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As pet owners, one of the most important things we can do for our furry friends is to ensure that what goes into their food dish is keeping them happy and healthy. In recent years, there has been a growing movement toward feeding dogs a raw food diet, and it’s easy to see why. On top of its irresistible taste, a raw food diet can provide many benefits for dogs, including improved digestion, increased energy levels, and even healthier skin and coat. 

There’s more to it than just dropping a raw piece of meat in front of your dog though. Throughout this guide, we’ll take a closer look at raw food diets for dogs, including what they are, the benefits of a raw food diet, the best raw food to feed, and how to create a raw food diet plan for dogs.

What is a raw food diet for dogs?

A raw food diet for dogs involves feeding your pet a meal consisting of uncooked and unprocessed ingredients. The idea behind this type of diet is that it mimics the natural diet of wild dogs, which typically eat prey animals and plants. Proponents of raw food diets believe that this type of diet is more natural and healthier for dogs than traditional kibble or canned dog food.

Raw food diet for pets can include a variety of different ingredients, including raw meat (such as beef, chicken, or turkey), bones, organs (such as liver or kidney), and vegetables (such as carrots or collard greens).

golden retriever eating raw food diet

Benefits of a raw food diet for dogs

Our Bold by Nature raw dog food recipes are formulated in Canada to mimic the natural prey diet that our pets would have consumed in the wild. These recipes contain a rich blend of meats and fresh vegetables, free from added processes and easily digestible for our dogs. In addition to being a natural and more flavourful option, transitioning to a raw dog food diet plan offers numerous benefits for your pet, beyond just an empty food bowl.

Here are some of the benefits you and your pet can look forward to with a Bold by Nature raw dog food diet plan:

Promotes healthy digestion

Raw food for dogs is known for being easier to digest than processed food. A Bold by Nature raw dog food diet is no exception, as it contains all of the natural enzymes and bacteria that aid in digestion, making it easier for your dogs to process and absorb the nutrients they need. With that said, providing your pet with a raw dog food diet can result in less bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Fosters a stronger immune system

Every Bold by Nature raw dog food diet is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that may help to promote a stronger immune system in dogs. One of the other benefits of raw food diets is that they also contain natural antioxidants that can help to keep your dog healthy.

Improves coat and skin health

The natural fats and oils found in Bold by Nature raw food help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy and shiny. We do recommend adding our salmon and wild ocean fish oil as it also contains a great source of omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and itching in dogs, which can be caused by dry skin or allergies.


training treat

Helps maintain a healthy weight

Bold by Nature raw dog food diets contain necessary nutrients for your dogs. Feeding your dog raw food can help regulate their weight, and it may even help them lose weight if they are overweight. Talk about going heavy on the benefits!

Supports healthy teeth and gums

Raw dog food diets can help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy! The natural enzymes in dog raw food diets can also help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to dental problems. Feeding dogs raw food can help our furry friends get the pearly whites they deserve!

If serving a raw meaty bone like a Bold by Nature turkey neck, dogs will tend to chew longer, resulting in healthier teeth and gums.

Reduces allergies and sensitivities

Some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients found in processed food. Bold by Nature dog raw food diets contain simple and natural ingredients that are less likely to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities.

What is the best way to switch my dog to raw food?

We think the best and most effective approach to switching to a raw dog food diet is to quit cold turkey. Seriously. Our Bold by Nature Turkey serves as an excellent introductory protein to the dog raw food diet, offering a tasty and easily digestible dog food diet option. To begin, start by combining the turkey with smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day, allowing your dog to adjust to the new diet more comfortably. If your dog has pre-existing digestive issues, we recommend fasting them for 24 hours before transitioning them to any raw food diets you’re considering.

Once you have your dog consistently eating a protein, we suggest having them stick with that same protein for a week. Afterwards, you can begin introducing a new protein each week. This will help determine if they have any allergies or digestive sensitivity.

Since all dogs are unique and different, you may want to consider consulting with your holistic veterinarian before making the switch. Although it’s not completely necessary, they can help you determine whether this diet is appropriate for your dog.

Creating a raw food diet plan for your dog

If you’re interested in feeding your pet a dog raw food diet, it’s important to create a nutritious diet plan.

We have always had a strong belief in the benefits of rotational feeding with raw food diets. A more holistic approach to feeding your pets, rotational feeding is a means of switching up the variety of proteins that are fed over a period of time in order to provide optimal nutrition.

What does that mean? Well, rather than feeding dogs chicken every meal, you can rotate it with other meats like turkey, beef, pork, and even duck on a regular basis. This way, dogs can get the best of every protein and enjoy all the benefits of raw food diets. Feeding dogs raw food and rotating them also gives your pets an opportunity to experience a handful of different flavours and textures; a way to really satisfy their senses!

How much raw food should I feed dogs?

If you have decided to feed a dog raw food diet for your pet, it’s best to monitor their body weight and adjust their food intake accordingly. How much raw food to feed your dog may need to be modified depending on their life stage, as well as the season in which you are feeding them. The quantity of food required is influenced by factors such as your dog’s level of physical activity. For instance, if your dog is a couch potato, it may require less food than a high-energy pup that is always eager to play at the dog park. We recommend using this chart to create the best raw food diet plan.

raw food for puppies

Is raw food good for a puppy, too?

Yes, raw food diets make a great choice for dogs of all ages including puppies! If you want to feed Bold by Nature as a  puppy raw food diets, you would need to know the proper amount to feed them. The raw food will be the exact same delicious Bold formulas our pets know and love.

For dogs six months and younger, we suggest feeding three small meals of raw diet dog food a day. Afterwards, you could reduce feedings to once or twice daily. It’s important to spread their raw meals out because their small stomachs and digestive tracts don’t allow them to eat the amount they need in one sitting, and waiting too long between meals could cause an upset stomach. This is especially important in small breeds of dogs because they can become hypoglycemic (blood sugar levels lower than the standard) if meals are too far spread out!

To determine the appropriate amount of raw food to feed a puppy, we advise taking their expected adult weight into consideration. This approach helps ensure that puppies receive the necessary nutrients to achieve their full growth potential. If your puppy is purebred, determining the expected adult weight is typically easier because of access to accurate information on the parents or relatives. However, if uncertain about the expected adult weight, it’s recommended to feed 6-10% of the puppy’s current weight and make necessary adjustments based on their body condition.

If you do not know your puppy’s adult weight – you can follow these guidelines: 

Three months or younger– 8% of their current weight.

Four to six months–6% of their current weight.

Six to nine months–4% of their current weight.

Nine or more months– 2.5% of their current weight.

For more information on feeding your puppy a raw food diet, please reach out to us. We would happy to assist you in setting up a meal plan.

How do you serve a dog raw food diet?

Once you’ve got your raw dog food diet plan all set up and you’re ready for mealtime, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. The best raw food serving practices are:

  • Keep food frozen at all times. When you’re ready to dish up any raw food diets, thaw the necessary portion in the fridge. Patties will thaw in approximately 12 hours.
  • Store all unused portions in the fridge. Raw food should be used within 4 days. Afterwards it should not be fed to dogs.
  • Although dogs love it, please don’t try any yourself. Raw food is not made for human consumption and is only meant for dogs.
  • When feeding dogs raw food, handle the meat with appropriate care and hygiene. When you’re done feeding dogs, wash all surfaces, bowls and utensils with hot, soapy water.
  • Raw food is made to be eaten and does not require any additional work. Please do not cook, as it contains ground bone.
Dog being fed food
Lab with Bold by Nature products

Can dogs get salmonella from raw food?

If you’re wondering can dogs get salmonella from raw food, we’ve got some answers! It’s a popular raw pet food myth, and although dogs can certainly get salmonella from certain meats, it’s not commonly associated with the specific raw diet dog food they’re eating.

Dogs have a much higher tolerance than humans when it comes to bacteria. Although it may be alarming when they eat something mysterious off the floor, you can relax knowing that their body can probably handle whatever it was. The same goes for raw diet dog food. Humans would not be able to handle it, but dogs can no problem.

Dogs have three main characteristics of their biological makeup that help them deal with harmful bacteria that could be found in raw meat:

  1. Saliva that contains bacteria-fighting enzymes.
  2. Highly acidic gastric juices that easily break down bacteria in the stomach. 
  3. A short digestive tract that is able to quickly process what they eat.

With that said, a Bold by Nature raw food dog diet is extremely safe for your pet to eat. We consider it to be the best raw food for dogs, not only for its great taste and nutrition but because it is coming from a trusted and reputable source. It’s still very important for you to wash your hands thoroughly after you’ve served up their favourite dish.

If you think there’s a possibility your dog has salmonella, take them to the vet as soon as possible. According to Wag!, a fecal sample will be tested by your veterinarian as well as a physical to have a confirmed diagnosis.

Can dogs have raw treats, too?

Yes! We believe a raw treat is an excellent choice to give to all the good dogs out there. Bold by Nature offers a variety of raw treats from raw beef bones for dogs to raw chicken and turkey necks.

Raw bones aren’t just a delicious treat either, as they provide dogs with great benefits, too! Raw bones promote better oral hygiene and joint health and help to alleviate boredom. Just make sure to always supervise your dogs when you want to feed a treat!

dog treats

Where can I find Bold by Nature products for dogs?

Now that you know a thing or two about a raw diet for dogs, it’s time to plan their first meal! You can shop for raw food diets for dogs in Canada either online or at a local retailer in Canada that carries Bold by Nature products. If you’re unsure of which stores carry our products, you can use our location finder to explore retailers near you in Canada.