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for the last 24hrs ive been researching the RAW diet and i'm about 90% convinced in switching my animals. i did it for awhile with my oldest shepherd, but i did it the uneducated way and never truly reaped all the benefits.

speaking of the benefits - there seems to be TONS, so i'm left to wonder who wouldnt want a virtually shed free odor free health problem free allergy free bad breath free powder poop pup?

to make it easier (i dont know how to draw up a poll) i'll add as many options as i can think of...

a) too risky
b) too expensive
c) too difficult
d) too time consuming
e) too messy
f) i love the idea of raw, but my dog didnt do well on it.
 

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For us it was a combination of money and time.

We (especially after having a child) do not have the time to buy/cut/weigh the ingredients and we do not have a good storage space for it. We went with a premade/frozen raw diet for awhile but it got too expensive.
 

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minx just reminded me of the space issue...

g) no space to store
 

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Quote: speaking of the benefits - there seems to be TONS, so i'm left to wonder who wouldnt want a virtually shed free odor free health problem free allergy free bad breath free powder poop pup?
Raw fed dogs certainly do shed, can have allergies, health problems, bad breath (ever smelled tripe?), and the poop doesn't come out of them as powder.
 

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Originally Posted By: Camerafodder.

speaking of the benefits - there seems to be TONS, so i'm left to wonder who wouldnt want a virtually shed free odor free health problem free allergy free bad breath free powder poop pup?
I have 4 of those and I am feeding kibble. Except of course for normal seasonal shedding and age related issues.

I have no reason to feed raw and am satisfied with my current feeding methods.

Cherri
 

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There are many valid objections to feeding a raw diet. Jason's exactly right--raw fed dogs have all or many of the same "issues" that dogs eating quality kibble have. Raw feeding isn't a panacea by any means. My raw-fed dogs shed bushels of hair!


Raw feeding takes a real commitment, of time and money--but especially time. Finding bargain meats, shopping for it, lugging it home, cutting it up, making meals...it is not something to be undertaken thinking it will be a snap. Once they get used to it, raw feeders develop thier own rhythm to buying and making meals, and figure out their own techniques and shortcuts to make the job easier.

All that said, I do it because I enjoy it. It gives me a way to feel actively involved in my dog's feeding, and it gives them great pleasure. Correctly done, I do think it's a very healthy way to feed--but no healthier than feeding one of the very best kibbles. It does allow you to know exactly every ingredient your dog eats--so for dogs that have dietary issues, it's a way to manage those better than with multi-ingredient kibbles.
 

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Yep, my pooch does shed. But after a good brushing, he shines like a wet sea lion and generally is very shiny and glittery in the sun.

Cons? Hard to get variety (I need to take up hunting), if he doesn't poop or have an off day my fiance is concerned about the possibility of bone perforations, impactions, etc, I'm pretty sure I've sprayed every single surface of the kitchen in salmonella and meat juices and assorted parts, it does take time to prepare, you will need to measure and observe until you get comfy with quantities (now I can eyeball and toss Renji food, adjusting as needed on the fly), there are indeed logistical concerns as well. A lot of people also just don't want to handle oozy livers, gushing hearts, sloppy meats, and stinky organs. Ever smelled kidney and tripe? Gagh. It takes time to feed, too. Can't just scoop 'n dump, gotta get the RMB out, then the MM, then the organ mixture, apple cider vinegar, egg, water, vitamins, fish oil, etc etc.

We only buy what I can shove into our side-by-side's freezer section which is shared between dog and humans. It would certainly be MUCH better to have a chest freezer. It's not really that expensive, especially when people supplement with some deeeelicious freezer-burnt meats!
I'm hoping to raid some hunters this coming season to see if I can beg, borrow, or steal some carcass components. So far I have one potential. I also go fishing and when I catch goodies, I bring them home for the dog or for us and the dog.

As for A), it is a little risky BUT my dog LOVES mealtime so much, he actually gets to enjoy it instead of inhaling it all up before he realizes it's gone, he looks GREAT and seems very healthy. I love seeing that quality and I feel that's much better than living a long life in mediocre condition, but that's just me! I'd be interested in seeing the responses of others as well!
 

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Time consuming to learn about and time consuming to make it. I have 3 kids under the age of 5, it's hard enough making them to eat a balanced meal. LOL, if there was a bag of kid kibble, I'd buy it!
 

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Well put, Tracy.

With that said, I have tried a few brands of kibble to supplement the raw diet, but it just didn't work for a few reasons. But that is not to say a high quality kibble does not hold a candle to raw. It does have its place, and am thankful to see so many great companies out there.

Raw-feeding, for me, did give me a scare. My poor silly cat was rushed to the E.R. at 1 am because a piece of bone jammed up his insides. After that, I just stopped feeding necks and ground the bones for a long time.

I do feed my cat kibble (innova or cali natural) on occasion. I do wish I could find a kibble to suit Janka for when we travel, or if I need to leave her at a sitter. But for now, she is on 100% raw.
 

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I'm waiting for Grimm to go to send-away training. After that, I will give Grimm a few weeks to re-settle in back home, and then raw feeding begins. Thw time, work, etc is worth it. When I have been able to feed some raw in the past, the differences were amazing. Grimm had a more balanced, even energy-- happy bursts of power when playing, but he was overall more settled. Poops were astounding-- so small, nearly odorless.

And, Grimm's coat is a bit dry. Every raw fed dog I have ever seen has a better coat-- more soft, shiny, and biggest surprise, dense/full.

Anyway, I need to wait until Grimm returns from boarding at the trainer's-- can't really ask someone else to raw feed here in Germany.
 

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One of my dogs has Inflammatory Bowel Disease along with SIBO and she just cannot handle it.

Another dog is tube fed and on a special diet.

The other dog can eat anything so I have no excuse for that one.

However, I cannot STAND touching raw meat. It makes me gag. I'll do it to cook for us people, but I can't stand it and I try to get it in the oven as quick as possible so I don't have to look at it or touch it to much!
 

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Originally Posted By: EastGSD
Originally Posted By: Camerafodder.

speaking of the benefits - there seems to be TONS, so i'm left to wonder who wouldnt want a virtually shed free odor free health problem free allergy free bad breath free powder poop pup?
I have 4 of those and I am feeding kibble. Except of course for normal seasonal shedding and age related issues.

I have no reason to feed raw and am satisfied with my current feeding methods.

Cherri

ditto what Cherri said.
 

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If my dogs had allergies, stool problems, constant shedding, bad breath, I would deal with those issues. Feeding raw is not a guarantee that all will clear up.

My question has always been, "why would anyone feel the need to feed raw?"

If your dog has been tested by your vet and is allergic to certain ingredients in every kibble, I suppose raw is the only way to go but it seems like a real hassle to feed raw before you have positively determined that there is no kibble that agrees with your animal.
 

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Raw fed here.

a) too risky There is potential for risk in any food you feed. Kibbles can be recalled. Dogs can choke on kibble. Dogs can suffer perforated intestines on raw. Malnutrition. Etc.
b) too expensive It depends. I know some people who can feed raw for about $2/day and some that are spending less than they did when they fed kibble. If you're a good shopper, have friends that hunt, or can buy in bulk, raw-feeding can be really cheap.
c) too difficult It does take more effort (research, buying, cutting up, bagging, freezing, thawing, serving) than just ripping open a bag of kibble. But, as Tracy said, once you get a system going it's not so bad.
d) too time consuming It can be on some days. Typically on days you bring the meat home.
But on normal 'just feeding' days it's as simple as taking a baggie out of the fridge and plopping it in the dish to give to her. Not much more effort than kibble most days!

e) too messy Ehh, sometimes. Bagging it up isn't much messier than bagging food for myself. I know some foods have a higher mess-factor but I find myself dealing with them less often.
f) i love the idea of raw, but my dog didnt do well on it It does happen. Every once in a while there's a dog that, for whatever reason, cannot tolerate it. Risa has done wonderfully on raw despite having some food sensitivities and battles with SIBO. I'm happy I do control the content of her food so that I can easily avoid the foods that bother her tummy.
 

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Storage space and no desire to go bargain hunting. I'd also have a problem getting a large load home if I found a deal...
I think the dogs will always get kibble as a staple but I would do raw for any one of them if the need arose. Right now they get ground up chicken quarters frozen in ice cube trays as a treat. I do that only because I like to.

I'm going to switch my cats over to raw before long though. They are doing poorly on several dry cat foods I have tried and good canned food is expensive, so I figure it's worth a try.
 

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Mel,

If you are looking for info, there is a thread on raw-fed cats on the BARF forum with several links of information.

Good luck on the switch. It's so fun watching their little brows furrow as they crunch and gnaw on the meat, kinda like itty bitty tigers.


Janka's littermate's owner is a vegetarian as well. He feeds his dogs raw. In fact, I just dropped off a case of chicken quarters and fish for him, and his dogs were ecstatic. :eek:)
 

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I have fed raw since July of last Summer. The drawbacks are: cost, variety and convenience. I try to keep the price at $1.00 or lower and have succeeded so far. I feed : turkey necks, pork neck bones, chix leg 1/4's, ground turkey, green tripe(most $$), (beef heart tongue fat grind from butcher 50 cents lb), and eggs, yogurt( 2x per week), vitamins, 2x per week-timberwolf organics pacific stream with jack Mackeral on top for a meal. I do not weigh everyday meals, just eyeball the bowl. I feed twice a day. I did buy a scale and know the amounts I feed, though. My dogs(one is 14-NON-GSD) do not shed much, as I have seen a few GSDs that are on kibble, mine are much sleeker. BUT- Onyx has had an ongoing right ear infection and has been chewing her paws. When Onyx is heartworm checked(April 30th) I am having a blood panel done for allergies as well. I think she is sensitive to poultry. My dogs do not have bad breath or a doggie odor. Their poo's are small and will chalk away if I let them get that far. I will stay with the raw feeding, and we have an extra full size freezer along with a full size fridge in the garage(DH is not happy with the tripe when it is thawed-doesn't go well with his beer)/ I am going on a mission trip in June and am wondering if I should have them eat the kibble when I am away, as I cannot be sure they will get what I feed when "I am in control"...
 

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Why I dont feed raw?

My main concerns were appropriate nutrition. I am one of those who believe in making sure all the nutrients are properly balanced. I suppose a good multi vitamin would be fine, but I worried about leaving out some of the trace minerals etc.

I worried about salmonella, trichanosis etc.

I worried about the bones--I have a dog who doesnt chew and gulps, I found extremely sharp shards of bone in his poop and that was the end of raw bones for us. Ground would be something I would try next time.

My guy does have SIBO and I am more comfortable with a homogenized diet. Low fat is better for sibo dogs, and I know exactly what he is getting with the kibble.

I dont have anything against raw, but I am also happy with the kibble I use.
 
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