My three eat raw for the simple reason a dog is related to the wolf and you don't see them walking round in the wild with a can opener, tinned food or a bag of kibble. It is really easy to work out how much to feed your dog, find out how much your dog weighs and then feed them 2% of their body weight ( eg my bulldog weighs 25kg )so she needs 500g of food a day split into 2 meals. They eat everything put in their bowls skin, bones, offal the only thing I don't feed them too much of is pork only because it can give them the runs. Lets be honest we wouldn't eat the dried crap food everyday nor would you give it your children so why would you feed it your dog? To feed raw is no dearer than conventional dog food. I feed 3 dogs raw food everyday and it costs me between £2 and & £2.50 a day and to be honest if you can't afford that you shouldn't have a dog in the first place.
If a dog has the correct ratio of muscle meat and bone, offal and oily fish, plus trace fruit and vet (check which ones are ok for them to have) they shouldn't need supplements.
They don't need a perfectly balanced meal at every mealtime, rather a balance over time, so if you fit all those things in across a week or two they should be fine.
eg They get fish oil from eating oily fish, glucosamine and chondroitin from chewing the ligaments etc off raw meaty bones, masses of goodness from bone marrow etc.
You have to be so careful with supplementation, as you can cause all sorts of problems if they have too much of one and not enough of another or if one cancels out another. Eg calcium, phosphorous ratios need to be right in growing pups to prevent bone/joint problems developing.
As you say, there are some commercially available ones, many people rate keepers mix from Dorwest which is herbal rather than vitamin/mineral but used by lots of people with their working dogs, but imo if the dog's diet is varied and balanced they shouldn't need it.
No fan, I didn't think that, I was just thinking out loud really. I've seen so many online arguments about raw vs commercial and really, as long as your dog is happy and healthy that's all that matters.
I was also a formula feeder for years and years, sort of am now and may well be again if we can't build a good relationship with the new village butcher.
There's no one single answer, it depends on the dog, their digestive system (and teeth in some cases) your lifestyle and food storage options and what you can/can't do/don't want to manage on a daily basis.
I'm a vegetarian, have been for 30 years and really can't stand handling meat, but my eldest dog is raw fed, as were all my other dogs. It's a pita, because we don't have and can't fit a chest freezer, but we've been lucky with a local butcher (until recently when he rather selfishly decided to retire ).
My pup on the other hand is currently being fed a high grade, grain free kibble, because he has had serious digestive issues, was seriously underweight and I feel happier knowing he's getting everything he needs in one go, having an easy feeding ratio/formula takes more of the stress away when you are feeding 6-8 meals a day and we still need him to gain more weight.
He will also be going raw when he's older though, assuming we can make friends with the new butcher (old one used to let us buy the food and store it in his freezers, then pick some up every weekend).
You should just do whatever you feel is right for your dog and your lifestyle etc and not be swayed by what other people do or don't do.
My pup is on the food Sallybears had a hard time on (Burns puppy) she's in great condition her poos are great too so maybe it's an individual thing.
I'm interested in more raw feeding I don't think dogs were meant to eat dry kibble although it is convenient, I would like to do a mixed feeding approach but this apparently is a no no, would like to give one or 2 meals a day raw and the rest kibble.
I'm no longer feeding my pup commercial food. He has home cooked food and plenty of crunchy things to keep his jaws exercised and his teeth clean and well used. Since I switched him over his poos have improved tremendously and his coat is shiny and claws look healthy. We had an awful time with his tummy - blood and mucous, whippy poos and wind. All that seems to have stopped now. He's very lively and is growing well. Our old dog had home cooked food and lived to be 14.5 yrs.
Faffing about with blenders and supplements sounds like a waste of time. Not needed if you raw feed, but you do have to be ok about handling raw meat and have the freezer space to store it. Commercial food is more convenient and many dogs are fine on it.
If you make your own dog food, adding all the essential supplements to it. Won't this be much better than most commercial dog food you find in the supermarkets/pet stores (assuming your dog does not have some medical condition)? If this is the case, why don't more people give their dogs homemade food? All you need is a blender!!!!