Pets Wag More with Raw, Natural Food

Tori Rosay, owner of Dexter's Deli, may be the biggest proponent—and probably one of the most knowledgeable experts—of healthier diets for pets that you are likely to find in San Diego.

Not only does she have a background in human nutrition, she's smart enough to know that what works for us, works for our four-legged friends. High-quality food is essential for good health.

Dexter's Deli is not only one of the county's leading natural health food stores for dogs and cats but San Diego's largest retailer of raw food diets, something Rosay believes in wholeheartedly. Her own Fox Terrier suffered from skin allergies which were resolved with a natural food diet she prepared for him herself. While researching the best way to help her dog battle his health challenges, she turned up information about raw diets for pets. Raw food is rich in the live enzymes and nutrients that are essential to health. A raw and natural diet can prevent or even reverse health problems like:






Irritable bowel syndrome (yes, pets get it too!)

Yeast infections

The typical pet food found on the market is full of processed ingredients and questionable byproducts. While they may be vitamin enriched, they can't compete with fresh, raw food. "Some pet food labels say they are healthy, but they're sneaking the same garbage in as many others. No processed pet food, dry or canned, has live enzymes and if animals don't get those from their food, the body feeds on itself," says Rosay.

Rosay is also a firm believer in providing education. Her first store opened in 1996 in Del Mar and the second followed in Carlsbad. All stores offer what Rosay calls a "species-appropriate diet," and you won't find anything there that isn't in your pet's best interest.


Here are the basics on a home cooked diet:

BALANCE IS KEY Cooking for your pet does require that you think about how the diet is balanced over time. Every meal does not need to be identical, but you must be sure that your pet is getting all of the nutrients they need, and variety is the best way to do that. If your pet has health issues you should get expert advice on what special needs they may have.

Multi-Vitamin/Mineral: Adding a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement must be done if your pet is getting more than one-third of its food as homemade. It's an easy way to ensure that baseline nutritional needs are met, and is especially important if you are feeding a limited variety of ingredients.

Calcium: For a diet high in meat (which is most appropriate for most dogs, and all cats) you must ensure that your pet is getting enough calcium to offset the high phosphorus levels of meat. Raw edible bones or a calcium supplement are a daily essential in a meat-based diet.




• Protein 50-75%, Complex Carbohydrates 15-25%, Vegetables 10-15%, + calcium and multivitamin.

• Real world proportions (measured before cooking): 2 lbs. of meat and 1 cup of your chosen carb/veg combination.



• Protein, 80-90%, Complex Carbohydrates 10-15%, Vegetables 3-5%, + calcium and multivitamin.

• Real world proportions (measured before cooking): 1 lb. of protein and 3 Tablespoons of your chosen carb/veg combination. Protein options for both dogs and cats:

• Meat should make up most of the protein: beef, chicken, turkey, white fish (cod, tilapia, flounder, etc), oily fish (sardines, salmon, etc), lamb, venison, bison. Don't use only lean cuts of meat like chicken breast or there won't be a proper amount of fat.

• Organs should make up 10% of your protein: gizzards, liver (should always be half of your organ portion), heart, kidney, spleen. These provide unique nutrients and are essential for cats, so supplement if not using organs. • Proteins to feed in smaller amounts: eggs, cheese, cultured dairy such as yogurt and kefir.


DextersNaturals Biscuits


Complex Carbohydrate must always be cooked: sweet potato, yam, white potato, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, brown rice, beets, turnips, carrots.


Vegetable options for both dogs and cats:

(make use of trimmings from your own cooking, like broccoli stems, always grind veggies for cats, it's best to combine a variety from all categories below)
• Leafy greens: leaf lettuces, salad mix, dandelions, watercress, sprouts, nettles, cilantro, parsley
• Hearty greens: cabbage, bok choy, kale, collard greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, asparagus, chard
• Sweet Veggies: green beans, peas, summer squashes, cucumber, purslane.

Common Foods You Should Not Feed:

• Onions

• Large Amounts of Garlic (a clove a day for a medium-sized dog is fine)

• Macadamia Nuts

• Cooked Bones

• Raisins, Grapes



Want to get started feeding your pet raw food, we have more helpful guides on our website, or stop into one our stores,  check out all the fresh frozen raw options we have available.



Dexter's Deli locations:

Del Mar

1229 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA · (858) 792-3707


508 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA · (760) 720-7507

North Park

3773 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104 · (619) 738-8677

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