How to Feed a Raw Diet (Even if You Fear Untold Harm Coming of It!)
William Wallace, the Scottish hero who set out to free Scotland from British rule in the 13th century had his work cut out for him. The movie version, Braveheart, though rife with historical inaccuracy, saw him resourcefully taking on the dominant culture with little more than hurled rocks and sharpened poles fashioned from young trees.
Outthinking his oppressors was central to his success, as his band was bested in manpower, horses, and weaponry. But bravery must have played a large role as well.
When You’re Made to Feel Incapable
Dr. WhiteCoat and the monstrously huge pet food industry (sales of $20+ billion per year) would like you to believe you can’t possibly make a raw diet for your pets. They are invested in selling you bags of kibble, cans of mucky meaty glop, and the best marketing of all, “prescription diets” for those health challenges your animals may confront.
When you read the labels on these products, is it any wonder you may feel inadequate to make your own recipes and successfully nourish those in your charge?
From the very names themselves [Hill’s Prescription Diet D/D, K/D, C/D, Z/D or Science Diet], to the long list of ingredients, many of which are unrecognizable and unpronounceable, to the sellers [many sold only by veterinarians], you might quickly surmise, “These guys know what they’re doing! What do I know? How could I possibly compete with their scientific understanding and feed my dog or cat a raw diet?”
So, with this background message from vets and their food industry, you hesitate. You question your ability to make food that serves your animals well.
But you’ve also been reading, here and elsewhere that these carnivores in your home are closely related to their wild ancestors and still have the same digestive systems. And people feeding raw diets to their dogs and cats swear by it, and my healthiest patients are the ones who eat this way and I rarely see them.
But, damn, you really don’t want to get this wrong and cause harm, right?
Summon Your Bravery, Pick Up Your Rock, and Charge!
I’m here to help you test the waters, gather courage, and see how you can get started on a raw diet without harm and, more importantly, with measurable benefit.
Let’s start very simply. I call it the Kibble Plus approach. [This is for dogs. Cat people, please start here.]
Find a healthy kibble that you feel you can trust. Be a label detective, on the lookout for a few “no-no’s” you’ll avoid:
- Byproducts or non-specific meat sources. Examples include the byproduct word itself or just “poultry” or “meat” instead of chicken or beef or lamb, an animal you’d recognize.
- Preservatives in chemical form. Examples include ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT (in which the T stands for toluene, look that one up!)
- “Sucker” ingredients, like blueberries or cranberries listed after about 20 other ingredients, many of which you can’t pronounce. How much berry goodness does that equate to in your dog’s bowl? Way less than a pinch, you can bet on it.
Okay, you’ve got a kibble you’re happy with? Here’s one I trust. You have many choices.
Throw Eggs At 'Em!
First, a really simple step is to crack an egg on that kibble. Raw. Yolk and white together. Optional: scramble it up first, then pour it on (still raw, just beaten up to mix yolk and white).
Do this every meal for a week and see what you see.
First, your Spot or Puff is likely to take much more interest in that bowl of food! Polish it off and look up expectantly!
"Wow, thanks Mom!"
You might see a soft or loose stool an hour or several later after a vigorously enjoyed meal like this. Cause for concern? Nah, completely normal (though if it’s 2-3 days of loose stools after one meal, see your veterinary homeopath. That’s a symptom, though not one to be afraid of).
Do this for three weeks now. Cholesterol worries? No, not true in humans nor a concern for dogs or cats, who’d eat eggs in their wolf or bobcat bodies in a heartbeat. As often as they could.
Victorious Outcomes of Your Bravery
Now what do you see, after three weeks of this feeding?
I predict you’ll see:
- a cleaner, brighter set of eyes looking up at you
- a sweeter smelling mouth getting in your face
- a softer, more luxurious coat, with less shedding
- perhaps more pep in her step
Any damage done? No. Trust what you see in the improvement list and clearly know you've done no harm.
That enemy is conquered. You can feed raw food and only help, not hurt, your furry friends. On to the next step.
Take It Up a Notch. Sharpen That Tree.
So, let’s take it further. Instead of a baked kibble, which takes starch of some sort to keep the pieces together (well, maybe not in all cases, but most), let’s shift over to dehydrated food. It’s not technically raw, but neither is it cooked at the high temperatures and pressure that it takes to make kibble, so it’s much closer to raw, certainly. Here are some choices, but again, there are several out there.
Check the ingredient list: many fewer ingredients, right? And none that you don’t recognize as foodstuffs, I’ll bet.
Feeling even better?
Yes. That’s it. You could eat this and know it'd be good for you!
Now, add some raw stuff to this. Sojo’s and others are made to do just this, and in fact, encourage you to do it. Raw could include your cracked egg, some raw hamburger, raw chicken, raw turkey, any kind of raw meat.
“Wait. I thought these things were crawling with salmonella!?”
Ah, your bravery meets another challenge, coming once again from the pet food industry and probably Dr. WhiteCoat. Raw diets have been pulled off the market because of contamination with this bacteria called salmonella. And poultry itself has been recalled for salmonella contamination.
Time to get some defenses in place, so your bravery is shored up. Facts will help:
- Salmonella is also in dry kibble, quite often. Not made such a big deal of by the media, but search it out, and you’ll see dry kibble recalls as well.
- Salmonella typically does not affect the animal eating it, unless they are ill to start with. It passes right through, and ends up in the stool.
- People can get sick from salmonella, so use good hygiene in and around food and especially stool handling. This is more critical if the people who contact pets or their stools are immune compromised.
Be smart, and let learning subside your fears.
Full Out Battle Gear in Place: Charge!!!
If you want to take on the bullies of raw feeding fears fully, learn how to make balanced raw diets yourself! It’s not difficult. Last week’s Vital Animal News had my simple take on how you can make “prey in a bowl” rather simply. When you join my Vital Animal Pack, you get Vital Animal News free, and can access the newsletter archives and read this approach, which I share with my new clients who want to get started feeding raw.
Dogs Naturally magazine offers a nearly free course on how to raw feed. Here's where you can access that, last I checked, for a buck (scroll down to find the Academy offering of courses):
Battle weary? Set down your sword and pick up your keyboard.
There’s an easier choice to do full on balanced raw diets. My go to choice for balanced raw food that comes delivered to your door is Raw Wild, brought to you from the Rocky Mountains. No muss, no fuss, no lugging it home even. Made by a small batch balanced raw food company and made well, so you don’t have to think about it if you don’t want to.
Want to start slowly with that? Totally fine, thaw it and add it to your healthy kibble or dehydrated food, as discussed earlier. When you’ve seen the good come of that and you’re ready notch your bravery upwards, drop the dry and carry on. Steve’s is complete. As are many others in the ever growing array of natural pet shops that are springing up like so much healthy foliage.
So, don’t let the large forces of industry and conventional vet medicine scare you into thinking you can’t do this raw diet for your animals. Summon your bravery, join the others in your far flung clan who’ve done this for years, and get started. You’ll soon see results that will make you wonder why you’ve hidden out in your hut for so long.
Aye. And those animals who partake will come smiling up to you when you head to the kitchen.
Hi, I’m sharing this article with my audience, but found a couple of broken links, just as an FYI: “more choices” and “Sojo’s” don’t seem to be working anymore. Also, “highly recommended” isn’t going anywhere. Just thought you might like to know! Thanks!
HELLO, i have just started my 4 pugs on raw, they have been on dehydrated for a year, they LOVE the raw, my female won’t eat the bones, they snap and she drops and runs 🙁 is it ok to grind the bone for her? and also she has issues with her back i have read that raw reduces inflammation, it that true? I just want my babys healthy, the oldest is 19 years old, i know we can’t keep them forever, but i sure wish i would have started raw a long time ago, he LOVES it 🙂 he looks at me like “HAY MOM WHAT TOOK YA SO LONG?”
Was wondering if you have a simple recipe for Raw cat food?
Thank you and I am enjoying reading your site.
As a vet tech, I have worked alot with whole food nutrition and dogs with various health issues. I can’t resist chiming in for your dog! Were BUN/Creatinine, and Phosphorous all high? Good idea to re-check in a few days-and see if there is a legitimate issue going on and just how elevated enzymes are. If there really is an issue, I am sure homeopathy and diet can do great things for your dog.
It has been my experience that when even a dog with kidney failure or kidney disease does very well on a homemade or raw diet.
I have seen dogs BEAMING with good health and energy on this sort of diet even with extremely high kidney enzymes.
You have control over what he is eating and the quality of those ingredients. There are specific homemade diets that are easy on kidneys, there are also raw diets. Is he showing symptoms of kidney disease? How is his urine?
First and foremost, the quality of protein you are feeding when using real food is heads and tails above anything you can find in even the best of the best processed foods. Human-grade meat and other ingredients at your local grocery are a thousand times better than anything in a bag.
If you look at processed protein and other ingredients in dog food, you will realize they are heated and at a high temp. This denatures the structure of proteins (and everything else) making it hard for the body to digest and making waste abundant in the system. The body exerts energy and enzymes trying to break it down. This just taxes the system especially kidneys.
Homemade or raw food is not processed. There are no chemical additives or synthetic vitamins/minerals. Best of all, the food is fully hydrated which helps the kidneys and is in an easy to digest form.
When dogs (and cats) eat dry food, it pulls water from their system in order to be digested. This creates low-grade chronic dehydration (kidneys suffer). This can concentrate toxins in the blood, which the kidneys have to filter. Extra work.
The idea of the prescription kidney disease diets of being low protein, low phosphorous, etc, but still using very low quality ingredients with lots of chemicals, has never made sense to me. I understand conventional wisdom but there are better ways to address it in my experience.
Anyway, there are things you can do for your dog. Don’t fall prey to fear. Information is power.
Thank you for all of this great information! Right now, only Einstein’s creatinine was elevated. Doc said it’s within the normal range but too high for a dog his age…he’s 5 1/2 years old. We are going to retest in 10 days to see if there is really an issue with his kidneys. At this point, my vet said it would be the early signs of it and the only thing I would need to do is feed him a low phosphorus diet. Doing some research last night, looks like most meats are high in phosphorus so I am a bit confused :-/ because I know how important quality high protein is to dogs.
I am being proactive on gathering info on diet as I know the main contributing factor to his health. I have been considering raw for several months now but honestly get so overwhelmed with all the different recipes/info out there on it. I was considering getting something like Stella & Chewy’s or another premade raw food just to make sure it’s balanced. Guess my fear is I’ll overlook something and cause him to get a deficiency. Do you have any suggestions as to a premade raw diet that you like and also one that would be good for kidney issues? Or a balanced homemade raw recipe for kidney problems? Thanks again for your advice!
Hi Alice: I know it can be hard for someone trying to get a dog on a raw diet, and now you have been told your dog might have kidney disease. But like Lizzy says do not fall prey to fear. There is a lot of information, books, homemade diets for dogs with kidney disease. Just take a look at only one site on the website. Google Dog Aware.com, you might find it interesting. Or find a homeopathic veterinarian to work with.
Good Luck with your dog.
Thank you SO much for pointing me to dog aware.com. Great info but not overwhelming. I plan on making an appointment with a holistic vet once we retest Einstein in 10 days and have confirmed he does have kidney issues. I absolutely love our vet so I will discuss raw diet with him. But I still would like to have a holistic vet on board as well. Thanks again for your encouragement and support!
There is a short write up about me and the Raw Food Coach service I offer on Dr. Falconer’s Resource page: https://vitalanimal.com/recommended-resources/
Feel free to email me specific questions and I am sure we can figure something out for Einstein’s diet. We can also go over all of your options there and figure out what works best for your lifestyle and your dog’s needs. I’d love to help you.
Hi Dr Falconer! What are your thoughts about a raw diet for dogs with kidney failure? I just found out today that our 5 yr old pit mix had some abnormal kidney levels on his blood work. My heart hurt. We are going to run the blood work again in about 10 days but our vet told us to start a low phosphorus diet. I’m just worried that eventually he will recommend a Hill’s prescription diet(K/D, I think). I’ve been considering raw for a while but haven’t taken the leap yet. He is currently on Acana Ranchlands.
It does-this is really a BIG PICTURE idea-helping animals that end up helping humans and healing so much in the world.
I was SO excited the other day! Only other raw feeders would understand the joy!
I was at a small town local Co-op natural food store (I try to support those places instead of major stores). Their freezer had locally produced, as free-range as it gets without being pastured, non-GMO chicken, raised by a family. They were actually honest about the chickens, living conditions, how they were killed, etc. NOT a factory farm.
Checked out the company and it felt like a really good operation. Honestly these chickens are beyond “organic.” Just the fact they DO NOT feed GMO and they let the chickens BE CHICKENS without any drugs or crowding-HUGE in my book. The only reason they did not do pastures was because of coyotes and how other poultry disease might affect their unvaccinated/non-medicated birds.
The prices for necks and backs were from about $1-1.29/pound. They also had organ meat for far less than any natural grocer or store. You order on a form and it is delivered fresh every month to pick up that day.
Check out your local small health food store or co-op, ask them about locally produced meat/poultry-the answer may surprise you…
Tricia, I love your experience. It sounds alot like mine. I was really overwhelmed by the prospect of DIY raw feeding, mainly because of the extremist approaches and the “All or None” attitudes everywhere other than this blog!
The shock of how much meat/organs/bones per month I needed did cause a bit of anxiety. I have no room to talk since you have DANES! 🙂
I was doing the obsessive weighing thing as well, and learning all the different ways of feeding. I will always be learning on this topic. I have settled on a happy middle and don’t have to weigh everything every time and I have quite a bit of variety going, including healthy scraps.
I like learning each dog’s preferences too and I swear I have a better relationship with these dogs now than ever before (it was amazing before!). Finn the Border CollieXSwiss Mtn. Dog is calmer and ears are not yeasty and coat is GLEAMING (HUGE!). Loma the Shepherd/Pit mix is “talking back” at me which she never used to do…and is wagging her tail 90% of her waking hours. She’s got quite the new attitude!
Between Dr. Falconer’s homeopathy and this raw diet as their foundation, my dogs are GLEAMING and vitality is building daily.
Had a great dog park “education on raw” event today! I saw a LOW vitality red Pit Bull, he came right over to me and as I was petting him, his owner approached. The dog would not stop staring at me and was so loving. Tail was limp, he was dejected looking, skinny, major skin issues, gunky eyes, and just looked like he did not feel good.
His owner was friendly and she admired how amazing my dogs looked and how energetic! So, she goes into her “poor dog” story and she mentions the FOOD he is on (Blue Buffalo). JUMP INTO ACTION! So I told her about raw, gave her some local resources and gave her meal ideas and sung the benefits, then revealed that I worked for vets and had seen the changes in my dogs on raw….that helped.
She was sold! Prior to our chat, her plan was to go to the regular vet, get another steroid shot and more drugs because his mange and allergies had not cleared up yet (gasp…don’t worry, I educated her about that). Processed food no more, that dog will be on raw-she was amazed that it was even an option. The look of relief on her face was priceless.
Turns out, she had worked for vets for a while and revealed that just before she left, but she was utterly convinced of a better way…
YAY! Thank you!
This speaks to my manifesto: one gleaming dog at a time, Vital Animals can change the world.
Nice work, Lizzy. You guys are beacons of light in the darkness for those animals and their people who cross paths with you.
When I got my 2 new German Shepherd puppies from their breeder a year and a half ago, they were on a Raw Diet. I was sooo grossed out by this that I tried to put them on a good grain free canned/dry diet. They quickly began to lose weight, looking unhealthily thin for pups who should be round. I had lost by beautiful GSD to torsion just 2 months before I got these pups and had been reading about the causes of Torsion all the while trying to find an alternative to feeding my new pups “raw”. She had health problems all her life and was fed “Prescription Formula” from the vets. While I was trying to find alternative feed for the pups and reading about what caused the illness/early demise of my dearly loved GSD, I discovered a “theme” if you will, to other people who had lost pets to Torsion and how they were connecting bloat/torsion to commercial processed kibble and had switched to “raw”. They believed that if they had their “lost” dogs on “raw” they probably would not have had the health issues that led to Torsion”. (yes, my dog had the same symptoms her whole life that they listed as symptoms their dogs suffered from throughout their lives). Reading their stories sounded like my Lexi’s life history. Monthly visits to the vet were “normal” to us. I quickly decided that I needed to put my “grossed” out perception of feeding raw aside for the health of my new girls.
That being said, It can be very costly to some to do. Pre made raw diets can be very prohibitive to some peoples budgets. After about a year of grinding, weighing, “balancing” on our own,(very time consuming). I found a supplier near Dallas that delivers once a month and you can check them out. He grinds the bone fine if that is what you want and adds back in the right amount of fat and organ meat. It is extremely affordable as well. Google “Texas Tripe” and check out their prices/products. I have 2 very healthy, sweet smelling, soft furred, bright eyed GSD’S now. Please don’t let price/ickiness/ fear, put you “off” of “raw Feeding”. (Where theirs a will, theirs a way”!) It is wonderful to have healthy pets verses 7 years of monthly emergency vet visits etc.
Thanks for sharing your experience with two different generations on two different health planes. Remarkable what you saw taking the raw away from the pups. Everyone paying attention?
I had asked Texas Tripe some question or said hello or both by email and never heard back. Glad to know they are in biz and supplying folks with raw goodies in the Dallas area, and affordably, to boot.
Thanks for being here, Jeannee, and for sharing your experience.
My pups have been eating fully raw for almost a year now and have never been better! I’m only kicking myself that I didn’t listen to Dr. Falconer’s advice sooner and that I waited until my oldest was 7 years old to officially make the switch. I was terrified due to mass media/conventional vet claims and old wives tales I’d heard for years about dogs choking on chicken bones. Little did I know that it was fine as long as the bones were raw. Once I saw that my dogs instinctively knew exactly how to chew and eat the bones and meat (its almost like the have a special technique!) I was reassured and knew it was the natural way. My dogs rotate between chicken leg quarters, turkey drumsticks, duck, beef with bones and ground beef with a little bit of egg and veggies on the side + Transfer Factor nutritional supplement and they LOVE it. Lots of our old problems are solved. No more loose stools and no more dogs clearing the room with passed gas! Not only that but I’m actually spending less (the cost of fresh meat was another one of my reservations) than I was spending on the fancy schmancy dog food I was buying before I made the switch!
The way I see it: you wouldn’t ever buy yourself a bag of food labeled “Human Food” and eat it…or would you?
Naomi, I’m so glad you’ve both made the switch and seen the payoff! And very cool that you can feed raw cheaper than the high end “healthy” kibble! Everyone seeing this?? Cheaper. So, one less reason not to get started on this raw feeding!
OH yes – it can be cheaper than kibble. And I’m not even talking about factoring in the literally thousands of dollars I’ve saved on dental and vet visits.
For example – I can feed my two 150lb Great Danes full raw for about $200/mo – which incidentally is the same price as a month of kibble like Blue Buffalo or Merrick. Granted I am feeding them “human grade” meat not grass fed or organic. And I do it with no special equipment besides a $10 electronic kitchen scale and 2 dog bowls – although there are times when a chest freezer would come in handy for stocking up on good sales.
Here’s how we do it:
300lbs at 1.5% (adult Danes are not very active) = 4.5lbs/day
they fast 1x per week or so. 6days x4.5lbs = 27lbs per week or 108lbs/month
They get RMB (thighs, necks, backs etc) one meal and meat, organs and even some of my leftover eggs, oatmeal, veg etc on occasion for their second meal. I just weigh it out and set down the bowl.
I do get meat from a local buying club but I also use a restaurant supply store called Cash&Carry. I think you could do the same at a Costco or Sam’s. I buy RMB like chicken thighs, necks and even backs for anywhere from .42/lb to .98/lb Then get 5lb chubs of ground turkey or whole pork shoulders for around $1.5/lb.
My dogs also get whole sardines in lieu of supplementing fish oil and tripe in lieu of digestive enzyme powder. Those are our luxury products at 1.82/lb and 2.39/lb respectively.
So that’s a little taste of a day to day feed in a house with 2 Great Danes. Ohh and can I just say that there is no farting like when they used to eat kibble. That in itself might just be worth it!!
Nice, Tricia, I was so hoping you’d chime in with your amazing experience. Done largely by the seat of your pants and Dr. Google and a couple of books, as I recall, right?
Your Danes and you are a great example of raw feeding for everyone contemplating it but not yet moving on it.
It seems easy NOW but I was really a basketcase when I first started.
I was trying to wade thru the rants of the raw purists on the forums and voices of the vets telling me I was killing my dog feeding raw. I overanalyzed everything. I created elaborate concoctions of vitamins and weighed precisely all the ingredients. It was so time consuming and utterly unnecessary no wonder people are put off by it.
My journey was almost exactly as you laid out in your post. First a couple eggs on kibble then I cooked recipes I found in books. Got brave enough for some raw chicken necks and backs. When all that went down well and begged for more I knew I was on to something.
Honestly when you start seeing the differences in your animal you will be hooked for life.
Hi! Great article! Is the RealPetFood similar to Natures Variety RAW? I want to go true raw (chicken thighs, breast, etc) but am too nervous. Thinking about doing the RealPetFood now! 🙂
So, there are two things that have come up as sources, from my post and from Roger’s comments. I was speaking in the post about RawPetFood.com, and they ship fully raw, balanced food, made by Steve’s Real Food.
Roger mentioned ReelRaw, which is a local Austin maker of fully raw, balanced food. But, come to think of it, I think they ship as well, so you could check out both!
Thanks for another well-written post. I agree with you 100% and appreciate your encouragement to people who may not be sure about the info they get from other internet sources!
You’re welcome, Tabitha. Though I don’t want readers to think it’s “My Way or the Highway,” either. Even somewhat conflicting opinions could both be right, depending on the circumstances. As others have said, we need to do what works for us and not be too heavy handed with those who aren’t on the same page. Raw feeders can sometimes be pretty vigilante in their approach, and I’d rather keep minds open and be respectful.
We have been feeding a raw diet to our cats and dogs for over 20 years. And we haven’t vaccinated since then either. We have rescue animals who usually come from situations where they have been at least neglected, underfed, and perhaps abused. With the solid nutrition, lack of vaccinations, and a lot of love, and great homeopathy, we have managed to bring even the worst cases to a very high level of health, both physically and emotionally. When veterinarians see our babies, they are usually stunned at how good they look and how healthy they are! I love it!!!!
I just want people to know that feeding your pets raw, human grade food is one of the best things you can do for them! And then as their nutritional needs change, you can change the food. We mostly use raw ground turkey. Since it is frozen solid when we get it, and in our freezer, parasites and bacteria are killed. We have NEVER EVER had a problem with “bad” meat. We also use chicken livers in their food, and again, since they are frozen solid before we use them, they are safe.
No matter what, feeding a raw diet is 1000 times better than just about all commercial foods, and it’s a lot cheaper!!!!
Find some good recipes and make the commitment to feed your babies raw!
Beautiful, Jane, my hat’s off to you and your good work with the rescued waifs.
Please be sure to let the amazed vets know you’ve not been vaccinating and have been feeding raw food! They need to know what brought about such radiant health — it’s very good to blow their minds now and again.
I wish our “conventional” vets would pay enough attention to be blown away. They just ignore the results from homeopathy, good diet, and not vaccinating. Although I don’t bring up the vaccination thing. It’s best to let that sleeping dog sleep. I am breaking the local laws and try to stay under the radar on this one.
I just wish they would open their eyes to the very clear results from homeopathy. It has worked miracles, and they have seen the miracles, and choose to keep their blinders on. It’s sad and irresponsible because they are letting animals suffer and die because of their blinders!
Thanks for doing the work that you are doing and for making so much great info available. I have forwarded a lot of it to other people.
Okay, got it, flying under the radar is sometimes what it takes to keep your animals Vital. If you care to share more of this, even to me privately in an email (address on my Contact page), I’d be happy to anonymously share tips for readers on how you’ve made this fly. I’ve had countless questions on this and my stock answer is something along the lines of “just drop out, don’t license, get it noted in your animals’ records, etc.” but the questions keep coming.
Thanks for being on the path with us, Jane, and sharing it with others.
I also want to know how Jane J. flies under the radar when it comes to that certain shot required by the Law. Dr. Falconer just because you note in your records that this is what you want, I think they will continue pestering you about it. None of the others are look upon in the same way. I would appreciate if she can comment on this, or let you know so you can write specifically about this subject.
I have had my 18 month old English Springer Spaniel on a 100% raw diet for the last year. He is a healthy, happy boy with lots of energy and a beautiful coat. I had a lot of reservations about “taking the plunge” but am so happy I did. We have been using ReelRaw Dog Food here in Austin and they have been great, for those that are interested http://reelrawdog.com.
Thank you for you post, I hope it encourages others to get off the kibble.
Nice, Roger, and a good reminder: look for local sources and support those who do the work for us of making fine raw meals available. ReelRaw is on my Resources page, but I’m glad you mentioned them here as well.
That is awesome Roger! Your post reminds me of a really helpful resource in Houston called Bones2Go, similar to ReelRaw but has a physical store. Bones2Go has a dedicated owner who sources meats/bones/organs and tries to purchase antibiotic free and “natural” when possible. These types of places make it alot easier to get the variety needed with this sort of diet and a great backup.