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Raw diet cost effective?

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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RIP Tyson

RIP
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 11:47am PST 
So, I'm new to feeding raw, and I have lots of questions.

We have two dogs, a mini Aussie and a mini dachshund. Our Aussie is terribly allergic to everything. We've been feeding him Dr. E's limited ingredient. He was doing great on it until recently when they changed the formula. He started to have awful runny poops and vomiting bile. Our other dog stared vomiting as well so this was the only thing we could track it down to.

http://www.doctorsfinest.com/Healthy_Buffalo_dog_food_p/dr.%20es %20buff.htm - here's a link to the dog food we were feeding him. We tried another brand named Merrick for a little bit but honestly we didn't want to run the risk of him being allergic to it. So we've decided on raw.

I haven't found a recipe that makes raw cost effective. I'm really rather new to it. Here's what I'm hoping for. We spend $60 a month on a 30lb bag of dog food, making it about $2 a day. Is raw cost effective? Is there a specific recipe anyone knows that makes it exceptionally effective?

Thanks!
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 2:22pm PST 
Figure the total weight of both dogs and multiply by 2% x 30 to get the daily feed then the total amount of food needed monthly. It won't be as much as you fear.

After the dogs are used to the diet figure half of that can be whole bony chicken, not with meat cut off, and half boneless red meat like beef, pork, lamb and rabbit. If the beef, pork, lamb and rabbit has bones then you would be feeding less chicken and more expensive red meat. 5% of the meat needs to be liver and 5% needs to be other organ. Bony chicken is cheap and dogs love it but it isn't a satisfactory diet, don't get stuck on feeding just chicken!

If the total weight happened to be 32 pounds then your dogs would need about 10.5 ounces of food a day total and about 320 ounces a month which is 20 pounds a month. 9 pounds needs to be bony stuff, chicken is usually cheapest. 9 pounds needs to be boneless meat. A pound of liver and a pound of kidney to finish it off. You can substitute 4-8 eggs and 1-2 pounds of fatty fish for some of the boneless meat if you like.

Now go shopping. I can easily find chicken weekly for $1 a pound, bony pork for the same, beef is dear at more like $2.80 a pound and forget lamb - usually $3+. Fish might be $2 a pound and eggs are 2 ounces each so 1/2 pound might be 4 eggs and 18 eggs cost $1.60 and might be 2 pounds.
$9+$4+$8+$2+$2+$2+$.40=$27.50.
Some pork bone and fat will be thrown away, same with beef fat but you can see it is doable. I couldn't believe back when I started that I could feed Max 19 pounds of meat for less than $17 one wonderful month.

I usually make a beeline for the clearance bin at the market. Last time there was beef heart for $1 a pound. A really long time ago I scored lamb leg for $2 a pound. I see turkey parts for good enough prices often. Ground beef is often marked down to $2 a pound. Those $12 a pound steaks marked down to $8 a pound are passed by. I found ethnic markets and watch online flyers to see when something is a good enough deal. Except that my freezer is already stuffed I see a local market has pork leg for $1 this next week and I left [about killed me] $.69 a pound whole chicken at the market last week. These prices can be cyclic so it is better if you can store a quantity of meat. I have a 14 cubic foot upright freezer for meat and start getting worried when I can see the back wall. Yes, meat shopping is addictive and developing a meat hoarding habit is a danger!

Remember bone is easy to come by so avoid bony stuff unless it is really cheap. Same with fat, fatty cuts are worth less to me than lean ones. Small bony stuff is outright dangerous to feed and I cut out the small sharp bones from chops and steaks. Some of the most fun things to feed have leftovers. I toss out half the weight of pork neck and beef rib so even though pork neck can be found for $1 a pound and beef ribs seem cheap at $1.50 they are really costing $2 and $3 a pound.

That is just market stuff. Some advertise on Craig's List and freecycle for freezer burnt meats. I used to get expired grocery store meat from a coop. I get meat from a meat processor who processes meat people won't/cannot eat into pet food. My freezer has a lot of chickens from a person downsizing the flock. Roadkill can be fed if fresh. People hunt and give most of the animal to the dogs.

All depends on how much time and energy you want to use on this. I have seen such great changes in my dogs I don't ever want to go back to commercial dog food. Around here a dental costs several hundred dollars, Max has had 2 in his life and only bundled with other procedures that were needed. It takes time to get meat out and you have to allow time to observe the meals and you need a bit of room in the frig for defrosted meat. Shopping for meat can be annoying. I will travel 50 miles in a combination errand for good stuff.

If chicken isn't going to work then pork is cheap and the bone mostly edible. Or fish heads might work as bony meat that isn't expensive.
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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 2:23pm PST 
I am not a raw feeder, but am bumping up so someone else can answersmile
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RIP Tyson

RIP
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 2:39pm PST 
There is so much information and it all contradicts itself. Vegetables, no vegetables. Cooked, not cooked. It is so hard to weed through it all.

We order meat in bulk from a local butcher so I have that part down, I just need to make sure that what I have to add to it isn't going to break the bank lol. I'm going to give it a try based on the things that I know work well for Tyson, and see how it goes. Thank you!
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RIP Tyson

RIP
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 4:45pm PST 
I wasn't able to calculate the cost because I just used what we had on the house. I made 8 days of food. I would post a picture but I don't know how.

It has organic grass fed beef and eggs, molasses, organic sweet potatoe purée and this supplement stuff that I can't remember what it's called. He's been taking it for a while and I can only remember that it has seaweed in it lol.

I hope this works. If there are other things you think I should add please feel free to tell me. He's allergic to grains and gluten, including rice. He's also allergic to other stuff that we haven't pinpointed lol.
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Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 7:50pm PST 
Bumping to drown spambots
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Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 7:54pm PST 
Bumping to drown spambots
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 9:28pm PST 
Sounds like you are feeding a limited ingredient cooked diet to me. I'd start by leaving out the molasses, make sure there is more meat than sweet potato and be sure there is 900mg of calcium per pound of food to start out.

You did not indicate that there is calcium added to the food, dogs need a lot of the stuff! First thing I look for in a recipe for dogs is where is the calcium coming from. If there isn't a source then the recipe isn't meant as a complete diet.

Then I would add a tiny bit of liver in to replace the iron from the molasses and add B12 and copper, about 1/2 ounce per pound of food.

Happen to have made up a sweet potato and ground beef recipe in ND and it looks good save for lacking that calcium and some phosphorus. I would be adding bone meal to this particular recipe if I actually made it.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/1366375/2

The raw I feed is meat, a little bone, a little liver and a little other organ. At the moment my dogs are only getting pork, chicken, beef and some rabbit and you can feed a single protein if you must and can source those organs.

The fat in raw replaces the carb calories, the bone serves as the fiber in veggies. Meat itself is more nutritious than veggies and grains by weight. It works for most dogs. If your dog does better with some veggies then offer them. If they do better with pureed than cooked then feed pureed. If your dog does better with grains feed some. Dogs can eat a wide variety of diets and do fine. All the discussion is because we all have differing results with different diets and dogs. What matters is using the ingredients that work for a particular dog and getting the known essential nutrients into the dog.
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Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 14, '13 2:03am PST 
it says craven or beef as the aboriginal additive on the bag doesnt beggarly that it's a acceptable food! a lot of companies weight raw craven or pumped it abounding with baptize and alkali aboriginal again weight it so it can be the aboriginal additive on the bag. it's all a artifice to get humans to buy
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RIP Tyson

RIP
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 14, '13 9:46am PST 
When we got to the store today I'm going to get liver and some bone. The powder I added has calcium in it but I'm going to look for a supplement because both my dogs need extra.

I read that sweet potatoes are great for cataracts, that's why I added those. My dogs won't eat veggies much lol. They like apples though.

Is there a specific supplement that I should look for to make sure all they need is in there?
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