As alot of you know, I feed Darwins pre made. I’m curious what other raws people think are high quality ones
If I was going to go pre-made my top pics would be Answers, Aunt Jeni’s and the non-HPP Primal varieties.
HDM: do the bags of Primal say if they are HPP or not?
Any variety with poultry is HPP and any variety without poultry is non-HPP. So the beef, lamb, rabbit and venison are non-HPP.
I’ve used Primal and NV raw. The last bag of Primal Rabbit had what looked like a “crust” all around the patty like breadcrust but on all sides and it felt a little spongy and when you broke the patty open, the “crust” and the insides were a different color! I think one of the NV was like that too but it’s been a while since I’ve used it but I remember I usually get their beef.
That’s too bad. Primal hasn’t started using HPP on all their raw have they? I know when I first started raw I used their mixes. I would order the bulk variety pack from the dogma and I noticed that the lamb, beef, buffalo and sardine (all non-HPP) always looked super fresh and pink, while the turkey and chicken (HPP) always were gray-ish and had a rind…
Has NV started using a different process or modified it? The bags of the raw I always bought were that slightly grayish color from the HPP…This last bag we bought(the bite size pieces-chicken) was/is very very pink in color. Difference of night and day..
A feed store not too far away is selling Answers; HDM likes it but have you fed it? Anyone else? What about Steve’s real food? Anyone feed that?
I’m looking at all options, beside Darwins. Mine love it and I think it’s the best pre made out there but it’s so costly. We have a new dog coming this weekend and I’d really like to have all three on a pre made for one meal.
I’ve fed Primal and NV, and also Steve’s Real Food. My vet carries NV and Steve’s. I like Primal and Steve’s better than NV. Currently, though, I’m using the Freeze Dried versions of Primal, NV (sometimes when I can find it), and Stella & Chewy’s. I know it’s not as good as the regular raw, but it’s doable in this household and I like it alot, lol.
hi Mom2Cavs (is it Jan??)
thank you for responding! It turns out the in state place that carried Answers does not any longer so that is not an option. My dogs didn’t like the NV and Primal is more costly than Darwins and I’d have to drive over an hour, one way, to pick it up.
What can you tell me about Steve’s?
Yes, it’s Jan lol. I didn’t use it for long, but the dogs did fine on it and liked it. The nuggets were smaller than NV or Primal. It does have some rice bran in it, or did when I used it, and that seems strange for a raw food imho. It came in a bigger bag and if I remember was cheaper in the long run than the others. My vet, who carries it, actually feeds his Goldens NV Prairie and Steve’s. I didn’t use it often because my vet is 45-50 mins. from home and I only bought it if I was going there. I can get Primal and NV closer to home. With all that said, I don’t use regular raw anymore. I like the freeze dried because my daughter and husband (rarely) can help out with feeding because they are more comfortable using the FD. I add water to it and rehydrate it. I tried using The Honest Kitchen and Grandma Lucy’s but the dogs prefer the Primal and Stella & Chewy’s much more. I’m gonna pick up some Vital Essentials today to add to the mix, though it seems to be the most expensive of all.
There is no rice bran in it now, the ingredient pdf even say no rice.
Thanks for this forum. I’m new to it, so could advise, what is HPP? Went organic 10 years ago after Science Diet gave my airedale a tennis ball-sized on her kneecap. Have been organic/raw for the K9ers about 6 years and want to take it all the way. Any info, please. Many thanks!
Hi Chloralu –
HPP stands for “High Pressure Processing.” HPP is a process in which extremely high pressure is applied uniformly around and throughout a raw food product. HPP is used to destroy bacteria and is said to do minimal damage to the flavor, texture and color of raw food (although if you ever buy a product that has undergone HPP and compare it to a non-HPP product you’ll notice that there is a sort of “rind” formed around most HPP products and the color is noticeably grayish – at least in my experience). HPP also extends shelf life. All the benefits of raw food without the risk of bacterial contamination, sounds great right? The downside is that beneficial bacteria, some enzymes and some functional proteins are destroyed as well. Because the “friendly” bacteria is destroyed along with the “bad” bacteria if the food is ever stored improperly and happens to get contaminated with “bad” bacteria there is no “friendly” bacteria to keep the “bad” bacteria in check and prevent it from growing out of control. Oftentimes re-contamination can happen during the manufacturing process (like during all the recent kibble recalls for salmonella contamination). The raw foods that are HPP are: Stella & Chewy’s, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Primal (poultry varieties only). Individuals with immune-compromised dogs may have no other option than HPP if they wish to feed raw, however for a healthy dog I think HPP should be avoided. A healthy dog is fully equipped to handle the bacteria present in raw meat. There are also steps that can be taken to destroy bacteria without altering the nutritional value of the food: apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, raw garlic and alfalfa all have antibacterial properties (not to mention a myriad of other health benefits) and can easily be added to raw food for those concerned about bacterial contamination. If your dog is on a raw diet it’s also a good idea to supplement with a high quality multi-strain probiotic – this will keep the colony of good bacteria in your dog’s gut strong so if bad bacteria ever does come around the dog will be better able to combat it.
Dear HDM (got that one),
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this long reply. It explained so much about the supposedly raw varieties out there, and they’re all expensive, but I think the days are long gone when any of us who value our companions can rely on the supermarket to help us out with their choices, except of course, WholeFoods, to name a few. Found this wonderful website via Val Heart’s entry: http://www.valheart.com/blog/dog-talk/dog-owners-blame-beneful-for-their-pets-illness/. I tried beneful twice in the past 2 years in an emergency, and noted each time they woofed it down – I was suspicious then (excitotoxins in their and our food…). I’m committed to either making or getting a high-quality food, since I am their only food source, and I love them. Many thanks!!!!!
That’s good to know about the rice in Steve’s. The last time I was at my vets I noticed they had changed to packaging for Steve’s and it was pretty different from the last time I bought it. I didn’t look at the ingredients to see if they’d changed.
Hello Everyone 🙂
I thank God for this site & Forum! I have a female JRT, she will be 6 yrs this March 2013. I have transitioned my beautiful JRT to “RAW” 9 months ago. I changed her diet because she wok me up at 3am in the morning whinning, scratching and the strangest thing I ever saw and experienced in my life. Her skin under her coat was a inflamed red and couldn’t believe how much she resembled a pug due to the whelps, bumps and hives she had all over her body. I could not imagine what could have brought this on??? I rushed her to the aspca emergency costing me a not so pretty penny! She was given an injection & some allergy meds. I held her and rocked her as the whipppering subsided.
Now nearly a year, vet visits, excessive shedding, scratching, ear infections, paw sores, excessive licking, more vet visits, more money, more money, 3 months wearing an e-collar. Just miserable. So as a MOM, I decided to do some research for these allergies she was yet properly diagnosed for and I read that an ancestral diet would be the best thing for her, so I have tried several brands from Steve’s to Nature’s Instinct, Darwin’s, Bravo’s Stella & Chewy, the list goes on. I had to elimnate dry kibble that consisted of glutens, grains, white & sweet potatoe, rice, flax seed, which increased the yeast growth in her ears which was almost like a cauliflower shap from the scratching, bleeding and infections. So here I am looking for much needed help because her allergies started up again. She scratched so bad under her front leg that she developed an infection there as well! she wouldn’t even let me touch her. She is still eating raw, but I don’t see any positive results nor changes. I currently have her on Instinct’s “Rabbit & Lamb” Buying anything and ordering from any retailer is practically hard to order due to the location of where I live. I have been reading the forum thread here & see that Primal & Bravo is the hot topic. I have her on Dr. Karen Becker’s Krill oil, Ubiquinol & probiotics. She is still shedding excessively! I can make another dog with all the hair on the floor & furniture of my home. I vaccum 3 times a week. I even had to change the shampoo I was bathing her with. If anyone comes by to visit, I tell them don’t wear black! LOL. I also have a Yorkshire Terrier, thankfully no problems with him Amen! So to all you wonderful people here, I could sure use your advice on what I can and should do??? As far as putting her back on Primal or Bravo’s???
Thank You ALL Sincerely,
After all the writing, My post wasn’t posted
Would someone please explain to me the difference between frozen raw and freeze-dried raw? I understand the difference in actual preparation — but is one of these better nutritionally? Safer? Is it only a matter of storage (freeze-dried doesn’t need to be in the freezer)? Thank you!!
Hi beaglemom –
IMO – frozen is preferable to freeze-dried because it has undergone less processing. Each process a food goes through is just more nutrients lost. Fresh raw would be ideal, followed by frozen, followed by frozen HPP or freeze-dried non-HPP, followed by freeze-dried HPP, followed by dehydrated raw, etc. etc. You want to feed the least processed choice you can. Freeze-dried will also cost a lot more to feed than frozen or fresh raw. Many of the freeze-dried formulas are HPP (high pressure processed) – including Nature’s Variety, Stella & Chewy’s and many of Primal’s varieties. HPP is a process in which the food is put under extreme pressure to kill bacteria – however proteins and enzymes are denatured, some nutrients are lost and the “good” bacteria is destroyed as well. I prefer non-HPP – fresh or frozen.
Is raw good for a diabetic dog???????
Konamisan ~~ other things, like vaccine reactions, can cause these same skin issues that allergies can cause. Has your JRT been vaccinated recently? Also sounds like there might be an internal yeast overgrowth (which can also manifest in symptoms like you are seeing). Does your pup have a “corn chip” or yeasty smell?
Also it is very common to have “set backs” or detoxes when the immune system is compromised and the body is allowed (due to a change to a better food etc) to rid itself of nasties.
How long has she been on the probiotics. Probiotics are very important but can cause a mass die off of systemic candida and that die off causes toxins (released by the yeast as they die). That die off can cause the symptoms you are seeing.
It very well could be a reaction to another food but I think some of these other possible reasons may be worth considering..
Thanks for the reply HDM. I’m still a bit new in the world of NON-grocery store dog food and there’s so much to learn! I’ve gotten so much from you and your experiences through your posts on this site so just wanted to say that my dogs and I appreciate it!
Aw, thanks beaglemom. I’m glad you find my posts helpful! 🙂
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