Prior to domestication, dogs had to fend for themselves when it came to sourcing their food. There were no gourmet dinners and beautifully presented meals – your friendly hound would hunt and scavenge for any meat they could find. The Prey Model Raw (PMR) Diet for dogs is a feeding regime that replicates a primal hunting diet and includes the key vitamins and nutrients required for optimum canine health. On its own, and without supplementation, the PMR diet delivers a biologically appropriate complete feeding solution for dogs.
While we won’t go into the gory details, prey animals don’t typically slice their steak into perfect cubes or mince meat in the same way that we dish up our doggo’s evening meals. For dogs, hunting in the wild is a case of eating anything that you can get – fur, bones, organs and all. The PMR Diet replicates this primal feeding ratio by including portions of muscle meat, organs and bones. For extra nutritional and digestive benefits animal fur can also be added to the diet – see more information on fur specifically at our previous article – ‘Hairy scary furry bits – animal fur dog treats and digestive health’.
What are the advantages of a prey model raw diet for dogs?
The key nutrients provided by the PMR feeding ratio promote optimum health in your dog. Key to this is more energy and vitality – processed foods will eliminate energy from your pet and certainly do not provide the nutrients to have them feeling their best.
Chewing raw meat, bone and fur stimulates your dog’s natural instincts and satiates their primal hunting urges. These instincts are important for a dog’s wellbeing and shouldn’t be suppressed. In fact, feeding the PMR diet can actually eliminate destructive tendencies by giving your dog an outlet for their primal chewing desires (your shoes or couch will thank you!). This chewing on bone and fur is also great for dental health and the control of oral bacteria which will often resolve bad breath in dogs.
If your dog is listless and lacking overall wellbeing, a switch from processed food to the prey model raw diet should see their health and vitality improve tremendously. However, if your pet has underlying health issues or is unwell we always recommend seeking veterinary advice.
What are the portions of the prey model diet for dogs?
One advantage of the PMR diet is that it is very simple to feed and requires very minimal preparation. Essentially, the suggested Prey Model Raw diet feeding ratio is 80/10/10. This means eighty per cent raw muscle meat, ten per cent secreting organs (ideally made up of 50% liver) and ten per cent raw bones. While measuring out the portions of this diet for your dog might sound complicated, it is actually very simple.
Essentially, this ratio simply means raw meat (ideally diced meat or chunks of meat) supplemented with a small portion of organs and a raw bone. Unlike other feeding regimes which require dicing, mixing and cooking the PMR diet doesn’t require the addition of any other ingredients such as vegetables, fruits and other supplements. This ratio also doesn’t have to be fed in every meal but is good to aim for as an average each week. As with all new diets, we recommend transitioning your doggo over a period of time and introducing new foods slowly.
What type of meat should be fed as part of a raw diet for dogs?
A range of meats can be fed as part of a prey model raw diet, including beef, lamb, chicken and rabbit. Beef is often easiest to access and these larger bones are the safest to feed to your dog (and provide plenty of chewing hours). Our raw dog meat delivery service – Gully Road Raw – offers the option of a pre-portioned Balancer Kit PMR pack for ultimate convenience or you can choose from a range of other grass-fed beef products.
When choosing raw beef for dogs it is important to ensure that it is grass-fed, as this contains significantly higher proportions of nutrients and healthy fats in comparison with other commercially produced (feedlot finished) beef. Read more at ‘Where our natural beef dog treats come from and why it’s important’.
However, rabbit is also fantastic for dogs and is jam-packed full of nutrients. Rabbit is the most biologically appropriate food for dogs and – if you can access them – can even be fed fresh as a whole animal. If raw rabbit is a little hard to find, Gully Road offers a range of dehydrated rabbit products which contain all of the nutrients of fresh rabbit meat for dogs – see the Gully Road rabbit range here.
How much meat should I feed my dog?
The portion sizes recommended depend on several factors including your dog’s size, activity levels and whether or not they are overweight. For a moderately active pet the recommended portion size is 2–3% of bodyweight. For a dog that is not very active or is overweight 2% would be more appropriate. You should always monitor your dog’s condition and adjust feeding rates accordingly. For example, if your dog were to lose condition and become underweight when feeding a daily meat diet of 2.5% bodyweight this should be increased accordingly. To meet your dog’s nutritional and energy requirements, it is important to choose meat which contains some fat, as well as skin, if possible.
Is the prey model raw diet a complete diet for dogs?
Yes, good-quality grass-fed meat (such as beef), organs and bones provide all the key nutrients dogs require as part of a biologically appropriate diet. Although liver and other offal only make up 10% of the PMR diet, it provides a range of key nutritional benefits for dogs. See an excerpt from ‘Beef Offal for Dogs – Weird and Wonderful Bits and their Nutritional Benefits’ below;
The different organs that are collectively labelled ‘offal’ have a huge range of benefits for dogs. Whether fed as raw meat or dried treats (Gully Road offal is low temperature dehydrated to preserve the full nutritional content), offal is a crucial part of a healthy dog’s diet. Gully Road beef treats are from grass-fed cows and they also include a range of extra healthy fats – not typically found in commercially processed beef. Grass fed beef is significantly higher in fat soluble vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene (a potent antioxidant) and CLA.
Aside from the healthy fats that we have mentioned, offal provides a range of other nutritional benefits. Each organ has a different set of nutritional values:
Liver for Dogs
Liver is a vitamin-rich protein with vast nutritional benefits, being high in Omega-3s and packed full of Vitamins A, B, D, E and K as well as iron & taurine. Like liver, beef kidney is super rich in nutrients and proteins and delivers a large portion of your dog’s required daily vitamin intake. The PMR diet recommends feeding 10% offal, with half of this made up of liver and the remaining half made up of other secreting organs.
Kidney for Dogs
Grass fed kidney contains Omega 3 fatty acids as well as vitamins A, K, E, B12 and iron. This organ is known to contain anti-inflammatory properties while also being particularly good for heart and cardiovascular health. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision and eye health. Kidney is an ideal supplement for prevention of many degenerative disorders associated with ageing in senior dogs.
Heart Meat for Dogs
Heart is both a muscle and an organ, so has two key sets of benefits – much like feeding your dog lean muscle meat with an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, heart meat is an excellent source of B vitamins as well as essential fatty acids, iron, protein, phosphorus and taurine. This organ is also rich in thiamine, which is important for nourishing the brain and other high-energy organs.
Can I add vegetables to the Prey Model Raw diet?
The PMR diet consists solely of meat as represented in a primal hunting diet. However, there are plenty of dog owners who use this diet as a guide only and add some supplements, like vegetables, and the occasional treato.
How you feed this diet is a personal choice, but for optimum health, it is important to consider the complete nutritional picture of everything that is being fed to your dog.
Processed dog food – so why do we feed our dogs kibble and supermarket dog foods?
Like humans, dogs can eat processed foods and still live a reasonably healthy life – it doesn’t mean it’s good for them! Kibble and processed dog meats came about as a solution to owner convenience, not necessarily optimum canine health. Feeding your dog solely processed foods is akin to a human living off a diet of ready meals and pasta. Some of these processed dog foods have added vitamins, minerals and trace elements which are useful, however these are far better sourced from a natural raw or raw supplemented diet. Read more about natural supplements for dogs at ‘All about supplements for dogs – joint health and other benefits’.
Gully Road for Dogs
Gully Road Raw provides a raw dog meat delivery service, offering a range of highest-welfare raw beef products ideal for a Prey Model Raw diet for dogs. Gully Road Raw is sourced from our sister company Provenir, which is Australia’s only licensed mobile on-farm meat processing operation. Provenir is committed to delivering the highest welfare meat possible, to which on-farm butchery is key. All Gully Road Raw beef is free range, grass-fed and free from hormones and herd antibiotics.