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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The more I learn about it, the more I'm attracted to Prey Model raw feeding and am deciding that is the diet I want for my dog. I've been following up on preymodelraw.com and other raw-feeding sites. I've also just ordered a copy or Raw Meaty Bones and Work Wonders by Tom Lonsdale.

I may start with kibble for the first 3-5 days so puppy isn't overwhelmed with so much changes. I'll have to double check with my breeder if the pups will be raw fed. I know her adult dogs are fed raw. I imagine she may feed her pups kibble simply because most people would be turned off by raw feeding and the transition from raw-kibble may be harder. I'm getting my German shepherd puppy at 8 weeks.

Personally I'd like to go all raw from the get go. My husband prefers we ease into it first instead of going cold turkey. He's supportive of raw feeding but he's definitely not as enthused as I am. He's more indifferent but trusts I will make the right decision. I wouldn't say he's fully convinced...yet.

Although I know it is not recommended to feed raw and kibble together, I've seen some owners successful on half and half. I'm certainly not going to feed kibble and raw in the same meal. I was thinking kibble in the morning and raw for dinner. Has anyone else done this? I've heard from pet nutritionists that some dogs do better with a gradual progress than cold turkey. I'm hoping to make a gradual transition by having the food mainly kibble to start and giving raw treat likes chicken feet/necks or Turkey necks. Then gradually work up from there. I've read some gradual approaches were to feed 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food for three days or so. Then do half and half and then 25% old, 75% new. So perhaps start raw as a weekly treat to a daily treat. Then raw as a weekly meal to a every dinner meal or 1 day kibble and 1 day raw. If all goes well, then all raw.

Is that acceptable or is going all raw and nothing else the only way? I admit I would still like to do some home cooking as far as treats go, like pumpkin or peanut butter biscuits. If I go all raw does that mean some cooked treats are a no-no? Such as small cookies or training treats?

I know every dog is different so ultimately, Misster Dog will be the one telling me which works for her.

Please share some of your thoughts and experiences with me. How did you start raw with your dog?
 

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When I started raw with my adults, it was cold turkey and they did fine. New puppies the same. They come home from the breeder and straight to raw. I never have bought a bag of kibble. Again, they have done just fine. Its the way I personally recomend doing it.

If you are going to do both, feed one in the a.m and the other in the p.m. At least they arn't so mixed together. Keep in mind, you won't see the full benefits of raw by mixing the two. Start the raw slowly and in small amounts, so that way you be better able to see how the raw is actually going.
 
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When I got my Pom she was 9 weeks.. At 10 weeks I started her on raw ( that being when I learned how aweful kibble was) and she took to it like a champion. I started her with chicken mostly but some other things too, she had had no problems ( other then turkey which I no longer feed due to it being enhanced).
My best advice to you is to start them right away!
My friend switched his 1 year old dog and has had some trouble doing so as kibble has additives that make it "smell really good" to Dogs and also makes them crave it. So instead of going through the stage of trying to indroduce raw as their food. Just take the plunge as it will not be harmful to your puppy. Good luck!
 

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I know your husband thinks its a better idea to ease her into it...as easing into a lot of things is good. But the initial transition to raw is BEST done cold turkey. From there you should do things gradually.

The more pieces to the puzzle, the more complicated the puzzle gets. Feeding kibble and raw is too many variables if you want to just go full raw eventually. Those who feed half and half usually do so because of finances, space, etc...not because it's best. If your pup develops issues on half and half we are all going to tell you to cut out the kibble and go to straight raw. So skip that whole unnecessary step altogether.

Homecooked treats are fine but I'd wait to give anything like that for a few weeks as they're just another piece to the puzzle that adds difficulty for troubleshooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know your husband thinks its a better idea to ease her into it...as easing into a lot of things is good. But the initial transition to raw is BEST done cold turkey. From there you should do things gradually.

The more pieces to the puzzle, the more complicated the puzzle gets. Feeding kibble and raw is too many variables if you want to just go full raw eventually. Those who feed half and half usually do so because of finances, space, etc...not because it's best. If your pup develops issues on half and half we are all going to tell you to cut out the kibble and go to straight raw. So skip that whole unnecessary step altogether.

Homecooked treats are fine but I'd wait to give anything like that for a few weeks as they're just another piece to the puzzle that adds difficulty for troubleshooting.
Hmm, so I plan on clicker training my pup starting with treat rewards, but planning on mixing it up with play rewards. I know my breeder starts her pups with treat-rewards. Does that mean when I begin raw-feeding I should stay away from treat-rewards for a while?

To be fair, we're not 100% sure how much space we'll have once we move into our apartment and how much space we'll have to store meat. I'm planning on buying a mini freezer ( probably 7 c u. ft) for meat storage and hoping that will work for us. My husband has been very good at pointing out how he appreciates how I want what's best for our dog but to remember our financial limits and how in the end, it comes down to what we can afford. I admit one of the appeals of raw feeding that he does like is how it could potentially be cheaper or on par with kibble, depending where we get our resources. I'm in the process of seeking butchers and getting cost calculations on anywhere I can find meat to do the math and tally. In theory we SHOULD be fine but it's hard to tell how things will go from now until August. We could either do well enough where we may have to settle with kibble(or half) or we may do excellent where we can go all raw. In either case, I'm making use of my time and trying to learn as much as possible so I know what to do when the time comes. Fingers crossed things go well!

Are there any tips you can give for raw feeding on a budget? What does each meat usually cost you per pound and how often you buy?
 

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Congratulations on giving raw a shot! My dogs have been raw fed for 3 years now. I wish I had done it earlier. My "old man", Player, is 9 years old, healthy and happy, as are the others. My goal is to give them the best that I can. These are my friends, my companions, and since they cannot "fend" for themselves it is up to me to do everything I can to provide for them. My father used to say that when you own an animal...you are its "god". Its quality of life is totally up to you and should never be taken lightly. Many people who know I feed raw think I am nuts...why? Because of ignorance! So congratulations again on your journey!
 

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Are there any tips you can give for raw feeding on a budget? What does each meat usually cost you per pound and how often you buy

I don't have a large breed dog so this is going to be adjusted for the fact you will have a larg breed, howeve if you are even planning to feed a "quality" kibble to your dog , your going to be spending the same if not less once you find your resources.
My dog eats on a regular
Chicken hearts which she loves so those could be used as treats as they are small. I get a pack for 1.85
Chicken necks and backs- pack for 1.85
Chicken gizzards- so cheap! Normally 1.20-1.45 for a pack
Her red meat wouldn't probably be appilcable to you as I feed her streak because she is small enough I can afford it. But I can get a pack of stew beef cuts for 3 bucks a pack.
Her organs are cheap as well. 1.50-3.00 a pack includes liver and kidney.
6 whole herring fish for 3 bucks
Chicken feet are another cheap option 5.00 for a massive pack
This I purchase all at my local grocery store and is done with my own groceries.
I do go to the butcher shops for things not normally found at superstore. Like bee tounge, tripe, and beef hearts.
My bill a month is about 30 dollars..
When I was trying to buy her " quality " kibble I was spending 10 for a small bag that would last her about a week. Also keep in mind that your dog will eat less with raw then with kibble, so don't forget to factor that into your budget that you will double kibble vrs raw.
Good luck! And crossing fingers you go raw!

This I buy at my local grocery store
 

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I also would highly suggest just going raw from the get go!:thumb:

We(well my Mum) started Jazzmyn(her now 7 month old French Bulldog) on raw when she brought her home at 8 weeks old...she is and has done AMAZING on it....and can now have 5 different proteins and is OH SO healthy...her vet can NOT believe it!:thumb:

I also started Keeva on raw when she came home to me at 10 weeks old...what an AMAZING difference to starting Rhett at 15 weeks, Brody at 17 months(both after doing part raw for a couple weeks,) or Leo at 4 and Dixi at 3, both cold turkey!!!:becky:
Keeva is SO MUCH easier...quicker to get use to stuff...and she didnt hardly have any bit of a "de-tox" faze compared to the others!!:biggrin:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are there any tips you can give for raw feeding on a budget? What does each meat usually cost you per pound and how often you buy

I don't have a large breed dog so this is going to be adjusted for the fact you will have a larg breed, howeve if you are even planning to feed a "quality" kibble to your dog , your going to be spending the same if not less once you find your resources.
My dog eats on a regular
Chicken hearts which she loves so those could be used as treats as they are small. I get a pack for 1.85
Chicken necks and backs- pack for 1.85
Chicken gizzards- so cheap! Normally 1.20-1.45 for a pack
Her red meat wouldn't probably be appilcable to you as I feed her streak because she is small enough I can afford it. But I can get a pack of stew beef cuts for 3 bucks a pack.
Her organs are cheap as well. 1.50-3.00 a pack includes liver and kidney.
6 whole herring fish for 3 bucks
Chicken feet are another cheap option 5.00 for a massive pack
This I purchase all at my local grocery store and is done with my own groceries.
I do go to the butcher shops for things not normally found at superstore. Like bee tounge, tripe, and beef hearts.
My bill a month is about 30 dollars..
When I was trying to buy her " quality " kibble I was spending 10 for a small bag that would last her about a week. Also keep in mind that your dog will eat less with raw then with kibble, so don't forget to factor that into your budget that you will double kibble vrs raw.
Good luck! And crossing fingers you go raw!

This I buy at my local grocery store
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this! This is so helpful! I'm hoping to seek the butchers in the grocery stores near me to see if I can get some deals. I know I can get some meat for cheap at asian food markets. In general, around the area I am it's a little harder to scrap meat but I'm still scouting around. I'm comforted that majority of your food is found in grocery stores. I really, really want to go all raw. However I guess it really does depend on the space and how easy our resources are. Let's hope everything works out! Thank you so much for your support and help!
 

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I fed Lola 1/2 raw and 1/2 kibble for a couple of months before switching her all raw on December 21. I fed kibble in the a.m. and raw in the p.m. with all raw on the weekend. She did well on that and I think it is doable and beats an all kibble diet! I started adding in some raw when she was 4 months old and made the switch to all raw at almost 7 months old. She never really had any major issues - just s few soft stools and vomit a time or two.

Buster who will be 3 months old next week went all raw the day I brought him home at almost 8 weeks old. He has also had next to no problems with the transition. Like Lola he has had soft stools and some vomitting. I am glad that I switched him from Day 1.

As for cheap meat sources post on Craigs List for free meat. Since December I have gotten probably 50-60 lbs for free. I have a thread going right now http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/raw-feeding/13131-latest-cl-success.html that talks about how to post.

Good luck!
 

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As far as doing 50/50 kibble and raw...still better than all kibble, but only if your dog can handle it.

As for feeding raw on a budget:

1) Buy in bulk or order from wholesale meat distributors if they are available...here's a google search of a list:

https://www.google.com/search?ix=ic...wholesale+meat+distributors+in+north+carolina

Call up each one and ask what they can sell in bulk cases (20-60 pound cases). Ask the price per pound, how big the case is of each thing. Ask if there is a minimum order amount for an individual buyer (you...since you're not a business as some distributors will not sell to anyone without a business). Ask if they have a raw meat and bone feeder program for dog owners.

Things we buy in bulk:

Chicken quarters, chicken backs
Turkey necks, turkey wings
Pork riblets, pork butt/shoulder roasts, hearts, liver or kidneys
Beef heart, kidney or liver (beef heart is a GREAT source of boneless muscle meat that is highly nutritious)
Whole fish: tilapia mainly
Lamb ribs

Most of the above things were less than a dollar to 1.50 per pound.

2)Join a co op group as you can get in on group buys for good deals:

QueenCityBARF : Charlotte, NC area BARF feeders unite!!!

TriangleRAW : Triangle RAW

I don't know how busy those co ops are...but its worth a shot. Sometimes co ops are only busy a few times per year.

3)Post ads on craigslist for freezer burned meat. A lot of people are weary of taking free meat from people...scares of getting poisoned meat. Well, there are risks in anything but we have literally gotten thousands of pounds of free meat from our craigslist ads. We just aren't "scared" people.


Just say that you feed your dog a raw diet of meat, bones and organs and would gladly take any unwanted, freezer burned meat so it doesn't end up in a dumpster!

4) Last but not least...but certainly the most...applied way to feed raw. Butcher and process your own meats. We would get live sheep, goat, llama and poultry/game birds and butcher ourselves. Yes...kinda crazy and weird, but it gave us the ability to feed really high quality red meats for CHEAP.


We have found lots of good connections for naturally raised animals on craigslist. Finding them is the easy part. Figuring out what to do once you have them is the hard part. We had MAJOR help from a friend on how to butcher. He's a big hunter and really knows his stuff. IF you have anyone that hunts or knows how to butcher...and you're willing to learn, ask for help! LEARN an invaluable skill....I'm forever grateful that I did!

Hope this helps!
 
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