Feeding Giants

Giant Schnauzer Feeding Information



Before getting started, I highly recommend you to research by reading at least one

(if not more) of the books available byqualified individuals on the topic of feeding

a raw diet.  You need to do your own homework on this topic before just jumping into

feeding a raw diet. I say this from experience. When we got our first giant we

were told that he would quit eating his kibble around 8 months old, and that we

would need to switch him to a raw diet. We were like yeah ok,that’s not happening,

Im not feeding my dog bones. Is this guy crazy? NO!! I assure you he was very

much right on. At exactly 8 months old our Giant quit eating his kibble. He also had

a really dull coat and what we like to call eye boogers. He was also under weight

for his age. So we decided to follow the breeders instructions on feeding a raw diet. We

started with a leg quarter in the am and kibble in the pm. We soon had him

on leg quarters, livers, chicken necks, and some red meat.  One week after starting

him on this diet we had to let his collar out a notch. The second week in we noticed

his coat looked amazing and very shiny. His “eye boogers” were also gone.

We actually had to buy a new collar a month into feeding him raw. He gained

weight, not to much but he was perfect. He was getting so much nutrients in the

raw diet that his body was not wasting anything. His stools would basically

turn to dust. (Another Major plus) There are things you should take into

consideration if you have children.  Always make sure to clean up after your Giant after

feeding time to prevent any contamination to you or your family.


It’s probably a good idea to have blood work done on your dog before you start

feeding a raw diet and then again around six months to a year after being on the

diet. If your vet is completely against raw feeding, perhaps you should get a second

opinion. Your dog’s vet may have excellent surgical and other skills, but you

both need to work together when switching to a raw diet. Don’t be afraid to

work with more than one vet.

There definitely are vets who approve of and promote feeding raw diets and can

be a valuable resource to help you make the transition. Some of these vets are

listed as Homeopathic Veterinarians or perhaps you can ask other pet owners if

they use a vet who works with dog guardians who feed raw. You want and need

a professional to work with you, not against you.


There is no one technique that is ‘correct’ for our dogs, but there are certain

principles or guidelines that assist owners in designing a feeding program.

Always feed human grade meat and fish.

Never feed a meat-only diet. Such a diet is highly unnatural and unbalanced. A

meat-only diet provides too much phosphorus and protein and will cause severe

problems over time. Always include bones.

Never feed cooked bones of any sort — feed raw bones only.

When beginning the raw diet, some veterinarians suggest feeding one food at a

time (such as ground chicken meat, bone & organ) for one-week increments. This

is meant to monitor what meats work best for your dog. Once your dog has

gone through this initial ‘break in’ period, then you should begin feeding the

variety of meats and raw meaty bones to achieve a balance of nutrients.

In the beginning, weigh the amount of food you feed your dog until you see how

much (or how little) your dog needs and until you become accustomed to the

amount to feed according to your ‘eye’. It’s very easy to overfeed in the


Feed as wide a variety of meats and other foods as possible, after the initial

‘break in’ period.

Avoid synthetic mineral and vitamin additives — they create an imbalance.


Some dogs may go through a brief period of detoxification that lasts only a few

days. This is a good sign that the body is ridding itself of the accumulated toxins

from the previous diet of kibble. It manifests in one or more of these ways: loose

or mucous-like stools, runny eyes, or their coats may deteriorate before they then

improve. After the detox period, the dog will begin to appear and feel much

better than before.



Remember that the digestive system of dogs, unlike humans, is both short and

acidic, designed to handle bacteria by not allowing it to ‘blossom’ within the

digestive system.

The meat proteins you can feed would include poultry, lamb, fish (no raw

salmon, however), beef and bison, rabbit, etc. Muscle and organ meat of these

animals should also be included. The fat attached to meat contains the best

source of essential fatty acids. It’s important to know that cancer cells grow and

reproduce using the energy from carbohydrates (kibble is loaded with

carbohydrates) but cancer cells are not able to utilize the energy from fats.

Organ meat, because it is so nutrient rich, should be fed in smaller amounts and

in smaller proportion to other meats. Many people suggest and find that feeding

organ meats once a week is a good starting point to begin and gauge how each

dog ‘handles’ it. If it causes loose stool, just feed a smaller portion next time and

perhaps less often.

Raw eggs can be added to the meat, from once to a few times each week. Eggs

are very economical and contain several vitamins & minerals, B vitamins,

sulfur containing amino acids, zinc, and more. There is some controversy

about feeding whole raw eggs to dogs. Many sources state that repeatedly

adding whole raw eggs to a dog’s diet can cause a deficiency of the vitamin

biotin. Raw egg whites contain avidin, an enzyme that ties up biotin (makes it

unavailable for absorption into the body). Because of the nutritional benefits of

raw yolks, many dog owners get around this by feeding the yolk only and then

partially cooking the white that can be added to the meal, or served as a treat.


When you think of it, a prey animal is made up of a lot of bone. Not only is there

benefit to the ripping and tearing of the meat off the bones, but there is also an

abundance of nutrients by chewing and eating the bones that contain calcium

and nutrient rich marrow.

Raw meaty bones are things such as chicken (any poultry) wings, backs & necks,

turkey necks, carcasses; beef, bison and lamb neck; oxtail; etc.

An ideal ‘starter’ raw meaty bone for dogs is chicken or turkey neck because of

the smaller bones and abundance of good cartilage. Then you can graduate your

dog to wings, backs, etc.


In the wild dogs don’t consume vegetables, except to scavenge. Dogs do eat

grasses, however, and so do the ungulates, small mammals, and birds that wild

dogs would prey upon. The vegetable matter would be obtained from the

partially digested stomach contents of prey. Dogs cannot digest cellulose so

whole vegetables will just come out the same way they went in, unless you

pulverize them first in a blender or food processor.

Examples of green leafy vegetables include: varieties of lettuce (not iceberg

lettuce) such as green or red leafy lettuce, romaine; greens from carrots, beets,

chard; limited amounts of spinach; dandelion greens (no pesticides), etc. You

may also safely serve raw veggies or fruits to your dog as treats, which will not

pack on the pounds that kibble-based treats do.


Recreational raw (not cooked) bones are intended for your dog to gnaw on,

which also provides mental stimulation and keeps the teeth and gums clean and

healthy, while giving the jaws and shoulders a bit of a workout. Rec bones are

usually large beef or bison knuckle bones or ribs with little or no meat. They are

NOT intended to replace a meal — they are strictly for recreation and an

economical way of providing extra bone to fulfill your dog’s calcium

requirements (especially on days when fed red meat meals (which do not usually

contain bone). Many people feed recreation bones two or three times a week.


Meat and Raw Meaty Bones:

Most books on the subject suggest feeding an average of approximately 75-80%

muscle meat and raw meaty bones, (including about 10% organ meats and bit of

extra bone to make up for the loss of calcium rich blood).

Green Leafy Vegetables:

Although some people feed less, most sources recommend that green leafy

vegetables (pulverized) may constitute about 20-25% of the dog’s diet. Some

sources do consider this percentage high, however, and feel that only 10% of the

dog’s diet should include green leafy vegetables.

Essential Fatty Acids: these are incorporated as part of the meat and raw meaty

bones (including fish) as well as in the form of fish oils by bottle or capsule. Feed

according to directions or instructions from your Vet.


The Whole Package:

To give a specific formula or broad statement about the exact amount of food to

feed is not possible. Like us, the amount of food your dog needs depends not

just on its age or size, but is also dependent upon the individual’s metabolism,

exercise levels, the climate, and other aspects.

That said there is a formula to use to get you started, but use it as a guideline and

be sure to weigh the food in the beginning.

For active, working dogs begin feeding 3% of the dog’s ideal body weight.

For sedentary dogs, begin feeding 2% of the dog’s body weight.

Puppies should be fed 4-5% of their current body weight and pups should be reweighed every two weeks so you can adjust the food intake.


With shrewd shopping, the cost of feeding raw is not expensive. Take advantage

of sales, discounted past due date meats, buying food that is not well liked by

humans (such as the organs, tripe, etc.), and possibly buying a chest freezer so

you can take advantage of these advance purchases.

To locate meat and raw meaty bones (remember: chicken necks & backs, turkey

necks, carcasses, organ meats, etc.) you may find some of these at inexpensive

prices in your own grocery store. Also check out butchers, slaughterhouses,

poultry processors, ethnic markets, fishmongers, local farmers and at farmer’s


Next time you’re grocery shopping, talk to the meat manager or butcher and ask

what they do with their off-cuts. Get to know your local butcher as well —

they’re especially busy during and after the fall hunting season.

Those ethnic markets often have a variety of frozen fish at economical prices.

There are now businesses that sell human-grade raw food for dogs, with several

locations across Canada. Check your phone book or do an Internet search

through Google using the keywords: “raw dog food supplier Canada”.

For the greens, since such a small amount is needed, you can simply toss in the

food processor whatever you have on hand since most of us usually have greens

in the house.

The natural oils and any other natural supplements can be purchased either at a

health food store or one of the raw food distributors.


To get close to Mother Nature, keep it simple when feeding raw. Use the 75%

raw meat/bones and 25% leafy greens plus other nutrients as your guide to

feeding your dog the natural way. Both you and your dog will be happier, your

dog will be healthier, and you may even be inspired to begin choosing and

eating more naturally as well.