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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Q&A On Dog Food/All Natural Diet

Q&A On Dog Food/All Natural Diet

Q&A On Dog Food/All Natural Diet

Questions and Answers on Feeding dogs:

  1. An Extensive article and Q&A section by Cindy Rhodes from Leerburg Kennels on Feeding a a Raw Diet - a must read if your considering an all-natural diet (which everyone should be)
  2. What brands of dog food do you recommend?

  3. I took my two 6 month old GSD to a local boarding kennel and asked that they be fed adult Eukanuba dog food. When I got back I found that the kennel had been feeding them puppy food and I was told that I was wrong to keep my dogs thin. What should I do?

  4. In college I worked in a slaughterhouse as a part time job. Some of the products from this place were sold to commercial dog food companies. People should know what goes into their dog’s food.

  5. None of the local vets around this area recommend the all-natural diet. What would you recommend?

  6. Do you have a suggested source for the digestive enzyme for dogs and for the non-dairy probiotic?

  7. What do I do when my dog is constipated?

  8. I have trouble getting my Doberman to eat and now he is losing weight. I even fast him one day a week to make him want to eat more. Any suggestions on what to feed him?

  9. My 6 month old pup gets fed both Beneful kibble and natural diet (chicken and beef). He gets diarrhea off and on during the day. What is your opinion?

  10. My female does not seem to want to regurgitate food for her pups. I do not know when I can start to offer them food. Do you have any advise?

  11. I am starting my 6 month old GSD in Personal Protection. I would like to know if you recommend any supplements for him.

  12. My 6 month old GSD seems to have a sensitive stomach. Do you have any advice on foods or anything else I should do?

  13. My 3 1/2 year old Lhasa Apso refuses to eat his dog food. Can you help?

  14. When can you start a puppy on the raw diet? Do you have to add enzymes to the food?

  15. I am just learning about the benefits of the raw diet for my dogs. I am very interested in learning more. What do you suggest?

  16. I thought that dairy products were bad for dogs, but you recommend yogurt. Isn't yogurt dairy?

  17. What would be a good home cooked diet to feed my dog? Are table scraps enough?

  18. My puppy has been on raw diet now for a week and has diarrhea. Do you have any suggestions for me?

  19. Should skin be removed before feeding chicken or turkey?

  20. My 9 month old GSD won't eat and is very skinny. Can you help?

  21. My dog had surgery for struvite crystals. What food should I feed her?

  22. I am switching my dog over to the Honest Kitchen food. How do I do the transition?

  23. My dog has a sensitive stomach. Any change in her diet results in diarrhea, vomiting and gas. What can I do?

  24. My dog has had diarrhea for 3 months. What can I do?

  25. What can I do for Tartar on my dog's teeth?

  26. What kind of Honest Kitchen food do you recommend for my dogs?

  27. My 15 week old Golden developed diarrhea after his shots. What do you suggest?

  28. Where do I start when switching to raw diet?

  29. I switched my dogs to the raw diet, and now one of them won't eat at all. What can I do?

  30. My 5 month old puppy chews on her front paws. What can I do?

  31. We rescued a 7 year old Rott/ Shep cross that is severely malnourished. Do you have any advice on how to build her back up to normal weight?

  32. What made you decide to feed your dogs the brand that you do? What does it offer that the others don't?

  33. My 11 year old English Shep was diagnosed with Arthritis. Do you know of anything I can give him that will help his pain?

  34. I've recently learned that powdered garlic is bad for dogs. Can you give any advice on that ?

  35. I just started my 4 dogs on the raw diet and still have questions about it. Can you help?

  36. I am getting a new puppy and want to switch her to raw. I am confused about the percentages and supplements though. Do you have any suggestions?

  37. I just adopted a Great Pyr from the Pound and he is underweight. I am considering the raw diet, but have heard that raw makes dogs aggressive. Is this true?

  38. My 6 month Dobe is on Embark and chicken wings but she is too skinny. What can I do to help her gain weight?

  39. My puppy was diagnosed with Coxidia this week. She is on a kibble/raw mixed diet. Should I feed her raw only? What would be best for her?

  40. My 3 year old male GSD has had skin irritation for a year. Do you think changing his diet will help?

  41. My 8 year old Westie has food allergies. I am looking for a new diet for him so that I can cut down on his medications Can you help?

  42. My Bloodhound had pups a week ago. How much should I be feeding her while she's nursing them?

  43. I have switched my dogs to raw and was wondering about supplements. Do you have any advice?

  44. My 9 year old GSD had been having problems with his hips. Would adding raw meat to his food help him?

  45. My Shih Tzu seems to be allergic to Flaxseed. What are your thoughts on this? What can I feed her?

  46. Are you concerned about hormones fed to Chicken and Beef in the food that you feed your dogs?

  47. Have you ever heard of a grain based diet being cause of Pano in giant breeds?

  48. I want to give my dog supplements to keep him healthy. Would you recommend? Something with calcium for his bones or what kind of vitamin would you suggest?

  49. We recently bred our pit bull and she now refuses to eat the dry commercial dog food. She also occasionally has strange bowl movements. What should I do?

  50. I looked through your sight and found answers to 'what' to feed my dog, but nothing was mentioned about when and how often was best when it came to feeding. What is the correct way?

  51. My dog eats really fast. Is that ok and is it safe?

  52. Am I giving my puppy too many supplements?

  53. My new dog has two problems. He inhales food and if we try to feed him a treat he is so aggressive for food he actually snaps at my fingers. What should we do?

  54. I'm hoping you can give me some insight on what may be making my dog's allergies bad.

  55. As my GSD grows, I am unsure of how many salmon oil pills I should give her. What are your thoughts?

  56. I want to start my puppy right on raw, but heard that it can be detrimental to growing GSDs. Is this true?

  57. What fruits are ok for a dog to eat?

  58. I've been away for 6 months in Iraq, my dog was very spoiled with cooked meals while I was gone and now I can't get her to eat. Any suggestions?

  59. My dog has a lot of allergies that make it hard to feed her. Do you think that one of the Honest Kitchen foods will work for when we bring her to the kennel?

  60. Our dog is allergic to many different foods and we want to give the best and healthiest raw diet, what are your suggestions?

  61. One of my pups is having problems with diarrhea. Do you have any advice as to what I should do or look for in the future until they eat real food?

  62. My dog is a long- haired dog (cockapoo) and I'm not sure if I need to wash him off after each meal or will he traipse all over the house with salmonella on his paws and legs? Do you have any suggestions or am I being way too paranoid?

  63. My dog is constipated and is on the raw diet. I tried adding pumpkin, but that doesn't seem to help. Any suggestions?

  64. I read on your website about Alfalfa and Kelp powder and that it (each) is very nutritious, one teaspoonful/day is enough for the dog. Is that really enough?

  65. My dog seems to constantly be hungry. I am thinking about switching to raw, what are your thoughts on the situation?

  66. I'm wondering if you could recommend any food suppliers in my area that I could buy in bulk from.

  67. Should I be concerned regarding meat that may have preservatives, hormones and antibiotics?

  68. My dog has really only eaten kibble, recently we butchered our own meat and decided to give him some of the bones. He became sick and the vet thought it was because of that. What are your thoughts?

  69. I've been learning about feeding raw, but when I tried giving my dog a raw bone it splintered. Should I be concerned about this or am I just worrying over nothing?

  70. Recently, I heard that flaxseed can cause infertility in females, and I was wondering what you thought of that?

  71. I am looking for another form of fiber for my dog. Any suggestions?

  72. I want to feed my dog HK with added food and am unsure about how much I should be feeding. Any suggestions?

  73. My GSD gets itchy every so often. I think it might be her food. What are your thoughts?

  74. What can I do to slow my dog down from eating so fast?

  75. What are your thoughts on the Solid Gold WolfCub food? I pick up my puppy on March 20th, and the breeder was pushing that stuff pretty hard.

  76. Between the Verve and Embark, which would you start puppies out on after weaning with the milk formula and hamburger? Or, would you simply start them on the Embark with a little of the formula?

  77. My dog has been scratching a lot and I want to bring her to the vet, but they will want to update her shots, which is something I don't want to do. What does one do, for ailments on their pets and the vets want shots to be up to date?

  78. Have you ever come across a dog that was allergic to chicken? What would you recommend I do? Should I stop feeding raw?

  79. I have 11, 6 week old, English Bulldogs and they have had diarrhea off and on for about a week.  Do you have any suggestions to make their poop consistent? 

  80. How do you select a kibble by the ingredients and what do they mean? I keep hearing and reading about ZOONOSIS which they say is the transfer of bacteria from dog to owner from saliva. Is this true and what do think about it?

  81. We can't import the great treats you have for training and only have poor quality treats here. What can we use as soft treats for training?

  82. I feed Raw and want to add some variety. Are ribs and T-bones ok to feed?

  83. The other night I decided to give my dog a raw meaty beef neck bone. He devoured and enjoyed it, but afterwards I noticed he was breathing fast and hyper-salivating.  Can you give me any wisdom regarding this reaction? It lasted about 1-2 hours.

  84. I'm having some problems with my dog not eating. Should I change HK type? Just feed him at night? How do you handle feeding larger bones with your house dogs? Not worried about the bacteria on him, I know he can handle it.

  85. I'm switching to raw and from what I've read I should start with chicken necks. Even though there are two major chicken processing plants close by, I can't get any. What do you suggest I start with?

  86. We have been adding different ingredients to our dog's raw diet, but he has recently been vomiting up his food and having bad diarrhea. What do you suggest to get him back on track?

  87. I have a 9 month old German Shepherd-Timberwolf mix and I'm worried about whether or not I'm feeding her enough for her to grow at a normal healthy rate. What are your thoughts?

  88. My dog is a picky eater and won't eat his vegetables. I know he is hungry, what can I do to get him to eat them?

  89. My pup has been having diarrhea. I tried adding pumpkin to his diet and he does better but when I take him off of it, it comes back. What should I do?

  90. I have a 2 year old male Siberian Husky. For about 6 months I fed raw. Two problems arose however. One, it was difficult to keep weight on him no matter how much I fed him. Two, it became expensive and cumbersome.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

  91. My question is, do you have any dog food without chicken, rice or carrots that our dog might try to see if we can get him good dog food that doesn't cost $60.70 per 18 lb bag?

  92. I am reading Raw Meaty Bones from cover to cover. Can you tell me some other good books that you follow on raw diets. We are going to start processing our own beef for the dogs. What is your opinion?

  93. When I heard that a raw diet was the best for my puppy. I was also wondering what are good RMB bones to feed to large breed puppies? From what I have found, I think turkey neck, chicken neck, and chicken backs.

  94. I have a four year old gsd with an extremely sensitive stomach. I would like to start him on a raw diet. He never has a solid stool and any type of food change causes major diarrhea. Can you suggest how I should start the process and also recommend the best book to start with.

  95. My question to you is about my dog's poop. He is only going once or twice a day in very small amounts. Is this normal?

  96. I have a GSD who is a year and 8 months old, she only weighs 62 pounds, I heard that they continue growing till the age of 3 yrs old is that true?

  97. I've had Sheba on Blue Buffalo with limited results. I also supplement with NuvetPlus. Based on your information on raw diets I've decided to switch. Do you see any reason to stop the Nuvet while transitioning Sheba to the raw diet?
  98. I bred my poodle about 60 days ago. She was a finicky eater so I tried Walmart brand cat food, beef and gravy.The internet warns not to feed cat food because it has additional fat and protein. Is that really  a bad thing for a pregnant dog?

  99. True or false. It is a myth that dog kibble food containing 42% protein can burn up a dog's kidneys?

  100. I have German Pinschers and have tried the raw diets, the blood work is  a real mess  on the Pinschers. But I'm looking for a really good food I can feed them. I do not know about any of the foods you sell, so I'm very interested in what you have to say.

  101. Is there ANY dry kibble out there that will give him the adequate nutrition that my dog needs?

  102. My dog can't seem to gain and keep weight, she looks like a skeleton. What do you suggest?

  103. Should I have concern over my GSD's eating chickens that ARE NOT "free range" or "organic" fed chickens? A health food store employee asked me about long-term concerns due to all the hormone injections into grocery store chickens and chickens from a restaurant supplier and that this may cause high estrogen levels in the dogs over long term feeding?

  104. Why do you add salmon oil to the food rather than herring oil or other fish oils? Is the fish oil mainly for the coat or "brain food" for the dog? There would be other more balanced ways of providing omega 3, 6 and 9 other than from fish oil, wouldn't there?

  105. We have a 8 1/2 year old Kangal from Turkey. We boil Chickens, have raw meat cut into 1” stew size and he eats around 3lbs per day. He recently has been having some stomach problem is there anything I can give him to settle his stomach down.

  106. I switched him completely to raw about a month ago.  My dog is dropping weight. Common sense says he needs more. Do you think this is a growing slower because of better food or do I need to get another job and start feeding him more?

  107. My pup's diet currently consists of Royal Canin and milk replacer. I would like to switch her to a Raw diet and if you have any suggestions on what would be easiest on her?

  108. My German Shepherd's skin seems to have an infection.  He has lost some of his fur and he smells. Would you have anything I can buy to help my beloved shepherd?

  109. We have been feeding our 135 lb. Boerboel a raw diet for several months now.  Is there a risk associated with feeding raw fish too often?  And aside from salmon, are there types of fish that should be avoided?  Are farm-raised fish as good as wild-caught?

  110. Our dog grazes on grass, mud, sticks, and on occasion his own feces. After doing this he becomes sick to his stomach in the house, or even worse...he has explosive diarrhea. What course of action do you believe is  best?

  111. I was wondering if I can cut a small chicken in half and feed it to my dogs?

  112. Would there be any problems with feeding my dogs venison in place of beef? Would there be anything that I had to worry about because it is a wild animal?

  113. I currently feed 1/2 cup dry THK [The Honest Kitchen], a variety of RMBs, salmon oil and Vitamin E. Should I be adding more supplements to her diet or does THK take care of the requirements?

  114. I'm getting a Lhasa Apso puppy and I'm wondering how to go about feeding such a small dog. He will probably only be about 5 pounds when I get him. Can I give him a small chicken wing or should I wait until he gets his adult teeth before feeding him any RMBs?

  115. Is there a specific Honest Kitchen formula you would recommend? Also, is there a joint supplement you would recommend?

  116. My parents are strict vegetarian so my dog is a vegetarian too. I have been told milk isn't good for her, is that right? Someone suggested a teaspoon of cod liver oil and vegetable oil (uncooked) with her last meal for the day, shall we start that?

  117. Why won’t my dog let me put his harness on him and why does he always have soft stools? He’s on a quality dog food.

  118. I recently had an issue with one of my dogs and ecoli so I am hesitant to continue with raw feeding, what should I do?

  119. I just started feeding my dog a raw diet again, and his stools are really foul smelling and full of undigested meat.  I’m feeding him a pound of venison at night, is that too much?

  120. Can I mix meat from different animals when feeding? And do you break up eggs when you give them with the meat or separately?

  121. My 8 month old GSD is not a good eater. We crawl on all fours all around the house and try to hand feed him but he still barely eats. What am I doing wrong?

  122. 3 year old GSD with an extremely sensitive stomach... Are there any supplements that you can recommend which can help rebuild and maintain his system? There's so many... What's your best recommendation?

  123. How do you wean puppies onto the Honest Kitchen food?

  124. Is it better to by low-end meats like chicken wings, leftovers from butchers, that are non-organic, and may contain toxins that organic food doesn’t have etc? Or is it better to stick with the higher-end kibble, in your opinion?

  125. My female, who is 12 years old, is having difficulty with the raw food. Her eating habits were always on the low side and seemed to pick up when being fed tripe, but now she is more picky. I would like to start the honest kitchen for her. Should I put her on a senior diet, or because she eats 1/3 of what she should I put her on a more caloric diet?

  126. My dog is eating Honest Kitchen and chicken leg quarters.  He’s gotten increasingly itchy, do you have any suggestions?

  127. I have two small kids and am concerned with salmonella and E-Coli contamination from feeding raw? Is this an issue?

  128. What is your opinion on using Honest Kitchen Preference in lieu of separate supplements? Also, do you think salmon oil offers an advantage over flaxseed oil?

  129. Our 12 month old GSD won’t eat! We’ve tried all sorts of things (fresh meat, home made stew, BBQ chicken, Sardines, eggs, 100% natural canned food, dry food, etc) and just can not get him to eat correctly. Can you give us some ideas?

  130. My dog was taught a release command when fed, but he will no longer eat anything unless he gets it from me. The problem is when I leave for a trip or on vacation he will go days without food. How do I retrain him to eat from others?

  131. I have a GSD and the best we can narrow it down, he is allergic to wheat. I am looking for wheat free treat options that I can get (or make) that are soft and chewy but a decent enough bite size.  Thought you might have some suggestions?

  132. My 2 dogs became ill a month ago and ever since then they won’t eat their regular food. I’ve been offering them their favorite treats, but even then they walk away unless I handfeed them. Please let me know what you think.

  133. I switched my dog to a raw diet and she's doing great, but she is sooo itchy all the time. Do you have any suggestions?

  134. For the last 6-8 months my Great Dane has been acting strangely with his food. He doesn't seem to have much of an appetite, and he will usually nose the food around in his dish, until he either tips the bowl over, or we take the food away. Does he simply not like his food?

  135. My dog constantly pushes his dry food out of his bowl all over the floor. Sometimes, he tries to dump the food bowl over. We have no idea why he does this but are seeking a bowl that will not be able to be overturned and will not allow him to push the food out with his nose. Do you know of any such product?

  136. My dog eats too fast. I've tried many things, but none seem to help slow her down. What can I do to keep her from eating so fast?

An Extensive article and Q&A section on Feeding a Raw Diet By Cindy Rhodes from Leerburg Kennels - a must read if you're considering an all-natural diet (which everyone should be).

QUESTION on Natural Foods for Dogs:

Dear Ed,

What kinds of dog food do you recommend?


This is an issue that I feel like I have had my head stuck in the sand over. It embarrasses me to say that I have owned dogs for over 40 years and until recently I had not done a lot of research on what goes into the dog food that I feed my dogs. What I firmly believe is that almost ALL COMMERCIAL dog food is very unhealthy for your dog. By that I mean Iams, Science Diet, Eukanuba, Purina, etc. etc. etc. My reasons for this are the subject of an entire article. But if you want to learn why I feel like this, read Martin Goldstien’s book (we sell it and it’s an excellent read).

The best dog food you can feed is that which you make yourself. I have written an article on the subject.

There is no question that our dogs should be fed food that is made from ingredients that are held to the same standards as human food. By that I mean that human grade meat would never contain the remains of dead dogs and dead cats that have been rendered, but many commercial dog foods contain many disgusting ingredients exactly like this.

If you do one thing for a dog that you love you should feed him the best quality food possible.

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QUESTION on Feeding Dogs:

What food do you recommend for pregnant females?


It is important to understand that I am not a fan of 99% of the commercial dogs foods on the market. If you want to get revolted, get a copy of The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, D.V.M. and read what most commercial dog food is made from. Goldstein is an excellent author and this is a good read. I was surprised to find a health book that I looked forward to reading before I went to bed at night.

Pregnant females that are fed a natural diet come very close to getting all of their nutritional needs met. It is important for a pregnant mother to get folic acid (the same as in humans) and one of the best sources of this is raw beef or calf liver. Liver is also an excellent source of vitamin A and D. I would give it to your females two or three times per week. If you feed cod liver oil on a regular basis, you may want to cut back on this during the time that you feed extra liver.

Just before the bitch whelps it is not a bad idea to modify her diet so her stool is a little softer. Liver and vegetables grown above ground will help accomplish this. Cut out on the bones and below ground vegetables

If you are in the habit of fasting your pets, it is not recommended to fast a pregnant bitch.

The bottom line is that if you want a healthy litter, get your bitches off of commercial food and feed them a good natural diet. If you want to learn how to do this (which is how I learned), buy a copy of Kymythy Schultze book titled Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats - this is an excellent book and very inexpensive.

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QUESTION on Feeding Dogs:


I have read your Q&A. I took some of your advice for my two German Shepherds.

I just wanted to ask you a question from your experience. I recently went out of country for a week and I figure who was going to take care of my dogs while I am out of the country so I decided to put my dogs in a boarding kennel near my area. I feed my dogs puppy Eukanuba. But when they turn six months old I started feeding them with adult Eukanuba food. So I took them to the boarding kennel the day before leaving out of the country.

I told them to feed them a meal a day with adult Eukanuba food. But when I got back from the country and I went straight to pick up my dogs to the boarding kennel. They "TOLD" me that I wasn't feeding them enough and they were underweight. Both of them weigh 55 pounds for six months and a half old. They said they started feeding them with puppy Eukanuba food. They told me that they must keep eating until they are 8 months old. I told them, I want them to keep them thin and some a little rib showing. I do not want them to get fat and might have elbow and hip problems. I asked them why did u start feeding them with puppy food instead the adult dog food? I told them maybe I want them to keep them thin. They were speechless when I said the word "thin."

In your opinion who is doing right? Am I doing wrong to keep them thin or they do not have a right to change the dog food and should have respected my wish.

I love my German shepherd dearly but I just do not want them overweight. I have seen dogs are who are overweight and they do not look like BEAUTIFUL DOGS.



Find a new boarding kennel. Not only are these people 100% wrong, they are not smart enough to listen to their customers.

I am not a fan of commercial dog food. This includes Eukanuba. If you look into what is actually in these foods you would get sick. I have moved my dogs to an all-natural diet and have seen very positive results in the temperament and vitality of the dogs.

Yes you should keep your dog thin, their ribs should be showing slightly. I would recommend that you get the book I sell called Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.

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Hi Ed,

I have been reading about natural food options for our canine pets on your web site with great interest. My house and work dog both appear healthy and happy but I see little things that bother me about their commercial food diet. With that in mind I wanted to share a little insight that I have.

While in college, I, like most students, would work anywhere to make tuition money. A job that I held for nearly 5 years was in a medium size slaughterhouse. On any given day we would slaughter 250 cows. One would wonder what this has to do with dog food. Well, it has lots to do with it. All of the "inedible" products such as hoofs, bones, dirty meat scraps, intestines, lungs, unborn calves, and entire carcasses from cattle that were identified as dying from cancer would end up in a semi trailer bound for the rendering company. What they did with it there I cannot attest to but I do know that some of this went for commercial dog food. The thing that bothers me most about this is that there were cattle diagnosed with cancer in that mix deemed unfit for consumption.

I am also familiar with an operation like many others around the country that picks up livestock that have died from various illnesses as well as other causes. They then take these animals - many of which did not die of old age, skin and butcher the meat off the bones and sell it to dog food companies which in turn make dog food from it. When you see “real meat” and real meat by products on the label, think to yourself, “How did that meat get in my dog food bag?” If the animal was healthy it would have been used for human consumption. What caused the animals’ death and am I subjecting my pet to some type of contamination?

You will have to trust me on this one. If you saw what was sent to and purchased by the commercial dog food companies to put in our dogs’ very expensive and trendy dog food, you wouldn’t feed it to a death row inmate. Well, OK maybe you would... but you wouldn’t give it to your beloved pet.

I never cared much about this topic, thinking it was OK to feed commercial food. But if you look at the little annoying problems dogs and cats suffer from, not to mention the big ones like the epidemic of cancer in dogs, I believe that there is very likely a connection between your pets menu and overall health.

Thanks for your time and best regards,

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None of the local vets around the area recommend the all-natural diet. What would you recommend?


Tell all of these vet to fix their cranial-rectal inversion!! We have a list of holistic vets on our site.

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QUESTION on Feeding Natural Diet:

I have received the products that I ordered. I have been reading the Natural nutrition book since yesterday and I am anxious to get started. My two year old lab is on antibiotics and steroids because of severe itching. He is on the last few days of this and I want to get him onto the natural diet as soon as possible. I do not want to have to use this course of action again!

Do you have a suggested source for the digestive enzyme for dogs and for the non-dairy probiotic? I want to help my wonderful dog as soon as possible.

Thank you,


I have an article on my web site about allergies. You should read it. Look in the list of training articles on my web site.

You can get the enzymes at B-Naturals.

You need to find out what your dog is allergic to. Start with only one ingredient– be careful of below ground veggies – they have a lot of sugar.

On some dogs you see a change right away – on others it can take 6 to 8 weeks to see changes.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

Dear Ed,

Just looked in your Q&A section but couldn't seem to find anything regarding constipation. My 4 year old full male German Shepherd seems to be a bit 'bound up' at the moment and I was wondering if you (the guru himself) knew of any natural remedies for this condition. It very rarely happens to him by the way, probably 2nd or 3rd time in his life (that I know of).

His diet is raw meat, bones, chicken necks etc. Always in great health, just wondered if there's something around the house that might help him out in this instance.

Thanks heaps in advance, always look forward to your replies.



The bone content of the diet may be a bit too high, either add some additional meat (without bones) or try giving the dog some pumpkin twice a day. It has to be 100% pure canned pumpkin not the pie filling. The pie filling has spice and sugar in it. This should help loosen stool.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

Hi Ed,

I have a question about my Doberman who is about a year and a half old now. Ever since he turned a year old I have had trouble getting him to eat. This would not be a problem except that he is constantly loosing weight. He has gotten to the point that his ribs stick out (more than they should) and his hips are pretty evident. He doesn't look starved, just skinny. My vet has checked him twice since he started being so picky, and says he is in perfect health.

He is currently eating a BARF diet similar to the one on your web site. In the AM he eats 2 cups of Oma's Pride (Chicken or Turkey), 2 mega pet daily capsules, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. Kelp, 1 tsp. Alfalfa, and molasses. In the PM he eats about 12-15 chicken necks or 2 large turkey necks (depending on what we have at the time).

He normally will eat the chicken necks, but his AM meal he rarely eats much of. He is fasted one day a week and I have also tried switching the brand of food I feed. What I am looking for is either something to get him to eat or something to put some weight on him. I value your opinion greatly and have used only your training tapes in training my dogs. The information on your site has always helped me to become a better dog owner. Thanks in advance!



When your dog is this thin it should not FAST once a week.

You need to experiment with food to find things he likes.

I would stop the turkey necks – I would feed more hamburger and I would give him more fatty foods – even table scraps – try fat from the butcher and see if he will eat that. I would also feed him a digestive enzymes (go to a health food store and get one).

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:


I have been feeding my 65 lb six month old male raw chicken thighs, raw ground beef, and Beneful kibble three times daily for 4 months. Of course increasing the amount as he grows. He is up to one cup kibble and 1/4 lb chicken, and less than 1/4 lb meat. He has been walking about 2 miles 4 times a week in the morning early enough (8:00am) to beat the heat in Georgia. I know he enjoys the walk but he is having diarrhea off and on during the day. I'm worried because the stools are not brown water stools but not pudding stools- a mixture of light brown mucus type and he has log stools during the day as well. No rhyme or reason to the movements. He plays well and seems to be fine. He is growing proportionate. I hesitate going to the Vet because they did not take kindly to the Natural style diet. They actually refused to feed him his diet one time when we boarded him. What is your opinion on this?



Hard to guess from an email. At 6 months he can go to twice a day feedings. Keep him SKINNY – you may be over feeding.

You should be adding yogurt to the food for stomach enzymes. I would also recommend the PROBIOTIC powder that we sell and use in our kennel – this helps with digestion. You can read about it in our health food section of my web site. All of our dogs get this. I think it's very important.

I would also back off of one kind of meat over the other for awhile. (2 weeks) Pick one and see – then after two weeks switch meats to see if one of these causes problems. Try and isolate the problem – if there is a problem.

Incidentally, The Whole Dog Journal had an article telling people not to buy the Beneful food. It is not healthy for the dog.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:


I have looked all over the forum board I found connected to your site but have been unable to find an answer I need. I hope you don't mind that I contacted you directly. I really don't want to mess up my litter of puppies.

Our litter is 2 weeks old now and I don't know at what age I am supposed to start offering them food. I know that naturally the female will regurgitate for the pups, but so far my girl doesn't look like she is even considering doing that. She has nine puppies, is that maybe to many for her to feed by herself? The momma is doing wonderful in every other respect, cleaning up after the pups, nursing on a regular basis, etc. She already has them crawling off the bedding material to relieve themselves on the papers in the area! I'm just ecstatic. I don't want to mess them up by offering "non-mom" supplied food to early. Any advise you can offer will be gratefully welcomed.

On a side note I have been reading the articles about BARF that I've come across on the board and I must admit that sounds very very interesting. Is there any food that a dog shouldn't get? Other than baking chocolate of course. I had thought of giving my girl yogurt for the bacteria but I didn't want to try it while she was pregnant. I know it's good for me...

Your dogs sure are beautiful and I am hoping you can give this novice some tips.

Thank you,


I have bred over 350 litters of GSDs and only had 2 that would regurgitate food for a litter, so I would not be waiting for this to happen.

We start to supplemental feed our pups at 3 ½ weeks. We start by using the formula on my web site – they get 2 or 3 days of this and then we add hamburger.

You can go to my web site to read about our raw diet. We also have excellent books on the topic.

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QUESTION on Supplements:


Sorry to have bugged you on this. But no one has been able to give me a solid answer on it. I want to start my 6 months male gsd puppy on ppd training and wanted to know that if there is any specific supplements I should also add at 6 months of his age.

I have ordered few things from your web site. which will go out today by noon. If you get this e-mail before noon please let me know if there is any supplements I should add to the below list.

I already give Fish oil, Vitamin E, Alfalfa and Vitamin C to him.



I would add a daily vitamin – we give our dogs that.

If you are going to start PPD training here are my thoughts:

There are 2 training videos I recommend people get to start the protection training process.

Training Drive Focus and Grip

Preparing Your Dog for the Helper

I produced both tapes based on the training of Bernhard Flinks. He is a German police K9 handler and top Schutzhund competitor.

The beauty of this training program is the handler does all of the foundation work in protection training himself. With young dogs this can start at 8 weeks and go to about 12 to 13 months of age. Older dogs receive the exact same training as young dogs they just proceed through the program a quicker. These videos teach handlers how to do prey drive work with their own dog through drive exercises. Dogs learn the foundation of the exercises that they will need to know when they meet the helper for the first time. I compare this to a father teaching a child karate. He is not really fighting with his children, he is teaching them the moves to use in a fight.

I recommend starting with "Training DRIVE - FOCUS and GRIP" It is one of my best training videos. It's the first is a series of tapes done with Bernard.
It is the foundation of Bernard's training program It teaches handlers how to build a relationship of trust and understanding with the dog. Bernard is the only instructor I have ever seen that places so much emphasis on building a bond between the handler and dog.

The Drive and Focus video teaches you how to build drive in your dog. Every dog inherits a genetic level of drive, this varies from dog to dog. The training in this tape shows how to bring your dog up to its own genetic level of drive. The tape then teaches the dog to show self control while in drive. If you think of it when a dog shows self control when he is in drive this is in effect working under extreme distraction and that's the foundation of obedience training.

Every dog MUST learn to control it's drive if it is to become a competitive Schutzhund dog or a Police Service dog or a Personal Protection dog or a Competition Obedience dog. The later videos in this series will train the dog that heeling, sit, down and come are drive commands and not compulsion commands.

Through this training we show how to work at building a calm solid grip from day one. A solid grip shows a clear mind. We teach the dog to be comfortable in maintaining the calm grip in the presence of the handler. If a dog cant have a solid grip in the presence of his handler he has a problem with the handler. We show how to address this issue. We also teach the dog in the first steps of the OUT command.

It takes 3 to 5 weeks to work through the training in this video. When the dog has finished this work he is ready to move into the training in the second video. (Preparing Your Dog for the Helper)

There will be a continuing series of about 10 tapes with Bernhard - they will walk you through the process. These videos have all been filmed its just a matter of getting them edited. The next release will take up where these tapes leaves you.

The announcement of new videos being released is always done on the table of contents of my web site.

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QUESTION about sensitive stomach:


You have helped me with questions about my other dog in the past so I hope you have some time to help with this issue. I have a male GSD, he is now just about 6 months old. When we got him at 12 weeks he was on Iams puppy food. For whatever reason, when he moved into our home he really didn't want to eat this food anymore. After 3 weeks of him barely eating we decided to change his food to what we thought was a higher quality food called Bil-Jac. He liked the food and ate well but he consistently produced soft stools and pudding diarrhea. The vet told us it was part of his digestive system developing and would eventually go away. A few weeks went by so we took a stool sample to the vet - nothing wrong. The vet then said it must be the food and he instructed us to switch to Science Diet. We did and he started to produce normal stools. However, he still produces occasional soft stools and it usually takes him about 5 minutes to go to the bathroom (he will keep walking around the yard squatting). Usually he will produce a normal stool and then squeeze out a few small soft ones. Over the weekend he had diarrhea 3 times. The vet doesn't think anything is wrong with him and continues to suggest that it is part of his digestive system developing; he is very active, looks good and weighs about 59lbs. Do you think anything is wrong with him? Since the switch to Science Diet made him start producing more normal stools I agree with the vet that it is probably a food issue. However, after reading articles on your web site., you say the Science Diet is basically junk. I looked into the Honest Kitchen dog food but it seems it would cost me about $100 per month, which is a bit expensive for me. I also saw that you have a list of other kibbles that are supposed to be better than Science Diet. Can you recommend one of them that would be good for a dog like mine with a sensitive stomach? Or can you suggest anything else I should do to help my dog with this problem if indeed you think it is a problem?



If this were my dog I would feed the dog a raw diet. I would keep it very simple in the beginning – the one thing I would do would be to give the dog yogurt every day along with Probiotic. (we sell it and use it for our dogs) This helps provide the gut with digestive enzymes. This can be put on commercial dog food or as a supplement to raw.

Feeding raw is not something that is that expensive – we buy chicken leg quarters at Wal- Mart in the 10 pound bag for about 45 cents a pound. An adult GSD may eat 2 to 3 pounds a day.

With this said – every dog is different. So it takes some experimenting and education on your part. Read the archives of the web board. Use the search function – look up “diet” “Raw” “all natural” etc etc etc.

We also sell some excellent books on the topic.

Hope this helps.

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QUESTION on Feeding Dogs:

About 3 months ago, I got a 3.5 year old lhasa apos. He is a happy dog for the most part. The problem we are having is that his former owner only fed him human food, so I have tried canned food mixed with dry dog food. I prefer to feed my dogs dry dog food. I have tried different brands and different concepts. I am at a loss, as he seems to refuse to eat his dog food, waiting for me to give him some crumbs or food from the table. He is such a sweet dog. Can you please help me?

Thanks in advance,

ANSWER on Feeding Dogs:

Most commercial dog food is crap. Your dog knows it – you don’t.

We feed an all natural diet in our kennel. You would be advised to be more concerned about what your dog likes rather than what you like. After all your dog is the one who has to eat it.

Here are two inexpensive books that we give every one of our puppy customers. Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats and also RAW DOG FOOD.

The only commercial food we sell is an all-natural dehydrated food.

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QUESTION on Feeding Puppies the Raw Diet:


I found your site while looking for answers for our puppy's on-again/off-again "pudding diarrhea" and I will try the pumpkin you suggest.

But my question for you is when can you start feeding a raw diet to puppies? Our cat eats a raw diet and its great for him. But our breeder recommends puppy kibble for the first year and our vet is aghast at the idea of feeding anything other than Science Diet >ick< ( e.coli, salmonella, etc.). We give our cat pancreatic enzymes on his food to help re-establish the raw enzymes in his system. Would we need to do that with our puppy as well? I didn't notice that you added any enzyme supplements for your dogs. She already LOVES the cat's food when she gets to it before we do! What makes "puppy food" better than other food?

I do hope you'll be able to answer my questions.

Thanks in advance,
Heather & "Ruby"(Olde English Bulldog puppy)


Start your pup right now – we add a little yogurt and probiotic (we sell it – it’s a stomach enzyme). Our dogs only eat raw – from the time they are weaned to the day they die.

Find a new vet and then tell this idiot why you are leaving.

I have bred over 350 litters of dogs in the past 30 years – your breeder is 100% wrong – No 200% wrong. No 1000% wrong. For one thing it’s a given fact that pups should not get puppy food past 4 ½ to 5 months - to feed longer causes growth spurts that hurt the pups. You may want to pass that on – this breeder may just be inexperienced.

The vet is a blazing idiot.

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I am just learning about the benefits of a raw diet for dogs. I have 2 rotties. one is 10 years old and the other is a 7 month old puppy. I want to learn more and feed them well. I have been feeding them Pro Plan chicken and rice. I saw the dehydrated food you sell. I have read the recommendations for weight. It does not seem like a great deal of food per day. Is that all they require for one day. I currently feed our dogs twice a day and break up their feeding. The older dog only gets 2-3 cups a day the puppy gets 5 cups. Is this too much. I am very interested in learning more. I try to eat a clean diet. We feed our baby organic foods. we loose it when they get older but I am trying to reel them all back in. I am a deer hunter and eat what I kill. During the hunting season I could get all the raw liver, heart, and meat that I want. What do you suggest? Thanks!



I would recommend doing more research before you make a switch. If you want convenience, the Honest Kitchen foods are great. The feeding guidelines you read are just that: guidelines. You may feed more or less, depending on your dogs. If they look too thin, you feed more. If they get too chunky, feed less. You can also add meat to the Honest Kitchen food, to add more calories and protein. When I HK my own personal dogs, I always add meat.

Venison is great, we also use venison a lot here for our dogs.

If you want a couple of easy to read books on the subject, I suggest Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats and Raw Dog Food. We send these books with all our puppies and rarely get questions on feeding a raw diet.

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I am confused about the "don't feed a dog dairy products," and then recommending yogurt.

Isn't yogurt a dairy product?



Yogurt is a dairy product but doesn’t seem to cause the problems of other dairy, like milk or cottage cheese. Dairy products contain lactose which is sugar, sugar feeds yeast and cancer cells. For a dog with yeasty ears or skin problems I would avoid ALL dairy, including yogurt. We mainly use yogurt for puppies, new moms and dogs who have had to be on antibiotics.

Yogurt contains beneficial organisms that help with digestion, so it can be helpful for dogs with gas or diarrhea.

I don’t feed it often, but it can be helpful when feeding a raw or commercial diet.

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QUESTION on Feeding Dog:

Hello cindy,

My name is Jorge and I just found a few days back and I agree 100% with all I´ve read so far, Ed Frawley is a very wise man and he should continue to guide pet owners and dog trainers, he does a great job. It´s been 8 years since Duke died (the greatest black lab that ever lived in opinion), and I am thinking of getting another dog (a german short hair pointer), and since I live in Brazil it makes it difficult to import your dehydrated food, and people food is easy and cheap to get, this country being the world´s largest exporter of beef and chicken, that makes it easy ( here 1 kilogram of ground meat costs me US$0.90 also 1 kilogram of chicken breast costs me US$0.80 and that´s over 2 lbs of real good quality meat for just under a dollar), and other foods are cheap too, and people pay a lot of money to feed their dogs (i.e. 50 lbs bag of pedigree dry dog food or another name brand cost 3x the price of 50 lbs bag of rice, there are cheaper brands, but lbs per lbs dog food still costs more). I know that I cannot just feed meat to this dog. So here is my question , what would be a good balanced diet of home cooked food for that dog? Would table scraps be good enough (we eat many kinds of beans) and how do dogs reacts to beans? And if that dog has puppies and if she isn´t able to feed her young properly, would the bottle feeding that I saw in your web site work for this breed? On the FORCE dehydrated food, if I substituted the ingredients for fresh cooked would that work for me?

Thanks for your time and advice,


Thanks for writing.

I would suggest a couple of books for you to read Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. Both of these books are given to our puppy customers so they understand how to put together a proper diet for their dogs.

Beans would not be something I would feed to a dog on a regular basis. Dogs are made to eat meat and bones, that is the natural food for them.

I would feed a raw diet, since meat is easy to get in your country and raw meat and bones are the healthiest food for dogs. If you read these two books I recommend you will see that it's not hard to do and your dog will be much happier and healthier. I would not cook for my dogs, raw is better (and easier too). :)

The Honest Kitchen food is excellent, if you can get it in your country. It has everything the dog needs already there although you can add some extra meat if you wish.

Our formula recipe is for all breeds of dogs, it works very well. Every day Ed gets emails from people who have successfully raised a litter of puppies using this formula.

Hope this helps,

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Hi Ed,

My German Shepherd Puppy (6 months) has been on the natural diet now for one week and has developed a very serious case of diarrhea. She is getting one back with neck, 4 wings, a heart, gizzard and one egg once in the after noon, in the A.M. she gets a high quality dog food. I need to make a change of some kind to stop this problem do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,

ANSWER from Cindy:

I think a few things are going on right now. First of all you are giving her too many different ingredients for a dog that is just switching to raw. Please read this I would start with ONE ingredient like ground beef ONLY for about a week. We sell several excellent books on how to begin. Until I have a dog that is doing well on ground meat with no bones, I don’t add heart (very rich and can cause diarrhea) or eggs (same thing) These things can be added a month or two down the road when she has adjusted. I don’t like wings either for dogs just beginning, too much bone, and I have noticed that a lot of dogs have issues with them at first. If she does ok with the ground meat for a week or so, then I would add one neck for a few days and see how that goes. You can also get some canned pumpkin and add a large tablespoon full to her food, it helps with constipation or diarrhea.

I think she may be having an issue with kibble for one meal and raw for another, many dogs do. I would stop feeding kibble and go to either all raw or use our dehydrated raw food, Honest Kitchen.

It also sounds like you are overfeeding, which will also cause diarrhea.

I would back up and start over, and go a little more slowly. Hope this helps.



I have fed raw turkey backs cut up as a treat and then came across some internet sources claiming the skin should be removed to avoid pancreatic problems. Do you remove all the skins?

Thanks for you help.



Unless a dog has a specific problem with extra fat and skin on raw food or is overweight and needs to cut calories, I always leave it on. You can remove it, but I never do.


Mr. Frawley, first let me start off with I am a big fan of your training videos I have 2 right now and plan on getting more soon.

My question to you is this I have a 9 month old german shepherd purebred who is in great health except he is very skinny so much so that i can see his ribs through his coat pretty easily. The vet doesn't know why he wont eat. I have him on a strict eating schedule. 9am 3pm and 7pm. I don't leave his food out for any more than twenty minutes tops. As of two weeks ago he would chow down all of his food. I feed him Royal Canine German Shepherd as well as I give him raw beef with his food and also alpo. He takes a daily vitamin and doesn't get many treats at all maybe a chew stick every few days. Please if you can help me I would greatly appreciate it. Also I want to thank you and your sons for making this world a little bit better place to live in.


My first suggestion would be to have the vet do blood work to rule out pancreatic enzyme deficiency. It’s (unfortunately) a common disorder with German Shepherd Dogs.

At 9 months old he doesn’t need 3 feedings a day, I would reduce the meals to once or twice a day so he has a chance to become more hungry between feedings. I would also switch this dog from kibble (which has lots of fillers and is not appropriate food for a carnivore.) to a raw diet or the dehydrated food we use here. I would definitely quit feeding him Alpo!

Here is a link to information on a raw diet and here is a link to the dehydrated food we use.

We don’t use commercial kibble for any of our dogs here at Leerburg, switching your dog to a natural diet is one of the best things you can do for him.


My dog had surgery two weeks ago for Struvite Crystals. I am looking for a raw diet to switch her over to once she is cleared from the medical food my Vet has her on. What would you recommend from your products for her condition? I have another dog as well and I was wondering if they can still be on the same raw food diet once they are switched over?

Thank You,


Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I am not a vet or health care professional, so I would hesitate to give you specific advice for your dog’s urinary problem. I have however successfully switched my cat to raw after he battled crystals in his urine a couple of years ago. I follow the guidelines in the books listed above, I didn’t go for a specific type of diet. I would think both of your dogs could eat the same raw diet without a problem though. If in doubt, check with a healthcare professional (just to be safe).

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

Hope this helps.


I just ordered the verve 4# bucket for my 25 pound, 7 year old cockerpoo, Toby. I've been thinking about doing this for several months and the recent dog food recall has got me moving. I'm nervous about continuing to feed Toby the Beneful dry kibble that I have been feeding him. I've read the info on your web site, but.....

I have a couple of questions. What effect is this transition to verve going to have on Toby's stool. I live in an apt. and walk toby at 7AM and then again as soon as I get home at 5:00 PM. He always has "logs" for stool. He never has loose or soft stool and he has no more than 2 movements each day. Obviously, I don't want any surprises when I come home so I need to be prepared. What should I expect in this regard. Will his stool change from "logs" to something else temporarily or permanently? Is he going to have more movements each day?

Also, what fruits and veggies do you recommend that I add to this new diet? I also thought I would start giving him small amounts of cottage cheese in the verve when I feed him.

Any info you can share with me will be welcome.

Thanks in advance.


I can’t tell you what effect the food will have on Toby, as each dog is different. I would do a slow and gradual switch (i.e. add one small spoonful to his existing food in place of his regular diet for several days, then increase the new food, and decrease the original diet) I would also recommend you rehydrate the food and let it soak much longer than the package directions instruct. I would let it soak for several hours, this seems to make the food more digestible.

A helpful thing to have on hand is canned pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling). If Toby has loose stool, try adding a spoonful to each meal. We always keep a supply on hand here, just in case!

I wouldn’t add any fruits or veggies to Honest Kitchen, it already has plenty. More fiber means more stool. Cottage cheese, yogurt, raw meats like hamburger and turkey are what I recommend adding.


My brother has a pit bull named Shania. Recently my brother fell in Love, and it seems Shania is more mine than his since I take care of her now. She is about 7 years old and 50 pounds and for most of her life my brother has fed her Ol' Roy dry dog food, although this is incredibly cheap I feel really bad for her as I know most dog foods out there are horrible concoctions. Any suggestions on starting her on one of your natural kibbles. She has a very sensitive system, any change in her eating and she gets the runs, throws up and has terrible gas. Even just eating Ol' Roy she throws up quite a bit and has the runs and gas. It just gets worse with any changes. What do you think?

Thank You,


Old Roy is NOT an appropriate food for any living thing! I am sure that’s why Shania has digestive problems, it’s one of the lowest quality foods you can buy.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


You've become my last resort, and I really hope you can help. My dog has been having diarrhea on/off for the past three months. This last month has definitely been the worse because it involved blood in his stools. I originally bought this German Shepherd when he was only 8 weeks old from a local breeder here who's dogs have had a great background. When I first took him home, he was doing great and his poop was a perfect log. At that time he was on Nutro-Max dry food, but a few weeks later his poop started getting a bit loose. He had a the pudding style diarrhea. I at first consulted the vet and she said it's nothing and it will go away. Well after a while, it didn't go away, I took the dog back to the vet and we did some fecals and it showed to be nothing in there, but a little bit of bacteria. They gave some antibiotics to help, which ended up not helping very much with his condition. They also told me to give him a science diet, which I did and it helped with his feces. The only problem was that from the ingredients that it had, it looked like junk food, and he smelled horrible, so I pulled him off of it and went back to normal dry food. I researched a bit on all natural dry foods, and finally came upon Solid Gold, which seemed to have a good reputation, and I gradually over a few days switched him over to the Solid Gold. He seemed to be doing decent with the Solid Gold at first, but soon enough the diarrhea ended up coming back. So again, we went back to the vet, and they said it's nothing, the fecals don't show anything. They wanted to put him on a science diet again, but I told them no. I went ahead on your web site. and researched about RAW food, and saw that this might be the thing I'm looking for. With the help of some of your board members, I picked up some raw food and gave to Caesar, along with his dry Solid Gold food. I would give Solid Gold in the morning, and the RAW at night. He seemed to be doing great on that at first. But soon enough, the diarrhea came back, but only with the Solid Gold because he would poop diarrhea in the afternoon when he ate dry in the morning. I let this go, I tried giving him pumpkin, yogurt, and other things to sooth his stomach, but they didn't work. After a few weeks, the diarrhea happened all the time, with the RAW or with the dry food. This was when everything got worse, his diarrhea became liquid, and he would sometimes poop out just plain water. I kept trying the homemade methods again because my vets weren't doing too well last time I saw them. This didn't work, and finally just a week and a half ago, when I switched him completely to RAW, he had blood in his stool. It was almost completely watery, with blood coming out. This scared me, so I took him to a new vet, which all the K-9 police departments go and see, so I figured this one might do the job. The vet took some blood work and X-rays, and told me that the blood work came out normal, and in his x-rays he had a lot of bones in his stomach, but when I saw the pictures, they were very small bones. In my opinion, it was just the bones from last night's chicken breast that were being digested. The vet highly recommended against RAW food and bones, and told me that I need to go to Hills or Iambs, which told me that this vet wasn't very good at all. What also threw me off about the vet was that when her technician was telling me how Caesar might have pancreatis based on his blood work, but the doctor later told me that this was wrong, and she shouldn't of said anything about it because the blood showed it to be normal.

It's been three months since the diarrhea started, and I'm out of things to try. I've tried 4 vets up to this point, and can't seem to find a decent one here. I've tried different methods of diets, and none seem to work. I know my biggest mistake was to switch his food so many times, but at the moment I'm afraid to switch him at all because it'll probably make it worse. Right now I'm cooking him some rice with some cooked ground beef, and putting a bit of Dr. Harvey's vegetable mix in there to help give him a bit more fiber. I also have gotten some green tripe that will hopefully help him as well. The rice and meatballs don't seem to be working however, because this morning he pooped what looked almost like tar. It was very black, and very elastic. I'm thinking it's the blood mucus coming out, now I don't know if it'll just take a few days to flush the blood out, or he's just not going to get any better. This is draining me and my dog out. My dog is already very slim and skinny just by nature, but this diarrhea is also draining him heavily. He's become a lot skinnier, and even though he has great energy, the energy dies very quickly. It pains to see him like that, and I feel like this is my fault because I don't know enough about RAW to have switched him over to it because he doesn't seem to be getting the nutrients he needs, or maybe it's just the diarrhea affecting him like that. Either way, I'm very much considering switching to THK because that's an already balanced food, and just adding a bit of meat on his food daily. My dog, Caesar, is 5 months old right now, and as I said I've ran out of solutions. I've tried anything from different vets, to online solutions, to all-natural dog stores suggestions, to the board members suggestions on your web site., to even some of the articles you've written on your web site., but I'm left clueless as to where to go from here. I'm sorry this took so long to explain, but if you have any suggestions as to what to do or what it could possibly be, I'd really appreciate it. I'm sure in all the years you've experienced, you must have gone through something similar. Again, I appreciate your time in reading this, and I really do hope you can help me in some sort of way. Thanks again for all the help you've already given me on your web site. and on your videos.



First of all I want to say I am NOT a health care professional, and I hesitate to give any type of medical advice through an email.

One thing that jumps out at me is that you have switched food a LOT, and not stuck with one thing long enough to let the pup get adjusted. You are setting him up to continue with the digestive upsets. I never recommend kibble and raw fed together, especially in a dog that has this kind of history.

I tell people who are switching to a raw diet to use ONE ingredient until their puppy or dog is having normal stools and then wait 4 or 5 days and add one more ingredient, etc… I don't use veggies for my own dogs at all, but if I did they would be the LAST thing I added to the diet, weeks or even months after I had the dog doing well.

You should read the article we have on feeding a raw diet. It's a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I would do a google search and find a HOLISTIC or HOMEOPATHIC vet that advocates a raw diet. A traditional allopathic vet is not the way to go with a puppy like this, they will merely prescribe meds and prescription diets to control the diarrhea, and not allow the body to heal.

I would also NOT vaccinate this puppy again, his immune system is taking enough of a hit from all the diarrhea and diet switching.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.


Right now I feed Natures recipe kibble in the morning and sometimes for an evening snack I will feed raw chicken necks or turkey necks, however not always. My dog is 1 yr old, a bulldog breed. Basically I want to know what I can do for tartar because i don't want my dog to get her teeth cleaned by the vet.


The best thing you could do for your dog would be to switch to a completely raw diet.

There are lots of resources on our Feeding Dogs Page.

You could teach your dog to allow you to scale her teeth yourself, you can purchase dental scalers through many of the pet supply catalogs. It can be tricky to do though, if your dog isn't cooperative!

The advantages of a raw diet are many, with cleaner teeth being one of them.

QUESTION (answers in red text):


First I want to thank you and Ed for your wonderful web site. I'm learning so much, but still have tons to learn from you guys!

I have a couple questions about the Honest Kitchen dog food. Here is my situation, we have an 8 year old small breed mix (13lbs) and today we are going to pick up a 10 month old spaniel mix (20lbs) from our local shelter. Both dogs eat dry kibble and we'd like to make the switch to feeding the Honest Kitchen food. We work during the day so the dogs are not overly active. The older dog currently plays fetch for about 10-20 minutes a couple times a day and also gets walked for about 30 minutes - 1 hour daily.

Here are my questions:

1. Could/should both dogs eat the same type of Honest Kitchen food? I read on the site that Verve may be the best suited for dogs switching from commercial kibble, but I wonder if they should be on Embark ....especially the younger.

***Both dogs could eat the same food, no problem. I recommend rotating
between the 3 formulas to provide a varied diet. The Embark is the most
caloric food, so if the older dog has weight issues, you may just need to cut the portion size down.

2. What time of day is the best time to feed, and should they be fed once a day or split the meals into two? Currently, the older dog is used to being fed half portions twice per day.

***You can feed the dogs whatever fits your schedule. If you currently feed twice daily, then I would continue to do so.

3. Any recipes you could send of additional foods we can add to Honest Kitchen would be great!

***I recommend adding raw meats to the Honest Kitchen food. This can include (but is not limited to) ground pork, beef, turkey, chicken necks, wings or backs, rabbit, venison, fish, etc.... I don't recommend adding additional veggies or fruits, since there is already a large quantity in the food.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide and again for your wonderful web site.



My Golden Retriever is 15 weeks old. Upon getting his first and second round of puppy vaccinations, he developed a very sensitive stomach and frequently has diarrhea (strong smell and consistency of pudding) in his crate in the mornings when we get up. I have told my vet of these concerns, and he attributes it to food, treats, allergies, but never the vaccine. I have switched to Wellness natural dog food and only give him 100% natural treats, and he still has the problem. It is now time for his 3rd and final puppy vaccine, and I am hesitant to go back. Would you recommend switching to a holistic vet? Thanks for your help!



I would absolutely not go back to this Vet. In addition you ALREADY know your dog had a reaction to the vaccination so don’t ever vaccinate this dog again. Not for anything.

I know some states have laws for rabies – tough I would not do it. Seek an acceptation because of this medical problem.

Start to give the dog several tablespoons of canned pumpkin – this often helps with soft stools.

Read the Q&A on feeding raw on my web site. If this were my dog I would educate myself on a raw diet and get him going. You obviously want to do what's right for your dog (you would not have written me if you didn’t) Learn about raw and make the most important decision you will make in the health of your dog.


Hi Cindy:
We are breeders of Labradors and are planning to build a kennel and expand. I am very interested in going all natural with the dogs as we have with our cattle but don't know where to begin. Can you recommend and resources to me?


For raw feeding info, I would start here. Read this article on feeding. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.


We have a friend that started his dog on your raw diet and we are starting ours on the same, because it has worked so great for him.

We have 2 dogs, a large Rhodesian Ridgeback and a small Schipperke. The large one is about 15-20 lbs overweight, I guess. I don't think so, but the books say he should weight only 90 lbs and he weighs 115. The little one should weigh about 12 lbs and weighs 15.

We started this raw diet on Easter Sunday. The large dog took to it right away, but the smaller one hasn't eaten yet. I tried cutting the chicken legs into 3 smaller pieces each, then I tried the parmesan cheese sprinkle, then I very very lightly "warmed up" the meat, then I finally ground up the chicken and she still won't eat it. I did these different techniques each day and nothing.

Do you have any other suggestions for me. She has got to be very hungry! I've instructed everyone in the house to not feed her and they are not.

Please let me know if there is anything further that I can try. I don't want to give in. I figured she'll eat when she is really hungry, but it's been 4 days!!

Thanks you for your help,


I would not start with chicken legs for a beginning dog, and I don’t give them to big dogs unless they are attached to a whole leg quarter. They are a choking hazard. I always start new dogs with ground boneless meat (turkey or beef) and go from there.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. There is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


My puppy is 5 month's old and has been chewing on her front paws, I don't know why!!! It looks like they hurt her or could it be just another thing to chew?


I would suspect sensitivity to either an outdoor allergen, or an ingredient in the food you are feeding her.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet . There is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

It may also be a boredom thing, make sure she is getting plenty of age appropriate exercise and mental stimulation.

I would recommend you purchase the dvd titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months.

We have owned and trained German Shepherds for 45 years. In the past 30 years we have bred over 350 litters of working bloodline German Shepherds. We give this video to all of our puppy customers and we never get questions on how to raise a pup.

Read the description of this puppy DVD on my web site. Dog training is not rocket science its simple common sense ideas on how to handle and train a dog, The DVD has 2 ½ hours of training information along with 15 puppy training articles that I have written.

You should also consider the 4 hour DVD on Basic Dog Obedience. The fact is you have much more to learn than your dog. I recommend the handlers start studying this DVD right away even though you won’t use some of this training material for several months (usually not until the pup is 4 to 6 months old).

I also recommend that you go to the web site and read the article on “Ed’s Philosophy of Dog Training.” I believe you will not only learn something about dog training, I hope you will also adopt the same philosophy on dog training.


I have just taken in a rott/shepard mix female about 7 years old and she is severely undernourished. I was wondering if there is any kind of formula I could feed her to get her back into good shape. I gave a friend this dog about 6 years ago and now he has let her go for so long she looks horrible and I took her back I raised her on the bottle when she was born from day one. It hurts me so bad to see the condition she is in now. I don't have the money to take her to the vet or to buy expensive stuff to give her. If you could give me some ideas of home remedies I would be in you debt. Thanks so much for your time.



I would make sure this dog is eating a very high quality food, nothing with fillers that her body doesn’t need.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. There is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

The key to undernourished animals is to feed them small meals 4-6 times a day. They need to build themselves back up slowly.


Can you tell me why you chose that particular brand over the others available. I've been unable to find a real comparison chart anywhere that tells the difference (nutrients, cost, etc.) between freeze dried raw diets like Honest Kitchen, Steve's Real Food & Nature's Variety (as the top 3 big ones that I've found). I haven't switched over yet and I'm just trying to find out how others made the choice they did.

Thanks if you can provide your input.



I don’t recommend the pre-ground frozen raw foods. They are so expensive, and not any more convenient than a homemade diet you can make yourself. Just like kibble, they have all the ingredients mashed together so you really have no way of knowing what’s in that frozen product. We use the Honest Kitchen products in conjunction with the fresh diet we prepare here for our dogs each day. We don’t use it as a stand alone diet for our dogs, more as a side dish. It’s much more convenient than frozen, as it’s easily used for travel and boarding or if we need to go to a seminar or trial.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Our English Shepherd will be 11 years old next month & was recently diagnosed with arthritis. Can you recommend any natural methods we might try to help him. I've been giving him 4,000 mgs of vitamin C each day & the vet recommended giving him glucosamine-chondroitin. I would appreciate any input you might afford us.



I would get this dog on a grain free diet. Grain is a known inflammatory agent in dogs, and can cause more problems with arthritis. Vitamin C is good, and the liquid human grade glucosamine seems to be easiest for the dogs to absorb. Our older dogs here take this every day.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

You could use the dehydrated food we carry here if a raw diet is not going to be doable. Force and Embark are grain free formulas that we highly recommend.

Salmon Oil and Vitamin E are great for inflammation from allergies and arthritis. We feed these 2 supplements to all our dogs every day.


I have recently received information from a family friend that indicated powdered garlic is detrimental to your dog’s health. (“Contains sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Toxic ingredient thiosulphates We have been using garlic powder, along with kelp and alfalfa powders in our dog’s raw diet. Can you give us some advice on this?

Your response would be appreciated.



We don’t use the powdered garlic for the dogs, we use the Azmira Garlic formulated for cats and dogs.

My advice is if you are worried about toxicity, then do not feed it. It’s not a requirement in a dog’s diet.

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