Raw-fed Dogs: Do They Need Synthetic Supplements?

Raw-fed Dogs: Do They Need Synthetic Supplements?

So, raw-fed dogs eat pretty healthy food, but don’t they need any synthetic dog supplements on top?

I get this type of question via email or as a DM on social media in a myriad of variations. So today, I’m answering it for everyone here on the blog!

Let me start by saying that I get why (future) parents of raw-fed dogs are asking this question, too.

Because it doesn’t matter where you’re shopping for your pup’s raw dog food.

Both online and at brick-and-mortar stores, we’re surrounded by synthetic dog supplements, which in and of itself suggests that we should be feeding them.

And there’s tons of them, too:

I probably missed a few, but the point is that the list is long.

Now, I’m not going to beat around the bush. Instead, I’ll give you my answer right away.


No, raw-fed dogs don’t need synthetic supplements unless they’re sick and being treated for their condition (by a knowledgeable vet).

But what I am going to do next is explain where I’m coming from, so stick around if you’d like to know more!

Do Raw-Fed Dogs Need Supplements?

Raw-fed dog Wally eats a raw rabbit

I believe that dogs can get all the nutrients that are beneficial for them from eating whole foods, either in solid or liquid form.

After all, they’re a lot more bioavailable than their chemical versions.

That’s why I’m listing those whole foods along with their benefits below!

Feed These Whole Foods To Avoid Having To Add Synthetic Dog Supplements

Secreting Organs

Secreting organs are SUPER rich in all sorts of vitamins and are known as Mother Nature’s multivitamins.

So do your raw-fed dogs a favor and feed a variety of secreting organs alongside the liver.

They’re all you need in terms of dog vitamins for a raw food diet.

For example, kidneys, spleen, eyes, brains, etc.

Click here to learn more about secreting organs for dogs.

Whole Oily Fish

Oily fish like mackerel, herring, and salmon are naturally rich in Omega-3s, which have anti-inflammatory properties that are extremely beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat health.

They’re also naturally rich in iodine, which is important for a properly working thyroid that controls your dog’s metabolism.

Other sources of iodine are:

  • Thyroid glands included in whole prey
  • Poultry necks that have thyroid tissue attached to them
  • Kelp

Whole oily fish like mackerel and salmon are also very rich in Vitamin D, which boosts your dog’s skeletal health and overall immunity.

It’s also rich in Vitamin E, which also supports your dog’s immune system.

Try to get and feed the fish whole, that way you’re also tapping into the fish’s brains and eyes. Both are great-secreting organs and full of vitamins.

If you buy any fish from the Pacific at the grocery store, make sure to deep freeze it for 3 weeks before feeding it. That gets rid of a potential parasite.

Click here to learn more about where to source whole fish for dogs in the US.

Whole Eggs for Raw-Fed Dogs

Whole eggs are naturally rich in Vitamin D. As I explained before, it supports your dog’s immunity and skeletal health.

You can easily find chicken eggs, duck eggs, and quail eggs at many grocery stores or Farmer’s Markets in the US.

You can also feed goose eggs and ostrich eggs, but those are harder to source.

Click here to learn more about chicken eggs.

And here to learn more about duck eggs.

Farm fresh duck eggs for my raw-fed dog
Raw duck eggs

Meaty Joint Bones In Your RMBs

Raw meaty bones are chock-full of calcium and phosphorus.

Additionally, meaty JOINT bones are rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, the building blocks of cartilage.

They have anti-inflammatory properties that support your dog’s joint health, including hips, and are also beneficial for arthritic dogs.

Joint bones you can feed are feet and wings. For example, poultry feet and wings as well as pig feet.

Here’s a video of my Feist mix Wally eating a raw duck wing:

Feeding Whole Raw Duck Wings For Calcium Intake, Clean Teeth & Jaw Workout


Green Tripe for Raw-Fed Dogs

Green tripe is the stomach lining of ruminants, so it’s naturally rich in digestive enzymes and the trace mineral manganese.

Manganese helps raw-fed dogs absorb nutrients, slow down aging, and support thyroid hormone production.

Here’s more information on raw green tripe.

Complete beef with green beef tripe from Raw Paws Pet Food
Complete beef with green tripe from Raw Paws Pet Food

Fur, Hair and Feathers

Fur, hair, and feathers are another great source of manganese.

They’re also a great source of fiber if you’re not a fan of feeding plant matter.

Here’s more information on fur in raw dog food.

2 food storage containers, one of which holds raw furry lamb ears for raw-fed dogs
Furry lamb ears in the far back food storage container (ground herring in the front one)

Different Protein Sources For Raw-Fed Dogs If You Don’t Feed Whole Prey

In addition to white meats like poultry, feed red meats like beef, lamb, and goat for zinc.

It’s important for wound healing and a strong immune system in general.

Oysters are very rich in zinc as well – unfortunately, I can’t feed my dog Wally oysters because he doesn’t do well with shellfish.

But he can eat red meat just fine.

Cutting up raw lamb heart
Cutting up raw lamb heart for raw dog food meal prep

Raw Goat’s Milk

Raw goat milk is an awesome liquid to support raw-fed dogs and their digestive health along with their immune system, too!

It’s much easier to digest than cow’s milk and because of that, it’s known as universal milk.

Click here to learn more about raw goat’s milk.

Raw Goat Milk for raw-fed dogs
Raw goat’s milk

Do You Need To Add Synthetic Supplements To Raw Dog Food: Bottom Line

Nope, you don’t have to feed healthy raw-fed dogs additional vitamins or supplements to ensure they get everything they need.

Instead, you can nourish your dog’s body with a variety of whole foods.

That’s because they provide a complex mix of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, and anti-inflammatories.

Some of these foods are:

  • Secreting organs
  • Joint bones
  • Goat’s milk
  • Green tripe
  • Red meats
  • Oily fish
  • Eggs
  • Fur

Happy raw feeding! Please leave your comments or questions in the comment section below this blog post.

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