German Shepherd Corner

The Best Raw Food for German Shepherds

Best Raw Food For German Shepherds

At 6 months my puppy stopped eating. Today he’s the specimen of health. And in my opinion handsome too!

This is Zè, when he was a young pup he stopped eating.

From about 24 weeks (6 months) he just went off his food.

I tried every brand of food on my vet’s shelf…

But every time I’d fill Zè’s bowl with food he’d look at it and move away slowly like it was a loaded gun.

At one stage I was sitting on the floor, tears rolling down my face, trying to hand feed him.

I was a nervous wreck and he was loosing weight – fast.

If he did eat, it wouldn’t be long before he’d vomit it all up again.  And he had the most terrible runny tummy too. Plenty of it, and it stank!

In the background, I’d already started researching the best raw food for German Shepherds.  And the longer this drama continued the more I became convinced that something had to change.  But more about that in a minute…

I often get emails from German Shepherd owners dealing with similar issues.  These emails usually go something like this one sent in by Jeff recently…

“I have a 10 week old GSP (…German Shepherd Pointer…) that has lost interest in her kibble. I don’t have much confidence in the quality of the food and am looking into an alternative. Every time I think I’ve found a good brand I see negative reviews and it’s back to the drawing board. What would you recommend feeding my pup?”

Or comments from concerned readers like Donna…

“…She eats the same food but I’m changing it bc I’ve read horrible things about it on other sites and she has been throwing it up on occasion undigested hrs later.”

Nutrition is an important topic, so I’ve decided to share how I manage the nutritional needs of my dogs.  And from the title of this article you can already tell I feed my dogs a raw diet.

If the thought of feeding your GSD a raw diet is scary, you’re not alone. There’s a ton of information out there.  Some good, some bad and some dangerous.  And because you love your dog it’s natural for you to be cautious.

I was cautious too.  I needed to be 100% sure I was choosing the best raw food for my German Shepherds.

But the more I researched, the more scared I became of feeding my dogs kibble…

Use the links below and be magically transported to any section you’re interested in.

Quick Navigation Menu

  1. Why are Dog Owners Questioning Commercial Dog Food
  2. Why are Ingredients Important?
  3. Why I Feed my Dogs a Raw Diet?
  4. 9 Benefits of a Raw Diet for Dogs
  5. So What is the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds?
  6. Where to Find the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds
  7. RawPaws Pet Food Review
  8. Conclusion

Why are Dog Owners Questioning Commercial Dog Food

First, I want to say that this is not about making kibble feeders feel bad. I was a long time kibble feeder too. Feeding a raw diet might not be for you.  And that’s okay. You can still opt for kibble, but with a few changes…

  • Switch to grain free kibble.
  • Choose a kibble that’s certified organic and made with whole foods.
  • Go with a company that manufactures in small batches.  These foods usually have a shorter shelf life, which is good.

For years large commercial food manufacturers have been filling their products unknown to us.  Packaging it up all pretty.  And selling it as “a complete diet”.

But you’re not here to read about my rant.  You’re here to find the best raw food for German Shepherds.  Right?

Why are Ingredients Important?

Here’s a list of ingredients of a large breed puppy food from a well known high end dog kibble…

Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Pork Flavor, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.

Firstly, anyone will tell you, the less ingredients the better.  More ingredients means the food has been messed around with and processed loads.  This list has 46 ingredients!

Also, the rule of thumb with any ingredient list is…

The higher up in the order, the more of it there is.  So let’s do a quick analysis…

Chicken Meal

Chicken meal makes up the majority of the food.  What’s Chicken meal?

According to the AAFCO meal “is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.”

And “Chicken meal is mainly used in pet foods.”

So what’s a rendered product?  According to Wiki, “Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, value-added materials.”

So the majority of this kibble is made up of animal (in this case chicken) waste products.

Grains

Next up are grains…

We’ve got whole grain wheat, whole grain oats, whole grain sorghum, corn gluten meal and whole grain corn.  These ingredients are used as fillers.

Bulking up the food this way is much cheaper than using actual whole meats fit for human consumption.

Yes, these are also sources of protein but they are incomplete proteins and your pooch is not designed to need grains.

That tells you your dog is getting a whole bunch of stuff they don’t need and are not designed to digest.

Animal Fat

Next we have pork fat…

I’ll admit, I love fried bacon.  And I especially love dipping my toast in to the fat.  But why are manufacturers adding pork fat to our dog’s kibble?

Because it tastes good.

And here’s the kicker about fat…

It reduces the shelf life of any product dramatically.  So to keep that kibble from rotting it’s baked at insanely high temperatures.  This process makes the kibble sterile.

The next shocking ingredient is salt.  Seriously, they add table salt (iodized salt) to our best friends food.  Why would a dog need salt?  I don’t have the answer to that.  But I am sure that dogs don’t need it.

Okay, I’m not going to go through all the ingredients and in all honesty, I can’t even pronounce some of them.  But you get the picture.

Ingredients that Really Matter

Now check out the last 5 ingredients…

Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries and Green Peas.  Those are the only ingredients that are remotely healthy, and they are right at the bottom of the list.

They don’t even feature in the greater scheme of things.  And even if the did, the kibble is still sterile and so are these ingredients.

Here’s a rundown from Dr. Becker from best to worst dog food types.

Why I Feed my Dogs a Raw Diet?

That’s an easy question to answer…

  • Simply because I want to control the ingredients that are going into my dog’s bodies.
  • Ingredients I can eat too – not that I’ll ever eat green tripe though!
  • I want ingredients that promote the optimal health of my dogs.

And unfortunately as you’ve seen, with kibble, that’s not always the case.

Now I want to move onto a positive note…

9 Benefits of a Raw Diet for Dogs

My 3 dogs have been enjoying their 100% raw diets for almost 4 years. And there are several amazing health and other benefits that I’ve noticed.

Healthy Coats

This is Lexi. She is a rescue who came to us with very poor health. Just look at her now!

My 3 musketeers have lush, shiny coats.  Sure, their coats had a shine while they ate kibble.

But not like this.

There’s a sheen to them now that is obvious even when they’re not in the sun.  Even the lighter, tan parts shimmer.

Their coats are sleek and soft to the touch.  The outer coat of the GSD tends to be naturally more rough.

This is because it serves as a waterproof to keep the undercoat dry. While the undercoat’s function is to keep them warm.

Grooming is easier.  Especially working with their undercoats because the hair clumps together easily so brushing them out is a breeze.

Healthy Skin

Keeping the skin of a German Shepherd healthy is extremely important.  And it’s more difficult to do than with dogs who have only one coat.

Charley my 9 year old GSD struggled a lot with her skin.  I’d regularly wake up to find her with swollen and inflamed hot spots on her hind quarters.  These had developed over night and were roughly the size of golf balls.

I tried a bunch of different natural remedies but once they showed up there was no getting rid of them.  The only solution was to treat the symptoms with conventional drugs like cortisone.

After changing her diet – and riding out the detox period (more on that later), Charley has had no hot spots since.

Although my dogs had regular grooming and bathing, they always had the ‘doggy smell’.  Especially when they were wet.  Since eating a raw diet I’m happy  tell you, they smell a whole lot better!

Bright Eyes

Ensuring your dog has healthy eyes is important because acute eye discharges can lead to blindness.  When Lexi my 18 month old GSD-Colllie mix turned up at my doorstep she had dull eyes covered in gunk. And the whites of her eyes were dark brown.

After eye treatment for a bacterial infection from the vet the gunk cleared up.  And I’m happy to report that those beautiful eyes are bright and shiny.

Clean Breath

Doggy breath makes me feel queezy.  And as much as I love my 3, I could never quite get used to them breathing anywhere near my face.

Now I can’t say their breath smells like nothing, because that’s not possible.  Even if a human’s breath doesn’t smell bad, it still has a smell.

I’m happy to say Charley, Zè and Lexi now have great smelling breath! So now I can enjoy those face kisses without feeling dizzy from the smell.

Clean Teeth

Dental health is one of the most important things to care for in dogs. Bad teeth cause gum disease which lead to other problems like heart disease.

And if you’ve ever taken your dog for dental work, you know how expensive it is.  Neither of my dogs have ever had dental work done. I don’t brush their fangs and they don’t eat those unhealthy dental sticks either.

Here’s a picture of Charley’s mouth.  For a 9 year old dog who ate kibble for the first 6 years of her life she has pretty healthy gnashers.

Dental Health From the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds

The 2 young ones have beautiful pearly whites too!

Increased Agility

Recently we had a visit to the vet for their yearly check up.  I was smiling from ear to ear when the vet listened to their hearts and said, “Geez, your dogs are fit!”

I’m not saying dogs who eat kibble are not fit.  But imagine if your diet was Burger King twice a day.  Would you be fit enough to do a minimum of 1.5 hours of exercise a day?  I definitely wouldn’t!

Healthy Gut

Zè was the one who struggled with his gut most.  Each month he’d either be vomiting or have a runny tummy.  There were a couple of mornings I woke up to find he’d puked all his food up during the night.

I can’t remember the last time he puked up his food.  The only time he pukes is when he’s munched on a plant in the garden!

Healthy Poop

Poop patrol is my least favorite thing.  But someone’s got to do it! Kibble poop was big, smelly and A LOT!  And often runny.

Sure, I have 3 dogs but I’m sure their poop was equal to that of 6 dogs!

Raw food poops are well formed.  They go hard and turn white within a day so they’re easy to scoop up.  And if I accidentally miss one, by the next day it’s turned to powder.

Okay, so if you’re still reading you’re interested to find out even more. So let’s dive into the in’s and out’s of raw feeding for your German Shepherd.

You might already know this, but there are a lot of myths surrounding raw feeding for dogs.  I won’t go into these here.  But if you’re interested, check out this article I wrote on a fellow bloggers site about 9 of these myths.

No More Poop Eating

Yes, my boy Zè was also a regular poop eater!  Yuk!

Poop eating is actually a thing, it’s called Coprophagia.  I literally tried everything possible to get him to stop. Pineapple, chili and bitter sprays.

It also turned out he has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) which just made things worse.  But treatment and the raw diet keeps him healthy and the EPI under control.

I even scooped the poop after every toilet break but if I missed just one piece, he’d find it and eat it.  After switching him to a raw diet the poop eating stopped and we’ve never had the problem again.

So What is the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds?

Before you decide on the best raw food for your German Shepherd there are some ‘tricks of the trade’ you’ll need to know about first…

Different Kinds of Raw Diets

Essentially there are 2 schools of thought in the raw feeding community.

I’ll say right of the bat, there’s a lot of politics and bickering about which one is the best.

If you can give you any advice, don’t get wrapped up in it.  If you do, you’ll never make the change.  Just stick to the facts and focus on the benefits.

BARF DIET

BARF is made from meats, veggies, fruits and herbs

The BARF Diet

I feed my dogs a BARF diet.  Although I do replace 2 meals a week with Raw Meaty Bones.

I know, the word BARF conjures up pictures that border on disgusting but don’t let that put you off.

The BARF diet was championed by an Australian vet named Dr. Ian Billinghurst.  In the beginning stages of BARF Billinghurst advocated a lot of bones.  But over the years the diet has been improved.  So if you come across websites with this information, ignore it.

Many moons ago BARF stood for Bones And Raw Food.  But today it’s known as Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

And that’s what it boils down to.  Food that’s appropriate for your dog based on their biological make up.

With the BARF diet all the whole foods are prepared by grinding them up.  This includes all the muscle meat, bones, organ meats, fruits and veggies.

The BARF diet also includes ingredients like;

  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Yogurt
  • Seeds (like flax)
  • Oils (like olive, cold-pressed sunflower and even coconut)
  • Herbs (like rosemary, thyme, parsley, alfalfa)
  • And root plants like ginger.

Although BARF feeders believe that dogs are carnivores.  In the wild, wolves are opportunistic hunters. But they will also scavenge, given the chance. This means they will eat what they can when they can.

Whole Prey Feeding Model

Whole Prey feeding is mainly whole or part of the prey animal

The Whole Prey Model

The whole prey model is just that, feeding your dog a whole prey animal or part of it.  For example a chicken.

Some prey model feeders will offer their dog the chicken with the head, feet, feathers, fur and all.

Other prey model feeders prefer to offer the prey animal already cleaned.  Similar to what you would buy for your own meal at the grocery store.

As a rule, the whole prey model does not include ingredients like fruits, veggies, yogurts, herbs and other root plants.

This is because whole prey feeders believe dogs are carnivores, biologically designed to eat only meat.

Interestingly though, wolves will sometimes eat whatever vegetation is left in the stomachs of their kills.

Raw Meaty Bones in a BARF Diet

My bunch ripping away at their Raw Meaty Bones

BARF v. Whole Prey

Like I mentioned before, there’s a lot of politics between the 2 groups. But I know of many raw feeders who successfully feed a mix of BARF and Whole Prey.

And in my opinion, it doesn’t matter which one you go with.  The end result is the same.  A dog functioning at their optimum level mentally and physically.

At the end of the day, all we want is the best raw food for German Shepherds.  Whether it BARF or Whole Prey is a personal choice and what works best for your GSD.

What's the Best Raw diet for German shepherds

Here’s what the end product of our BARF diet looks like

How Raw Feeding Works

The first thing to remember with raw feeding is, everything is balanced out over time.

Think of your own diet, do you painstakingly calculate the nutritional value of your daily food intake?  Probably not. You eat healthy, take enough water and your body takes care of the rest.

And the same applies to your dog’s diet.  Don’t split hairs over it.

That said, there are a few feeding guidelines to follow…

The calcium to phosphorus ratio should be 1:1.  Meats provide the phosphorus and bones provide the calcium.

Foods like eggs with shells, green tripe and whole chicken are pretty balanced in these ratios.  Some fish, like Salmon have a good balance too.  And of course, if you’re going to feed a whole prey animal, you’re guaranteed of a good 1:1 ratio.

Organ meats like kidneys and livers are important ingredients.  But these should only make up 15% of your dog’s diet.  Feeding too much of these meats can cause runny, black poop.

Feeding the yucky parts of prey animals are okay too.  Hearts, lungs, chicken or turkey feet and green tripe are all great ingredients.

I don’t feed fish or pork.  But you can.  If you do, just deep freeze these meats for at least 3 days.

Never feed the intestines of any prey animal.  If there are any internal critters, that’s where they’ll be.

Cooked bones are off limits.  Raw bones are great!  They are soft, flexible and easily digested.  The rule here is, the bone should be the size of your dog’s head.

Weight bearing bones are off limits too.  These bones are too hard and can damage your dog’s teeth.

ALL meals involving whole bone must be supervised.  And you should remove any bones when they start to break up.

Ready for a scrumptious BARF meal

The starting point is 3% of your dog’s IDEAL adult body weight

How Much to Feed

This is were I became unstuck…

When it came to feeding my dogs, all I knew was scooping the recommended amount of kibble from the bag and pouring it into their bowls.

But the feeding guidelines for raw are actually very simple!

The key is to always focus on ideal adult body weight.  And then adjust from there based on activity levels and age.

And the starting point is usually 3% on the IDEAL body weight.

So for example…

Lexi weighs 23 kg.  So 3% is 690 g of food per day.

Zè weighs 36 kg.  So 3% is roughly 1 kg of food per day.

When you’re starting a puppy on a raw diet your focus should be on their ideal ADULT body weight.

Raw Food Ingredients

Like I mentioned earlier, no one meal is complete.  But with healthy eating, a diet balances out over time.

Diversity is the key to balance, and it’s easier than you think.  And you’ll be happy to know that diversity equals a whole bunch of saving for you.

This is how…

Pick up whatever meat cuts, veggies and fruits that are on special. As long as you’re opting for human grade you’re good to go.

Muscle Meats

Muscle meats are the same meat you and I eat.  And these meats are your go to for a raw diet.  The great thing is your options are endless.

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish (I pefer not to feed fish but you can add it as part of your dog’s diet)
  • Duck
  • Deer
  • Goose
  • Moose
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Rabbit
  • Greet Tripe

Organ Meats

These are mainly liver and kidneys.  I lump hearts in here too, although it’s a muscle meat.  The reason for this is because hearts can’t be fed exclusively as a muscle meat.

Grains

Yes, I’ve added grains here.  I don’t feed grains, but many raw feeders do.  The difference is that the grains are human grade and you can control the portions.  Your dog’s raw diet will still be made up primarily of meats and not grains.

Eggs

Eggs are a super food when it comes to calcium. You can feed the shell and all.  Some raw feeders like to crush the shells.  But my dogs love eating them whole.

Seasonal Veggies are a great way to save money and nourish your German Shepherd

Veggies and Fruit

Picking seasonal fruits and veggies are a great way to save money and diversify. Dark green veggies are especially healthy for the same reason they are for us – vitamin B.

These super foods also help your dog to get the most from the food you’re nourishing their bodies with.

Your dog’s body can’t fully digest veggies.  So I put the raw veggies and fruits through the processor with the other ingredients.  But you can steam or juice them too.

It’s a fact that our bodies, and our dogs are designed to get the most nutrition from seasonal fruits.  And here you also have a ton of options.

Bones

Bones are not an optional extra, they are essential to your dog’s raw diet.  Remember that 1:1 ratio?  Well, bone makes up the one half.

You can feed whole Raw Meaty Bones (RMB).  But I send all the bone through the processor.

Bones are not only a great source of calcium, they also simulate your dog’s need to rip, tear, gnaw and chew.  Because of this, I substitute 2 meals a week with a big RMB.

What to Expect

Making the switch is not rocket science but there are a few things you can expect. It’s not to say these will happen, but I’ll give you a heads up so you don’t stress.

Firstly, fast your dog for 12 hours before feeding their first raw meal. This gives the stomach time to rid itself of the kibble and bring the stomach juices into balance.

Your dog might puke up their first raw meal.  This is normal so don’t split hairs.  If they do vomit.  Don’t feed them again until their next meal.  Charley and Lexi puked up their food but Zè kept his down.  So it really depends from dog to dog.

You might see detox symptoms.  This could possibly happen.  Charley experienced detox but my young ones didn’t.  I believe it’s because Charley lived on a kibble diet for the first 6 years of her life, while Lexi and Zè were on raw from 12 and 16 weeks.

Here are some of the detox symptoms:

  • Gunky eyes.
  • Smelly ears that needed regular cleaning.
  • Smelly coat, more smelly than usual.
  • Itchy skin, we managed to sooth this with natural dog shampoo.
Pre-Made or Home Made Best Raw Food for German Shepherds

Whether you choose pre-made or home made, you’re still getting the best raw food for German Shepherds

Pre-Made Raw Food v. Home Made

This is a decision only you can make.  Of course, it’s more convenient to opt for pre-made raw food.  And there are one or two trustworthy companies where you can buy your supply.

Opting for a home made diet is more work and more commitment.  It’ll also cost you an initial financial layout for equipment that can handle the job.  But you will save money by sourcing your own ingredients.  So at some point the equipment will have paid for itself.

Preparing a home made diet is what I opted for.  I make around 76 kg (168 lbs) per month.  Wow!  That’s a lot, I know.  But I’m in a routine now so it’s rote.  And I rope my hubby in to help!

So there you have it.  This is my personal take on the best raw food for German Shepherds.  As you can see, I don’t prefer the one over the other.  Like I said earlier, you get the same results via different routes.

Where to Find the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds

Okay, so you’re convinced that raw feeding is the way to go for you and your German Shepherd.

Now what?

You’ll be happy to know that you can get high quality, healthy meals delivered to your door.  Although, there are very few companies out there that can be trusted with the nutrition of your dog.

RawPaws is one of those companies…

I’ve checked them out from tip to toe and reviewed them for your convenience.

As a raw feeder myself I think there are a few must-haves when it comes to creating a nutritional meal plan for your dog…

Where to Start with a Raw Food Diet for Your GSD

Raw food recipes for dogs are all over the internet.  And dog owners like you can prepare their dog’s raw food diet from scratch with careful planning and time.

But like I mentioned, there are frozen raw diets on the market that help make raw feeding easier for you.

These diets are delivered frozen or freeze dried to your door.  Some have everything you need rolled into one. Ingredients like vegetables, vitamins and fruits already mixed in.  Or you can buy them separately.

RawPaws Pet Food Review

Best raw food for German Shepherds - RawPaws Pet Food

Who is RawPaws?

RawPaws is one of the suppliers that provides frozen raw food diets to dog owners like you. So let’s take a closer look at a few of their products.

All of RawPaws products are sourced from local farms that treat their stock ethically.  This means RawPaws is a small scale manufacturer.  What this means for you and your dog is healthy meat free from toxins.

RawPaws ship their food frozen in styrofoam containers filled with dry ice.  And it’s guaranteed to reach your door withing 48 hours – still frozen rock solid.

From my research, there have been no complaints about the food being thawed on arrival.

On a side note, their website is super easy to navigate with all kinds of great information.  There’s no guess work on your part when it comes to portion size or how to transition your dog from a cooked diet to a raw food diet.

I like the fact that RawPaws offer an auto-ship service.  This means you’ll never end up with an empty freezer and a sad dog, looking at a bowl of kibble!

You can get 20% off your first Auto-Ship by using this code: AUTO.  Plus you’ll get 10% off all your future auto-shipments.

And they offer free shipping all across the United States – that’s a serious bonus!

Transitioning to the RawPaws Diet

Are you on a budget?

Do you want to feed a mix of raw and kibble?

Are you unsure of how to create a nutritional raw diet for your GSD?

Does your dog have food allergies?

No problem!

RawPaws offer a free meal planning service where they will create a meal plan for you based the needs of you and your dog.

Click Here to Check out RawPaw Free Meal Planning Service. 

RawPaws also has some great advice on transitioning your dog to a raw food diet. Making it super easy for both you and your dog.  Start with a mixture of 75% current food and 25% raw food.

If your dog is particularly sensitive to food changes, you should start with a 90% to 10% ratio and increase incrementally. It could take several weeks to transition your dog to their new raw food diet, so be patient!

Although, here I have a different approach.  I believe in fasting a dog for 12 hours and then transitioning 100% to raw.

Many dogs vomit up their first raw meal, but that’s totally normal.  This is because they’re so stunned and excited about the raw meat.  Making them gulp down the meal. But at the next go, they take to it like a duck to water.

RawPaws Preparation and Food Safety

RawPaws have left no stone un-turned and give great advice on how to prepare and handle their raw food.  They recommend transferring the food into the freezer immediately.  And you should only thaw a portion for 3 days worth of feeding.

If you read between the lines here, you can tell their food contains no preservatives.  If it did, it would last much longer when thawed.  This is a fantastic and healthy benefit for your dog.  And a point of peace of mind for you.

When it comes to thawing, RawPaws suggests doing this in the refrigerator not on the counter or in the sink. Of course this ensures there’s no room for bacteria to breed.

Once the food is portioned for thawing, wrap the remaining food tightly and place back in the freezer.

Tip: Use separate cutting boards and utensils to prepare the food.

This, by the way, is the same protocol for handling the raw foods that we cook for ourselves and our families.

For storing food in the refrigerator, keep raw food stored in a plastic bag or a bin and store on the lowest shelf to prevent cross contamination.

After handling raw food, wash your hands and clean all preparation surfaces with a disinfectant such as bleach.

How to Serve RawPaws Pet Food

RawPaws suggests serving a raw food diet out of stainless steel bowls rather than plastic or ceramic. Stainless is non-porous and will never trap food or bacteria. You should feed your dogs on a floor or solid surface that is easy to clean and disinfect.

Once a portion is served, return any remaining food to the refrigerator. If your pet leaves any food over, place back into the fridge. If any food sits out for more than two hours, toss it.

Wash your dog’s bowl after every feeding, and disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with raw food. Wash your hands often during the preparation and clean up of raw food.

Click Here to Find Out More About RawPaws Pet Food.

RawPaws Signature Blend Food

I really like the Signature Blend from RawPaws.  It’s great to serve as the main part of a raw food diet for dogs. And it offers balanced nourishment for your dog.

The meat they source is human grade, high quality and sourced from family owned farms in Indiana.  In fact, it’s probably healthier than the meat you eat every day.

Many commercial farms use growth hormones in their herds.  And some even use genetically modified growth hormones.

In humans these can cause all kinds of problems from developmental disabilities, reproductive issues, to breast and colon cancer.  And the same can be said for the problems caused in our dogs.

Antibiotics which are regularly used on commercial farms trickle up the food chain and contribute to antibiotic resistant super-bugs.

Click Here to Check Out the Variety of RawPaws Signature Blend Raw Food.

But RawPaws only use meats that are:

  • Grass fed.
  • GMO free.
  • Free range.
  • Certified organic.
  • USDA inspected.
  • 100% natural.
  • Preservative free.
  • Antibiotic free and hormone free.

Their foods also contain no fillers or additives.  And they are minimally processed. All of the beef used in RawPaws products are locally sourced from farms in Indiana.

Earlier I mentioned that mixing up the meats equals a healthy diet.  So I like that the Signature Blend comes in a variety of proteins like:

  • Chicken.
  • Beef.
  • Turkey.
  • Duck.

RawPaws has also taken great care to ensure the proper ratio of meat, bone and offal.  I can’t stress how important these ratios are to optimal nourishment.

Getting this wrong can cause problems so it’s great that RawPaws have taken the guess work out of it.

Click Here to Check Out the Variety of RawPaws Signature Blend Raw Food.

RawPaws Green Tripe

Green tripe is THE super food for dogs.  Tripe is the stomach lining of cows, bison, sheep and buffalo.  It’s called green because it’s unbleached and in it’s natural state.

Green Tripe contains enzymes and probiotic bacteria that aid these grazing animals to digest grass.  And it has great benefits for our dogs.

It helps with digestion, eases constipation and improves appetite.  Not to mention the benefits for your dog’s immune system.

And if your dog suffers from seasonal allergies Green Tripe is a natural way to help sooth their discomfort.

Tripe is definitely one of the foods that you DO NOT WANT TO PREPARE yourself!  It stinks!  And I’m not exaggerating!  But dogs LOVE it!  I recommend you use this product as a supplement to the signature blend.

Click Here to Find Out More About the RawPaws Green Tripe Mix.

RawPaws Raw Meaty Bones

RawPaws offer a nice variety of raw meaty bones (RMB).  This means you don’t need to try and source these from a butcher. Which can be difficult since most butchers remove all the meat from bones.

Beef marrow bones are a great source of protein, chondroitin, collagen, calcium and phosphorous.

Bone marrow releases adiponectin which is linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  It also builds immunity, and supports kidney function.

Although I don’t recommend marrow bones for anything other than recreation for your dog.  They are too hard to break and can cause damage to their teeth.

Click Here to See the Variety of Raw Meaty Bones from RawPaws.

The other bone choices on offer are an excellent variety.  There’s everything from:

  • Lamb.
  • Chicken.
  • Goat.
  • And Duck.

And you’ll find everything from:

  • Necks.
  • Frames.
  • Backs.
  • Wings.
  • And quarters.

You can add these to your dog’s diet by substituting 1 or 2 meals a week with RMB which is what I do.  Or you can opt to feed your dog a prey model raw diet using these very meaty bones.

And like I mentioned before, RMB are wonderful way to stimulate your dog’s need to rip, chew and tear.  And not to mention the natural teeth cleaning RMB offer!

Click Here to Find Out More About RawPaws Pet Food.

Conclusion

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…

Whether you opt for a ground BARF diet or a whole prey model, you’re heading in the right direction.  The only question on your lips should be “what are the best ingredients, and where can I find them?”

You can source them yourself.  Or you can go with a company like RawPaws to help you feed your German Shepherd the best raw food.

You can safely use this short checklist to find the best raw food for German Shepherds:

  1. The ingredients must be human grade.
  2. Food made with ingredients sourced from ethical farms.
  3. Preferably small scale farmers.
  4. Companies that are able to tell you exactly where their ingredients come from.
  5. Companies that manufacture their food in small batches.
  6. Foods free from additives and toxins.

I’m passionate about canine nutrition and I’m constantly studying new research and development in the field.  I’d like to help you if you have any doubts or questions.  So feel free to drop them in the comments below.

2 comments… add one

  • Deena muffley

    Hi Rosemary,
    I have a question ,as you are familiar with my puppy soldier and his health issues and Giardia I’ve thought about the raw diet for him but have concerns because of his issues and sensitivity.
    He’s on a gluten free dry dog food, it’s supposed to be a quality product, But I do have concerns about the quality of ingredients etc. My question is this first
    Due to the issues soldier has is a raw diet the best choice? And second is there a reputable already prepared dry food that contains everything he needs I think someone called it freeze dried?
    If raw isn’t the way to go are there certain things I can add to his kibble that he’s eating now? Without aggravating his existing issues?
    Thanks
    Deena

    • Hi Deena!

      I’ve had a chat to some of my raw feeding friends some of whom have dogs with chronic Giardia. All of them are on a raw diet. And they have tried many kibble diets before hand. So yes, I do believe raw could be a better option.

      There is a company I reviewed in this article who I believe to be the best place to get prepared raw or freeze dried food. They also deliver anywhere in the US. Just use the navigation menu at the top of this article to jump down to my review so you can check it out before you make a decision.

      The also have a fantastic meal planning service that’s free. These folks are experts so they’ll be able to answer all your questions about their food. And they’ll help to work out a meal plan to suit Soldier and your budget. I highly recommend them. But I suggest first reading my review before you decide if you want to find out more.

      One friend also suggested adding Golden Paste and pro-biotics to Soldier’s diet. I’ve got a recipe for the Golden Paste and I’ll make sure to share it here in the next couple of days. Golden Paste is used a lot as a natural remedy for inflammation in humans and animals. I actually use it for Charley my 9 year old GSD who had hip surgery for Dysplasia. And I have noticed a difference.

      What I would suggest though is to change one thing at a time. We tend to change too many things at once because we want the best for our dogs and then it’s hard to tell what’s working.

      Hope this helps. I’m around for questions.

      Also, come and join the Private FB group. It’s a great place to share experiences, get advice from other owners and share pictures of our dogs. I’m around there most of the day to answer any questions.

      Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734159926609104/

      See on the inside!

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