Sample Prey Model Menus

A “prey model” diet
One style of raw feeding called “prey model” advocates feeding a diet based on whole prey and excluding anything else. This is based on a desire to mimic the diet of the wolf in the wild. Ginny Wilken, of Alameda, California, describes the prey-model diet she has fed Tomo, her 11-year-old, 85-lb American Staffordshire Terrier, since he was four years old:

Tomo had three surgeries for hip and knee problems when he was young, prompting me to seek options to help him. I started with a Billinghurst-style raw diet, which soon morphed into a prey-model approach.

“Prey model” is a concept with wide latitude. Tomo is not fed a strict prey model diet; I’ve tailored it to meet his individual needs. I think this diet is well suited to folks with moderately good access to meat sources.

Tomo is a low-activity senior, an easy keeper with definite preferences. He enjoys food, but sees a meal as a social event, and is always happier to eat if someone is watching or sharing. This is sometimes a challenge, as he will turn down "difficult" meals at home alone that he will gladly tackle in "public."

Here are his diet items:

# Pork neck bones (whole split necks), ribs, shoulder, and shanks
# Turkey parts, including unattached necks
# Chicken and duck (whole or half)
# Lamb necks (whole), heart and kidney
# Goat (six-way cut)
# Meaty chunks of beef, lamb, pork and venison
# Raw eggs, free-range (home grown)
# Organic or natural beef liver, heart and kidney
# Green tripe, cow gullets and tracheas (from
# Chicken feet
# Pork brains, spleen and pancreas
# Whole small fishes, like smelt or sardines
# Intact heads or whole animals, when available
# Homemade soups from all varieties of bones
# My table scraps or "shares," just meat, fish and vegetables (only broccoli and greens, and only with fat on it)
# Timberwolf Salmon oil

I buy food from butchers, Asian markets, or wholesale from packers and ranchers. All our food is from quality sources, and much of it is organic or naturally raised.

These days, Tomo can’t skip meals, as he needs to take a number of supplements twice a day, including antioxidants for his heart, anti-inflammatories for arthritis, and thyroid medication. He gets pills in slices of meat or handfuls of tripe or ground beef, usually when I am eating, to make a treat out of it.

Tomo is a very careful chewer, but large pieces may come up and go down a few times to get chomped just right. He has never choked on food. I don't fast him, but I do feed a bountiful day, followed by one or more lean days. He averages 1½ pounds of food a day, with a higher percentage of bone than is common with a prey-model diet. This regulates his digestion, which tends towards quick and loose.

I saw lots of positive changes. First, he ate, without being picky! Then I noticed that fleas no longer bothered him. His skin and ear problems cleared up quite a bit, though not entirely. His breath and coat improved, and his digestion became much more consistent. He became less manic, and easier to train and handle. His hips seemed to bother him less. Eight years later, I’m still very happy with his diet.

Comments: It’s important when following the prey-model style to feed a wide variety of foods, as shown here, not just meat and bones, and not just one or two meat sources. Tomo’s diet also demonstrates how supplements can be used appropriately.


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