Ok, so I currently feed a prey model raw diet to my 3 dogs and they are doing great on it and their teeth are getting so clean it is amazing. Well, one of my dogs wouldn’t eat her raw and this went on for 3 days. I know I should have given her some more time and made her eat the raw, but I decided to just buy a small bag of Orijen kibble just so she would eat something. Of course, she ate the kibble no problem. I love feeding raw, but the fact is it is costing me more money right now because I don’t have a separate freezer to buy in bulk like I would need to to make it cheaper for 3 dogs. If I decided to put my dogs back on kibble and gave them a raw meaty bone 2-3 times per week or so, would that make me a terrible dog owner? lol. I want the benefit of cleaning their teeth, but I’m going broke because of it due to my current situation. I am also a full time college student and work a full time job, so I barely have time to go buy the food and then bag it all up for the week and a half that it lasts (that’s all I can fit in my freezer/fridge at the moment).
Hi gmcbogger38 –
I completely understand – I’m a full time student as well and I feed my two bloodhounds raw, it does get pricey and also time consuming. If buying in bulk isn’t possible it would be fine to feed half kibble and half raw and no that would not make you a terrible dog owner. Your dogs would still be eating better than most other dogs. I would look into some more budget friendly kibble options, Orijen is great but I don’t think it would be a good way to cut costs – it’s ridiculously priced. I’d recommend checking out Earthborn or Dr. Tim’s – both rated 5 stars and much cheaper than Orijen. If you did kibble in the morning, then in the evening you could do say a turkey neck and some turkey hearts or a chicken back/gizzards/livers/raw egg or some green tripe, etc.
Thanks for the advice! I will look into some other foods. Thanks!
Do you think adding a supplement will be necessary since they will be getting kibble? Or will they get enough from the raw I would be feeding?
If you went back to kibble and still offered some raw for a couple meals that would still be better than no raw. As far a supplements go, kibbles are “complete and balanced” but I still give additional fish oil, super green foods, probiotics.
I do give fish oil because I don’t feed much fish as far as raw goes. I was giving them a probiotic I read about on this forum actually. Do you think Nupro would be worth giving to them for the skin and coat and digestive benefit or not worth the money?
Nupro isn’t a bad supplement however I wouldn’t discontinue the fish oil. The omega 3’s in Nupro come from flaxseed. Plant-based omega 3’s (with the exception of algae and yeast derived omega 3’s) are in the form of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which is a short-chain omega 3. In order to be utilized by the body the short-chain omega 3’s need to be converted into long chain omega 3’s – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The conversion process from short-chain to long-chain is very inefficient – I’ve read some sources that state the conversion rate is less then 5%. Animal sources of omega 3’s (cage free eggs and fatty fish or fish oil) and omega 3’s derived from algae or yeast are already in the form of DHA and EPA and don’t need to be converted. Nupro also, unfortunately, only contains 1 strain of probiotic – lactobacillus acidophilus. I do the like inclusion of whole foods in Nupro though. Personally, I think you could do better and likely for cheaper. I would suggest picking either a high quality fish oil or feeding tinned sardines, a multi-strain probiotic (Swanson’s sells some very high quality, reasonably priced probiotic supplements check out https://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-probiotics-dr-stephen-langers-ultimate-15-strain-probiotic-fos-60-veg-caps or https://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-ultra-soil-based-organisms-90-caps) and mixing up a “super food” supplement. I purchase ingredients in 1 lb. bags from Swanson’s and mix them myself, I store them in giant jars in the fridge. Doing it this way is so much cheaper per pound than pre-blended supplements and it allows you to customize the ingredients. The current blend I’m using is 1 part spirulina, 1 part kelp, 1 part alfalfa, 1 part wheatgrass and 1 part bee pollen. I do switch up ingredients occasionally for variety.
I actually bought the Soil Based Organisms from Swanson’s and took them myself and gave them to my dogs. I’ll just buy that again and get some more fish oil. Thanks for your advice. It really helps!
Would you recommend adding a small amount of garlic in the homemade mix? If so, is there a ratio of how much to give per certain amount of body weight?
Give freshly minced garlic every other day or 3 days on, 4 days off.
For <10 lbs 1/4 clove
10-20 lbs 1/2 clove
20-50 lbs 1 clove
50-75 lbs 2 cloves
75-100 lbs 2 1/2 cloves
>100 lbs 3 cloves
Thanks so much!
Question about rotating kibbles: I know it is probably personal opinion, but do you guys recommend rotating within one brand first or just rotating to different brands?
You can do both. A couple recipes of one brand, a couple recipes of others. I have a couple flavors from Brand X, a couple from Brand Y, a couple from Brand Z and those are kibbles, Then I have around 6 or so different brands of canned foods in different flavors. And I use 3 different dehydrated foods as well. Mine can eat something different at each meal. Right now I have 4 or 5 different kibbles open.
To get the full benefits of a rotational diet you’ll want to rotate brands. Generally, the different varieties within the same brand are nearly identical – usually they just switch the protein source. When I fed kibble I switched to a new brand with a different protein source than the previous type I used at the end of each bag. I also rotated canned and/or fresh food toppers daily.
Great article to read!
Thanks guys and that was a great article. Thanks!
While my 8 month, small 9lb puppy seems to be healthy eating canned and dry food, alternately, twice daily. Respecting which I add a very small amount of cooked chicken breast. I am wondering whether to add a bit of raw garlic to her dish, plus alternating the cooked chicken with some canned albacore tuna. There is also talk of occasionally adding a teaspoon of cooked squash to puppy food. Any merit in this – or am I going overboard on nutritional needs.
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