Doggie Daycare, Dog Boarding, Groomers & Training Alexandria VA


In the heart of Del Ray!
2301 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301

Raw Meaty Bones

The Raw Facts

What is Raw and Why Raw?

The science underlying the raw food diet for canines is deeply rooted in the modern experience and research of large carnivore caretakers within zoos and wild animal rehabilitation centers. Our owner, Paul Haire, first became aware of the important science while briefly hosting a 100 lb Bobcat and his trainer at his home in Del Ray in the 90s.

A raw diet mimics as closely as possible what canines ate before they became domesticated: Raw meat, meaty bones and vegetable scraps. A raw diet should also be nutritionally complete and balanced to provide the needed spectrum of vitamins, minerals, essential fats, enzymes and other trace elements your dog needs.

Our raw products are either already complete and balanced or become so with our 100% natural food-sourced fortifier which is added once per day.

A raw diet is not for everyone but there are known benefits to feeding raw:

  • Healthier teeth from the introduction of raw meaty bones (RMB).
  • Raw feeders find that their dogs have more energy and a healthier body mass.
  • Since many of the developed dog allergies are due to grains and processed foods, a raw diet provides as close to a hypoallergenic diet as possible and eliminates many common causes.
  • Firmer and more consistent bowel movements. Many times movements are in the form of smaller balls that turn grey or white and will crumble if forgotten.

We subscribe to the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food model (B.A.R.F.) which can include fruits and vegetables. This is opposed to the Prey model (whole animals) which is based on dogs being solely carnivorous. The Prey model feeds complete animal carcasses.

The fact is that dogs have become domesticated as have their digestive systems over 1000s of years so they are no longer strictly carnivores. Fruits and vegetables have become part of a normal diet and are “appropriate” in the B.A.R.F.

Additionally, dogs in the wild who chase and kill prey are subject to the foods that animal has eaten, as well, and which usually include greens and fruits. It has been observed that often times wolves will eat the stomach intestines first, and some believe this is because the wolves are searching for those foods eaten by their prey; grass, berries, leaves, etc.

What are Raw Meaty Bones (RMB)?

RMB are an important component to a dog’s raw diet; they are a fantastic source of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorous and more. Of course like other bones they also promote healthy teeth and gums and provide a natural form of calcium that promotes skeletal health.

Raw bones are not cooked and as such do not suffer from excessive splintering.

Plus, your dog really loves bones!!

RMB can be used even if your dog is not on a full raw diet and their benefits are the same whether you are feeding kibble or raw. RMB should always be given to a dog with supervision and never cook bones as they become brittle.

Transition & Suggested Daily Raw Feeding Guidelines

Most, but not all dogs, should transition to a raw diet not unlike transitioning from one kibble to another. The time allowed will vary based on your experiences and your dog. Mixing a smaller amount of raw to your kibble and gradually increasing the percentage should provide less of a chance of an upset stomach that may occur when you introduce the relatively rich meats.

The percentages used in a raw dog’s diet vary and can be based on the dog itself to include its age and health level or even one’s researched opinion really.

As generally accepted ranges to begin with we offer the following guidelines:

The diet itself should consist of:

  • 60-75% Meat
  • 10-25% Bones
  • 5-15% Organ Meats
  • 15-25% Vegetables & Fruit

Also generally most raw dogs eat twice a day and suggested TOTAL feedings should be based on:

  • 1-3% of DESIRED body weight for adults
  • 2-10% of DESIRED IDEAL adult body weight for puppies (feed total during 3 feedings/day)
  • Adjust this total WEIGHT derived from calculation above down by the percentage of RMBs added.

For example if the dog’s desired weight was 100 pounds and you determined you wanted to use the 3% as the calculator and wanted to make 10% of that RMB then:

100lbs x .03 = 3lbs per day raw without RMB

RMB = .1 x 3lbs = .3lbs RMB

3lbs raw - .3lbs RMB = 2.7lbs raw

So you will be giving your dog .3 pounds of RMBs and 2.7 pounds of raw food.

Detox Period

When starting Raw for the first time there is generally a detox period.

During this detox it is not uncommon to observer: 

  • Loose and/or odd color stools 
  • Shedding (so a new glossy coat can show!) 
  • Gas 
  • Laziness (more than normal!) 
  • Additional ear debris 
  • Finicky eating or loss of appetite 
  • Decreased water intake 
  • Dogs on a raw diet tend to drink less water in the long term as well. Raw food contains a much higher water content than dry kibble.

What is High Pressure Pasteurization and do I want it?

High Pressure Pasteurization, or HPP, is a method developed by the USDA for human foods as a method of eliminating pathogenic microbes in foods such as salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli. which is known to cause illness in humans.

High Pressure Pasteurization (non-thermal) is a controversial topic among advocates of a raw diet. Each side has arguments for/against HPP.


Supporters of HPP propose that HPP provides a safer product by eliminating most food borne germs such as those already mentioned.

They also hold that it creates a safer product since it also destroys microorganisms that cause spoilage.

Anti-HPP (The Dog Store is anti-HPP whenever possible)

Opponents to HPP believe that it essentially sterilizes the raw food and one of the top benefits of raw is the good microbes it contains and did contain when dogs were undomesticated. Following the ideology of feeding as close to the foods previously hunted by dogs it is reasonable to assume that the prey actually killed by dogs, too, included both “good” and “bad” microbes.

As an answer to the argument regarding the “bad” microbes such as salmonella, those in the anti-hpp camp point out that dogs are very well equipped to deal with bacteria because a dog’s system is built differently than a human’s in terms of dealing with microbes and bacteria.

A dog’s saliva has antibacterial properties and it contains lysozyme. Lysozyme is an enzyme that lyses and destroys harmful bacteria.

Their short digestive tract is designed to push through food and bacteria quickly without giving bacteria time to colonize.

The extremely acidic environment in the gut is also a good bacteria colonization deterrent and dogs, even those not on a raw diet shed salmonella and other bacteria in their feces indicating that it can be successfully passed through the bacteria resistant environment inside the dog.

Believed cases where the bacteria in raw meat purportedly hurt a dog may very likely to be a result of an immunocompromised system or some underlying previous problem.

The HPP process results in the denaturation of proteins. Denaturation can be beneficial in aiding digestion but this is only in the case of substandard proteins often found in cheaper dry kibble and by changing the structure of raw proteins you actually make the food harder to digest.

Additionally, most raw food providers not only use USDA inspected meats, which are further tested for nutrients and pathogens thus lessen any potential for high loads of toxins of any kind, but also follow responsible food processing guidelines and there is actually a lower risk of recall due to bad microbes than those of dry kibble.

If your dog has a weakened immune system for any health reason we suggest you consult your Vet before introducing a raw diet.

Handling Guidelines

Regardless of whether the HPP process is utilized or not, you are handling an uncooked product. Even with the HPP process there is a risk of recontamination after the process. You should follow the same guidelines you would with human raw foods to prevent illness and cross contamination in your kitchen. Wash your hands and preparation area thoroughly before working with other foods.

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