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I am in an animal sciences class at school and today we were given our first assignment. We are to choose either a cat or dog, a certain age, and a breed. We have to describe what we will feed this pet, how long we will have the pet, how much it will eat, and how much it will cost to feed the pet. We also have to list at least 5 industries involved in the process (making food, distributing food, etc.) but I will deal with that later.

I have decided that my hypothetical pet will be a newborn, orphan, mixed breed puppy from a shelter. I will have it for 15 years (random estimate) and I will feed it RAW. I can't feed my own dogs RAW at this point in my life, so I thought this would be a fun way to play around with the concept. It will also be interesting because my professor has a PhD in nutrition, so I will be curious to see what she thinks of my plan.

My problem is, I do not know a ton about RAW. I have read some cool stuff about it, but I am hoping that you all will be able to help me out.

This is my plan:
For the first 4 weeks, the puppy will be bottle fed. I am guessing I will have to use an average of one large can of milk replacer a week (unless anyone has a better alternative for hand rearing newborns... goat's milk or something?). Then I will begin weaning the pup onto solid food. I will still supplement with milk replacer a few times a day and/or mix it in with the solid food. Can you wean puppies directly onto RAW? Can you just mush up meat and such in a food processor or something? How does that work?

Once the puppy is on solids, I will feed it raw chicken, beef, pork, and lamb meat. Is that ok? I will also feed hearts and livers; what other organs can you feed? I will feed raw bones with the meat when the puppy can handle it. When will that be? I will also feed a raw egg a few times a week.

I will include various veggies in the diet, pureed and mixed in. These will be things like celery, carrots, spinach, etc. Is that fine? What else should I include? I also want some fruits in there, strawberries, apples, bananas, etc. Is that fine?

What else do I need? Any supplements? Are there any other things I should feed (remember this is hypothetical, so any good things that are typically too expensive or hard to find can be included)?

How much would a growing puppy need to eat (I an going to say that he will be about 40 to 50 pounds full grown)? How much would he need as an adult?

Finally, how much does feeding RAW typically cost? I plan to make up a menu and go to a butcher or whatever and see how much everything costs here, but a ballpark estimate would be helpful.

I am going to do a bunch more research on the topic, but I figured that here would be a good place to start. I haven't gotten around to searching through a bunch of threads here, so if you have posted everything you care to share in an earlier thread, don't worry about posting here, I will find it. Thank you all very much for any help you are able to give me!!
 

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If you can I would try to make your puppy a little older...milk replacers still aren't an ideal situation as they tend to be lacking in some way. and raising a newborn pup would be um...really hard. Even hypothetically.

And yes you can wean directly to raw.

The diet selection seems fine...might want to include fish as well, and any other meats you can think of. To help your project you should probably pick a raw diet type...prey model and BARF tend to be the most popular. The ideal prey model diet would be to literally have animals raised on highly nutritious diets fed whole to your dog (in appropriately sized chunks, of course). Since that's not really possible for most people, the prey model diet mimics this using parts of different animals in something around a 80% meat, 15% bone, 5% offal type ratio (give or take).

The BARF diet incorporates more veggies and supplementation than RAW...a Google search would give you scads of info on it. It's somewhat more complex than prey model.

Plants are generally veggies that are pureed. Prey model often doesn't include them, instead using things like green tripe. BARF diets are more likely to include the plant material in addition to the tripe and such things.

Very young puppies get basically all the food they want. Once they get older, enough to keep them lean but well-fed. Adults usually end up in the 2-3% of body weight category, but that depends on body type and activity level.

Cost...depends entirely on how big the dog is, what foods you end up selecting, and what local food prices are for you.
 

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I have decided that my hypothetical pet will be a newborn, orphan, mixed breed puppy from a shelter. I will have it for 15 years (random estimate) and I will feed it RAW. I can't feed my own dogs RAW at this point in my life, so I thought this would be a fun way to play around with the concept. It will also be interesting because my professor has a PhD in nutrition, so I will be curious to see what she thinks of my plan.
I also would not start with a newborn. You are just adding unnecessary complexity to your project.

This is my plan:
For the first 4 weeks, the puppy will be bottle fed. I am guessing I will have to use an average of one large can of milk replacer a week (unless anyone has a better alternative for hand rearing newborns... goat's milk or something?). Then I will begin weaning the pup onto solid food. I will still supplement with milk replacer a few times a day and/or mix it in with the solid food. Can you wean puppies directly onto RAW? Can you just mush up meat and such in a food processor or something? How does that work?

Here would be my plan. The puppy would be 8 weeks old when I got it. I would immediately begin feeding chicken necks and wings. In a week I would add in drumsticks. When he is 13 or so weeks, it should be able to handle chicken quarters. I would also add turkey at 13 weeks. I would feed turkey necks. I would feed 3 meals a week turkey and the rest chicken. At 14 weeks, I would add pork. I would buy pork roasts and cut off apppropriate size chunks for a meal. Maybe one meal of pork a week, 3 turkey necks, and the balance chicken parts. The next week, I would add fish to the diet. One day a week fish, one day pork, 3 chicken, 2 turkey. The next week would be beef added in somewhere. Most anywere in the introduction you could throw in a raw egg once or twice a week. Also after the first month, start adding in some organs such as liver and kidney. I would feed some beef heart also but it is not an organ for feeding purposes. It is muscle and fat. You can add lamb after the beef. As for the chicken and turkey parts, feed them with bone included in the meal. Chicken wings have bones in them, don't take them out. Same with all the other poultry parts.

I will include various veggies in the diet, pureed and mixed in. These will be things like celery, carrots, spinach, etc. Is that fine? What else should I include? I also want some fruits in there, strawberries, apples, bananas, etc. Is that fine?
This is where I would end up in an argument with the prof. Dogs are carnivores and have no need for veggies. If they needed those things don't you think after millions of years of evolution they would have developed a method to digest them in their natural state. There are no nutrients in plants that are not also in the meat, bones, and organs of the prey animals that eat them. The only think plants have that animals don't is carbs and dogs have no nutritional need for carbs. They use fat instead.

What else do I need? Any supplements?
Nothing else is needed. No supplements or anything. Whenever you wonder about and animals dietary needs or any other kind of needs, look to nature. What would the animal do if humans weren't around. That will always answer your question. Nature provided all animals with everything they need to thrive. When a need is not met by nature, the animal goes extinct.

How much would a growing puppy need to eat (I an going to say that he will be about 40 to 50 pounds full grown)? How much would he need as an adult?
Even in puppyhood a dog eats somewhere around 2% to 3% of his ideal adult weight. That will vary with each dog and will be adjusted according to the pups build. To fat, feed less. To thin, feed more. But this is a hypothetical dog so figure 2.5% of his ideal adult weight.

Finally, how much does feeding RAW typically cost? I plan to make up a menu and go to a butcher or whatever and see how much everything costs here, but a ballpark estimate would be helpful.
Here are some prices I remember off the top of my head. Remember prices vary greatly in different parts of the country and between rural and urban areas.
Chicken backs $.33/lb
Chicken Quarters $.69/lb
Pork Roast $1.50/lb on sale
Beef Roast $2.50+/lb
Beef Heart $1.00/lb
Turkey necks $70/lb

Good luck on your project and keep us posted. :)
 
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