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Old 06-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Feeding raw and kibble together

I have been feeding my dogs raw for over 6 months now, but I don't think I'll be able to afford feeding 3 dogs like this. Plus I don't think I can find a good variety of proteins as I would want.

I've been thinking of looking for a decent quality kibble (I've heard good things about 4health) and somehow feed both.

Those of you who feed kibble and raw, how do you do it? Do you feed raw a.m. and kibble p.m. or viceversa? One day kibble, one day raw? One week kibble, one week raw? Or just alternate randomly?

How often do you switch to another kind of kibble? When introducing a new kibble do you also do it little by little like you do when feeding kibble only, or do you just do it "cold turkey"?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice!
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One day kibble, one day raw, shouldn't cause any problems, aside from the dog possibly rejecting kibble. That's variable by dog, though. Mine doesn't care what you stick in her bowl. Some are picky. If that happens, in your situation, it might just be easiest to feed kibble exclusively.

It's mixing them in the same meal, or in feedings close together, that can cause gastro-issues.

Do you have a Costco near you? The new grain free food they're carrying is pretty decent. I like the ingredient list [it's a tad potato heavy], and it's super cheap.

I've never done slow switches with kibble, but that's because my dog tolerates switching foods well. You have to go by your own dogs. If they typically transition easier, then I wouldn't stress too much. If they seem to have stomach upset or soft stool, make a more gradual switch.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can do the raw-kibble combo anyway you want, but I would be leaning more toward combining them to prevent digestive upset from frequent diet changes.

There is no reason to change kibble if your dog is doing well on one. Dogs can happily eat the same kibble their entire lives. If you do switch kibbles, it should be a gradual change over a few days. Some dogs with more sensitive stomachs, you would want to take longer than that.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you, SchDDR! I think mine won't have a lot of trouble eating their kibble since that's what they used to eat for years. In case that happens... well, I don't really know yet.

No Costco near here, unfortunately. And I really want to stay away from anything in grocery stores and from Blue Buffalo.
There is a Tractor Supply near here though, and I have heard their 4health dog food has good ingredients and is not expensive, so for now it's my first choice.

Thank you again, I really appreciate your advice!

EDIT: Thanks, Elaine! Yeah, you're right. Now I think it's better to play it safe and just do a slow transition.

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Now I'm having second thoughts, I didn't know Diamond made 4health.

I hate this, I don't want to go searching for a decent kibble again!
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I started with kibble then phased to raw and eventually decided upon 50% Wellness Kibble/50% Raw. I generally feed kibble in the morning, mix kibble & muscle meat/organ meat for lunch and raw meaty bone for dinner.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh also.. I'm not sure if this will happen with you...but at first Mac snubbed the kibble. So I add in yogurt or eggs. Sometimes mix in the muscle meat or organ meat.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I went poor feeding two dogs all raw prey model diet, so I did the kibble and raw thing too. I just chunked up pork butt or beef roast and they got about 1/2lbs of meat in with cottage cheese and a cup of kibble for my adult husky and 2-3 cups of kibble for my teenage GSD.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it should be alright as long as it isn't in the same meal. I remember reading that dogs have a different digestive tract than humans, and they don't have to worry about the bacteria from raw because of the short span of time the raw meat spends in their stomach. Kibble requires different enzymes to digest, and also digests slower so if you combine kibble and raw in the same meal, the raw meat would spend more time in your pooch's stomach, and you could increase the risk of foodborne illness.

I usually feed kibble in the morning and raw for dinner. There is at least a good 8 hour gap between her breakfast and dinner. I don't feed strictly raw for a number of reasons - I find it too expensive right now, I'm usually in a rush on my way to work and don't have time to watch her eat it, and I'm new at raw feeding and don't have 100% confidence that I'm giving her all her nutrients - but I hope to feed 100% raw eventually. Some days she'll get raw for both meals. She still has consistent, small bowel movements, so I assume her body is ok with it.

I've also heard decent things about that new grain free Costco food. I may try that myself.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I do 1/2 kibble and 1/2 raw too -but not in the same meal. Usually raw/breakfast, kibble for dinner. Raw is expensive, but definitely helped my dog with digestion and skin problems. Our girl is such a picky eater. She will not eat kibble alone unless extremely hungry, but the raw does not have added vitamin/mineral supplements, so a good kibble is a good way to supplement.
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