"Where Paradise is Just a Howl Away"



What to Feed Your Wolfdog





A famous Wolfdog myth claims:


"Never give your wolfdog raw meat! It makes them vicious and gives them a taste for blood!"





This couldn't be further from the truth.


Fact is, wolfdogs, regardless of content, require raw meat as a main staple of their diet. Forcing your wolfdog to abstain from eating raw meat is very unhealthy for the animal. If you have a moral issue with feeding your wolfdog raw meat, then you may want to reconsider owning one.


However, it's also important to realize that wolfdogs require more than just meat.



There are a few different options you can consider for your wolfdogs diet.






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The Complete Raw Diet


Many argue that this diet is the best option for wolfdogs, especially high contents. It consist of feeding your wolfdog whole dead animals; including bone, fur, skin and organ meats. This method includes allowing the wolfdog to feed off of an animal carcass, such as road kill or the remains of a hunt.


For high contents, and some mids, this is a very satisfactory diet. The animals get all the nutrition from the bones, fur and organ meats. People also believe the sight of a wolf ripping into a fresh kill is natural.


To those who own many wolves or wolfdogs of significant wolf content; those whose animals live their lives in their enclosures without ever having a meal inside of a house; this is a very convenient diet.



However, those who have lower content animals with sensitive stomachs, or those whose animals take their meals in the home, the complete raw diet is not a feasible diet plan. 


Feeding your animals off a carcass; be it a hunted animal or road kill; increases the chances of your wolfdog obtaining whatever external parasites may be residing in the fur and on the hides of the kill.


If you come into the possession of a road kill carcass or hunt carcass and you wish to feed it to your wolfdog, cut it up and freeze the parts with fur still attached. Leave it in the freezer for about a week to kill off all parasites. 




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The B.A.R.F. Diet


The Bones and Raw Foods Diet is similar to the complete Raw Diet, only it also includes raw vegetables and fruits safe for canines.


Many wolfdogs, regardless of content, enjoy fruits and vegetables. Carrots, celery, apples, peaches, watermelon and pumpkin are a few juicy treats wolfdogs enjoy, especially on a hot sunny day. 


These treats can also be put in a blender, poured into ice cube molds, frozen, and offered as treats, plopped into the water bucket or hung up on a tree branch outside so that your wolfer can lick the drippings all day.


Vegetables can be hidden around the yard or enclosure. Carrots and pumpkin are a very popular and healthy choice. Wolfdogs have an uncanny taste for pumpkin. You can pick and choose different vegetables to see what your wolfer enjoys. Some, he may not like. Others, he may enjoy scent-rolling on them. It's an unusual sight for many people to see a wolfdog munching a stalk of cauliflower. 


If deer and elk are not in season, whole raw chicken parts, rabbits, beef, lamb or even goat meat will be enjoyed by your wolfer.


Ground meat and chicken quarters are great choices and you can often find these in bulk for a real bargain.


Only feed chicken bones raw; never feed your wolfdog or any dog cooked chicken bones.


Avoid pork from the supermarket. If you must feed pork, be sure it's very fresh and it must be organic. Pork from large processing plants are crawling with bacteria and loaded with growth hormones.



Beef bones [particularly femurs and humerus bones] are hard and can break teeth; avoid with young pups and try to offer bones that crumble easier. Raw bones are necessary in a canine's diet; they are a source of calcium and they help prevent tartar build-up on the teeth.



Avoid foods such as grapes, raisins, onions and avocados as most canines are allergic to these. 

Offer garlic in extreme moderation. 



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The Home-Cooked Diet

The Home-Cooked Diet is exactly as it sounds. Food is home cooked from fresh ingredients that include meat, fruits, vegetables, rice and whole grains.


This is a very humanized diet and is popular among those who feel morally conflicted feeding their animals raw meat. 


Cooking meat removes some the much needed bacteria and nutrients canines need to be healthy. This diet does not suit high content wolfdogs or lower contents with very recent wolf heritage. It can cause upset stomachs and severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Some dogs can not handle this kind of diet.


Lower content wolfdogs and those of very high Fgen, animals with sensitive stomachs and some wolf-a-like dog breeds can do very well on this diet. Some won't eat anything else but this diet.


Regardless, it is a much safer diet than a diet of store-bought kibble.




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The Kibble Diet


Not recommended as a complete diet for wolfdogs (or any dog for that matter).


Not all kibble is necessarily bad; but not a single brand out there will single-handedly offer everything your wolfdog needs to be healthy.


Many high contents and some mids cannot stomach kibble of any kind, even top quality kibble that is high in protein and lacks corn, wheat and soy in their ingredients. Some wolfdogs just don't have the stomach for these "complete feeds". 


For those who can digest kibble, some wolfdogs benefit from a mixed diet of raw meat and free-choice high quality kibble.


If your pup can tolerate it, and his stomach has been "trained" to handle kibble, offer him a high end puppy chow. 


Acceptable kibble brands do not formulate their food with wheat, soy or corn; all of which are not necessary in a canine's diet and can do more harm than good. Unfortunately, many of these food brands have had a history of re-calls and caused the illness and death of many pets.


It is because of these facts that I do not list any brands on my site. I recommend you do your own research on high end dog food brands and discover for yourself what brand your dog can tolerate and what he genuinely likes to eat.




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How Often to Feed/How Much to Feed


For [higher content] Puppies: 


If your pup has been started on a high quality kibble and has not had stomach problems, offer him free-choice puppy chow and small pieces of meat or raw chicken wings at least 4 times per day until he is 8 weeks old. 


Reduce meat feedings to 3 times per day, but increase quantity of meat servings (i.e. 3 chicken thighs instead of 4 wings or 1 pound of cut up/ground meat instead of 1/2 pound). 


By 3 months old, your pup should be enjoying 3 servings of kibble per day (instead of free-choice) plus his usual ration of meat. 


By 5 months, offer 2 meals of kibble plus 2 chicken quarters per day (or 3-5 pounds of various meat, depending on your animals' appetite.) 


Increase or decrease as necessary, based on what your canine feels comfortable with.



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For [higher content] Adult Wolfdogs:


If your wolfdog can tolerate kibble, offer 2 kibble-based meals per day (amount varies based on the individual animal) for companion animals; free-choice kibble for breeding animals during whelping season.


Meat-based meals can be offered in several small portions, in one large meal, or hidden throughout the enclosure/yard so your wolfdog has to work to find them. Daily meat consumption can range from 5 pounds to 7 pounds of meat, depending on the individual animal.





For animals that cannot tolerate kibble, prepare to feed 10-15 pounds of meat daily; either in one large meal or several small meals.


Some only feed their wolfdogs a few times per week in order to simulate a diet they would experience in the wild. Allowing your wolfdogs to get ravenous like this produces a higher likelihood of a break-out, resulting in the hunting of neighboring pets. I do not recommend this type of feeding schedule. They are not wild animals and should not be fed as such.




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For lower contents/individuals who do not require a pure wolf/high content diet:


Offer free choice high quality kibble of your choice, or offer 2-3 meals per day of your own home-cooked or B.A.R.F. meals. Feed as appropriate for the individual animal.



In the end, any individual of any content has the potential to eat like a bird and stay long, lean and slender, while others are big, burly and have the potential to eat you out of house and home.




Most individuals will occasionally fast for a day or so; it may happen once or twice per month or only once or twice per year. Nothing to be worried about. It's just a wolfdog thing.  









Treats

Grain-free all natural homemade biscuits are a favorite; I highly recommend investing in a Bake-A-Bone biscuit maker. 


Being homemade, you can make them any flavor you wish-- chicken, beef, fruit, cheese or even peanut butter flavored treats. Your wolfdog will appreciate a tasty nosh, and it's fun for you to make!




Getting to know your wolfdog pup and experimenting with different treats will let you know what his favorite flavors are.



While I don't agree with using treats to bribe a pup into performing a desired task (I like my pups to look forward to affection as a reward), I do suggest you use treats in very large quantities when your pup does something great, like waiting for you to let him out instead of piddling on the carpet 

(this is the greatest thing your young pup can do; short of throwing him a parade, this action requires the most praise of all! When you let him in after he makes potty outside, let the confetti fly!)


Other treats include fruits (as mentioned above) like apple slices, berries or small pieces of oranges, pumpkin, carrots or frozen treats like puree liver cubes, puree fruit cubes or frozen chicken or beef stock cubes.



Like a child, a wolfdog can get sick from eating too many treats. Feed them in moderation. 






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Water


A bowl of cold, clean water at all times is a given. Always provide fresh water on hot summer days. If your pup is reluctant to drink, or if you wish to offer him a tasty treat, add some fruit juice to his water (make sure it's not grape juice!)



You may get a pup who loves water, and may try to swim in his dish or dig all the water out onto the floor.




If your pup shows an interest in water, get him a kiddie-pool for outside splashing. Some wolfdogs love it, others can do without it. It all depends on the individual personality of the pup, not the content.