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I would really like to start feeding my dogs something homemade but I can’t afford it. I can however feed a raw meal maybe 4 or 5 out of 14 meals in a week. I want to know if it’s really worth it? I have been reading a lot on dog health and nutrition and everything I read says you must at least rotate your food every few months so they don’t get too much of one thing (which in the far future can harm organs) as well as so they can get something else that they are lacking, which makes total sense.

Is there something I would need to think about in doing this? I’m not sure if it would be raw, but at least home cooked. Would this be a total waste of time and be the same as just buying another brand of high end dog food? Or would this actually provide some sort of health to my dogs?

Thanks!
 

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I Feed my GSD's Raw hamburger meat, Chicken and vegetables MIXED WITH their grain free kibble. And (every once in awhile) give them fruit afterwards (cut pieces of apple etc...)

I dont think there is anything wrong with keeping them on kibble and giving them some raw/cooked mixed with. (only thing... being cooked Meat can lessen nutrients/vitamins as for raw) In fact i personally think it makes it easier than to go totally raw. (Ex: if you leave for trips often and cant bring the dogs with and the kennel wont take your pre packaged raw foods)

Im hoping to slowly go into a totally raw diet. One day.... :)
 

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You can feed up to about 25% of the diet in raw or cooked and not affect the balance of the kibble diet. Some dogs seem to benefit from this, but it's not necessary.

You do not need to rotate kibbles as long as you are feeding a good kibble. People will rotate them because they get bored, not the dog, but come up with excuses like the dog must be getting bored or there could be something lacking in the diet.

In fact, by rotating foods you expose your dog to more proteins, so if you should be one of the bazillion people with an allergy dog down the road, you are totally screwed when you want to find something they haven't eaten and all allergic/sensitive too.
 

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I feed Acana for breakfast and raw for dinner, works great. If you shop around the raw can actually be less expensive than kibble. I still may switch to all raw, I just need to find better sources for my meat so I can keep the cost down.
 

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I feed TOTW in the am with supplements. Then in the pm I feed raw diet in the PM. Looks great!
 

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In fact, by rotating foods you expose your dog to more proteins, so if you should be one of the bazillion people with an allergy dog down the road, you are totally screwed when you want to find something they haven't eaten and all allergic/sensitive too.
I disagree with that last statement. There's nothing wrong with exposing your dog to different protein sources and you wouldn't be "totally screwed" if your dog turns out to be allergic to something. Most people who rotate kibbles stick to 3-4 specific brands to switch between. That would still leave many brands with different proteins/ingredients untested were the dog to have allergies. I personally think it's worse to stick with just one protein source for the dog's entire life. That's one of the things raw feeders tend to stress - a variety in protein sources, so why can't kibble feeders do the same? I do agree it isn't necessary to rotate when feeding kibble though, since kibble diets are technically 'nutritionally complete'. Rotation is just something of personal preference. -shrug-

To the OP, there's nothing wrong with feeding some raw meals in a week. Since you would still be feeding mostly kibble balance wouldn't be so much of a issue, but sticking to a balanced meal is always better if you decide that's what you want to do. I personally don't think that would be a waste of time or effort on your part because eating fresh once in a awhile is better then never at all! Plus if you ever decide to convert to homecooked or raw entirely later down the line your dog(s) won't be quite as sensitive to the switch since you've already introduced them to the diet and you can introduce more variety much faster. :)
 

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We have been feeding kibble (TOTW)+ a little wet food for 3 meals, 4th meal as a chicken quarter or other RMB...is that okay? We usually trim some of the skin off the chicken quarter because the fat can cause runny stools.

Regen's metabolism must be really slow, she put on weight and is maintaining on a little over 2 cups of TOTW a day (with 2 tb of Merrick's grain free added per feeding) plus training treats.

I figured subbing raw for a meal every other day wouldn't cause some awful imbalance. We plan to go all raw once we can afford an extra freezer.
 

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I disagree with that last statement. There's nothing wrong with exposing your dog to different protein sources and you wouldn't be "totally screwed" if your dog turns out to be allergic to something. Most people who rotate kibbles stick to 3-4 specific brands to switch between. That would still leave many brands with different proteins/ingredients untested were the dog to have allergies. I personally think it's worse to stick with just one protein source for the dog's entire life. That's one of the things raw feeders tend to stress - a variety in protein sources, so why can't kibble feeders do the same? I do agree it isn't necessary to rotate when feeding kibble though, since kibble diets are technically 'nutritionally complete'. Rotation is just something of personal preference. -shrug-

To the OP, there's nothing wrong with feeding some raw meals in a week. Since you would still be feeding mostly kibble balance wouldn't be so much of a issue, but sticking to a balanced meal is always better if you decide that's what you want to do. I personally don't think that would be a waste of time or effort on your part because eating fresh once in a awhile is better then never at all! Plus if you ever decide to convert to homecooked or raw entirely later down the line your dog(s) won't be quite as sensitive to the switch since you've already introduced them to the diet and you can introduce more variety much faster. :)
I'm guessing you have never had an allergy dog and experienced the helplessness of realizing you have fed just about every type of protein on the planet to your dog and there is nothing left short of exotic stuff like frog or ostrich. It doesn't matter if you are feeding raw or kibble, the protein exposure is the same.
 

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You can feed up to about 25% of the diet in raw or cooked and not affect the balance of the kibble diet. Some dogs seem to benefit from this, but it's not necessary.

You do not need to rotate kibbles as long as you are feeding a good kibble. People will rotate them because they get bored, not the dog, but come up with excuses like the dog must be getting bored or there could be something lacking in the diet.

In fact, by rotating foods you expose your dog to more proteins, so if you should be one of the bazillion people with an allergy dog down the road, you are totally screwed when you want to find something they haven't eaten and all allergic/sensitive too.

This is 100% scientifically true. Rotating foods especially feeding novel proteins is just a recipe for disaster. Feeding two different foods the same day is about the silliest thing I ever heard of.

Rotating just makes people happy and that is all. Dogs like repetition and dogs that are picky are made that way.
 

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I feed Diamond (grain free) to my GSD and feed a chicken leg every evening. I mix his treats up with various raw things like chicken feet or some organs etc. But I haven't had a problem.

In fact, since I've been adding the raw chicken, my dog is no longer picky and eats like a horse. He is 15 months old and I started adding raw just a few months ago. Until that point it was very hard to keep wieght on him. Now I have to be very careful that he doesn't gain! Makes for a happy dog and happy owner!

His waste is very little and never loose. Very little stink to it either. I do keep an eye on it just to watch for any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is 100% scientifically true. Rotating foods especially feeding novel proteins is just a recipe for disaster. Feeding two different foods the same day is about the silliest thing I ever heard of.

Rotating just makes people happy and that is all. Dogs like repetition and dogs that are picky are made that way.
Just out of curiosity, how do you know this? I’m only asking because the last two books I have read mentioned rotation guards against the dog developing nutritional deficiencies it also helps to avoid potential toxicities. An example would be something like liver which contains high vitamins A, which can be harmful if the dog gets too much overtime. If the food has a high or low amount of a certain vitamin eventually it can lead to something bad. Is there a food out there that is commercially prepared that has the perfect amount of everything? With no more or no less than needed?

There is more than that but that seems to be the main point of it in their opinion.

I am by no means starting a debate (I know nothing on the subject other then conflicting reading materials), I just find everything dog nutrition is so confusing and everyone has a different opinion. I’m trying to find out what I can do to help my dog while on a budget and everything I read is different but like I said, the last two book have mentioned rotation was good (Better food for dogs by David Bastin and Jennifer Ashton and I’ll get the other book name when I get home)

Thanks!
 

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Just out of curiosity, how do you know this? I’m only asking because the last two books I have read mentioned rotation guards against the dog developing nutritional deficiencies it also helps to avoid potential toxicities. An example would be something like liver which contains high vitamins A, which can be harmful if the dog gets too much overtime. If the food has a high or low amount of a certain vitamin eventually it can lead to something bad. Is there a food out there that is commercially prepared that has the perfect amount of everything? With no more or no less than needed?

There is more than that but that seems to be the main point of it in their opinion.

I am by no means starting a debate (I know nothing on the subject other then conflicting reading materials), I just find everything dog nutrition is so confusing and everyone has a different opinion. I’m trying to find out what I can do to help my dog while on a budget and everything I read is different but like I said, the last two book have mentioned rotation was good (Better food for dogs by David Bastin and Jennifer Ashton and I’ll get the other book name when I get home)

Thanks!

Years of experience and discussions with allergists. If you are feeding a quality food, mid-grade or better, there is zero chance of a nutritional deficiency. There are no secrets when it comes to how much protein, fat & vitamins & minerals a dog needs.

The best food on a budget is the Costco brand if you can get in Canada. Second, would be Pro Pac, not sure if you can get it there.

My personal kibble favorites are Annamaet, Red Paw (Fromm), Fromm Gold, Dr. Tim's, Pro Pac.

Don't drive your self crazy.

Rotational feeding is just pop science.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We were feeding Chicken soup for the soul but that gave my little rescue gas (it was hard to cuddle the cutie every night with a stinky butt lol) so we just switched them to Taste of the Wild which is what my cats are on. When Nav is old enough we would like to go with Wellness.

I have never rotated in all my life with my many pets throughout. I’m just trying to get my head around all of the new sciences and discoveries that are being made about dogs health’s now that people care enough to research it lol it’s just so confusing.

EDIT: For my budget, we still like to feed high grade commercial food, i meant i cant afford the whole raw thing.
 

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We were feeding Chicken soup for the soul but that gave my little rescue gas (it was hard to cuddle the cutie every night with a stinky butt lol) so we just switched them to Taste of the Wild which is what my cats are on. When Nav is old enough we would like to go with Wellness.

I have never rotated in all my life with my many pets throughout. I’m just trying to get my head around all of the new sciences and discoveries that are being made about dogs health’s now that people care enough to research it lol it’s just so confusing.

EDIT: For my budget, we still like to feed high grade commercial food, i meant i cant afford the whole raw thing.
CSFDLS is good food too, just cut back a little the gas is probably overfeeding.
 
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