Tatanka diet

Tatanka diet


We feed our resident carnivore meat. Mostly raw meat and as many raw bones as we can source for her. Occasionally she lucks out and I let her eat eggs that the chickens hide and yogurt on yogurt making day. My little girls let her clean their bowls when they finish their yogurt and applesauce and Tatanka loves them for it. When we process rabbits she eats any of the guts she wants to (stomach is her absolute favorite, and turns out there is a nice sounding name for it…”green tripe”) Then I just set aside a certain number of the rabbits for her and she eats the rest of the carcass over the course of a few days. Currently she eats about 1-2 lbs of meat (and other stuff). We are seriously looking into raising meat goats and you can bet she’ll be eating all those guts and bones too. She loves to eat cat poop, which I hate because it grosses me out, but I understand the physiology behind it. Sigh.

I just had to spew that all out so that I could start explaining why we do this and dispelling some common misconceptions. People get touchy about diets, even pet diets. Firstly, even if there was no health benefit the sheer reduction in poop volume and nastiness would be worth the higher cost and effort. No question. Her poop is small, hard and granular. By the end of the day it has dried out into a sandy white powder with no smell whatsoever. We don’t scoop poop, we just mow over it when we cut the grass. Secondly, there actually are huge benefits to her health, very much akin to the benefits seen in humans when they cut out junk food and reduce sugar intake. It’s a soap box I’ll happily jump on but not just now. Lets just say she’s happier and calmer and better overall. No dog-breath, great teeth, beautiful coat, and perfect weight (she’s all muscle).

Now for myths:

  • it’s cooked poultry bones that will kill a dog. She crunches her raw drumsticks and turkey necks with no problem at all. Cooked beef and pork bones are totally fine too because they have a much higher collagen level which prevents splintering. We have remnants of beef ribs in her crate from the last time we had short ribs. She was in heaven that night.
  • Dogs are in fact designed to just eat meat and bones and meat and bones constitutes a complete diet.
  • She will eat other stuff because, like a human, she can. Doesn’t mean it’s ideal, but rather it ups a dog’s chance of survival if they have a wider array of options. Again, doesn’t mean she needs it.


We decided to feed her like this since before we even brought her home. She’s been tackling chicken drumsticks like a boss since she was 6 weeks old. Hard to imagine she wore our cat harness in the beginning.


Standard meal is chicken drumsticks.


Sometimes she is spoiled and gets a whole package of ribs to herself. I’m a softy.


I was serious. She loves yogurt more than me and my little girls and thats saying something. Also she slurps up bone broth if I’m ever feeling inclined to share (which is not often. I’m greedy with my bone broth).


Just like my kids, raising our own animals has broadened Tanka’s taste horizons. She loved heart, and all the rabbit bits. When we have steak she eats all the left over bones and gristle. I haven’t broken into the liver yet so we will see what she thinks of that when it happens.

As far as chew toys and training treats, dehydrated cow ears are her favorite. She loves a good raw hide bone or pork skin chew. We realized that cut up summer sausage and bits of cheese are way more motivating for her and way cheaper for us. She doesn’t love peanut butter but adores cheese whiz.

Its a different way to feed a dog, but there are very few things about what we do that are “normal.” No reason to be normal with our pup!