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I have thought for a while about trying raw on my 2 youngest danes. Not knowing where to go to get it, cost and realisticality (I don't think this is a word!) has stopped me from really getting into it. I heard someone at the pet store talking about it again, and I am so sick and tired of shopping for the "right" kibble.

I'm just wondering if there is any really "basic" sources for starting a raw diet? I need to keep in mind that I am feeding great danes, but I need to know what I should look for/start with and how to keep it balanced. If there is info on this already posted here, someone please forward me to it as I am very bad at doing "archives."

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Not knowing where to go to get it, cost and realisticality (I don't think this is a word!) has stopped me from really getting into it.
I get all my dog's raw feed at a grocery store. It's a small independent store that special orders things for me in bulk. That makes it a lot cheaper.

I heard someone at the pet store talking about it again, and I am so sick and tired of shopping for the "right" kibble.
I think the realization you have come to is that there is no right kibble. :smile:

I'm just wondering if there is any really "basic" sources for starting a raw diet?
Check out my link in my sig. That will answer most of your basic questions. If you still have more questions after reading it and checking out the links, feed free to ask as many questions as you wish. :smile:

I need to keep in mind that I am feeding great danes, but I need to know what I should look for/start with and how to keep it balanced.
I am feeding 2 Great Danes and 2 cats. My page should help you. As will be explained there, don't worry about balance. With very little effort it will be balanced for you by nature. :smile:
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Well, this is a great plae to start!! Read the link in RFD's sig. Just keep in mind, The forum is here as a guide, and there will ALWAYS be people here to guide you through the next step.

Your first move will be to head on down to Wal Mart, and buy a couple bags of Chicken Leg Quarters. For the first two weeks, you'll want to stick with one meat source, and chicken is a great affordable place to start. You'll want to feed about 2-3% of their ideal adult body weight, but that's just a starting point, of course adjust based on body condition and results.


I would also definately keep an eye on craigslist for an affordable freezer. The extra space really makes it easier to stock up on sale meats! That helps keep costs low.
 

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Having two Danes to feed, you will have to buy in bulk from a distributor to make it the most cost efficient. We have 2 Danes and 2 mutts to feed, so that is what we do. Are you located in a bigger city?
 

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Please also remember that there are different "raw" diets for dogs. Most of the people here feed what is referred to as the "prey model raw" or "raw meaty bone" diet, which is a carnivore-appropriate diet of raw meat, bones, and organ meat. You generally purchase the meat from the same place you would buy it for humans. Do not confuse this with commercial "raw" diets (sometimes referred to as B.A.R.F.) which contain plant matter and are based on the same false premise that kibble is based on, which is that dogs are omnivores. This "raw" dog food is generally sold by pet supply retailers.

There is a lot of stuff on the 'net about raw diets for dogs but be sure you understand WHICH raw diet is being discussed when you are doing your research otherwise it will all become very confusing very quickly.

You should also be suspect of statements about raw diets from the following sources;

1. Anyone who stands to make any financial gain from you feeding a raw diet. This would include all commercial raw pet food manufacturers.

2. Anyone who dismisses or bashes the raw meaty bone diet who has never actually tried it or executed it properly.

3. Nearly the entire veterinary profession, whose limited training on canine nutrition is frequently sponsored by the pet food industry. It's not necessarily that veterinarians are being malicious when they dispense bad diet advice. It's just that most of them don't know any different and they tend to repeat the same tired old misinformation over and over again.

Please read RawFedDogs' web site and also this one

Dedicated to proper carnivore nutrition - Prey Model Raw Feeding for Dogs & Cats

In particular the How-to get-started page here:

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

Then feel free to ask a lot of questions here. Once you and your dogs get used to this method of feeding, you will never look back.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!

Wow, thanks everyone for the replies and great information already! I will definately get reading on the websites suggested and hopefully will feel confident to start pretty soon. Hopefully I can find a place to go. This is a stupid question I am sure, but is a "meat locker" generally a place I could probably get some stuff? I've tried looking around here for butcher type places, but haven't really found anything. I don't even know where to start or who to ask or even what to ask, I don't want to be looked at like I'm crazy (though I guess I am and really don't care :tongue:)

JayJay- you are suggesting the raw meaty bone diet (I have to read the link you gave me) that was the one I "figured" I would be doing, but thank you much for clearing that up. My problem is the overwhelming amount of information, which will just stress me out and I will never get started because of it (conflicting information mostly) so thanks for pointing out the different diets so I can at least narrow the searching down a bit.

spookychick- thanks for the link. I am actually about 2 hours or so outside of Milwaukee (WI) and an hour south of Madison. I live in a tiny town the the closest places to get pretty much anything is probably an hour + drive. We have little Monroe, but they really don't have much of anything...I'm hoping I might be able to find somebody local to buy from, but I don't know where to start looking.

CorgiPaws- Thanks a bunch for the great welcome! Knowing that there will be people here to ask is a great relief for when I get stuck! I plan to do some more research, but from what I understand the chicken legs are a good starting point...though I was just reading somewhere that the actual chicken legs might be dangerous for danes if they try and swallow whole. And I will definately start looking for a freezer! Feeding 2 huge danes is going to require some MEAT and I already have no room in my regular freezer :)

RawFedDogs- I haven't gotten a chance. I think I need to find a local grocer or butcher (if I can) and then we can work together on it. Does your Grocer understand what you need and want (obviously you tell him) but I'm a little hesitant to just go up and talk to someone at the local grocery store- they will no doubt think I'm nuts :) You are correct though, there is no "right" kibble and I'm so done with it. I'd like to get on a simple, healthy raw diet and see where that takes us. I look forward to reading your link and no doubt will be back with questions.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Wow, thanks everyone for the replies and great information already! I will definately get reading on the websites suggested and hopefully will feel confident to start pretty soon. Hopefully I can find a place to go. This is a stupid question I am sure, but is a "meat locker" generally a place I could probably get some stuff? I've tried looking around here for butcher type places, but haven't really found anything. I don't even know where to start or who to ask or even what to ask, I don't want to be looked at like I'm crazy (though I guess I am and really don't care :tongue:)

JayJay- you are suggesting the raw meaty bone diet (I have to read the link you gave me) that was the one I "figured" I would be doing, but thank you much for clearing that up. My problem is the overwhelming amount of information, which will just stress me out and I will never get started because of it (conflicting information mostly) so thanks for pointing out the different diets so I can at least narrow the searching down a bit.



spookychick- thanks for the link. I am actually about 2 hours or so outside of Milwaukee (WI) and an hour south of Madison. I live in a tiny town the the closest places to get pretty much anything is probably an hour + drive. We have little Monroe, but they really don't have much of anything...I'm hoping I might be able to find somebody local to buy from, but I don't know where to start looking.

CorgiPaws- Thanks a bunch for the great welcome! Knowing that there will be people here to ask is a great relief for when I get stuck! I plan to do some more research, but from what I understand the chicken legs are a good starting point...though I was just reading somewhere that the actual chicken legs might be dangerous for danes if they try and swallow whole. And I will definately start looking for a freezer! Feeding 2 huge danes is going to require some MEAT and I already have no room in my regular freezer :)

RawFedDogs- I haven't gotten a chance. I think I need to find a local grocer or butcher (if I can) and then we can work together on it. Does your Grocer understand what you need and want (obviously you tell him) but I'm a little hesitant to just go up and talk to someone at the local grocery store- they will no doubt think I'm nuts :) You are correct though, there is no "right" kibble and I'm so done with it. I'd like to get on a simple, healthy raw diet and see where that takes us. I look forward to reading your link and no doubt will be back with questions.

Thanks again everyone!

Ooh, I bet you can get in on a UWP order somewhere, that is where our co-op gets their meat.
UW Provision - "The Meat People" - and so much more!

Also Pick N Save has roundy's brand chicken quarters (not enhanced) for .79/lb and has pork butt roast on sale fairly often for .99/lb.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Having two Danes to feed, you will have to buy in bulk from a distributor to make it the most cost efficient. We have 2 Danes and 2 mutts to feed, so that is what we do. Are you located in a bigger city?
Oops, forgot you danemama :) No, I actually live in a really small town, the closest "bigger" cities are at least an hour drive. What do you mean you buy from a distributor? Like the people that distribute to grocery stores and stuff? I don't think I'd be able to find that here.

We currently have 5 danes, but I'm thinking of just starting the raw with the 2 young ones. (one 5 month old, one 20 month old) The 3 others are old girls (9,9 and soon to be 12!) The one oldest girl I don't think would even consider it (she won't even chew bones and has teeth problems anyway) One unfortunately won't be with us much longer (darn cancer) and the other is in pretty good health and actually might like it, so I may try with her, too.
 

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Ooh, I bet you can get in on a UWP order somewhere, that is where our co-op gets their meat.
UW Provision - "The Meat People" - and so much more!

Also Pick N Save has roundy's brand chicken quarters (not enhanced) for .79/lb and has pork butt roast on sale fairly often for .99/lb.
:)

OOO, thanks for that info! I will definately look into this website. I was just reading about feeding danes/big dogs chicken legs might be dangerous if they try to swallow whole... I'm wondering if the quarters might be ok? I might head out to Pick N' Save today and see if I can find anything :)
 

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Oops, forgot you danemama :) No, I actually live in a really small town, the closest "bigger" cities are at least an hour drive. What do you mean you buy from a distributor? Like the people that distribute to grocery stores and stuff? I don't think I'd be able to find that here.

We currently have 5 danes, but I'm thinking of just starting the raw with the 2 young ones. (one 5 month old, one 20 month old) The 3 others are old girls (9,9 and soon to be 12!) The one oldest girl I don't think would even consider it (she won't even chew bones and has teeth problems anyway) One unfortunately won't be with us much longer (darn cancer) and the other is in pretty good health and actually might like it, so I may try with her, too.
The meat distributor companies are the ones that would deliver to all the grocery stores and restaurants in bulk for wholesale prices. Some will allow you to buy from them, you just have to ask if they have a raw feeding program for dogs that you can order through. That is what we do with our distributor, we just say "I would like to make an order through the Colorado Raw Meat and Bone Feeders." I would start by that, and looking at how many you have to choose from I would say that at least one of them would be happy to work with you, because money is money.

In all honesty all of your Danes would benefit greatly from switching them over. The dogs that we typically see the biggest difference in is the older ones. Its like they get a new found spunk to their step and behavior. You just have to be patient and stick to the commitment to switch and follow the "protocol" of how to switch over. Most dogs do just fine through the switch with diarrhea being the only real "symptom" you see from it. And diarrhea is not something to lose sleep over at all, it usually only lasts for a few days and then clears up. Even if your older Dane with tooth problems would benefit from the switch. You would just have to possibly help her with the bones by smashing them up a bit first.

Most conflicting information is about adding veggies and fruit to a raw diet, which in all reality is not a big a deal as most people think. As long as you get mostly muscle meats (~80%), some raw bones (~10%) and some organ meats (~10%), the diet is complete. That is what most of the raw feeders here do. But there are some people who add cooked/pureed fruits and veggies or green tripe in, which is what they think is best. All in all, you just have to do what you feel comfortable with first and foremost.
 

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Most conflicting information is about adding veggies and fruit to a raw diet, which in all reality is not a big a deal as most people think. As long as you get mostly muscle meats (~80%), some raw bones (~10%) and some organ meats (~10%), the diet is complete. That is what most of the raw feeders here do. But there are some people who add cooked/pureed fruits and veggies or green tripe in, which is what they think is best. All in all, you just have to do what you feel comfortable with first and foremost.
I agree with Natalie that the veggie thing is not as big an issue as some people make it out to be as long as the dog is getting adequate meat, bone, and organs. I think the biggest issue with commercial "raw" diets is that there is no whole bone. It's all ground up and mixed into the "meatloaf" stuff they sell, which is a huge disservice to the dog since there are then no dental benefits from the diet (a HUGE advantage of the PMR diet).

I've read a lot of raw threads on other sites and there is always hysteria about feeding whole, raw bones and I think that can confuse people who are considering a raw diet. I can't help but think that some of the hysteria is being perpetuated by the commercial raw food manufacturers. :rolleyes:

Just remember that raw diets that include proper whole, raw, meaty bones are vastly superior to the ones the have ground bone or bone meal.
 

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JayJay- I was speaking to someone in the pet store the other day that says she has been feeding raw for years...she also said that everything was "ground up" and like you said, and from my understanding, this doesn't provide the added benefits of feeding, chewing on the bone, etc.

One of my concerns is definately choking. With giant breed dogs, esp. ones that like to "inhale" (my girl with Cancer is on prednisone which makes her especially hungry) and even the other older girl in good health is an "inhaler." I do give my dogs rawhide (bad I know) but it's always touchy because they want to eat it as fast as they can. I would really be afraid they would try to swallow whatever they could whole. And if it did "go down" would it be able to be passed through in that form? My younger two who are the ones I am mainly considering starting (though as danemama suggests, maybe the old ladies might benefit!) I think I could trust them to do some chewing.

On another note, my older dogs are overweight, and seem to be ALWAYS hungry. HAve people on the raw diet noticed less "hunger" in their dogs?
 

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My 2 Great Danes always inhale their food. They can each swallow a chicken quarter in about 30 seconds. They chomp it a few times and swallow it whole. The same with chicken backs and turkey necks. Occasionally they will bring it back up and re-chew it a few more chomps and swallow it again but other than that, there has never been a problem.

In the wild, carnivores eat their kill fast before someone else comes along and takes it away from them. They can swallow some amazingly large pieces. It's not nearly as dangerous as you think. Don't think of dogs chewing in the same manner as humans. It doesn't work that way for them. We chew our food into a mush. They only "chew" until the chunks of food are small enough to fit down their throat.

I doubt you will see less "hunger" in your dog. Dogs learn to act hungry in order to get more food from you. As long as you don't make a big deal out of it, it won't become a big deal. If you give in, the acting will persist.
 

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If your dogs are inhalers, you just have to give them big enough pieces of meat that they are forced to chew it and portion it to their liking. This is contrary to most people's natural reaction, which is to cut the portions into smaller sizes. Dogs have a pretty good instinct on how much to chew their food before swallowing it. Let them figure it out and you'll probably never have to worry about it.

I don't have any dogs anywhere near the size of a Dane so I can't give you specifics, but if they try to inhale a chicken quarter, try feeding them each a half chicken. Just take a whole one and split it down the middle and give a half to each of them. Sounds crazy I know, but they'll know what to do with it.

I concur with Natalie too about switching your older dogs to raw. They will most definitely benefit from it in some way. Props to you for giving it a try. It's an amazing sight to watch your pets eat a more natural diet. The benefits that come with it, for both them and you, will complete the picture and you'll soon be asking yourself, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"
 
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