Select Page

Raw & Home Prepared & Recipes

For all those that will be reading these raw or home-made recipes and or suggestions… please know that no matter how good a diet “sounds” if you are going to prepare the meal yourself from scratch…. and serve it long-term….it needs to have the proper/sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and bone. Please share with your vet or a vet nutritionist the composition of whatever you decide to feed your dog.

  The above is a basic raw feeding “guideline”

We are including this “RAW FEEDING” chart because it closely reiterates what we suggest in raw feeding but it also lists nutritional attributes.  (permission to post this chart by “Designed by Boo”)  To order this “Raw Feeding Chart” or other products, please feel free to go to Boo’s website: or


    The below are raw feeding portion “guidelines” based on a dog’s weight

How much to feed ???

Dogs that are fed raw should get 1% to 3% of their weight. With EPI dogs, start with 4% of their weight.  For example,if  your EPI dogs weighs 78lbs…. then in the beginning of treating EPI start with a calculation of:

  • 78lbs x 0.04 = 3.12
  • 3.12 x 16 ounces = 49.92 ounces per day

If you find that your best friend is starting to get more than a little pleasantly plump… try backing down on the amount to something like 3% of their weight:

  • 78lbs x 0.03 = 2.34
  • 2.34 x 16 ounces = 37.44 ounces per day

“Since raw food is harder to measure by the cup since the densities of different meat/bones will require different levels of enzymes, it is easiest to go by weight rather than amount! ” To add the enzymes, you can either puree a portion of the raw meat and add the enzymes to that pureed slurry and pour over the remainder of the raw food, let sit for 20 minutes and serve, or you can add the enzymes to something like yogurt/kefir and either add to the food as mentioned above, or serve the enzymed slurry first ahead of the meal. Try both to see which works best with your EPI dog. (Thank you Cait for these great suggestions!)

A good site to visit with regards to Raw Food, brand names raw foods that are available located near you, and general information regarding feeding raw, please visit PRIMAL POOCH:

Epi4Dogs Home-prepared meal  “approximate” ratio’s

5-10% organ meat (liver, kidney, lungs, pancreas,gizzards, heart) Some consider heart a muscle meat other consider it as one of the top organ meats to serve.Kidney has the most packed nutrition)

10-20% bone. Normal dogs should have approx 25% bone matter..many EPI dogs have issues with too much bone, so start with half the amount (or use Bone Meal) and work your way up to see exactly how much bone your dog can or cannot handle.

0-30% vegetables All veggies need to be cooked and mashedGreen veggies, work best, or small amounts of sweet potato may be used. Which veggies and how much all depends on your individual dog.

The remainder % should be all Protein (meat/fish) skinned, de-fatted and must be ground or minced. We have found that many EPI dogs on a home-prepared meal tend to do best when the protein portion ranges anywhere from 85% to 75%.

Vitamins & Minerals Be sure to add a good source multivitamin with minerals or ask a vet nutritionist which supplements should be added to the diet to make sure it is balanced.

Oils With EPI dogs, we find that adding daily (unless another concurrent condition prohibits fats/oils)… either or / or alternate EFA (fish oils) and/or cold-pressed coconut oil as this greatly helps dogs with poor skin and coat.
The recommended dosages are: EFA’s suggested at 180mg per 10 lbs per day, or on alternate days give ½ to 1 teaspoon of cold pressed (virgin) coconut oil. is one source for a vet nutritional consultation with regards to preparing a home-prepared diet for your pup.



The Home-Prepared Chicken Stew Diet : I make a chicken stew in the crock pot… i buy raw chicken thighs, peel / cut off the fat, fill 1/2 the crock pot with the raw chicken thighs, throw in about 1/2-1 cup of whatever “organ” meats i have,  peel and chop up 3 medium size sweet potatoes, then i add as much raw kale as will fit in the crock pot and pour in 1.5-2 cups of water.  To serve, i bake (microwave) a sweet potato (skinned and mashed) and use a portion of this added to each meal with the stew.

*** The chicken can be substituted with beef chuck roast, venison,lamb, pork, etc. ***

  • 3/4 cup of chicken stew
  • 1/4 cup of baked sweet potato … mashed
  • 1 tab of Vetri Science “Canine” Plus (for minierals & vitamins)
  • 1/2 tsp of steamed Bone Meal (UPCO procine bone meal. Purchased at 1lb for approx $12)
  • 1 tsp of cold pressed Coconut Oil

Variation of the Home-Prepared Chicken Stew Diet:

I put raw beef, green beans, frozen not canned, fresh carrots not frozen or canned, sweet potato and white potato and meat. If I use beef I put it into the pot with the veggies uncooked. If I use chicken,turkey or pork I cook the meat seperatly but I save the juice and add it to the veggies. My wife has shown me a better way for the potatoes cook them in the microwave then add them after everything is cooked. This way I do not need to add anything to thicken the soup, what a great idea she had. I also add apples or other fruits to the soups. I never use any spices at all I don’t think they need them. Pork, chicken and turkey will cook faster than the veggies and burn the bottom of the pot. I also add celery to the mix for fiber. Now for Thor the one that has early stage EPI he also gets raw beef at night, raw liver and I am looking into kidney and other organ meats I can feed him raw if possible. Thor also gets liquid glucosamine as well as B12  with intrinsic factor, vitamin ester C. He is my service dog and my baby.

Not to blow my own horn but I have been told by many people including my vet that I have very healthy dogs. I wish all of you success in you feeding routine for your dogs and cats. Thor is almost 8 now and is going to have a full blood panel done next week and I will keep everyone up to date on his health.

Arthur Brockner




A raw diet

We have feed raw for years.  We has switched all dogs to raw due to ear infections on grain free food.  Our epi dog was just switched to dry food but that will be changing back soon.  When you feed raw you need to balance a lot of things per most that feed it.  We are part of a large dog club that many have been feeding raw for 20 years.  They are my back bone and research center.  We are not quite as specific as they are but we do pull full blood panels on all the dogs every year to make sure what we are doing is correct.

We feed a ground food in the morning, usually beef, lamb and goat but occasionally deer.  We feed chicken necks or pork necks and occasionally turkey in the evening.  We have three dogs two when normal weight are low nineties and one in the mid 80s.  We feed the lighter dog 1 1/2 cups of raw food 2 x day and the other two 2 cups 2 x day.

They say you should feed no more than 10% organ meat so our butcher manages this in our ground food.  We do also purchase beef tongues, hearts and livers and give these in our training.  We do also make dehydrated lung as a treat too.

Veggies – this is our bad area.  They want a balanced veggie base of equal above ground and below ground veggies or you can get diarrehea or too much constipation.  Of course there are veggies you are to avoid…but assuming you know these!!  We also add flax seed, fruit, garlic and yogart to our veggies and give some organ meat to make it more appealing!!!  When we feed we feed only 1/4 cup with one feeling…usually the ground or my dog won’t eat it!!!  —we fail here and often don’t do this and the blood work is perfect, so not sure it is necessary!!

Vitamins – we use an ultimate vitamin from Nature’s Farmacy because it is easy also once a day…but we don’t do it every day either!!

We also suppliment the dogs with mackeral, tuna, eggs and sardines…we alternate these when we remember!!!  The dogs get goat milk approx 1/4 cup with each meal when available (when goats are milking).

As you can see there is a lot to a balanced raw diet but I have a harder time scooping the dog food into the bowl that has been recalled so may times!!!  Get your meat only from a respected place and keep good techniques of caring for your meat and you shouldn’t have the issues that kibble has had!!!  It will get easier in time…but if you want to do it fully it is a lot of work!!!  But for the unconditional love you receive I feel they deserve to eat better than me!!!!



Diet for EPI with Fat Restricted Needs

When my dog developed Diabetes in addition to EPI, i found that i had to revise my home-prepared meal and greatly reduce the fat content in the meal to keep the diabetes blood sugar in control.  However, iIf you remove all fat from a diet, you eventually invite additional health concerns. I could not longer even give coconut oil, which my EPI dog used to thrive on, but i did discover that i was able to give fish oil capsules (EFA’s) as Essential Fatty Acids and this supplied the necessary EFAs the body requires.   The following is the EPI + Diabetes (low fat) diet that i found success with after much trial an error.

I first make batches of:
(1) baked, de-fatted and skinned chicken breasts and store in refrigerator
(2) i microwave multiple sweet potatoes, then skin, mash and store in container in refrigerator

The EPI + Low Fat diet for a 35 lb dog consists of:
3/4 cup of “Annamaet Lean & Grain Free” kibble
1/2 cup of minced de-fatted & skinned chicken breast
1/3 cup baked, skinned & mashed sweet potato
1/3 cup any brand of “No Fat” cottage cheese
1/2 tsp “UPCO porcine bone meal” (in one meal a day only)
1 VetriScience Canine Plus vitamin (in one meal a day only)
550mg of EFAs (fish oil+ daily)

*** i needed to add the Annamaet Lean & Grain Free kibble for additional compressed calories to maintain weight without comparable calories in bulk whole food consequently raising diabetic blood sugar-  -adding the Annamaet may or may not be necessary for other dogs- -it will depend on their individual metabolism ***

Remember BONE matter when preparing home meals!!! (excellent article by WDJ “Whole Dog Journal 2-2022)

Calcium in Homemade Dog Food – Whole Dog Journal

Bone Broth and/or Meat Gelatin

By Patsy:

A basic recipe is to buy the meaty bones that suit you, from a butcher or Morrison’s supermarket (they are great for cheap dog friendly meat and bones) . Roast them for half an hour to get surplus fat out. Simmer in water in a slow cooker or low temperature oven for hours, as long as possible to extract nutritious stuff like the collagen, gelatine etc. I would put some vegetables in too, but not onions, or salt and pepper because they aren’t good for dogs. When it cools, remove the fat on the surface. If it’s cold it lifts off in a lump, but if still warm, I put pads of kitchen roll paper on top to soak it up.
Beef bones are great, but my dogs aren’t so good with chicken or lamb. Never use smoked or brined ham bones because they are loaded with salt.
You could also make fish stock with the bits that fishmongers throw out.
When I raw fed one of my rescues, I bought cheap turkey thighs or mince from Morrison’s. Always good quality. Plus their kidney, heart,liver and tripe. In Yorkshire we still have butchers shops selling weird offal like pigs bags, lights (lungs and heart). I’m sure it all goes in haggis, and something we have here which is still called faggots!


By Olesia:

Whenever i “bake” chicken, turkey, beef etc….. with or without bones……. when finished, i pour all the “meat/bone juice” in the bottom of the pan into a container that has a wide opening…..  like a bowl or wide mouth jar.

Put in the refrigerator.

When everything cools/solidifies….. take it out and ALL the fat will have solidified at the top.
Just take a spoon and scoop it all out…

The remainder is a healthy gelatin from the bone and/or meat for the dogs… and easy peasy to do :)


By Pam:


Additional Home Feeding Guidelines from Ohio State Univ

If you are interested in preparing a home-cooked meal for your dog, the following is an excellent guideline. Resources:

The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine:

Veterinary Medical Center
601 Vernon L. Tharp Street
Columbus, OH 43210

Hospital for Companion Animals: (614) 292-3551
Hospital for Farm Animals: (614) 292-6661
Galbreath Equine Center: (614) 292-6661

Veterinary Medical Center at Dublin
5020 Bradenton Avenue
Dublin, OH 43017
(614) 889-8070

 Diet Manual

The following tables contain some nutrient parameters of the veterinary foods available in our hospital. The diets are classified as veterinary foods because they are to be used only under veterinary supervision. Commercially available foods also may be appropriate for some of the conditions listed (as described where appropriate in the tables). The tables are based on the most commonly recognized nutrient modifications for a particular disease. This format was chosen because veterinarians commonly make the diagnosis, decide on necessary nutrient modifications, then choose the most appropriate diet for their particular patient. Some foods are used for more conditions than are mentioned in the tables.

All tables contain a title, brief introduction if necessary, a table of indications, contraindications, major nutrient modifications, and commercial substitutions if available. The nutrient tables are ordered by dog, canned and dry followed by cat, canned and dry. Table columns include:

  1. Diet – the type, canned or dry, and the name of the diet.
  2. Mfg. – the manufacturer of the diet.
  3. unit – the unit of feeding, can for canned foods, cup for dry foods.
  4. weight – the net weight, in ounces (oz.), of the unit.
  5. Energy – the number of kilocalories (kcal) contained in each unit.
  6. Nutrient amount per 100 kcal – the grams of Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate (CHO). Fiber and Water, andmilligrams (mg) of Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), and Magnesium (Mg) contained in 100 kcal of each diet as fed.

To estimate the % of kcal as protein, or carbohydrate, multiply the grams by 4; for fat multiply by 9.

All data was obtained from manufacturer’s advertising literature available in the Autumn of 1998.

The data in the tables can be used to compare the nutrient content of different diets and, to compare nutrient content of a diet with the nutrient needs of a patient:

To compare diets:

    1. of similar moisture content and energy density, one can use the amount of nutrient per unit as fed – AAFCO regulations require that minimum percentages of protein and fat, and maximums for moisture and fiber, be reported on all pet foods.
    2. of differing moisture content (e.g., dry vs. canned) and similar energy density, one can use the amount of nutrient per unit dry matter. For example, a dry diet containing 20% protein and 9% water (=91% dry matter) on an as fed basis contains 20/91 * 100 = 22% protein on a dry matter basis, whereas a canned diet containing 5% protein and 77% water (=23% dry matter) on an as fed basis contains 5/23 * 100 = 22% protein on a dry matter basis.
    3. of differing energy density (e.g., high vs. low fat), one can use the amount of nutrient per 100 kcal – For example, a diet containing 25% protein and 7% fat on a dry matter basis contains 8 grams of protein per 100 kcal, whereas a diet containing 25% protein and 21% fat on a dry matter basis contains only 5 grams of protein per 100 kcal.

To compare nutrient content of a diet with the nutrient needs of a patient, use the amount per unit body weight per day – because many veterinary foods contain restricted amounts of some nutrients, one must compare the number of grams of nutrient in the amount of food consumed with the needs of the animal to ensure that deficiencies are avoided. This is of practical concern for protein and sodium. For example, the minimum protein intake to sustain protein reserves in dogs is approximately 1 gram per pound per day. If a dog with advanced renal failure consumes 20 kcal per pound body weight per day, the diet would need to contain at least 5 grams per 100 kcal to provide enough protein to meet the dog’s needs. If the dog consumed 30 kcal per pound body weight per day, only 3.3 grams protein per 100 kcal diet would be necessary.

Because diet therapy for a number of diseases consists of restriction of nutrient intake, and because many (most?) patients with nutrient-sensitive diseases are older and don’t eat much, the risk of nutrient deficiencies must be considered. This is particularly true when the therapy is anticipated to continue for months or years. For these reasons, estimates of daily minimum intakes of some essential nutrients (amount per pound body weight) for adult, average-sized pets are presented below:

Nutrient Dog Cat
Energy 10 kcal
Water 10 ml
Protein 1 gm 2 gm
Sodium 10 mg
Phosphorus 20 mg

Veterinary foods often are sold as containing “high” or “low” levels of some nutrients. Currently, no generally accepted definition of these terms exists. My own definitions, many extrapolated from humans, follow:

Definition of “high” and “low” nutrient densities

Nutrient Dog Cat
Low calorie < 3 kcal/gm dry matter < 3 kcal/gm dry matter
High calorie >4.5 kcal/gm dry matter >4.5 kcal/gm dry matter
Low protein <5 gm/100 kcal <7 gm/100 kcal
High protein >8 gm/100 kcal >10 gm/100 kcal
Low fat <2 gm/100 kcal <2 gm/100 kcal
High fat >5 gm/100 kcal >5 gm/100 kcal
Low fiber <0.25 gm/100 kcal <0.25 gm/100 kcal
High fiber >1.5 gm/100 kcal >1.5 gm/100 kcal
Low sodium <100 mg/100 kcal <100 mg/100 kcal

General feeding suggestions: Remember, It is always better for a patient to eat some of the “wrong” diet than none of the “right” diet!

  1. Introduce diet gradually, once the patient’s condition is improving, to avoid creating a learned aversion, which is the association of an adverse stimulus with a novel diet. If one intends to feed a particular diet long-term, it should be introduced when the patient is feeling better so it is associated with feelings of improving health.
  2. Amount- use the “Energy needs of sedentary dogs and cats” graph for initial guidelines, or offer ~20 kcal per pound body weight per day to cats and most dogs (~10 kcal/pound if > ~100 pounds), adjusting intake as necessary to maintain a moderate body condition.
  3. Follow instructions in the section entitled “treating inappetence” when patient food intake falls below the above intake estimates.

Nutrition Support Service

College of Veterinary Medicine
1900 Coffey Road
Columbus, OH 43210
phone: (614) 292-1171
Veterinary Medical Center
601 Vernon L. Tharp Street
Columbus, OH 43210
phone: (614) 292-3551


Sweet Potato vs. White Potato

Written by Dr. Jean Dodds and re-printed with permission from Dr. Dodds



There’s a famous old song with the lyrics, “You say potato, I say potahto; let’s call the whole thing off.” The songwriters obviously weren’t intending to compare the nutritional characteristics of white potatoes and sweet potatoes when they penned that line, but it’s not such a stretch. Navigating the white potato versus sweet potato maze can at times be confusing. So, let’s get to the root of this potato mystery and explain it once and for all.

Two Potatoes: two species
You might be surprised to discover that sweet potatoes are not just orange-colored white potatoes. Sweet potatoes and Russet potatoes, the most common white “baking” potato, come from completely different botanical families.


Russet potatoes are part of the Solanaceae family, which belongs to the nightshade group of plants. Many species of the Solanaceae family, including potatoes, naturally produce nitrogen-containing compounds called glycoalkaloids. Potatoes and other edible plants including eggplants, peppers and tomatoes produce glycoalkaloids as a natural defense against predators such as animals, insects and fungi. Glycoalkaloids are natural toxins that act as the plant’s natural pesticide and fungicide. You know those green spots sometimes evident on white potatoes? They indicate the presence of increased levels of glycoalkaloids and should be discarded, as should white potatoes that are already sprouting or bruised.

Glycoalkaloids affect the nervous system by disrupting membranes and the body’s regulation of acetylcholine, a chemical responsible for conducting nerve impulses. Signs of nightshade toxicity include headache, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Some researchers believe that glycoalkaloids can damage the joints by producing inflammation and contributing to loss of calcium from bone, but this has not been proven.

In addition, studies show that glycoalkaloids in doses normally available while eating white potatoes can cause the membranes that line the intestines to become permeable (“leaky”); disrupting the intestinal barrier can initiate or aggravate Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). This fact flies in the face of the common and successful use of potatoes that are included as a “bland” carbohydrate source, to be fed as a limited ingredient diet for animals with “leaky gut” and IBD.


Sweet potatoes are a completely different plant species than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae family and are known by the scientific name of Ipomoea batatas.

Since sweet potatoes are not nightshade plants, they do not produce toxic glycoalkaloids. A switch from white potatoes to sweet potatoes might be warranted if your dog suffers from a neurological, or unresolved gastrointestinal or inflammatory health issue.

Further, sweet potatoes contain many health-promoting properties.

Carotenoids, the pigments that give sweet potatoes their lovely orange hue, are powerful antioxidants with a variety of health benefits, including:
•  Pre-cursors to vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy body
•  Boost immune function, increasing the ability to fight infections, especially viral infections
•  Increased immune function that helps protect against cancer
•  Maintains healthy lining of the digestive tract, respiratory tract and skin
•  Improves retinal function, particularly night vision
•  Reduces inflammation

Sweet potatoes also contain more fiber than white potatoes; fiber slows the rate at which sweet potatoes break down into glucose (sugar) and are absorbed into the blood stream. Not surprisingly, white potatoes rank high on the glycemic index (GI), which measures how much a particular food raises blood sugar levels compared to pure glucose (glucose rates 100 on the glycemic index). According to Harvard Medical School, a baked white potato has a glycemic index of 111, which means that it raises blood sugar 111% as much as pure glucose! Sweet potatoes have a lower GI of 70.

While the GI of sweet potatoes might also seem high, sweet potatoes are shown to modulate and even improve blood sugar regulation! Sweet potatoes contain adiponectin, a protein hormone produced by fat cells that modulates insulin metabolism. Low levels of adiponectin are associated with people who have poorly-regulated insulin metabolism, while those with healthy insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels of adiponectin. So, while sweet potatoes are safe for even diabetics to eat, they should avoid consuming high GI white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes and gastrointestinal health
In an earlier post, we discussed the use soluble fiber in the form of pumpkin to control diarrhea in pets.

As we mentioned, there are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – and most foods contain a combination of the two.
•  Soluble fiber absorbs water from the digestive tract, forming a gel-like substance that slows down the digestive process. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, psyllium, pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
•  Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and tends to speed up the passage of food through the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and certain vegetables such as cauliflower and green beans.(Vorvick, 2012; University of Maryland, 2011; Mayo Clinic, 2012)

Sweet potatoes, like pumpkin, are a good source of soluble fiber that can help regulate your pet’s digestive tract. However, when choosing between pumpkin and sweet potato, be aware that sweet potato contains more than double the calories than pumpkin, which can then “pack on the pounds”.

The bottom line
Clearly, sweet potatoes are a superior source of nutrition for companion animals than white potatoes.  Advantages of sweet potatoes:
•  Boost immune function
•  Lots of healthy antioxidants, including vitamin A and carotenoids
•  More fiber than white potatoes
•  No toxic glycoalkaloids
•  Protect against disease
•  Help modulate insulin regulation

Try steaming some sweet potato for a healthy and delicious addition to your pet’s diet. And, remember to always introduce new foods slowly; even healthy foods can provide “too much of a good” thing if introduced too quickly to delicate stomachs!

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Cantwell, M 1996, ‘A Review of Important Facts about Potato Glycoalkaloids’, Perishables Handling Newsletter, no. 87, pp. 26-27.

Chilkov, N 2011, ‘Benefits of Carotenoids: What Colors are on Your Plate?’ Huffington Post, 1 August, 

Davis, J 2006, Glycoalkaloids, Food Safety Watch,

Harvard Health Publications, Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods, Harvard Medical School, 

Health Canada 2011, Glycoalkaloids in Food, 

Patel, B, Schutte, R, Sporns, P, Doyle, J, Jewel, L, Fedorak, RN 2002, 2002, ‘Potato glycoalkaloids adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel disease’, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, 8(5):340-6.

Skerrett, PJ 2012, Use glycemic index to help control blood sugar, Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, 13 August, 

The World’s Healthiest Foods 2013, What are nightshades and in which foods are they found? 

The World’s Healthiest Foods 2013, What’s New and Beneficial about Sweet Potatoes?