Our natural raw dog food is 100% nutritious. It is designed to help your dog thrive. We follow an evolutionary template backed by cutting edge science and research.
Bella & Duke food is free from grains, fillers and nasty preservatives. Simply meat, bone, select veg & berries and healthy fats.
If you are new to raw, read our beginners guide to raw dog food.
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A beginners guide to raw dog food
An increasing number of dog owners are asking what raw dog food is. We give you detailed answers to common questions and introduce you to the nutritional science that underpins a raw diet for dogs, in our Raw Food Guide for Beginners.
Let’s introduce you to the principles & the practice of feeding raw dog food to your best friend.
Quick links to raw feeding guide
The principles of a raw dog food diet
The Raw Dog Food Diet is based on what is believed to be the evolutionary feeding template of wolves. Wolves are the nearest forebears and evolutionary ancestor to our domestic dogs. It is from the wolf that every single dog breed has sprung from.
The evolution of a dog
By eating the foods they have evolved to eat, dogs enjoy better health & longevity德国赛车. We are seeing evidence, both from research and clinical feedback (results in clinics, vets surgeries, and health practices) to support this.
It’s exactly the same in the human world, where the ‘Paleo Diet’ has swept us all by storm in the last few years. The Paleo Diet  encourages humans to eat an ‘evolutionary template of foods’… one which our bodies were designed to eat, to get the best from our bodies. Be that health, longevity, leanness or energy. This diet includes:
- Limited fruits and berries
- Healthy fats
德国赛车It’s exactly the same story with dogs. If you feed your dog a diet it has not evolved to eat, they will find the food more difficult to digest.
Think about the sloppy dog poos you see when you walk down the street (learn more about ideal dog poo).
Speaking of food your dog has NOT evolved to eat, find out why you should choose a grain free diet for your dog
The rise of canine health issues
德国赛车An inappropriate diet can affect your dog’s blood sugar, create inflammation and lead to health issues.
Advocates of raw feeding attribute the rapid rise of dog cancer and early-onset autoimmune disease to the mainstream food and chemicals which dogs have been increasingly exposed to over the last 15 years. Ones which they were never designed to eat.
德国赛车Just like with ourselves, we want our dogs to experience health, longevity and vibrant energy. By switching them over to the foods they have evolved to eat, most of the mainstream health issues dogs experience seem to be miraculously disappearing.
We wouldn’t be surprised to hear the garage mechanic tell us we had voided the warranty on our new car because we filled it with wine, not petrol.
Why should we be surprised to hear that feeding dogs newly invented, processed food which is high in sugar, carbohydrates and rancid fats is remotely healthy or helpful?
德国赛车Feeding raw respects the ‘warranty’ on your dog, so to speak. This is what they’re built for, so this is what you should feed them.
Dogs & wolves: the evolution of the canine diet
The limited number of studies are out there show that wolves were scavengers, predatory yes, but scavengers who preyed on a wide variety of meat, and wherever available, fish and seafood.
They ate whole carcasses, organ meats and whatever was in the animal’s stomach; be it partially fermented grass, fruits, some vegetables. There was also plenty of fur and cartilage for fibre.
Depending on the year and availability, they may have even scavenged some berries directly.
In addition to this template, many believe that adding a few select vegetables and fruits can increase the antioxidant consumption of the dog whilst decreasing the risk of cancer and illness.
The key here is a ‘few‘ and ‘select德国赛车‘. If we stray too far from the path of a dog’s evolutionary capacity, you can challenge their immune system and digestion rather than help it.
Increasing a dog’s fruit (sugar) consumption beyond a certain level can contribute to
How dogs are different to wolves
By definition, dogs have evolved from wolves in that they have changed, adapted and generally moved on.
They also sleep inside and have easier lives of it on the whole. Their digestion is slightly different.
德国赛车Wolves and dogs are different, but share many characteristics and inheritances
德国赛车But this is the key part: biological evolution often lags behind advances in the environment. It adapts or dies.
The benefits of a raw dog food diet
When you feed raw dog food, you will begin to see amazing changes in your dog’s health and happiness within days.
德国赛车In fact, 92% of our happy customers said they noticed an improvement in their dog’s health within only 8 weeks of switching!
Some of the more obvious benefits of raw dog food include less wind and firmer poo, an improvement in coat quality and more evenly balanced energy levels.
What the vets say about raw dog food
We consulted with several leading vets, spearheading the movement for a change in the traditional, processed food approach.
These top vets advocate a raw diet. .
A diet that predominantly consists of meat, organs, and bones is recommended. We interviewed them at a recent conference at Stirling University, and here is a sample of their responses:
Raw dog food research
德国赛车We recently surveyed over 3,154 Bella & Duke customers about what they have seen since switching their dog to raw dog food. Here is a snapshot of the results –
What goes into a raw dog food diet?
The ratio of meat to vegetables
The most well known of the "Raw Diets" is BARF (Bones and Raw Feeding). This is one of the "Ancestral Templates" out there, which promotes an 80:10:10德国赛车 ratio of meat, bones and offal.
德国赛车Of the offal, many practitioners tout 5% liver and 5% other offal as an ideal mix. Whilst this is a great template and a sound guideline, it is my humble opinion that it is only that… a guideline.
德国赛车The reason for this is that wolves, as scavengers, will have enjoyed hugely varied diets. Feasting on a wild boar or chasing down a pack of hares, all of these foods are equally valid but enormously different. We also have a seasonal overlay to put on top of this.
For more about BARF and No Veg Raw, head here – 80-10-10 BARF Explained
Adding veg & berries
Additionally to the meat, bones & offal recommendation, several influencers are promoting a ratio of 15-20% vegetables and berries. Practically speaking, a newly revised ratio is 64:8:8:20德国赛车 (meat, bones, offal, vegetables and berries).
Apart from the antioxidant benefits, the soluble and insoluble fibres in the fruit and veggie components help grow good gut bacteria and maintain gut motility.
Once again, the key is to avoid overstepping this sugar quota, even if it is fruit, to avoid excess demand of insulin and inflammation. Reap the benefits, avoid the downsides.&
德国赛车Many owners are seduced by the marketing of total protein content. However, it’s really the amino acid profile and presence which is much more important.
There are 22 amino acids, of which a dog can make 12 itself (cats can make 11). An essential amino acid is one of these which CANNOT be made in the body and needs to be sourced through the diet or supplementation. It is essential德国赛车 in the diet.
10 Amino acids required in a canine diet
These 10 essential amino acids for dogs which are required in their diet include:
Arginine (symbol Ar, also known as L-arginine) is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow.
德国赛车L-arginine also stimulates the release of growth hormone, insulin, and other substances in the body. It is also important in the synthesis of proteins.
Histidine (symbol His or H) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Histidine is important for maintenance of myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells and is metabolised to the neurotransmitter histamine.
德国赛车Histamines play many roles in immunity, gastric secretion, and sexual functions. Histidine is also required for blood cell manufacture.
Isoleucine has a range of physiological functions, such as assisting wound healing, detoxification of nitrogenous wastes, stimulating immune function, and promoting secretion of several hormones.
Leucine德国赛车 is important for protein synthesis and many metabolic functions. Leucine contributes to the regulation of blood-sugar levels, growth and repair of muscle and bone tissue, growth hormone production, and wound healing. The supply of Leucine is used up by exercise so replenishment through diet is important.
Lysine德国赛车 most common role for lysine is proteinogenesis. Lysine frequently plays an important role in protein structures and epigenesis.
Methionine 德国赛车dietary methionine is a potent antioxidant and also an important amino acid for liver repair due to its ability to support the body’s detoxification process.
德国赛车DL-Methionine is often added to dog food to reduce the acid level in urine and is sometimes called the ‘grass saver’ as it reduces the brown burns from urine on lawns. It sometimes used for treatment of kidney stones.
Valine Valine is one of a group of amino acids called Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA); the others are Leucine and Isoleucine. Neither dogs or cats can synthesise these amino acids internally so they need to be present in the diet.
They are important as they constitute one third of the muscular proteins in dogs. Leucine has also been shown to be important in slowing the degradation of muscular tissues, so is especially important for senior dogs.
Please note Cats also need Taurine, another amino acid, as they cannot make it themselves. (this is what makes cat food different to dog food) Check out our Cat food options
Myths about protein for dogs
There are many myths and misconceptions about protein. The top three are:
- Higher protein = better quality. Not so; better quality = better quality
- Protein is just protein. Not so, better quality protein is better quality protein
- Protein will make my dog angry, sad, grumpy or create liver and kidney disease. Not so; quality, species-appropriate protein will never do this. We have a great article around this topic – raw dog food calms dogs down.
德国赛车So what is a good quality species-appropriate protein? Quality graded, animal-based protein – with all of the essential amino acids present and most of the others too, will help support your dog’s health, energy and longevity.
high quality meat will also help cell repair, promote recovery from exercise, and provide lots of vitamins and minerals to boot.
德国赛车It’s true that some dogs on higher protein diets have suffered from the symptoms, mentioned above, in the past. These are invariably dogs fed on either rendered proteins, which have been highly processed, heated and oxidised, or dehydrated proteins.
These force the liver and kidneys to work unnaturally hard. Raw feeding is all about giving food to your dog in the most natural state possible with minimal processing. Mincing, mixing and freezing is all you will ever need. The food will do the rest!
The role of offal in raw dog food
德国赛车Offal is the internal organs and stomach contents of an animal. To keep this simple, if you are sourcing your protein from reputable providers, then you should be feeding these to your dog.
德国赛车Offal represents some of the most nutrient-rich food on the planet. Dogs and Wolves naturally gravitate to this for a reason. A pack of wolves will always gravitate towards the stomach of a fresh kill, consuming its contents and the organ meats first.
They are jam-packed not only with essential amino acids, but also loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Why is a reputable source important? Because these organ meats can also be where the animal protein source harbours its toxins. Say a cow has been fed on the cow equivalent of processed kibble, rather than allowed to graze outside.
It stands to reason that its liver won’t be as healthy to consume as one that has been raised on a natural diet. After all, you are what you eat.
Is varying meals better in a raw dog food diet?
Yes. There are two德国赛车 main reasons for varying proteins your dog is exposed to
1) Your dog will receive the full spectrum of amino acids in the correct balance
We could go into a lot more scientific detail about organ meats and muscle protein differences, but the short, digestible answer is that protein variety is the spice of life and the fountain of health
2) You are also minimising the likelihood of he or she developing food intolerances by varying proteins
All dogs will have at some time a degree of intestinal permeability德国赛车 (leaky gut), which is the gateway to developing unwanted immune reactions. This is made worse by repeated exposure to the same food.
The best way to prevent this happening is by maintaining the integrity of your dogs gut lining. The next component is to vary protein.
The rotation raw dog food diet
A template that has been used successfully for this, the Rotation Diet德国赛车, varies the protein on a four-day cycle. For example
- Beef for four days
- Then chicken for four days
- Then fish for four days.
This allows breathing space for the immune system to desensitise 德国赛车to specific proteins. If you suspect your dog already has an allergy or intolerance, then you will need to keep them off it for much longer than 4 days.
Try keeping them off the food for 28 days, then reintroduce slowly. Want to read more about intolerance and allergies? Check out the post ‘Intolerances: What are they and how to avoid them‘.
How to switch my dog to raw dog food
Changing your dog’s diet to raw dog food shouldn’t be difficult, so we wrote this guide to make it as easy as possible for you.
Most dogs transition to raw dog food very easily. Whether you are switching from kibble, wet food or cooked food, you should see a clean plate within seconds.
The straight swap
德国赛车Keep it simple. We suggest a straight swap. Feed your dog the last meal of their old food the night before, leave it 12 hours and make the switch to raw dog food the following morning. Why move over from a junk food diet slowly?
Phase it in
For some dogs, a move directly and instantly onto raw can be challenging. It all depends on your dog’s current state of health. Instead of an immediate switch, you can start slowly. Offer raw as a treat for the first few days and slowly build up.
See how they respond and monitor their behaviour.
德国赛车Start with Raw Dry
How much raw dog food to feed
For an adult dog, we advise feeding them, on average, 2% to 3% of their ideal weight per day. Some need a little less and some need more. You must also take into consideration your dog’s size, their energy levels, how active they are and how stressed they may be.
Try our raw dog food feeding calculator
What to expect when transitioning to raw dog food
德国赛车Here is a short video from Mark, our CEO and Chief Nutritional Officer, Rowan Sanderson going through the key points:
Detoxing side effects of raw dog food
You will no doubt have read about the immeasurable benefits of feeding your dog a raw or raw dry diet.
德国赛车 In this section, we cover some minor side effects that can happen when you change your dog’s food from highly processed food to raw, natural food. Please remember these symptoms are relatively rare and almost always short-lived.
Dog drinking less water on a raw diet
德国赛车You will find that your dog drinks less water on a raw diet.
Their water requirements will decrease due to the abundance of natural fluid within raw food. There is also less salt and dry carbohydrates. Though it may initially seem that your dog has gone off drinking, rest assured this is all perfectly natural.
On a kibble diet, dogs drink large amounts of water. The dry carbs especially need hydrating before digestion can begin. Water is drawn from your dog’s system to make this happen.
By the way, the best water for your dogs is filtered tap water or rainwater, not mineral water – Read more on water intoxication
The top potential symptoms
- Bad Breath
- Itchy Skin – What Causes Itchy Skin & How to Deal With It
德国赛车These symptoms are probably some of the many reasons you are switching to raw dog food. They present themselves very rarely (in extreme cases they can get a little worse before they get better).
德国赛车Some people refer to this as detoxification, others a healing crisis and others still “a Herxscheimer reaction.”
This can suddenly happen as your dog’s digestive tract gets used to the new, nutrient-dense, natural food. We believe it is down to 2 reasons –
- The previously fed processed food is much higher in sugar & starch which can feed certain bad bacteria. When these bacteria are ‘starved’ on the new raw diet, they die and release some of their own toxins, creating some discomfort while the dog expels them
- We suspect that it takes a little time for your dog to recalibrate its optimal stomach acid
How best to avoid this? Try adding a half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to each meal or some pet-specific digestive enzymes, Our Eat Me herbal digestive supplement 德国赛车is a great option.
It’s the same story here as it is with diarrhoea. Methane-producing bad bacteria can slow the digestive time of your dog, especially as the bacteria die off.
Constipation can also be made worse as your dog moves from the ‘high filler content’ found in processed food, to a lower volume, nutrient-dense meal.
How best to avoid this? Try adding some additional grated carrots and a quarter teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Learn more about Diarrhoea and Constipation in our Guide to Dog Poo.
德国赛车This is far less dramatic than it sounds and happens rarely. Some vets suspect this is because dogs are producing lots of stomach acid to digest their new raw meals. This will soon adjust.
How best to avoid this? Ensure plenty of water is on hand and stay calm. Serve food at room temperature, or drizzle with bone broth or warm water.
We know! We want this to go away as soon a possible too. When your dog’s digestion is adapting, they can release some of the bad bacteria smells that are dying off via their breath.
This can also be because they are not yet producing enough stomach acid and food is fermenting rather than being digested. It should soon pass.
How best to avoid this?德国赛车 Try adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to each meal and or some pet-specific digestive enzymes .
This is one of the main reasons that many transfer to a raw diet. Rest assured you are making the right choice! Some itchy skin symptoms may get worse before they get better.
The bad bacteria in your dog’s guts dies off and is excreted via their skin as well as their stool. The skin is a clever detoxification organ and helps your dog get rid of unwanted toxins as soon as possible. What Causes Itchy Skin & How to Deal With It.
How best to avoid this? Improving your dog’s digestion with the above suggestion of apple cider vinegar and some digestive enzymes will accelerate this process!
Great additions to help the raw dog food detox
Psyllium husk powder a soluble fibre which is great to help reduce any inflammation. How to Naturally Reduce Inflammation in Your Dog
Gently Steamed, Pureed Vegetables along with the minced raw ones found in our meals are fantastic for getting extra fibre into your dog’s diet. In the wild, carnivores are constantly ingesting masses of fur, skin and hair that increase their fibre intake
Please note Your pooch will get an extra benefit when vegetables are added for fibre, plus they’re packed full of antioxidants!
Bone Broth can make the meal even more tantalising when drizzled over your dog’s meal to add warmth and aroma
What to do if your dog won’t eat raw dog food
If your dog walks away from their new food, make no fuss and take the food away.
By walking away, your dog has told you they are not hungry. You can rest assured they won’t starve themselves
The next mealtime, try briefly flash-frying the food then use the Scavenger 1-2-3 method (flick pieces of food onto the floor and let your dog scavenge
Please note with flash-frying, you are not cooking the food. The aim is to release some lovely smelling juices in order to entice your dog to eat.
Try adding bone broth to their meal too, the aromas will be too much to resist
You might also like
- The Guide to Dog Health and Nutrition
- Dog Behaviour – The Basics
- Raw Feeding Guide for Puppies
- BARF 80:10:10 a discussion
- What Should my Dog Weigh?
- How to Calm Your Dog Down
Tips on defrosting
After we have mixed our natural ingredients together, our raw dog food meals are frozen. They will remain frozen until you defrost them, before feeding your dog.
德国赛车 Keeping our raw food frozen means we lock in nutrients and vitamins, giving your dog the most nutritious, freshest meal possible.
Defrost the Bella & Duke meal in the fridge for 24 hours.
德国赛车Serve the raw Bella & Duke meal at room temperature.
The food will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days once defrosted.
What our customers say
Brilliant service. Always delivered on time. My fur baby absolutely loves the food. She still whimpers when I'm serving it up, and we have been using Bella & Duke for nearly 2 years now 😊
Couldn't be better!
Our dog absolutely loves the food & there is a great variety to choose from. I'm happy that it is keeping him healthy and energetic. Portions are just right & it's easy to keep one box in the fridge then defrost the next in time. We also buy some treats every month - Alfie loves them!
Wonderful Dog Food
Best thing I’ve ever done was change my boy onto this food defos recommend
Quick, reliable and super friendly!
Bella & Duke's service is quick reliable and super friendly. The Facebook group is also invaluable if you're looking to make the best of a natural holistic approach to keeping your dog (or cat) in top condition and giving it a long and healthy life.
Bella & Duke are such a friendly and helpful company that care about each of their customers. My dog Hattie loves the food. I’ve had such trouble in the past with food affecting her tummy and her going off food. She loves both the raw and dry food and has a perfect tummy. Thank you Bell & Duke for caring about dogs so much.
Great food, brilliant service.
Not only is this a fabulous food for my 3 dogs, the customer service is excellent. Often the best judge of a company is how they deal with mistakes, B&D can't do enough to help you if you or they have made a mistake. The advice they provide is invaluable, if you are new to raw feeding you can't go wrong starting with B&D.
- to read more about the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society