If you are going to have the very best, feed them the very best.

Many breeders are switching to the raw food diet, also known as the BARF (Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet by Dr. Ian Billinghurst (Australia. Dr. Billinghurst's e-mail - ian@drianbillinghurst.com. Dr. Billinghurst advocates feeding this diet for maximum health benefits. This diet does NOT consist of cooked food products. We feed our dogs a raw food diet. We started adding various types of raw foods and oils to their kibble dog food, years ago. After attending a Dr. Ian Billinghurst seminar back about 5-6 years ago, we really considered raw the route to go. However, it took my husband a bit of convincing to feed completely raw. We switched over completely in 2001. The dogs love it and their coats are fabulous. If one of the dog's is offered kibble dog food now, he will take his bowl and knock it across the floor. It is almost as if he is saying, "Are you really trying to feed me that #@%& again, I don't think so".

As well as feeding our adults a raw food diet, we have been weaning our puppies onto a raw food diet for sevral years. A puppy can only be grown once. Their hearts, lungs, muscles and bones need the best possible vitamins, minerals and nutrients in order to develop properly. So we feed them raw food from the start. It is amazing to see how young puppies can tell the difference between a healthy raw diet and a processed kibble diet. They always prefer the raw and gobble it up fast. Unfortunately, the puppies that are going to homes that will not be feeding raw, we have had to switch to kibble before they go home. They really do not eat with as much enuthiasm and vigor as with the raw diet.

The raw diet should consist of a variety of raw items (different meats, fruits, vegetables and bones). Raising Dalmatians on a raw diet can be a bit tricky to get the right balance in order to make sure they maintain enough body fat but do not develop stones.

Many dog owners have food feeding a raw diet has helped their dog's (Dalmatians and non-Dalmatians alike) arthritis, allergies and reduced their incidence of seizures if they were a seizuring animal. Overall most raw feeders see an improvement in attitude and energy level.

Give Your Dog A Bone (1993) - Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Grow Your Pups With Bones (1998) - Dr. Ian Billinghurst
The Barf Diet (2001)
- Dr. Ian Billinghurst
K9 Kitchen Your Dog's Diet: The Truth Behind The Hype - Monica Segal
Raw Meaty Bones - Dr. Tom Lonsdale VetMed MRCVS

Switching to Raw - By Susan K. Johnson (Birchrun5@aol.com). Price per book - $13.95. Shipping & handling in U.S. - $5.00 for first book, $1.50 each additional book. Add 7.25% sales tax for Texas residents. Send check or money order, payable in U.S. funds to: Susan K. Johnson - Birchrun Basics, P.O. Box 215, Lavon, TX 75166

The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog - Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, DVM.
The Ultimate Diet: Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats - Kymythy Schultze, A.H.I.

The Nature of Animal Healing - Martin Goldstein, D.V.M.
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats - Dr. Richard M. Pitcairn
Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets - Strombeck, Donald

Seminar with Dr Billinghurst lecture notes
Dr. Ian Billinghurst website - Info. about the doctor, his books, seminars, etc.
BARF Email Lists
Yahoo BARF Lists


BARF Dog Directory
B-Natural - Lew Olson's website for information on holistic, natural supplements for dogs and cats.
Willowglen - Information and Sources on the Bones and Raw Foods Diet and other healthy stuff for pets.


If you decide to try this diet it is highly recommended that you purchase several books on raw diets, join several email lists or work closely with someone else who is a raw food feeder. Many of the foods or supplements need to be used in conjunction with each other to ensure proper utilization and the health of your dog.

Various resources for books

Dogwise or call 1-800-776-2665

Naturally Pet - Holistic Pet Care Products & Information




 Monitoring PH levels

If you want to try the raw diet with your Dalmatian it is recommended that first do a urinalysis and then you monitor the PH levels in their urine. A normal Dalmatian does not have the same PH level that most other breeds have. The PH level considered normal or acceptable in in a Dalmatian urine is around 6.5 - 7. You do not want their urine too acidic or alkaline. This can create problems that may lead to stone formation or other related problems. You can purchase PH strips from several sources including a pharmacy or a pool/spa store (the strips are used to test the PH and chlorine in pools/spas).

To collect urine from a female you can use a ladle, cookie sheet or flatter type pan with sides. For males, you can use a plastic cup attached to an unraveled coat hanger. Make sure the urine is FRESH when checking for PH or crystals. Crystals are a normal formation in refrigerated urine or urine that has sat for some time.

 The List of Foods Suitable For Feeding Normal Healthy Dogs


Animal Products

  • Raw meaty bones from chicken, lamb beef rabbit, pork
  • Muscle Meat from chicken, lamb, beef, pork
  • Organ Meat - liver, kidneys, brain, heart, gizzards (Organ meats not recommended for Dalmatians)
  • Eggs, especially the yolk
  • Cheese & cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir, goat's milk
  • Seafoods - any fatty fish, herring, salmon, sardines, etc.

Plant Products

  • Fresh, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, outer leaves of lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Corn, sweet potatoes (the yellow ones), pumpkin, squash, etc.
  • Mushrooms Root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, etc.
  • Fresh and dried fruits (any of them)
  • Legumes - peas and beans, baked beans, etc.
  • Whole grains including brown rice and oat flakes, wheat germ, wheat bran wheatmeal bread.


  • Brewer's Yeast (Not recommended for Dalmatians)
  • kelp powder or tablets
  • molasses


  • Cod liver oil, corn oil, soybean oil, wheat germ oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil , peanut oil

    Note: Because of vitamin E's (e.g. for a 25 kg dog. give 3 to 4 ml daily) role in keeping fats in the body from going rancid, it is absolutely essential that it should be added as a supplement whenever you add polyunsaturated fats such as cod liver oil or flax seed oil to the diet.


Permission granted to post info. by Ian Billinghurst

Very Healthy Patties For Your Dogs

(c) Ian Billinghurst

These patties were devised when one of Dr. Billinghurst's dogs would not eat vegetables.

          • Patties can be fed at night 
          • Feed the raw meaty bones in morning
          • Feed your dog Cod Liver Oil every day, e.g., for a 25 kg. dog, give 3 to 4 ml daily

To make one kilogram or two pounds of basic patty mixture

Take at least a half a kilogram or one pound of vegetable pulp (RAW CRUSHED vegetables)

Vegetables such as carrots, celery, spinach broccoli, etc. (Check out the purine content for appropriate veggies for dals). Use whatever fruit is in season or whatever you can get your hands on mangoes, bananas, etc.

The other half consists of a kilogram or two pounds or less of lean mince (beef, chicken, lamb, pork)

To which we add such things as:

 Yogurt (low fat and plain) - Half a tub
 Eggs (Preferably free range - feed raw) - About 3
 Flax Seed Oil - 2 or 3 dessert spoons
 Liver (Raw) - (Not recommended for Dalmatians)
 Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
 Kelp Powder - Up to 4 teaspoons
 B Vitamins - A teaspoon

 C Vitamins - A mega dose (See chapter five in Give Your Dog A Bone)

Note: Any dosage of vitamin C should be very closely monitored for dals.


You may add other healthy food scraps in small amounts:

      • Cooked veggies 
      • Rice
      • Cottage cheese

        These should make up no more than 25% of the total patty mixture.


Preventing Urate Stone Formation In Dalmatians Using A Basically BARF Diet




 Purine-Yielding Foods

4 week old puppies enjoying raw knuckle bones and a drumstick

For more information on Yogurt/Kefir, etc. Please see our Tips From Breeders section on the Breeding page of our site.

If you are only going to feed a commercial diet, one with 22% protein or less is preferable for a Dalmatian. Use one like California Nautral or something with the least amount of ingredients.


Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat soluble vitamins can be absorbed only in fat and are stored in the body. Fat soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. Water soluble vitamins include B-complex, C, biotin and folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid and choline.

Search the USDA Nutrient Database

 Vitamin A
 Promotes bone growth. Aids vision. Skin maintenance.Helps with bone development. Vitamin A also maintains a pet's night vision. Vitamin A can be found in many foods such as eggs, fish, and green vegetables. A deficiency of vitamin A can cause growth retardation, bone and skin disorders, and vision problems.
 B-complex:Thiamine (Bi), riboflavin(B~2), pyridoxine(B-6), and cobalamin (B~12)
B-complex vitamins which can be found in liver, dairy products, meats, and whole grains. The B-complex vitamins help the body break down food for energy and help maintain the nervous system to produce red blood cells. A deficiency of these nutrients can lead a pet to experience many health problems including but not limited to anemia, constipation, drowsiness, eye problems, heart problems, indigestion, loss of appetite, nervousness, muscle weakness, paralysis, skin disorders, and weight loss.
Vitamin B1
 Carbohydrate metabolism.
 Vitamin B2
 Energy metabolism.
 Vitamin B6
 Metabolism of amino acids.
 Vitamin B12
 Metabolism of amino acids. Red blood cell formation.
 Vitamin C
 Found in fruits and vegetables, helps your pet fight off the effects of infection and stress on its body cells.
 Vitamin D
 Found naturally in egg yolks and fish oils. Vitamin D not only promotes healthy bones and teeth but also helps your pet absorb calcium and phosphorus. A deficiency of Vitamin D can cause bone disorders and dental problems.
 Vitamin D3
 Promotes growth of bones & teeth. Regulates Calcium & Phosphorous absorption.
 Vitamin E
 Aids reproduction. Cell protection. Essential muscle function. Found in cereal grains, egg yolks, and milk, is know for its ability to keep body cells from degenerating.
 Vitamin H
 Metabolism of fats & amino acids.
 Vitamin K
 Produced naturally within your pet's intestines. Vitamin K is important for the clotting of blood and also helps fight bacterial illness. Foods that contain Vitamin K include fish and soybeans.
 Vitamin K3
 Blood clotting.
 Biotin & Folic acid
 Can help prevent excessive secretions from a pet's eyes. Folic acid, which is found in liver and yeast, assists in cell production and helps to prevent anemia. The intake of folic acid also has been found to improve a pets appetite.
 Formation of bones & teeth. Blood clotting. Nerve & muscle function.
 Nerve & liver function. Aids fat metabolism. Choline is necessary to prevent severe liver disorders. Nutrient found in soybeans and liver.
 Vitamin B12 production.
 Builds hemoglobin. Nerve function. Coat & eye coloration.
 Folic Acid
 Metabolism of amino acids. Red blood cell formation.
 Thyroid function.
 Builds hemoglobin.
 Nerve function. Builds bones. Protein synthesis.
 Fat metabolism. Bone formation.
 A natural ingredient in eggs, fish, meat, and whole grains, helps your pet against such illnesses such as anemia, dehydration, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, nervous system disorders, and ulcers in the mouth.
 Nicotinic Acid
 Utilization of energy.
 Pantothenic Acid
 Conversion of carbohydrates to energy. Nutrient found in soybeans and liver. Symptoms indicating a lack of pantothenic acid include but not limited to diarrhea, poor appetite, and a low resistance to disease.
 Bone formation. Utilization of energy.
 Water balance. Nerve function. Needed in carbohydrate metabolism.
 Water balance. Nerve & muscle function.
 Essential for healthy skin. Tissue repair.


 Builds bone and repairs tissue. Maintains growth.
 Tha main source of energy. Aids metabolism. Promote healthy skin & coat.
 Acts as bulk in the diet. Satisfies appetite.



Foods TOXIC To Dogs

Onions (any kind - fried, breaded, etc.)
Moldy Cheese -
Can cause allergic reactions.
Potato Skins -
Eating the green buds or any green part on a potato.
Apple Seeds
Cherry Pits

Large amounts of Garlic may also be toxic, as it is derived from the onion family.

Chocolate can be toxic for dogs
The following information is taken from: Kirk and Bistner's Handbook of Veterinary Procedures and Emergency Treatment (6th edition) (a very useful book):

The active ingredient in chocolate is theobromine:

The half life in the dog is 17.5 hours

The Toxic dose in the dog is 100-150 mg/kg

The concentration of theobromine varies with the formulation of the chocolate so:

Milk chocolate has 44mg/oz (154mg/100gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog - 60 oz of milk chocolate.

Semisweet chocolate has 150 mg/oz (528mg/100gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog - 18 oz of semisweet chocolate

Baking chocolate 390mg/oz (1365 mg/100gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog - 6 oz of baking chocolate

Thus a dog eating one oz of baking chocolate would have to eat almost 3 oz of semisweet or 10 oz of milk chocolate to get the same dose of theobromine.

The theobromine in sweets consisting of chocolate that is coated over some other substance - as in filled sweets , will be more dilute than that in pure chocolate bars and solid chocolate sweets.

Obviously the chocolate in milk chocolate is quite dilute and this is why many dogs can eat a piece here and there and seem not to show toxic effects - after all, how many dogs would get ahold of 50 oz at a time? This is not true of the more concentrated forms however. Dr Sue Bank's experience was that she had two dogs, a 95 pound one and a 60 pound one. They got ahold of 2 one pound bags of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate pieces (a bag each). The 95 pound dog survived but the 60 pound dog ingested a toxic dose.

The problem with feeding a dog milk chocolate as a treat is that it develops a liking for chocolate and since dogs do not seem to be as sensitive to bitter tastes as humans - it may then eat the more concentrated, and thus quite toxic, baker's chocolate if it gets a chance or it will consume a toxic amount of milk or semi-sweet chocolate if it can get into a improperly stored supply.

Treatment which is best administered by someone with medical training follows the same strategy as treatment for caffine overdose:

Support Respiration
Support cardiovascular function, control arrhythmias, control electrolytes and acid-base balance.
Control CNS excitation.
Gastric lavage
Activated charcoal
Administration of an activated charcoal slurry is a major component of the treatment and needs to be administered by a verterinarian - it is not a home treatment.

This article by Bonnie Dalzell, MA is dedicated to the memory of her friend Sue Bank's Borzoi, Windhound's Jai Java


Raw Related

America's Best Frisbee Dogs' Diet Page
An Overview of Neospora Caninum and Raw Food Diets
Bones of Contention
Can We Cook For Our Pet?
Diet Sheet and Instructions
Dr. Tom Lonsdale's Raw Meaty Bones
Feed your Pet Raw Food And see your Vet bills drop!
Feeding your pets B.A.R.F.
Grain Free Pets
How To Feed Your Dog A Natural Diet
Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative
I Feed BARF!
Information and Sources on the Bones and Raw Foods Diet
Is Your Foundation Crumbling? - ....body is dependent upon ENZYMES!
Medicinal Benefits of Whole Foods
Natural Living Is NOT Just For Humans

Raw Food Diet
Raw Food, Parasites, and Bacteria
Raw Recruits
The Benefits of Raw Food
U.S. Purveyor Index - Possible sources for bulk food for raw feeders.
What Is Best, Cooked Or Raw?

Meat Grinders

Great Dozen, Inc.
New & Used Meat Grinders



AFS Animal Nutrition - Neat idea but, better as a bait for dals and not a diet because of the Purines.
All About Eggs - Egg recipes, egg facts, egg nutrition information, etc.
Building a Balanced Diet
Canine Nutrition: A Practical Approach to Feeding Dogs and Puppies
Dog Eat Dog
Feeding and Nutrition
Feeding Your Maltese
- Information on canine nutrition and useful links.
Heredity and Environment - What Role Does Nutrition Play?
If the Nutritional Needs of Dogs vary among the different breeds - How Can One Food Claim to Be "Complete & Balanced" - For All Dogs?

Optimum Pet Nutrition & Natural Health Care for Animals
Pet Food's Insidious Consequences
Professional Power Meat Grinder
The Influence of Nutrition in Canine Hip Dysplasia
The Lactobacillus Bar - Yogurt and Cheese information
The Living and Raw Foods Marketplace - Juicers, dehydrators, etc.


Liver Bait/Treats
Natural Alternatives
Recipes for Dog Treats
- A list of websites to check out for recipes
Sterling Feeding Plan - A feeding program for feeding raw.
Weight Gain Recipes



Calcium/Phosphor Calculator
Dr. Kruger's Ultimate Supplement
Fatty Acids Revisited
Fish Oil and Heart Disease
FLAX information web site
Getting your Essential Fatty Acids
Grapeseed Oil - A polyunsaturated fat rich in linoleic acid and enriched in Vitamin E.
Supplementing Your Dog's Diet With Vitamin C It's OK With AAFCO . . . BUT
Vitamin E, the " Anti-Rust " Vitamin


Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs
Gophers and Grasshoppers Don't Eat Onions!
Vitamin D Toxicity


Grain Free Pets - Grain free for good health.
Yeast Infection An Insidious Disease - Article on grain based foods, antibiotics and drugs that cause a preponderance of yeast infections.


SpectraPure, Inc. - Water Purification Systems

What Is In Dog Food?

Commercial Pet Foods
Dog Food Comparison Charts
Food Even a Dog Shouldn't Eat - Killing Our Pets with Every Meal
Pet Food Labels
Physical Differences = Nutritional Differences
Polluted Pet Food - Commercial pet food & stock feed contain dead domestic animals and deadly environmental toxins.
Practical Canine Nutrition - By Margaret Muns DVM
The Top 10 Dog Foods According to the Whole Dog Journal
What is the deal with ethoxyquin? Is it safe?
What's Really in Pet Food - An API Report
Who Regulates the Pet Food Industry
Wording of Pet Food Labels


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