To ensure a balanced diet you need to follow the 80-10-10 guideline. Meaning 80% muscle meat, 10% bone content and 10% organs of which 5% is liver and the other 5% should be other secreting organs, most popular is kidney and spleen. Keep in mind this is a guideline not law. This is where "know thy dog" comes in play. Jackson my Great Dane, needs a little more bone everyday. How do I know? Their poo tells it all. Too soft and runny, you need more bone. Too hard or constipated, you need less bone.
How Much to Feed:
1. Calculate what your dogs IDEAL weight should be. Consider the activity level. The higher the activity level the higher percentage you will feed. The guideline is 2-4% of the ideal weight. Example: Jackson's ideal weight is 150# and he's got an average activity level.
150 pounds at 2% is 3 pounds per day
150 pounds at 4% is 6 pounds per dayJackson should be fed between 3-6 pounds per day. Since he has an average activity level I would start at 5 pounds per day split into 2 feedings. As a puppy we did three times per day. Puppies are fed a little differently since they are growing. We will address this later. Keeping an eye on their body will tell you if they are gaining too much weight or not enough. You should be able to see the last couple rib bones and feel them with ease. There should be a nice "tuck" right before the hind quarters. There is definitely a distorted view among the majority on what's healthy and what's fat.
2. There are many ways to make the switch to raw. I like the quick and less painful way. I recommend fasting for 24 hours and then start with chicken. Chicken legs, quarters, breasts and a few wings on hand in case you need a little more bone initially. You'll want to feed chicken only for 1 week. Second week add a second protein and third week add another protein. Don't worry about organs for a month or so and add them in slowly when you get to that point. You should ultimately be feeding about 3 different proteins and mostly red meat if you can.
3. Supplements-I don't supplement but there are many that do unless there is an illness, allergy or some ailment then I would say supplements may be necessary. If we replicate what they would do in the wild, they wouldn't be eating coconut oil, apple cider vinegar or kale. I do know that veggies are fillers and do not have any nutritional value unless they are cooked and pureed. This is your choice and I encourage you to do the research. There's plenty of information out there.
Feeding raw isn't difficult and many focus too much on the percentages. Remember these are guidelines. Keep it simple and you'll have less stress. It is a little more to maintain than feeding kibble but it's much healthier.
**Don't forget to check out the Beginners Package to help make your transition easier.