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!!