How to Train Your Dog When Feeding a Raw Diet

If you're feeding your dog a raw diet, you invest too much in keeping them healthy to feed them junk food, even for the sake of training them… and with our creative tips, you won't have to!

Lifestyle Habits

Being professional dog trainers, we look at it as not only an activity but a way of life.  There are so many different ways that we each interact and live with our dogs that can either help or hinder our goals… it is in what we do (or don't do) in our day-to-day life that predicts how successful we are in training our dog to be well-behaved.

It's best to start with a plan.  Pay attention to what your current daily routine is and audit it to see where you have room to improve.   If you're feeding a raw diet, be sure you know what time to start thawing their food for the following day or how long it takes to rehydrate a meal.

Make sure that the frequency, amounts, and times are agreed upon and understood among all members of the household.  Develop a system for communicating your dog's intake that works for everyone to keep track and avoid under or overfeeding.

using steves real food for training

Activities & Exercises

Since training is always happening, it's important to know what things can be implemented into our routine to reach our training goals so that we're not left asking where we're going to find all this extra time!

Instead of feeding them all their meals in a bowl, use one or both mealtimes as a training opportunity.  We'd be using food/treats to train them anyway; you might as well do double duty.

The wonderful thing about feeding Steve's Real Food is that we have plenty of options to use as a stand-in for training treats… and the formulations are similar enough to be unlikely to cause tummy upset:

  • NEW! Protein Bites (Fermented and Freeze-dried treats to boost gut health)
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets
  • Quest Cat Food (Bite-Sized, Prey Model Diet Nuggets)
  • Cut up Frozen Raw Patty

If you don't have time to actively work their brains, let them do it themselves!  You can squish their food into a lick mat, a food-dispensing toy, or a safe bone and they can learn some independence as well (which is equally important to teach them).  And you can buy yourself even more time if you freeze it first!

Learn What and How to Train

Even more important than what we use for training, is when we are training… and because we believe it's a lifestyle, we encourage pet parents to use the things your dog wants throughout the day to teach them the things that you want from your dog.

Don't just give them a treat because they're cute… have them do something for it!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have them sit before giving them anything
  • Make them wait to be released for their food
  • Call your dog to you for a treat
  • Give them a piece of their food every time they go into their crate
  • They have to stop jumping up to get the ball before you throw it
  • The fun stops if teeth are felt on your skin
raw dog food for training

No matter what you're doing, whether it be socializing your puppy during that stage in their development (8-16 weeks), teaching them obedience, or reinforcing good manners, nothing will help you reach your goals faster than being consistent with them.

If you're interested in learning more about consistency, we welcome you to check out our free webinar:
"The 3 components of Training your Dog to be Well-Behaved through consistency"

  • Gaining the confidence to know What to Do AND When
  • The #1 way to get your dog to Listen to You
  • How to continue consistency around Other People

We wish you all the training success and congratulate you for doing what's best for your dog's health... You really don't have to sacrifice your principles to train your dog to be well-behaved.

on-dog-training-academy-logo

~ By: Jenny Schneider, OnDog Training Academy

{Side Note: Our dog is an intact male Belgian Malinois turning 7 years old on March 1st, 2023, named, “Luda”… short for Ludacris, with AKC registered name of “Mohawk's Southern Hospitality”}

 

Benefits of White Fish Food for Dogs

Have you ever considered adding fish to your dog’s diet? If not, maybe it’s time to consider the many benefits of feeding a dog food with fish in it.

 Fish is a Novel Protein for Dogs with Food Allergies or Sensitivities

Many pets have not had exposure to white fish, making it a novel protein. Fish-based dog food may be recommended for dogs that don’t tolerate common proteins, like chicken or beef. Because white fish is naturally low in saturated fats, this diet is easy to digest, taking some pressure off the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it’s a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders

We have incorporated fenugreek in this recipe. Fenugreek is a vitamin-packed herb that has long been used in eastern medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.  It has also been used as an appetite stimulant, so the white fish formula will likely appeal to picky or sensitive eaters. 

White Fish Dog Food Provides a Diverse Nutrient Profile

Steve’s Real Food is excited to introduce our newest protein - white fish! This new formula is made from pacific cod, pollock, rockfish, and salmon - this will surely get your pet excited for dinner! A rotational diet has many benefits including reducing the potential for developing food sensitivities, ensuring a diverse nutrient profile in your pet’s diet, and, of course, keeping mealtime exciting for your pet

Benefits of a rotational diet: 

Fish is Packed with Healthy Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that the diet must provide and cannot be synthesized by the body without proper supplementation. Heavily-processed dry foods are typically lacking in healthy fats and are highly inflammatory. Our white fish diet is rich in omega-3s thanks to the variety of white fish and the New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels, making this formula excellent for skin and coat support. It may help bring relief from dry, flaky skin and itchiness.

Additional Benefits of Omega-3s: 

  • High in EPA and DHA 
  • Support the brain and immune system
  • Helps to prevent and relieve the effects of arthritis
  • Supports heart health

 For more information on the importance of Omega Fatty Acids, see our blog post Why Omega Fatty Acids Are Necessary For Pets

White Fish for Senior Dogs

 An older pet on a raw diet barely acts like a “senior” to begin with! That’s one of the amazing benefits of the raw lifestyle. However, a day may come when your pet starts to slow down. While each Steve’s formula meets the requirements of all life stages, as our pets age we will want to incorporate foods that complement their retirement-style way of life into their diet. During this period, some dogs may eventually need a diet lower in fat. Every senior can benefit from extra support for their aging joints and cognitive function. When it’s time to start looking for a senior dog food that will provide those benefits, our White Fish formula is a great addition to their rotation. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it can also be a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders

Benefits of our White Fish formula: 

  • Exciting new protein for your pets to enjoy
  • Low in sodium
  • High in Omega-3 for joint support, heart health, skin and coat, and cognitive function
  • Low in fat
  • Easy to Digest
  • A great option for food sensitivities and allergies
  • Fantastic for senior pets

Ask Your Local Retailer About the NEW White Fish Diet from Steve's Real Food

To say we at Steve’s are excited about this new formula is an understatement. Our pets are our family! Continuing to provide them with the best nutrition possible is our main goal. We are proud to present this new White Fish food for dogs and cats to you, and we hope your pet loves it as much as ours do! 

To find a local retailer of Steve's Real Food, visit our store locator.

Sources: 

Haneet Kaur, Ankita Singla, Snehdeep Singh, Sandip Shilwant and Ravneet Kaur. 2020. Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Canine Health: A Review. Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 9(03): 283-2293. Doi: https://doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2020.903.259