Why 80/10/5/5 Ratio diets can’t meet the nutritional requirements of your dog?
Back 20 years ago when I started feeding raw diets for dogs, I was told that if I followed the 80/10/10 raw diet and rotated my proteins that over time it would be balanced. This is still taught today and followed by 1000’s of people who fresh feed foods their dogs. Heck, I followed it for years and Oh boy, I was so wrong.
Fast-forward today, there are millions of people feeding raw, and we have come up with tools to help us better create balanced meals. There are spreadsheets galore that can help you formulate. Now a days many are balanced to NRC (National Research Council) as oppose to the lower nutritional standards of AAVCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) which is set based upon commercial “feed” and not food.
So back to ratio diets, basically, the ratio diet is the percentage of muscle meat, body organs, and bone present in a prey species. The most distinctive suggestion is to offer approximately 80% muscle meat, around 10% bone, 5% liver, as well as and 5% additional secretory organs.
Here are a few examples of potential deficiencies when preparing your dogs food.
When you choose skinless muscle meat, let say chicken, your dog’s diet lacks linoleic acid. This amino acid deficiency can cause dry, dull coat; hair loss; skin lesions; abnormal growth in young animals, weakened immune systems and poor wound healing..
In addition this diet does not have vitamin E. Vitamin E and selenium are essential for sustaining cell membranes. Its deficiency can lead to a broad series of clinical signs in your pet, for example, protecting cells from oxidative damage. Oxidative stress can harm cell membranes, cardiovascular health, the immune system, vision, neurological function and fertility. Signs that your dog is deficient in Vitamin E include muscle weakness and decreased fertility. muscular weakness, anorexia, depression, and coma.
Ratio diets are also deficient in vitamin D and believe it or not calcium and phosphorus. 10% bone often does not meet your dog’s nutritional requirements for calcium and phosphorous. This was very surprising to me too. I can go on about Ratio diets being deficient in Minerals; manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, as well as iodine. All leading to deficiency’s and there results, swelling of joints, lameness, and an irregular gait, reproductive issues and so on.
So in the more recent years with all the new tools to create a more balanced “science based” diet the ratio diet must be laid to rest. It just doesn’t fulfill all the nutritional.