Need Raw Encouragement!
Hello! I am hoping to get some encouragement to get me to make the move to raw. I've read it over a couple times and think it sounds great...then reality sets in. I tried some chicken legs with my 7month old GSD mix, she loved it but it made me feel a little queasy, and a little worried about bones. So I called the vet and she gave me the standard "dangers of choking and bacteria" line. Then I switched to Sojo's dehydrated. The dog loved it, and she became super soft and shiny. But at one bag a week at $25, I don't think I can keep up that expense. I am a stay at home mom and not time crunched or averse to food prep, so I don't need the convenience of dehydrated, if it costs so much more. Not that I want to spend hours chopping, grinding, mixing etc. but I am able to put some time into it (15 min?)
Anyone feel like giving me some encouragement to get me over these things: Cost (if really a factor), "grossness", including other family members, going against vet's advice.
Every time I think I am going to do homemade raw, I start reading and get overwhelmed. I would like a simple menu that can be bought from the grocery store at first and then I could move into some cost saving measures. Think I can find those online, just need some of you experience folks to push me a bit.
Advice? Thank you!
I appreciate your uneasiness as I felt the same way and still have not gone all the way with raw. My biggest phobia was the bones and I found a way around it to make me feel much more at ease.
I bought an electric meat grinder which easily handles chicken and turkey bones but will not deal with beef bones. So, I make a wonderful ground raw food for her with other adjuncts added such as eggs (with shell) spinach, squash, carrots etc. all pureed. I also add organs such as liver, kidney, green tripe etc. I was adding a few ingredients from "satin balls" as well but I think I might eliminate the Total cereal and wheat germ as time goes by.
Recently, via searching raw food forums I found a place which sells beef, chicken and turkey incredibly cheap as well as organs and green tripe for .35 a lb. I just placed an order for 105 lbs of meat, organs and bones which cost me .68 a lb for everything.....including a .25 a lb fee for someone to pick it up and bring it up to the city....amazingly cheap compared to anything else I have found. Hopefully, you might find something the same in your area.
My bro in law still laughs at me for grinding the bones and all, as his pack devours their complete raw no problem. I'm getting there slowly, on occasion I give our gal a frozen turkey wing or leg but I hover over her making sure it all goes fine....I do laugh at myself.
This is the first dog of four we have fed raw and so far so good !
Good luck as you make the steps to going raw.
It's not as hard as you think and the health benifits should be a good enough reason for the extra work ;) . I personally buy 1kg bags of raw mince chicken for £1 from the local pet store or order online (im in the uk). Defrost it overnight and serve. I've been giving my puppy chicken wings (bones and all) since he was 12 weeks olds, with absolutley no problems.
I totally understand your fears. I'm still working my insecurities feeding raw. I myself don't have a problem with the bones. I worry more about completeness and balance. My 9.5 month old is a very picky eater and as of yet I haven't found a supplement I can add to her food without her turning her nose up. the only problem I had with the gross factor was the fist time I opened a chub of fresh green tripe. That was awful but I got over it quick enough.
It actually took 2 attempts for me to get where I am. The first time was a failure and we went back to kibble for a bit. The second time I chose the pre- ground it was a much better experience. For me and the dog.
If you feel comfortable sharing your location I'm sure you will get a lot suggestions on where to find good pricing on meat.
I myself use Blue Ridge Beef pre- ground. It comes in 2lb chubs. Most of the standards like chicken, beef, venison are around $1.79/lb. It comes with 10% bone(which is the recommended amount). They also have a "natural mix" that has organ meat and green tripe added. I mix and match and add additional organ meat if needed. I also give raw meaty bones (sliced beef neck, beef ribs etc.) several times a week; I add some salmon or coconut oil and when I can get it raw goats milk. All in all, I think I spend around $60-$80 a month for food. That's really not any more than a bag of Orijen or other top quality kibble.
As for the time. I spend a couple hours one day a month and prep all the meals for the month and put it in the freezer. Then all I have to do is thaw and feed. She will even eat it partially frozen.
Remember, most bones are fine as long as they are never cooked. If you wash you hands and surfaces well after raw meal prep bacterial contamination shouldn't be an issue either. You can feed outside or teach you dog to eat on an old towel or sheet that can be thrown in the wash and cleaned.(if you feed dehydrated or ground this isn't an issue most of the time)
It is a commitment and it is overwhelming at first. But It really does get easier and cheaper. And I personally think my dog is healthier for my efforts.
Hang in there. You'll find what works for you and your dog. And what you can afford.
It DOES get easier, but I understand!;)
Below are 2 GREAT easy, balanced diet ways of feeding raw until you get confidence. You simply get ground chuck or round and ground turkey (Jennie'O and Purdue have a 93%/7%) from your grocery store and use it with either mix ! You can add Sardines (canned in water) and eggs a few times per week too!
See Spot Live Longer™ Homemade Dinner Mixes blended with fresh lean meats (lightly cooked or raw) make the most nutritious and delicious meals you can serve your dogs. It's easy. Just add 2 tablespoons (4 for puppies) of our special mix to one pound of fresh beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb, and add a can of sardines or fish oils weekly. (The dog is the fats she eats more than any other nutrient: Fragile fats such as those in fish are best served at time of feeding.) Serve the meat raw or cooked. Either way, it makes a nutritious, mineral-rich, AAFCO-compliant, high-protein, low-carbohydrate, natural diet. You add the meat and the fish oils or sardines, and we give you everything necessary to meet all accepted standards for the micronutrient content of dog foods for all life stages.
When mixed according to directions, See Spot Live Longer™ Homemade Dinner Mixes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adults and for all life stages.
A typical 35-pound dog will need one bag per month.
Ingredients: dried spinach, ground flax seed, dicalcium phosphate, oyster shell powder, dried spirulina algae, psyllium husk powder, organic dried kelp, sea salt, inulin, chelated minerals (iron, zinc, manganese and copper amino acid chelates), vitamin E, choline chloride, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.
Healthy Dog Food Dinner Mixes
The Honest Kitchen has a variety called Preference to which you also mix in your own ground meat. This is DE-Hydrated food. A 7# box will last about 30 days for a dog 50-70 pounds. HK products are 100% Human Grade (mostly organic) processed in a Human Grade inspected facility!
Dehydrated Dog & Cat Food Feeding Tips | The Honest Kitchen
Locate a store: Where to Buy Honest Kitchen - Honest Kitchen Stores | The Honest Kitchen
All ingredients dehydrated: Sweet potatoes, organic alfalfa, cabbage, organic coconut, apples, spinach, pumpkin, bananas, celery, organic kelp, honey, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate. - See more at: Preference - Grain Free, Homemade Dog Food Mix | The Honest Kitchen
Just FYI.....2 cups of ground meat = 1 pound.
Hope this helps!
I would not listen to much your vet has to say about bones. Most vets are not educated in dog nutrition (its a small portion of vet school). People that feed raw and have been doing it for years, have no issues. When I can afford to feed raw (I too dont trust my self to do it right) I buy the commercially made frozen diets.
We feed a premixed ground raw food. As we become more comfortable we're changing things up and adding new food for enrichment (turkey/chicken necks, chicken feet, marrow bones, pig feet, lung, etc).
The great thing about raw is, for them, chicken backs are like top sirloin! The first month, I think, is the most expensive. Mistakes in purchasing, mistakes in packaging...after the first month (which for me was $100-120, I went over board) I think it's easier. I have 6 weeks supply. He loves it. Breath smell is gone after 3 days. Coat is SOFT!!! AND HE LOVES TO EAT NOW!!!
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I watch for sales on meat and stock up. I bought a big freezer for the dogs. I have 2 turkeys in there now. In the beginning I used a digital scale to get 1.5 pounds. Now I can eyeball it. I don't add anything else (veggies or rice) most days. Fiona is like me and hates veggies. Gilda likes them.
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I think feeding raw takes dedication and some effort. Cutting up a whole partially frozen turkey is a PIA! I don't feed weight bearing bones or much in the way of beef bones. Seldom do I even feed turkey carcasses. Necks of course but the other bones are too dense/large so I cut all the meat away and toss the rest.
I have a dedicated freezer and a fridge(with a shelf for the beer) and right now am having a hard time thawing meat, bring it inside in a tote as it's been so cold out, nothing thaws.
I hope my dogs know what I go thru to feed them!
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