The owner of Gabriel’s Good Dog Food has been feeding a
raw diet to her Golden Retrievers for over 20 years – long
before the commercially available raw diets hit the market in
specialty pet shops.
After an unusual illness in her first Golden, we set out to
determine what could have prevented the illness and to learn
more about dog nutrition. This research convinced us that a
raw diet was the healthiest way to feed our dogs. In the
ensuing years, the diet was modified based on new studies on
canine health and nutrition and Gabriel's raw foods
developed into what they are today.
Gabriel’s products are made from fresh raw ingredients that
are ground, mixed, and then frozen at subzero temperatures.
All ingredients in Gabriel's foods are human grade - the
meats, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and supplements. Just thaw
Why Feed Raw?
Gabriel’s raw diet attempts to replicate what a wild canid
would eat. It would hunt for herbivores such as rabbits, birds
and small mammals. It would eat nuts and berries and other
fruit found in the wild, as well as eggs from unattended bird's
nests. The canid would eat its entire prey – flesh, bones,
organs, and the contents of the intestines which are digested
plant material. The result is a diet that is primarily meat and
bones, organ meat, green leafy vegetables, fruits, berries, and
eggs. Wild raw grains cannot be digested by a dog and if
eaten would provide little nutritional value.
Benefits of Raw Food
Gabriel’s raw dog food consists of only fresh, raw
ingredients - no nutritional elements of the food are lost in the
canning or baking process as in canned dog foods and dry
The natural form of taurine, an essential amino acid that is
required for the proper development of the heart, is only found
in raw red meat.
Raw bones are the best source of calcium for the
development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Raw bones (especially fed whole as in chicken wings) are
the best way to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
A raw diet is the type of food that a dog’s digestive system
was meant to digest. Raw food is easily broken down by the
dog’s stomach acids so that all the available nutrients are
absorbed for use by the dog.
Bloat, a sometimes fatal condition, occurs when stomach
gases enlarge the stomach to the point where it can twist
(gastric torsion). Kibble dog foods are more likely to
cause bloat, because they double in size when wet in the
Aren’t chicken bones bad for my dog?
Chicken bones are hollow so they crack like egg shells when
they are raw. Cooked chicken bones are bad for your dog
because they splinter into long, sharp pieces.
My vet says that raw food is bad for my dog. What should I
There are many vets who simply do not like the raw diet.
Most tell you that your dog will become ill from bacteria or
that its intestines will rupture from a bone. Some people will
just starting feeding raw without any real knowledge of how
to do it and problems can arise. So vets have a basis for their
position. You have to do what you think is right for your dog.
Try explaining to the vet what is in the food that you feed.
You can find another vet which some of my clients have done
or you can politely tell him/her that you are going to do it
anyway. It is unlikely that they will refuse to provide you
service. There are some vets who support a raw diet - you
just have to find one, or find a vet who at least tolerates the
What about Salmonella?
Salmonella can be present in chicken. However, raw foods
only spend about four hours in the digestive tract of dogs
which is about ¼ the length of a human’s. Four hours is not
long enough for the salmonella bacteria to reproduce and
cause an infection. Further, the dog’s stomach acids are
strong and are not a good media for bacteria to survive.
What about E-coli?
This answer is the same as for salmonella. And although we
don’t want to believe it, our dogs are natural scavengers who
eat road kill, undoubtedly not always fresh.
|Frequently Asked Questions
How do I switch my dog to a raw food diet?
Use the 25% rule – for two or three days feed 75% your food
and 25% raw; then 50% and 50% for a few days; then 25%
your food and 75% raw; then switch over. Most dogs do just
fine with a 7-10 day transition.
What is the fertility blend?
This is a meat mix fed to dogs and bitches 3 months prior to
breeding. It is also fed to the bitch during the first trimester
of pregnancy. This food provides the right nutrients for
maximum fertility and healthy pups.
What about supplements?
You can give your dog Vitamin E (about 400 i.u.). Vitamin E
does not maintain its efficacy when frozen so it is not added to
our foods when blended. Vitamin C is manufactured by the
dog's body so it does not need to be given as a supplement,
although this was a common practice for some time.
How much do I feed?
For each cup of your dog's current food, start by feeding 3/4
cup of Gabriel's food. Raise or lower the amount by
evaluating your dog's weight. Be sure you can feel (but not
see) its ribs and that you see a distinct waistline. Dogs do not
get "flabby" like humans so just because your dog feels
"solid" does not mean it is at the proper weight. We often
hear "it's all muscle". If you don't see a waistline, your dog is
overweight so cut down the amount you feed.
Can a bone puncture my dog’s intestines?
This is possible but very unlikely. After over 20 years of
feeding raw bones to old dogs and young pups, I have not
experienced this problem.