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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I've been looking into going raw for a while now, and I think going to a premade first would be easier for me to start with and will help ease up any fears. I also have a hubby that's not too excited about PMR so I think doing the premade would help.

I came across a newer brand made locally here in MN, so I wanted to see what people's opinion's on this food are compared to Primal's Frozen Raw and NV's Frozen Raw as those are the ones I'm considering. We have a 8lb shiba mixed puppy so I don't think cost will be a huge factor, but am curious about value overall: Ingredient quality, amount of food needed, people's experiences, etc.

We would be trying the chicken recipe:
http://rawbistro.com/products/raw-frozen-food/free-range-chicken-entree
 

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It looks alright, but I don't personally like commercial raw food that has added ingredients like fruits and vegetables. I prefer to see ones that are completely balanced for a raw diet and have nothing but muscle meat, bone and organs. The vegetables, fruits and sometimes grains added are just fillers, and your paying extra for uneccessary ingredients that have no nutrional benefit to the dog. If you can find a commercial raw that doesn't have added ingredients I would recommend going that route, but if you can't and this one is affordable to you then by all means give it a try. I do believe the Primal has varieties without fruits or veggies, I wouldn't do NV personally. Chicken is always best to start out with when transitioning to raw, but after a week or two it is good to start introducing other proteins like turkey, duck, then into the red meats like beef, bison, pork, rabbit, lamb, venison and oily fish like sardines, herring, mackerel, etc are good to add into the diet also. I would also try to give some boney meals like chicken necks or wings/backs, etc or other raw meaty bones occasionally for the dental benefits. I like the convenience of commercial ground raw occasionally - I do feed it once in a while when i'm in a hurry, its balanced but I also give prey model meals with bone so the dogs get a good teeth cleaning on a regular basis chewing up bones.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I saw the Primal grinds, but it says it's not a complete diet and is meant for supplemental feeding only. Would I only feed bones along with that or would I add something else to make sure he's getting everything he needs?
 

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It says it's not complete because it's not to AAFCO standards because it doesn't contain added ingredients aka fillers like added vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies, etc.

http://www.primalpetfoods.com/product/detail/c/9/id/23

That's absolutely fine. It does have organ though so it might be a but harder to transition onto. It looks like it might be bone heavy too, so if her poops are white or powdery just add some boneless meat.
 

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A general guideline to feeding a complete, balanced raw diet is %80 muscle meat, %10 bone and %10 organs and out of that %5 should be liver and %5 other organs. But this is just a starting point, some dogs maybe need less or more bone in the diet, for example. You also start by feeding %2-%3 of the ideal body weight of the dog. Puppies need a little more at first obviously, so depending on your pups age I would maybe do closer to %5 or %6 of his weight and go from there...that would be for a 3 - 5 month old puppy, at about 6 months you gradually start to decrease the amount of food.

I thought I saw that the Primal grinds had bone, meat and organs? You would have to look further into it I'm not sure. Check out what varieties and ingredients they have. If you can find another premade that offers a balanced diet then give it a shot, it also does not hurt to use a few different brands.

If your pup is currently 8 lbs, and depending on his age I would start with 0.45 - 0.50 lbs (about 7 - 8 ounces) of food per day, broken into two meals daily, and adjust accordingly if your pup is getting too fat or too thin. For a general guideline, going by a %6 feeding ratio (which is recommended for puppies on the raw food calculator I use), which is 0.48 lbs, out of this the 80/10/10 ratio would be 0.384 lbs meat, 0.048 bone, and 0.048 organs. Most people like to balance over a week rather than figure it out daily as it can be a lot of work, and most commercial raw foods are balanced anyway, but if your going to add in some extra's you just want to ensure you include it into the balance so your not throwing it off.

I think though, sticking to ground/premade is the best route to go for young puppies who's teeth haven't quite yet fully developed..unless you are able/willing to ground up and prepare your own raw food - this way you don't have to worry about them choking because they can't chew up bones properly. My dogs both ate a fully balanced commercial ground raw from about 3 months to 6 months old. I dont know but that's probably what I would do until he's older and his teeth and jaw are fully developed, once he's matured more you can start adding in some PMR and raw meaty meals if you wish..

You can start out a PMR diet by feeding stuff like chicken/turkey or duck necks, chicken quarters, chicken backs, chicken wings etc. From there you can gradually add in other proteins like beef, pork, fish and other red meats and some organs like beef/chicken liver, heart, gizzards etc or whatever else is easily available to you. Things like raw eggs, tripe, etc are good to supplement occasionally, and if you are unable to get oily raw fish, fish oil is a common supplement amongts some raw feeders as well..My Shiba really likes fish, and he does extremely well on it. I feed him whole raw frozen sardines I get from the frozen meat section at my grocery store and he gets at least one per week, I usually cut it up and serve mixed in with other meals.

I still feed some commercial raw, its %100 balanced though and contains only meat, bone and organs - no extras, and the brands I feed use mainly grass fed animals or free range. I feed them this when its convenient like busy weekday mornings. Aside from that they get prey model and I try to balance accordingly, surely I'm not always accurate but its balance over time and I go by my dogs, and signs they're bodies tell me if they need a little more of this or that, and I use as many different proteins as possible and offer as many as I can in a day. Usually they get 1 or 2 different proteins for breakfast, then 1 or 2 entirely different ones for dinner. This is another reason I like having commercial raw on hand, between the 3 or 4 different brands I buy, and between all the prey model I have, I'm able to offer about 12 different animal proteins on a weekly basis.

Hopefully you can find a good, balanced commercial/premade raw to start out with, and like I mentioned previously chicken is the best to start out with.. then slowly and gradually you introduce new proteins from there. Since your pup is still young, the transition period on to raw shouldn't be too bad for him, usually most people say that the longer a dog has been eating kibble, the longer the transition period is. I don't really know myself since both of my dogs have been raw fed since puppies, and have never had any issues.


Good luck, and we would love to see some pics of your puppy :)
 

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Personally, I don't have any problem with a small amount of plant material in premades. I definitely don't want to see any grains or potato, but the veggies included in that formula are all acceptable to me. You'll obviously find varying opinions on this. Anyway, it looks very similar to the Primal complete diets (that ARE to AAFCO standards fwiw). I've been seriously thinking about feeding half Primal premade and half regular raw in order to expand the variety of protein sources I have available. It's probably unwarranted, but I feel much more comfortable at this point feeding at least SOME food that is guaranteed balanced, but that is just where I am in the learning process and that might change over time. I really like that Primal has lots of proteins-- duck, quail, lamb, rabbit, venison, pheasant and turkey (as well as the usuals, chicken and beef). I personally I am not willing to buy expensive premades that contain things I can easily buy myself...chicken and beef meat and organs are readily available here for a whole lot cheaper. That's the only reason I would prefer Primal over the food you linked.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/primal-dog-food-raw-frozen-formulas/

http://www.wag.com/dog/p/primal-canine-raw-frozen-pheasant-formula-417613

I still feed some commercial raw, its %100 balanced though and contains only meat, bone and organs - no extras, and the brands I feed use mainly grass fed animals or free range. I feed them this when its convenient like busy weekday mornings.
May I ask what brand you use? It sounds awesome. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A general guideline to feeding a complete, balanced raw diet is %80 muscle meat, %10 bone and %10 organs and out of that %5 should be liver and %5 other organs. But this is just a starting point, some dogs maybe need less or more bone in the diet, for example. You also start by feeding %2-%3 of the ideal body weight of the dog. Puppies need a little more at first obviously, so depending on your pups age I would maybe do closer to %5 or %6 of his weight and go from there...that would be for a 3 - 5 month old puppy, at about 6 months you gradually start to decrease the amount of food.

I thought I saw that the Primal grinds had bone, meat and organs? You would have to look further into it I'm not sure. Check out what varieties and ingredients they have. If you can find another premade that offers a balanced diet then give it a shot, it also does not hurt to use a few different brands.

If your pup is currently 8 lbs, and depending on his age I would start with 0.45 - 0.50 lbs (about 7 - 8 ounces) of food per day, broken into two meals daily, and adjust accordingly if your pup is getting too fat or too thin. For a general guideline, going by a %6 feeding ratio (which is recommended for puppies on the raw food calculator I use), which is 0.48 lbs, out of this the 80/10/10 ratio would be 0.384 lbs meat, 0.048 bone, and 0.048 organs. Most people like to balance over a week rather than figure it out daily as it can be a lot of work, and most commercial raw foods are balanced anyway, but if your going to add in some extra's you just want to ensure you include it into the balance so your not throwing it off.

I think though, sticking to ground/premade is the best route to go for young puppies who's teeth haven't quite yet fully developed..unless you are able/willing to ground up and prepare your own raw food - this way you don't have to worry about them choking because they can't chew up bones properly. My dogs both ate a fully balanced commercial ground raw from about 3 months to 6 months old. I dont know but that's probably what I would do until he's older and his teeth and jaw are fully developed, once he's matured more you can start adding in some PMR and raw meaty meals if you wish..

You can start out a PMR diet by feeding stuff like chicken/turkey or duck necks, chicken quarters, chicken backs, chicken wings etc. From there you can gradually add in other proteins like beef, pork, fish and other red meats and some organs like beef/chicken liver, heart, gizzards etc or whatever else is easily available to you. Things like raw eggs, tripe, etc are good to supplement occasionally, and if you are unable to get oily raw fish, fish oil is a common supplement amongts some raw feeders as well..My Shiba really likes fish, and he does extremely well on it. I feed him whole raw frozen sardines I get from the frozen meat section at my grocery store and he gets at least one per week, I usually cut it up and serve mixed in with other meals.

I still feed some commercial raw, its %100 balanced though and contains only meat, bone and organs - no extras, and the brands I feed use mainly grass fed animals or free range. I feed them this when its convenient like busy weekday mornings. Aside from that they get prey model and I try to balance accordingly, surely I'm not always accurate but its balance over time and I go by my dogs, and signs they're bodies tell me if they need a little more of this or that, and I use as many different proteins as possible and offer as many as I can in a day. Usually they get 1 or 2 different proteins for breakfast, then 1 or 2 entirely different ones for dinner. This is another reason I like having commercial raw on hand, between the 3 or 4 different brands I buy, and between all the prey model I have, I'm able to offer about 12 different animal proteins on a weekly basis.

Hopefully you can find a good, balanced commercial/premade raw to start out with, and like I mentioned previously chicken is the best to start out with.. then slowly and gradually you introduce new proteins from there. Since your pup is still young, the transition period on to raw shouldn't be too bad for him, usually most people say that the longer a dog has been eating kibble, the longer the transition period is. I don't really know myself since both of my dogs have been raw fed since puppies, and have never had any issues.


Good luck, and we would love to see some pics of your puppy :)
Super helpful thank you!

Right now, Rosco is 4.5 months old so I think I will start with commercial with the intentions of moving to PRM in the future after a few months. He's just started losing some teeth so I think he would have a hard time getting through something that wasn't ground.

And I'll try to post some pictures later :)
 

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Personally, I don't have any problem with a small amount of plant material in premades. I definitely don't want to see any grains or potato, but the veggies included in that formula are all acceptable to me. You'll obviously find varying opinions on this. Anyway, it looks very similar to the Primal complete diets (that ARE to AAFCO standards fwiw). I've been seriously thinking about feeding half Primal premade and half regular raw in order to expand the variety of protein sources I have available. It's probably unwarranted, but I feel much more comfortable at this point feeding at least SOME food that is guaranteed balanced, but that is just where I am in the learning process and that might change over time. I really like that Primal has lots of proteins-- duck, quail, lamb, rabbit, venison, pheasant and turkey (as well as the usuals, chicken and beef). I personally I am not willing to buy expensive premades that contain things I can easily buy myself...chicken and beef meat and organs are readily available here for a whole lot cheaper. That's the only reason I would prefer Primal over the food you linked.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/primal-dog-food-raw-frozen-formulas/

http://www.wag.com/dog/p/primal-canine-raw-frozen-pheasant-formula-417613



May I ask what brand you use? It sounds awesome. :)
I, too, am okay with small amounts of plant matter, but I would avoid buying commercial raw with fruits/veggies in it if possible, but if that's all thats available surely won't hurt so long as they are acceptable. I do mix in the odd fruit and vegetables (usually green beans, carrots, blueberries, pear or apple slices) into their premade raw occasionally for a little treat but not a daily thing.

I currently have 4 different commercial/premade raw brands in my freezer, they are below. Before I was just feeding Carnivora, but decided to try the other brands since they offer different protiens, and prices are comparable.Few of These brands also offer varieties with fruits/veggies mixed in too, but I opt for the ones without and like I said I just add my own in if I wish. The Baldwin Feeds stuff I don't feed often, Cash's breeder gave me free samples of the fish mix, energy mix, and the mushers mix to try but since their chicken is considerably cheaper, I usually buy the ground chicken backs from her, and add in my own organs. She also sells me the Carnivora products for %10 discount from the store price, so that's why I opt for that too. Just recently tried Spring Meadows and Nature's Premium as price and quality are comparable to that of Carnivora, plus they have a few different protiens.

http://www.carnivora.ca/html/featured_products/fresh_frozen_products/index.cfm

http://perfectlyraw.ca/our-products/

http://www.naturespremium.com/

http://www.springmeadowsnaturalpetfood.com/raw_meat_patties/alpaca.php
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's probably unwarranted, but I feel much more comfortable at this point feeding at least SOME food that is guaranteed balanced, but that is just where I am in the learning process and that might change over time.
I feel the same way. I just wanted to make sure there weren't any weird ingredients in this new one, but I think I'm just going to go with Primal, there's just more variety and it's easier for me to access.
 

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I, too, am okay with small amounts of plant matter, but I would avoid buying commercial raw with fruits/veggies in it if possible, but if that's all thats available surely won't hurt so long as they are acceptable. I do mix in the odd fruit and vegetables (usually green beans, carrots, blueberries, pear or apple slices) into their premade raw occasionally for a little treat but not a daily thing.

I currently have 4 different commercial/premade raw brands in my freezer, they are below. Before I was just feeding Carnivora, but decided to try the other brands since they offer different protiens, and prices are comparable.Few of These brands also offer varieties with fruits/veggies mixed in too, but I opt for the ones without and like I said I just add my own in if I wish. The Baldwin Feeds stuff I don't feed often, Cash's breeder gave me free samples of the fish mix, energy mix, and the mushers mix to try but since their chicken is considerably cheaper, I usually buy the ground chicken backs from her, and add in my own organs. She also sells me the Carnivora products for %10 discount from the store price, so that's why I opt for that too. Just recently tried Spring Meadows and Nature's Premium as price and quality are comparable to that of Carnivora, plus they have a few different protiens.

http://www.carnivora.ca/html/featured_products/fresh_frozen_products/index.cfm

http://perfectlyraw.ca/our-products/

http://www.naturespremium.com/

http://www.springmeadowsnaturalpetfood.com/raw_meat_patties/alpaca.php
Unfortunately it looks like they aren't available for sale online. There aren't any pet stores around here...about 40 minutes away there is a Pet Supplies Plus but they don't have any sort of frozen area at all. They might be Canadian only, too. They do seem good, though.
 

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Unfortunately it looks like they aren't available for sale online. There aren't any pet stores around here...about 40 minutes away there is a Pet Supplies Plus but they don't have any sort of frozen area at all. They might be Canadian only, too. They do seem good, though.
Yeah it is unfortunate but I don't think any Canadian Raw food manufacturer does cross-border shipping. I think we definitely have an upper hand here when it comes to commercial raw, that's for sure. Most pet food stores (excluding the big box companies like PetSmart, etc) here in Alberta carry some sort of commercial raw food. These family owned, farm fresh companies are becomming extremely popular and there are two different pet food stores close to me that carry them all, plus others. Tail Blazers locations in Alberta, depending on the owner, carry primarily raw, and a few high quality kibble and canned foods.. but the one I shop at frequently carries about 6 or 7 commercial premade brands and their varieties. Raw feeding is definitely becomming a trend here, anyway and more and more farmers are getting on board with it and starting their own company as the demand for raw feeding pets increases. Its expensive though, unfortunately, along with everything else here, so that's why I only feed the commercial premade as a portion of the diet and like you said I feel comfortable feeding it occasionally so I know there is definitely some complete balance in their diet somewhere, although lately I've grown more and more experienced and confident at ensuring I balance their PMR meals properly, But its definitely not always easy, and I admit it, premade is just easier sometimes especially with my busy lifestyle :)
 

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Yeah it is unfortunate but I don't think any Canadian Raw food manufacturer does cross-border shipping. I think we definitely have an upper hand here when it comes to commercial raw, that's for sure. Most pet food stores (excluding the big box companies like PetSmart, etc) here in Alberta carry some sort of commercial raw food. These family owned, farm fresh companies are becomming extremely popular and there are two different pet food stores close to me that carry them all, plus others. Tail Blazers locations in Alberta, depending on the owner, carry primarily raw, and a few high quality kibble and canned foods.. but the one I shop at frequently carries about 6 or 7 commercial premade brands and their varieties. Raw feeding is definitely becomming a trend here, anyway and more and more farmers are getting on board with it and starting their own company as the demand for raw feeding pets increases. Its expensive though, unfortunately, along with everything else here, so that's why I only feed the commercial premade as a portion of the diet and like you said I feel comfortable feeding it occasionally so I know there is definitely some complete balance in their diet somewhere, although lately I've grown more and more experienced and confident at ensuring I balance their PMR meals properly, But its definitely not always easy, and I admit it, premade is just easier sometimes especially with my busy lifestyle :)
Yeah, except for when I was feeding Taste of the Wild, which was available at Tractor Supply, I pretty much buy all the commercial food I feed online. What I want is just not available locally and since I tend to spend a good amount at once, it usually has free shipping anyway. It works out, but I do wish I could find things in stores for situations when I need something on short notice. I don't think raw feeding has really "arrived" in the US yet, although I'm sure it depends on the specific area.
 

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Yeah, except for when I was feeding Taste of the Wild, which was available at Tractor Supply, I pretty much buy all the commercial food I feed online. What I want is just not available locally and since I tend to spend a good amount at once, it usually has free shipping anyway. It works out, but I do wish I could find things in stores for situations when I need something on short notice. I don't think raw feeding has really "arrived" in the US yet, although I'm sure it depends on the specific area.
This is true, I would probably do the same if the food I wanted wasn't locally available to me, I am fortunate here that way. Premade raw is definitely not hard to find here, and PMR, well you basically have to just source out yourself but it isn't difficult to come by either if you look hard enough. The company I order most of my PMR varieties from just recently closed their doors to new customers due to volume here in Alberta. They simply just cannot supply the demand for raw food here (In they prey model form), and there are no other places that supply PMR privately like they do.. although I'm sure more will catch on. I have seen advertisements on Kijiji from local farmers selling scrap, butchered meat, but the small local business I buy from actually has quality control and standards for their products and offer a large variety at good prices, plus they deliver to all the major cities here so its convenient, especially since one of the deliver locations is a few blocks from my house. Other then that, you source what you can from super markets, butchers and such, but its a lot more expensive.

I think your right that some areas in the US haven't accepted the whole raw feeding thing yet, and with that AVMA policy thing passed, it may not ever be overly popular but I would suspect that as time goes on, it will be easier to buy. Although, I'm not sure how much influence this AVMA policy will have on commercial raw food companies...
 

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Although, I'm not sure how much influence this AVMA policy will have on commercial raw food companies...
I don't think it will have any influence.
 

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I identify with the op who's husband doesn't want to do pmr. Like her, i'll stick to pre made for now!
 

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I identify with the op who's husband doesn't want to do pmr. Like her, i'll stick to pre made for now!
My hubby doesn't like it either, but he doesn't have a say, they're my dogs and I'll feed them what I want. He's come around though, he definitely won't help butcher or anything but he holds open the plastic freezer bags for me while I dump meat into them lol.

I dont have a problem with commercial raw, I still feed 3 or 4 different kinds like I've mentioned above, but the reason why I've switched to feeding a partial commercial and partial PMR is because of the dental benefits, and price. It's more work, and more time consuming but so far it's been worth it, I'm saving a little bit of money and my dogs' teeth are in better shape.

That said though, I am still very fond of the premade diets I have on hand for the busy mornings, or when I am gone and hubby is left alone with the dogs, he will feed the commercial patties no probs, plus there is lots of variety, can't complain about commercial raw at all except for the price, really :)
 

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I fed my dog Nature's Variety for a bit, but to be honest, it doesn't really smell or feel like real meat :S it has this gummy texture that is a bit disconcerting. Currently she's on Tollden Farms, which does have a bit of vegetable in it, if you choose that mix. They have a bunch of different varieties which she loved all of them. And they actually look and feel like real meat, cartilage, bones, etc.

There's blends that are separated such as:
- Beef and Vegetable
- Chicken and Mackerel
- Turkey
- Duck and Vegetable
- Bison
- Venison
etc.

She really loves it, and her health is amazing. I also feed partial commercial and partial home made, because if you feed them Raw Meaty Bones, chicken wings, etc. it really helps clean their teeth.
 

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I fed my dog Nature's Variety for a bit, but to be honest, it doesn't really smell or feel like real meat :S it has this gummy texture that is a bit disconcerting. Currently she's on Tollden Farms, which does have a bit of vegetable in it, if you choose that mix. They have a bunch of different varieties which she loved all of them. And they actually look and feel like real meat, cartilage, bones, etc.

There's blends that are separated such as:
- Beef and Vegetable
- Chicken and Mackerel
- Turkey
- Duck and Vegetable
- Bison
- Venison
etc.

She really loves it, and her health is amazing. I also feed partial commercial and partial home made, because if you feed them Raw Meaty Bones, chicken wings, etc. it really helps clean their teeth.
HA, I said the same thing about that and Stella & Cheweys, when I opened up the Darwins pre made I use. The Darwins looks meaty, you can see stuff in it.
 
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