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I first started feeding raw somewhere around '01 and continued to feed an entirely raw diet for the next 3-4 years. Due to my getting involved in hunting, then later showing/breeding, and with the rising cost of meats in conjunction with my growing number of dogs, I discontinued the raw and only used it as an occasional supplement from then on.It was getting impossible for me to balance the diet and stay within the budget, and the condition of the dogs did noticeably go downhill. I also had a dog with a severe genetic condition that raw (and damn near everything else) seemed to be aggravating, so it was the right decision at the time.

From there, I tried 1001 brands of dog food from holistic to grocery store to everything in between and then some. Nothing works longer than several months, and the mid-grade brand I am feeding now has been one of the best, if not the best I've used in 10+ years, but... during the past week, one of my dogs (7yo male Beagle) has begun to bloat. Meaning, even as many as ten hours after eating, his abdomen appears distended, and he will pace, lick the floor, etc. I tried gas-x and gave them cooked crockpot food for a few days, even fasted him for half a day to let his digestive system rest, but when I went back to the dry food, it was the same story tonight. I gave him half his usual amount, but even that didn't help. My fear is this will actually go into gastric torsion if not controlled, and since I have a large breed, large chested dog as well, that makes me even more nervous.

I've been thinking about going back to raw. I have less dogs now though still do have budget constraints and that is the only obstacle stopping me from taking the plunge again. I had much better luck with raw with red meats, organs and fish, but of course, those were much more $$$. I admit I'm ignorant to meat and offal prices nowadays, since I haven't even shopped in the "raw stores" for a few years. So I'm curious as to not only the average prices raw feeders are paying for meats other than chicken, but for those feeding it long term, how are you managing to balance out the diet over weeks/months/years? Are you using supplements, and if so, what kind?

Thanks in advance :)
 

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I am able to feed my crew PMR for about $90/month give or take. I have 3 dogs, 60 lbs, 50 lbs and 40 lbs (growing puppy).

We do not supplement with anything but garlic during tick season and maybe a probiotic should they ever need to be on antibiotics.

I use a lot of chicken & turkey, but they also get beef every morning and pork, venison & bison on occasion.

Best of luck with your switch back to raw, remember it is not a cure-all....but I do think it has plenty of advantages over any kibble out there.
 

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not everyone is a hunter.....i wish i could bring myself to be. we have plenty of deer in washington....alas, i simply cannot kill bambi...i wish i knew hunters, but alas i don't.

so the best i can do is find a co op, find an asian market and latino market, where certain items are there for my dogs....

i found an asian market where i bought three nice sized frozen like rock...sardines...for 3.00..so that's 1.00 per sardine.

chicken is always on sale somewhere, even unenhanced chicken.

there are beef sales and beef rib sales and pork rib sales....you just have to start paying attention to the flyers they stuff your mailbox with.

there are butchers who sell 'crab bait' be it fish or 'bear bait' be it meat of some kind...

and i've not seen dogs die from eating ground on occasion, although i wouldn't make a whole diet of it.....but they'd be getting beef...

pork shoulders and picnic roasts are always on sale especially around easter and in the summer for bbq.....follow the seasons and get a freezer so you can stock up...and if you can't stock up, just buy weekly what they will eat....the raw meaty bones, the boneless meats and the organs....

believe me, with a little resourcefulness, it not only can be done...it can successfully done.
 

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Alot depends on where you are. I have a great co-op and get bone in beef for $1 per pound and boneless for $1.60. We also get day old calves for less than $1 per pound. This is not the norm I know. I also have a meat supplier where I can get beef hearts for $1.19 perpound and and alsways check cash n carry where I have gotten 20 pound bottom or top round roasts for $1.50 per pound and they are boneless. During the summer I stock up on ribs, pork, and my husband fishes so we stock up on as much fish as he catches. I try to pay $1.00 per pound but sometimes i just average out to that price with the chicken I buy. During the holidays we stock up n as many turkeys as I can fit in the feezer as I can't beat .28 perpound for meat. Craig's list also is a good place for meat. I have probably gotten about 200 pounds off there and I only list my ad sporadically. Iam in Washington state by the way.
 

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We don't spend more than $1 per pound on:

Chicken
Turkey
Pork
Beef
Lamb
Llama
Fish (whole tilapia)

We pay under $2 for game meats like venison and elk.

We spend $300-400 per month. We have four Great Danes and to large breed mutts. We feed 10-15 pounds of meat per day.
 

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Are you from Pompey, NY? If so you and I are practically neighbors. PM me and I can give you the numbers of a couple good butcher shops nearby, and some of the meat suppliers that sell to our co-op.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Most of us here feed raw with no problems and feed a good bit cheaper than "premium" kibble. What exactly did you feed when you fed raw before?

I started out doing a BARF style diet, mostly bony cuts such as pork/lamb necks, chicken wings, beef/lamb ribs, chicken backs & quarters, goat meat, and the only real meaty parts being gizzards and beef liver. Whiting fish and canned salmon were fed occasionally. Also fed "veggie slop". Was a bad diet. Had to pump the dogs full of omega 3 oils to keep dandruff at bay. Then learned more about nutrition and fed something of a prey model diet with about 50-60% more meat, mainly in ground beef and offal with the above mentioned bones as supplements. Also, nixed the veggies. They did much better - MUCH better with boneless red meats and only chicken occasionally, but it broke my budget. I also still did supplement with fish oils, but much less often.

The main problem was not so much getting them the variety but feeding enough chicken-less meats on a shoestring budget. So I was having issues with imbalance/slight malnutrition because of the cost, but then I also had a special needs dog who couldn't eat half of what I fed the others.

That's really the only thing holding me back. I am concerned about the cost :(


Are you from Pompey, NY? If so you and I are practically neighbors. PM me and I can give you the numbers of a couple good butcher shops nearby, and some of the meat suppliers that sell to our co-op.

Alas, no... I am much further south, in the Westchester County area. You wouldn't happen to know of any co-ops that deal around that area, by any chance???
 

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Alas, no... I am much further south, in the Westchester County area. You wouldn't happen to know of any co-ops that deal around that area, by any chance???
Not unless you'd be willing to make the trek out to the Twin Tiers/Binghamton area. All of my meat connections are west or directly north or south of Syracuse...
I don't know if your local craigslist is very active but try posting in the farm/garden section looking for a butcher. Or hunt out your local farmer's market.
 

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What kind of cuts of beef you were feeding? Or just ground?
Many raw feeders feed beef heart that can be found under $1/lbs. in bulk. It's also very nutritious so it would be hard to find anyone not recommending it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What kind of cuts of beef you were feeding? Or just ground?
Many raw feeders feed beef heart that can be found under $1/lbs. in bulk. It's also very nutritious so it would be hard to find anyone not recommending it.

For muscle meat, only thing I could come across was the ground; I did occasionally feed ribs and necks but meat on them was sparse. Also fed beef liver and kidney once weekly, usually mixed with other types of offal.
 

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I feed 4 dogs raw, a Great Dane, GSD X, Cocker Spaniel, and a Boxer.... with another Dane on the way. I find PMR to be more affordable than any kibble I'd consider feeding.
Do they get more chicken than I'd like them to some months? Yeah, I'm on a budget, too! Sometimes they get a couple days straight with just chicken. BUT, the reality is they are getting WORLDS better than even the absolute best kibble.
 
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