Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog.

Worried About Feeding Your Dog a Balanced Diet – Let me Help! Part Three

In Part 1, we discussed a little about the history of dog food and the process behind ‘approving’ dog food which suggests part of the approval and determination of the ingredients (maybe most) and how it is controlled by the pet food industry. In that light, it is important to understand the basic needs of nutrition for dogs and what ingredients and percentages your dog needs.

In Part 2, we discussed that nutrition isn’t an exact science. Nutrition data and tables are made based on the best research available at the time, but the parameters aren’t always exact. And not even the experts can always agree. We do know however, dogs need high quality animal protein and fat and if we are feeding our dogs our own home-cooked diet, we need to add calcium if we aren’t feeding any bone in their diet.

This month in Part 3, we let you know how easy it is to prepare a nourishing diet for your dog whether you choose to feed a home-cooked or raw diet!

Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video

Home-Cooked Diets

The primary difference between a home-cooked diet and a raw diet, is that home-cooked diets don’t include bone and therefore require the addition of both vegetables and calcium.

  • The amount of food to feed your dog on a home-cooked diet should be approximately 2% to 3% of your dog’s body weight daily, divided into 2 daily meals.
  • Three quarters (75%) of the recipe is made up of animal protein and fat. This includes any ground meat, heart meat, plain yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese and about 10% organ meat (liver or kidney). Many of the more common meats used include chicken, turkey, pork, beef, venison, lamb, rabbit and duck. I encourage feeding a VARIETY of different proteins – at least four over the course of the week. No two proteins are identical in nutrients (amino acids, minerals), so providing a variety of proteins each week helps insure your dog is getting all the minerals and amino acids it needs. I also recommend not over-cooking the meats. You can bake the meats in the oven, fry them on the stove or lightly cook them in a crockpot. What is important is to not over-cook the meats as high heats breaks down the amino acids. Also, SAVE the liquid from the cooking process and include it in your dog’s meal. Taurine, a very important amino acid, does well on light cooking but often runs off into the juices, so save those juices and serve it with the meal!
  • One-quarter (25%) of the meal is vegetables. I don’t recommend starchy vegetables such as potatoes or parsnips, or any grains. I DO recommend zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens and cabbage. Dogs can’t digest the cell walls of the vegetables, so they must be fully cooked and mashed or frozen and thawed so they turn to mush. Dogs don’t get any nutritional value from vegetables, so their body does not need them, however, in home-cooked diets, the vegetables provide important fiber to help stools firm.
  • Mix the animal protein and fat and vegetables well. For added convenience, you can make large batches of various meat (protein) and vegetable recipes and freeze them in meal-sized portions. That way you can thaw overnight what is needed for the next day.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE! For every pound of food served, you need to add 900 mg of calcium. I recommend either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. The meat and organ meat provide all the minerals your dog needs in the right balance, except for the calcium, which is why you need to add it. This supplement is inexpensive and can be purchased at any grocery or drug store. You also need to add D3 to help with the absorption of the calcium. The Berte’s Daily Blend and Berte’s Immune Blend contains not only the recommended amount of D3 needed, but also vitamins A, B, C, and E. Additionally, it is very important to add Omega 3 fish oil capsules to COOLED food at 1000 mg per 10-20 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Omega 3 fish oil is heart, liver and kidney protective, fights inflammation and supports healthy skin and coat. Add these supplements to the food right before serving. It’s that easy and simple!

Raw Diets

Raw diets are also served in two meals daily. However, one meal is a raw meaty bone meal and the other is a muscle meat meal that contains a variety of ground meat, heart, green tripe, organ meat, yogurt and eggs. The reason for this is that the bones in the raw meaty bone meal that makes up half of the diet provides the calcium your dog needs. Serving one raw meaty bone meal and one muscle meat meal, balances your dog’s diet!

  • The amount of food to feed your dog on a raw diet should also be approximately 2% to 3% of your dog’s body weight daily, divided into 2 meals daily.
  • Raw meaty bones include chicken necks, turkey necks (cut up), pork neck bones, duck necks (cut up), pork ribs, chicken backs, chicken wings and chicken leg quarters for large dogs. I recommend removing the skin from the chicken necks and turkey necks before serving, especially for dogs new to the raw diet. You can buy any of these already ground up if you are just starting to feed raw bones and you are a bit uneasy. I’d like to invite you to join my Facebook group, K9Nutrition for suggestions on where you can buy these pre-ground foods. The ground bone in the raw diet not only provides the calcium your dog needs, it also is the key ingredient needed to helps keep your dog’s stools firm – a primary reason no vegetables are needed in the raw diet.
  • The muscle meat meal consists of ground meat, cut up meat (from roasts or briskets), any type of heart meat (chicken, turkey, pork, beef), green tripe (you need to buy green tripe from a supplier who sells meat for dogs), eggs, yogurt, and organ meat (no more than 10%), either liver or kidney.
  • The supplements I suggest be added to a raw diet is either the Berte’s Daily Blend or the Berte’s Immune Blend (at half dose for healthy dogs), and fish oil capsules at one 1,000 mg capsule per 10-20 pounds the dog’s body weight daily. You can also add the Berte’s Green Blend, for some trace minerals.

New Diet Change Tips

Any diet change can cause loose stools until your dog has adjusted to the diet change. If your dog is new to a home-cooked or raw diet, I recommend adding Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder to the menu! This digestion aid can help get your dog through the transition period as you change from your current diet to that of either a home-cooked or raw diet. This supplement helps keep the flora and fauna bacteria balanced and your dog’s stools firm.

If you are starting out on either a home-cooked diet or a raw diet because your dog has a current digestion issue, I highly recommend adding the Berte’s Digestion Blend. Start at HALF dose for the first 2 weeks and work to full dose if needed. The Berte’s Digestion Blend helps heal an inflamed digestive tract and supports what some call a ‘sensitive’ stomach.

And that is it! It is not difficult! Please contact me with your questions. I also urge you to join my K9Nutriton page on Facebook for more advice and ideas on this topic.

Lastly, if you are still feeling like this is a daunting task, my raw diet and home-cooked diet videos provide more information. They can be purchased at:


The videos are $60 each and are about a half hour long. You can also purchase the entire course, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs” and take the test at the end to receive a certification of completion when finished for $199!

Enjoy the fall weather and for those in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay Active, Eat Well and Be Kind to One Another!