Raw food is fed by weight, not by calories. You want to choose meat that does not have lots of water added in processing, and start out feeding 2% of your dog's body weight. You know if they are getting enough calories if they maintain body condition. If they start to lose weight, feed more. If they start to gain weight, feed less. It's the same way you as a human know if you are getting enough calories, too much, or too few.
My dog weighs 75lbs and needs about 1300-1800 calories per day. The exact amount will vary because we do not do strenuous exercise every day. You can do the math using a website like the USDA nutrition database if you want to find out how many oz of meat your dogs would need to eat to have a high enough caloric intake. Using the example of my dog, 1400 calories is roughly the equivalent of 24 oz of raw chicken thighs (keeping in mind this is just an example and I feed her other things too). 1.5 lbs of food per day seems like a lot, but it's really not that bad if you can find meat for under $2/lb.
I can sympathize with your skepticism regarding raw diets. When I first started looking into it, I thought it would be too expensive, I would mess up my dog, I wouldn't feed the right amounts. It's definitely a different mindset from feeding kibble because you have to put more thought into it than you would for a human diet since it's for a different species. But now that I've gotten started, I'm seeing that you don't have to figure out everything at once- you want to start slow and take your time finding sources, do whatever calculations you need to feel secure in what you are feeding.
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Last edited by Kaimeju; 02-16-2014 at 11:12 AM.