I have 3 rawfed cats, and a rawfed dog. My cats have been raw fed for 6 months now. One of them wouldn't touch "real" raw until just recently. So he had the separate country Pet prepared frozen raw. Out of convenience for my parents (with whom my dog lives) I buy country pet frozen raw dog food.
Since I feel it's hypocritical to be anti supporting factory-farms for myself, but buying factory farmed animals for my pets; I buy my cats' meat from local humanely-handled, pasture raised animal farms.
The prepared dog food my dog gets is $2.50/day. One roll is good for 2 days, and is $4.99. I buy chickens in bulk from a local farm (as I said) and the last time I bought in bulk was 5 months ago, I spent a little under $200 and they're finishing up the last bit now. So i'd say about $40 a month for decently raised animal meat. However, I was feeding 1 of my 3 cats the Country Pet stuff until just a week or so ago. So, however you wanna figure that out. Whatever. I also bought a meat grinder at $100+ & a separate freezer chest for a little over $200 for their bulk meat. Those are one-time things, but they factor into the cost of my raw feeding. I don't keep their meat in my freezer, except for whatever i'm thawing to feed them. The meat grinder helps me with the bigger bones that they can't/won't chew through yet.
Your lucky dogs!
First of all, your dogs are so lucky that you care enough to try this for them! I transitioned my dogs to raw about 6 months ago. I am so glad I did! Everything has improved - their teeth, their energy, their anxiety, everything!
In order to get them to start eating raw food, I fasted them for a day or two. I kept trying to get them to eat it, but they refused. Then when they were hungry enough, they ate it and haven't stopped since! They love it so much more. They won't even touch their kibble food anymore! So, maybe try fasting you dog until he/she eats it... just make sure they still have plenty of water!
My dogs did chew the bones at first and throw them up a bit. This is perfectly normal. They just eat what they threw up again. This rarely happens anymore.
Feeding this way is expensive, but it is saving me a ton of money in vet bills! Getting their teeth cleaned was going to cost at least $500 each...and it would have had to been done every year or so. Plus I love having happy, healthy dogs...they're worth it to me!
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask! I'll do my best to help!
My dog has been raw about 7 years. One year, before adopting her, she was all about dry food, and came from the pound. After one month of transitioning she has been forever raw meat. She is not a chicken legs/wings fan, but loves ground chicken and wild game. She hates veggies, hates fruits and used to give her barley powders mixed in her meat. I have to get her back to eating some fresh veggies again. She is super healthy and very active. Her main job around our house is her game of hunting for rabbits which are always here.
She gets lots of exercise, sleeps great and super happy. She is calm and just a great behaved dog. I never cooked for her and won't start that now. I don't feed her sweets either. Her teeth so far look great. It's mine that is the constant problem. I have been on egroups for feeding dogs BARF or raw diet too. Cats have a place too, but I'm not cat person. I don't have dog vaccinated and found no reason for another visit. It's been close to 7 years now but went in for one bite she got on her nose that was not healing by my ways but homeopathic did work. Google shirleys wellness cafe.
I had 2 pieces with bones that looked so good that I was going to cook it for my SAD men but gave it to the dogs. My boy turned up his nose! I cannot believe it. My girl has been going at it for 45 minutes now. Even our adopted cat liked his piece! This is why I still keep some standard dry food around for them. My old boy loves tomatoes and other fruits and veggies but lately neither of them go for those like they used to. . . . so I have more compost material.
I just made the first raw meal for my pets. Ground Buffalo with spinach, celery, ginger, sunflower seeds and ground flax. I need to get some eggs to add too.
The dog loved it and the cat has yet to discover it in her bowl.
The great thing with the veggies is that I used a lot of the stuff I sould normally put in the compost pile like the stems/ends of the spinach and the celery in the center that is more yellow than green.
I use Bravo with my dog (shephard/greyhound cross) and she transitioned fine in about a week. I was feeding her a very high quality dry food before and now give her the Bravo in the morning and a raw 'dry' food (whose name escapes me atm) in the afternoon. She is doing wonderfully on it and although I know I could prepare her food, I have 3 kids and enough on my plate that I really don't have time to be doing that. For *me* the Bravo is a good alternative to doing it all mysef.
be careful with the ground meat (& other meats) you buy in the stores. they can be "enhanced" w/ chemicals and salts & are no good for your pets. especially the ground meats like turkey & chicken...they are usually always enhanced...if it says natural flavorings or solution on it...don't get it. ;)
try going to yahoo & looking at the groups they have there. there are tons of rawfood co-ops for pet owners. generally you need to buy things in bulk to save money. i have a seperate freezer just for my dogs/cat food.
you can usually keep the costs down even w/ shopping at the supermarket. try going later in the afternoon when they start marking down the meats that are on the last day of sale & stock up! :) shop the sales & stock up when you can & you can generally keep most costs under 1.50/lb. & for an average sized dog, that should run you no more then 30-40/month. the health benefits alone are worth the extra money! :)
We feed our dogs raw chicken in the morning and Orijen brand kibble in the evening. Orijen has no grain and is baked at very low temps. The dogs love it. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog (130 lb) and a Sheltie. I wish I could afford to feed them an all raw meat diet but I would have to quit eating. If we run out of food one day and can't get to the pet food store (they close at 5), I will make some brown rice and mix it with a couple eggs and some frozen broccoli or green beans. Dogs have a hard time breaking down the cellulose in plants, so it can be beneficial to either use frozen veggies or finely chop them in the food processor (or both).
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