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BadgerBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We are considering moving Badger on to a raw diet and I was wondering if anyone else out there has made the switch? If so how you do find it? Do you buy from one of the companies suplying a complete raw diet or do you put it together yourself?
I've had a search on the forum for any previous entries on this - couldn't find anything just on raw diets so apologies if this subject has already been covered lots!
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maxnick
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Badgerboy. Sadly I no longer have a Briard & never got chance to switch to raw with my last ones ( small house, no freezer space). However I have my 2 smaller dogs on Nutriment premade. This is not the best way financially for a larger dog, as it does work out dearer. There are plenty of companies who do Raw & you can DIY. If you are on facebook, there is a fab site called Rawfeeding Rebels. Join it, read the files, look at the posts & you will have a wealth of info.
There may be of course someone on here too who feeds raw who can give you their tips if you are not on facecloth Wink

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Debs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I feed all 4 of my Briards raw food. What would you like to know?
If you pm me your email address I can send you an article Sharon wrote for the Double Dew Claw a few years ago

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BadgerBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for replies both Maxnick and Debs.
Debs, my email is [email protected].
I've been reading up about this so more or less know the options and how it all works in theory. What I'd really like to know is the following:
Whether you have opted to buy the food from one of the online companies who supply such stuff or whether you chose make up the meals yourself? I'm interested in the reasons why owners might choose one over the other. Cost? Convenience? Something else?
How did you make the switch? Seems that some say you can do it gradually and others say just make the switch from one day to the next.
How have you found it cost wise in comparison with dried kibble? Badger is currently fed on Burns so although not the cheapest dried food on the market, I think this may work out a lot more expensive. (Not that we would begrudge him that if it is much better for him!).
Have you changed the kind of treats you use for training/rewards since moving to a raw diet? If so what do you use? Do you think that matters - (assuming that they were healthy treats to start with!)?
Sorry for all the q's - any advice/info on any of the above would be good. Thanks
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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Could anyone offer me any advice. Finlay is being fed Natures Menu by his breeder which is a raw diet. Hugo was fed Applaws which is a dried kibble with 75% meat. Obviously, we will have to continue with the Natures Menu when we get Finlay and gradually introduce the Applaws, but if it proved to be not too difficult, and Finlay was enjoying the Natures Menu and was healthy on it, I would consider continuing with it.
As a vegetarian, I can cope with handling cooked meat and I am sure I could cope with tipping some ready-prepared, defrosted raw food into a bowl, but I could not cope with preparing it myself or having raw carcasses and bones around the house.
I know Natures Menu do 300g blocks of complete raw meals at 99p each. The feeding guide says a 45kg dog needs 1070g complete raw food/63 raw nuggets per day, but I don't know whether the nuggets are on top of the complete raw meals or instead of. In an email, I was told a 45kg dog needs 1070g of complete raw food/1216g of ambient food per day (I think ambient must refer to their lightly cooked meals), but again it's not clear whether the dog needs both raw AND ambient or one or the other. Plus, I wouldn't be able to supplement the diet with a raw meaty bone 2-3 times a week as suggested for good oral hygiene - this would have to be substituted for a dental chew of some description.
Has anybody fed Natures Menu (or anything similar) to their dog? I think if he just needs the complete raw meals, it will cost in the region of 130 per month, compared with 55 for Applaws, but I would be prepared to meet the extra cost if I thought it was worth it.
Obviously, Finlay's breeder will guide us about his puppy diet, but I would like to hear from anyone else who has fed a complete raw diet to their adult dog, so I can be thinking about whether we might continue with it or whether we need to start to introduce Applaws soon after we get him.
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BadgerBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Ruth,
I too was a bit confused about the Nature's Menu instructions. Obviously being new to this myself, I'm in no way an expert and hopefully someone else will have direct experience to pass on.... but our dog trainer recommended a couple of companies providing raw food for dogs which might offer some different options and/or advice.
Besides Nature's Menu, she suggested Honey's, Nature's Variety Raw, Nature's Diet, Natural Instinct and Basil's.
There are a few others out there as well, all offering more or less the same sort of service.
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I am reading this with interest, having sort of tried raw meat diets before - mainly chicken carcases - but finding Honeys too expensive. For now, I just feed raw marrow bones and thawed out frozen chicken wings which I get from the animal feed place near us from time to time. Otherwise Green Dog kibble and suitable leftovers, cooked veg and Chappie.
Amanda

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Debs
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I feed my Briards a mixture of raw food as follows:
I get lots of lamb bones free from my local farm shop. Generally I feed them for one meal every other day.
I buy minced chicken wings - that's the whole wings, bones, meat and skin from a Chicken factory not too far from me - that costs me 1 per kilo. The same chicken factory sells carcasses for approx. 50p kilo And I also buy 400g packs from Natures Menu.
When I feed the mince, I add my own liquidized veg/fruit bought at local markets as they are so cheap when near the end of the day.

When I changed to raw food, I just did it....no gradual process....I just decided to and that was that.
Raw feeding costs me a MAX of 50p per meal for each for my dogs, which is cheaper than any good kibble.

I've had no vet visits since changing food.
You just need to find good places to source the food - it took me some time and with a little bit of work, has got cheaper and cheaper!
My local butchers charge for bones. My local farm shop saves them for me and lets me have them for nothing, so depending on trade that week, depends how many bones I get. When I'm in the farm shop, I also ask for any cheap offal, and they ALWAYS do me a fantastic deal. Last week I had 15kg of ox liver for 5.
To feed raw food and to make it cheap, I think you definitely need a freezer so as you can bag all the bargains that might come your way.

Should I forget to remove food from the freezer, my backup is a tin of pilchards in tomato sauce....the dogs love it but I think its rather expensive!

Treat wise....I've have always made my own treats even when I fed kibble.

Bone wise - I NEVER feed any weight bearing bones such as marrow bones as they can break your dogs teeth. If feeding chicken wings, I break the bones into 3 at the 2 joints as these can pierce the roof of your dogs mouth if eaten too quickly.

Sometimes I add raw eggs, if my chickens are feeling generous. I sometimes add coconut oil, honey, split peas, lentils, rice, pasta depending on whats in the cupboard/fridge.

There are a lot of raw food suppliers out there now. I think Honeys are great (very local to me) but way to expensive....when I looked into it, the cost was about 7 per day per dog. However they are happy to help in any way they can with advice.

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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Many thanks . That is really helpful, and thanks too for the tip re marrow bones, which haven't yet broken teeth but I don't think I'll risk it now, though the dogs do love them. Amanda

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Ruth Richardson
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think it won't work for me, as I won't prepare any raw meat myself. Even if someone could tell me what I need to know about Natures Menu, I would struggle every time we went away. We go and stay with family in Wales for weeks at a time and we go to holiday cottages for two weeks in the summer, so we couldn't transport the frozen food.
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BadgerBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That's all really helpful Debs - and thank you for emailing the article.
I am quite interested in following the DIY route rather than buying from a company - seems to be the least expensive option and one that's more flexible as well.
Can I ask you about quantities? It sounds like over time, you have developed a 'feel' for how much to feed your dogs as well as the proportion of meat to non meat. Have you got any rough guidelines that you can share? We have only ever fed Badger on dried kibble so I'm not sure how you know what the equivalent quantities are with a raw diet, especially if you add other non meat items. Most of the websites give a recommended amount in grams based on the dog's weight but I'm not sure if that just applies to their particular type of food - a pack of mince, for example.
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Debs
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ruth....I'm slightly confused by your question so may I suggest this webstie: http://www.raw4dogs.com/calculate.htm

Adults dogs, you feed 2 - 3% of their body weight per day.
Pups you need to increase that to about 10% depending on age

Badgerboy....maybe this website would help you too.....but as a guide....my girls are 35kg ish so they get around 600g to700g per day. If a bitch is speyed, then you maybe that needs to be at the lower end. If you have an active bitch, then bump it up a bit.
My boy who I have just lost was around 42kg, so he got fed just over 800g a day.
With raw food, you can change their weight fairly quickly by adding or cutting down, so just try it and see.

Might I also suggest the fantastic website of the canine health concern http://chchealth.weebly.com/diet.html
There is lots to learn from looking at this website!

What helped me a lot is that a friend of mine is a holistic vet and when I was worried about what to feed....she just said to chill, there isn't any exact science to it. Pups need calcium....so lots of bones. Then just do what you feel is right, and not to stress. I have to say that since changing to raw food about 10 years ago, and seeing the benefits to my dogs, I certainly wouldn't change back to kibble.

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BadgerBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Debs,
Thank you for all this info. I think I'm worrying too much about exact quantities - when perhaps it's not too important and any shortfall can be easily and quickly adjusted.

Amanda you mentioned that you do a mixture of both raw and dry kibble. How do you find that? Do you revert to kibble at particular times e.g. on holiday or do you have 1 or 2 days in the week when the meals are non raw?
I presume the dog manages the change from one to the other without any problem?
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi, No I'm not so 'raw'ey, though would like to do more. I normally feed a mix of kibble (Green Dog which seems to be careful with its content) and tinned Chappie, which is awful seeming stuff but was recommended to us by a vet years ago when we had a rescue dog who couldn't digest anything else and our Brion has a sensitive stomach too.
I buy packs of frozen chicken wings sometimes, and then either feed a handful per dog as a substitute meal or just add them to the kibble and Chappie. Occasionally I buy a whole fresh chicken and strip it of most of them meat (for us) and give the rest to the dogs. I had thought I was doing rather well by getting lovely looking marrow bones from our farm shop, but now will have to rethink that. I gave the marrow bones as an extra to the normal food. Both our dogs are on the thin side so I don't worry about adding extras generally. I also add cooked veg so long as it I haven't added salt to i t. We also have chickens so I also sometimes add a whole egg, plus shell, to their normal meals.
I haven't found that the dogs have any problem with digesting chicken (or marrow) bones.
I know of others who feed just chicken wings but I worry that that is too exclusive a diet but adding offal is an idea. I make liver cake as it is but dread to think what Brion's stiomach would make of offal. Debs, presumably you cook it?
Debs, I think you are really brilliant at sourcing all your food. To feed the number of dogs that you do. It says a lot for your winning ways with your local butcher and farm shop.
Another point, I guess that feeding raw decreases the amount of dog poo that one has to collect from the garden (having just done a particularly unattractive round up. Brion!!!) and that must be quite a plus for Debs too. When I feed bones the dogs produce smaller, harder poos! I also think that gnawing on bones calms a slightly stressy dog like Dinah, and generally keeps them busy and their teeth clean, though whether that applies so much to the softer bones than the traditional marrow ones I will have to discover.
Amanda
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Just been stroking our Brion, who looks a picture of health, with a wet nose and shiny coat (don't mention the knots!), though definitely feels pretty bony. Dinah ditto. Our vet says that it is much better for dogs to be on the thin side rather than the fat one. I think I will continue to be guided by their appearance, as I always was in feeding our children, who remained healthy as they grew up. Lots of exercise and social and mental stimulation and as much healthy home cooked food as poss was my pattern for the children and I reckon that would not be a bad guide for dogs too. Also possibly it is an indication that our dogs are being underfed that they have been counter surfing a lot recently (I know all dogs do it if their owners are lax enough to h ave let them get the habit, and mine only quite recently acquired it because I foolishly took to giving them raw carrots from the kitchen counter Our dogs do love raw veg). I think we can learn a lot from just observing the dogs, how they look and how they act, and pick up so many good ideas from the experts like Debs.
Amanda

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This has all been so helpful. Thank you everyone - I now feel better prepared to make the change. I had already read a fair bit but it really does help to hear some first hand experience in order to put it all into context. So thanks! As my only specialist subject is muzzles and rehabilitating a very reactive dog (a niche market I think), I am still having to seek advice about lots of doggy things. Am very knowledeable about muzzles though....
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Debs
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

No Amanda...all meat is raw including offal.

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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I will definitely give Brion uncooked offal in very small amounts. Almost anything seems to upset his tum and always has, apart from chicken carcases and raw veg.
Amanda

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dexter used to constantly have the runs until I changed to raw food, then he never had an upset tum again.
You shouldn't really mix kibble and raw as dogs digest them at totally different rates but if it works for you, then it works for you.

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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Aargh! I wish I were better at sourcing, but I think you would say that I could just feed the dogs on chicken wings, which are easily acquired. Wouldl that really give them enough nutrition? amanda

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have emailed you a guide to raw feeding.
There are so many different ways and you have to do whatever suits you and your dog
Personally I don't think just feeding chicken wings is a good idea. Dogs definitely need offal for one!
Have a read and see what you think.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Amanda,
I don't know if this is helpful for you but I have found a number of companies who supply raw dog food in maneagable batches and who also deliver. From my investigations so far, I think it's not in any way as expensive as I first thought it would be (and certainly not as expensive as companies such as Honey's and Nature's Menu.)
I live in South East London and have not been able to find a good relatively cheap source of meat such as Debs can get from her local farm shops or chicken factory - the drawback of inner city living! I want to start Badger on a raw diet but one where I can be flexible such as add in a proportion of veg etc. The companies I have come up with so far are: They Love It (http://www.theyloveit.co.uk/); Wolf Tucker (http://www.wolftucker.co.uk/); Raw Animal Foods (http://www.rawanimalfoods.co.uk/). There are certainly lots of others but some don't deliver to London so I haven't investigated their costs. Looks like the more reputable ones are defra approved so that sound like a good thing......? Having done a few sums, I think I can feed Badger a raw diet for not much more than the cost of his Burns kibble (probably not from Wolf Tucker though but they do a variety pack which I thought I'd try first to see what Mr B liked as I don't fancy having 15kg of tripe in the freezer only to find he doesn't like it!)
Anyway that's my plan - perhaps in time I'll find alternative sources and manage to match Debs' very impressive 50p per meal but I've just got to start somewhere!
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Amanda Elsdon-Dew
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I need to check my sums, not ever my strong point, but I have just calculated one day's food for our dogs, with a shared giant tin of Chappie and 300g each of Green Dog kibble per day and that comes to 3.29 to feed both dogs, which is a lot more than 50p per dog. I'll do some careful measuring tomorrow, suspecting that I actually don't feed our dogs as much as 300g each of kibble but if it is anywhere near right then maybe raw food is not so costly, though I am not sure our freezer is big enough and if I h ave too many deliveries then that does seem v extravagant, especially as we live off the beaten track.
Thanks for the suggestions, though, BadgerBoy. Will keep investigating. Amanda

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've now decided the way forward is to buy an additional small compact freezer to put the dog food in - that way I will be able to buy from a company like They Love it (daft name) who don't charge for delivery - or at least it's in with the price - or one of the others that do free delivery over a certain price. I can't see how you can do it economically otherwise. Seems to me you either buy locally and regularly or you buy frozen online but sort out the storage. Cost of the freezer probably pays for itself over so many months of delivery charges. That's the latest plan anyway!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ever since i started feeding Rocky with raw food, his appetite has been heightened which to me is a good thing. I give him organ meat such as kidney and accompanied that with broccoli and spinach. He enjoys his food so much.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for all the helpful posts. I'm considering the switch to raw food only too.
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