he just won’t eat. I am at a road block and have no idea what to do.
      I really liked your article because it is non-judgemental. I just want him to eat and stay healthy and active. Do you or anyone have some suggestions?

      • Katie

        Malamutes are known to be grazers. There are days they just dont eat. They are a little unlike other dogs when it comes to caloric intake. If they dont expend it, they wont take it in unnecessarily. I have a Mal myself and she is raw fed. On days that she chooses to fast herself, I let her. Shes super healthy. Its just her breed trait. Stubborn too LOL but I love her soooo much!!!

    • Chris S

      We have a 1 year old Mal that we have had difficulty with regarding diet, I am thankful to see that Raw is not the only answer.. We’ve tried Science Diet, Blue Buffalo, Royal C….etc probably 4 or 5 now. One thing that was interesting when we were having our Malinois professionally trained was that dogs with high anxiety have “abnormal” poos vs dogs & owners who have the anxiety issue resolved. Our professional trainer (who has a malinois as well) explained a few options and Raw was not one of them. She recommended some brand we are trying… I will save this Nutri Source High Plains in my cart for sure… Appreciate this article!

    • Joanna Hill

      I know I’m late to the party, but thanks for this post. I also fell victim to the raw bullies. I’m just taking my little dog off it for the second time. He just doesn’t do well on it. His poos are inconsistent and strange colours, he’s always hungry even though I feed him nearly double the recommended amount. I’m now putting him back on home-cooked food (not cooked by me, but by a company). The final straw was when he cried doing a poo. It tore at my heart to hear that. I find his poos are very very hard when feeding raw and this just can’t be a good thing; poos shouldn’t hurt coming out. It was good to read some well balanced advice.

    • Deanna Friel

      I completely agree with this article. I know for sure that exercise helps in many ways, My concern in this “battle” is that much of the commercially produced food, in general, is making dogs sick. So many recalls of both kibble and raw food–it makes me so scared and disheartened. I’ve never had a problem in my kitchen and I’m sure a smaller company with more control over each batch is much safer than the larger brands.

    • S Dotson

      THANK YOU! We have a varied pack of four dogs ranging from 5 to 80lbs. We feed raw but don’t feel we can maintain the expense much longer. I honestly can not tell a positive difference in their overall health after 6 months of feeding raw. They shed before but shed like crazy now. We have a very itchy Cairn Terrier who was our biggest motivation in switching to raw. She is more itchy than ever before and has been to the vet for a UTI as well. The problem is that there is SO MUCH conflicting information out there that we are all confused. We have decided that we will feed a more varied diet, still including raw but also going back to high quality kibble as well as table scraps and supplements. Balance seems to be the key!

    • Nicole

      Thank you so much for sharing! Currently going through analysis paralysis. 😉

    • M

      Thank you for your candour on such a hot button topic.

      It does make me curious though, if you eat pre-packaged processed food for all meals daily?

      There are plenty of people out there who do. You could argue how balanced your Swanson’s Hungry Man dinner is, but it’s your choice, and you should be allowed to make that choice without judgement.

      I would expect, that given your stance on packaged, processed dog food, that you would eat packed processed human food with abandon. If you don’t think about why you would not put that stuff in your body and then, to be fair to your dogs, maybe rethink their food too?

      Just a suggestion.


      • Meagan Karnes

        I do eat packaged processed foods without concern. But I think here, you are comparing apples to oranges. I’d liken a Hungry Man meal (which is not known for being healthy but rather, being hearty, filling comfort food with notoriously oversized portions high in saturated fat) to feeding a dog Beneful or Old Roy, none of which will ever find it’s way into my home. But my freezer is stocked with high quality frozen and microwavable meals featuring real ingredients and I have no problem consuming those on the regular just as I have no problem feeding my dog a high quality kibble. As with everything, there are high quality choices, and low quality choices. They are, as you point out, choices that each individual should make for themselves without fear of judgment. But comparing kibble to low quality, and notoriously unhealthy processed microwave dinners isn’t a comparison at all.

        • Arielle Harvey

          Thank you! I feel horrible switching from raw feeding but I can not afford 280$ a month for my growing puppy. Do you mind sharing your brand? I am looking at Open Farm, beef recipe.

    • Jenifer stovall

      Thank you what a great post! We have French bull dogs they are our world. They are currently on a really good salmon and potato kibble, but still still a little itchy. They vet gave them Apoquel, but I don’t believe that they should have to take that every day. So we are trying raw in morning and kibble at night. I have been very scared to try raw, you read all the bad things about it and all the good. I hope it works for them, if not we will keep trying. But it does come down to what works best for your dog. Just like people, I look at a piece of bread and I gain five pounds, my friend eat ice cream and gets so sick. Thank you, for writing this, the most honest article I have read in a while…..Jenifer Stovall

    • Nicole

      Thank you so much for this article. I know a few people who have transitioned their dogs (young and old) with great success. My girl is 10 and has not been a fan of kibble her entire life. She likes a new kibble for a day or two, then turns her nose up until I add pumpkin, keifer, or fresh fruit/veg. She also has a super sensitive digestive system. Months of reading about raw and being convinced by several pet stores, we finally made the switch over the weekend. She ENHALES her meals but has already had the runs, tried to vomita few times, and her stomach has been going nuts (even with super expensive pre/probiotics and a digestive enzymes that was recommended to help with the transition. Needless to say, we’re likely going back to kibble because the transition had been a shitty one so far. It also doesn’t help that when you ask questions in groups, everyone has a different remedy or tells you to go to the vet.

    • Catherine

      Megan, Love the support and nonjudgmental encouragement you give. Could you advise your opinion on how to transition from raw to Nutrisource? My 2+ female shephard does great on raw, but I am going to transition to your Nutrisource because I’m about to go serious on the tracking bit of our training journey- and raw on the track just doesn’t work :-). I use cooked chicken breast – which works super … but I want to start tracking daily and plan for her to get most of her daily food either on the track or training.

      Should I just transition her cold turkey or over some time period?

      • Meagan Karnes

        I give probiotics during the transition. I’ve always transitioned straight over. If I wanted to go slow, I’d do raw for breakfast and kibble for dinner. But honestly, I’ve had no problems switching cold turkey (but I always include probiotics just to be safe!)

    • Ty

      Missing from this discussion is the simple fact that there are many proven risks to raw diet, and not a single proven benefit.

    • Jillian Zimmerman

      I am in such a deep hole with all this feeding stuff. I have a female 56 pound pit bull that is STRUGGLING with yeast and allergies!!!! She was totally fine when she was a couple months old, up until the 7 month age where i got her spayed. i did not vaccinate my dog at all in those first 5 months i had her and so when she was spayed, she received ALL of her recquired vaccinations in one day. i feel awful as i believe this excessive vaccinating destroyed her flora and since then, 3 years later, i have accumulated well over $3,000 in veterinary services in treatment of ear infections, an ear hemotoma(from head shaking due to itching of yeast), the lot.. i see my vet practically every month, she collects my dues, and she tells me some dogs “just have allergies and this is the way it is”. i was encouraged to pay $200 for anti itch medication, and even spent $60 on a 15 pound bag of special kibble that was supposed to help. i am to a point where i am so frustrated and lost. the amount of antibiotics my dog is on is CRAZY and i think it’s doing more damage than good!!! i need to heal her from the inside but how?!? every dog kibble has starch.. raw diet is very risky.. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE HELP BECAUSE MY VET CANNOT

      • Katie

        Raw is the way to go. Fiesta Pet Deli is a great and affordable mix. They carry grass fed beef with tripe. Anti vaccinosous might help pull those heavy metals out. Supplement her diet with sardines and non soy fed raw eggs and Olewa carrots. Lastly get off of bug meds. Use natural sprays instead and simply get her checked for heartworm every 4 months. If microfilia are found, only then will you give a heartworm pill to kill it off prior to it becoming an adult. No more vaccines. Have them provide a titer test if anyone challenges you in that area. It will show that she is fully covered already.

    • Katie

      I swapped my 3 dogs to raw 2 years ago and Ill never swap back. It was the best decision Ive ever made. Not only is their stool perfect and their teeth cleaner but my oldest pup with Pancreatitis completely healed once he came off kibble. My only regret is that I didnt know better sooner. If you arent getting these results, you may simply be missing an aspect of the diet. Supplements are not needed if you are changing proteins often and using a variety of organ meat. The only items I use in conjunction are sardines in water non salted, non soy fed organic raw egg, grass fed tripe and Olewa carrots. One thing I think all pet owners could concentrate more on is water source. Making sure to use glass containers and not plastic and adding mineral water a few times a week so your pup is getting those essential trace minerals. It doesnt have to be difficult but common sense would dictate to feed what nature intended as opposed to a man made frankenkibble

    • Heather Warner

      Loved this. I found it after running the gamut for my extremely healthy 11 year old Dashund Yorkie mix. We ran a couple months long gamut with her this fall when she suddenly fell sick on her heartworm medicine. She had stomach issues, diarrhea and the doctor suggested leave off giving it to her and we’ll try another brand. I started her on a bland diet that she hated. Other than getting fixed and having a small hernia fixed she’s never had any problems except with the occasional pancreatitis that shes had since puppy. I tried raw, she wouldn’t eat it and went two days without so I stopped it wasnt worth it when she would rather go hungry than eat it. The Diamond brand AND Eukanuba gave her rash and her new Chihuahua 1 year old brother was constantly throwing up and had a miserable pooch after the Diamond. After more brands We are now back to where we began from 10 years ago after puppy food. The rash is gone, no more upset tummy or diarrhea, and she’s back to playing like a puppy. Rachael Ray Nutrish and my dog will probably be together until she passes. She either won’t eat anything else or anything else makes her sick. The puppy is also eating it to and is now thriving. Are there better ways or probably better food yeah. But it comes down to the dog, not the owner. Ive known dogs to live 22 years on Puppy Chow and scraps like my grandmother’s mix. Not feeding high end doesn’t mean I dont love and care for my dog, it just means we’ve tried the others and it doesnt work specifically for them. Raw doesn’t work for all dogs and they are enthusiasts as vigilante as many Vegans about what they feel is the only right way to do things, when the truth is there is no right way; like every human, every dog is different.

    • Katie

      After watching Pet Fooled documentary, I will never feed kibble again. To each his own but I had 2 older sickly dogs that I swapped to raw after educating myself and researching kibble companies prompted after viewing this educational film and both made miraculous improvements in many areas. I will never go back to man made food with god only knows what in it to increase their profit. The best part is that I finally feel in control with my pets nutrition.

      • Meagan Karnes

        I’m so happy you’ve found something that works for you and your dogs!

    • John Joseph Minardi

      Just finished watching Pet Fooled myself. I have a 8 month old American Carolina / American Dingo, who I rescued in Pietro Rico. She is main a fish eater, but likes her beef bones. We were giving her a high end Kibble ( Taste of the Wild), but are starting the journey this week on a raw diet. We tried a gentle cooked meal this weekend from JUST FOOD FOR DOGS, and she seems to like it, but the inclusion of potatoes and rice are weird for me. Looked into WE FEED RAW delivery, and may try that. Will see where this takes us, and our dog.

    • William Irvin

      Thank you for the article. It has helped a lot of my anxiety that I have been going through trying to decide what and how I should feed. Thank you

    • Meagan Karnes

      Thanks! I will continue to sing their praises to the rooftops (and no, I don’t work with them or get any sort of incentives whatsoever for saying that) 🙂

    • Olivia M

      My dog was on kibble just Purina but when she was 6 months she was hit by a car and broke her leg I didn’t have her out running around somebody hit her on purpose I’m on my job site which was in the middle of a field and she had every right to be there and somebody drove out there and ran over her on purpose. I I have a German shepherd dog and after she was ran over she did not want to eat her dog food anymore in this was going on forever around weeks and finally I switched her go to blue Buffalo I am blue Buffalo wilderness wet food and I also makes him crave kibble in there and she does great on it and I know there’s a big movement for a while food but because of my job and I travel so much this is the best thing I’ve talked to my pet vet and my dog trainer and they both said that it is totally acceptable. I also give her a cooked chicken steak from time to time goat milk eggs tomato carrots peas pot roast when we make it she gets all the good stuff on the side too I just feel like life’s too short to deprive her and her life’s too short to worry so much about what she’s eating as long as she’s healthy and doesn’t have a constant diarrhea I think we’re all good so f*** the haters

    • L

      I just have to say that with my boy Cody, he was a pitbull/great dane mix. He had bad allergies that I tried everything under the sun for him, went to numerous vets. Different foods, different medications. Finally tried raw food diet as that’s all I heard on the internet. Cody is with God now. He had kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. I asked the vet why this occurred and she said that it was the raw food diet (he never had it previous). So, please be careful everyone. I lost my boy over feeding raw.

    • Donald Morgan

      Dog’s are like humans and flourish on a diet that their ancestors ate. If you want some enlightenment check out the Keto Pet Sanctuary and you’ll never go back to feeding your dogs or cats anything other than a Ketogenic diet. The trouble is humans were given brains that over think nutrition, whereas animals eat what they are meant to eat if they have access to it. Please don’t feed you animals anything with any type of grain. If you do you will be exposing them to a life of debilitating chronic illness and early life termination!

      • Meagan Karnes

        Thanks for your thoughts. I actually have a dog on a ketogenic diet for cancer that I discovered from the Keto Pet Sanctuary. She was fed raw, grain free her entire life, developed lung cancer at age 11 and is now undergoing treatment via diet and medications. Truth is, through selective breeding and manipulation by humans, dogs are not the equivalent of their ancestors. And, if their ancestors had access to human food waste and scraps with or without grains, would they not eat it? And would they not outlast their counterparts, with better reproduction rates than those that did not? And would they not evolve? Not to mention, there are many studies that support the use of grains in pet foods – as many, if not more than those available that support grain free or raw diets. At the end of the day, most of my dogs do better on kibble, I have one here that is on 100% balanced raw, and one that is on a ketogenic raw diet. For me, saying a ketogenic grain free diet is ideal for all dogs feels like a short sighted generalization. But I do appreciate you sharing your views 🙂

    • Evelyn

      As a child, our family dog didn’t go to the vets office, until he was hit by a car, once he recovered, no more vet. Visits. And we gave him Alpo canned, and even with being hit by a car, he lived to be about 14 or 15. My point is, I don’t think pet food is as good as it was back then (in the 60s ), he didn’t get shots annually. I do feel, there are honest pet food makers that look out for our pets, and others it’s just a business to make money, people spend billions of dollars on there beloved pets, and greedy people want to get a part of it.
      Last year I had to have my Angel put to sleep, I blame the vets, and pharmaceutical companies for her death, I stopped getting vaccines except rabies shots, if it wasn’t the law, I would have stopped it also,. I adopted Angel when she was 4, and from the beginning she refused to eat kibble wet or dry, I tried more expensive brands, it made no difference, so I bought canned and she ate it up. Angel was a beagle, she was very smart. My feelings that if dogs could talk, they would let us know what mistakes we are making. Angel developed cancer in her left hind hip, and I believe it had to vaccination through the years, by the time I stopped them it was to late, and to top things off, the bump was checked when I first noticed it, the vet said it was a fatty tumor and was nothing to worry about, 6 months passed and the bump was bigger, so I took to see if it could be removed, this was a different vet, he said chances are it would grow back, I felt so bad for Angel and helpless. Then a year later, I took her back in and mentioned that I wanted to have the bump removed, again this was a different vet, same office, this vet ran tests, and referred to the original test, she told me that because it was cancer there was nothing they could do, I was shocked when she said it was cancer, I told her, I was told it was a fatty tumor! So for a year and half thinking it was a fatty tumor turned out to be cancer. This vet recommend taking her home, because even with the cancer she was still in good spirits, ate and did her daily routine. Then 4 months later she was sleeping a lot, and having trouble walking, and her stomach was bloated, I knew it wasn’t good, and found the cancer had affected her liver, to keep her from anymore pain I put her to sleep in June 2018.
      I do believe there is some truth about the kibble (depends on the pet food companies), if you feed kibble, put added supplements into the food, because kibble is cooked at such a high temperature it destroys the nutrients. And vaccines except
      rabies shots, after all puppy shots, should be thought through, or talk to a holistic vet, this depends where you live.

    • Angel

      I was just wondering…both our dogs are on raw right now, the oldest for a couple months and our new puppy for the last week. I decided to stop the raw and seeing your article I decided I’m going to try them on the food you feed your dogs. I was just wondering can I switch them like they were switched to raw, no mixing foods? We were told not to mix raw and dry because the difference in time it takes to digest could cause problems. I’m thinking its the same taking them off raw but can’t find any info on it looking online?

      • Meagan Karnes

        I don’t mix if I transition. I do however incorporate honest kitchen perfect form into their kibble to help with the switch 🙂

    • O.R

      Question for you Meagan, at what age do you make the transition from puppy to adult food? My dog is 1 year old now, i guess she has a little more to grow and some pounds to fill up. I have tried so many dry foods (always looked at the more expensive ones), she hasn’t reacted well to most of them and we’re now on Acana large breed puppy which she’s doing OK on but it’s hard for her to keep weight (she’s a high energy dog and very active). Wanted to give the Nutrisource SP a try but I wonder whether or not she’s too young for it (will have to get past it containing rice which I have bought into being “bad”)

      • Meagan Karnes

        I have never fed puppy food. I’ve always fed adult dog food to puppies 🙂

    • Kelly Thompson

      Thanks for this post. My GSD has been on RAW and doing bad on it. Skin issues, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. she NEVER had problems before on Nulo. So I am switching her back. Any tips on how to start back on kibble? or Just put it in front of her and she’ll eat when she’s hungry?

      • Meagan Karnes

        I feed my dog structured meals twice daily. I put the food down for 5-10 minutes and then pick it up. Whatever is left gets fed with the next meal until the dog is eating regularly. If your dog refuses to eat during the allotted time, you can offer meals 3-4 times each day instead, but only for 5-10 minutes. If your dog decides not to eat for an extended period, it’s best to consult your vet 🙂

      • Lola

        Your dog needs time to adjust to raw. Eating the same mono diet the dog loses enzymes to digest the healthy variety. Also looked people eating junk your body will detox which is coming out the skin. It’s sad you gave up without knowing this is expected in transitioning. When I get lazy my did is forced to eat kibble, but he’s rather starve. I recently read how kibble can be made with euthanized pets… The chemical used to kill animals was found in kibble. It’s a business. Lower costs equal higher profits. For kibble manufacturers. I’d rather free the letters with human food than the highest quality kibble. Life is about balance. Food nutrition should be balanced. I find raw feeding easier throw down third pound of meat and couple of pieces of liver…

        • Meagan Karnes

          My dogs were on raw for 2 years and didn’t do well. It is not the best choice for many dogs. Not to mention, a third pound of meat and some liver is unfortunately not providing balanced nutrition for a dog. This is one of the biggest problems with raw feeding to date. It becomes very difficult for dog owners to properly balance their dog’s nutrition and getting the correct information on how do so, with so much information available is difficult, making feeding a balanced, high quality kibble a better option for many.

    • Hannah Lacey

      I am based in the UK, I’m glad I came across this, as I have been overwhelmed with the about of (often conflicting) information on canine diets when deciding on the best option for my 5 month old puppy (DDBxRottweiler).
      I found this to be a very balanced article which acknowledges that there is no “one size fits all” approach to feeding our beloved dogs despite what those of various viewpoints may claim.

    • Peggy

      I came across these postings today and have read all of them. My question regarding all the ‘raw’ food feeding are you talking about hunks of raw meat that you get from the butcher or grocery? We have a 4 yr old yorkie we have fed Stella and Chewys freeze dried raw since she was a puppy. They come in patties and we add warm water or broth and mix until it looks like wet dog food. Her favorite is duck but we change it up beef and lamb. She isn’t a fan of the rabbit or chicken so much. She has had bouts of gastrointestinal intestinal diarrhea but has never been fed just kibble. She does eat their kibble for small breeds which they now have with raw food mixed on it. We call it her cereal because she eats it before bed like a snack. I know it says on the ingredients it has a probiotic in it so feel this is a plus. We leave kibble out because she use to “graze” as we called it, but she doent do that much anymore. We also dehydrate organic chicken breasts which she loves for a treat (similar to jerky). Just cant help wonder if after a time is it good to always eat the same thing ( she does get cooked chicken and rice..she is.not a fan of the rice so much ..picks around it after the meat.) Just asking when you all refer to raw is it actually raw or some form of freeze dried raw?? She is our first dog so when faced with the abundance of foods out there it was overwhelming and guess we went with the hip that “raw is better” Yorkies are finicky eaters and do have sensitive stomachs. Last time she was at the fet for digestive issues he suggested trying a prescription dog food which she tried once before, she liked it but seemed as though she was always hungry. I mentioned she had been give her heartworm within a week from this and asked if that could be causing issues, not a fan of that plus she is not outside alot, just walks and potty. So we went back to our norm and still hesitant on the heartworm..Just wondered if anyone else using the patties are happy with the choice they made. She has a mild collapsed trachea so we try to be careful on what she eats and chews so she doesnt choke on anything. So for such a long note but so many factors make up a dogs reaction to things. Appreciate any feed back.

      • Meagan Karnes

        I have used pre-packaged raw diets, and I have for a short time fed Stella and Chewy’s to my basset hound who couldn’t tolerate raw anything. I do still prefer kibble but that’s my personal experience 🙂

    • Heather

      Hi Meagan. I just found this site and thoroughly enjoyed it.
      We have a silver Persian cat who eats Stella and chewy freeze dried, Merrick in a pouch and Fromm grazing kibble. She does well, but we mix brands so they all seem to work for her. Now we will be getting a west German Shepherd puppy soon and there is so much info. I was thinking raw or Orijen but I am having second thoughts. Recently I heard purina pro plan and I never would have even considered that one. I read your article and was wondering if you could tell me what brand of kibble you decided to go with.
      Thank you

      • Meagan Karnes

        At present I’m feeding Purina Pro Plan Sport in my kennel and Nutrisource Adult Dog Food to the rest 🙂 I’m very happy with both foods 🙂 I’m sure raw would be fine on a small scale, but you really have to be cautious about properly balancing the diet, or using a well researched pre made mix. The problem with MANY raw feeders is that their dogs aren’t getting the proper nutrition because they don’t know how to properly balance the diet 🙂

    • Tracy

      May I ask what kibble you feed?

    • Tim

      Hi Megan my name is Tim I like to know opinion on when you bring your new puppy home from the kennel or shelter should you keep him on the same food that they were on there even if it’s not a good quality or change them to something else

      • Meagan Karnes

        I think it can help with the transition. However, if the food is poor quality, I typically make an immediate switch. Adding probiotics to the meal, or Honest Kitchen Perfect Form helps to minimize tummy upset 🙂

    • Jb

      Im a hard sell for raw other than a treat, even if it sounds good, as my last malinois just passed at 15, had no health problems just went a little deaf, a little nearsighted the last year, lived on kibble her whole long, active life, never seen a vets office other than spay from the shelter at 4 months. And my new malinois male is extremely healthy, active, happy and 90 lbs and appears to be going just as well at 3 years now….. I see raw feeders chasing all kinds of issues from digestion, allergies, stool, skin, weight, energy ….. it’s Just not for us, quality of life is job one

    • Sid Shadle

      I just came across this discussion. I have found it very interesting, informative and ultimately rather bewildering. Basically, I cannot figure out what “family owned pet food company” kibble you have settled on – it surely can’t be Purina. Of course, I realize I’m 2 or 3 years behind your original statement, so things may have changed as far as your choices are concerned or the family-owned business could have been gobbled up by some empire (e.g., Purina). But then, does that really matter; your point seems to be that it really is up to the individual dog owner and their dog(s) to decide what works best for them.

      I have had a variety of dogs enriching my own life, mostly working breeds, and have tried any number of brands of dry kibble, freeze dried whatever and wet foods. I have never gone the raw route, probably because I am not comfortable enough with my own understanding of the dog’s overall nutritional needs. Plus, I am not fully convinced of the touted benefits. As you pointed out in reply to one comment, the dogs we own and love today are quite far removed from those “tamed” by our primitive ancestors or even those used in recent history by various sheepherders, etc. I came across a couple of true Basque sheepherders in Colorado and the Sierra who totally relied on their dogs to guard and control the flocks under their remit. They are truly dependent on their dogs for their livelihood and they are devoted to those dogs, and they fed they well with what was available (largely raw and boiled) but they did not expect them to last even 8 or 10 years. It just kills a bit of me when I lose my best pal at 13 or 15 and I want those years to be as good for him as I can make them. Good, nourishing food, good fun and exercise, good rest and lots of love.

      I guess I kinda like Sarah D’s approach to feeding, and do have a vaguely similar, but much less enlightened, approach. My four year old Belgian seems to prefer kibble (currently Orijen/Acana and vary the main meat source regularly, please), but it must be mixed with wet food (currently Instinct; formerly Merrick, until it became mostly water and peas) or steamed chicken with veggies or fruit or rice, or he won’t bother with it. He likes some well boiled chicken leg bones. Three different vets that we have used over the years have advised against heavy soup bones because of the danger of broken teeth, so we occasionally add ground bone marrow directly to his food. He gets his teeth brushed every day and appears to enjoy that; at least he comes willingly when I say its time to brush. Well heck, he grins a lot so he wants nice white ivories.

      Anyway, good discussion and plenty of FOOD for thought!


      • Alex

        Same. I I think there’s a good reason he doesn’t want to share name of the company. I too want to know. But if he says the name then I think it makes it seem like he’s advertising for them and it counteracts the point of his whole blog to do your own research and experimentation rather than reading what’s on the internet. So I do understand his choice and decision of not sharing that name.

        • Kelly Gelske

          I’m not sure how i found it but i swear it’s somewhere in one of the many responses – Nutrisource. You’re probably right, she doesnt want to include that info in the blog post because she’s not advertising for them. But if you look them up online you’ll see they are really incredible. I just want anyone who is curious to have the info – i made the switch and it’s been fantastic.

    • Jada Mills

      Cant find a kibble that doesnt make my dog itch. Any advice on a good kibble? Thank you

    • Heidi

      I’ve fed raw before it became a “Thing” over 9 years, three dogs and a cat. I’m not a bully, I’m not obsessing about their diet and they are not “Skinny” they are perfectly built with muscle and beautiful skin, coats and eyes without any of the conditions that kibble owners incessantly talk about. If anyone asks me I will tell them that I feed raw and leave it up to them if they want to hear more. I love the way people remark on the vitality and clean teeth my dogs have. When they ask me when I got my dogs teeth cleaned I say “never!” I always follow with frozen green beans and fruit to cleanse the pallet. I’m immune deficient and have never got sick and neither have my dogs/cat. I’m glad you found something you like. I wouldn’t change to kibble if you gave it to me for free! In fact my husband works in warehouse that houses a very prominent Vet brand kibble and they have NO refrigeration in the warehouse. He had to quit because the smell made him sick! What you see a nice little bag is a tip of the iceberg and you need to know how kibble is made and stored. More cases of recalls and salmonella poisoning from kibble than raw!

      • Meagan Karnes

        Thanks for sharing your opinion. In fact, I know quite a bit about how the kibble I used is manufactured, the extensive science behind it and it’s phenomenal track record in the industry. I also understand and accept that my choices are not for everyone. I think the important point I was making in the article is not what to feed, but instead to encourage dog owners to choose what works best for them 🙂

    • Kelly Gelske

      Meagan, I realize it’s been quite some time since you originally posted this blog, but i wanted to make sure i came on here to comment that you may have quite literally saved my sanity with this article. My 3 1/2 year old GSD had been raw fed pretty much since we got him home, and while he did well on it, the constant babysitting of poop and subsequent fine tuning of the meat vs bone %s, the moving of frozen meat out of the freezer into the fridge, the cleaning of the tub i kept it in every week filled with blood and raw bits, the 5 hours i drive 2-3 times a year to pick up food from a raw feeding co-op and the gas money and tolls, and carrying 80 lb boxes of liver, and the constant worry that every time the power goes out i’m about to lose 400# of dog meat and overall what had to be about $150/month for one 94lb GSD and an intangible amount of stress – I was about to go bonkers. But i’d TRIED kibble before, i’d TRIED them all – i’d spent countless gray hairs pouring over dogfoodadvisor.com and making lists and reading reviews. I tried Acana. I tried Fromm. I tried Honest Kitchen (more expensive than raw!). Annamaet. ToTW. Victors. Same result – diarrhea, every time. And that’s IF he even wanted to eat it. I was convinced my dog was too sensitive for kibble. I’d scoured the internet for “how to switch a dog from raw to kibble” and the only article found was a total satire about what an idiot you must be to make that kind of switch. And then….. i found your blog. I ordered Nutrisource High Plains select. I ordered the HK Perfect form. And went cold turkey 4 days ago from raw at dinner to kibble in the a.m. and MY DOG HAS HAD SOLID POOPS ON KIBBLE!!!?!?!? WHAT??!?! I am beyond excited. And he LOVES the food. I was worried he’d turn his nose up at it like so many of the other kibbles i’d tried. But he honest to goodness dives into this just as voraciously as he did his raw. Thank you Meagan for making this seem like the simple concept it was. I felt some confidence in your confidence and i’m so happy i made the switch. Thank you times a billion!

    • Ashley H.

      So happy I came across this blog post after doing yet more online research. My Chihuahua mix does just find on a well-made kibble so we have been keeping him on that brand. My Husky mix has been doing poorly on 5 different brands of kibble (we’ve done a mix of different proteins too to see if there are allergies)—chronic ear infections, hot spots, general itchiness, anal gland issues, and just recently her fur has fallen out in some spots 🙁 So I am trying a premade raw nugget brand that has been in business for awhile to see what that does. Doing the DIY raw is so not my thing (no extra space for a freezer, the time commitment to meal prep is not for me, and my vet tech friends see dogs in the ER all the time from a raw bone that went down wrong!) and I want to make sure she is getting a balanced diet. I am really hoping this food helps her, but I am not married to the idea that raw is the end-all-be-all magical cure-all especially since most of the evidence at this point seems to be purely anecdotal.

    • Monica Hatch

      I have read this and it’s super helpful. On Saturday we are Rescuing an 8 week old large breed mix , I have three dogs at home 2 are on nutrisource adult chicken and rice, the other is on a lid duck zignature due to allergies. I ordered nutrisource large breed puppy for the new pup. The rescue is currently feeding her only raw. I am up at 4 am researching how to transition her to NS large breed puppy. I am worried about messing up her stomach for life. The raw she is currently on is not organized the lady in charge just feeds what she has in raw, chicken, ground turkey etc. how do I transition her. I was thinking of adding rice and cooked chicken with apple cider vinegar and a probiotic to the ns kibble. I worried she is going to have horrible stomach issues. Any suggestions.

      • Kelly Gelske

        Monica, when I transitioned my super-sensitive raw fed dog to Nutrisource High Plains Select i did it cold turkey. He had raw for dinner one night and the next morning was kibble. I did (on Meagan’s recommendation in one of the responses above) add in Honest Kitchen Perfect Form supplement and a spoonful of pumpkin. I used the Honest Kitchen til the tube of it was gone and same for the pumpkin – just used less and less over the week-ish that the Honest Kitchen lasted. And every poop, every time, was solid. Worked like a charm!

    • Julie

      We do our best for own dogs. To each their own.

      We tried lots of kibble for our hound-mix puppy. Purina (I HATE Purina, but was desperate to try anything) gave her pimples, after a small handful, so that was out. We tried other brands, and she would eat the brand for a month, then stop eating. This went on and on. We tried raw bones, and she turned her nose up at them. So no raw food. After two days of not eating, she vomited green stuff, so I caved and gave her fresh cooked chicken and rice to ease her stomach.

      I started cooking her meals (meat and veggies), with no supplements, and she started eating. I was worried she wasn’t getting enough nutrients, so we went to one of those fancy pet stores, and they gave us a couple of samples, which she gobbled down! Success! We did plenty of research, and found that this company has a great reputation, and no recalls..and they use real ingredients. Then she started turning her nose up, so we decided to switch flavours from that same higher quality brand (Fromm,) and it worked. We would switch between grain-inclusive and grain-free flavours, which she enjoyed doing. It was like getting a whole new flavour every few months.

      She would get chicken and rice for breakfast and dinner, and kibble for lunch.

      Then one day she got a bacterial infection from drinking Lake Erie water during a trip to the lake in summer, and although it’s gone, she’s limited on human-grade foods….and now she can’t eat grain-free, or real veggies except for potatoes, otherwise her poops go bad again. She was getting expensive all-natural treats, but had to switch to cheaper stuff because, for some reason, her stomach can’t handle those fancy grain-free ones anymore…same goes for the homemade ones I would make for her. She actually likes the cheaper treats much better.

      My now 3 year old gets homemade chicken and rice for breakfast and dinner, and kibble for lunch. Sometimes I have to mix stuff into her kibble, but as long as she’s eating it, I feel better knowing she’s getting all her nutrients from it. She’s fairly healthy and active. She gets probiotics daily, too.

      Each dog is different, obviously. Don’t let others tell you how to look after them.

    • Layna

      Love this article as I’m always trying to find the perfect diet for my dogs. I love the idea of raw and my dog Chance was raised on a BARF diet from age 10-weeks until she was about 5 years old when her health started going down hill. Gut issues, Addisons, dehydration issues (due to adrenal insufficiency) and arthritis. I then started making homemade with plenty of organ meats and chicken backs or necks in the PM. My 10-year old lab mix dropped dead from what I believe was severe undiagnosed pancreatitis. No diet is a guarantee. With my new pup I’m experimenting with a kibble homemade combo.

    • Michelle

      Diet for our dogs, just like diet for humans, is a very individualized choice. I began feeding our border collie puppy raw at about 5 months old and she is (so far) thriving on it. But I always fed our other dogs (who are now gone) high quality kibble. One lived to 14 1/2 and one lived to 16. Our puppy is 8 months old, very lean and athletic but not underweight. I feed her through Raw Dog Food & Co guidelines and I purchase a raw prey model mix through them that contains bones, meat and organs. I feed her green tripe every day, mix in puréed vegetables, and alternate an egg (along with shells) with a whole fish every other day. She gets treated with chicken necks, Duck feet, and duck heads.
      It is totally disgusting to me, but she seems to be thriving on it. I had a consult with a pet nutritionist before I took the jump, and I have to say, the first month was a definite learning curve. But now it’s easy. I just have to be a little more organized. But I would be the last person to push this diet on everyone. It’s a huge commitment, it does cost a lot of money, and not all dogs will thrive. You have to do what is the most logical for you and what is the most beneficial for you pet.

    • Andy


      Which brand of kibble did you finally settle on? Thanks.

    • Bernadette

      I love your post. Great information. My GSD has been on raw food for little over a year and is constantly hungry and lacks energy. Like many of the people who responded to your article, I am very very afraid of kibble as he has had bloat before and crystals in his urine. I give him omega oil, probiotic and pumpkin with his meal. He is still very hungry. Had total blood work done and all is ok. My vet suggests I switch to kibble. Thank you for your post. I am going to buy the Nutrisource kibble which I think is what you feed to your dogs? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you again.

    • Cherry

      My dog doesn’t eat all his kibble. He just takes small bites of it and then he just leaves it. I’m putting him on a lightly cooked diet cause I think that raw might be dangerous and I think that kibble might harm my pups health since he’s has worms and inflamed paws. Any recommendations?

      • Meagan Karnes

        I’d recommend having a chat to your vet. They can help you resolve any health issues, and help you to ensure that any remaining issues aren’t health related. It’s the best first place to start 🙂

    • Diane

      I keep wondering what people who feed kibble would have done if they lived before kibble was “invented” in the 1950’s? How did these dogs and cats survive before processed food? From reading these comments, it’s seems obvious that most people are “doing it wrong!” I run a small animal rescue and have been raw feeding for over ten years and, if anything, the health of the animals I care for has improved immensely. I have never had any issues with feeding raw. I’m not a biochemist, but do have a degree in pre-vet animal science. I like to think that I understand the physiology of dogs and cats—which it seems most people just don’t understand—which also explains the reason that dogs and cats are “built” for raw diets. For this same reason, if I had a pet snake I wouldn’t feed it salad as it wouldn’t thrive and would eventually kill it—but people don’t seem to be able to make the connection of a species-appropriate diet for dogs and cats. I do believe, also, that research needs to be done in order to have a nutritionally-balanced diet for dogs and cats being fed raw and these are becoming more available through the internet (this means preparing meals that, at the very least, meet AAFCO standards). But a lot of people would rather throw some kibble in a bowl and let it go at that because they don’t want to spend the time making a balanced meal for their pets (believe me my life was much simpler before I started raw). Like someone above said, to each his own. I just wanted to post to offer another view of the subject.

      • Meagan Karnes

        It’s an interesting assumption that people use kibble out of laziness. I’m happy a raw diet is working for you. That’s fantastic. I’m also super happy with my choice to go back to kibble 🙂 It was not a decision that was made lightly.

        • Crystal

          I finally found a variety what works for my Aussie a can in the morning a raw thigh dinner and some fruit and a cup grain free kibble at night . My Aussie never looked better . What kibble do you use

    • Johanna Schiffleger

      Thanks for this article. I was reluctant to add a comment but I see this is the eternal blog post, it’s going strong for 4 years now.
      I also felt guilty for switching back to kibble. However having several dogs and a litter of pups about once a year I got stressed out prepping all this food. I guess covid doesn’t help, it seem to up the stress even if it’s not necessary.
      Anyway. My Aussie did very well on raw but does well on kibble now too most likely because I found a kibble that has no chicken (by products) at all. Grains were not the culprit but chicken is.

    • Erin

      Just got a 3 month old Bernese/ pyrenees female puppy. I ask what she was fed at her home. Purina pro plan. She wasn’t eating it that well. Friend told me to put egg in it. She ate it a bit better. Still not much though. I read about raw feeding. I mixed small pieces of elk with her food and now she’s eating good. Is this wrong to do both? I had also put some carrots in it. Can I do both without causing health problems? Seems happy and energetic now. Stool was a little loose but fine now. Pooping twice a day.

    • Maureen

      I just finished reading all the comments on your original post, and I want to thank you for managing your blog so well. Not only was the original post very helpful to me personally, but every time a comment strayed anywhere near judgemental territory, you gently nudged it back to non-judgemental. Thank you! And I would like to thank everyone else who commented-it has been very informative.

    • Cassaundra

      Thank you for this post! I have a Golden Retriever puppy and switched her to raw right after bringing her home from the breeder. We did it a month and then she started refusing to eat it. After a week of her refusing to eat meals or only eat a little bit, I did not know what to do. The pre-made raw was already at the top of my budget so trying to find another one for a similar price was a challenge. This week I decided to switch her back to kibble as a result. Kibble was an instant relief for me. Raw was time-consuming, challenging with traveling, and my husband was uncomfortable with the proper sanitation that it required as was I. However, I’ve also been plagued with instant guilt of not providing the “best food” for my dog and feeling like I was a terrible pet parent. I also found the raw community to be bullies as you mentioned (at least the one’s around me) and that is not something I want to be a part of! Reading this post reassured me that I am still a good pet parent and that there is research showing how kibble is healthy for dogs. Thanks for posting this and for relating to my innate obsession with trying to do it all perfectly! Trying to remind myself to allow grace and balance in my life as a pet mom. Thanks!

    • HB

      There is scientific evidence for raw over kibble now. It was an underfunded venture for a long time. Processed pet food manufacturers have endless resources. Check out the study called “Raw Proof” also a book called Feeding Dogs by Dr Conor Brady, who does an excellent job pulling info together citing every detail. Take care!

    • RawFeeder

      I’ve never heard of any raw feeders ‘bullying’ anyone else, if anything I discourage a lot of people from doing it. There’s a learning curve, and it’s a lot of work! I’d rather someone feed kibble (that’s balanced) than an imbalanced ‘raw’ diet that’s going to hurt their dog.

      “I couldn’t deal with skinny dogs. Or vomiting. Or diarrhea. Or inconsistencies.” I love raw feeding my dog, but primarily because my dog loves it. I switched because he hadn’t been doing well on kibble, but thrives now on raw. I wish you’d been able to figure out why your dogs were having such issues (maybe a fattier whole prey source would’ve served your working dogs better), but it sounds like you tried really hard to make it right for them. If what you’re doing now works, but raw didn’t work, I applaud you for listening to your dogs! They’re beautiful, and I hope they’re still doing well.

    • Suzanne Siebert

      Thank you so much for this article. I have been struggling with my dogs (plural) diet for over a year. One has yeast overgrowth and I thought, based on what I have spent hours researching, that a raw diet and natural products would fix. Unfortunately, it has not. I was feeding them a commercial raw, which recently had an administrative change and now the world of raw has definite opinions about the future of the company so I am back to questioning whether this is the best option for my dogs. It’s super expensive and one of my dogs is super skinny and the other still struggles with yeast. I so want to get off the dog food roller coaster but just not sure how.

    • Cristina Campbell

      I just adopted a dog from the shelter exactly 1 week ago (I haven’t been a dog owner for over 2 decades). It turns out this poor guy has distemper. In a mad dash at trying to halt adverse effects I have added in raw meat and freeze dried organ meats to his kibble (of which he only eats a little) – (his food is just one of the many immune supports I am giving him). When I got him he was already showing signs of neurological issues – the classic “chewing” tic, and things have slowly but unmistakably progressed for the worse. He looks like he will live through this but it’s hard to watch a heeler who I bet would have been amazing loose his finesse. I can already see the affects the food is having on other parts of his body: his fur is shinier, he’s filling in a bit. I wish food was powerful enough to reverse the symptoms of this virus, it looks like they might be irreversible though.

    • Crystal

      I finally found a variety what works for my Aussie a can in the morning with vitamins a raw cut up thigh and bone mid afternoon and a cup of kibble for snack with a raw hide stick bone . He’s never looked better. Even when I was 109% raw

    • Theo

      For sure, there are studies in both sides, but when it comes to independent, peer-reviewed studies, kibble falls just as flat. No one knows the pet food industry more than Susan Thixton who has dedicated her life being a consumer advocate for dogs. Cooked, kibble can work, and raw,but you have to know what you are doing for sure, and not be hoodwinked by vets who are sponsored by Hill’s Nutrition (this is a FACT, my vet student and vet student who went a vet university in Canada, will show the “scientific” learning aids. Recently, however, there’s been a University of Helsinki study on raw diet and the findings were interesting, and this is far more independent than what pet food companies use to tell them that their findings are all “science” based.

    • Karen

      I have a bulldog mix and have had the worst time trying to find a food that works for him. He has tried Acana, orijen, firstmate, pro plan, wellness and he had upset stomach, sloppy poop, and large poops. Sometimes he would go 6 times a day. He has also had issues with itching. I have taken him to the vet so many times and there is nothing wrong. I recently gave up on kibble after constantly be told to put him on raw, and I caved and tried it. His poop has finally firmed up but He has been losing weight and I have tried feeding more, and there is still no change. He dove seem to be doing well. I have tried different types of raw, complete, and home made. I think I may have to go back to kibble. Which kibble worked for your dogs? I am so frustrated just trying to find something that will work for him.

      • Meagan Karnes

        Is it possible this may be stress related? Sometimes that can lead to a fast moving bowel, and itchiness. If not, can you try adding more carbs to your raw diet? I’d actually add some cooked rice in (I know, grains are pretty taboo but there is a lot of science around their benefits for dogs – grains are what helped my high energy dogs hold weight). Best of luck!

    • Sally Barker

      Hey Meagan, I really enjoyed this article. I’m a canine nutritionist and I’m not a kibble basher. I’m a bad kibble basher, they’re not all the same despite what people say. I have clients on raw, on kibble on cooked. Dogs with cancer shouldn’t eat a raw diet or dog’s with sever renal failure. I feed my two a complete raw. It’s all about educated choices

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