How to Boost Your Dog’s Diet by Pairing Raw Food with Stay Loyal!

Here at Stay Loyal, we are all about making sure your dog has the best nutrition possible, so she lives a longer, healthier life. Feeding good food saves you money, not just on the food itself, but in vet bills. Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet. And, just like human food, no dog food can be completely balanced. On the other hand, raw diets are often lacking vitamins and minerals that are essential to your dog’s health as well (thiamine and vitamin B1 deficiency being the two most often seen in raw fed dogs). For these reasons, we recommend adding raw foods to your Stay Loyal food for a balanced diet and healthier dog. There are two types of raw foods you can add to our food – meat and vegetables/fruits. Since dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, vegetables and fruits do have nutritional benefits for your dog and should be part of their diet.

Raw Meat

We recommend raw meaty bones be added to your dog’s meal two to three times a week. Raw meaty bones like chicken neck (thyroid removed) and chicken wings for small dogs and lamb necks, shanks, brisket and flaps for larger dogs. Beef brisket is also great if your dog doesn’t have a beef allergy.

Raw Meaty Bones are possibly the best teeth cleaning product on the market. Your dog’s teeth are made for tearing and chewing meat and bone. This activity is what cleans them, helping prevent your dog from developing periodontal disease – which will lead to vet bills and even death!

DO NOT COOK MEATY BONES!

Cooked bones become hard and can crack teeth. They are also known to splinter and can cause obstruction. If you have a senior dog and you are worried that even raw bones may break their teeth, you can watch them and remove the bone after they have gotten the meat off. I find lamb brisket and flaps to be quite soft so maybe give them a go.

It’s safest to buy human-grade meat. Studies have shown that raw meats marked for “pets” are not handled as safely as those marked for humans, with over half of them testing positive for E. Coli. While dog’s stomachs can handle some bacteria, feeding it every day can lead to problems.

To help avoid obstruction or choking, be sure you are feeding a raw meaty bone that’s the right size for your dog. For example, a chicken bone could easily be swallowed whole by a Dane and get stuck in his throat. You can also watch your dog to make sure he is chewing and not swallowing whole.

When introducing the bones to your dog make sure you watch them carefully for the first week or two, to make sure they are cautious while chewing on their bone. Some dogs are better about this than others. Some dogs are just gutses and maybe need a special type of bone that suits their enthusiasm. Or maybe its safest for them to never have bones. Be aware that raw meaty bones do occasionally cause issues in a small number of dogs that don’t chew properly. I myself have never had a problem but have heard of bones getting stuck on the way down, so again, some common sense and supervision while feeding meaty bones.

Raw Meaty Bones Help the Anal Glands Excrete Naturally!

What to do if your dog seems constipated after eating bones. As long as the stool comes out, it is fine. I believe these hard stools are a good thing. Here’s why, the hard stool on the way out puts pressure on

the anal glands and makes them excrete. The way nature intended. If your dog actual can’t poo from eating the raw meaty bones, switch to something with less bone and more meat. Or add a bit of Stay Loyal to the meal to add fiber, which will help the stool come out easier.

Finally – there have been a couple recalls recently from big name pet food companies whose wet food were contaminated with elevated levels of naturally occurring thyroid from animal gullets contained in the food. The United States Food & Drug Administration is warning that dogs have already gotten sick from food where the thyroid gland was not completely removed. It can cause weight loss, restlessness, elevated thirsty and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, and even hypothyroidism. So this is another reason to buy human-grade raw meaty bones, rather than pre-packaged raw dog foods.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits & vegetables can also add nutrients to your dog’s diet. Some, such as carrots and strawberries, can be fed raw. Others, like pumpkin should be cooked first. Green beans can be canned, frozen, or fresh. If buying canned, be sure you buy the “no salt added” cans. Fruits and vegetables should be added in strict moderation. Some, like pumpkin and green been, add fiber to your dog’s diet and so can help if your dog is having constipation. Green beans are also great if you are working on your dog losing weight – they help your dog feel full without adding too many extra calories. Most fruits and veggies are safe for dogs, but if you are not sure, ask your vet first. Remember to avoid apple cores and seeds, for example.

All Good Things In Moderation!

Just like everything in life, too much of a good thing can do harm. For vegetables, keep them below 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

Too many meaty bones can lead to pancreatitis or gastroenteritis due to the fat content (not to mention weight gain!), so be sure to stick to just two to three times a week as mentioned above and moderate sized servings.

Mixing these raw foods in with your Stay Loyal dog food will keep them happy and healthy, from head to tail, for years to come.

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35 Comments

  1. Hi Robert,
    Just want to let you know how much I enjoy your newsletters. It’s nice to know that the person who manufactures your dogs food keeps in touch with your customers and gives such common sense advice!
    None of my poodles scratches much any more since being on StayLoyal. This is a big factor when there are four dogs! Thanks once again.

    1. Your are very Welcome Maureen, thank you for the great feedback and we are happy your dogs are feeling better. :-)

  2. Thank you for all your advice on healthy way to feed my boy , I was told by my vet not to feed Odin an American staffy raw bones, he has been suffering from a rash for a while now and licking and scratching is driving him and all the family crazy. So I gave stay loyal a try and raw lamb necks he loves it and slowly but surly it looks like the spots are going licking and scratching is slowing down Thank you for everything, unfortunately because of personal reasons I have to stop buying stay loyal but I’ll be straight back as soon as I can. Thank you again Phil

  3. Hi, I have 2 cavoodles (fussy ones I might add) they do love Stay Loyal though. I also give them a chicken leg every day, I chop off the pointy bit in the middle. Is giving them one every night bad for them, they so much enjoy them. Thanks

    1. Hi Jeanette, If its working for you and your dogs then its fine. As long as half their food comes from the Stay loyal I would think the balance is fine.

  4. Robert as well as giving 15 month old shepherd beef chuck bones we also give him goat horns from petstock. Over a month or so he gnaws them down from 10 inches long to about 3 or 4 inches. my question is after finding the odd small piece on the floor and noticing how hard they are 1 are they harmful 2 do they break down in his stomach. stools look perfect. Also be reordering in the next week or so very happy customer cheers.

    1. Hi Michael, if its working why change I say. It really would depend on the dog and how they chew their bones/horn. Some dogs are brilliant and you will never have issues and other dogs are silly and will always swallow the wrong things, even things you don’t give them to chew. :-)

  5. I believe your tips for better eating for dogs, however I’m sure a Boerbol is a little different to a small Westie. I give mine a Dentastix every night and they don’t have bones at all. Am trying to get through a huge grainfree Wellness Core bag at the moment and will try your Stayloyal bag later on.
    My Westie has a ‘chronic and lifelong’ (vets judgement) atopic dermatitis, bought on by inhaling/scrabbling in potting mix for an hour or so when she was just a pup (I believe). And she was very sick after that for a month or so. She scratches all the time, has no hair on her stomach and has had 5 years of prednisone (have tried the Malaseb, dog soaps, mashed potato/kangaroo meat diets, herbal stuff like calendula flower and burkrot root teas in her water etc).Only the pills slow the chronic itching and scratching. And her smelliness means a wash is needed weekly.
    My second westie comes from a better breeder, has no itchiness and is a joy.
    Thanks for your tips.

    1. Hi Helgi, Dogs are quite the same no matter the size we just need to give them different sized bones. I think for your westies situation if you give me a call and we discuss everything in details we can come up with some helpful suggestions on how to stop the itch.

  6. I feed my dogs chicken necks with raw meat and their stay loyal but how do you know if the thyroid is removed?

  7. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your blog. My dog is very fussy and whenever we mix the stay loyal with the meat he just picks the meat out and leaves the stay loyal.
    So what exactly should I feed him? just the stay loyal and then add meat 2 -3 times a week?
    What if he refuses to eat anything is this ok for him to not eat for a day?
    Frustrated with his feeding habits.
    Thanks
    Bev

  8. Hi Robert I have been feeding my adopted 7 year old miniature Schnauzer Parker on Stay Loyal for about 18 months now. And I give him a few chicken necks per week, but what does the thyroid gland look like and how do I remove it. Also I put a small spoon of good quality fish oil on his meal in the evenings or the occasional half tin of tune in oil. Can I add on odd occasion a raw egg?
    He is not spoilt, I repeat not spoilt but very much loved.

    1. Hi Carmel, The thyroid should be removed already but best ask the store where you buy them. The fish oil and tuna are not necessary but if its working it wont hurt to continue. Raw egg does rob the body of biotin however the occasional raw egg, say once a month wont do much harm. Cooked is best.

  9. Hi Robert, Enjoyed your post “How to boost etc.” Weighed my dog today and she has put on 3kl since I have been feeding her Stayloyal. Vet says she is the picture of health, just overweight. So tonight I fed her cooked pumpkin and sweet potato and half a cup of dryfood. She is a cross Australian Cattle Dog, 6 years old. She is always hungry. I do give her fresh bones. You mentioned chicken necks. When I buy them at the supermarket have they had their thyroid removed? Any other hints to help with the problem. I do enjoy all your posts. Sincerely, Pamela Mason

    1. Hi Pamela, a hungry dog is a healthy dog. Best not to feed dogs like that to their hunger levels. Best to feed them to their condition. If they are too fat feed less… if they are too thin feed more. I think the thyroid has been removed from the store bought chicken necks, however it would be best for you to ask the store where you buy them. As far as hints go, just feed less. I would probably half the portion you were feeding and adjust from there.

  10. Morning Robert & David,
    I am so pleased I stumbled across your website. I have just ordered my second bag of stay loyal. My Great Dane cross SAS, has suffered all his life with bad skin; so bad sometimes he looks like he has the mange.
    Anyway after just three weeks his coat looks the shiniest it has in years, we can stroke his back without a flinch., which is great.
    When placing my order for our second bag this weekend, i came across your feeding guidelines and May 2016 monthly newsletter. I realise from reading those that my dog is quite overweight , obese even! (which I already knew but didn’t know how to fix), so I am making some changes to his diet, in the amount and frequency of eating.
    Understanding the working of dogs and science behind everything made sense and was written in an easy to understand format.
    Anyway it made an impact on me and I have already started the life changes to his eating habits; I now know they were habits, because he would beg for food 2 mins after consuming his own dinner, and of course we were all weak and would feed him tit-bits every time we ate, when there are a few of you in the family that all adds up. The family have all been told about his new menu.
    I must say he is confused understandably at the moment but I have no doubt he will be into his new routine in a few days.
    I will be sure to send a before and after photo.
    I just want to thank you for caring enough about our wonderful loyal ‘best friends’ and to take the time educate us, I don’t know how many people i have met when I walk SAS who have similar food allergies. I know for sure from now on I will be singing your praises and recommending your product.
    Cheers

    1. Hi Tina, we are glad you are having such great results and good on you for realising your dog is obese.
      It won’t be long before he is bouncing around like a puppy again. And thank you for spreading the word about us, it’s much appreciated. :-)

  11. Hi Robert

    Just wanted to let you know that stay loyal has helped my very fussy mini foxy i was making homemade food for her which i had to feed from my hand then i changed to stay loyal and she loves it no more hand feeding.
    Thank You
    Joanne

  12. Thank you for the newsletter, it is awesome. Just want to know about the best deworming for dogs eating raw food ? Thank you.

  13. our Dobermans have had two meaty bones every day for years and the ones before them and before those 10 in all they all had 2x day bones , they never got sick or had any problems at all , they have roo meat full of natural vit I s and minerals , veggies yoghurt, fruit they pick fresh from the trees themselves when in season they eat whole carrots apples tinned mackrel in tomatoe sauce once a week mackrel is full of vitamins and minerals , they have great teeth clean skin shiney coats and very fit , haven’t heard of your biscuits before but my dogs get a no grain biscuit s, I would like to know every ingredient in your buscuits please

  14. Hi Robert, thank you for your articles, I find them very educational.
    Regarding the above feeding article, you mentioned avoiding apple cores and seeds. Is this because of potential chocking hazard or is there something more insidious? My golden retriever likes to occasionally eat the apples, cores and all, that fall from our apple tree.

    1. Hi Ray, my understanding is that apple seeds have a small amount of arsenic in them. So, if your dog eats a lot of them it could accumulate in the system and cause death.

    1. Hi David, i dont see anything wrong with adding those to the diet once a week. Its when you add them too much you could effect the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of the entire diet.

  15. Hi Robert,
    I was intrigued to learn that pumpkin should be fed cooked, as I had a Bichon who would leap on any dropped bits of raw pumpkin. I think she thought it was dog candy. Do you have a blogpost where you list which fruits and veggies are to be fed cooked v’s raw? If not, are you able to point me in the direction of a suitable article? Lastly, do you know why the pumpkin is to be cooked, or just know that it should be? I love learning new ways to maximise the health of our dogs. Unfortunately, our vet, though a lovely man, is not able to provide information on nutrition that doesn’t involve feeding one of the standard manufactured foods. It is a sad failure of vet (and medical) schools, that teaching on nutrition is so neglected.

    1. Hi Sam,
      I think i will have to write an article on this subject. I have done a little research and its a good idea to cook the pumpkin to ease digestion but also because pumpkin can go off quickly. So if you want to feed raw pumpkin make sure its fresh and hasn’t gone off. Sorry for the confusion.

  16. Hello Robert, I was wondering do you have any newsletters on different meals and different foods that can be safely added to Stay Loyal for good nutrition but also for a change of flavour occasionally for our fur babies, that I may have missed before we “joined” the StayLoyal family ? Ruffnut continues to improve , we are half way through our second bag. We are SO GRATEFUL for all the newsletters and mostly for Stay Loyal food. thankyou for your kind care for our dogs and your knowedge.

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