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I live in the UK and it would seem that feeding home made diets and raw feeding is incredibly popular. I was among the many lead to believe that commerical dog foods are a complete food and dogs don't need anything else. I started researching raw food when I joined a forum I am no long on and then eventually switched to a complete raw food. I believe in good food for my dog and value for money and found many of the comercial dry/wet foods are just not balanced enough and I dislike how dog food is made, I wanted to choose a more natural wholesome way of feeding my dog. I am to say that my vet supports the food I feed my dog and the place I buy my complete raw from also supports and educates owners about good healthy foods for dogs.

I wish to learn more about home made raw diets and have the following questions =

What books did you read before you changed?
What is your home made menue like?
How long have you been making home made foods?? Why did you get started?
 

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I do have one of Tom Lonsdale's books but it is more a rant about why raw is wonderful and processed is horrible than a good guide to feeding dogs.

Lew Olson's book, Raw and Natural Nutrition, is much better for designing a diet.

But if you want the numbers then get one of Monica Segal's books, K9 Kitchen or Optimal Nutrition, as she puts a limited chart of the 2006 NRC [more up to date than AAFCO] in each book plus a few meaty bone analysis. I like having proof that my dog's raw diet is as complete as a bowl of kibble mineral and vitamin wise.

There are more books, I wouldn't mind having a look at Steve Brown's book Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.

For websites you cannot beat dogaware, http://www.dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html and B-Naturals newsletters http://b-naturals.com/newsletters

I started feeding cooked food when Sassy got kidney disease right when the big 2007 food recalls happened so 5 years total. She continued on cooked food but I moved Max to raw about 4.5 years ago. I used the information on this forum's sticky for info and other forums plus the Monica Segal book to be sure Max is getting it all. I can track what he is getting fairly well using this site, http://nutritiondata.self.com/ which gets its information from here http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

Max eats chicken, turkey, beef, pork, ostrich, goat, llama and rabbit. I 'balance' over two days. One day he gets a bony bit, lamb or chicken at the moment and an occasional goat head plus organ and the other day he gets a chunk of boneless meat. He also gets a bit of zinc capsule, vitamin E and fish oil as supplements but for the low manganese and magnesium I am trying out green tripe instead of a mineral supplement. The minerals ought to be fine but when I give them he seems better somehow.
 

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What books did you read before you changed?
None, I could not afford any books when I got started. I did a lot of research online at various sites like the ones mentioned above, from a few bloggers, and from reading scientific studies I found on sites like these: http://jn.nutrition.org/ http://www.nutritionj.com/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

What is your home made menue like?
You can see how I go about constructing a meal here: http://losech.blogspot.com/2012/02/using-nutritiondatacom-to-balance-home.html
Sometimes I feed prey-model raw (80% meat, 10% organ, 10% bone), sometimes I feed partial raw and partial cooked, othertimes I feed a fully cooked meal, or sometimes even just leftovers.

How long have you been making home made foods?? Why did you get started?
Christmas day 2010. I started doing this because Conker was not digesting his kibble very well and was having other major digestive issues (Science Diet Puppy, Orijen Puppy) and would not eat enough of it to support a growing puppy. He began to lose weight at an alarming rate and was very boney so I decided to feed him homemade food after he stole a whole steak off my plate and began to eat it on my carpet.
 

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What books did you read before you changed? None. I researched the various types of raw and decided that Prey Model Raw was the most proper diet. These are the sites that most greatly influenced me:
Jane Anderson's Raw Learning Site
Kaos Siberians - getting started
The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

and I also searched long and hard (and still do) for scientific studies conducted about diet change and raw feeding. I have many such articles bookmarked and saved on my computer now.

What is your home made menue like? I aim to follow the 80% raw meat, 10% edible bone, and 10% organ guideline. I feed as much red meat as possible and only offer edible bones that are easily chomped, which means no beef bones or other large, dense, teeth-damaging bones. For organ, I feed half liver (beef or chicken) and half other, usually beef kidney, but I will get pancreas, spleen, or other organ whenever I can. The staple meats I feed are pork roast, beef heart, chicken, and turkey. I usually give 1-2 whole sardines each week and 1-2 eggs per week (my dogs are both 40 lbs). I get whatever other raw meat I can get for cheap such as llama, moose, venison, and elk. I offer as much variety as I can within my budget. I supplement with fish oil for Omega 3s as supermarket meat is low in Omega 3s. I do *not* feed any plants or diet as they are not species appropriate and wolves don't eat them in the wild. I do give them veggies or fruit as treats, and they enjoy licking out my yogurt containers when I'm done, but it is not a significant or regular part of their diet.

How long have you been making home made foods?? Why did you get started? I started in the fall of 2010 when my puppy was about 8 months old. The story of why I got started actually begins with my cats. They were on Science-fiction Diet when I got them and one had horrid diarrhea and the other had dry, flaky skin. After stupidly buying into the prescription diet scam my best friend and then roommate mentioned I should try a more natural food. I switched them to TOTW and within a week or so there was no more diarrhea and the other cat had slightly better skin and fur. I learned gradually about the pet food business, and heard about the BARF diet. When I got my puppy in April 2010 I put her on TOTW and started seriously researching ways to feed raw, how to start, how to introduce new things, everything. I wanted to know exactly what I was doing and why it was better. I spent a long time reading anecdotes and digging up all the science I could. Switching to raw can easily be detrimental to your pet if you do it wrong.
I finally bit the bullet and started switching the cats to raw this year as my new years resolution. It took about 6 months before they were totally switched. The one that previously had dry skin and greasy fur now has soft fur and great skin.
 
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