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Raw Food Diet for Dogs

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GabyBaby posted 2/24/2014 21:26 PM

I'm becoming increasingly interested in feeding my 4 dogs (and cats) a raw food diet.

Does anyone here do this?
My main questions:

1. Where do you get your meat? I don't know of a butcher (other than the one at the local grocery store) and I think ordering it online would be cost prohibitive.

2. How much does it cost per month?
I have 2 80lb dogs, 1 20lb dog, and 1 10lb dog, so we go through a LOT of commercial dog food that isn't necessarily the best for them.

Pentup posted 2/25/2014 06:30 AM

I did it for several years. Did buy online for a while. Depending on the source not that much worse than making it.

I quit because my dog still developed allergies to beef and poultry,

You have to make sure to get the mix right. I think it is more expensive than commercial food, well, not more than the specialty food at the vets.

It was also time consuming (to me). If you did it in large batches and froze it, maybe not so much. And I was only. Feeding one small dog. But much more time consuming than pouring from a bag.

I do still believe it is better for dogs.

tushnurse posted 2/25/2014 08:00 AM

My MIL quit feeding her dogs regular food due to one developing grain allergies. She didn't do a raw diet, but did do a home made food diet for them.
She cooked a weeks worth on sunday, and then froze half, and refrigerated half, it was a mixture of carrots, potatos, green beans, and which ever was cheaper that week, ground beef or turkey, she would put it all in a pot together and add water and boil it. IT honestly looked like stew, and smelled wonderful, I even teased her a few time when we watched the dogs that we would eat that, and they could have what our dogs got.
The grain allergy resolved, and she has them back on regular dry dog food now, and she gives them fresh veggies daily, she works for a vet, and he says it keeps them full and healthy.
So that's all I know about that.

ISPIFFD posted 2/25/2014 08:37 AM

I don't feed raw at the moment, but I know a lot of dog owners believe it's the best way. I belong to two forums that both have extensive info on feeding raw. I'll send you a PM

GabyBaby posted 2/25/2014 09:03 AM

Thank you all!
The expense (with 4 dogs) is a concern, but I want them to be happy and live long, healthy lives.

I'll check out the info you PM'd me!

Clearview posted 2/25/2014 11:05 AM

I don't feed "raw", but I do cook my own dog food. Usually brown rice or wholewheat pasta, some veggies and various cheaper cuts of meat. Since I stopped feeding him commercially produced food, his coat is fabulous, his eyes are super clear and his energy levels are higher.

I'll never go back to commercially produced again. :)

brooke4 posted 2/25/2014 11:42 AM

We've been feeding raw for eight years. I was a bit skeptical at first, but honestly don't think now that I'd ever go back. While it is more expensive than dry, they never need to go to the vet other than for routine stuff, their teeth are perfect, they don't smell, their coats are gorgeous, it's easy to control their weight, and (not to be gross) their poo really doesn't smell much.

We started as a last ditch attempt to keep our then 6-month-old puppy off of a lifetime of steroids due to absolutely chronic diarrhea, and it was gone within a week. Because we started with a still-growing puppy,and were worried about him getting all the calories and nutrients he needed, we used a holistic vet to help us set the diet up. It worked so well, we've never looked back and didn't think twice about starting our second on raw when we got him.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say, I don't know how much it costs. We're in Europe and I do have a local butcher who gives me scraps and raw bones, so I get about half of their food for free. Because we have children (our own and others) in and out of the house all the time, and because I know dogs can shed salmonella through their coats (although I've never heard of a case of this being transmitted from raw feeding -every dog to human case I've come across has been from tainted dry food) I'm very conscious of what kind of meat the dogs get, and therefore don't give them anything we wouldn't eat ourselves.

We have two very active large-breed dogs, and tend to make up about three days worth at a time. At the time we started there weren't a lot of places to get the food pre-made, so we just sort of got in the routine of making it ourselves.

On a daily basis, they each get (roughly): 200-300 grams of meat (one day a week this is offal), which we adjust up or down depending on their weight and activity level, about 300 grams of vegetables blended in the food processor, about 50 grams of uncooked oats or quinoa, a good dollop of olive oil or coconut oil, a couple of omega three capsules and a vitamin. They get a small bone each night that they eat completely.

Hope that helps.

GabyBaby posted 2/25/2014 12:02 PM

Thanks Clearview and Brooke!
It is definitely food for thought. While it'd be more time consuming than tearing open a bag of kibble, I already make 95% of my family's food from scratch.
Taking one extra day per week to prep our furkids' food wouldn't really be a huge deal to me, especially given the health benefits to my four legged babies.

She11ybeanz posted 2/25/2014 15:15 PM

I did the raw food diet for my 2 boxer dogs when I was still married to XWH! They were about 75/80 pounds each. They seemed to love it. It is a bit time consuming and I recommend investing in a large freezer. They loved chicken livers which are pretty cheap. Although my fatter boxer got smart once when I mixed cubes of chicken with chopped up kale....and she would pick up the chicken with her teeth and shake her head side to side to shake off all the kale before eating it!!!! I thought I was gonna die laughing!

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 3:16 PM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

GabyBaby posted 2/25/2014 15:21 PM

Thanks Shelly!

I recommend investing in a large freezer.
Done! We have a fridge/freezer in the house, a second in the garage, as well as a deep chest freezer in the garage as well. Storage space isn't an issue.

she would pick up the chicken with her teeth and shake her head side to side to shake off all the kale before eating

I can see at least one pup in particular doing this! He's not a real big fan of green veggies, but he loves carrots and a few others.

Did you have a butcher source or did you just grab the meat from the grocery store?

brooke4 posted 2/25/2014 16:57 PM

Just one cautionary note - if you do go raw, they aren't supposed to have cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc. as they can cause thyroid issues in dogs.

GabyBaby posted 2/25/2014 17:04 PM

Thanks Brooke!
I'm still in the early stages of research, but this is definitely info that is good to know.

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