Anyone feed a raw diet?(12 Posts)
I've been doing a little bit of research into this as a possible way forward for our currently 5month old cocker. We aren't changing anything yet just want to see if it something we could do. The benefits appear to be good but how workable is it really? Is it hard to keep track and make sure you're feeding eveything you need? Do the supposed complete raw foods have everything they need?
Basically any advice welcome to see if this could work for us.
My puppies (husky/samoyed cross) are only 11 weeks old but I am doing a mixture of good quality kibble (Eden holistic) and raw. I am using nutriment for the raw bit until I get used to the amounts and am more comfortable with getting it right. I give them raw chicken wings tips and sprats as snacks so they get used to eating meaty bones from young.
I want to keep giving them some kibble as there will be times that we are away and they will be staying with friends/family/dog sitters and at those times raw wont be the easiest option so I want them to be able to swap to kibble when necessary.
There is loads of information about but to get started using a complete raw food pre prepared may be the best option. I have only just started in the last few days with nutriment and have to say the pups adore it. They are good eaters anyway but they completely adore the meat and it is really easy to manage - you will need lots of freezer space though!
Thanks diamonte, is the complete stuff you can get fully complete with no need to feed anything else on top unless you want to? I don't mind feeding bits on top but I'd feel happier having a complete food and adding to it.
Yes the Nutriment packs are a complete food no need to top up. I only give mine extras as they are very motivated by food and I am training them so the extras are treats during and after training (I reduce the recommended amount of their food to compensate).
I raw feed, but use Nature's Menu mince packs, and add my own veg, eggs and yoghurt to it, plus a chicken wing each meal. It works out at about £1 a day for my 22kg dog, compared to nearer £2 per day for the complete foods.
If you use a complete food, then you don't need to add anything, but my dog loves carrots (weirdo!) so I also prefer being able to add in things that she likes to eat.
Plus chewing bones keeps her teeth in great condition, so I like being able to feed her the chicken wings plus other meaty bones.
The Raw Feeding UK group on Facebook is great, but full of weirdos, so I had a good look through it for hints and tips and then deleted myself when the bickering and bad spelling got too much!
I feed a mix of raw meat and kibble. I use Natures Menu and Nurturing by Nature. I add in an egg including shell every so often and they also get veg. I give them a raw bone (knuckle or marrowbone) every few weeks too, excellent for their teeth. One thing to think of though, unless you want to getting raw meat delivered every week you need to consider how you will store it. I had to get a chest freezer to put in the garage so I could store a couple of months worth at a time. That's two large adult dogs though.
Good point about storage!
That's another reason I use Nature's Menu mince blocks - it comes in slabs which are really easy to store in the freezer. The bottom drawer of our freezer is given over to dog food, and will store 24 slabs of food - 24 days worth. The same drawer can only store about 10 days worth of complete food because it comes in bags of nuggets which aren't as easy to stack, and take up much more space. I buy a pack of 10 chicken wings a week with the weekly shop, which live in our fridge
Complete raw dog food is so easy to give. Be careful what you use some are better than others. Once you see how well your dog is on raw food then you may feel happy to feed DIY raw. It is easy 80 meat 10 bone and 10 offal are the most common ratios but that is over a week not necessarily a day.
Nutriment and Natural Instinct are good and complete. There is more bone in natural instinct so watch out for the poos.
Natures Menu complete contains grain so I would never feed that to my dog and their minces do not have bone or the company is not willing to state the amount of bone. Dogs do need bone on raw feeding .(They also use caged rabbits so not very ethical food)
Your dog will certainly thank you for giving them raw
Thanks for the advice guys. I think if feeding a raw complete option is possible there is nothing to stop us from having a go (except maybe finding extra freezer space!!).
How gradually do you need to introduce a raw diet. In a similar was as you would if you were swapping between kibbles?
A few of the foods I've looked at say they're for working dogs - is this something you avoid? Is it likely to give a higher energy or fizzier dog?
Working dog is usually VAT free but the same as the other food.
If I have foster dogs that have been fed on kibble I switch them straight over to raw but I stick with one meat source for a while.
I would switch them over 2 or 3 days
We take DDog on holiday with us and away for weekends, and can't take raw food with us, so do one day of half raw/half kibble for each meal, then half/half breakfast and all kibble dinner, then just kibble while we are away, then straight back to all raw when we get back home. She has never had a problem other than her kibble poos are absolutely revolting and remind us why we raw feed!
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