First post, so please be a bit gentle….
As an introduction, I live in the UK and have 2 Deerhounds. One is 10 years old and one is 10 months old. The pup has been fed raw since birth and I converted the old lady to raw when we got the pup 6 months ago. The old lady had been fed raw many years ago, but I got lazy and moved her onto Royal Canin some years ago at a vet’s recommendation. Over time, she developed some skin problems, but the move to raw has cleared that up completely and she now also has more energy.
Anyway….what I am looking for is some advice on the diet I currently feed them. I will describe the “go to” menu, but be aware that I do chop and change depending on what is available and also feed lamb rib bones and other raw meaty bones often.
I normally feed the dogs twice daily. Breakfast is a raw mince and vegetables (see below) meal and dinner is normally raw chicken wings or quarters.
The mince I use is made from ground chicken carcasses so has about 15% bone, and also has about 10% added offal. It is all human grade chicken meat with no additives or preservative whatsoever – just pure ground up chicken parts.
For the vegetables, about every month or so I buy a load of leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes (the orange ones) and broccoli, then grind it up really fine in my food processor and freeze to use later.
I use about 1/3rd veggies and 2/3 mince for the breakfast meal – and I also add a supplement that I make up from equal weights of powdered kelp, brewers yeast and ground flaxseed. Each dog gets a desert spoonful of this powder with their breakfast.
That’s the typical meal plan. Both dogs love it, the pup appears to be in phenomenal health and the old girl is much better than she used to be.
So, I am really looking for comments on this….. I think it covers most of the bases in terms of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals, but I want to know if there is something I am missing or anything I can or should add to improve their diet.
Let me know what you think!
Following! I started a thread on raw for large breeds but have not seen any recent comments. I thought I was mixing raw in their kibble, an 8 y/o husky and a 6 m/o Newf, only to find out the package “Vital Raw” is misleading and not Raw. I was going to just switch to raw as my pup has an ongoing infection when I read on another link of a man losing his 9 & 1/2 y/o Pitbull to I believe it was e-coli from chicken, but may have been salmonella, so decided to wait and see how others weigh in on this. It does not seem this has been an issue for others. I did want to ask a bit about the supplements though as others recommended omega 3’s and salmon oil’s for mine, but you mentioned flax seeds. Do you grind those daily and add them? Just a comment about flax seeds, as they are only active the day you do that, as they oxidize and then are of no benefit otherwise, including all the gel-tab’s etc. The market has us fooled, I am an R.Ph and learned that in an continuing Ed, only helpful w/ husks off for a couple hours.
Because my dogs are so big this seems like a very expensive way to go, even though I know it’s healthier. Does anyone do kibble in the AM, and Raw in PM? What about all the hormones in the meat from grocery stores? All concerns of mine.
Also for those of you that grind, how? Do you have a special grinder that does the bones? Trying to figure the most economical way to do this?
Thanks for the input – the information on flax seed is new to me. I don’t grind them myself and I hadn’t read previously that there would be no benefit if they weren’t freshly milled. I use them for a source of Omega 3, but may have to rethink if pre milled has no benefit. I do feed the girls sardines once a week, so they get plenty of fish oil anyway.
As for the chicken mince, I am lucky in that I have a poultry company nearby and am also friends with our local butcher. So they will just grind up chicken carcasses and add a bit of offal for me. I normally get about 50lbs at a time and they will freeze it in bulk then band saw it into 1lb chunks that I store in the freezer.
In terms of cost, this is pretty cheap for me – it costs less than £4 a day to feed both dogs raw and they are pretty big dogs. Mind you, deerhounds are very lean and don’t really eat a huge amount anyway. ( I am in the UK, so that may be expensive for you, but it’s cheaper than a good quality kibble here)
Personally, I don’t use any kibble at all. Just the raw food, plus some table scraps and even with the scraps I pretty much give them just the protein and fats with very little carbohydrates.
I just was able to contact a local butcher who supplies USDA meats for human consumption. They are also offering quite a number of items that I already feed my dogs, that I have to pay shipping/packaging for and has greatly increased the costs for me. Being able to buy fresh meat from a local butcher means that not only am I getting very good quality food, but also that I’m not being charged for additional packaging or shipping is a huge bonus. We will now be able to trim our monthly costs for feeding our animals (4 medium sized dogs) from $500./month to about $200-250./month.
For the specialty grinds such as green tripe, trachea and gullet, chicken w/organ meat, beef w/organ meat – i will still purchase from online shops.
By having a local butcher means that I can control how much food i have to store by not needing to order in bulk to offset shipping charges, and having a readily available stock local that I can drive to replenish my supply.
Sharon B – my vet’s office has several vets employed there. When I was on a business trip my husband took our puppy in for routine puppy care exam and the vet tried to scare my husband about ecoli and salmonella with the raw diet. Fact is, humans get those issues a LOT more than dogs can. Their stomachs are stronger than ours and we are more susceptible than them. Employing good hygiene and common sense is a must when handling any meat – whether it be for human or canine consumption. None of my dogs have ever gotten salmonella or ecoli from raw diet and i have ‘collectively’ been feeding this way for about 12 years.
Hope that helps.
Having a local butcher that you are on good terms with is about the most awesomest thing you can do for your dogs! Almost everything they want to get rid of is high quality dog food.
You should experiment with them – see what they have that’s cheap and then see how much your dogs like it. Pretty much everything will go down well I would expect. Chicken carcasses, lamb ribs, beef bones, there’s so much there that they can’t sell that is perfect dog food…
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