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Ok, so I recently spent 30 minutes in the local grocery staren at dog food, and puppy food, trying to find what would be a good diet for my dogs.

First off I was pretty upset over the fact that all the "puppy" food seemed to have no meat at all, Pedigree was "chicken flavored"

I'm thinking about maybe switching to just dog food for better meat value?

I'm spending probably 20 dollars a week on pedigree puppy to feed my two dogs. Basiccly I'm trying to feed them the ebst I can with what I can afford.

So my questions after reading some of the raw food threads and stickies.

If I switch to raw food:

Are the stories about chicken bones not being food for a dog false? I saw stuff about feeding quarter and half chickens to animals? bone and all?


Left over bones (meat on them) from a cooked dinner can? or cannot be part of a raw diet?

Are cheaper low grade meats bad for your dog?

Boneless chicken and ground hamburger are not good for the meal? should be on a bone?

Any suggestions on cheap ways to get raw food for the dogs?



My wife would rather just feed them kibble, I'm just trying to find a way to talk her into it.
 

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You wrote,
Ok, so I recently spent 30 minutes in the local grocery staren at dog food, and puppy food, trying to find what would be a good diet for my dogs.

First off I was pretty upset over the fact that all the "puppy" food seemed to have no meat at all, Pedigree was "chicken flavored"

I write,
**Yep, not much meat there. Go to feed stores, big box pet stores and speciality pet stores for more variety. Premium foods don't cost all that more than grocery store brands.

I'm thinking about maybe switching to just dog food for better meat value?

**Maybe, depends on which brand, better kibbles may cost more and have more meat.

I'm spending probably 20 dollars a week on pedigree puppy to feed my two dogs. Basiccly I'm trying to feed them the ebst I can with what I can afford.

**I spend $23 a MONTH for raw food for one 38 pound older dog.

So my questions after reading some of the raw food threads and stickies.

If I switch to raw food:

Are the stories about chicken bones not being food for a dog false? I saw stuff about feeding quarter and half chickens to animals? bone and all?

**RAW chicken bones are completely edible for my dog.

Left over bones (meat on them) from a cooked dinner can? or cannot be part of a raw diet?

**No. They are harder and don't break up in the GI tract well.

Are cheaper low grade meats bad for your dog?

**Those are the best. The tougher the better. Beef shank MEAT [not the bone], tongue, cheek, necks are perfect.

Boneless chicken and ground hamburger are not good for the meal? should be on a bone?

**They are fine. I usually feed boneless meat with a boney bit of chicken to up the meat for the meal. Ground beef is very high in fat and not very fun to eat but fine.

Any suggestions on cheap ways to get raw food for the dogs?

**The rawfeeding yahoo email list has a post about how to find cheap meat. I only have a small top freezer and just buy the dog's food monthly. Shop grocery store sales, haunt the clearance bin and stick to my price limit feeding any meat that fits. Google your area to find more markets. Ethnic markets have nice tough cuts of meat and more organ choices. Most raw feeders do a better job of shopping than I do, I think. But my food cost were $1.10 a pound last I checked.

My wife would rather just feed them kibble, I'm just trying to find a way to talk her into it.

**Well get a freezer. We have room for Klondike bars at the moment and that is it. She won't like the freezer getting taken over! Check your area prices and figure out how much your dogs need daily so you can estimate food costs. Remember that the diet is mostly meat, that cheap chicken isn't enough. What are pork and beef costs? Lamb? Fish? Turkey? My raw fed dog has clean teeth, doesn't smell, shiny fur, overall is calmer and has small firm poops that don't stink up the yard. He doesn't have allergies or any gastric issues but raw food can help with that. Fewer dentals over his lifetime at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think the hardest part will be getting my wife to agree to letting them eat stuff like tongue and checken necks.

Could they have a healthy diet with stuff like quarter chickens, assorted pig parts, and beefs shanks?

I have a lot of access to wild pigs from co workers with trapping rights out at NASA's wild life refuge. Are wild pigs safe or or should I just stick to farm grown?

Also I fish a lot, does anyone know where I can find a list of good fish to feed them? I know I have to check for hooks and stuff. But me fishing could help seeing as my wife wants me to get the bait out of the kitchen freezer, so it gives me a reason to get a deeo freezer.
 

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That would be fine. he more bits you find the better. Organ is a very important part of the diet, a bit of liver and other organs. Kidney is the one I can find and it is sort of stinky. Max gets chicken for bone, pork shoulder and feet, beef shank or tongue or chuck roast and small oily salt water fish for the most part. More varied than kibble day in and day out but really not much variety.

Wild pig isn't a good idea. The sort of trich it carrries isn't killed by freezing for some reason and then there is pseudorabies. You would be playing Russian Roulette.

Freshwater fish, check with the authorities for water body pollution if it is okay for human consumption probably fine for dogs. Saltwater, big old fish are generally high in mercury. Even bonito is supposed to be high in mercury, they aren't so very big. Here is one list, there are others.
http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
 

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I don't have a lot of resources where I live. And I've been feeding raw for around $1 per pound lately. I watch the clearance bins, ethnic stores, buy canned mackerel when I can't fish, let friends / neighbors know to save any freezer burned stuff they won't eat, etc.

You really need to do your research before starting. Most of us started our dogs out on chicken for the first 3-6 weeks as it is the easiest protein for most dogs to digest. You may have a few "detox days" with messy stools until the dog's gi system readjusts. Once you get them going on chicken then you throw in 10% chicken organs (they come in neat littlee containers at the grocery!). Then you can move on to pork, once you've mastered that then continue on with other species...but no more than one new species per week so you can monitor for problems. Lamb, for instance, makes one of my dogs explode within an hour! So go slow but in the end (about 4-6 months down the road) the dogs should be eating a wide variety (chicken, pork, beef, fish), 10% organs, 10% bone (you can supplement calcium with finely ground egg shells 1/2 tsp to 1 pound of meat if you are feeding boneless meals regularly).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I talked to the wife, and she said as long as she doesn't have to watch she'll be ok with it. LoL.

How hard is it to get used to your dog eating raw animal parts?



I'm going to keep them on crappy kibble for now, check out the stores, see if we have any ethnic stores around.

I think I'll avoid feeding them any fish I catch, I don't really trust them myself.


What are kind of vitamens and stuff should I add?

I saw fish oil on one of the threads. Is there anything else that could be good to add?
 

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Fish oil is it. Canned or fresh oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel or ? can be used instead.

I do balance Max's diet according to NRC so add more zinc and he is low on magnesium as well so I add in 1/2 multimineral supplement daily to his canned tripe dessert. He is an older dog who has been healthy and is aging gracefully to this point. And I probably wouldn't have to add that if he got a higher percentage of his body weight daily. He is an easy keeper and sort of fluffy for an agility dog.

Oh good! So get that freezer and go shopping. One good thing is the dogs are eating human grade meat for the most part so if you choose it can just be your dinner.

Max was enthusiastic right away. He slurps up liver and kidney and chomps up raw fish. I tried to count the number of chomps to get a chicken wing down and he was moving too fast to count, down in less than a minute anyway. Don't hover and act normal. I think some people are worried and excited about the bones and the dog gets worried. Maybe feed chicken ribs first time, small and not so scary as bigger thigh bones that really crack when they break. I also have always made dog treats and of course liver treats were one of the dog's favorites so they have had bits of raw liver in the cleaning up of the bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Anyone know an opinon on potatoes? and are mashed potatoes ok?

My wife tends to make mashed potatoes in bulk.
 

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Potatoes won't hurt them but they are all carbs. I would freeze spoonfuls of leftover mashed potatoes on a cookie sheet, then throw the frozen lumps in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Take a lump out as you need it to feed.
 

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I just bought this cookbook for my pup b.c. I researched and found that Pedigree is an awful food to feed your dogs. And with my pup being special I wanted to try cooking for him b.c. I again researched and found that dogs get more nutrition and better health from cooked meals and bagged dog food.
I paid $3.00 for this cook book so that was a big plus!!!

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

Hope you find what you are looking for! Best of luck! ;)
 
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