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Hello,:wave:
I give my dog Freckles, a female Jack Russell, a commercial dog food and I have not had a single problem with her eating it. I use Purina and sometimes switch to Blue and different name brand commercial dog foods. She likes Freshpet or I should say that I like it because it makes her breath smell nice. Freckles will basically eat any food, especially people food, which we do not allow her to have, unless it is a small piece of boiled white chicken, a potato, string beans or carrots.

Is there really a benefit to her overall health with the Raw or Organic dog foods that are out there. And, if so, which ones are the very best. There is so much on the web about the commercially packaged dog foods, that my family and I have been thinking about switching to a Raw or Organic type, but first I wanted to hear what people in this thread have to say about it.
:wave:
 

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I don't see much point to an organic kibble. It's already so processed that I don't think having organic ingredients is any improvement. But getting a food with meat as the first ingredient (like Blue Buffalo, NOT Purina) is a good idea.

Raw foods are excellent, and prepared raw (as opposed to buying regular meat at the grocery store and balancing the diet yourself, which is also excellent and less expensive but time-consuming) is very convenient. Since raw food has less fillers, you'll see less poop and better breath/teeth. Which products are available in your area? Are you willing to buy online? It's hard to make a recommendation without knowing what's available to you. I will say that almost any of the frozen raw products (avoid Bil-Jac, though) would be a fine choice. It just depends what your dog likes best and what agrees with her stomach the most.
 

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I read a study (page 14) showing that dogs on a "homemade diet" live on average 32 months longer than those on kibble. Almost 3 years. The external effects I see or that I've heard others experience include: clean teeth and healthy gums, no bad breath, no "dog smell", no runny eyes, less/no ear infections, healthy skin and coat (no dry itchy skin, and fur is soft), small poo, less often poo, less smelly poo, more balanced energy (opposed to the spikes and crashes caused by kibble), reduction or cessation of seizures, no more tumors, old dogs act young again with more energy and their joints aren't nearly as stiff.. on and on it goes.

I would personally never pay for commercial, premade raw. It's far too expensive and usually has dairy and plants in it, and I prefer a true natural diet consisting of meat with a little edible bone and a little organ. Prey model raw.
 

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I really need to go raw with my dogs i hear nothing but good things about it and seen so many pictures of dogs on raw and they look wonderful. I think it would benefit my oldest dog who is only 2 as well mostly with her coat.

From what i have read i would agree with Sibe on the homemade raw diet
 

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Some can debate this but I've seen working dogs on raw and those on commercial diet, the difference is big - it's not quite a scientific study, just my observation. I noticed dogs on commercial food get tired too soon, can't run fast enough and are generally not as energetic. As for the life span, I don't know if that should be compared since more lively and energetic dog is probably going to have a shorter life span. I don't think life span is most important thing for the dog but that's just me. Dogs fed natural diet that I observed were those that lived in a farm environment, most of the time their owners do not buy food from stores - in fact most of the time meat was never even frozen. When you think about it, kibble has no realistic chance against such food.
 

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I did some research on raw vs dry before I switched to raw. Apparently there is no scientific evidence that dogs do better on raw than on a good quality dry food. All the good stuff you hear is purely anecdotal. I decided to switch over anyway because I have heard it makes them less prone to infections, and Pixie has had constant ear infections since I got her. What I didn't expect is that it just about fixed Obi's reactivity too. They were on Canidae before I switched to raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did some research on raw vs dry before I switched to raw. Apparently there is no scientific evidence that dogs do better on raw than on a good quality dry food. All the good stuff you hear is purely anecdotal. I decided to switch over anyway because I have heard it makes them less prone to infections, and Pixie has had constant ear infections since I got her. What I didn't expect is that it just about fixed Obi's reactivity too. They were on Canidae before I switched to raw.
Thank you, a raw diet sounds like the best way to go. The proof is in the pudding as they say.
 

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Yes there is without a doubt benefits to raw (Sibe listed many of which I've witnessed with raw fed dogs - including my own), although I wouldn't argue that some dogs do quite well and live fairly healthy lives on some of the poorest quality foods, but I've seen HUGE differences between raw fed and kibble fed dogs -but it really all depends on the dog, too.

I feed a combo diet, it works well for my budget, my dogs' health, well being, and our satisfaction(although, if I had more time, convenience and could stretch my budget a bit more than I already have, I'd feed raw %100 of the time)

%50 of my younger dogs (1 yr old, 45 lbs) diet is a commercial %100 organic, fresh premade raw of whole animal carcass including meat, bones and organs. Absolutely no fillers or any additives. Produced here in Canada, and its definitely one of the best commercial raw products you can get here. Yes its pretty pricey, but I get a great discount on it so I take advantage of being able to feed it for a much lower cost. My dogs have both done great on it, and with 9 different proteins readily available to conveniently feed I can't complain much. I do also feed prey model raw when its convenient, atleast a few meals per week. This consists of approximately %25 of Thumper's diet, I get some stuff from grocery stores, or there is a farm here in Alberta run by a couple who produce their own custom raw doog food, anything from fresh ground products, to prey model and I order some stuff from them occasionally to have on hand. Since Thumper eats quite a bit more than Cash, and is a pretty highly active dog, there's just no way I can feed him raw %100 of the time, and its just not always convenient for me, so somedays he gets kibble -higher quality kibbles to my standard anyway, and this would make up approximately the other %25 of his diet.

Cash is older now, 6.5 and isn't a big eater, so i've been able to take him off kibble completely, and he's now on %100 raw. Even though he did fine when he was on partial kibble, partial raw diet, what a difference it made when he went on %100 raw, which is about %75 premade, and %25 PMR. In my opinion there was absolutely nothing wrong with him then, but since he's been on just raw for about a month or so now, I've begin to notice some changes, he has even more energy, he doesn't have even the slightest gunk in his eyes, his poops are even smaller then they were before, and his breath and teeth have gotten much better..he seems like he's getting younger, not older! lol and he really didn't eat that much kibble at all.

Thumper is in excellent health and feeding him a small portion of kibble occasionally hasn't seem to have much effect on him, but he's still very young - BUT, I do notice a significant difference in the stools - The stools are always a bit bigger, a bit smellier and a bit looser after he eats kibble compared to a raw meal - but I can live with that for now until I'm able to feed him %100 raw as well. Since we do travel quite often though, I will always keep kibble on hand because sometimes raw, premade or not just isn't really convenient at all so I definitely don't feel too guilty about giving a good quality kibble now and then. I have a few brands I like and have stuck to over the years with Cash, and now Thumper (Nature's Variety Instinct, Acana, Timberwolf, Fromm, NOW!).
 

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Yes there is without a doubt benefits to raw (Sibe listed many of which I've witnessed with raw fed dogs - including my own), although I wouldn't argue that some dogs do quite well and live fairly healthy lives on some of the poorest quality foods, but I've seen HUGE differences between raw fed and kibble fed dogs -but it really all depends on the dog, too.

I feed a combo diet, it works well for my budget, my dogs' health, well being, and our satisfaction(although, if I had more time, convenience and could stretch my budget a bit more than I already have, I'd feed raw %100 of the time)

%50 of my younger dogs (1 yr old, 45 lbs) diet is a commercial %100 organic, fresh premade raw of whole animal carcass including meat, bones and organs. Absolutely no fillers or any additives. Produced here in Canada, and its definitely one of the best commercial raw products you can get here. Yes its pretty pricey, but I get a great discount on it so I take advantage of being able to feed it for a much lower cost. My dogs have both done great on it, and with 9 different proteins readily available to conveniently feed I can't complain much. I do also feed prey model raw when its convenient, atleast a few meals per week. This consists of approximately %25 of Thumper's diet, I get some stuff from grocery stores, or there is a farm here in Alberta run by a couple who produce their own custom raw doog food, anything from fresh ground products, to prey model and I order some stuff from them occasionally to have on hand. Since Thumper eats quite a bit more than Cash, and is a pretty highly active dog, there's just no way I can feed him raw %100 of the time, and its just not always convenient for me, so somedays he gets kibble -higher quality kibbles to my standard anyway, and this would make up approximately the other %25 of his diet.

Cash is older now, 6.5 and isn't a big eater, so i've been able to take him off kibble completely, and he's now on %100 raw. Even though he did fine when he was on partial kibble, partial raw diet, what a difference it made when he went on %100 raw, which is about %75 premade, and %25 PMR. In my opinion there was absolutely nothing wrong with him then, but since he's been on just raw for about a month or so now, I've begin to notice some changes, he has even more energy, he doesn't have even the slightest gunk in his eyes, his poops are even smaller then they were before, and his breath and teeth have gotten much better..he seems like he's getting younger, not older! lol and he really didn't eat that much kibble at all.

Thumper is in excellent health and feeding him a small portion of kibble occasionally hasn't seem to have much effect on him, but he's still very young - BUT, I do notice a significant difference in the stools - The stools are always a bit bigger, a bit smellier and a bit looser after he eats kibble compared to a raw meal - but I can live with that for now until I'm able to feed him %100 raw as well. Since we do travel quite often though, I will always keep kibble on hand because sometimes raw, premade or not just isn't really convenient at all so I definitely don't feel too guilty about giving a good quality kibble now and then. I have a few brands I like and have stuck to over the years with Cash, and now Thumper (Nature's Variety Instinct, Acana, Timberwolf, Fromm, NOW!).
WOW!!! I am very impressed with the difference raw food has made in the dogs. I too am on a budget, a tight budget right now, so I think it is a good idea for me to do a partial of raw and a high quality kibble brand.

Cash and Thumper are very good looking dogs!!
 

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WOW!!! I am very impressed with the difference raw food has made in the dogs. I too am on a budget, a tight budget right now, so I think it is a good idea for me to do a partial of raw and a high quality kibble brand.

Cash and Thumper are very good looking dogs!!
Thank you :)

A Jack may not require that much raw food at all, so the price may be very affordable for you to feed raw depending on what you get. For me, feeding a 20lb and a 45lb dog, it does get a bit pricey. But, with feeding raw, you can feed a lot less of it so it almost balances out. When I break down the costs of the commercial raw, PMR, and kibble I feed now, I would probably only spend about $30 more a month to go %100 raw for both of them, but the thing is its just not always convenient, I'm a pretty busy gal and have a career and lots of other things going on in life and sometimes remembering to take raw food out of the freezer to thaw out for the next morning and feed while i'm rushing around the house getting ready for work isn't always feasible LOL, so kibble it is! But, I do try to feed majority raw, majority of the time.

I think typically you feed about %2 of the dogs body weight (or ideal body weight if over-weight) per day. Adjust accordingly if the dog is looking a little too slim or too chubby (should be able to feel the ribs/hips but they shoudln't be very visible).

Realistically, feeding a Jack Russell a combo diet may not be that cost-effective in the long run. But you would have to weigh out the costs to see how much you're really saving yourself and if its worth it. My 22lb Shiba Inu costs me an average of $1.50/day to feed raw, So really buying expensive high quality kibble isn't going to save me much to split it up for him.

Good luck though with whatever you choose to do :)
 

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i cant really say much on the subject as far as personal dogs go, because both of mine just did not do well on raw. it happens. not everything works for every dog. i use a really good food though called back to basics that includes organ meat as well as muscle meat. my dogs look and act wonderful on it, and very small poop too.

"organic" is just a label that really means nothing. there is no regulations on organic farming and such, so you could have an organic farm next to a farm that uses chemicals, and it seeps into the organic farm through the soils...
 

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"organic" is just a label that really means nothing. there is no regulations on organic farming and such, so you could have an organic farm next to a farm that uses chemicals, and it seeps into the organic farm through the soils...
There are actually a ridiculous number of regulations on organic farming, including some about how far away the nearest pesticide-using farm can be. Organic does mean that they meet a lot of particular criteria, it's not meaningless at all. "Natural", on the other hand, is fairly meaningless.

I just don't think organic ingredients mean much in a processed food.
 

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There are actually a ridiculous number of regulations on organic farming, including some about how far away the nearest pesticide-using farm can be. Organic does mean that they meet a lot of particular criteria, it's not meaningless at all. "Natural", on the other hand, is fairly meaningless.

I just don't think organic ingredients mean much in a processed food.
Thank you, I always wondered what "Organic" really meant. The word itself sounds so important.
 

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Organic is fine. The problem I have with it is it isn't exactly right for meat products. Organically fed meat is usually pigs, cows and chickens getting fed organically grown corn, soybeans and the like. That doesn't improve the nutrition from the meat as feeding corn and such promotes Omega 6 instead of Omega 3. Look for pastured chickens and pigs and grass fed beef and lamb for the best Omega 3:6 profiles.

I thought Max was okay on a good quality kibble but several condition aspects improved dramatically on raw food. I suspect dog owners think dogs stinking when wet at least, having gunky teeth, large poop, gunky eyes and assorted other minor conditions are just dogs when it is possible an improvement in feed can help with some or all of those minor annoyances +.
 
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