80:10:10 - Why it's not 100% of the story

So you've switched your dog over to a raw diet. You asked Karen next door what she feeds Rex and you're set, a great quality "complete" 80:10:10.

Well I hate to burst yours and Karen's raw food bubble but what your feeding is far from "complete."

Controversial I know but before you all start throwing me your dog parent shade hear me out. Firstly, I do like them. They are a great foundation if you are wanting to build your own dog's raw diet at home. There are a few things you need to know before slapping it all in a bowl and walking away.

What is an 80:10:10?

An 80:10:10 raw diet is formulated with 80% muscle meat, 10% Offal (5% coming from liver and the additional 5% from another secreting organ such as kidney, spleen etc) the final 10% is made up of bone.


The vitamins and minerals that comes from digesting the macro nutrients (protein, fat etc)

Minerals - Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium, Potassium, Iodine, Chloride, Sulphur.

Vitamins - Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin c (dog's do not need this adding to their diet as they produce it themselves) B-complex vitamins such as Niacin and Thiamine.

The majority of Dog's will get the protein and the fats they need from an 80:10:10 but there's not enough of some of the above vitamins and minerals in meat, bone and offal alone to supply your dog with the requirements they need to thrive (emphasis on the thrive)

Calcium and phosphorous

Depending on what meat you are feeding in your 80:10:10 will effect several things, protein levels, fat content and also the calcium and phosphorous balance. Ideally you want a ratio of 1:2 - 2:2 (maximum). Chicken and Turkey contain the highest amount of phosphorus compared with other meats. This isn't to say they are bad but if not balanced out with the correct amount of calcium for the level of phosphorus this can cause a long term imbalance that will effect skeletal health, particularly in puppies.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, meaning that it prevents the peroxidants of lipids within the cellular membrane (case et al; 2011). The higher the unsaturated fat in a dog's diet the higher the vitamin E requirement. If peroxidisation is allowed to occur the integrity of cells an be compromised. Vitamin E also protects Vitamin A from oxidative damage. One of the most common reasons dog's end up in the vets is for "skin issues". Owners presume that they must have an intolerance and Raw feeders can be stumped as to why the "best way to feed" is causing issues. Meat does not contain enough vitamin E for the requirements a dog needs, nor does bone or Offal.

How to supplement - a simple human grade vitamin e capsule 2-3 times a week of 400IU Fresh Additions include; Wheatgerm oil, Red Pepper and Spinach


Essential for a healthy immune system, Zinc is a water soluble Mineral which means it's excreted quicker in the urine than vitamin D and A that are fat soluble and stored in the liver. It makes it very difficult for a dog to consume too much zinc but on the other hand its easier for them to become deficient quickly. Increased levels of calcium in the diet can interfere with the bioavailability of zinc.

How to supplement - High quality human grade form of Chelated Zinc. Fresh additions include; Oysters - Cooked/steamed or Reshi Mushrooms - Fresh and cooked or dehydrated powder form


They provide huge a role in the absorption of fat, soluble minerals such as Vitamin D and A and helps with a healthy nervous and immune system. The omega 3 content in animal fats of your standard 80:10:10 will be well below the recommended dose. This is because they are found in fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, and anchovies and plants such as flax and hemp, nuts, seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin all of which will not be found in an 80:10:10 mix.

The source of the meat in your 80:10:10 can also effect the levels of omega 3. If the beef is organic pasture fed then the omega 3 levels will be higher than if the meat is from a corn fed cow raised in a barn will will have higher levels of omega 6's. An imbalanced omega 3 to omega 6 ratio can contribute to inflammation across all cellular functions.

How to supplement - Human grade omega 3 oil that is not plant based and in capsule form. Dosing around 100-150mg of EPA and DHA combined per 10 pounds of body weight daily (Straus,2013). Fresh additions include; Canned sardines. mackerel or anchovies in spring water and fresh roasted sardines or mackere


I am pretty confident if you just feed just an 80:10:10 ratio your dog will be deficient in this trace mineral. Found in the hair and feather's of animals it plays an intrinsic all part in joint and connective tissue health. A deficiency in manganese can cause sever problems later on in a dog's life. Some dog's who have suffered Cruciate ligament damage, that was not due to an impact trauma, have been found to be lacking this mineral in their diets.

Fresh additions to include; rabbits ears (with fur), green lipped mussels (fresh and cooked or in a good quality powder). Spinach and Spirulina - powdered form (high quality that has been dehydrated below 50 degrees Celsius)

It's important to remember that ALL dogs have different requirements based on sex, breed, weight, activity level and specific dietary issues. The 80:10:10 method is a great starting point but why feed your dog to survive when you can feed them to thrive?

If you are not sure about what you are feeding your dog and if you need to be adding anything in e-mail me for a free assessment

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