1. Whole Prey Quail
Whole prey meals are a completely balanced meal of muscle meat, organ and bone. Whole prey meals tend to be a more mentally stimulating and interactive way for dogs to eat versus cubed or minced portions of meat for meals. It is also a very natural way for dogs to eat. When I feed whole prey quail, I always incorporate other portions of meat such as lamb chunks, duck or turkey heart.
Whole prey quail is a great option for small to large dogs. It is also a good option if your dog tends to have allergies towards chicken and other warming proteins.
I source quail that still has the feathers intact because it is good for digestion and helps firm stools.
2. Duck Head
This is a great option for the bone content of a raw meal! They are good for medium to large sized dogs (from my experience). The head is relatively soft and easy to chew through. I feed my two larger dogs frozen duck heads so it takes them longer to finish. I do not recommend these if your dog tends to gulp things whole. Duck is also a cooling protein, which means it helps with dogs who have allergies or senstivities by combating inflammation in the body.
3. Turkey Heart
Feeding different parts of an animal versus just the "normal" cuts of muscle meat is essential! Heart contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, zinc and copper. It is also high in riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), iron and selenium.
Heart is also the source of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10). CoQ10 is necessary for cells to function. It helps support organs that need and take up a lot of energy such as the liver and the heart.
Turkey hearts are a great option for small to large sized dogs (although it is very important you rotate heart from different protein sources to gain different amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals). Turkey heart is also a good option for dogs who are allergic to chicken.
It is important not to feed too much heart. From my experience, I recommend feeding small amounts of heart every couple of days, or heart once a week in a larger portion.
4. Lamb Leg
Lamb (preferably New Zealand grass-fed lamb), is a great protein source to rotate through your dogs daily meals. It is an amazing source of zinc. This helps with immune function. Zinc is necessary for a healthy coat, faster wound healing times, and also helps with the stabilization of blood sugar. Dogs who are deficient in zinc tend to get sick faster and for longer periods of time.
Lamb is a warming protein, so be aware of your dog's reaction to it as it can increase inflammation in the body. I feed lamb in the colder months of the year.
DISCLAIMER: It is always important to do your own research first in regards to raw feeding or feeding fresh foods for your pet (dog or cat). Every animal is different! What may work great for some may not work great for others. It is important to know that if you are a beginner at raw feeding, there are tons of ways to feed fresh raw foods to your pets (commercially prepared, freeze dried etc.). Starting out can be a little difficult, so if you do your research accordingly, then you'll have more knowledge about EVERY aspect of raw feeding. Remember, if you are not ready to feed a raw diet to your pets, wait to transition and utilize the help of experienced raw feeders, connect with integrative veterinarians, read books geared towards a holistic dog diet and gain knowledge from all of your research so you can effectively give your dog the nutrition it needs to thrive. There are also a few amazing raw-feeding consultation services, which help you in the areas of meal prepping that are specific to your dog's needs. Check out theprimalpet.com for custom raw meal plans! "The Raw Fed Pet" site is only for informational/educational purposes and is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.
Did you know?
GREEN LIPPED MUSSELS ARE GREAT FOR JOINT HEALTH?
"In addition to their inflammatory healing properties, these mussels are considered a superfood because they contain a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, enzymes, and many more nutrients" (source).