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Have had GSD's for 71 years, since I was 2yo. New puppy coming from well-known working line breeder/trainer that only feeds raw diet.
I would like input on pros/cons of feeding raw diet. Thanks so much in advance for your time... In past, over the years, fed RedHeart processed
horse meat, IAM's canned/kibble, and AvoDerm canned/kibble. Thinking of switching to raw diet with new pup, but keeping 9yo on her AvoDerm
senior kibble.


Jill
 

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Horse Meat

The only thing I consider a con at all is the price. It would cost me a few hundred a month to feed raw for both of my dogs. If you can afford it, then I don't see why not.

Does anyone out there feed horse meat? If so, where do you get it and how is it sold? canned, raw, frozen
 

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Does anyone out there feed horse meat? If so, where do you get it and how is it sold? canned, raw, frozen
I'm not sure. I'll be working with WeFeedRaw.com in a few weeks for my instagram, they're gonna send me a months worth of food, Looks like they only sell birds, beef, buffalo, fish and lamb. I haven't met anyone who feeds horse meat. In the past I've just done a mix of chicken and beef + organ meat/bones.
 

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Find local farmers in your area. Green tripe can be had very reasonably in rural settings; it's often thrown away. Chicken thighs, legs or whole birds often come on sale at most grocery store for $1.99/lb if you can't find a local farmer. And I believe that the health of your dogs will improve immensely.
 

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I started our pups on all raw and switched to half raw half taste of wild large puppy breed dry food.

All raw would be too much money for us with two growing large dogs, plus college tuition and our other expenses.

We feed both kibble and raw in same meal and rotate our daily supplements.

Our vet Who raw feeds and is also a nutritionist said mixing was fine to do.

Odin is sensitive to rich meats such as duck and lamb. He can eat those flailed treats but not pure meats, not even duck feet. He can only tolerate chicken necks and eggs, but not other chicken meat/parts.

So we keep pretty simple here. Beef and turkey for meats. Chicken necks for bone. And a turkey or beef organ blend for organs.

Taste of the wild grain free high prairie dry food. And we give them a little goats milk with every meal to soften the dry food.

I also make them fruit cubes or give them raw fruit as snacks/treats.

For supplements I used high quality fish oil, whole chicken or quail eggs, green lipped mussel powder, apple cider vinegar, ocean kelp, turkey stock, spirulina, detox clay. Apple cider vinegar and clay they get daily. The others I rotate so they get 2-3x a week.

Thinking of adding a probiotic, bee pollen, and green juju eventually.

My advice stick to one single protein like turkey or beef, and go slow. Don try to feed a variety all at once. If I was starting over Or only had one puppy, I would do a meal plan. The worry is gone and you don’t have to prep yourself.

I love adding raw to my dogs meals, and can’t imagine not having some type of raw component. In the future when I’m done with college and can comfortably afford it, Odin and Layla will be back on all raw.

Plus DIY can be time consuming, especially if you have to drive to a bunch of places to find all the meats, bones, and organ.
 

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I started our pups on all raw and switched to half raw half taste of wild large puppy breed dry food.

All raw would be too much money for us with two growing large dogs, plus college tuition and our other expenses.

We feed both kibble and raw in same meal and rotate our daily supplements.

Our vet Who raw feeds and is also a nutritionist said mixing was fine to do.

Odin is sensitive to rich meats such as duck and lamb. He can eat those flailed treats but not pure meats, not even duck feet. He can only tolerate chicken necks and eggs, but not other chicken meat/parts.

So we keep pretty simple here. Beef and turkey for meats. Chicken necks for bone. And a turkey or beef organ blend for organs.

Taste of the wild grain free high prairie dry food. And we give them a little goats milk with every meal to soften the dry food.

I also make them fruit cubes or give them raw fruit as snacks/treats.

For supplements I used high quality fish oil, whole chicken or quail eggs, green lipped mussel powder, apple cider vinegar, ocean kelp, turkey stock, spirulina, detox clay. Apple cider vinegar and clay they get daily. The others I rotate so they get 2-3x a week.

Thinking of adding a probiotic, bee pollen, and green juju eventually.

My advice stick to one single protein like turkey or beef, and go slow. Don try to feed a variety all at once. If I was starting over Or only had one puppy, I would do a meal plan. The worry is gone and you don’t have to prep yourself.

I love adding raw to my dogs meals, and can’t imagine not having some type of raw component. In the future when I’m done with college and can comfortably afford it, Odin and Layla will be back on all raw.

Plus DIY can be time consuming, especially if you have to drive to a bunch of places to find all the meats, bones, and organ.
I tried mixing as well but it didn't go so well. At first they were fine, but then some loose stools showed up. I was giving them half the kibble they usually get and each about a pound of chicken quarters/wings and beef liver every day. It was definitely cheaper but I don't know if every single dog can stomach it.
 

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Feeding raw here (Uk) we farm lamb so my long term plan will be to set aside a few lambs every year for the dog. We have chickens for eggs (too skinny for meat :D) and then will supplement with fish and veg through the week.

That's the plan but as ever its open to change!
 

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Last night I gave the boys each 3 chicken quarters(bone in), 3 chicken backs(bone in), 2 beef livers, half a cup of chicken livers, half a cup of chicken gizzards. I'm sure my ratios aren't anywhere near correct, they just happened to run out of kibble. They were very excited. Stools are fine so far. Cost me about $17 total for 2 days worth of raw meat for 2 100lbs+ dogs, they have more for tonight.
 

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EWWWW that is kind of a lot of secreting organ lol Keep an eye they may go full auto on you lol

2 con of raw feeding (I only feed raw):

It cost a little bit more, if you are resourceful. It costs a lot more if you arent

You have to put more thought into it. While it is the best thing for them, it can be the worst thing if not done properly as far as hitting ratios of needed minerals and such.

There are numerous online calculators and great raw feeding FB pages. You MUST have the right ration of organ meat, and you MUST make sure enough of it is secreting organ like liver, kidney, spleen, testicles, brain. But not too much. Otherwise your dog turns into a poop cannon. A horizontal volcano. Yu need to nail your phosphorous too.

I don't have total time to do all that so I invest in commercial whole ground chubbs with guaranteed ratios and crude analysis. Then I supplement with drum sticks, ribs, etc to get those jaws working and teeth sparkly white.

So I buy prepared chubbs in 20 pound cases, 2 lbs each chubb. Each case is 36.00 bucks. I need 90lbs per month. So I buy 5 cases or so a month. 175.00 to feed a 95 lb 14 month old GSD, and a 52 lb pit mix. Plus the chicken and other bone sources I supplement. I spend about 200 per month on dog food for about 150 lbs of K9 :) QUALITY kibble would run me about maybe 120 per month. 2 large bags at about 60.00 each.

OP- give raw a try. I think when you see the difference you will be hooked.
 

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You also need to mind the micronutrients -- ideally, you should be using a spreadsheet with NRC guidelines to track your micronutrients weekly. Otherwise, you need to add balancing supplements to get it right. Just throwing chicken quarters and a bit of liver or gizzard at the dog is not going to cut it.


You also need to pay attention to the tuarine discussions on the board -- raw-fed dogs CAN come up low in taurine. You might want to review what nutritionist Monica Segal has to say about that (she has her clients supplement taurine, even if raw fed). It's one of many nutrients you need to be mindful of.


If you're not going to track micronutrients, you probably ought to feed a base mix with the raw to cover your bases--they're designed to make a complete meal when meat is added. They're all powdery mixes that you add water to. Examples include: The Honest Kitchen, Sojo's, Dr. Harvey's, Volhard Nutrition, and Balance It. I would still add taurine to these (and do -- I've fed THK for years, and now Dr. Harvey's because I don't have time to fool with spreadsheets and weighing out grams of this and that in my life right now).
 

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Yes, I should have said in my post too..I supplement. Sorry. All great points Magwart made.

I make the Golden Paste cubes for Taurine. They love it. Important to get that pepper in there for absorption. I also give fish oil, MCT Oil, a daily dose of multivitamin/mineral from Chewy.com. And I do a joint supplement with MSM and Conjointin (sp??)

I space out giving this stuff to them too. Not all in one bowl or meal.

Valor's (almost 15 month old, always raw fed) blood work and vitamin panel came back perfect last month. I like to run bloodwork on them once a year at least.
 

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Opinions on feeding high quality kibble with some raw food on top of it? Another person replied saying they do that, but the last time I attempted it my dogs had the runs for a week. It would be more ideal for me from a price standpoint. I spend around $100/mo on Purina Pro Plan sport. I'd have to spend more than twice that feeding solely raw food, but don't mind spending $25-$50 extra a month on some chicken + organs.
 

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@Jax08, haven't you posted in the past about a very affordable raw company that sells through independent distributors? (Tefco or something like that? Are they still around?)


Maybe that would be a cost-effective commercial option for folks learning how to feed a balanced raw diet, or worried about getting it wrong for puppies?
 

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@Jax08, haven't you posted in the past about a very affordable raw company that sells through independent distributors? (Tefco or something like that? Are they still around?)


Maybe that would be a cost-effective commercial option for folks learning how to feed a balanced raw diet, or worried about getting it wrong for puppies?
yes. Tefco and another is Titan
 
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