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Dog Food: Raw or Homemade...or both?


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OK, I need a balanced perspective.

 

I've been reading different dog forums and the RAW feeders are boisterous and adamant about raw foods only. Yeah, well, my dh is totally grossed out about that, and since he is not a dog lover he refuses to pay for all that raw meat, etc., when a perfectly good bag of dog food from Costco will only cost him $25 a month.

 

So, is there a middle ground compromise somewhere? Like a cooked homemade dog food of chicken (or turkey, beef, etc), rice, and veggies while also supplementing with some raw meaty bones thrown in a few times a week? And maybe even a high quality kibble thrown in 1-2x a week to round out any missing nutrients? Though I am not at all opposed to eliminating the kibble.

 

Anyhow, I would think anything would be preferable to an all kibble diet. :confused: Why do RAW advocates have an all or nothing attitude and then talk down to you like you're an idiot if you don't think it's feasible? :lol:

 

I have always fed an all kibble diet to my dogs and all have been, and are, very healthy. So I am not sure why I feel the need to feed them healthier except that they LOVE people food. I decided to make some homemade dog food last night and OMGosh, they devoured it! (Cooked a whole chicken then in the broth I cooked brn rice, mixed veggies of broccoli, grn beans, peas, carrots and added in the shredded chicken along with the cooked liver and heart). With their kibble they just boringly eat out of necessity, but with the homemade they acted like they hadn't eaten in a month. Even my picky non-eater ate her bowl and licked out the other dog's bowls after they were done.

 

Would love to find an affordable balance. Somehow.

 

Comments, thoughts, ideas?

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So, is there a middle ground compromise somewhere? Like a cooked homemade dog food of chicken (or turkey, beef, etc), rice, and veggies while also supplementing with some raw meaty bones thrown in a few times a week? And maybe even a high quality kibble thrown in 1-2x a week to round out any missing nutrients? Though I am not at all opposed to eliminating the kibble.

 

 

Would love to find an affordable balance. Somehow.

 

Comments, thoughts, ideas?

 

Your thought on compromise seems very good. I've been feeding raw to my last mastiff and this guy also gets raw ground meat with rice and carrots (loves carrots). I would agree that anything is better than "Atta Boy" kibble or something like it. If you have a grocery outlet or SaveMart nearby, you may be able to get ground meat in large packages. You can prepare some and freeze the rest until needed.

The raw food community is like anything else - they believe they have found the one and only solution to dog feeding but there are always or nearly always more than one option IMHO.

ETA: If you know a butcher in the area, you may be able to get big bones for free or very inexpensively. These help with the chewing urge and clean their teeth nicely.

Edited by Liz CA
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Your thought on compromise seems very good. I've been feeding raw to my last mastiff and this guy also gets raw ground meat with rice and carrots (loves carrots). I would agree that anything is better than "Atta Boy" kibble or something like it. If you have a grocery outlet or SaveMart nearby, you may be able to get ground meat in large packages. You can prepare some and freeze the rest until needed.

The raw food community is like anything else - they believe they have found the one and only solution to dog feeding but there are always or nearly always more than one option IMHO.

ETA: If you know a butcher in the area, you may be able to get big bones for free or very inexpensively. These help with the chewing urge and clean their teeth nicely.

 

So, do you cook the rice and veggies and then just add in some ground raw meat? I can get ground beef and turkey relatively inexpensively. If only my son had saved instead of released the 40 trout he caught while fishing last week! I honestly never knew one could hand a dog a whole gutted nasty raw fish though. :confused:

 

Also, I'm really not understanding how much to feed. So my beagle is 30 pounds, do I then give her approx 10 ounces of raw meat a day, or do I take some of that off due to the calories in the rice? From what I have read, the veggies are free calories and would not be counted in their daily allowance, correct?

 

It's all somewhat confusing compared to just feeding a cup of kibble each meal. ;)

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So, do you cook the rice and veggies and then just add in some ground raw meat? I can get ground beef and turkey relatively inexpensively. If only my son had saved instead of released the 40 trout he caught while fishing last week! I honestly never knew one could hand a dog a whole gutted nasty raw fish though. :confused:

 

Also, I'm really not understanding how much to feed. So my beagle is 30 pounds, do I then give her approx 10 ounces of raw meat a day, or do I take some of that off due to the calories in the rice? From what I have read, the veggies are free calories and would not be counted in their daily allowance, correct?

 

It's all somewhat confusing compared to just feeding a cup of kibble each meal. ;)

 

I'd look online for some recipes - if you're not feeding raw meaty bones, and just ground meat, the ratio of calcium/phosphorus is going to be off. You can use ground up eggshells in place of bones in the ground meat mixture, but I'm not sure of the proportions.

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So, do you cook the rice and veggies and then just add in some ground raw meat? I can get ground beef and turkey relatively inexpensively. If only my son had saved instead of released the 40 trout he caught while fishing last week! I honestly never knew one could hand a dog a whole gutted nasty raw fish though. :confused:

 

Also, I'm really not understanding how much to feed. So my beagle is 30 pounds, do I then give her approx 10 ounces of raw meat a day, or do I take some of that off due to the calories in the rice? From what I have read, the veggies are free calories and would not be counted in their daily allowance, correct?

 

It's all somewhat confusing compared to just feeding a cup of kibble each meal. ;)

 

 

I see you are confused and I don't want to discourage you but adding some ground meat to rice and veggies and thinking you are doing a great job is well, not.

 

Raw feeding is work. It IS harder than a bag of kibble.

 

I don't think I spend too much more on the dogs than if I were feeding a premium kibble but I definitely definitely do for the cats. I buy a 40 pound box of turkey necks for $20 though. That's CHEAP! But then you have to add in the other stuff like offal and organic veggies and supplements like salmon oil.

 

Maybe you should look for a premium kibble but add in raw meaty bones for a nutritional boost and recreation.

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I only feed my dog(s) Innova or Evo. Yes, it's "kibble" (although I never use that word...I dunno why), but it has human-quality ingredients (as opposed to meat that might have come from euthanized animals. Yes, really); my dogs are healthy, and I have seen a marked improvement in their coats when they come to me, even when their previous owners were feeding premium brands.

 

I do not feel the need to give my dogs raw food. Yes, I know that they eat that way in the wild, but I am not convinced raw is of primary importance.

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I see you are confused and I don't want to discourage you but adding some ground meat to rice and veggies and thinking you are doing a great job is well, not.

 

Then why so much information online about dogs who have marked improvement on such a diet compared to kibble?

 

Maybe you should look for a premium kibble but add in raw meaty bones for a nutritional boost and recreation.

 

Now this would definitely be easier on me but, as with us humans, wouldn't eating a whole foods meal prepared at home be better than ANYTHING processed? :confused: Is it the brn rice you object too?

 

The dog food I have been feeding my dogs for-almost-ever...Kirkland brand...though not a top of the line premium food...keeps them very healthy with very shiny coats and it contains chicken, brown rice and veggies. We don't have vet bills. The only time my dogs have been to the vet was when one stepped on something metal and sliced open it's paw and needed stitches, or to be spayed and neutered, and for the very minimal vaccinations I allow. That's it. Healthy, happy, not at all overweight dogs...even my Beagle and they are notorious for weight issues (gosh, why am I thinking of switching up their meals again? :lol:).

 

Anyhow, please don't take anything I've said as snarky, I am just trying to figure this all out. ;)

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Oh, come on, can't you train your dog to take down local squirrels, rats, etc? No rars in your neighborhood? Well, there's a reason to move to Australia. Yummy. :auto:

 

:lol: We live on 2.5 acres and our labs have caught many rabbits...but won't eat them. :confused: They just toss them around and play with them. The occasional bird is quite nummy though. :D

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Then why so much information online about dogs who have marked improvement on such a diet compared to kibble?

 

 

It really depends on what brand of kibble they were on before going to something like ground meat and rice. As Ellie mentioned in her post, some brands do include euthanized animals, along with other very unpleasant things. If you take a dog off that, almost any other food will be better. However, just ground meat and rice isn't balanced and if you don't consider the dog's calcium needs and add calcium for that, it won't be good for them.

 

Here's a good site with some more info on brand quality, etc.:

http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/

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