Switching to Raw Feeding

(41 Posts)
Mitzi50 Sun 31-Aug-14 11:11:51

I am thinking of switching to raw feeding. I have a greyhound (44kgs) and a staffie x (13.7 kgs). Both are rescue dogs (both were found in a very poor condition) and both have little interest in food. They are currently on dry kibble and tinned food but often do not eat what is put down. The staffie x is still slightly underweight and is quite hyperactive - rarely just lies and usually paces - despite being walked regularly and attending agility classes.

Raw feeding is significantly more expensive (and messier) so I'd be interested in hearing MNers experiences. Also recommendations of a supplier of complete frozen raw food and any other tips. Thanks!

It's certainly not more expensive.

I order from TPMS and pay 44p per 1lb bag of minced chicken/minced tripe etc.

My whippet and pug have a bag between them in the morning, and a bag between them in the afternoon.

Alongside that, a few times a week they have some fish (Morrisons fish counter sell packs of 5 sprats for about 50p), a raw egg or two and some natural yogurt.

Certainly doesn't cost more than £1 a day for both dogs.

Mitzi50 Sun 31-Aug-14 11:59:43

Thanks monkeyfacegrace - I'm in South East so unfortunately TPMs don't supply my area. Do you give your dogs any vegetables? The complete frozen food (meat and veg) I have looked at is about £3.00 for a kilo.

Imliketotallyummm Sun 31-Aug-14 12:07:47

Probably not much use to you, but I order from Durham Animal Food and 1 lb costs about 45 pence and lasts 2.5 days for my little cavalier. She also has left over veg and twice a week chicken wings. Definitely cheaper than other food.

No dogs don't need veg (in my opinion). They get Sunday dinner leftovers so get occasional veg, but not as standard.

'Complete' frozen food is a con, same as dried food which is just un digestible grains that fill the stomach but are shit nutritionally.

You can buy value chicken portions in Tesco for about £1.75 a kilo, that's a good top up too. A couple of legs/thighs once a week, keeps mine busy for half hour!

Try Landywoods? They may deliver to the south.

Mitzi50 Sun 31-Aug-14 15:49:26

Thanks Landywoods are definitely cheaper than the websites I've been looking for.

Do you only give them chicken bones or do they have anything else? Do I need to be careful to ensure they get the right balance?

NCISaddict Sun 31-Aug-14 15:57:17

I buy Natural Instinct working dogs complete raw which is under £3 per kilo. I know it's more expensive than some kibble but I can't really do DIY so I absorb the cost. My dog is 13kg atm and 1kg pack lasts 2.5 days.

Not too much bone. Aim for 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% offal over the course of a week.

So minced chicken and minced tripe etc ad staples.

Couple times a week chicken legs, ribs etc.

Couple times complete fish so bones, heads the lot.

yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo Sun 31-Aug-14 16:21:32

Monkey, what dogs do you have that a couple of legs and wings keep them busy for half and hour!? Mine are gone in seconds- even frozen ones dont last 10 mins!

We ordered from berrywood. We were pleased.

We have 2 dogs and feed a total of 2.5kg of meat a day. I doubt it works out cheaper then normal dog food. The difference in our dogs coat and teeth is amazing!

Took a bit of persuading to get dh to swap them 0ver but now we would never go back.

I will add veg very occasionally, like a carrot or 2 ( has to be mushed up otherwise doesnt get eaten! ) once a month or so!
They do however get eggs frequently. In fact one of our dogs always tries to mug me when i am bringing eggs down from the coop- he usually gets a whole egg- shell too! grin

Adarajames Sun 31-Aug-14 19:17:44

You don't need to be giving minced food, that's what their teeth are for! Also don't get the mental and teeth cleaning workout that get with whole foods. I get food in bulk for JJ foods, a catering supplier, they have branches in lots of areas, works out cheaper than decent made food and mine love it

I have a very soppy whippet and a toothless 15 year old pug. The milage I get off a chicken leg is epic!

Agreed, they don't need mince, but I find it easier to handle, store, and that's how it's sold so it's fine by me!

The record so far is 45 mins on this one leg.

Floralnomad Sun 31-Aug-14 20:34:39

I'm in the SE and my dog weighs 13kg ,it was much cheaper to feed him raw from Tesco,Asda and Morrisons than it is to feed him the kibble he now has ( he can't have raw for medical reasons) . IME your best friend is the freezer.

yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo Sun 31-Aug-14 20:50:13

Aww bless them!
I know a few people that fed road kill. Deer, pheasant etc. . I am not that hard core!!

Mine have road kill blush
And the whippy catches rabbits :-)

LadyTurmoil Sun 31-Aug-14 23:24:00

No veg needed. If you're on FB, there's a really good group called rawfeedinguk Join the group, then you can access all their files with info on suppliers nationwide, files on feeding and see all the chat about what people find best. Loads of info on feeding but also general health, natural remedies etc.

It's not really that messy either, no more so than cutting up chicken/beef for humans (bit more difficult if you're a vegetarian, of course!). Tripe is very healthy - you can get it frozen in bags from Pets@home and serve it frozen (so it's not smelly which it IS!). Fish, eggs, liver or other offal is good a couple of times a week. Don't give large amounts of liver/offal as it can give them loose poos. It's the ratio of meat to bone over about 7 days, so you don't need to be absolutely fanatical about each day's meal. You will know if you've fed too much bone as their poos will be white and crumbly.

You will become fascinated by the decrease in size of poos and improvement in consistency! It can take a few days for them to get used to eating raw food but they will soon be enjoying crunching those chicken wings!

Nearly all owners who raw feed report an improvement in their dog's coats and teeth. I've heard that greyhounds are prone to bad teeth so it could really help your grey. Good luck and let us know how it goes. smile

itsbetterthanabox Sun 31-Aug-14 23:32:20

Not a good idea. Meat does not have all the nutrients they need. Don't feed bones at all as they can choke. Raw meat from farms has more bacteria on it which is a risk to the dog and you.

yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo Sun 31-Aug-14 23:37:15

Of goodness sake please dont listen to people that have absolutely no idea about raw feeding ie. Natural feeding!

If yr greyhound is 44kg, it must be eating something!! Our biggest grey is 37/38kg and he's a big black muscly male who's an absolute whopper.

Ours eat raw - we get it from a local supplier but are in S Wales so can't recommend to you. Like others, we have a freezer, and feed the mince for convenience. However, we vary it with leftovers e.g. rice, pasta, roasted squash/veggies, and regular oily fish such as sardines or pilchards. Also add in occasional yogurt, plus training treats of cheese or sausage.

I think the "complete" raw diets are a very easy way into raw feeding - there are some nice ones around. There are lots of variations in how you can do it - a lot depends on budget, your access to a freezer, access to local butchers and how much time/effort you want to put in to sourcing stuff.

I honestly wouldn't say it was any messier than any other way of feeding - I defrost the blocks in the utility room and plonk them in the bowls twice a day. Can be a bit splashy as one dog in particular likes to scatter his food round his bowl before then eating it from the floor but he did that with kibble as well. We are not raw purists - because we often travel for shows/business on weekends, we will take kibble with us for those, and the dogs switch very happily between.

All our 4 are greyhounds and are doing very well on this sort of diet, with beautiful soft coats, healthy weights, good muscles, and very nice small, firm poos.

I must admit I have wimped out over tripe. The smell, especially in summer is particularly vile - it hasn't made it's way into the trolley the past couple of trips to the supplier. blush

itsbetterthanabox Sun 31-Aug-14 23:55:12

Not exactly natural when the dogs we have as pets are no longer anything like they were in the wild. That's all been bred out. They have different needs.

its sorry, you lost all credibility when you said they choke on bones grin

And bacteria? Really? Have you seen what dogs eat off the floor. Mine likes nothing better than a good gobful of shit <boak>

NCISaddict Mon 01-Sep-14 06:44:04

And all the recalls for salmonella in kibble? A dogs gut has not been completely changed by breeding, it still has higher levels of acid and a quicker transit so raw food is easily digested. They don't need carbs in the form of maize, wheat etc. They can also easily eat raw bones just never cooked as they splinter.

And the fact that kibble is full of mites that cause a lot of skin irritations which people pass off as other things <whistles innocently>

MarcoPoloCX Mon 01-Sep-14 07:14:43

Kibbles and wet food are made from meat, organs so why nuke and render it, kill off all the bacteria plus a lot of the nutrients and then add some crap to it to preserve it and for it to smell nice? Would you eat a meal replacement soup everyday or a nice whole meal? Commercial dog food has been around for ~ 150 yrs, you cannot change their diet after millions of years of evolution. They are surviving on commercial food but I wouldn't say they are thriving on it. A raw fed dog has much smaller poo as most of it is absorbed by the body. A lot of people are humanising their dogs. At the end of the day they are animals, a different specie and they have different needs to us ... Feeding something as natural as you can would be best for them.

Mitzi50 Mon 01-Sep-14 07:36:37

Thanks everyone - you've been really helpful. I particularly like the idea of smaller poos - the greyhound does whoppers which are very sloppy (TMI).

Scuttlebutter I will check his weight (it sounds like I've got it wrong) he is a huge boy but you can see his ribs and I have been told he needs to put on a bit of weight by the vet.

I'm going to give the raw feeding a go but was put off by the nurse at the vets who said you have to get the balance right (which is why I thought of complete raw food). What MarcoPoloCX posted makes sense - I am hoping they will both put on the weight they need and I am hoping that the Staffie x will become calmer (I've read that raw feeding can help behaviour) as she seems so tense all of the time.

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