In the wild, your pup's wolf cousins often eat rabbit. If you choose a raw diet for your canine companion, rabbit is a great protein choice to include in the diet. If your dog is a picky eater or prone to allergies, rabbit may be the best choice.
Natural diets of wolves and wild dogs consists mainly of meat and bones, making up nearly 60 percent the diet. Since dogs are omnivores, they also eat some other foods in the wild. Commercial dry dog foods generally have only half of the needed protein and often four to five times the carbohydrates. A raw diet closely mimics what your dog would eat in the wild, in terms of ingredients and moisture content. Raw diets also provide more digestible nutrition, including natural amino acids, enzymes and probiotics. According to renowned veterinarian Karen Becker, raw diets are most appropriate diets you can feed your pet. Since fresh raw food would be almost impossible to store and incredibly costly, most raw pet food companies package and sell their products frozen.
More and more often, dogs are diagnosed with allergies to proteins like chicken and beef. These ingredients are common in commercial dog food and, over time, your pup may begin to have an allergic reaction to these meats. Rabbit is a great choice for dogs with allergies because it's such an unusual protein in dog food. If your dog has symptoms of a food allergy or has been diagnosed by your vet with an allergy, rabbit is worth a try.
Raw, frozen diets are most commonly found in smaller, independent pet stores. Since raw diets require more specialized knowledge to feed correctly, many big pet store chains have limited frozen food options. To start your search, visit the store locator on the websites of some of the companies that produce frozen rabbit for dogs, including Primal, OC Raw, Vital Essentials and Nature's Variety. Call local stores in your area to be sure they carry the rabbit formulas regularly, since you don't want to find a great food for your dog and then have trouble getting it. Talk to the staff at the store for information about supplements you might want to consider with the frozen rabbit.
With enough research and time, you can make up your own frozen rabbit food for your canine companions. With the initial cost of a good meat grinder and some freezer containers, you can save a significant amount of money in the long run. Try to find a local source for rabbit meat by checking farmer's markets. The fresher the rabbit, the more nutritious it is for your dog. Be sure to develop a complete diet for your pup, since meat and bones alone won't give him all of the nutrition he needs. If you make up large batches and freeze the food in daily or weekly servings, your dog will enjoy raw rabbit for a much lower cost.
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images