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Old 11-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raw Food is a Pain

My dogs have been on a raw food diet since I picked them from the kennel a few years back. Some people have been talking about the diet in another thread, so I thought I'd start a new one and explain what I do and don't like about it.

1) What I like about it: I'm sure you all know as well as I do what the benefits are. Many of you probably understand the science behind the metabolic and nutritional benefits much better than I do, so add whatever you'd like to the thread. There's no need for me to give a short synopsis on what little I know about the biology of the matter.

2) What I don't like: It's really, really REALLLY expensive. I get 2 1/2 pounds of ground "parts" for about $1 at my butcher. It's kind of like dog sausage, really fatty, not a good primary staple. After that, the price goes way up.

"Chicken ends" -- heads, feet, broken wings, breast bone -- are about $2.50 for 2.5 pounds, but you have to have them because it's the calcium in the bones that keeps a dog's stool hard, their teeth clean and their jaws strong.
If you give your dogs liver and kidney and ground parts, and don't give them alot of bones to chew, their stool is virtually liquid. Even pups that have just been weaned are huge fans of chicken ends.

Kidney and liver, though high in protein, not as cheap as you'd think and you can't give it to them without mixing in a good deal of chicken or sheep bones or vegetables or the smell and the mess of your dog's waste is simply unbearable.

Whole fish is incredible. They will work on a fish for 20 minutes, even a big dog with a hard bite that can go through cow bones takes their time on fish. Unfortunately, whole fish isn't that cheap, even in a third world country where it's the primary staple.

Beef bones, they're pretty cheap and if you buy soup bones they usually have a fair amount of meat on them. I feed my dogs soup bones, but many people think they're too hard on the dog's teeth. It's a fair argument.

Pork: legs and feet are about all you can buy cheap and they have little to no meat on them though the skin takes your dog a while to chew through.

Fruits and vegetables: soy beans, (almost all dogs like them) carrots, yucca, (though it's a tuber, they're very stringy and don't have as much starch as potatoes) tomatoes and bananas, (the potasium is great for your dogs) apple chunks... they're all very cheap, but a dog will only eat so much of them before they start sifting through their food for protein.

I never put a great deal of any fruit or vegetable in their food, but always a little something, my apple core for example. Whole grain, brown rice hardens their stool as well and there's always plenty left over, especially stuck to the bottom of the pot.

3) A very difficult aspect of a raw food diet is the fact that the food is perishable. That means you're buying twice a week and storing it in your refrigerator. We have two fridges now, but it hasn't seemed to simplify the process a great deal.

4) I feed a raw food diet out of necessity. To be honest, if I could buy a quality kibble, I would go that route. I work from home and am with my dogs 24 hours a day and I still think a raw food diet is a pain in the neck. While all kibbles have some kind of preservative, I'm not certain that all preservatives are equally carcinogenic.

5) Just a side note, when my wife and I travel with the dogs we switch them over to kibble. Not only does it mess with their systems -- the change, probably not the kibble -- the crazy part I notice is the change in behavior. They get wild energy spikes after they down a bowl, then fall asleep a hour or so later. It's like a kid on a sugar high.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well then. I don't feed raw for a few personal reasons mostly convience and time. But I feed Odin Acana and its about $2 a pound if u wanna look at it that way. Orijen is even more. There are also freeze dried options as well, almost raw quality.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hmm

I guess I hadn't looked at it that way. I've just been comparing what I spend on food for them in relation to what it would cost me to buy the cheap kibble I have available. Sounds like you probably pay more than I do.

Yea, if my life wasn't set-up the way it is, there's virtually no way I could pull it off.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hotchkiss View Post
I guess I hadn't looked at it that way. I've just been comparing what I spend on food for them in relation to what it would cost me to buy the cheap kibble I have available. Sounds like you probably pay more than I do.

Yea, if my life wasn't set-up the way it is, there's virtually no way I could pull it off.
yeah i tried the cheap stuff with Odin but his face broke out with lil bumps. not to mention his fur would get greasey and he'd stink. on Acana i dont have to give him a bath every week lol. i wish i was rich enough to feed it to my foster dog too, then he would look all purdy and get adopted real quick im sure! LOL
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the stink

The stink of the dog and the awful smell of the manure is enough to justify spending money on gluten-free kibble. I know what you mean though, the price of natural food is so noticeably different that it can stretch a person's budget.

Really cool that you've take that pup in. Very impressed. It's no easy chore.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotchkiss View Post
The stink of the dog and the awful smell of the manure is enough to justify spending money on gluten-free kibble. I know what you mean though, the price of natural food is so noticeably different that it can stretch a person's budget.

Really cool that you've take that pup in. Very impressed. It's no easy chore.
d'awww thanks. fostering has been something i been thinkin about for a while. i just wasnt sure how Odin would handle it. but when my BF and i decided to take a break and i got my house to myself i figured now is the time. then i jumped in with both feet. lol
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hotchkiss, be careful with the apple cores, the seeds contain a small amount of cyanide. While small amounts are not lethal to humans, I would still be cautious about giving them to your dogs.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Christ. That's probably not something I want to be doing to my dogs. Thanks
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why not get a freezer? (freecycle, craigslist, etc) I know tons of people who feed raw, most buy in bulk from the butcher to last a few months, spend a day separating into portions with ziplock and every night move a bag to the fridge to defrost and it works well.

also keep in mind their bodies digest kibbles and RAW differently (as evident by the sugar high! lol) I would make sure to fast them for a day again like when you start RAW before going back to RAW when you do a switch.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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For fish... you can fish your own.. they're not supposed to have a lot of fish but it's good for a every now and then additive.

As for chicken parts being expensive, Foster Farms sells whole chickens under $1 a lbs, you just have to cut it up yourself.

Liver, I mainly stock up on chicken liver, Foster Farms sells them too, in little containers full of 'em. Around $1.50 a container. And organ's only 10% of their intake so it's not that bad. Other than that I get deer liver from the hunters I know.

I've been able to find big things of pork shoulder for under $2 per lbs. It'll be about 15-20 dollars worth of meat but cheaper in the long run.

Vegetables and fruits aren't necessary and dogs are carnivorous.
Why PMR? | Prey Model Raw


And I second what Ames says. Look on Craigslist, I've been able to find full stand up Freezers for around 50-75 on a regular basis. Also put up an add for "will take meat that would be otherwise thrown away" stuff like that.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yea

There are definitely two different camps of thought: the prey model and the beef and raw food model. I enjoyed the following article that claims neither camp is absolutely right, but in fact, the best method of feeding a dog is somewhere in between the two methodologies.

Prey model vs. BARF feeding for dogs

I feed my dogs lots of plant matter, but to claim I understand anything about the metabolism of my dogs would be silly. All my feeding habits are based on what I've read in books and on the internet. I've certainly never done any scientific research to determine what's best for my dogs.

Until the debate gets sorted out, I'll probably just keep doing what I'm doing.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Most people do not feed raw because of convenience. Ironically the food that is convenient for people and dogs is also the food that is killing us from the inside out.. Just sayin...

Find country butcher.. I get 55gal barrels free.. full of meated bone scraps, liver, heart and other parts not edible for people.

Despite what you think; amino acids and essential proteins are in that fat You'll hear about competition dogs both [] dogs of the past and alaskan huskies/iditarod dogs that were in top condition but stale and no-one could figure it out, the lady of the house said the dogs need fat.. and BAM.. problem solved. Just for example.


My dogs get the full head of a steer as well.. they'll eat the whole thing brain and all... eye balls, tongue, brain .. all have great nutrients and vitamins not in the rest of the body or any other organ. Liver and heart is the next best parts for your dog, then the rump end of the carcas, then the back strap and shoulders.. Ribs and rib meat are okay just a light snack really. I like leg bones and hip bones for the dogs to chew on and strp the meat and ligaments from as a chew for boredom.

I have a freezer out in the shop and a fridge with a freezer and I pack the freezers and put it in the fridge to thaw; The thawed out scraps get fed to the dogs.

RAW food and bones are the BEST food for your dog.. bar none~(mix in greens,rice/potatoes)

There really is no debate.. Compare a balanced home made meal to MCdonalds or hardees .... is there a debate? ... exactly~

Comfort and convenience are not quality.. its just comfortable and convenient.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I stated that because I read it as you were having an issue. And brought it up as not needing to be a necessity, in other words not having to stop raw if one can't get them. =]
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