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  • #89587 Report Abuse

    We’ve got two Cocker Spaniels that we would like to convert to a raw diet to address health issues – primarily skin, joint and teeth.

    One is 13 and the other a rescue that we think is probably 8 now. Both are right at 34 lbs.

    I don’t think I have the time/knowledge to make my own, so looking at commercial options.

    I have a budget that allows me to afford $200/month, and I’ve narrowed it down to two options (I’m open to other suggestions), and wonder if I can get opinions from experienced raw feeders?

    1) Go with a 50/50 mix of Nature’s Variety Instinct frozen raw and Nature’s Variety Instinct kibble.


    2) 100% Raw using Steve’s Real Food

    I like the bite sized frozen option with both, which seems to make feeding easy.

    I can find nothing but good reviews on Nature’s Variety Instinct, but just can’t afford the $400/month it would take to feed 100% raw.

    Steve’s Real Food seems to get a few bad reviews here and there. Poor customer service notes, and the product seems to possibly be less consistent, and maybe doesn’t have the real bone that Instinct does. Also, it has higher than recommended fat.

    Any suggestions – better to go with a 50/50 mix with good quality, or really, is Steve’s Real Food actually very good, and better to fully convert?

    I’m not sure if a mix, really digests well and realizes the benefit of raw…

    Any feedback/guidance is greatly appreciated!

    #89627 Report Abuse

    Hi Ritchy-
    In my opinion, given the two choices, I would choose Nature’s Variety. The company has a very good reputation. I mix raw with kibble with no issue in about half of my dogs meals. Most of the other meals they get canned mixed in their kibble.

    However, I’m not sure if your plan will fix your dogs’ health issues. What are you feeding now? Please reply back on what you decide and how they do with the change. Good luck!

    #89650 Report Abuse

    Let me throw a cheaper option: order grinds from Hare Today, Reel Raw, Raw Feeding Miami, etc. I buy grinds with meat/bone/organ/some have tripe…I add a scoop of tripe to those that don’t. It’s prey model raw in ground form. I add eggs 3x weekly, salmon oil & stuff for fleas/ticks and a joint supplement. All you need is a scale!

    #89848 Report Abuse

    Thank you both for the input!

    Just thought I’d respond with the path we have decided on for now.

    We are going with a mix using nature’s variety. We are doing 25% raw/75% kibble currently and eventually moving to a 50/50 mix. (I am so new to this, I’m not ready to jump into managing nutrient content on my own…probably too lazy/busy to ever get there 🙂 )

    This will give us some raw in the diet from what seems to be a really good company.

    I REALLY like their feeding guidelines calculator on their website. I was able to enter the weight of each of our dogs and if they needed to maintain or lose a few pounds, the mix and food selections and get an exact feeding guideline.

    We are almost a week in now and I can already report a couple of good indicators:
    – The dogs love it; they eat way too fast now.
    – Their hair is already noticeably softer!

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