I've been asked to write some information about feeding dogs/puppies, both raw feeding and information about dog foods. Let's start with dog food, as most people feed that. Dog food can be a huge hot button issue. There are foods out there that are distinctly unhealthy, but your dog can seem to do fine on them. Switch to a better food though, and you'll see a difference. The benefits of using a "grade A" food: Increased health healthier coat eats less smaller bowel movements (less "waste" going in, less coming out) increased life span decreased health issues less smell So what makes up a grade A food, you ask? Let's start with the most basic ingredient. Take your bag of dog food. What do you think it the number one ingredient? Surely meat, right? Let's take a look at the list of ingredients. Often you will see: Corn, meat meal, (meat) by-product As the first ingredient. This is bad! Dogs are carnivores. Sure, they'll eat a bit of grain or vegetable matter when they are hungry, but they are meat eaters. They are not designed to eat corn or grains. As for meat by-products, these are disgusting. You don't even want to go there. The first ingredient should always be a meat. And a specific meat, not just "Poultry." To make it better, three out of the first four ingredients should be a meat. Here we have more detailed information and a list of certain dog foods. It may surprise you to see some of these foods and their grades. Science Diet? But your vet recommends it, right? While certainly not true to all vets, the majority do NOT receive adequate animal nutrition education. So do you know where that education comes from? That's right, the representatives of dog foods, most often, Hills, the maker of Science Diet. The ingredients speak for themselves. Let's move on to raw. Raw, or more commonly called "BARF" (Bones and Raw Foods), is the method of feeding your dog an unpackaged diet consisting of raw meat and bones. This diet can be tricky to work out, but if you follow a few basic rules and do lots of research, feeding raw is a huge benefit to your pet's health. Bones are important; they must be raw, and sized accordingly to the dog. Bones are what clean the teeth. Almost all bones are safe in their raw form, even chicken bones. Also important is the organs, or the process of feeding "whole" foods. This can be difficult with smaller dogs, but I will explain how I go about this. Let's first look at a few examples of what you can feed. Chicken, and all poultry, all pieces, in parts from the store, or whole, feathers included Beef, pieces in proper size, with smaller bones Venison, pieces of proper size, smaller bones, hide included is a bonus Goat, yes goat!, same as above Small animals, i.e. mice, rats, chicks, rabbits, whole or in part or even ground The real key is variety. And including the organ meats on a small basis, as in, less organ meat compared to bone, and less bone compared to meat. Smaller animals can be ground whole, yes disgusting, but then you have a nice ground product that has everything your dog needs. No teeth benefits here, but a nice larger bone to chew can help that. How much to feed the dog is a case-by-case basis. I suggest you do a lot of research and then experiment on what fills your dog up. As an example, let's take a look at my chihuahua's meals. Monday: One chicken wing Tuesday: Half a cup of raw ground rabit Wenesday: Half a chicken wing and a bit of venison Thursday: A couple carrots, a little liver, and a bit of quail Friday: Half a quail Saturday: One chicken wing Sunday: Ground rabbit and some venison During parts of the year, it's even more varied. The great thing about raw is you can find things on sale and stock up. Later on, there will be beef in there, or lamb, or mutton. I usually steer away from pork, as I don't feel its a healthy meat. When switching your dog to any new diet, whether it is raw or a different kibble, it is very important to do it gradually. With kibble, you can start mixing the food, a little of the new with the old, and every other day, increase the new and decrease the old. With raw, you can start by perhaps giving your dog a bit of raw once a day, and increasing the amount every few weeks while decreasing the amount of kibble. In conclusion, I hope this has been some help to you, and shown you that better dog food is better for your pet. While I feel that any dog food is better than a homeless dog, I will always do my best to educate without being rude, and encourage people to switch from a poor food. If price is an issue, please remember, your dog will eat LESS of the better food, because it is higher quality and he will not need as much to stay healthy. Often if you do the math, you will find the better dog food is cheaper than the poorer brand. Also, your dog is less likely to have health issues on the better food. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.