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At the moment, I'm feeding my dogs on Merrick Wilderness Blend and Natural Balance Venison. My chihuahua-mix and papillon-mix does just fine on any food I put them on (I'm sure even pedigree if I ever lost my mind). My Boston is the one who has issues with different ingredients and the way the kibbles are processed. He was on TOTW a while back and did absolutely TERRIBLY on all varieties of it. He was constantly itching and losing fur left and right.

Anyway, I'm just weighing my options at the moment on the choices I have available for my dogs. I've always wanted to put my dogs on Orijen because it seems to be one of THE best rated dry dog food from various sources, but obviously it's also very expensive, so I've been thinking about going raw. From what I've read so far, it seems that raw is cheaper than going with premium dry food. Plus, I'll probably save on gas because I travel about 40 mins just to get to the pet store to get their food. Right now I pay about $52 for a 28lb bag that lasts me about a month and a half for three small dogs. I try not to feed them too much because they live a sedentary life style. I'm curious to know about how much would I feed my lazy dogs if I went raw, and whether or not 40lbs of raw chicken would last for approximately the same length as what I'm doing now with the dry food. My dogs really don't do too much right now, besides getting a brisk walk and chasing each other around the house. Once the weather starts warming up, they'll get more exercise.

I would also like to know if just feeding raw chicken would be just as beneficial as feeding a variety of proteins, like beef or pork or turkey. I'm just curious to know because at the moment, the idea of feeding raw chicken to the pups sounds expensive to my hubby. I'm trying to convince him otherwise because of all the rave reviews of the quality of coat, stool, and teeth of everyone's pups. I'm sure my pups would be absolutely thrilled to the bones to be fed raw flesh instead of bland ol' kibble. :biggrin:
 

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I'm glad that you are considering going raw, if you make the switch and stick to it you will be astounded at the results and benefits.

First off, 40 pounds of kibble goes a lot further than 40 pounds of raw food. Raw foods are not devoid of all moisture like kibble is, so you cannot compare them on weight alone. I say that comparing them by price per pound is a better comparison, although not 100% accurate. Your dogs will eat more in weight per day, week or month but it will cost less in the long run. The "guideline" to follow is ~2-3% of their IDEAL weight per day in ounces/pounds of meat. This is just a starting point on what to calculate to feed and may need to change depending on energy levels, age, etc. Keeping an eye on body condition is a much better way to figure out how much to feed. If you notice your dog getting a bit round, cut them back a bit and vice versa.

Cost depends a lot on your location and what resources you have access to. I know that a lot of people living in CA have an issue with low cost in meats since cost of living in general is higher there. But the good thing to keep in mind is that with raw feeding your options are pretty much endless on where to find meat and what connections you make regardless of where you live. You just have to learn what to do and what to look for.

An exclusively raw chicken diet is not ideal, but still better than kibble. You just have to make sure that your dogs are getting mostly muscle meat, some bone and some organ. The more variety you can provide the better since it will give better all around nutrition since different meats contain different amounts of nutrients and they all make up for other shortcomings.

Here is a great resource on how to start!

How to get started | Prey Model Raw
 

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From what I've read so far, it seems that raw is cheaper than going with premium dry food.
I feed three dogs raw, an American Cocker Spaniel, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and a Boxer. My dogs are incredibly active. I posted a thread a while back on our actual costs. You might want to check it out. It's what I pay to feed approx 100lbs of dog a well rounded diet with quite a bit of variety.

http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/raw-feeding/2705-our-official-price-per-pound.html

I'm curious to know about how much would I feed my lazy dogs if I went raw, and whether or not 40lbs of raw chicken would last for approximately the same length as what I'm doing now with the dry food.
I'm going to GUESS that your dogs weigh an average of 10lbs each, so you're feeding about 30lbs of dog, which is roughly 3/4 of a pound of food per day, aiming a little high. at an average of $.74 per pound you're looking at roughly $16.65/month.
This is all just approximate calculations, and of course, it's not an exact science, there are many variables.


I would also like to know if just feeding raw chicken would be just as beneficial as feeding a variety of proteins, like beef or pork or turkey.
It wouldn't be just as benefitial, because variety in any kind of diet is absolutely key. I DO think a diet of one white meat, one red meat, bone inclusive, with liver is still better than ANY kibble out there. Beef is pretty expensive, so we feed quite a bit of pork, which we can get for $.98/lb. I've also found lamb and goat at reasonable prices.




Chicken Leg Quarters, which you can cut up for yur little guys, are about $.60/lb in ten pound bags at wal mart. Using hese as the base of your dog's diet will really help you to keep your costs low. We use them for about 50% of our dog's diet.
When I first thought about going raw, I thought it would be so expensive, but just looking through the meat sections at different grocery stores, I had a real eye opener. There are a lot of cuts of meat out there that are a lot cheaper than maybe the things I tend to buy for myself. When I thought "chicken" before, I was thinking the $1.50/lb boneless skinless chicken breasts I buy for myself. There are much more affordable options for the dogs!!
Also, just keep an eye out for really good sales, I never pay full price for any meat anymore.
 

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I think what I'll do is start checking out the meat sections at Walmart, Target, and BJ's (which is like Sam's Club or Costco for those who don't know) and just kind of point out the prices to my hubby and see if that'll convince him. We have a gi-normous freezer that's slightly empty most of the time, so buying in bulk should be no problem. I'm just kind of worried that the people (me and my hubby) will end up eating the meat instead of the pups! XD
 

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I would find a meat distributor nearby that you can order from in bulk. Or join a co op and set up connections that way. That is the only way that we find meat so cheap. Costco and Target are not going to have the cheaper meats like Walmart...which to be honest only has good deals on chicken mostly. Are you located near or in a larger city?
 

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I'm basically in-between two big cities, each being approximately 40 mins away... Gotta love FL and it being spread out all over the place. But I do live close by to my buddy harrkim120 (who was the one who got me interested in raw feeding) so maybe the two of us can team up and do some sleuthing together, since I tagged along with her to get that used chest freezer! Haha!
 

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I'm basically in-between two big cities, each being approximately 40 mins away... Gotta love FL and it being spread out all over the place. But I do live close by to my buddy harrkim120 (who was the one who got me interested in raw feeding) so maybe the two of us can team up and do some sleuthing together, since I tagged along with her to get that used chest freezer! Haha!
That is a great idea. Its aways good to have someone to split orders with or help out with picking things up and just to have around for support!
 

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I hope you make the switch. You will NEVER regret it. I switched Cali because of the terrible problems she had on every kibble we tried--all the one's you mentioned and others. For the record, Orijen was NO better than the rest AT ALL. Her poop was still coming out in buckets, and the stench! OMG, Orijen poops were the worst of all.
 

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when you refer to co-op? is that a whole sale store?:rolleyes:
A co op is a "cooperative" of people that work together on a common goal...a raw feeding co op is one that is comprised of a group of people who work together finding and providing the best deals possible on meats for their animals. Group buys and special discounts are some of the best reasons to belong to a co op but some provide some great support.
 

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Geez...look at you all droppin' my name around here like you know me or something!!! :biggrin:

Just to give you an example of the cost:

When I was feeding Brady kibble, he was eating about 1/2lb each day. On raw, he's eating a little under a pound a day. So it's definitely more, BUT look at it this way...you're paying $52 for a 28lb bag. That's $1.87 a pound. Now let's say they eat as much as Brady (which there's no way cause they're less active, and don't weigh as much); 1/2lb a day on kibble or about a pound of raw a day per dog. Your cost of kibble per day now is about 93 cents. Therefore, so long as your average cost of meat is at or under 93-94 cents a pound, you're good. :biggrin:

Cost of some meats I've bought recently:

chicken leg quarters: 40 cents a pound
whole turkey: 75 cents a pound
pork picnic roast: 85 cents a pound
pork neck bones: 65 cents a pound
whole rats from Danielle (coming soon): free :biggrin:

I also found this market:

Felton's Meat & Produce

It's in Plant City, so it's a little bit of a drive, but they're crazy cheap!!! I bought a 40lb box of chicken leg quarters there about a week ago for $15.99...this week they have it on sale for $12.99!!! I'm totally getting more!!!

In conclusion, I think you should do it. Then we can go shopping together. :wink:
 

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Are you really going to feed your dog rats?
 

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Are you really going to feed your dog rats?
They're bigger rats and run a little over a pound a piece. He's not ready for it yet, but eventually yes, he will get some rat goodness. :biggrin: It's meat and organs and bones. There's just a bad stigma with them. And at least I know where these have come from.

We'll see how I do with the skinning of them. :confused:
 

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Yuck! I can see the huskeys and sibes eating them though, but not a sweet boston or even the thought of my bull terriers chompin on a rat! LOL:eek:
 

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Yuck! I can see the huskeys and sibes eating them though, but not a sweet boston or even the thought of my bull terriers chompin on a rat! LOL:eek:
Haha...well I don't know about "sweet." lol

However, they are both descendants of terriers. Terriers are known to be ratters....:tongue: lol
 

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Well my boy likes to look in the grass for the mice and try to jump on top of them,:tongue: but it's the thrill of the hunt, I don't think he'd actually eat it if he caught it. And those things are already dead, you really have to let me know how that goes!:rolleyes:
 

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Well my boy likes to look in the grass for the mice and try to jump on top of them,:tongue: but it's the thrill of the hunt, I don't think he'd actually eat it if he caught it. And those things are already dead, you really have to let me know how that goes!:rolleyes:
Oh I will...I'll probably put some pictures up. :eek:

It won't be for a little while though. His tum-tum isn't ready for something that hardcore yet. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, rats? Imagine the look on David's face when I bring rats to feed my pups, especially that cute sweet-looking Coco chomping on a big 'ol rat. The next thing my dogs would go after is Rhino, my hamster. :D
 
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