ELI5 Raw Feeding Guide

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  • #25038 Report Abuse

    Chuck
    Participant

    I know I am breaking forum etiquette here as there is a post from April that seems to be asking basically the same thing, however at this point I am just overwhelmed with information that I just can’t skim through anymore articles or blogs. So please explain it to me like I’m five!
    I have a 6 month old Brittany that I have been feeding Wellness Core and TOTW kibble since we got her at the end of April. She is a super picky eater and it has become progressively harder to get her to eat her kibble without starting to “spruce” it up with other foods. We had originally thought she would just become distracted so we started taking it away after 20 minutes or so but I think she really just doesn’t like kibble.
    So I started researching other foods and I came across all of this information about Raw Feeding, however there is a ton of information and I really do not know where to start. I am hoping someone can give me some good links or straight to the point help, I addition to knowing I am also going to have to sell this to the wife.

    1. Is it better to get a premade mix of raw food online or buy meats from the supermarket or meat market? Or is it better to have a mix?

    2. Is ground or whole better?

    3. I keep seeing people talking about feeding bones, including chicken bones… I was always told that chicken bones are dangerous? This is going to be the one that the hardest to get my wife on board with.

    4. Do you need to add supplements to these meals? If so are they included in the premade mixes or am I adding them?

    5. What is the best site for ordering?

    6. Does someone have a schedule or process I can literally follow to the letter?

    Sorry, I am sure this has been answered over and over again but I would really appreciate the help. I am not too concerned about the cost as Wellness and Core are not cheap, however if I can pre-make these and feed her in the morning because we are often in a rush and it’s so hard to get her to eat kibble before we leave.

    http://i.imgur.com/dcVgOaS.jpg

    #25051 Report Abuse

    pugmomsandy
    Participant

    1. Is it better to get a premade mix of raw food online or buy meats from the supermarket or meat market? Or is it better to have a mix?

    As a newbie to raw, I think it would be better for you to feed a food that is complete and balanced whether that is commercial frozen raw like Nature’s Variety, Primal, Bravo, Stella & Chewy’s, Darwins, and others, or dehydrated/freeze dried raw (but more expensive) food like Orijen freeze dried, Primal, Stella & Chewy’s. Meat by itself is not a good diet. For beginners, I would buy a commercial raw or use a Premix such as Urban Wolf, See Spot Live Longer, Grandma Lucy’s, The Honest Kitchen. You add meat and some oil and that’s usually it. No additional vitamins needed. You can make these in advanced in big batches and freeze in serving sizes or a couple days worth in one bag/container. You can feed up to 20% of an unbalanced food without having to worry about additional vits/minerals. For example, topping kibble with some meat or scrambled egg (but not more than 20% of the meal). As you become more comfortable with raw you can give homemade a try but be sure to use a recipe book.

    2. Is ground or whole better? Your dog might like the texture of some chunks, versus ground. But in any case, raw meat has enzymes that also helps keep teeth clean. The ripping of the flesh and tendons from the bone cleans the teeth too. I have small dogs so I use a coarse ground. My dogs don’t have a preference for meat sizes. They eat it all.

    3. I keep seeing people talking about feeding bones, including chicken bones… I was always told that chicken bones are dangerous? This is going to be the one that the hardest to get my wife on board with.

    Raw bones are edible. The cooked bones are dry and splinter. Also there are recreational bones versus consumable bones. Most small animals can be consumed whole (chicken, rabbit, quail, turkey). But dense, weight bearing bones from larger animals are for gnawing only (marrow bones/leg bones). For heavy chewers, they can break teeth. For instance, my small dogs eat chicken legs, turkey and duck necks and feet and pork baby back ribs. They gnaw on beef/bison rib bones and marrow bones/femur for the enjoyment and it keeps their teeth clean. I feed these outside and don’t worry about cleanup when the weather is nice. You can train your dog to eat bones in the house on a towel, blanket or tarp. This winter, I’ll be feeding my small dogs in a crate or I could feed them on the bathroom tile and mop.

    4. Do you need to add supplements to these meals? If so are they included in the premade mixes or am I adding them?

    If you use a complete and balanced commercial premix, no additional supplements are necessary. Although there are a lot of people who give whole food supplements like supergreen foods (chlorella, kelp, barley grass, etc), bee pollen, and herbs, a complete vitamin E.

    5. What is the best site for ordering?
    I’ve heard Chewy.com is good. I’ve always used Petflow and amazon.

    6. Does someone have a schedule or process I can literally follow to the letter?
    Sorry, I am sure this has been answered over and over again but I would really appreciate the help. I am not too concerned about the cost as Wellness and Core are not cheap, however if I can pre-make these and feed her in the morning because we are often in a rush and it’s so hard to get her to eat kibble before we leave.

    At my house, they eat raw if I have it thawed out. If not, they get other foods (kibble, canned, freeze dried). Darwins comes in convenient packaging and serving sizes and most commercial products come in patties or small bite sizes or chubs (which are the least convenient for me). You just have to remember to thaw! You can put 3 days worth out to thaw in the frig. I also use dehydrated foods (The Honest Kitchen, Addiction) where I just add water and let sit. I make some ahead of time and put it in the frig. But these are not raw.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  pugmomsandy.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  pugmomsandy.
    #25090 Report Abuse

    Chuck
    Participant

    Does anyone know of a site or book that has good recipes that are easy to follow? I see videos online and some sites like http://rawfed.com/links.html but nothing really concrete.. just I feed them chicken backs etc. Something with a little more detail I suppose.

    And if I was going to do something like Primal patties and adding 10% meaty bone… how often would I be doing that a few times a week? daily? and Its ok to go to Sams club or whole foods and get chicken thighs and chicken backs and my pup eat the whole thing? Its going to be very weird to watch her eat bones.

    Also If i were to continue feeding kibble (Wellness CORE or TOTW) along with patties at first would that be a problem? if so how would I ration that, treat the pattie like wet food?

    Overall I want my dog to be as happy and healthy as possible, and again this morning she ate maybe 1/3rd of her food… she just wont eat dry kibble unless something is mixed in. So I really want to make this change as fast as possible

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  Chuck.
    #25093 Report Abuse

    PrincessPiper
    Participant

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1929242670/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Click on the look inside and if you scroll down to page 109 you will see some examples of the recipes that are offered in this book. I’m new to raw feeding so I’m buying this book and I’ve heard that this book is a good one, too.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982533128/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    I think I’m going to start out with prepackaged and pre-mixes to get me started and after I read this book hopefully I will become a little more adventurous. 🙂

    I have a 3lb one year old yorkie that absolutely hates dog food so I started homecooking for her while I research raw. She currently gets premade raw for her evening meal and I cook her breakfast. She gets chicken feet (we raise our own birds) for treats.

    Good luck in your quest!!

    #25094 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Sandy answered your questions but I wanted to say welcome! My Brittany is three, her name is Ginger. You can see her under my name.

    #25095 Report Abuse

    neezerfan
    Member

    Hi Chuck, I’ve been where you are now and I agree it is overwhelming! You can take it step by step. I started by eliminating kibble altogether. The more I read about it, the more I felt it wasn’t a good food for my dog. I switched to 5 star canned foods, rotating brands and protein sources. I gave him a chicken neck or foot twice a week. Then I started rotating in commercially prepared raw starting with Primal and Nature’s Variety. Now his main food is Darwin’s but I still rotate in other brands and cans. I give him 2 homemade meals a week, he eats twice daily so that’s under the 20% rule.

    I don’t feel confident at this point to self prepare all of his meals. My next move is to rotate in meals consisting of fresh meat with a premix added. He’s only 2 so we have time! Maybe I’ll get there eventually but for now I’m doing the best that I feel comfortable with.

    Start your dog with a chicken neck and see how it goes. My dog will eat absolutely anything but it did take him a few minutes to get going on his first chicken neck. He just looked at it and circled it for a while before getting down to business. Now he eats all kinds of bones.

    #25096 Report Abuse

    Chuck
    Participant

    I think for now I am going to mix something like primal patties and her Wellness CORE kibble and start to add in things like people suggested, chicken necks etc until I feel more comfortable making meals for her.

    Does that sound like it would be an adequate diet / nutrients in the interim over just dry kibble?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  Chuck.
    #25146 Report Abuse

    Hi Chuck,
    I started the switch by adding The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food and Stella and Chewy’s or Primal freeze-dried patties to my dog’s kibble to change it up and keep him interested. I think it should be adequate nutrition as long as you’re adding the complete formulas. Just make sure you look at the calories and replace the appropriate amount of kibble with Primal. The dehydrated and freeze-dried foods tend to be a little more calorie dense. I’ve been feeding about 2/3 kibble and 1/3 Honest Kitchen, Primal, or Stella’s going on 2 years now and my dog loves it and is in the best shape he’s ever been in.

    Good Luck!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  RescueDaneMom.
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