Raw feeding for dogs

Recent studies have shown that adding raw food to your dog’s diet improves their overall health and longevity of life. Significant health benefits can already be seen when feeding just 20% of a dog’s daily diet in raw food.

In an exclusive interview, Dr Anna Hielm-Björkman, head of the DogRisk research group at the University of Helsinki, responds to some questions, concerns that many pet owners have about raw feeding.

Watch the video below!

The foundation of a raw diet is meat, bones, organs, fish and egg. Meat is an essential protein source for dogs. But protein is also derived also from fish, in addition to Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. Bones are essential for dogs because of their calcium, mineral and yeast content. The proportion of bones should be about 10-15%, about the same when eating a prey animal.

Sufficient amount of organs guarantees an adequate intake of Vitamin A and B, as well as minerals and yeast. A small amount of vegetables and berries adds fiber to the diet, which helps with the dog’s digestion. A dog doesn’t need carbohydrates, but the digestive system is capable of breaking them down to some extent.

Since you usually would not feed your dog with a whole prey animal, some nutrients, like iodine, might be left out of the diet. To compensate for this, you can add kelp.

BARF, RMB, 50/50 diet – A maze of concepts and terminology

When talking about raw feeding, you easily stumble upon different terms and practices.


BARF (BARF) is the most common term when talking about raw feeding for dogs. BARF stands for “Bones And Raw Food” or “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”. A Barf-diet consists of 50-70% meaty bones, the rest is meat, fish, vegetables and organs.


RMB or Raw Meaty Bones diet primarily consists of whole animal carcasses or large meaty bones. Vegetables are not recommended, but diet may include leftovers.

Prey Model 

The Prey Model is a feeding method in which the diet consists of 80% meat, 10% bones and the remaining 10% organs, as well as a small amount of grains to emulate the contents from the prey's stomach. The dog may be fed whole prey, small game, rabbit or chicken.

50/50 diet

In a 50/50 diet, or mixed feeding, half of the food is raw meat, half is dry food.

Raakaruoka koiralle. Kuvaaja: Tapani Romppainen
A dog does not need carbohydrates, but its body is able to break them down to some extent. Photographer: Tapani Romppainen


Research has shown that like people, dogs also benefit from organic and biologically appropriate raw food. However, feeding a dog raw food may seem challenging or at least cumbersome for many. In addition, dog owners are often worried if their dog is getting everything they need from the diet.

Pala teki raakaruokinnan vieläkin helpommaksi

Pala made raw feeding easy

There are several frozen wholesome raw foods on the market. These foods need to be kept frozen and defrosted for a few hours before feeding. Can raw feeding be any easier than this?

Yes, it can be. Pala made raw feeding even easier. Pala has all the benefits of raw food with the convenience of a dry kibble. Pala is a wholesome dog food without any unnecessary additives. Just natural raw materials, mixed into a mass and gently air-dried at low temperatures, without breaking down any proteins and nutrients. All this without any grains or fillers in the food. The dry, finished product is then cut into bite size pieces and packed in a bag. Pala can be stored at room temperature and is very convenient to take with you to the cottage, on a boat or on a hike.

Thanks to Pala, raw feeding is conveniently easy even in the most challenging situations.

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