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Whole Prey For Dogs: Benefits, Risks, and Feeding Tips

Whole Prey For Dogs: Benefits, Risks, and Feeding Tips

The modern world has left our dogs weak, overweight, and low energy. Today's processed dog treats lack essential nutrients, essential minerals, amino acids, healthy fats and other nutrients needed for your dog to be their best selves. A Whole Prey diet for dogs offers an excellent alternative to traditional dog food, with numerous benefits for their health, nutrition, and mental well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Whole prey feeding provides essential nutrients, improved dental health and mental stimulation for your dog.

  • Take necessary precautions to ensure safety when providing whole prey items and monitor their diet for balanced nutrition.

  • Source responsibly, prepare safely and transition gradually to reap the benefits of a whole prey diet with minimal risk!

Understanding Whole Prey Feeding for Dogs

A dog eating beef liver, a nutritious food for adult dogs

An evolutionary-appropriate diet, the Whole Prey diet is rooted in understanding our dogs' ancestral lineage and their intrinsic dietary needs. Our cherished pets, despite years of domestication, still carry the genetic code of their ancestors - the wolves. And it's not just in their behavior or appearance; it extends deeply into their nutritional requirements as well.

Wolves, being apex predators, thrive on a diet that encompasses all parts of their prey - from organs like the liver, kidney, and heart, to muscles and bones. This comprehensive approach ensures they consume a balanced mix of amino acids, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. When we speak of the Whole Prey diet for our domesticated dogs, we're essentially harking back to this natural, evolutionary way of feeding.

Recognizing and respecting this ancestral connection is key. When we feed our dogs in alignment with their evolutionary heritage, we aren't just giving them food - we're offering them a life that's as close to nature's intention as possible. After all, nature, through millions of years of evolution, knows best. Embracing the Whole Prey diet is a conscious step towards honoring that wisdom and ensuring our canine companions lead the healthiest lives they can.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is imperative for maintaining your dog's optimal health and longevity. The Whole Prey diet, which incorporates organ meats such as raw liver, kidney, and heart, ensures that your dog receives a broad spectrum of essential nutrients integral for their well-being. This feeding approach not only offers vitamins like A but also provides a harmonious blend of amino acids, minerals, and fatty acids, reflecting nature's complete meal for canine nutrition.

While specific organs like liver are rich in certain nutrients, it's crucial to maintain a balance. Over-reliance on any single organ or food can lead to nutritional imbalances. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to tailor the best diet plan for your dog, keeping their specific needs and sensitivities in mind. Embracing the Whole Prey diet ensures that your pet gets a diverse and nutritionally rich diet, mimicking what their wild ancestors would naturally consume.

Components of Whole Prey

Whole prey feeding consists of various animal parts, including muscle meat, organs, bones, and connective tissue, providing a diverse range of nutrients for your dog. Beef liver, in particular, is a fantastic source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can contribute to strong bones and teeth, a robust immune system, and improved digestive function. However, it’s essential not to feed too much liver, as it can lead to vitamin A excess.

In addition to beef liver, other organ meats like chicken heart, tripe, heart, and kidney can be fed to your dog in moderation as part of a raw diet. It’s important to remember that dogs eat liver, but it should be given in moderation to avoid any health issues.

A variety of animal sources should be included when transitioning your dog to this more biological way of feeding, ensuring a broad range of different nutrients. This can include whole fish, birds, and mammals, all of which contribute to a balanced and nutritionally complete diet for your dog.

Benefits of Whole Prey Feeding for Dogs

A dog enjoying a balanced diet of whole prey

Whole prey feeding for dogs boasts several benefits such as enhanced nutritional value, improved dental health, and increased mental stimulation. By offering a variety of animal sources, such as beef liver, muscle meats, heart, kidney, and boneyour dog can enjoy a nutrient-rich diet that provides all the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins they need for optimal health.

Feeding whole prey can also support your dog’s dental health by reducing plaque buildup and promoting strong teeth and gums. The act of chewing on whole prey engages their natural instincts, providing mental stimulation and encouraging a more active lifestyle.

Nutritional Value

An image showing the nutritional value of whole prey for dogs, including meat, bones, and organs.

Dogs fed with whole prey enjoy a nutrient-dense diet abundant in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are imperative for their overall health and well-being. If you are going to start anywhere, start by including beef liver. Some benefits of including beef liver in your dog’s diet are:

  • It is loaded with essential nutrients

  • It provides a good source of protein

  • It is rich in vitamins A and B

  • It contains iron and zinc, which are important for a healthy immune system

Adding beef liver and chicken liver to your pet’s diet can be a fantastic way to ensure they are getting the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Incorporating raw beef liver or cooking beef liver can make it more palatable for your pet, while still providing essential nutrients.

Dehydrated or freeze-dried beef liver treats are another convenient and nutrient-packed option for providing your dog with the essential nutrients they need. These treats are a powerhouse of organ meats, ensuring your dog stays healthy and receives all the essential nutrients they require.

Dental Health

A prominent advantage of whole prey feeding is the notable improvement it brings to your dog’s dental health. Chewing on whole prey items, such as bones and cartilage, naturally cleans dogs’ teeth, significantly reducing the risk of dental issues. This activity not only maintains healthy gums, but also provides oral exercise, contributing to your dog’s overall well-being.

By incorporating whole prey items into your dog’s diet, you can ensure they experience better dental health, reducing the need for invasive and costly dental treatments down the line.

Mental Stimulation

The nutritional benefit of feeding dogs with whole prey stimulates their minds by allowing them to indulge in their natural predatory behaviors, thus providing mental and physical enrichment. This type of feeding not only contributes to a more active and engaged lifestyle, but also helps to alleviate boredom and prevent destructive behaviors often associated with a lack of mental stimulation.


Energy and Vitality

A cornerstone of this diet is its rich protein content, sourced from organ meats and muscles. Proteins break down into amino acids, which play an instrumental role in muscle maintenance, hormone production, and neurotransmitter synthesis – all critical for sustained energy and vitality. Moreover, the presence of taurine, an amino acid found in heart meat, is known to support cardiac health, which in turn ensures optimal oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles, keeping your dog active and lively.

Complementing these proteins are essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6, abundant in organs like the liver and kidney. These fatty acids play a role in cellular energy production, providing a steady energy source for longer periods. Additionally, they promote a healthy functioning brain and reduce inflammation, helping to maintain mental alertness and agility. Minerals like iron, also abundant in a Whole Prey diet, facilitate oxygen transport in the blood, ensuring muscles and tissues receive the oxygen they need for peak performance. By offering such a nutrient-dense and biologically appropriate diet, you are essentially providing your dog with a powerhouse of energy and vigor, aligning with their evolutionary needs.

Resilient Skin and Coat

The proper biological diet also offers protection for a dog's skin and coat health. Packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, primarily sourced from organ meats, it ensures a shiny, lustrous coat and well-hydrated skin. These fatty acids reduce skin inflammations and combat dryness, leading to fewer itches and irritations. Moreover, the high protein content, vital for collagen production, ensures skin elasticity and strength. Vitamins like A and E, abundant in organs such as the liver, further bolster skin health and protect against environmental damage. By adopting a Whole Prey diet, you're gifting your canine a radiant coat and resilient skin, mirroring their ancestral wellness.

Risks and Precautions of Whole Prey Feeding

A dog with a bowl of raw beef liver

Despite the numerous benefits of whole prey feeding for dogs, it’s vital for dog owners to recognize the potential risks and employ necessary precautions for their safety and well-being. Bacterial contamination, choking hazards, and imbalanced diets are all concerns that need to be addressed when feeding whole prey to your dog.

By following best practices for sourcing and preparing whole prey, as well as monitoring your dog’s health and adjusting their diet accordingly, you can mitigate these risks and ensure your dog enjoys all the benefits of whole prey feeding without the potential downsides.

Bacterial Contamination

Bacterial contamination can be a concern when feeding raw meat to your dog. However, proper handling and storage can significantly minimize the risk. Ensuring that you source high-quality, human-grade meat and organs, and store them correctly in the freezer or refrigerator, can help protect your dog from potential bacterial contamination.

It’s also essential to thoroughly clean all surfaces, utensils, and your hands after handling raw meat to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. By following these precautions, you can ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of whole prey feeding.

Choking Hazards

Choking hazards are another potential risk associated with whole prey feeding. Close monitoring of your dog during feeding is required to prevent this issue and to confirm they chew and swallow their food correctly.

Providing appropriately sized prey items for your dog can also help prevent choking hazards. Choose items that are small enough for your dog to chew and swallow easily, and ensure that they are not gulping down large pieces without chewing. By following these guidelines, you can keep your dog safe and healthy while they enjoy the benefits of whole prey feeding.

Overfeeding and Imbalanced Diets

Overfeeding and imbalanced diets can result in obesity, digestive issues, and nutrient deficiencies, all of which can have a significant impact on your dog’s health and weight loss goals. Consulting with a veterinarian is vital to prevent these issues and to ascertain that your dog’s diet, including the whole prey approach, is delivering a balanced nutrient intake.

By monitoring your dog’s health and making any necessary adjustments to their diet, you can ensure they receive all the benefits of whole prey feeding without the potential risks.

How to Source and Prepare Whole Prey for Your Dog

A dog eating a cooked beef liver

The process of sourcing and preparing whole prey for your dog entails locating high-quality, human-grade animal sources, preferable from local farmers, and safely preparing them for consumption. Local butchers, raw food suppliers, and farmers are all excellent options for finding whole prey products to include in your dog’s meals.

Safe storage and handling of whole prey items, including reproductive organs, during preparation is critical to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination and other potential health risks. This includes freezing, freezing, and portioning the food items properly, as well as thoroughly cooking any organ meat and other meats to kill any harmful bacteria.

To ensure the highest quality and freshness for your dog’s whole prey diet, it’s essential to source the animal products from reputable suppliers, such as local butchers, raw food suppliers, and farmers. These providers typically offer a wide variety of meat and organ options, allowing you to create a diverse and nutritionally complete diet for your dog.

When sourcing whole prey items, look for products that are human-grade and free of any added hormones, antibiotics, or other harmful substances. This will help to ensure that your dog receives all the benefits of whole prey feeding without any potential risks.

Preparing Whole Prey

Adherence to proper food handling and storage guidelines is essential when preparing whole prey for your dog to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination. This includes:

  • Freezing the prey items for at least three weeks before feeding to kill any parasites

  • Thawing the items in the refrigerator

  • Portioning them appropriately for your dog’s size and nutritional needs

It’s also essential to cook the meat and organs thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria. Avoid adding any oil, butter, flavorings, salt, spices, or sauces to the prey items, as these can be harmful to your dog. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your dog enjoys all the benefits of whole prey feeding in a safe and healthy manner.

Whole Prey Treats

In addition to whole prey meals, you can also provide your dog with whole prey treats, such as dehydrated or freeze-dried organs. These treats offer a convenient and nutritious addition to your dog’s diet, serving as a great alternative to traditional dog food. They provide all the essential nutrients your dog needs in a tasty, easy-to-serve format.

Our Whole Beast treats are crafted from grass fed beef, raw liver, heart, bone broth, and blood. This combination of organ meat, and other wild ingredients means your dog gets the optimal nourishment for brain function, energy, strength, and stamina. Although they can't replace a full meal, Whole Beast treats provide the foundation of wild nutrition, they are a true superfood for dogs.

By incorporating whole prey treats into your dog’s diet, you can further enhance their nutrition and overall well-being.

Transitioning Your Dog to a Whole Prey Diet

Benefits of Whole Prey diet for dogs

The transition of your dog to a whole prey diet should occur gradually, accompanied by careful monitoring of their health and well-being. This will help to ensure that their digestive system can adjust to the new diet and that any potential health risks are identified and addressed promptly.

By following a gradual introduction process and monitoring your dog’s health during the transition, you can ensure that they receive all the benefits of whole prey feeding without any potential downsides.

Gradual Introduction

To introduce whole prey items into your dog’s diet, follow these steps:

  1. Start by adding small amounts of the new food to their regular meals.

  2. Over time, gradually increase the portion of whole prey items and decrease the amount of their regular food.

  3. Continue this transition until they are fully eating a whole prey diet.

During this transition period, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s health and well-being, including their weight, energy levels, and overall condition. This will help to ensure that the transition is smooth and that your dog is receiving all the essential nutrients they need from their new diet.

Monitoring Your Dog's Health

Keeping a close eye on your dog’s health and well-being is crucial as you transition them to a whole prey diet. Look for any changes in their weight, energy levels, or overall condition, and consult with a veterinarian for guidance if you notice any concerns.


Whole prey feeding for dogs offers a natural and nutritionally complete diet that closely mimics their wild counterparts’ feeding habits. Incorporating beef liver and other organ meats into your dog’s diet can provide essential nutrients, improved dental health, and mental stimulation, all while minimizing potential risks with proper precautions. By sourcing high-quality whole prey items, gradually transitioning your dog, and closely monitoring their health, you can give your furry friend the best possible nutrition for a happy, healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a whole prey meal for dogs?

Whole prey meals for dogs involve feeding them the entire intact animal, including the fur or feathers, organs, glands, blood, and intestinal tract. Wild whole prey is considered an ideal source of food for this type of diet, and the head to tail concept ensures that there is no waste.

Is whole prey good for dogs?

Chewing meat, cartilage and bones in whole prey or Frankenprey can contribute to preventing tartar in dogs, so it is a good option.

However, there are also good alternatives such as raw beef, dental care snacks and cleaning their teeth, which should be considered.

What is whole prey?

Whole prey is an alternative to traditional raw meat, containing not only the muscle, but also the skin, feathers/fur, organs, glands, blood, and intestinal tract.

This natural form of nutrition cannot be found in raw meat safe for human consumption at a supermarket or butcher.

What are the benefits of feeding whole prey?

Feeding your pet with whole prey provides a higher concentration of nutrients and a variety of organs, such as the brain, eyes, liver, kidneys, pancreas, ovaries, testicles, spleen, and thymus.

This ensures that your pet gets all of the nutrition it needs.

How much liver can I give my dog?

It is recommended that a medium-sized dog receives no more than one ounce of liver per day, while a large dog may need a little more than 2.5 ounces.

If you feed your dog too much liver, the risk of hypervitaminosis A increases, leading to potential health problems for your pup.

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