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There are several major ways that kibble and raw diets differ:

1. Kibble usually contains grain content (wheat, corn, barley, oats) that is more plentiful than the meat content. This is a problem for 2 reasons:

a. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for grain
b. Dogs do not produce enzymes to digest grain or obtain nutrients from it.

2. Kibble diets contain cooked meat and meat by-products which are also hard to digest and absorb nutrients from. Enzymes are destroyed in the cooking process.

3. The nutritional analysis information listed on every bag of kibble is based on laboratory test results. The food sources present in the kibble may contain the appropriate nutrients but the bioavailability (digestion and absorption) may be poor. There has never been a bioavailability test done on any brand of kibble. This means that no one knows if our dogs are actually absorbing adequate nutrients from the food they are eating. There are also no long term studies conducted for how dry foods affect dogs over their entire lifetime. Usually test trails are short, under 1 year and are conducted on younger animals.

4. Because the pancreas of the dog is so small, it must work hard to break down commercial dog food. This means that pancreatic enzymes are depleted quickly and used to break down food with inadequate nutritional content. In turn, the body uses an unfortunate survival tactic: it begins to absorb enzymes and other essential nutrients from its own tissues to maintain the equilibrium of the body. This can only remain and equilibrium for so long and may prove to shorten the life spans of our dear canine friends.

5. Kibble is systemically dehydrating to dogs, as their bodies are designed to absorb water from their prey. To compensate, they must drink large amounts of water to stay hydrated. This puts extra strain on the kidneys.

6. Kibble and canned dog foods often contain toxic fillers like preservatives and dyes. Sugar and other taste enhancers are also found in some commercial foods to entice animals to eat it. Eating these substances daily can pose health risks.

7. Often, synthetic vitamins are added to commercial canine diets. These vitamins are not molecularly/nutritionally equal to the natural source vitamins found in raw food sources. Kibble has only been formulated in the last 100 years. It is absurd to assume that dogs have evolved to eat kibble based diets in this short amount of time. Evolution of physiological and anatomical proportions takes hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of years.

In comparison, the raw diet is rich in fresh meat sources. Meat, tripe, bone, organ and a portion of pureed vegetation are filled with the enzymes needed to properly digest and assimilate nutrients. Nutritional analyses have been done on several types of raw prey items and they do contain all the essential nutrients required by the dog. Bioavailability of prey items has not been studied in a laboratory but it has definitely proven to make for resilient animals in the wild. Wild canines are capable of surviving in harsh conditions with few or no chronic health problems. Kibble has only been fed to dogs for approximately 100 years, whereas raw meat diets have fed the order Carnivora for 60 million years.


Raw Diet:

I get lots of calls from people wanting to know what I feed with the raw diet. I have fed raw for about 14 years since my fourth Rottweiler had cancer throughout her body. I changed her over to raw at 12 yrs. old and she lived another 1 1/2 years and had a stroke at 13 1/2. I vowed to feed my Presas different as well as minimal vaccinations. I've summarized my basic feeding below. You are welcome to email me if you have further questions and I'll be happy to talk to you about my experience.

First you will notice that on raw the dogs must have bone with their meat. I have a bad gulper who has swallowed a whole turkey neck as well as a whole chicken carcass ......I grind most things for my own piece of mind. It is best to start out with 2% of your dog's weight of food per day; ie. a 100 lb. dog will eat 2 lbs. per day. If dog is losing weight increase by a few ozs. and of course if dog is gaining then decrease by a few oz. I think weighing is important in the beginning until you find the correct amount to feed.

I use some chicken necks and backs as they have a decent meat/bone ratio and the price is inexpensive. I like the backs because usually the organs are still attached. I  use mainly chicken leg quarters and the meat is different than the backs/necks; more lean and red. My old adult female would get a total of 12 oz. per serving (dog was 99 lbs.). My pups and adult males get as 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lbs. per serving. I feed twice a day. I use chicken necks/backs/leg quarters for their diet. I also give beef, emu, alpaca, lamb, turkey, pork, cornish game hens, tripe, some mackeral or sardines (add to meal maybe 2x a week). I try to give liver or heart (mainly heart) a couple times per week, a small amount is added to their meal. I rarely add raw ground or steamed veggies (just enough to regulate stool; maybe 2 heaping tablespoons per serving) maybe twice a week and usually leftovers. If your dogs are having any yeast problems do not feed veggies.

I also add some cottage cheese, yogurt, raw egg & shell and of course left overs. I also give each dog about heaping tablespoon of  Liquid Health 5000 and at least 4000mg. fish oil per day. They occasionally get a multi vitamin when I remember it. I only give LARGE recreational bones for chewing or "macho sticks". Many cities have a dog food coop that you can buy from and that keeps the prices pretty low. I weaned all my pups on ground chicken backs starting at 4 weeks and puppies did just fine; in fact it was only about a week or so more that they were eating whole chicken backs. Occasionally a dog will not eat raw right away. If that is the case just microwave it a bit and they usually get used to it. I suggest that people put down a bowl of raw and a bowl of kibble and see which one the dog chooses.
I feed about 10 lbs. per day so I am always looking for cheap meat...get to know someone in the meat department; especially at the local Walmart.

Good luck and if you have further questions please call or email me.

Feeding Puppies:

I start puppies out on raw at about four weeks old. They are given a little goat's milk, ground chicken and yogurt to start. The second week I add cottage cheese and slowly lower the amount of goat's milk. By six weeks I add some sardines and a little beef heart and eliminate the goat's milk. By the end of six weeks the pups are eating what an adult eats and usually a larger quantity than an adult. The 2% rule is good for starting adults out. A pup can eat 10% of their body weight and you just have to measure to see the quantities that you are feeding. Obviously add more food if pup appears thin and cut back if the pup appears fat. You should not see ribs on a young puppy.

If a pup is eating 2 lbs. per day I divide that into three meals which would be approximately 11 oz. per meal. I make sure that 2/3 of that meal is the meat/bones and the other 1/3 can be yogurt, cottage cheese, leftovers, sardines, mackarel, eggs (2-3 times a week)
Feeding the Performance Dog 

We always want our dogs to look great and to perform at their very best. We want our working dogs to have steady endurance and drive. We want our tracking and search and rescue dogs to hold the scent and stay on the trail. We want our agility dogs to have the energy and balance to make the jumps, go through the weaves smoothly and effortlessly, and to handle each obstacle with precision. We need our obedience dogs to stay focused and our Schutzhund dogs to have stamina, courage, and stay on task. We want our conformation dogs to have ground covering side movement and to be happy and confident in the ring. And we all want our dogs to have lean, muscular and fit bodies.

A good diet provides the energy, strength, lean muscle mass and mental focus that is needed to achieve these performance goals. Let's take a look at the different diet components and how they help with each of these performance goals.


It takes a lot of energy to digest food, so it is very important to feed foods that are easy to digest, provide the most nutrients, and use the least amounts of energy. For dogs, that food would be fats and protein. The foods to stay away from are carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are found in plant based foods, which include vegetables, grains and fruit. The two main components in plant based foods are sugar and fiber. Dogs have short and simple digestive tracts which are not designed to ferment high fiber foods and cannot break down the cell walls which are composed of cellulose. The dog's digestive system struggles to digest these foods which takes greater energy, creates more gas and produces large stools of undigested food matter.

Carbohydrates are also made up of sugar and sugars can cause the blood glucose levels in dogs to go up and down. This in turn causes a dog's energy level to rise quickly and then drop suddenly. This can create inconsistent energy spurts which can cause your dog to tire out more rapidly. Additionally, fiber binds up the digestive tract which results in a loss of valuable energy. Fat and proteins are much easier for the dog to digest and produce smaller stools. Harder to digest foods mean a full colon, which Dr. Kronfeld, DVM equated to an extra 20 pound handicap on a race horse:


Fat is the most important energy source for dogs. Fats are dense in calories which are needed when dogs are working hard and are burning large amounts of calories. Fat also helps to protect their cells from damage. The fat a dogs needs is animal fat. These fats are found in meat, eggs and dairy. High fat diets have been the secret for successful sled dog racing teams for years:

Another important fat is omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids not only help provide energy, they also help the immune system, fight inflammation, help keep the skin and coat healthy and are heart, liver and renal protective. This essential fatty acid is hard to find in foods and breaks down easily when exposed to heat, light or air. I would recommend using fish oil capsules and give one 1000 mg capsule per 10-20 lbs of body weight daily.

For more information on animal fats and omega 3 fatty acids see the link below:


The second most important energy source for dogs is animal protein. Animal proteins contain amino acids, which when fed in high quality and quantity, produce glucose in dogs. This keeps their energy level on a stable plane. There no energy crash and it will keep the dog focused without mood swings. Feeding a good variety of animal proteins such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy and fish provides a wide swath of amino acids and offers better balance to the diet. Each protein varies somewhat in amino acids so providing a good variety of proteins insures the dog will get all the amino acids needed. Amino acids help repair tissue, keep the organs healthy and help build muscle mass. When your dog is on a diet rich in protein sources, and fresh sources offer better quality, there is no need to ever add synthetic amino acids to its diet.


Unlike humans, most dogs do not loose electrolytes during exercise because sweat is not a primary avenue for thermoregulation in dogs. Because most healthy dogs do not lose electrolytes, they do not benefit from electrolyte replacement drinks:

Water and Fat Work Together

"Fat is used by the body for energy and can be used as a metabolic water source. Fats are highly digestible, very palatable, and are an energy dense nutritional ingredient. It has an energy yield of 8.5 kcal per gram. They are also essential for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Fat provides a source of metabolic water. Fat metabolism produces 107g of water for every 100g of fat. Protein produces 40g water/100g protein, and carbohydrate produces 55g water/100g carbohydrate. Fatty acid ratio can also help to reduce the production of inflammatory mediators in canine skin, plasma, and neutrophils. Dietary omega-6: omega-3 fatty acid ratios between 5:1 and 10:1 are optimum."

Feeding a high fat diet will help keep your working dog hydrated, but water is equally important. It is essential to always provide fresh water for dogs around the clock. Always remember to bring buckets, spray bottles, water and ice to any and all performance events. This is important in both warm and cold weather conditions.

Additionally, "Diets which are moderate in protein but high in fat on the other hand tend to help conserve body fluids, in three ways. First they minimize urine output by reducing the amount of nitrogen which must be eliminated from the body. Second, they provide a more concentrated source of nutrients, thereby minimizing stool volume and fecal water losses. Third, dietary fat contributes ‘metabolic water'. Metabolic water is defined as water produced from the metabolism of nutrients. When 100 grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates are metabolized, approximately 107g, 40 g and 55g of metabolic water are produced respectively. Dietary fat yields more than its weight in metabolic body water."

Dogs don't sweat like humans or horses. They only have slight perspiration through their foot pads. However, dogs can lose a great deal of moisture through panting, so it is imperative to keep a performance dog hydrated at all times. The best method for doing this is to feed the dog a moist diet and have water available for them at all times. It is also very important to offer your dog water before, during and after an event, so keep a bucket of water handy throughout the event. At times, you may mean to flavor the water with chicken or beef broth (not with electrolytes, see above) to get the dog to drink or you can offer yogurt. Without proper hydration, a dog quickly loses endurance and energy and it can lead to future health problems.


Now, let's put this altogether! Let's take a look at the best diet and supplements you can give your dog to provide high energy levels, endurance and stamina, and lean muscle mass.

We know what we need to avoid in their diets; carbohydrates and sugars. That includes grains, fruits and vegetables. It also includes any foods or supplements made with maltodextrin, glucose, dextrin, molasses or honey. While these are found in human body builder supplements (and it is questionable they help humans), they create energy peaks and valleys in dogs. What dogs need for energy are fats and animal based proteins.

Fresh raw animal fats and proteins are the easiest for a dog to digest and provide the most nourishment. This diet would includes muscle meat, organ meat, fat and bone for calcium with 40% – 45% being muscle meat (beef, pork, lamb, fish), 5% to 10% being beef kidney or liver and the other 50% being meat with bones, which include chicken necks, backs, wings or leg quarters, pork tails, necks or ribs, as well as lamb ribs and turkey necks. If you offer a cooked diet to your dog, then don't feed bone. Bones harden when cooked and can splinter. Cooked diets would include 75% animal based protein, including eggs, yogurt and organ meat and 25% low glycemic (low sugar) vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, dark leafy greens, cauliflower and summer squash. To provide the necessary calcium needed, you would add 900 mg of calcium citrate per pound of food served.

The idea of offering an assortment of animal based proteins is to insure your dog is getting all of the amino acids. Animal proteins vary in the type and amount of amino acids they contain. There is no need to add amino acids as supplements when you are feeding a fresh, meat based diet. A variety of meat, eggs and dairy contain the correct balance for what your performance dog will need.

Dogs need approximately 2% to 3% of their body weight daily in food, while puppies may need as much as 5% to 10%. This amount can vary due to metabolism, activity level of the dog and growth stages in puppies. And remember; don't keep your working dog too thin. Too little fat can cause a dog to dehydrate faster, and a dog needs to have adequate rib covering for energy. I also feed my working dogs in the morning before an event, but a small, high protein, high fat meal. And you can give a dog an extra boost by giving treats of hard boiled eggs, baked liver pieces, cheese cubes or beef jerky during performance events. And *always* provide a working dog with fresh water at all times possible.


The most important supplement to add to a working dog's diet is omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil is fragile and can be easily damaged by heat, light or air, so giving fish oil in the form of fish oil capsules offers the best protection. Omega 3 fatty acids help enhance energy, support the dog's immune system, protect the heart, liver and kidneys, and helps promote healthy skin and a glowing coat. The dose is one 1000 mg capsule (180 EPA/120 DHA) per 10 to 20 lbs of body weight daily. The Berte's EPA Fish Oilcapsules are an excellent choice for omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, and the Berte's Salmon Oilis equally as good, especially for dogs that may have allergies to other types of fish oil.

Next, it is important to supplement with the water soluble Vitamin C and B complex vitamins. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps with capillary health, prevents bruising, helps fight inflammation and promotes ligament and tendon integrity. The dose for vitamin C with bioflavanoidsis given at approximately 100 to 200 mg per 10 lbs of body weight daily given with meals. For convenience, the Berte's Daily Blendis a powdered mix that contains 2,000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of dry vitamin E and 75 mg of B complex per tablespoon. It also contains kelp, alfalfa and vitamin D and A and dogs find it tasty, due to their addition of chicken liver.

Lastly, probiotics, also known as beneficial bacteria, are necessary for any dog in training and for dogs that travel and are involved in performance work. The beneficial bacteria found in most probiotic blends include acidophilus and bifidus. These help keep the correct balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract, help during times of stress and aid with absorption of nutrients. These friendly bacteria are also thought to keep ‘bad' bacterial and fungal infections away.
In addition to proper supplementation, to keep a dog at their best fitness level, offer high protein, high fat diets and avoid or keep carbohydrates at levels low. Proper conditioning is also very important. You can't accomplish this without proper conditioning. You need to plan for 8 weeks of good conditioning, proper diet and supplementation if you want to bring your dog to top form. Please remember, a top athlete needs to continue these good practices throughout their life to maintain their best fitness level!

Liquid Health
Level 5000

Concentrated Glucosamine

For Horses and Dogs
A concentrated formula for healthy joints with 5200 mg of Glucosamine per ounce, plus MSM, Perna, and Shark Cartilage. Level 5000 also includes several powerful antioxidants such as Ester-C and Grape Seed extract, digestive enzymes, as well as Cat's Claw (an herb) and Manganese to enhance it's benefits. Also available in gallons.

Liquid Health Level 5000
Guaranteed Analysis per one ounce serving:

(*not recognized as an essential nutrient by AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles)

Glucosamine Sulfate*

5200 mg


1000 mg

Perna Mussel*

2000 mg

Cat's Claw*

400 mg


2000 mg


235 mg


1750 mg

Grape Seed Extract*

75 mg

Shark Cartilage*

1000 mg


10 mg

iquid Health Level 5000
Dosage Guidelines for Horses and Other Large Animals:

1 oz. per day - For the first week, give twice the above amounts.

Liquid Health Level 5000
Dosage Guidelines for Dogs

Under 10 lbs - 1/2 teaspoon
10-24 lbs - 1 teaspoon
25-49 lbs - 1 teaspoon in A.M., 1/2 teaspoon in P.M.
50-100 lbs - 2 teaspoons in A.M., 1 teaspoon in P.M.
Over 100 lbs - 2 teaspoons in A.M., 1 teaspoon in P.M.

Dosage may be increased at any time. Higher activity level and cold weather may necessitate A.M. increase. After 6 weeks dosage may be lowered until desired level of maintenance is reached

Our concentrate dose of Glucosamine is supported with Perna and Ester-C®, plus other ingredients - Grape Seed Extract, Cat's Claw, and Parsley - not found in other formulas. Liquid Health supplements are the highest quality available and are cold processed to preserve full potency.





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