Okay, I’m just going to throw this out here because I’ve found this to be a remarkably useful website, and if there’s anyplace I might productively ask my question, it’d be here. I apologize in advance for the length of it.
My family’s got four dogs currently: One small, one medium, one medium-large, and one large. It’s a nice range. I try to order higher-quality kibble brands to offset the lower-quality ones sometimes brought home by other people. A month or two ago, I had a two-hour phone conversation with my aunt, who’s got one small dog on a raw diet (with wet canned stuff in the mornings.) I’d hoped to simply be able to follow her precise regimen, adjusted for our pack…and got a half-page worth of notes during that convo in Microsoft Word. I should’ve figured it wouldn’t be simple, and I suppose I could start ordering some whole rabbits or tripe or turkey necks and supplements or any of the other various things I jotted down from the site she mentioned…but the whole thing still seems so overly, excessively complicated and worrisome. She said that she hadn’t even told her vet about the switch, but had been at it for about a year now.
A few benefits stood out: Cleaner teeth naturally, because no matter how much toothpaste or how many correct-ingredient-inclusive wipes I use, nothing removes the ‘icky’ stuff (which is worst on the oldest dog.) My aunt also noted that cleaning up after them is much easier thanks to the raw–and since that job typically falls to me, I’d really appreciate that. AND potential weight loss/healthy-weight management, as well…I almost always opt for the low-fat variety of everything to be on the safe side. Fortunately the hefty Brittany did recently move down to a smaller dosage of heartworm med, and can suddenly fit behind the sofa again–so I guess it finally paid off.
I’ve given the pooches everything from the raw-coated kibbles to Stella & Chewy patties to Fresh Pet to Honest Kitchen “green slop” (we’ve had that huge box for over a year now), to dozens of kibble brands that all seem essentially identical–and so on and so forth. When I try to look up which kibble or commercial raw food to try (assuming that cans would disappear far too quickly to be worthwhile), I am instantly overwhelmed and confused–I see loads and loads of brand names and packaging and shapes, but all of the food and flavors appear to be the same. I have no idea how to even tell which to buy. The sizes and portions and pricing baffle me–how am I to tell what will feed multiple dogs of various sizes and breeds for more than a couple days? We usually get a new big kibble bag about twice a month. I simply cannot tell what the raw equivalent would be…and even for dry food, I’m now kinda stumped. Every time I’m asked to order another bag, I freeze. How to choose?!?! My list’s grown so long, and we’ve tried so many…now I usually go with whichever has the best price per pound at the time, and a decent rating/reviews. I wish I could just find the perfect brand to consistently turn to, and continuously rotate through their flavors and treats. (Deciding which treat to pick up becomes a whole other can of worms, and I’m just like, “Gods, why, why, why must this be so bamboozling?! Why the hundreds of redundant choices? The dogs don’t even care, they just want our stuff!”)
Only one of the four dogs eats neatly (my Saluki, who has a snood. 😉 The other three are slobs, knocking the bowls around and splashing before they even touch the floor. The little Beagle frequently flat-out refuses to eat from a bowl, insisting that the food be spilled onto the floor for him. Also, my mom’s a clean freak–and I’m a bit of one myself at times. For these reasons, I knew that any attempt to transition would be tough and drawn-out, if not impossible. I knew I’d have to discover the cleanest, neatest, easiest, least odiferous method.
Now, before I got older and started performing more research into these areas, my parents…well all right, let me just put it this way. The two Beagles we had at the time I was born ate cheap supermarket kibble and human leftovers, lived in the backyard, never once to my knowledge had their teeth brushed (the one had green teeth and rancid breath) or nails trimmed or even saw the vet…yet both lived happily & health-problem-free for 16-18+ years (we can’t be exactly certain because they were adopted from a shelter.) Thus it can be very difficult for me to convince these guys, no matter how many times I reiterate what the healthy-food brochures say, to go out of their way for “special frou-frou dog food” or anything they’re unused to.
WHEW. Ever so sorry to unload all that frustration here. Any advice, recommendations, or assistance that anybody ever feels like dropping would, of course, be most appreciated.
Are you looking to feed whole meat raw or a ground product?
If ground, there are various companies with grinds that you just weigh out & feed. It’s what I do, plus I offer beef ribs for dental health.
Some companies that offer grinds are Hare Today, Reel Raw (they are in Maine, they have 10lb bags of complete mixes, depending on where you live, shipping is free for buying 30lb or 50lb)….I use these two companies. The other two I haven’t used but I recommend are My Pet Carnivore and Raw Feeding Miami.
Thanks for the reply, Marie!
I suppose I would be looking for something like that–a ready-made ground product to simply weigh out in the appropriate amounts, so that I wouldn’t have to be wondering whether I’m doing it right. I like how straightforward it is to just dump a cup or half-cup of kibble into the bowls.
Or really, any high-quality diet that comes in sizes suitable for multiple varied dogs…raw just seemed to be posited as “the best possible option,” so I’ve been starting to look into it.
Hare Today is actually the same site my aunt uses.
Hmm. The Miami site’s product list offers this: “Build An Order” -‐New to RAW FEEDING, or dont want the hassle of choosing items. Let us do the work for you. At no extra charge, you give us your
budget and Dogs info ( Weight, Allergies, Breed ) and we build your order for you! Please Email us for this service and request BUILD AN ORDER.”
…Which is pretty much exactly what I sought, because I have absolutely NO idea what I’d have to order or how much I’d need per month or so…but then, I don’t think they were the one that mentioned free shipping……and Reel Raw looks similarly interesting.
Thank you for the recommendations.
I agree with Marie, grinds would be the way to go. I have cats and a dog. I just ordered raw grinds (chix, turkey,duck) for the cats from Darwin’s. They asked for the cat’s weights and estimated the amount I needed. You just need to get yourself a scale and a calculator and do some math. The usual suggested amount is 2-3% of your dog’s weight per day. There are also premixes that you can mix into your own ground meat so you don’t need to worry about balancing supplements. Good luck, you’ll get a lot of good advice from the regulars here. I’m just starting raw too, have learned a lot.
I dunno: you’re welcome! I admit, I like the easiness of grinds. Let us know what you decide!
I’m not sure how the “build an order” works for new dogs, just because you don’t know
about boneless. My boy needs 3oz of bone in plus an ounce of boneless or he has really
hard stools that are white. My girl gets no boneless.
Hi, why not give the guys at http://www.allprovide.com a call – 678-585-1606 – they do a range of raw meals in convenient 1lb pouches, and even have a feeding guide/cost calculator on their website if you’re stuck working out how much to feed. With four dogs, they also offer a number of different discount options which you may find makes the food even more affordable (it includes natural supplements such as coconut oil etc so you don’t have to add anything to the foods, which makes serving very easy and convenient.) They deliver for free to most of the USA and do a Starter Box too if you just want to try a small amount to see how your dogs take to it.
Thank you to all…!
Good to know others are in a similar boat. The approximate measurement is also helpful to know, as is the fact that there are things to mix into ground meat so that it’s suitable for feeding. That sounds somewhat reassuring.
So, the boneless is something you find out based on the individual dog? Like, you try it and see how it affects them individually?
And I’ll check out All Provide too, since that kind of service also sounds exactly like what I’m thinking of–simplifying the process. |-D
If you’ve the storage space, Allprovide offer 20% off “bulk buy boxes” of 28lbs – and if you call them and can order 64lbs at a time, that discount becomes 25% – they don’t advertise that on the website though so you will have to ring them to get that saving 🙂
Ooh, insider tips…terrific! Thanks! That sounds potentially appealing. I think 64 lbs would last at least a month…
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