I currently feed my four dogs (20 lbs – 60 lbs) Earthborn Holistic’s Primitive Natural formula, which I’ve been very happy with and receives Dog Food Advisor’s five star rating. I’m having some concern about tartar build up, and have always been interested in feeding raw. I’m concerned about the correct balance of nutrients, so I’m thinking I would like to start with 50/50 kibble/raw.
My question is, speaking purely of meat, what is an average price per pound, and what cuts/protein sources are you feeding? Cost is a big issue for me! I get my kibble at cost, so I spend about $80/month on it. Based on the needs of my crew, raw meat would have to be $.50/pound to match the price of kibble (of course, I could spend a bit more). I’m going to go down to the butcher shop in a day or two and inquire about different prices and cuts, but right now just trying to figure out if it’s feasible to do this.
I’m a raw NOVICE, by the way, so any advice is appreciated!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Erin –
You aren’t going to see any dental benefit from feeding ground raw. If you’re interested in feeding raw meaty bones, the mechanical chewing action will aid in keeping the teeth cleaner to a certain degree. However, the only way to ensure optimal dental health is to actually brush your dogs teeth – this should be done at least three times a week.
Price will vary greatly and will depend on which protein source you feed, which cut you feed, quality (grass fed vs. conventional), purchase quantity and your location. I purchase items in bulk from a distributor that supplies grocery stores and restaurants and get things like chicken backs (~$0.30/lb.), turkey necks (~$0.60/lb), chicken hearts & gizzards ($0.80/lb), turkey hearts & gizzards ($0.90/lb.), pork hearts ($0.90/lb), beef hearts ($1.30/lb), etc. etc. All my items come in 15 to 50 lb. cases and I have to order a minimum of 300 lbs. at a time. Purchasing meat at the grocery store would be much more expensive.
If you wanted to work in a little raw for the dental benefits you would be safe feeding a a raw meaty bone a few times a week in addition to the kibble without throwing anything off balance (you’d just want to make sure to feed a little less kibble on those days to account for the calories in the raw meaty bone). Larger dogs do well with chicken leg quarters, chicken backs, turkey necks and pork necks. Smaller dogs do well with chicken wings and necks.
If you want to start feeding 50% raw you’ll need to be sure it’s balanced. I’d suggest checking out the book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown – it includes easy to prepare balanced recipes. You could also use a pre-mix – my favorite is See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix (formulated by the author of the aforementioned book). I like it because it’s reasonably priced and doesn’t add in large amounts of fruits/veggies/etc. like some other mixes do so I have the freedom to customize it more to my preferences.
You may also find some useful information on the raw diet threads: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/forum/raw-dog-food-forum/
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
HDM- I’m not sure I’ve noticed you say your minimum food order before! How big is your freezer?!
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