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I see that feeding raw meat is a recent trend and a lot of people are supporting it. Anyone here actually feeding their dog from the beginning or at least year or two? I'd wondering what might be the possible downsides and positive ones of it. I've heard from some people that it might be dangerous for our modern dogs which is concerning!
 

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People have different views on whether raw is good or not. There are also mixed views on how healthy/unhealthy kibble can be for dogs. You just have to find what works for you and your dog.

We started Kane out on raw food when we got him as a puppy. We ended up switching back to kibble for a while because he didn't seem to be getting enough nutrients on the raw food. Then we switched back to raw. Now we feed raw in the morning and kibble in the evening. It's just too expensive to feed 2 big dogs a premium raw food.

Keep in mind not all raw food is created equal - some are simply raw meat, some have additives, some have vegetables, etc.
 

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I've been feeding fresh food to my dogs for 11 years and raw for 10. It works well but can be more expensive, a huge learning curve and troublesome if you travel. The first dog had amazing changes on raw and I thought he was fine on kibble. A high fat, low carb, high protein, low residue diet really suited him. Late in life raw suddenly stopped agreeing with him and I not so simply cooked his raw diet and he was fine with that too. Turns out you can cook chicken bones long enough to soften them so they can be pureed.

You might check http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/prey-model-raw.html and http://dogaware.com/ for good information on feeding fresh food to your dog.
 

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When I get a barbcued chicken, I throw the carcass and scraps into my pressure cooker when I have taken what I want off it, and cook them for an hour. The bones turn to mush, you can mush them up with your fingers and I make my dog treats from them. My dogs love them.
 

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I feed raw. I feed a mix and am part of a coop (Raw Energy out of NJ). Pick up is once a month and I have a freezer. My youngest dog was on kibble in the AM and Raw at night as a puppy. Now he is 18 months old and is on 100% raw. My older dog was also on half and half.. (kibble AM Raw at night). She has been on 100% raw for a few weeks as well. The dogs like it and do very well on it. I pay less than $2 a pound.

I also add things such as raw whole chicken breasts or whole thighs (sometimes on sale for around eighty cents a pound). I also get chicken gizzards and hearts. I replace the mix pound for pound but always give some mix. Once a week the dogs get raw bones (rib or neck.. non weight bearing). I feed eggs. Just put them in the dish as a whole egg, shell and all.

I will take a two pound or 5 pound roll and use a chisel and hammer to break it into 1 pound frozen chunks. This morning I fed both dogs their raw as a frozen 1 pound chunk. This feeds them and gives them something to do for awhile. One dog inhales his food and the frozen slows him down.

Sometimes I make up an entire meal with a Chicken Breast or two chicken thighs, an egg, a few carrots, 3-4 blueberries a couple of chicken feet... just as a variety for the dog. I don't think the dog cares, but when I can buy something for 80 cents a pound, I will use it to replace part of the raw mix diet.

I have been fooling with Raw for 18 months. Most of my training friends have been feeding raw for years. NO ISSUES. Not Dangerous. It is important not to just feed raw hamburger as that has no bone in it, and is almost all muscle meat. You have to feed raw as a balanced ration.
 

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I've fed prey model, half raw half kibble, and storebought raw at various points throughout our dog's life. Never had an issue, even when he was a growing pup - but you have to do the research. I stopped doing purely prey model at one point because I couldn't source organs - where most of the vitamins in the diet come from - which isn't safe or healthy as a complete diet. We do mostly storebought raw grinds and kibble these days, because commercial raw diets are quite popular and affordable here, but I still love to get my hands on meaty edible bones regularly. Nothing really substitutes for a good, hard, long chew at an edible bone that makes the dog think and really use those teeth! Ribs are great, if you can get them. Weight-bearing bones need caution because an aggressive chewer can and will break teeth on them.

You have to practice safe meat handling practices. Feed the dog somewhere easily washed, like a bare crate, a towel, etc. or outdoors and handle their food like you would any meat you'd cook for yourself. And there is some infectious risk for the dog and human - salmonella and the like. My household has no small children nor immunocompromised people, so my feeling is that keeping things clean and using common sense (no face kisses after dinner, etc.) makes those risks acceptable. I mean, salmonella pops up in kibble, too. Can't claim it's 100% safe, but nothing really is. And some dogs just plain don't do well on raw. It happens. Some dogs don't do well on top of the line kibble, either, and some dog thrive on the cheapest of grocery store brands. Prey model is all animal products - meat, bone, organ. Sometime green tripe is given (the uncleaned intestinal contents of ruminants like cows), but very little to no plant matter overall. Other people include various levels of veg and/or fruit (most of this does have to be cooked and/or blended for dogs to digest it well). It really depends on what works for you and your dog.

But yeah. The biggest danger to the average dog with a homemade raw diet is imbalances, so absolutely do your research or stick to a commercial raw food that labels itself as a complete diet.
 

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Raw is so much easier! Use a grind with bone and it is even easier.

Cooking is messy although it smells good and the dogs like to help clean up. Be sure to use a good recipe that has some sort of calcium added and is mostly meat.
 

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I fed raw for a few months (80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ) and my dog had great energy, great stool, and clean teeth. I also did a blood panel months into feeding it and it came back spectacular. I think Sibe, who's not on this forum much but has been here for years... fed/feeds raw to her two huskies and posted her dogs' blood panel results. Clean bill of health. I don't think my dog was significantly better or worse on kibble vs raw. He was always energetic, shiny, etc. But he was 75# lean on raw, and on kibble he as 70# lean and a teeny bit overweight if he hit 75#. However, he lived his most active lifestyle at around the same time, regularly hiking 8 miles in snow or in the mountains multiple times a week, at LEAST walking or biking 3 miles every single day. So maybe it was less the raw and more the lifestyle.

I can't afford raw anymore, and fed Earthborn Primitive, Orijen, and now Victor Ultra Pro (all high protein foods). But I think as with any diet you must see how YOUR dog does on it.
 
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