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Ok I think Im in the right area now to ask about raw feeding...sorry bout that I'm new at ALL of this!
So, I have 2 dogs. A 2 yr old Black lab/hound and a 5 yr old english bulldog. I'm also going to be fostering a 2 yr coonhound. You think feeding raw is going to be more money efficent?
I'm sorry for having so many questions BUT....your saying I can take raw hamburg and drop it in their bowl for a dinner or a raw chicken? Does it matter if it is organic meat or not? What about mixing some yogurt (plain) in with it is that beneficial or not? Your also saying no need for any veggies...meat only? Why when I was a child you would always hear make sure your dog NEVER gets a hold of chicken bones, and now its ok to feed them?
I really trust your judgements and value them I'm just nervous. Like I said Im not a meat eater myself so the thoughts of throwing a turkey neck in the bowl makes me shiver! By the way are you talking about the turkey necks you pull out of a whole turkey....that nasty thing?? Sorry this is so long...I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision! Thanks so much!!
 

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So, I have 2 dogs. A 2 yr old Black lab/hound and a 5 yr old english bulldog. I'm also going to be fostering a 2 yr coonhound. You think feeding raw is going to be more money efficent?
If done correctly, yes, absolutely. Most of us keep our costs at ess than $1/lb.

I'm sorry for having so many questions BUT....your saying I can take raw hamburg and drop it in their bowl for a dinner or a raw chicken?
Yup. Canines fall into the category of carnivores, which means that all plant matter is entirely species inappropriate.

Does it matter if it is organic meat or not?
Organic is ideal, yes, but I don't think many of us actually dish out that kind of money. I know I don't. I buy regular meat from the regular grocery store, and it's never organic as my budget doesn't allow it.

Does it matter if it is organic meat or not? What about mixing some yogurt (plain) in with it is that beneficial or not?
The purpose of yogurt is for probiotics. On a prey model raw diet, probiotics are not needed... so yo'd be better off leaving them out.

Your also saying no need for any veggies...meat only?
What kind of carnivore needs veggies? lol. nope, no need to fruits, veggies, or grains. Just meat, bones, and organs

Why when I was a child you would always hear make sure your dog NEVER gets a hold of chicken bones, and now its ok to feed them?
It's a half truth. COOKED bones are a big no no. Cooking makes them less digestable, and any "chunks" swallowed digest much slower, so they can become an issue. with raw bones, they digest very rapidly, so they can never "get stuck" because their digestive system breaks them down.
Remember that dogs only chew enough for their food to "fit" down their throat, so they can and DO swallow chunks of bone. Luckily raw bones are not a problem at all.

By the way are you talking about the turkey necks you pull out of a whole turkey....that nasty thing?? !!
Yup, that nasty thing. You can buy packages of them. The dogs totally dig them. :wink:

Sorry this is so long...I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision! Thanks so much!!
Haha, this is short compared to most people's raw questions!!
Raw is really intimidating at first, but trust me, you get used to it, and it's super easy, and actually fun. I am NOT a meat person, and had a really hard time handling it at first, but now I can dismember a turkey with my hands without even thinking twice. lol.
 

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Since cost is an issue for most people, here is a post I made a while back about the breakdown of what things cost and what you need to prepare for as well as what to feed (well...at least what we feed).

If getting started on RAW, breaking down your cost of meat and freezer space is VERY important especially if you have big dogs or multiple dogs.

Here is our breakdown for our dogs (we don't include the cost of the cat...she gets the scraps LOL)

Finding a freezer is easier than you think, free ones are posted on craigslist all the time so I would say that cost is neglegible.

Here is a guide for determining how much freezer space you will need:

28 cu. ft. of freezer space for ~500 lbs. of meat
14 cu. ft. of freezer space for ~250 lbs. of meat
7 c u. ft. of freezer space for ~125 lbs. of meat

We have an upright freezer that is about 24 cu. ft. and we routinely buy ~300# of meat at a time. We could fit much more considering we package our meat into containers that hold 2-3 days worth of meat.

300# of meat usually will last about a month and a half or two.

We have 4 dogs that weigh:

Shiloh: 65
Emmy: 65
Akasha (currently growing): 65
Bailey: 115

We buy meat that is on average (adding up all the costs of the different meats we buy and dividing by the # of meats) 60-75 cents per pound

Shiloh, Emmy and Akasha all cost us ~ $1 per day to feed

Bailey costs us ~$2 per day to feed

The meats we buy on a regular basis:

chicken backs, turkey necks, beef heart (not organ meat), pork ribs, pork roasts, whole tilapia, pollock fillets, lamb ribs, venison, elk, buffalo, antelope, rabbit, beef liver, chicken liver, beef kidneys, pork kidneys etc.

We try and feed as much variety as possible.

This breakdown does not include all the free meat that we have found to come in contact with (trust me its out there, ya just gotta know where and how to look for it ;)

So, looking at the breakdown, is RAW worth it???
Veggies and fruit?

If you feel your dog needs them, or it will make you feel better knowing that your dogs will get them in their diet...add them in. Are they necessary? Not if you have a balanced diet of meats, raw bones and organs. Will they hurt? Probably not. Dogs cannot digest plant material in its raw form, so you will need to puree any fruits/veggies that you give them.

Remember that balance happens over time. We humans don't eat a balanced meal 3 times a day, but rather get everything we need in our diet over the course of time. As long as you feed ~80% fresh skeletal muscle meat, ~10% raw bones, and ~10% organs you should be fine.
 

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Just a little more about bones.

Pre-raw, I always heard that chicken bones were the worse thing for dogs because they splinter really easily and could "stab" their digestive track. So you should only feed big 'ol beef or pork bones. This is wrong.

Take a cooked chicken drumstick bone and try to break it in half. Somewhat easy, right? Also, it's really pokey. Now try to take a raw drumstick and do the same thing. Not so easy, right? So the info about not feeding cooked chicken bones is entirely correct. However, this is just not true for raw ones. Raw chicken bones are excellent and safe for dogs.

Regarding the "big 'ol" beef and pork bones, the info that I had about them being great for dogs was wrong too. They will chip & splinter if cooked similar to the cooked chicken bones. In addition, really large, dense, weight baring bones can injure your dogs teeth. Also, many steaks (t-bone for instance) are sliced by the butcher creating small, pointy bones. Those are also somewhat dangerous. That's not to say that raw beef and pork bones aren't good for dogs. You just have to be more selective. Ribs are great.

I commend you for considering a raw diet! It does require some research to do it correctly, but your already doing that :wink:. Also, you may be freaked out for a bit anticipating a LOT of work (I was!). But once you figure it out and get into a groove, I think you'll find that this diet is actually quite simple and cost effective. I won't kid you and say that it's as easy as kibble diets. But the only extra work you'll need to do is re-package the meat and freeze it. And I feel that feeding my dog a species appropriate diet (and seeing the wonderful effects) is very much worth the tiny amount of extra effort. :biggrin:

Good luck!
Richelle
 

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It really isn't as hard as it sounds or take that much time and dedication as others may make it seem. I'm sure you've read the link in RFD's signature already, so let me summarize for you:

1. Buy a 10 lbs bag of chicken leg quarters from WalMart.
2. Hand each dog a chicken leg quarter.
3. Feed only chicken leg quarters for the next 2 weeks.
4. Congratulations, your dogs are now started on a raw diet!

Wasn't that easy? :smile:

After a couple of weeks, give them a turkey neck instead of a chicken leg quarter for one meal per week. Bam! You've just added variety to your dogs' diets! Super simple, right?

After that, just slowly start adding in organ meat (liver, kidney, etc.) once a week, egg once a week, canned fish once a week. Sure enough, your dogs are now on a full-blown prey model raw food diet!

I am a vegetarian and I chop up liver, heart, and kidney like a champ while my meat-eating fiance cringes and runs away! :cool:
 

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It really isn't as hard as it sounds or take that much time and dedication as others may make it seem. I'm sure you've read the link in RFD's signature already, so let me summarize for you:

1. Buy a 10 lbs bag of chicken leg quarters from WalMart.
2. Hand each dog a chicken leg quarter.
3. Feed only chicken leg quarters for the next 2 weeks.
4. Congratulations, your dogs are now started on a raw diet!

Wasn't that easy? :smile:

After a couple of weeks, give them a turkey neck instead of a chicken leg quarter for one meal per week. Bam! You've just added variety to your dogs' diets! Super simple, right?

After that, just slowly start adding in organ meat (liver, kidney, etc.) once a week, egg once a week, canned fish once a week. Sure enough, your dogs are now on a full-blown prey model raw food diet!

I am a vegetarian and I chop up liver, heart, and kidney like a champ while my meat-eating fiance cringes and runs away! :cool:
Wow! I love things being summed up for me!! You really do make it sound easy. When you read read and do some more reading you get so overwhelmed!
Do you feed egg raw shell and all? I have heard of both ways (shell no shell) What do you believe is the right way?
Thanks a lot!!!
 

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If you can get your dog to eat the shell, then by all means, feed the shell. My mutts refuse, they just lick the shell clean or avoid it altogether so I just gave up on that and just give them the white and yolk. Based on my dogs' stools, they're getting enough calcium so they don't really need the shell anyway.
 

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Thanks...Im going outside to try the whole egg shell and all right now:eek:
Yes, give the dog the whole egg shell and all. Egg shells are a great, natural source of calcium!
 
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