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The thing is, we humans can eat at McDonald's pretty cheaply. Would parents feed their children at McDonald's daily, just because i was cheaper?

I'm fortunate in that our dogs are smaller, so if raw costs more, it isn't much more. We spent over $1000 in November to have 3 teeth extracted from Tuffy. Periodontal disease was indicated, not surprise being 11+ years old and kibble fed most of his life. I didn't know about the benefits of raw. I was told to give my boys chicken necks 2 or 3 times a week. I started with that for about a week, did some reading, tossed the kibble and it's all raw now.
Oh, I know. I was just doing a purely cost comparison for anyone who was curious for his size of dog. Honestly, it was my biggest concern with the whole raw feeding. If I'd only seen someone else do the actual numbers instead of just saying "It can be cheaper" or "it's more expensive" I probably would have switched him over LONG ago.

Bah. I always tell people who come to me for financial advice to stop eating fast food and actually cook meals at home. Yes, you CAN eat it cheaply, until you decide to do the whole meal, then supersize... Then the cost it takes to feed one person would feed a full family with a properly prepared meal... If only I had a bigger freezer/apartment! Then the dog and I would eat for next to free on all the bargains/bulk shopping my mother taught me to find!
 

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Discussion Starter #62
this is my 1st post here, I am from the PBC forum and was told to come over here since I was asking so many questions on raw and cost.

I am thinking really hard about swapping my 3 year old adult boy to raw (he is around 62lbs, lazy but has a high metabolize somehow, he is currently in a transition from one kibble to another due to cost and a baby on the way, I am due in 9 days or so! well we are estimating he will be on 3.5-4 cups of Diamond Natural a day when all is said and done, he was on 3 cups of orijen when he was on a really good kibble just for reference sake)

Well I am trying to figure out if it would be cost officant to swap him to raw, when I give him occasional raw he does great on it but I need to know if its worth the cost.

Out here I do not have much as far as butchers, the closest one is about 20-30 minutes away, but I can get free raw beef and pork bones and free beef hearts (maybe free pork hearts) from them, they do not butcher poultry though, and the price of the actual meat there is not what I would consider a bargin, though liver is only like 2 bucks a pound as far as one of the organs I know they carry.

I do have a freezer, I am guessing its 7 Cu, its not really big, but I don't store much in it for the family, any meat that is freezer burned goes in there for Goren.

I was wondering if you could help me out in finding more free sources or how to best use the sources I have, which isn't much lol

we have a wal-mart in the next town over, an IGA there and in my town, a buy low, and a Rulers as far as any grocery stores.

Also would lake fish be ok if I cut and freeze them for 2 days before feeding? I don't fish much but you know how every little bit helps, plus now I am a stay at home mom so I can fish more this coming summer than normal

oh yea here is the site for my butcher, they have weekly deals but don't have there regular prices, but at least you can see what they sell
Dewig Meats, Haubstadt, Indiana - Quality Meats since 1916

thank you for the help!
You can get chicken quarters and whole turkeys from costco for cheap to keep costs down and all your other cuts through the butcher you have a connection with. If you can seriously get beef hearts for free that is awesome!

Even though chicken and turkey from walmart is considered the "cheap" way to feed raw, its still better than kibble. We feed these things on occasion to keep costs down, but our dogs get most red meat.

Feel free to post up anymore questions you might have in regards to raw feeding!! We are always happy to help!
 

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Thank you for this post mama! I was actually just about to make a thread asking about budget concerns on raw-feeding. However based on your break down, it looks like it will be way cheaper than I was anticipating! I was actually going to start with Chicken Soup For The Dog Lover's Soul since it was the only good kibble I could budget for ( 35lbs for $36 - $38). However based on your breakdown, I can be spending the same or less for far better food! That's amazing! How often do you have to shop for meat?

I'm in the process of looking for butchers and other providers in my area to get price estimations. What meat type would you suggest are best for starters on a budget? I assume chicken is the cheapest of meats. How does turkey, pork and beef fair?

I know my husband wanted us to ease into it instead of cold turkey, so we're probably going to start with kibble. Originally I was intending to serve kibble as the first meal and raw for dinner. However after reading the site, I discovered this could cause digestive problems. Would it be acceptable to offer raw as a weekly snack/treat? I've seen and spoken to multiple dog owners that combine kibble and raw, and seem to do fine, including my breeder and other forum members. Can I atleast give that approach a shot? Is there a way to 'test' out raw feeding in case we discover we can't commit to it?
 

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We are starting raw tomorrow. I bought 10 lbs. of chicken backs and whole legs for 11.00. Even better the eggs and poultry from this particular stand at the farmers market are hormone and antibiotic free.
 

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I'll add mine more for the UK people!

I have two dogs a 22kg staff and 50kg ambull, i feed them both raw including mostly red meat and alot of fish.

I order in bulk and it roughly works out about £10-15 a month for the pair of them.
 

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May is almost over. We spent $139.87 on raw meats etc, mostly chicken leg quarters. The bad news is my DH overpaid for some beef ribs. That was $15.00.

So, since that won't happen again, I put the total cost at $124.87.

We also spent 7 dollars for pork neck bones which are too sharp, so that won't happen again, total cost going forward is now $117.87.

We also bought some pork liver and have yet to use it.

The good news is I still have 30lbs of chicken leg quarters!

We were spending $148.00 a month on kibble.

My 2 dogs are 70 lbs and 55lbs.

We also have a 75 lb 15 year old Brindle Pit Bull who is finishing up the rest of the kibble, and we might switch her to raw after that.
 

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Since December I have spent $94 on meat for my 2 small dogs. My freezer is full to the brim and I could easily feed them for 3-6 months on what I have in there. Craigs List is your friend! I have gotten so much free meat from there that it is crazy! I also live next door to Virginia Tech which is a big agricultural college. I can get beef and pork heart and kidney for $1.25/lb and liver for $1.95/lb. It is all about slowly developing sources and finding free sources.
 

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May is almost over. We spent $139.87 on raw meats etc, mostly chicken leg quarters. The bad news is my DH overpaid for some beef ribs. That was $15.00.

So, since that won't happen again, I put the total cost at $124.87.

We also spent 7 dollars for pork neck bones which are too sharp, so that won't happen again, total cost going forward is now $117.87.

We also bought some pork liver and have yet to use it.

The good news is I still have 30lbs of chicken leg quarters!

We were spending $148.00 a month on kibble.

My 2 dogs are 70 lbs and 55lbs.

We also have a 75 lb 15 year old Brindle Pit Bull who is finishing up the rest of the kibble, and we might switch her to raw after that.
even though my dogs are smaller, it seems to me we spent more in the beginning because we didn't know what we didn't know...than we do now.

i think as time goes by, we learn more and then shop smarter....:)
 

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even though my dogs are smaller, it seems to me we spent more in the beginning because we didn't know what we didn't know...than we do now.

i think as time goes by, we learn more and then shop smarter....:)
Yep.

We still have 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters, 3 whole chickens and 8 dozen raw eggs.
I have spent $51.05 so far for June.
I might buy 6 or 8 more whole chickens tomorrow for .77c/lb.

Joined a co-op so in 6 weeks we will have our 1st order!

Need a new protein, might see about turkey.

I will post the cost effects of joining a co-op.
 

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Yep.

We still have 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters, 3 whole chickens and 8 dozen raw eggs.
I have spent $51.05 so far for June.
I might buy 6 or 8 more whole chickens tomorrow for .77c/lb.

Joined a co-op so in 6 weeks we will have our 1st order!

Need a new protein, might see about turkey.

I will post the cost effects of joining a co-op.

good luck with that.

i may buy smarter now, but i am now addicted.
 

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I would love to find out where you get your meat from and suggestions! Ive just started and have two 60 pound chows and a 25 pound dog. looking for any suggestions I can get since Im new at this.
 

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I would love to find out where you get your meat from and suggestions! Ive just started and have two 60 pound chows and a 25 pound dog. looking for any suggestions I can get since Im new at this.
Check the co op thread here for co ops near you. Do you have any Hispanic or small mom and pop grocery stores?

If you get store ad flyers in the mail,check them out.

Here is where I have found deals at stores:

Smart and Final
Foodland
Vons, surprised me, but I got whole chickens for .77c/lb. The limit was 3 so I shopped several of their chains.

Seafood City, I just discovered they sell chicken feet for cheaper than My Pet Carnivore does. They also have Horse Mackerel, which are pretty big at 99c/lb. I did not buy any yet. They have all the livers, hearts and even sell beef blood!

Also look for butchers in your area.

I think co-op's are most cost effective, especially with 145 lbs of dogs!

I have about 210 lbs of dogs here. Bella is still finishing the kibble.
 

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Seafood City, I just discovered they sell chicken feet for cheaper than My Pet Carnivore does.
But are there chickens grassfed like MPCs? That's what makes me want to buy from MPC over anyone else. If their meat wasn't grassfed, antibiotic-free, etc, I wouldn't be interested.
 

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I'm trying to track down a decent priced butcher in Toronto, but I think my best option would be Chinese grocery stores/butchers in Chinatown. Still trying to find co-ops, too. Any other Canadians here?


Seeing as Gimli is eating about less than 3/4 lbs of food a day right now, he will not be expensive to feed even once I start increasing his food. This makes my wallet very happy. I do NOT miss the Doom Nuggets. Or hauling a 15lbs bag home on the city bus, for that matter.
 

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I always try to advise my clients to feed raw food to their dogs. One of the main objections I get is that it is time consuming and pretty expensive. These are the basic suggestions I give them which I have taken out from one of the articles I wrote on BARF:
Here is some advice for making it easier and cheaper to prepare BARF diet food:

- Try and buy meat in large quantities from your local butcher, cooperatives, distributors of meat, etc.. A freezer used exclusively to store meat for your dog is not necessary, but it is an investment that certainly helps to cut costs, especially if you have more than one dog.
- Keep your eyes open for any deals or discounted prices you may find on meat.

- By meat that is about to expire and should be sold at a lower price. Your dog will not notice any flavour change and it and it will be digested more easily. If the meat expires the day after you buy it (it should be marked with the words “Reduced for Quick Sale”), it will still be good over the next few days or good to freeze.

- Try butchers, small animal breeders and farms in your area that can sell whole chickens, goats (whole or in pieces), lambs (whole or in pieces), pieces of beef, etc.

- Buy a large supply of freezer bags and pack each meal in a separate bag. This takes a great deal of work once a month, but after this job is done, for the rest of the month, all you will have to do is pull out the portion from the freezer and give it to the dog (you may want to defrost the pack by pulling it out of the freezer the night before). The nice thing about a raw diet is that you can adjust it to the needs of your dog and also to yours.

Hope this helps!
Daniel
 

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I thought I would post what my normal sources and prices are to hopefully give people some ideas. I've a lazy 80 lb St. Bernard mix and an energetic 35 lb heeler mix I feed, so they get an average of 3 lbs a day.

Once a month mypetcarnivore delivers to town and they're great people so I always try to order something. The ground beef trachea and gullet at $3.98 for 2 lbs is pricey, but I splurge every month. My dogs absolutely love it and the glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is important, especially for my big girl. Plus, its from grass fed cows so its a source of Omega 3s! Occasionally they have a ground bison supermix with bison tripe, liver, heart, kidney, and lung for $4.00 a lb. I get that when available but save it for birthdays and Christmas.

Most all of my other food I get from a co-op I drive about 1 hour to every 2 months. Through them I get bulk cases of unprocessed meats for cheap! My usual purchases from there are:

Beef heart, 60 lb cases @ $1.15/lb
Beef liver, 30 lb cases @ $1.45/lb
Beef kidney, 20 lb cases @ $1.10/lb
Chicken back and other bones (mostly backs, sometimes they have the necks and tails still attached), 40 lb cases @ $.60/lb
Pork rib tips, 10 lb cases @ $1.00/lb
Turkey wings, 40 lb cases @ $1.00/lb

The co-op also is a drop point for Blue Ridge Beef. I get ground green beef tripe in 2 lb tubes @ $1.55/lb and ground venison and bone @ $1.60/lb.

I used to check the grocery stores but everything I found for cheap was either pumped full of sodium broth or had cut bones that would be a choking hazard.

I've got a 28 cu foot chest freezer I try to keep full. It can be a pain to get to that bag of kidney in the bottom, but I like the security of having 4-5 months of food in case of financial hardships or the like.

All told I average about $1.25/lb for a monthly average of $112.50. Not too bad but I could easily lower it by sourcing free sources and the such.

I've harvested and processed deer myself in the past, but not since I moved states. I need to get back into that, I could easily fill a second 14 cu ft freezer, and could get that freezer for nothing off Craig's List. I've also been doing some research into raising meat rabbits, and that is something I am going to try and get into in the next couple years. Definitely another Craig's List venture as all the supplies can get to be quite pricey when bought new.

Anyways, that's how we feed the beasts around here and they both are thriving puppies!
 

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It all depends are your area and your contacts. I started feeding chicken quarters at 50 cents a pound in 10 pound bags at box stores. Then through my contacts I found that I could buy cull sheep in good body condition for about 35 dollars a head. Not only do I get about 60 pounds of meat I get some great green tripe and all the organ meats, not to mention various bones. Disposal of what is left is the only issue. I know that his is not an option for everyone but there is a ton of viable, healthy animals going to waste or available at little cost other than some home butcher work.

I save some of the cuts for my own food the dogs get the rest.
 

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I have a half st bernard who weighs in at about 90# and a siberian husky who weighs in at 60#. If I wanted to try going raw food with them how do I start and how much would I give them at meal times? I have only ever feed my mix dry food. We just got the husky a few weeks ago. Im sure he was only ever feed dry food.
 

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Since I started hunting, 100% of my dogs diet is wild game that I kill myself. They get venison, turkey, duck, goose, squirrel, rabbit, grouse, phesant, etc. I realize hunting CAN BE an expensive and time consuming hobby, but I love providing for me and mine and I enjoy hunting very much. I always encourage people (especially other females) to tag along with a friend for a few hunts and see if they enjoy it! I also fish a lot so the dogs get to enjoy that as well.

I haven't bought grocery store meat for my dogs for just under a year. I realize that my cost is not actually zero because of the expense that goes into hunting (ammo, gun, decoys, camo, etc), but it's something that I would still do even without the dogs so I don't factor it into my budget.

I highly recommend it! Squirrel and dove hunting can be a great and cheap way to get into the sport. I first started hunting with a cheap air rifle, shooting squirrels and doves. Now I hunt with a 20ga shotgun and a muzzleloader and I hunt pretty much everything! (except predators).
 

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Baby is a Labrador retriever mix with Great Pyrenees right now she weight 10lbs.She is only 4 months old.I want to change her to raw diet but don't know if one she will be ok with it or what to feed her.
 
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