I am considering switching my dogs to a raw diet. We have two 1.5-year-old Australian Cattle Dog Mixes. They are both rescue dogs. We adopted LoJack last October, and Quincy came home with us in July. Both of them came to us eating Science Diet, which we pretty much immediately threw out. I worked in a high-end pet store for years, and I am kind of a food snob when it comes to my pets. My cat, Ralph, has been on Nature’s Variety frozen chicken for over a year now, and does amazingly on it (for him, it has helped with his urinary tract infections). The dogs have eaten a variety of Nutrisource Grain-Free Salmon, Pure-Vita or Merrick dry kibble. My boyfriend and I are big on “Eat Local” and both of these companies seemed pretty good for commercial dog food. Now that we have graduated from grad school, we can start entertaining the idea of paying a little more to feed raw. When we just had LoJack he would also get raw meaty bones once in a while for his teeth, we haven’t tried giving Quincy those due to some digestive issues we’ve been struggling with.
Anyways, I am thinking of originally starting with a pre-made raw, and possibly slowly adding in some other stuff. My boyfriend hunts, so hopefully we will have some venison this year for them, and we also live in the country so there is the possibility of contacting local butchers for organ meats and stuff. We already own a hand grinder for the meat (though we may invest in an electric one if we end up going with raw!).
Anyways, what are your recommendations for pre-made diets? At this point, we would like to stick with a grind because of Quincy’s issues with chunkier food (I want to make sure that raw works before trying chunks, then slowly add chunks in to make sure we don’t cause issues). I am considering doing Nature’s Variety since it is balanced for cats and dogs, which would be nice, but it is also a little expensive, so I figured I would see if anyone else has any suggestions. I would also consider a pre-mix with ground meat.
One last question – can they have venison bones? We saved a bunch from the deer we got last year and froze them, but I got worried about chronic wasting disease, so we have never tried them. They are thinner than the beef/bison bones we normally feed, so I worried about him swallowing chunks as well.
Molly, LoJack and Quincy (and Ralph the cat)
I understand that for areas that have affected deer, you have to be careful what parts you feed raw, so do research before using anything. I have heard that it is brain, spinal cord, and some organs that you have to be leary of, but I really don’t know for sure. The Honest Kitchen Preference, See Spot Live Longer, and Urban Wolf are all premixes that are good, and I believe that you can add cooked meat to them as well, if there is a worry about your venison. Darwin’s and Aunt Jenny’s have great commercial raw diets. Check out Grandma Lucy’s products too. If you want to order grinds that are not balanced and add your own stuff, Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore are great.
- This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by theBCnut.
So, I have been looking at my pet carnivore because I live in the Midwest and it wouldn’t be TOO hard to do one of their pick-ups if I got enough to make it worth it. But on their website, it seems like their calories per pound are really low? According to the 3% rule, my dogs need 1.2 pounds each, but I also know that they need around 1000 calories…doesn’t seem like it adds up?
Would I mix the stuff from my pet carnivore (I’m looking at the grinds that have bones and organs) with a premix? Or a vitamin?
Yeah, I’ve noticed that about their calorie counts too. I can’t imagine how they could possibly be that low. I would have to feed my dogs 10 lbs of their stuff a day if that was the actual calorie count and that was all I fed. I just don’t see how a pound of meat could have a calorie count that low.
Most premixes are for boneless meat. To a grind I would add vit E, vit D, omega 3s, a whole food supplement, a fruit and veggie mix, some ground nuts/seeds, and canned oysters or some other zinc and selenium source once a week.
If you are going to continue doing half kibble, you don’t have to worry as much about balancing a grind. I still add omega 3s every day and I give a whole food or superfood supplement every day. The other daily stuff I add every third day or weekly depending on dosage available. Since I do feed half kibble, I add a digestive enzyme to the kibble every day and probiotics or tripe about every other day.
Thanks Patty. I guess I had been thinking I would completely eliminate kibble, but perhaps I will leave a little in, just to give us that option when traveling or boarding. But it wouldn’t be 50%, so I guess I’ll still need to balance the raw.
I ordered two of the book I see mentioned on here a lot, the canine ancestral diet and the dr. Becker’s one. They should arrive Friday, so I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!
For the premixed, would I just buy ground meat at the store then? Without any organs or bone?
Thanks again, sorry for all the questions!
For the premix, yes just ground or whole boneless meat and whatever kind of oil they say to add.
And those are both great books, they have a lot of info to absorb though, so they are not the kind of book that you just read through once and you’re good. Have fun with it, I know many of us are.losulMember
About the chronic wasting disease- these tissues are known to harbor and concentrate the abnormal proteins-prions- brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes in an infected animal, although I’ve also read they can be in other tissues, even in blood.
Even high temperature cooking/irradiation does not destroy them.
Its not likely your dog or even you would get anything from them, specific prions have difficulty jumping the species barrier, although it HAS been thought/known to happen. Dogs thus far, and as far as I know, havent been reported to get any prion diseases, but it doesnt neccesarily mean they dont, cant or wont. So far there are about 4 or 5 of these transmissible and fatal prion diseases known to occur in humans, 1 in cats, 1 in cattle (BSE or mad cow) 1 in sheep/goats (scrapie) 1 in mink.
I posted about it the other day as a precautionary measure. You might want to avoid eating or feeding any of the above tissues if you live in a an area where CWD is known to be prevalent in the wild, or any tissues at all from a deer, elk or moose that is behaving sickly or oddly.
Here is more info on Transmissible spongiform encephalopathys, see also chronic wasting disease.
About MPC and their calorie fiasco. Thats something that recently appeared on their website. I agree there is absolutely no way those figures are correct. Also their protein and fat figures dont always jive. The bad thing is that the phone number that they provide is Paul’s cell phone number. I called Paul about two weeks ago when I saw these figures onsite. Paul also personally makes deliveries, which he was doing when I called. I told him that their was no way the calorie counts were right, take the chicken super mix for example-theres no way 1 pound could contain only 217 calories, and especially given the very high (supposedly) fat figures given. Even skinless, boneless chicken breast has way more calories than that. He told me that they had folks wanting to know the calorie counts so they obtained lab results showing those figures. I still insisted something was very wrong. He said that he could check back with the lab, but couldnt do much until he returned from his deliveries which would be a week or so. So I told him I would be calling back. Your post reminded me to call him, and I just got off the phone with him. He now agrees that something isnt right (probably has had lotso phone calls about), but that they still havent got it sorted out. When/if they get that sorted out I have more questions/concerns for him.
I was looking at those numbers a couple days ago and was thinking about starting a new thread to ask what anyone thought. You’ve seen how that went… One of these days I got to get a rountoit(or is that a round tuit) so I can get all those little things that I never do done.losulMember
Oh believe me, I know all bout the round tuit thing, lol. I have lotso those pending……………..
Thanks guys! Glad I’m not crazy about the calories.
Losul, thanks for the info on chronic wasting. We didn’t save organs at the time, only some bones. The deer is from Wisconsin, but I don’t think it’s a county with CWD.
I found a store that sells the 5lb Bravo chubs, so I think I’ll start with that and work my way into raw. We have to board them in a week, so we will probably wait until mid October before starting, which gives me time to read my new books too!
Thanks again! Keep the advice coming!
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