Raw Dog Food: The Beginners Guide to Feeding Raw

About Raw Diets

Raw diets, (also known as the BARF diet, an acronym that stands for Bones And Raw Food) are an alternative to dry dog food. They consist of various raw meats, bones, vegetables, and supplements.

Benefits of feed raw:

  • Better skin & coat
  • Better digestion
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better health
  • More energy
  • More muscle mass

Suggested serving size for puppies and adults

You can calculate the recommended serving size for your dog here: http://www.raw4dogs.com/calculate.htm

You can break the suggested daily serving size into two meals per day. One meal in the morning and one meal at dinner time.

The suggested serving size can be adjusted based on your dog’s individual needs. Skinny dogs may require more food in order to gain weight.

Raw diets are safe for dogs ages 12 weeks and older

Transitioning from dry dog food to raw

Day 1: No food, Only water.

Day 2: 1/4 of the suggested serving size

Day 3: 1/2 of the suggested serving size

Day 4: 3/4 of the suggested serving size

Day 5: Feed your dog the full suggested serving size

Supplements that you can use with raw diets

All Bully Max supplements are compatible with raw and kibble dog foods. You can mix them directly into a large batch, or add them to an individual raw meal.

For underweight, skinny, and growing dogs: Add 1 serving of Gorilla Max or Bully Max to their first meal of the day (Once per day)

For dogs having trouble with digestion, poor skin, poor coats, or weak immune systems: Add 1 serving of Bully Max total health to their first meal of the day (Once per day)

For high energy breeds and working dogs: Add 1 serving of Gorilla Max, or 1 serving of Bully Max Performance Chews to their meal  30 minutes after a workout.

Cost of Feeding Raw VS Kibble

The cost for premium kibble: $2.19 (Bully Max High Protein Dog Food)

The cost for raw: $2.30 $2.80 per pound

The RMBs (Raw meaty bones) make up for 60% of the raw diet. The RMBs are the most expensive part of the diet.

Here are some prices you should expect to pay for various RMBs:

Lamb neck: $0.90 per pound
Lamb flap (lower rib cage): $1.10 per pound
Meaty chicken frames: $0.70 per pound
Chicken wings: $0.90 per pound
Chicken necks: $0.60 per pound
Whole chicken backs: $0.65 per pound

You can usually bring the cost of the RMBs down by purchasing in bulk from a local butcher.

Best Practices

When feeding raw, we recommend that this is the only source of dog food. It’s not recommended that you mix the raw diet with dry dog food. Along with Bully Max, the raw diet contains EVERYTHING your dog needs to reach their full potential.

Freezing and storing raw meals

You store your raw dog food the same way you store your own raw food such as hamburger patties and chicken — Place the meals in individual freezer bag or plastic container, then store them in the freezer. Keeping the meals frozen at consistent temperature of 0 °F will prevent bacterial growth.

Thawing your raw meals: DO NOT use a microwave to thaw pre-made raw meals. Microwaving meals can cause the bones to cook. NEVER feed your dog cooked bones. If bones are cooked they can become brittle, splinter, and cause internal injury.

According to the USDA’s Food Safety Fact Sheet, you can speed up the thawing process by soaking frozen meals in cold water. For faster thawing, place foods in a leak proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water.

WARNING: If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Be sure to keep the seal in tact.

Preventing an upset stomach

For the first couple of weeks you dog’s stomach will need to adjust to the new diet. If you dog becomes sick, it may be a sign that your dog’s body is detoxing from their previous diet. The detox process usually ends within a week or two.

Signs that your dog is detoxing:

  • diarrhea
  • bad breath
  • itchy skin

During this time, you can add digestive enzymes (Found in Bully Max Total Health), and (or), Pure pumpkin in the can (not pumpkin pie filling) to their diet. Both work magic in firming stools quickly and aiding in digestion.

What to do if your dog is vomiting

Some of the most common reasons your dog is vomiting:

Empty stomach: If your dog is vomiting on an empty stomach you will usually see yellow bile. This is a sign that they need fed.

Drinking too much water on an empty stomach: If your dog’s vomit is clear with white foam or globs of mucus, it’s a sign that they drank too much water on an empty stomach. They will need fed.

Detoxing: Vomiting may also be a part of the normal detox process that dogs go through when transitioning to the raw diet. You can add honey or apple sauce to their meals to settle their stomach during this process.

Ingested a foreign object: If you suspect your dog swallowed some type of foreign object (Sock, shoe lace, toy, etc.), you will need to monitor them closely. If the object doesn’t pass within 24 hours you will need to contact your veterinarian.

Safety concerns

When raw meals are prepared correctly, your dog is at a very low risk for contracting a food-borne illness.

Humans are at a greater risk of contracting a food-borne illness while handling and preparing raw meals.

However, This risk can be greatly reduced with good sanitation practices.

When preparing and serving raw food, clean and disinfect anything that the raw food touches. This includes kitchen counters, knives, cutting boards, food bowls, and your hands.

Homemade disinfectant formula: Fill a spray bottle with water & vinegar (50/50 ratio) and a few drops of dish soap.

This formula can be used to disinfect anything that the food touches.

Recommended Recipes:

Here are a couple of raw dog food recipes to get started:

Get more info on this diet here: Raw dog food recipe for building Muscle Mass

Recommended product for this diet: Gorilla Max

Get more information on this diet here: Raw dog food recipe for Boosting Your Dog’s Health

For more info see this guide here.  http://dogfood.co/raw-dog-food-diet/

  • Elissa Rolando

    This answered all of the questions I had about the raw diet. thank you for posting this. I’m going to try the health recipe you have listed

  • Peter Goerne

    Awesome! Bubba will love this!!

    • Mark Addiego

      I put my on the total health raw recipe last month. You’re going to love the results. I contacted my local butcher & it saved me big bucks. I’m paying less than what I paid for blue buffalo

    • Great looking dog, thanks for sharing.

    • Darrian Holmes

      nice looking boy

  • Amel Bodhi

    when you use eggs, do you cook them or feed them raw?

    • You will feed them to your dogs raw

      • Blue

        Can I feed my 10 weeks old bully raw food or until 12 weeks

        • Yes, you can start your puppy on a raw diet at 10 week of age.

          • Blue

            The first day do I give em water no food. Next day raw food

          • Yes, that’s correct. The first day you will only give your dog water when transitioning to the raw diet.

          • Shaun

            Hey my pitbulls are 13 weeks would it be okay for me to give them this brand or are they too young ? Or what is a good age to start them on this?

          • At 13 weeks, you have the option of using any of our products. Bully Max dog food is suitable for dogs ages 4 weeks and older. Bully Max muscle building tablets are suitable for dogs ages 7 weeks and older.

  • Jashan Bhangu

    can these recipes will work for m new bully kutta n a boxer

    • Yes, these recipes work for all breeds.

  • AJ

    I got an amazing 6 1/2 week old bully. He is on a raw diet already and loves it so far. I have prepping his meals since I got him at 6 weeks. He’s going to weigh around 100 lbs. Do I feed him 2lbs of meat a day? Do I mix anything in the meat for nutrients? I see recommended additives like dyne & red cell, are those still needed for a raw diet? I know I’m asking a lot but the more knowledge the better…

  • AJ

    Is fresh beef brain supposed to stink?

    • George Peterson

      Even if they’re fresh, they’re not going to smell very good.

  • सौरभ सिंह राजोरिया

    hi..i have a 3 yr young lab..he has been tackling itching problems for 2 yrs….i used to give him pedigree but i have now discontinued it…i started giving him wheat and his itching got worse…he used to itch when i gave him pedigree but not that much…he weighs 41 kgs..he is obese clearly…he keeps on licking his paws(both front) and has recurring inflamed skin(cyst like on both front paws) which initially is red and bulgy and as my woof licks it bulges more and ultimately bursts and blood and liquid comes out..no puss..vet has told to keep his paws dry all the time..but as i gathered info from internet i got to know that this could be bcz of yeast overgrowth or food allergy…so i need to know that is it safe to feed him a raw chicken diet? and if it is then how should i start giving him..how to switch from previous diet to a BARF one…he has a weak immune system and this could be the reason for his itchy skin and recurring ear redness and various skin related problems…plz guys help me…i am in a chicken and egg situation…

    • When prepared and handled corrected, there is no danger in feeding raw chicken, eggs, or meats. It’s important that you incorporate other ingredients however. Otherwise the diet will not be balanced. If he’s having weight issues, you may want to read this article as well: https://bullymax.com/dog-food-calculator/ Have a great day!

    • Felix

      Your dog is probably allergic to wheat. Pedigree is crap food with loads of allergens, and by giving your dog wheat you’re probably making it worse.
      Dogs can eat raw meat because they have strong stomach acid and don’t get salmonella poisoning, they can’t unless they have an immune issue.
      Switch your dog to raw, DONT FEED JUST CHICKEN! Feed beef, lamb, pork, fish and as many other meats as you can. Include RAW bones and offal. Exercise your dog more and give them 1/2 to 3/4 the food they should be eating. Obesity will kill your dog.
      Don’t give them anymore wheat or barley or grains, including rice.

  • kevin

    what are the risks of trying a mixed diet I have2 bags of 30//20 bully max but my three month old am pit is kind of picky and ive been mixing it with wet food so I wanted to try a mixed diet to see if that worked better any suggestions … thanks bully max she is looking great though body is filling out and full of energy

    • Mixing foods will not pose a greater risk than feeding the foods individually. However, it’s important to take the proper safety precautions when handling raw foods.

  • mohammad

    good morning i can feed my pit bull in the morning dry food and second meal the raw food and for both meal I’m using bully max products

    • Yes, dry and raw diets are completely compatible with one another.

  • Tristi Ana

    Hi! I am considering on putting my 1 year old pitbull on this diet. Right now he eats kibble instead and some cooked chicken, etc. but I really want to transition him into this diet! The only question I have though, is the gorillamax supplement powder a huge factor? Would these recipes still work with the bullymax tablets instead or without them at all? Thanks for your information! Can’t wait to hear back from you!

    • Hi Tristi,

      The Gorilla Max powder does play a large rule in completing the recipe. However, it can be replaced with the Bully Max tablets, or Bully Max total health. Have a great day.


  • Reggie

    Hi! I mix my raw meat with dry dog food. Is it OK to mix the two?

    • Yes, mixing raw food with dry food is completely fine.

    • Kay Os

      No, it is absolutely not okay to mix raw and processed dog food. They digest these two types of food differently. Do more research.

  • Joshua O’Neal

    Is it ok to make all the recipes and feed them a different one each day?

    • Hi Joshua,

      We recommend sticking with one diet. Switching diets up this often may upset your dog’s stomach.

  • Dylan Duplessis

    I have a baby bluenose who eats 3 meals a day. Can i feed her raw meats for breakfast and dinner and dry food for lunch?

    • Kat

      It is not recommended to feed raw and cooked (kibble) foods together. It should be one or the other. The dog’s body has a hard time digesting both kinds at the same time.

      The bully max article even suggested this, I am not sure why now they are saying it is perfectly fine…?

  • Sarah Westerfield

    I have a 5 year old English Bulldog ..He is always blowing his boat and has dried out ears..His weight is fine but want to help with joints and better health for his last few years..What recipe would you recommend and a link to the right supplement to ass please

  • Matt

    Hoping someone found an affordable meat grinder that will grind chicken bones they can recommend. Or at least what I’d be looking for when shopping for one.

  • Saenger

    So the idea is to feed raw by buying a product called ‘bully max’. RIDICULOUS.

    • Nik

      LOL. it’s their site of course they will highly suggest and market their product.

  • Violet

    I want to start my dog on bully max but I read that before I do I have to feed him a raw diet is that true? And if so what meats and veggies should I give him and for how long do I do that for

    • Bully Max is compatible with all diets, both dry, wet, and raw. It’s also compatible with all brands of dog food.

  • Sienna Wismer


  • Violet

    So what raw recipes should I feed my 2 pit bulls before starting them on bully max I posted this a while ago and nobody answered my question

  • Misty Dawn Krater

    I want to start preparing my doggies food instead of purchasing dog food, but I want to make sure her diet is balanced. I’m not sure what to feed her and I’m having a hard time finding any menu ideas. All tips and suggestions and advice is welcome!
    [email protected]

    • Misty Dawn Krater

      She’s a 14 lb yorky/dachshund mix if that makes a difference.

  • Tjay R

    Hi there. My 8 month old rottie is on kibble diet since a pup. Please advice on how and the portion of raw diet i should feed her per day.

  • peter

    is it okay if i mix the raw egg in the dry food, or is it best if the egg is givin to my pitbull alone?


    For the serving do i feed them once a day on the serving size or how many times a day do i feed them? if its just once when should i feed them and if its multiple when should i feed him?. Responses are appreciated..

  • TLC

    Hi, thanks for the info! Do you grind the meaty bones or just serve them whole? Thanks!

    • Jennifer Lynn Moore

      I’m definitely not a nutritionist but I’ve always read that you should never grind, cut or saw RMBs as it creates sharp edges that can damage the esophagus or intestinal track. Sometimes like for turkey necks that can be a little long, I break the neck muscles and pull it into two pieces. It depends on the feeding habits of your pup, do they just try to swallow whole? If so, try holding one end to force them to slow down. If your dog is a good chewer though, they should be fine with the whole neck, just make sure you always supervise.

      • TLC

        Thanks so much for your reply! I’ve actually purchased bone meal for dogs, and my pup is pretty happy with it :)

    • Kay Os

      You can grind the bones, but most grinders can only handle chicken and rabbit bones. Only cooked bone causes problems. Raw bone is easily digestible. It is better if the dog can chew the bones themselves for their teeth health, but grinding is fine. I have the STX 4000 turboforce II. works great! Keep doing lots of research. There are a lot of opinions and studies and some don’t agree, so you have to figure out the most thorough approach to complete nutrition.

      • TLC

        Thanks for the helpful reply, Kay Os!

      • Maureen

        If I dont have a meat grinder, is there any other way to add bone to their diet? Powder?

        • Kay Os

          Yes, there is bone meal you can buy. There are also calculators that help if you want to feed chicken feet for example. Perfectlyrawsome. So if you have a chicken wing, which is 46% bone, it will help you figure out the total percentage when added to boneless food.

  • David

    Hottingers meats in chino has a great meat and organ raw pet food super super cheap on the price I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start raw feeding my names david you can ask for me there as well.

    • Luana Ball

      whats the number

  • Carol Cheesman Legner

    I want to start adding raw food to my 5 year old mix pit diet he eats a fairly good kibble how do i start the process? give a liittle each day

  • Fredrick

    I have a pit bull and she has Struvite crystals , what is the best diet to put her on from preventing crystals to form again. I had her on a cereal based diet and I now want to change it to a fresh raw diet. Thanks

  • Rachel Toomey

    My dog behaves SO well since I discovered online dog training from http://WWW.GREATPUPPY.INFO – I started training our Scottish Terrier using it. I want him to be a well-behaved dog so I watch the training videos at least once a day of any particular behavior that I want to change for the better. Our last dog was a Jack Russell and she died July last year. So getting another dog required a lot of training and this program has been a life-saver! I don’t know what I’d do without it.