Dog Food Advisor › Forums › Homemade Dog Food › Wanting to start a raw diet
August 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm #49945 Report Abuse
As some of you guys may know, my moms dog Bentley, a 7 pound jack russell/maltese mix, has a terrible time with yeast infections on his skin, mainly his back half, and all four paws. I finally decided it wasn’t a food allergy, but a seasonal allergy (and every season in FL is allergy season) after trying nearly every dry food on the shelf here, and put him on By Nature 95% canned, which we have to order online every three weeks. And even then, he needs a whole can (he is extremely active and has a high metabolism), but we manage to get by with 3/4 of a can one day, and then 1/4 of a can the next with 1/4 cup (dry measured) of a THK grain free complete mix, and that keeps his weight up well enough. If I didn’t happen to have a couple sample boxes of THK, I don’t know what I’d do! Anyway, his fur is growing back, he’s overall much better, but I still feel like he needs a bit more of a better diet to push his recovery into the right direction.
I’m wanting to do a pre-mix, and have it narrowed down to Urban Wolf and See Spot Live Longer. But I have issues with both. My only issue with UW is the price! I coupon for my dog food, and there is definitely some major sticker shock going on there. I need to know how much food the whole bag would make, and about how long it would last him before I can really pick this one or not. Then theres SSLL. The price is great, as just $17 a 1lb bag. Each bag claims to make 26lb of food, but there are no feeding guidelines or preparation instructions on the website! And the owner of the site doesn’t seem to have all his ducks in a row, either, from what I hear. But the priiiiiice! Its so affordable sounding! I’d love to hear your all’s thoughts on these mixes, and I’d also like to know of any other low carb, and no/minimal sweet potato and carrot mixes out there (Grandma Lucy’s and Sojo’s are out– not high enough calories).
I was also wondering, at his size, how often, and how much, should I offer eggs and sardines? And what brand of sardines do you guys use?
As for proteins, pork and chicken are very high up on the contenders list. Ground pork is just $2.49 a pound, and most pieces of chicken are $1.99 a pound and less. What are your guy’s thoughts on pork as a decent chunk of the dogs diet? I hear such mixed things about pork in general for dogs, but he sure does love a good country rib! And about the chicken, I hear many people like to use dark meat chicken because of the fat content. This sounds great to me because its *cheap*, thighs in particular being just $1.49 a pound. Is this correct? He can certainly use any extra fat he can get (him and cat are running around the house like lunatics right now, even!).
I also want you guys to ok my “staple” meat choices:
There are more, but I can’t think of them. And then I will also throw in whatever’s on a good sale at the time. Beef is expensive, so it’ll be mostly turkey, chicken, pork (given what ever you guys say about the pork) and beef parts. He doesn’t like fish, so thats not going to be anything I’ll force on him, other than the occasional sardine for his skin and coat. And I know liver shouldn’t be a very large part of the diet. They aren’t sold in very big packages, anyways lol (and some pre-mixes call for them?)
My last question for now, when I want to offer a protein with bone in it (RMB), could I feed him the pre-mix prepared with no meat (separated out during prep before meat is added), and then give him the RMB? Or could I just give the RMB as the meal and forget the pre-mix (but how often can I do that?)? Or I could remove all the meat from the bone, and give him just the bone as a munchy treat. Given his mushy diet, I would really like to make sure he gets enough to chew on. My plan is to make his meals for one to two weeks ahead on a weekend, and then freeze them all in a planned out sort of manner, and mark out his meals by day. That way I can make sure he gets the right amount of sardines and egg, and gets a good rotation of meat.
That’ll do for now, i think. I’m just in the planning stages, so I’m open to any suggestions, change in plans, tips, whatever. Thanks! 🙂August 23, 2014 at 9:22 am #49980 Report Abuse
Thanks! I did manage to find that some time last after posting. Sure does make you work for it, doesn’t it? LOL If you could post the feeding guidelines, that’s be great!
You’re currently using SSLL? How do you like it? Do you have more dogs than just the little guy in your pic? I need to figure out about how much it would cost to feed Bentley. We are at about $20 a month on By Nature 95% right now, and can’t go too much beyond that. Though it won’t look so bad when some of that is considered “grocery” :p
I also looked around for any info on pork, but got such mixed things I gave up. From it’s fat content is too high and can cause colitis, to it’s fine as long as you freeze it for three weeks to rid it of any worms, to it’s just fine and the internet lies. The articles that I did read though said that pork is typically fine, as long you go for more learner cuts, and make sure you take precautions against the whole roundworm deal (which isn’t usually a problem these days). Very weird.August 23, 2014 at 9:26 am #49981 Report Abuse
Hi Akari, on the SSLL dinner mix bag, for a 5-10lb dog, you use 3-6oz. of meat and 1/2-1 cup of mix per day. I was going to take a picture of the chart, but figured all you needed was the info about a 7lb. dog. I have a bag here, so let me know if you need anything else off of it.August 23, 2014 at 9:29 am #49983 Report Abuse
Wait, that sure sounds like an awful lot of the SSLL mix. It also says, on the directions, to mix 2 level tablespoons for adults to one pound of meat. Which is what I do. I feed Bailey 6-8oz. of meat and use 1 tablespoon of mix. No clue why that chart says to use so much more.August 23, 2014 at 11:04 am #49995 Report Abuse
I was gunna say! Lol the webste says tablespoons, not cups lol I wonder if there’s a typo somewhere…? I’ll have to email, I suppose.
How big is your dog, Cyndi?August 23, 2014 at 11:47 am #49996 Report Abuse
My dog is 50lbs. I’ll take a pic of the chart on the bag and show you. It says tablespoons in the directions but on the chart, it uses cups. No clue.August 23, 2014 at 11:53 am #49997 Report AbuseAugust 23, 2014 at 11:56 am #50002 Report Abuse
Took me a few tries, but I got it, lol!August 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm #50007 Report AbuseGizmoMomMember
So sorry I forgot to type it up for you! Kinda got distracted.
Cyndi, thanks for posting the guidelines.
The chart is a recommendation for how much you feed your dog after you have mixed SSLL according to instructions.
So you’ll mix 1lbs of meat with 2 tbsp of SSLL (or 4tbsp for puppies). Then after all mixed together, you measure the amount to feed. Add recommended oil before feeding.
Akari, I only have one dog. Not sure how much I’m spending though, since I rotate with other premixes. For me, this might be more expensive than other mix because it uses more meat ratio to the mix. For other brands like Grandma Lucy and THK, the meat ratio is 1:1 or 2:1. I feed organic meat from Wholefoods, so more meat means more expensive per meal.August 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm #50012 Report Abuse
Oh, I get it now. I knew I must have been missing something, lol! I was just going to type it out too, but figured posting a pic would be easier, especially since I’m a dumbass and didn’t understand the chart, lol!August 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm #50020 Report AbuseDoriMember
LOL Cyndi. I was going to jump in on the amount of food you first mentioned. When I first read your post I thought. That’s a heck of a lot of food. That can’t possibly be right. Then GizmoMom jumped in.
Akari. From all that I know about pork, you absolutely have to freeze it a minimum of 2 weeks (longer probably better) to rid it of any parasites. Very important. Even if you buy it frozen at the store you still need to freeze it at home because you have no idea how long they froze the pork. I’ve got a 5 lb. Yorkipoo, a 6 lb. Maltipoo and a 7 lb. Maltese. They each get 1/4 cup of raw diet twice a day. Two to three times a week I split a small can (grocery store tuna fish aisle) of sardines in water to their meals. I don’t give them eggs because my Maltipoo is intolerant to any and all things poultry. On days that I do not give them sardines added to their meal I give them once a day a little squirt of Sardine Oil which I keep in the refrigerator on top of their meal. I use Nature’s Logic. I like the company and trust them. I also give them two or three times a week once a day only maybe about 1/8 tsp. (maybe a little less) of coconut oil. I just put it on their food and they eat it. I don’t give them more than that with the coconut oil because their poops will immediately get kind of soft, dark and gooey (sp?). Sorry for that poop description but that’s the only way I know of explaining it. Just in case it happens to you. I don’t think any of my gals digest the coconut oil too well. I have to say that sometimes weeks go by that I don’t bother with the coconut oil. I don’t see that it helps them one way or the other. I have tried the coconut chips that are sold but they come out looking exactly the same way they went in. White coconut chips in and out.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I feed commercial raw diets. I don’t feed any poultry whatsoever. Remember no bones that contain marrow. Way to fatty is the marrow. Beef ribs with a bit of meat (not a lot) are fine. If he actually eats the bone then you don’t need to also feed the meal. If he just chews the bone for entertainment value then, yes, feed the meal. Mine just think they’re toys. Will chew for a bit and then leave them laying around. The only dehydrated food that I feed (haven’t for a while) is The Honest Kitchen Zeal. The Zeal formula is because Katie (Maltipoo is intolerant of all things poultry. I don’t feed anything with potatoes in it. I had to stop feeding THK because of the alfalfa (again, Katie’s issues with alfalfa). They have started producing the Zeal without the alfalfa but are still trying to clear out their old stock and also their old boxes. Until their web site ingredient list does not include the alfalfa and the boxes do not say alfalfa then I’ll wait them out. I will go back to the Zeal at that time. OK. Sorry for such a long post. Anything else I can help with just ask, if not me, then someone else. Hey also I’ve been thinking for the longest time that you should change your name to The Coupon Lady or just Coupon Lady. Anyway anytime I see your name I always think…Oh? It’s the coupon lady. LOL!August 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm #50036 Report Abuse
Thanks guys! You’re all awesome!
Dori, it’s great to hear from someone who has the same size dog as me. It’s hard to translate how people feed their large dogs to feeding a freakishly small dog.
Does anyone have any idea on how long canned sardines last, once opened? He wouldn’t need but a couple a week, right? And I don’t think they would freeze well, either (wanting to keep them as nutritious as possible)….
Oh, and he already gets coconut oil. A teaspoon every week or so. He loves it 🙂August 24, 2014 at 12:36 am #50038 Report AbuseDoriMember
The small cans of sardines in water don’t have too many in them. Take out what you need for feeding then remove the remainder from the tin and refrigerate in like a small rubber maid or lock and lock container that seals well. Or a small glass jar with a good seal. Store it in the part of fridge that is the coldest. Usually it’s in a back corner closest to freezer. They only have about 4 pieces in the small can so you should be good till next time. You could also give three times a week spread out. Don’t forget it’s for only one of his meals that day, not both.August 25, 2014 at 9:43 am #50180 Report Abuse
We went out yesterday and bought a big roaster chicken for $1.49 a pound (yay for sales!) and a package of ground pork. I was surprised at how lean the pork was (80%). The internet made it sound terrible or something lol People can be so stupid lol
So I separated everything up into 5 oz packages, and any chicken with bone I made into 6 oz packages, figuring there wasn’t really anything to the bone than something to chew on, for the most part. I dunno… Lol But everything is stuffed into the freezer, so I’ll have to figure out how much mix to use as I thaw it. Next round of meat I prepare, I’ll add the mix then freeze, but not knowing when the mix would get here, and having fresh meat, I needed to get it in the freezer. Math ahoy! LOL
I also already had a few packs of beef heart and liver separated up into treat bags in the freezer as well, so I’ll just use those while the pork is doing it’s 3 week freezey thing (figured 3 weeks would be good amount of time).
Mom ordered the mix last night, and provided it goes out today like it’s supposed to, I’ll have to tomorrow sometime. We’ll see how that works out lol The mix should last about 5 months, which makes it about $3.40 a month in cost, leaving a little more than $15 a month to spend on meat. I think I can do that. Just gotta shop smart! Beef heart, chicken gizzards, ground pork, and dark meat chicken will be Bentleys main staples. Hopefully the whole chickens stay on good sale for a while. Oh, and when turkeys go on sale for 50 cents a pound, and I get my $5 off any turkey coupon from work, I’ll get him a small (and hopefully free!) turkey, so that’ll help 🙂August 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm #50381 Report Abuse
Oh, so I had an idea! When I’m feeding Bentley a meal with a bone, but I also want to feed the mix (since a lot of the chicken I portioned out has bone in it), what if I made the mix in a little bit of fat free, plain yogurt? Extra protein, probiotics, gets enough mix to keep his diet balanced. And every other week or so I could do the same in a raw egg? What do you guys think?August 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm #50382 Report AbuseHound Dog MomParticipant
I wouldn’t use fat free yogurt. I’d go with full fat. I like stonyfield farms. If you can find it, kefir is even better – it has more strains of probiotics.August 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm #50384 Report Abuse
I second the vote for kefir!! 😉August 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm #50386 Report Abuse
Regular fat yogurt isn’t really a thing here, unless I went with Greek yogurt. I’ll see what I can find though. The Publix (store) brand is either fruit, vanilla, or plain, all fat free, and most no sugar added (yuck and double yuck! LOL).
I don’t know that kefir would last long enough for how little I’d be using. It’s like milk, as far as using it after it’s opened, right? I’ll have to see if Publix even has plain kefir. I feel like they don’t… I’ll look next time I’m at work and report back with my findings 🙂August 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm #50398 Report AbuseRescueDaneMomMember
Publix does have plain kefir (at least the one I shop at does). It actually lasts much longer than milk once opened.August 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm #50401 Report Abuse
If you can’t find Kefir at the grocery store, Wal-Mart carries Lifeway Kefir. You can find coupons for Lifeway products on their website too! 😉August 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm #50406 Report Abuse
I received the SSLL dinner mix finally. There is a pic on the off topics thread on review side. I can understand why Cyndi was confused on directions. I added 3 tbs to about 24 oz of ground turkey to split between my two 80 pounders. They really loved it! Going to try to feed them one kibble free meal per week. I did lightly brown the meat, by the way. I’m not ready to feed it totally raw yet.August 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm #50419 Report Abuse
Glad they liked it! I guess it doesn’t ship for about 5 days after ordering, so I’ll probably need to get Bentley some Pure Balance 95% to tide him over. Guess I’ll do that tomorrow. He’s already used to eating raw treats, so I think he’ll be ok switching to all raw in a relatively short time. Fingers crossed I get my mix soon! I can’t wait to see how he does on it :3August 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm #50424 Report Abuse
So, you ordered the SSLL mix? It doesn’t look like I expected at all. It is very green and is extremely fine. Not chunky at all. I’m sure he’ll do great!August 28, 2014 at 8:23 am #50440 Report Abuse
Yep, had mom order it the other day. If they don’t in 6 business days from the day mom ordered it, I’m gunna be all up in there crap like “WHERES MAH FOOD????” Lol
The first ingredient is spinach, so I would hope it’s more green than anything else… LolAugust 28, 2014 at 10:51 am #50450 Report Abuse
Hey Akari & C4c:
Can’t wait to hear how all your fellows do on SSLL! I am ready to buy a box too. I think it would be a great addition to Bob’s rotation. Not to mention fairly easy to feed since I don’t have time right now to research making food for him.
Akari, I forgot to write that if you decide to feed Kefir and need to freeze it like I do, be sure to shake it well before pouring it into icecube trays and when you thaw out a cube of Kefir you need to stir it well also. 😉September 4, 2014 at 11:07 pm #51248 Report Abuse
I’m on a road trip and haven’t had much internet access. Just checking in after watching the Seahawks beat up on the Packers!
I’m wondering if you got your SSLL mix yet? I had only fed it once before we left. But so far so good!
I farmed out my pets while I’m gone. I worry About them! Hope all is well with all!September 5, 2014 at 10:03 am #51263 Report Abuse
I am wondering the same thing. Looking forward to updates from you both! 🙂
Have a fun and safe road trip. I am sure your boys miss you as much as you are worried about them.September 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm #51652 Report Abuse
Two and a half weeks later, I finally have the mix! Took long enough -_- Moms order got filed away in the spam folder. Dudes really gotta fox that crap! He’s lucky we weren’t relying on coming in time. Anyways, I’ll start him on that tomorrow 🙂September 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm #51653 Report Abuse
Yeah, that is the same story I got. I think it’s strange. Especially because they seem to be able to charge our credit cards just fine! Let us know how it goes!September 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm #51827 Report Abuse
He told mom to email him the next time we place an order, so it doesn’t happen again. Very strange, either way lol.
Today is day two of raw! Yesterday mom did it all by herself. I left out the measured out mix in a medicine cup, and put his food for the day in the fridge to thaw the night before so it’d be ready for her. I left her 5oz of boneless chicken, so she didn’t have to deal with him dragging the bones around, and she could add the mix right to the meat instead of getting creative and trying to figure out what to do with it with no meat to easily add it to.
Today, I gave him a chicken wing (and a random liver I threw in the bag when prepping it lol), and used some Nutro Ultra Boost canned food to put the mix in. Didn’t work out very well, and ended up using some water to add to it (that canned food is very thick!), which still didn’t work very well. He ended up eating it anyways, though. I made him eat most of it before giving him the meat, and took the bedding out of his cage and locked him in so he couldn’t drag the wing around the house and eat it on the furniture lol This also forced him to lick the rest of the mix out of the bowl when he was done with the wing. I’ll buy some yogurt at work today for the next time I give him a meal with a bone. That’ll be easier to mix… Lol
Tomorrow is beef hearts! One of his favorites :p And after tomorrow, the pork will be ready to use, so that’ll be easier with the mix as well.September 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm #51968 Report Abuse
Bentley just ate his beef heart dinner. Loved it, of course. I used a bit of yogurt and bit of the Nutro Ultra Boost Skin and Coat to mix the mix into. It worked great! I mixed the beef heart chunks right into the concoction, and most of the mix stuck right to the meat. What didn’t stick, he licked from the sides of the bowl. He does have a bit of a tummy ache from no transition from his old food, but I’ve been watching him, and he’s not got runny stools, so I won’t do anything about it unless it persists. He’s just pooping more often, in small amounts, and when he’s near by, you can hear his tummy gurgling. The yogurt should offer some probiotics to help, right?September 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm #51978 Report AbuseNaturellaMember
Yay for Bentley and great job, Akari! I can’t wait till hubs and I have the freezer space to raw-feed Bruskidoodle (one of Bruno’s bazillion nicknames, lol). I would probably use some canned/dehydrated too, and some kibble here and there, when traveling/camping, etc.
The yoghurt will help some, especially if it has a bunch of live cultures in it. I personally use Dannon plain usually, but I also like Stoneyfield plain.
Other than the tummy gurgling, how is his overall condition/activity level. Is the stool well-formed and all? If so, I’d say he’s adjusting pretty well to raw-mixed. 🙂September 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm #51980 Report Abuse
I have a two gallon bag of portioned out meat just for him in the freezer lol The pork has been frozen for almost three weeks, so I pulled a bag out to give to him tomorrow, thinking it’ll mix easier, and I won’t have too much to deal with, since I work earlier than I usually feed him in the afternoons (stupid 1:30-10 shift– Bleh!). Quick and easy for me!
He’s moping because he keeps getting scolded for not using his new doggy stairs, but over all, I think he’s doing good. He hates changes in his routine, and the doggy stairs have really put a damper on his mood LOL He loves meal time though, and still does his annoying little run-all-over-the-furniture crap when he’s excited, so I’d say he’s fine :p
His poops were looking normal, other than being smaller, and he asked to go out like 3 times in about 20 this morning. Then later in the afternoon he asked to go out and made a rather large amount, that was soft, but still pretty formed. My thought is that the extra calcium in all the bone he ate yesterday has got his little system all confused, and it doesn’t know what to do with his poops lol He seems fine over all, and I have already noticed a difference in his coat in the just last couple days.
The yogurt is just some pain ol’ Publix brand plain fat free stuff. Just picked up something cheap for a trial run with something to mix the premix into. Since it appears to be working how I wanted it to (have a few more days left of it to try it on different cuts of meat) I’ll probably invest in something better (like kiefer). He seems to really like it, too.September 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm #51981 Report AbuseNaturellaMember
Awh, poor active Bentley not being allowed to jump up and down… Bruno feels for him – it’s a terrier thing, lol.
I’m glad poops are mostly normal. Hope they stay that way. Usually when Bruno has his RMB Sunday night he poops really firm chalk-like stool from the bone sometime on Monday. But Bentley might be reacting differently… I do remember our roommate’s dog also pooped chalky hard stuff when she had a vertebrae once.
It is great you can see a difference in his coat already. Will you be adding any canned sardines, have you tried that? Bruno is crazy about them and he has a fishy breakfast once a week.September 15, 2014 at 9:30 am #51987 Report Abuse
Glad to hear Bentley is doing better. You are so much more adventurous than me with the raw feeding. I got real crazy and bought some frozen raw beef heart treats last week. Woo Hoo! As for the yogurt you are feeding, I’d be real careful buying fat free. Artificial sweeteners are not good for dogs, especially xylitol. I noticed my dogs’ poos are much smaller after their no kibble meals on Saturdays also. Keep up the good work!September 15, 2014 at 10:07 am #51991 Report Abuse
Hi C4c & Akari:
Thanks for the updates!!!
I am a Kefir fan and only pick up plain Greek yogurt when I can’t find it. Kefir has done wonders for my kitty!! Over the past month I cut back on the days I feed it and his skin is starting to show it; I am upping the days I feed it again.
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