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Right now she eats Orijen. I feel pretty comfortable with that, but it seems to me like raw would be both cheaper and healthier. Plus, she's never really seemed to love any kibble we've tried (this is the third she's been on and she's still less than a year old). I don't doubt that she'll love the prey diet, though (she already is a fan of duck:biggrin:).

Lucie's an 11 month old English springer spaniel. She weighs in at a whopping 36 pounds, give or take a pound. I don't expect more than 5 or so more pounds before she stops growing... so about a pound/day on the prey diet, maybe a bit more (higher end of the 2-3%).

It'll be a little while until I start (still have almost 10 pounds of Orijen left and haven't done enough looking for cheap chicken just yet), but I think I've got a pretty good handle on what I need to start off with. Anything I should know besides what's available on the guide at preymodelraw.com?
 

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Welcome to the forum! Glad to have you here and to see that you are going to switch to PMR (prey model raw). There are plenty of knowledgeable, helpful people here that will answer all the questions you might have! Don't hesitate to ask away :biggrin:

Yes, you do need to be careful, but don't let that give you false impressions on a raw diet. The only "rules" I would say to you are:

#1- Don't feed RMB's (raw meaty bones) that your dog can swallow whole without chewing, just make sure that she has to chew them a bit to get them to fit down the hatch.

#2- Don't feed weight bearing bones, ie marrow bones or knuckle bones, because they are just too dense and can break dog's teeth (one of our's did!).

#3- Freeze fresh, North Pacific fish (salmon, etc) for 3 weeks to kill the parasite that carries the bacteria that cause salmon poisoning in dogs.

#4- Don't rush the transition. Take your time switching over to raw. Its really the easiest on the dog and yourself, which in the end makes it much more rewarding and hassle free.

#5- Feed mostly fresh muscle meat, some bone and some organ (~80%, ~10%, ~10% respectively) from a variety of different animals.
Its actually more simple than most people think, once you get the hang of it. Read through this link a few times to get started. Come back with the questions that arise!

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

Oh, and feel free to give me some feedback on the site since its still a work in progress :wink:
 

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Sawyer, you sound exactly like me! We switched our puppy's diet several times and she was never excited about any of them. So we stuck with Orijen because if she didn't like any kibble, than darn it, she would eat the best! :biggrin:

Since we switched to PMR, she has become excited about meal time and is otherwise very healthy.

I think that PreyModelRaw.com is a great resource. But I'm sure you'll come up with questions anyway because everyone does. :) DOn't be afraid to ask anything! The people here are great and always willing to help out.

Best of luck!
Richelle
 

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Right now she eats Orijen. I feel pretty comfortable with that, but it seems to me like raw would be both cheaper and healthier.
I am probably going to be flamed for this but....

People often say feeding raw is cheaper than kibble. I while back I decided to find out if it was in my case.

Here are the numbers:

a 29.7lb bag of Orijen costs me $64.99
NJ state tax is 7%
my 90lb Doberman eats 3 cups of kibble
or 2.50lb of raw food a day
3 cups of Orijen weighs 13oz

the math:

((((64.99*1.07)/29.7)*13/16)/2.5=0.76

So for me the average cost of feeding raw needs to be less than $0.76/lb for it to be cheaper than Orijen which is just about the most expensive kibble around.

I am not saying it is not possible but for my situation (and probable a lot of other people) it is not: I do not have a freezer (or space for one) to buy in bulk; I do not know any hunters or live near a ranch/slaughter plant; there are no specialty meat markets near me. All I have is the local supermarket which has your regular sales on meat.

I fed a completely raw diet for a while and my average price was about $1.35/lb. Sure the chicken backs and quarters are dirt cheap but if you are going to feed a varied diet with many different meats, fish and organs (as you must) then the price goes up fast.

Having said all that I still feed my dog a raw diet about 2/3 of the time. I think it is much better for him, he loves it and I really enjoy watching him dispatch a hunk of meat crunching away bones and all.
 

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Raw is the absolute best thing I have ever done for my dogs. (Now if only the dumb cat would take to it, then I'd be happy.)
I keep my costs low simply because I HAVE to. I'm out of work right now, so I don't have much of a choice. (the dogs were mine before I got married, so I feel guilty making my husband pay for expensive stuff for them, even though he doesn't mind one bit and considers them "ours") I do buy in bulk, but I have one chest freezer, and one full sized standup out in the garage.
I'll offer my tips. These are tips. Not rules, of course. There really aren't too many rules of raw, and Natalie already laid them out.

COST TIPS:
ALWAYS buy as much sale meat as you can. Spare freezers come in handy for this. I'd hate to pass up my $.25/lb whole turkey due to space. (yeah, never gonna let that steal or a deal go. lol)

I stock up on sales, that way I never run out, and am never forced pay full price. I don't have a co-op or a wholesaler, just chain grocery stores, and I still keep my cost under $1/lb.

Look for ethnic markets. They aren't necessarily cheaper all the time, but offer tons of variety, and organ meats are super easy to find there, as well as whole fish. If you have a Ranch 99 store, check it out. I get whole talapia, sardines, pork heart, and chicken feet (treats for my GSD) there.

Sure, a freezer isn't cheap, but it will pay for itself in the money you save having space to stock up on sale meat. (I bought over 200lbs of turkey at $.25/lb.)

You mentioned you're looking for cheap source of chicken. Wal Mart carries 10lb bags of chicken quarters for about $6/bag. A lot of people start raw with backs, which is totally fine. They haven't been easily accessable to me, and I have never fed them. Quarters are my main source of chicken, and whole chickens go on sale sometimes, so I get those too.

I never pay more for one cut of a meat, if I can get another cut of the same meat for less. I won't pay $.99/lb for chicken wings when I can get chicken quarters for $.61/lb. Variety is important, but the way I see it is chicken is chicken, and different cuts aren't top priority in my book.

Check out Food4Less if you have one. I found goat and lamb for about $1.50/lb. More than what I like to spend, but with the cheap meat I buy, it still averages out to less than a buck a pound.

ASK QUESTIONS. You can never ask too many. Raw is simple. But when you start there will be a lot of "hmm, I wonder about this and that and those and these." We're here to help. :wink:

Sorry, this was a ton of random junk. Cost is a big concern in our house, so I've jumped through hoops trying to keep it as low as possible without all the resources everyone else seems to have. I don't know hunters. i don't have luck on CL. I don't have anyone order in bulk for me. I don't have independent stores.
Between my two raw dogs, a Corgi and a Boxer, I feed between 1.75 and 2 lbs per day. I pay AT MOST $50/month. No way could I feed those two dogs grain free kibble for that amount each month. No way.
 

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I haven't taken the time to compare raw food to kibble costs but I do know those trips to the vet for loose stools and slow weight gain were getting expensive. Also, because she was a rescue dog, here teeth were horribly stained when we got her. Every day they are becoming whiter and I don't think we will need to schedule a dental cleaning.
 

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I am probably going to be flamed for this but....

People often say feeding raw is cheaper than kibble. I while back I decided to find out if it was in my case.

Here are the numbers:

a 29.7lb bag of Orijen costs me $64.99
NJ state tax is 7%
my 90lb Doberman eats 3 cups of kibble
or 2.50lb of raw food a day
3 cups of Orijen weighs 13oz

the math:

((((64.99*1.07)/29.7)*13/16)/2.5=0.76

So for me the average cost of feeding raw needs to be less than $0.76/lb for it to be cheaper than Orijen which is just about the most expensive kibble around.

I am not saying it is not possible but for my situation (and probable a lot of other people) it is not: I do not have a freezer (or space for one) to buy in bulk; I do not know any hunters or live near a ranch/slaughter plant; there are no specialty meat markets near me. All I have is the local supermarket which has your regular sales on meat.

I fed a completely raw diet for a while and my average price was about $1.35/lb. Sure the chicken backs and quarters are dirt cheap but if you are going to feed a varied diet with many different meats, fish and organs (as you must) then the price goes up fast.

Having said all that I still feed my dog a raw diet about 2/3 of the time. I think it is much better for him, he loves it and I really enjoy watching him dispatch a hunk of meat crunching away bones and all.
I'm not going to flame you for your post, its a good one, but I will break it down and try and explain a bit for others to understand a bit more.

The thing people have to realize with raw is that the meat is water inclusive. It weighs more because of the moisture but in reality you are feeding approximately the same amount in nutrients per day. So in essence you are paying more per pound "in nutrients" for dry dog food. Taking into consideration that dogs can only utilize ~30% of dry dog food, there is a lot more waste and you end up spending more money because they eat more of it. With all of that being said, I don't think that kibble and raw can be compared in price by pound because raw is moisture inclusive. This is the reason why we try and keep cost to under $1 per pound.

While the cost of raw is USUALLY cheaper than kibble, there are areas that it is hard to find cheap meat or buy in bulk to make it cheap. If you only have one dog, buying in bulk isn't always practical or affordable. We HAVE to buy our meat in bulk because we have so many mouths to feed. Here is my math for feeding kibble (going by the price of Orijen from JoeCo's assessment so I am using his figures to base off of) vs. raw:

We have 350 pounds of dog to feed (4 dogs...not counting in the cats because their weight is negligible). Collectively they would consume about 50 ounces of dog food per day, or about 3.15 pounds of dry dog food per day. We would need to buy 95 pounds of dry dog food per month. If the cost of the dry dog food is $2.34 per pound, we would be spending $221.80 per month on food.

On raw:

They eat ~7 pounds per day (based on their weights, but we don't measure so this is all theoretical). Our average cost on meats (average of what we pay for all the different cuts/variety of meat) is $0.60 per pound. We would spend ~$4.20 per day on the dogs, equaling out to be ~$126 per month on raw food. Much cheaper for us to feed raw. We are lucky here in Denver that we have a lot of options and great resources.

I haven't taken the time to compare raw food to kibble costs but I do know those trips to the vet for loose stools and slow weight gain were getting expensive. Also, because she was a rescue dog, here teeth were horribly stained when we got her. Every day they are becoming whiter and I don't think we will need to schedule a dental cleaning.
Jody, you bring up a very valid point. Vet costs. I work at a vet, so I see the damage done with kibble on a daily basis. Even moreso right now, because it is dental health month so we are running a special on dentals. I think we are averaging about 2-3 dental per day at the moment...each costing several hundred dollars on average. Owners with dogs that have constant bowel issues that come in regularly spend gobs of money to figure out why their dogs have IBS. Or animals with allergies...granted not all allergies are food related but I personally think that the majority of cases are diet related in some way. There are many complications that kibble adds to health of many animals out there and that adds up in $$$$ fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I am probably going to be flamed for this but....

People often say feeding raw is cheaper than kibble. I while back I decided to find out if it was in my case.

Here are the numbers:

a 29.7lb bag of Orijen costs me $64.99
NJ state tax is 7%
my 90lb Doberman eats 3 cups of kibble
or 2.50lb of raw food a day
3 cups of Orijen weighs 13oz

the math:

((((64.99*1.07)/29.7)*13/16)/2.5=0.76

So for me the average cost of feeding raw needs to be less than $0.76/lb for it to be cheaper than Orijen which is just about the most expensive kibble around.

I am not saying it is not possible but for my situation (and probable a lot of other people) it is not: I do not have a freezer (or space for one) to buy in bulk; I do not know any hunters or live near a ranch/slaughter plant; there are no specialty meat markets near me. All I have is the local supermarket which has your regular sales on meat.

I fed a completely raw diet for a while and my average price was about $1.35/lb. Sure the chicken backs and quarters are dirt cheap but if you are going to feed a varied diet with many different meats, fish and organs (as you must) then the price goes up fast.

Having said all that I still feed my dog a raw diet about 2/3 of the time. I think it is much better for him, he loves it and I really enjoy watching him dispatch a hunk of meat crunching away bones and all.
I've done the same math. For me, Orijen costs about $1.39/day to feed (a 15.4 pound bag costs just under $40 and lasts just over a month). Eating raw, she would eat around a pound of food per day. So if I can average 1.35/lb on raw, then it'll be about even. I haven't yet found any good sources of cheap meat, but I'm in Missouri, so we have lots of agriculture around here... I don't think it'll be too difficult to find cheaper sources than the grocery store.
 

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I've done the same math. For me, Orijen costs about $1.39/day to feed (a 15.4 pound bag costs just under $40 and lasts just over a month). Eating raw, she would around a pound of food per day. So if I can average 1.35/lb on raw, then it'll be about even. I haven't yet found any good sources of cheap meat, but I'm in Missouri, so we have lots of agriculture around here... I don't think it'll be too difficult to find cheaper sources than the grocery store.
Are you close to any big cities? You could do a google/yahoo search for meat distributor/wholesale companies nearby. Call and ask if they are able to sell to a private party, you don't necessarily have to tell them that you intend to feed your dogs with the meat but you can ask if they provide meat to raw feeders. Our meat distributor has a special "group" that they will sell meat to as a private party, we just tell them that we need to make an order with the Colorado Meat and Bone Feeders and they let us get whatever we want.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm two hours away from both KC and St. Louis. I've already found plenty of meat distributors in the St. Louis area, but haven't looked into them too much yet. I'm hoping for something quite a bit closer. I know there is are some Tyson chicken processing/distribution centers in some of the smaller/more rural towns in the area, but I haven't contacted them yet.

I teach in a small, rural school (don't live there, though), so I'm hoping I can find something more local. Most of the independent farmers I know of around here raise beef, though.
 

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Sounds to me like you have plenty of good resource avenues to pursue and I am sure that you will find one that will work with you. Here is a feed supply group that is National. You might be able to get in contact with a few people in your area and find out where they order meat from in bulk. Happy hunting! You will find that once you get the hang of where to look and what to look for you will become an addict LOL :wink:

CarnivoreFeed-Supplier : Carnivore feeders and feed suppliers
 
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