A Bit More About Raw
Boxer Specific Diets
Raw Meaty Bones
"The dog is of the Carnivora order and he was a flesh-eating beast in his wild state. Therefore, first and foremost, the dog is a meat eater, its entire anatomy being adapted for a meat diet from teeth fashioned for tearing and crushing, the powerful jawbones and muscles, the small, very muscular stomach, the short intestines and the very powerful digestive juices peculiar to the carnivorous animals."
Juliette de Bairacli Levy
General Raw Diet Information and Guidelines
Feeding a species appropriate raw diet can be very rewarding both for the owner and also for the dog, but it is a decision that requires research and footwork to be truly successful. Time should be spent researching the type of diet that you think your dog will do well on (there are quite a few variations of a raw diet) and you should speak with a number of breeders and/or dog owners who have had success feeding a raw diet to your particular breed of choice. As we have found out, there are some differences in the way some breeds respond to a raw diet.
In addition to researching the diet program you should also spend time finding sources for the different parts of the diet. Depending on the number of dogs you are feeding, large amounts of raw meaty bones, vegetables, organ meat, etc. will be required. In order to make feeding raw affordable you will need to find good sources at a reasonable price. I recommend calling local butcher shops, slaughter houses, restaurant supply companies and small (not chain) grocery stores. Alternatively, there are many companies who make good quality, reasonable priced raw pet food products that work great.
Boxer Specific Raw Diets
Boxers have special needs when they are eating a raw diet. Our veterinarian (who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine) has found that boxers tend to be borderline anemic, if not actually suffering from the results of anemia. In TCM, anemia is a blood weakness and diseases such as cancer (mass cell tumors specifically) thrive in those conditions. In order to avoid the anemic condition, we feed our boxers a greater percentage of red meat, organ meat and veggie mix than is considered necessary for most breeds.
What We Feed
There are very few things that we don't feed our dogs - so long as it is fit for human consumption. As a general rule, if it is not recommended for people to eat you really don't want your dog to eat it either, though there are some exceptions (certain organs, etc.)
As mentioned above, we feed our boxers a slightly different diet than is generally accepted as a "normal" raw diet. Here is the breakdown of what we feed:
- 30-40% Raw Meaty Bones
- 25-30% Vegetable Mix and/or Tripe
- 30-35% Organ Meat
Raw Meaty Bones
Bone is an essential part of a species appropriate raw diet. If you feed a raw diet without feeding bones your dog will eventually suffer numerous health problems. Bones provide the calcium required to balance the phosphorus that is found in meant. We feed as wide a variety of raw meaty bones as we can. The following are a list of raw meaty bones that we feed:
- Chicken backs and necks
- Turkey necks
- Venison ribs and neck bones
- Whole fish (smelts, sardines, etc.)
- Moose ribs
- Bison bones
- Beef knuckle bones (for recreational chewing)
Our Veggie Mix
We use a variety of veggies for our mix. For each veggie mix we select two types of green leafy vegetables, one root vegetable, garlic cloves and one type of fruit. In addition to the veggies we also add eggs, yogurt, ground flax seed, and one form of meat product (organ meat, ground meat or fish). We use a blender to blend the vegetables into a baby food like consistency. Dogs, like humans, lack the enzyme required to break down the cell wall in order to access the nutrients so we have to do it for them mechanically in the blender. We add fish, red meat or organ meat to the mix not only to make the veggie mix more tasty but also to provide an additional dietary source of nutrient dense foods that prevent our boxers from becoming anemic.
The only vegetables that we do not use in our veggie mix are those that are classified as "Nightshade vegetables". The only reason we avoid these vegetables is because we have a veteran boxer who has some problems with arthritis and nightshade vegetables cause an increase in the inflammatory response of the body (a bad thing for a dog with arthritis). These vegetables include tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and similar types of veggies.
Here are a list of fruits and vegetables that we use on a regular basis. Except for onions, there are very few vegetables that you can't use in your veggie mix as you can see below:
- green and/or red leaf lettuce
- green and/or purple kale
- mustard greens (bitter - use in small amounts)
- swiss chard
- sweet potatoes
- any leftover veggies from your dinner!
Organ Meat (Offal)
Just as we feed a variety of raw meaty bones and vegetables we also feed a variety of organ meat. Not only do we feed organ meat from different animal species we also vary the types of organs that we offer our boxers. Here are a list of common "bits and pieces" that our boxers enjoy:
- beef: liver, kidney, spleen, heart, lung, tripe
- pork: liver, kidney, heart
- bison: heart, liver, tripe
- chicken: liver, gizzard, heart
- turkey: liver, gizzard, heart
Raw diets can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make them. There are many ways to feed a raw diet from the total "do it yourself" to the total "pre-made" product. However, please bare in mind that boxers have proven to require a little more of some nutrients than other breeds, especially as puppies. Please consult with your veterinarian or breeder for more information about tailoring a raw diet to your boxer. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the type of species appropriate raw diet that we feed to our boxers.