Commercial, non-kibble alternative to raw?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

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I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 8:57pm PST 
The reason the vets want to avoid raw is to avoid bacteria. I really don't know what the problem is if you are feeding commercial stuff that has been treated. It sure ought to be just as safe as kibble!

However cooking might be an option. You could just substitute the bone content with 25% veggies and bone meal and feed meats and organs cooked instead of raw. Yuck, cooked kidney! Liver is bad enough but kidney?

You don't have to feed raw meat with HK or the other premixes, it can be cooked meat used. You could contact HK to ask if it is okay to warm up the food to whatever temperature the vets think will kill any bacteria too.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 9:36pm PST 
Conker where did you find the info about Honest Kitchen heating the food to 165?
If I can find the info about that, I can show that to the vet and ask if they think that is ok to feed... I may also contact Honest Kitchen and ask about whether I can heat up the food at home also?
Although their "complete" diets are also really expensive to feed on a regular basis as the sole diet to a large dog unfortunately; I remember from when I fed it after my last dog's bloat surgery for a short while, that you have to feed a lot so those 10 lb boxes do not last long, it's almost like buying a 10 lb bag of kibble even though they say on the packaging that it 'rehydrates to 30 lbs of food' or something like that, it doesn't really last as if it was 30 lbs.

I found the info for Freshpet too, that looks like an interesting one, I'm trying to see if I can find it locally.

I've been looking into home cooking also as an option (or possibly for part of the diet at least) but I had a few concerns with that... One is I am worried about using just regular grocery store meat (due to the quality, or being full of hormones/antibiotics) and organic and stuff like that is very expensive and also it is harder to find organ meats that are not chicken as I discovered after Bianca's surgery/blood loss when my vet recommended giving her raw organic liver, I could not find anything but chicken liver! I actually just found a source for organic lamb liver/other organs today but it's quite expensive. This is also a concern if I use Preference, the sourcing of the meat. I'm trying to look into options for that though. Unfortunately I don't have much freezer room either so I can't buy in bulk.

Another is that most of the dog cancer diet recipes I found had rice or other grains in them, and also they usually required a lot of extra supplements to be added and a lot of them also used chicken and sometimes use eggs/eggshells- although she may not be allergic to eggs I've read that chicken and egg allergies can go together.
I also do not currently have a working oven so if it requires an oven that could be a problem, I would say it would be fine when we get it fixed but it's been that way all summer. silenced If it just uses the stove though, that works fine.

How You Doin'?
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 9:52pm PST 
From Honest Kitchen website:
http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/about/dehydration-demystif ied/

Our fresh raw meats and white fish undergo gentle steaming at 140°F to 165°F, to eliminate pathogens without irradiation. We then carefully evaporate the moisture using dehydration, which leaves more nutrients intact than harsh cooking, canning or extrusion. The meats leave the dehydration process at about 125°F. The entire process (including steaming) takes about 45 minutes. Our salmon is freeze-dried in a flash process that removes the moisture under vacuum.


Pocket Wolf
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 10:26pm PST 
What about Sojos Complete? My dogs love it and it smells lovely. I don't know if I would call it raw even though the package says "raw" once reconstituted. I don't think of it as raw anyway.

I would also recommend talking to your vet about adding ginger to your dog's diet as well unless your dog has a pancreas cancer. It's anti- nausea, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, and supports the body through chemo. The problem is that if your dog has glucose issues, you might be cautious. but your vet can probably give you a yea or nay on that.

Edited by author Wed Sep 19, '12 10:37pm PST


Use your nose!
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 2:10am PST 
Sojo's does have egg in it though, and the OP isn't sure if their dog is allergic.

I second the FreshPet Vital line (none of the other lines would work for you). Maybe a combo of the FreshPet and homecooked? That is what I would do if cost is a concern (which I am sure it is!).

Thankfully FreshPet food is absurdly easy to find. I have seen it in supermarkets! Like Safeway, Raleys, etc. Of course a store might not carry all products and lines, but you could always call and ask before you drive over. The store locator does list what lines a particular location carries, but again, that information is best double checked with a phone call.

I hope that Bianca can make a speedy recovery and get back to eating her delicious raw! I (the human, not Daisy) had cancer a few years back when I was 19 and it really sucked. Chemo and radiation treatments are better than they were even 5 years ago, but there is definitely room for improvement. wishes

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 6:33am PST 
Silly suggestion maybe... but is canned food an option?

I know that can be pricey, but if you do it by the case and with certain brands, you might be able to sneak by paying less than some of these pre-made raw or cooked diets.

One that comes to mind is the California Naturals fish/sweet potato can.
I buy it as a Kong stuffer occasionally. Its under 4% carbs, and high in calories (over 500 per can). I never buy it in bulk of course, but they DO have some kind of customer rewards program where if you buy a certain amount of cases (10), you get a case free.

Info on the can
Info on the buyer program
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 7:35pm PST 
Canned could work, I think I was not including it in my choices due to price, usually most brands I would have to feed 3-5 cans per day and they cost $2-4 per can so that really adds up... I'll have to see if I can find any that would be do-able though. thinking

Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 9:14pm PST 
I can get EVO 95% canned for $1.70 a can at my local feedstore, cheaper if I buy a 12 pack. Do you have one of those around? (Mine is called Grange Co-op.) It's incredibly low carb, has a couple poultry-free varieties, and my Shiba likes it and digests it well.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Sep 21, '12 8:08am PST 
Raw should be avoided during chemo. It's actually recommended by oncologists not to be handled by humans undergoing chemo as well. The reason is that chemo suppresses the immune system so the body is less able to handle even small amounts of bacteria that it otherwise could under normal circumstances. (I've cooked and cared for cancer patients)

Heating to 165-70 for some meats, eggs etc. in the food industry is sometimes referred to as pasteurization. It's not fully cooked, however, as it's not kept at that temp long enough to change tissue structure as much as fully cooking it. You can pasteurize an egg at home and it still acts and appears to be a raw egg in a recipe. It's not the same as cooking the egg.

Bianca, dehydrated raw is pricey, but some of it is really good quality. A good canned food that is single protein (not chicken ofcourse) might also help in addition to that. To be honest homecooking might turn out to be cheaper in the long run and you can control all of the ingredients and how they're prepared. If/when her appetite decreases the smell of the cooked/seared stuff can be tempting. Best of luck to you for a speedy recovery.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Fri Sep 21, '12 3:51pm PST 
I don't think we can use ginger because it is an anti-coagulant and HSA can cause bleeding issues.

We don't have any feed stores nearby, I live in the city so things tend to be expensive. I think the EVO is about $2.30-$3 a can depending on the variety, and it says to feed 3/4 to 1 1/4 can per 15 pounds body weight per day. At least that's what the "EVO 95% Beef" said.

I checked out Freshpet Vital and it looked pretty good, but it was $12 for 2 pounds and it is only 273 calories per half pound so I think she would have to eat a lot of it, even though the package said to feed 1 1/3 to 1 3/4 pound for a 61-100 lb dog, that seems like it would not be near enough calories. thinking
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