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Hey Joan!

 

Yes, planning on being there...we have to go up Friday and set the course, make sure PortaPotties are in place and be ready to roll at 7am sharp-lots of dogs to run, and the meeting to boot.

Rip IS "the Man"! Always will be to me anyway.

We carried selegiline instead of Anipryl due to costs...it's hard to get clients sold on a drug for this kind of thing if they can't/won't afford it.

Nice to share oldster moments with you. I get misty-eyed everytime I see Eve rolling around on her back in the grass because she looks just like her old boy. She doesn't like the hugs though, it's a shame, she gets 'em anyway. I used her at a Fun Day demo at the childrens farm here in town in the spring (it was a Mother's day thing), and put her on sheep. She did her thing wonderfully, but wouldn't come off them...I doubt she could hear me "EVE!!! THAT will DO!", but she did that when she was 5 too. Fun.

See you next weekend!

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ok,

how much money are we talking about spending on buying raw. Could anybody give me a monthly estimate? Am I way off base in assuming that it is completely out of my budget right now. And if it isnt expensive, where are you getting it so cheaply?

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Joan,

 

I can answer that based on a discussion for treatment for my seizure dog that I had with my holistic vet.

 

Feeding whold prey provides all the gizzards of the animals which is about is complete a B complex as dogs can get. Vitimin Bs are essential to neurological support which is often why dogs with brain chemistry problems benefit so much.

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My last monthly figure was 75.00-80.00 for 4 dogs. I was going through 60 lbs of wellness before that which was 37.00 for 30 lbs so for me it works out about the same as long as I keep my spending to under .99/lb. I buy pork hocks, chicken is always on sale here, Pork necks, The parts humans don't eat with regularity unless you cook sole food or strange indian dishes pretty much go for cheap. I just got whole chickens for $.89/lb which is very doable for me.

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Clean teeth has been mentioned a couple times as a benefit of raw. Just wanted to mention that knuckle bones will do the same thing. I've never taken my kibble-fed dogs in for a teeth cleaning and never would put them under than unnecessary anesthesia just for scraping tartar.

 

As far as the cost of kibble, a good co-op will help there. I pay much less than $1 a pound for a top quality kibble (Timberwolf).

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I think the USDA website is really crucial for anyone looking to make up their dogs' diet at home, whether cooked or raw. It behooves you as a dog owner to know exactly what nutrients your dog is getting. I did some experimenting with a raw diet (my dogs are now eating kibble and may go back to having raw some days in the future), got really geeky about it and made up a spreadsheet so I could analyze the nutritional content of what they were eating according to the NRC standards (because I think when science is available, we should use it). What the spreadsheet showed me is how very very easy it is to either seriously underfeed or omit altogether important vitamins and minerals (not to mention feed amounts of fat that are orders of magnitude higher than a dog should probably be getting), especially if you follow the kind of offhand recommendations people often give. It's very difficult to hit all the bases with the sorts of ingredients that are most available (chicken carcasses, random beef organs and bones, etc.) unless you also add a vitamin supplement and if you do that, you also need to plug that into the values you're feeding, otherwise you could be oversupplementing.

 

I'm not saying it's rocket science, but that it's something that deserves attention. Just rotating the meats you feed won't cut it.

 

There's a research paper out there called "NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF WHOLE VERTEBRATE PREY (EXCLUDING FISH) FED IN ZOOS" (I can't remember where it came from, but it's available in pdf and online, so a search on the title should dig it up) that demonstrates that feeding whole prey does (unsurprisingly) meet nutritional requirements for dogs. But very few raw feeders actually feed whole prey. You can't really reconstruct the animal just by throwing in some tripe or pulped veggies along with the meaty bones. The only place I know of to get whole raw ungulates (other than if you grow them yourself) is Hare Today, which sells ground young steer, goat, rabbit, and other mixes that are essentially the entire animal sans hair ground up and packaged in plastic tubs. I feed this stuff to my dogs when I can get it, but it ain't cheap.

 

By the way, I did an extended raw feeding experiment with Solo and saw no difference whatsoever in his condition, behavior, or necessity for behavioral meds. This may be because Solo's neurotransmitter issues aren't simple enough to be fixed by diet, and also because he is a healthy dog in great condition to begin with. Solo has also always had very clean teeth -- all of my dogs do -- I don't know why, I guess they're just lucky. I have fed raw in the past, I have fed an eclectic diet (sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, sometimes kibble), but most of the time my dogs have been eating kibble.

 

My anecdotal evidence tells me that kibble is great for dogs. My dogs couldn't look healthier (granted, they are eating a very good kibble -- Solid Gold Mmillennia) and I have to admit it does get my back up a bit when people get all evangelical about raw feeding and suggest that I am not doing what's good for my dogs. Look, I'm not dumb. I know what's working for my dogs, and I don't need to wake up and smell any coffee. Raw food isn't a magic bullet, it can be done well, it can be done badly. People who suggest that "any raw diet" is better than kibble are deluding themselves. Personally, I'm not going to make raw a larger part of my dogs' diets until I'm in a position to feed them a diet that I am satisfied will give them all the nutrients they need. If I started randomly throwing animal body parts to them just because those body parts are fresh, it wouldn't be an improvement on their current diet and in that case, what would be the point?

 

Excuse me while I go abuse my dogs by feeding them some dry crunchy brunch, thanks.

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Don't forget Ben is only nine and a half, so as I said I'd expect he will go back on selegiline at some point (God willing and he lives that long). However, that may not be true either, who knows.

 

Anyway, let's see, the rabbit guy (and I think he has other things, like guineas and such in season). I got the info from the carnivore-suppliers list on yahoo. I can't surf there on this machine but if you sign on I think there's an archive. He's a regular.

 

Rabbits aren't cheap, but I can vary with chickens, which surely here in the chicken capital of the world I should be able to find. Since I was feeding Ben over $100 in meds/supplements a month, I think I can take that money and give him two chickens and a rabbit every week, plus other meats, and have some left over.

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I'm looking at the USDA site, and it looks like a great tool. Does anyone know of where I could find a "daily requirments" list of vitamins and minerals for dogs?

 

Here is another question on the subject. What do you feel about home cooked diets? I'm kinda thinking that it would be the next step up from kibble - if for no other reason than it is fresh and minimally processed.

 

Any thoughts on that?

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yeah roxy teeth have tartar build up on them already and shes only 18 months!! Ive tried brushing her teeth regularly doesnt help, and buying those dentastix things and they dont help, so that is one of the reasons why i want to switch to raw and also i thing her engergy levels could improve

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yeah roxy teeth have tartar build up on them already and shes only 18 months!! Ive tried brushing her teeth regularly doesnt help, and buying those dentastix things and they dont help, so that is one of the reasons why i want to switch to raw and also i thing her engergy levels could improve

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What's wrong with Roxy's energy levels? If she's lacking in energy, and has been checked out medically, you could try increasing the protein level of her current food to see if that helps. Realize that some BC's are more laid back than others though. :rolleyes:

 

Can you get hard bones, like knuckle bones? The dentasticks and similar products are just a marketing scheme, I've never seen them really work that well.

 

What other kibbles do you have available in your area? Perhaps it would be worth simply trying a different brand?

 

No offense, but switching to raw just because of tartar buildup and energy level is like getting a facelift because you have a pimple. I don't mean to pick on you PowderPuff, but I hear it all too often and then hear the horror stories of what went wrong. Save the extremeness for when it's really needed. JMO, of course. :D

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You can also get a tooth scraper and scrape the tartar off with that if she is OK with having her mouth handled.

 

I've done it a few times with Missy, and while its not her favorite thing, she does tolerate it.

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I am not against raw feed but it is not the only answer.

 

If a dog is not doing well on kibble then switching to raw may be the answer.

 

Switching because of tartar buildup will not necessarily solve the problem. Having harder bones to chew could help. Changing the kind of chews could help.

 

I have also seen where folks say it is cheaper to feed raw. That is not true either. I can feed my dogs (3) for $30-40 a month. Above it shows that someone with 4 dogs spends twice that. If you are raising the animals yourself that may be different.

 

Plus you have to account for the time involved and the storage of the food.

 

If I felt one of my dogs would greatly benefit I would try it but for now, my dogs are doing great on kibble.

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I don't usually get into these raw discussions but I have a couple of things I want to say.

 

First, I've been feeding raw for over three years. It took me a while to get to the point where I felt totally comfortable with it so it's only been the last two years I've feed primarily raw. Occasionally I feed Innova EVO (a high quality grainless kibble) when the situation demands it but I'd estimate that as less than three or four times a month. Mostly, I feed cull ewes from my flock and add in some other kinds of meat for variety.

 

In my opinion, after much study and thought, the only type of raw feeding that makes sense is the whole prey model. It's simply the way dogs are meant to eat. If you stick as close to that as possible, and feed variety, the diet will be balanced and optimal for a dog.

 

Optimal diet for a dog, like optimal diet for people, means the body will not be stressed by having to compensate for less than optimal. And just like with people, some can handle the extra stress on the body and will still do fine on less than optimal, some won't.

 

The difference in my dogs on kibble (even high quality kibble) vs whole prey model raw the way I'm feeding it is to me striking. Physically, they look better, have more stamina and move better. Mentally, they seem sharper. Something I *think* I notice but wouldn't say is striking, is that they seem calmer. Although I see what I consider a big difference in all of my dogs, I see less dramatic differences in the younger ones. I think the younger, healthy dog is more capable of "buffering" the less than optimal kibble diet than the older or otherwise impaired dogs.

 

Just my experience.

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yeah, so by trying to increase her protein level i need to give meat right?? Hey if i were to stay on kibble and purina isnt that great like i thought it was what would i swap too? I have no idea what im looking for when i buy kibble. Yeah i might buy some knuckle bones on the way home from work but this wont break their teeth?

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There are a lot of brands of kibble that are better than Purina...Wellness, Timberwolf Organics, Chicken Soup, Innova, Calif Natural...to name a few. The protien levels in foods varies, so you don't need to feed raw meat to get more protien into your dog. However, I have a friend who just moved back to Oz from the US and I know that the dog food market there is different than the US and that most food is outrageously expensive and you don't have a lot of the brands we have here in the US. Maybe you can post a new message directed to the board members from Australia and find out what your options are? I know my friend loves being back home but the dog food here in the US is one thing that she really misses!

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Just to clearify...For my dog, brushing teeth and giving her bones didn't work. I tried different things and almost made an appointment with my vet for teeth cleaning. Once the built up is removed, it will be easier to maintain. But after consulting with this board, I decided not to put her through anesthesia. That's when I started hearing more about raw diet.

 

She has a tendency to chew knuckle bones with her front teeth and her canine teeth. They are flat (could be from tennis balls) so I didn't want to give her bones that way. With raw chicken (and other meat/bones in the future) I have been able to shift the meat to the side so that she'd learn to use her back teeth. I don't know why she prefered to use her front teeth... Now she is learning that it is much easier to use back teeth and I am hoping this will help remove the tartar.

 

So, again it is really up to individual dog.

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Originally posted by Debbie Crowder-BaaramuLuke:

What research do you do? I'm serious.

**********

What research did *I* do?

Well I have to tell you, from the first time anyone seriously described eaw feeding to me, I got the joke. It made perfect sense that dogs, as wolves (however then I did not realize just how precisely dogs are wolves--research answered this for me), should eat as naturally as possible what the species eats not only for individual health, but also the reproductive health of the species as a whole.

 

I understood the bones and the raw and the bioavailability...I got all that. I was a little hazy on the veggie thing, and the meat patties threw me completely. I figured there must be more to these veggie/meat patties than I was aware of (fact is, there is nothing to these meat/veggie patties at all except hype and mis-representation; but it took research to learn this).

 

What I didn't do was switch my dogs to raw food. Because it was too hard, too complicated, too messy, no expensive, too much of a PITA. That was the part nobody set me right on, because I did the wrong sort of research. [Dummy me]

 

 

a) thriftiness (how they look and perform)

**********

A legit concern and mine too. All the rawfed dogs I checked out looked and acted great. Hadn't turned into raging bloodthirsty demons; hadn't gotten worms or rickets or keeled over from bone ingestion. They were no different than they were before, just better. Finer-tuned. Honed. The athletes were muscled and trim. The couch potatoes were muscled and trim.

 

My dogs continue to prove this out. What I saw happening to other dogs has happend to mine as well.

 

 

b)cost (very real to me)

**********

I compared the price of a reasonably-purchased raw menu to a super premium kibble with supplemented Nupro or Missing Link or Dermcaps and easily found the raw menu to be cheaper.

 

If one compares the priciest grassfed, organic beef and lamb to Walmart's finest-- unsupplemented, then Walmart's finest will win the price contest. It won't come close to the raw diet for nutrition of course, but dollars to dollars, Walmart will win. No argument.

 

You can make all sort of price comparisons, and depending on your choices, you can pretty much prove anything you want. But a sensible raw menu (buying on sale, buying in bulk, relying on a variety of meat proteins in order to buy what's inexpensive seasonally or by store, not buying redundant supplements) can easily be more economical than a kibble that makes some attempt at quality (top ingredients are specifically identified meat proteins, not chicken "meal" or "meat meal" but real chicken "meat" for example; no cereal grains; few chemical additives).

 

I think in kibble purchases, you really do get what you pay for.

 

 

c) convenience (ease and continuity of preparation and aquisition, also considering this for travelling).

**********

A species-appropriate diet is as close as the next grocery store. Of course, buying this way--by meal, without regard to quantity savings or sales--is certainly not the overall cheapest way to buy food (or anything!). But on a trip where you've run out or planned wrong, buying a chicken, or a package of leg quarters, or a pound of hamburger or pork hock solves the problem.

 

I switched my first dog to raw (finally!) in the parking lot of a Motel 6 while at a weekend competition far from home. My boy wasn't eating, wasn't thinking about eating, didn't want to look at it, nothing was working. So a good friend said "Safeway" and I went to the local Safeway and bought a package of chicken wings (remember please, I was introduced to raw via the Billinghurst method...it was my research that got me refocused on prey model, thank goodness). My dog ate happily and healthily from that day on.

 

When I travel I feed very simply, prefreeze as much as I can, pack a cooler with frozen meat and RMBs, and open the cooler only to remove what needs to be thawed for the next day's meal. Depending on the length of the trip, the size of the dog and how many are traveling, one large cooler can be adequate.

 

Preparation is what one chooses it to be. When I started, prep was a VERY big deal. Meats to chop, veggies to buy and process (oh my goodness the mess!), chicken backs to buy in bulk and divvy up into individual feeding bags, supplements to measure, food to weigh...it was very time consuming. As I learned more from other sources, I realized this was ALL my doing. My dogs did not need a whit of this prep nonsense.

 

So I jettisoned the veggies, quit buying utterly pointless chicken backs, dumped the supplements, put my blender in the cupboard and learned to feed by my dogs' appearance, not the weight of their food. The prep time was reduced to buying, stashing, thawing. Whatever fancy-schmancy stuff I wanted to add was MY choice, not the mandate of the recipe.

 

These are things one learns by reading, by following the examples of others, by doing. I won't try to argue that feeding half a chicken is less work than scooping up a cup of kibble. But I will argue that the end result of a bit more involvement is a far more healthy dog.

 

I think personal testimonials are a great way to get a sense of the experience. For better or worse.

Chris O

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Denise,

 

I trust your opinion, and you mentioned that you feed according to the whole prey model, and feed mostly cull ewes. How do you process them, or do you? Do you have them ground?

 

If I had my druthers, and I were going to feed primarily raw food, I'd want to feed mostly ungulates and I'd want to feed mostly ground, because large bone shards scare me and ungulate bones break teeth. Chicken bones are softer and poultry is easier to get, but wolves (if we're going to assume that dogs should eat what wolves eat in the wild) don't eat a diet that is mostly birds and the nutrient profile of whole chicken is quite a bit different than that of whole cow or whole mutton.

 

I'm sure it'll be poo-pooed, but it's worth pointing out that dogs are wolves but they aren't wolves. They have been evolving along their own trajectory/trajectories for between 10,000 and 100,000 years, which can be a significant amount of time in terms of biological change, and under conditions (i.e., artificial selection) that tend to hasten said change. The diet that dogs (not wolves) evolved eating is most likely human garbage. Does this mean that trash is an optimal diet for dogs? No, but it does demonstrate that the "what they eat in the wild" argument isn't always necessarily a good one. Wild (feral) dogs, not wolves, which are rather rare these days, generally still eat trash.

 

I think any diet upon which a dog truly thrives is a good diet, because it means the dog is getting what he needs and processing it in an efficient manner. A raw diet that covers all the bases is probably a good diet, as long as your dog isn't immune compromised and his system can handle the kinds of bones you're feeding. I'm not convinced that many or even most raw feeders are really covering all the bases when they feed their dogs, since the most common diet plan (now that Lonsdale and his ilk are in and "BARF" has become passe) seems to be to feed "whatever" and hope that variety will cover the bases. It might, and it might not. Unless you crunch some numbers, which isn't all that hard to do, you won't know.

 

I've seen some raw fed dogs who looked fabulous. (Most people rave about how shiny their dogs' coats are. This is an unsurprising result of feeding a raw diet, because raw diets are very very high in fat. Even if the diet is actually not very good, the dog's coat will likely be nice and shiny.) I've seen some that looked awful. The litany of dog health problems experienced by people on raw feeding lists does seem to be a bit overwhelming. The reason for this may be that people with sick pets are more drawn to raw feeding than others, but it may also be that a lot of careless raw feeders are making their dogs sick. It would be easy enough to do.

 

I think if you are responsible and conscientious and want to feed your dog raw food, more power to you. Where I'm moving, there is a very good raw feeding co-op and I plan to take advantage of it once I get there, so it isn't like I'm anti-raw. (I just don't think it's the Second Coming.) But it's important to remember that just because it's fresh doesn't mean it's an improvement. If you're not gonna be thoughtful and at least somewhat analytical about what you're feeding your dog, he is better off eating a decent kibble than randomly chosen raw body parts.

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(Keeping head down below parapet because I feed primarily kibble - Melanie said a lot of what my gut feeling is - sorry about the unintended pun.)

 

Hey Powder Puff - you need to check the labels on the kibble packs - for contents (should be primarily meat) and protein/fat ratios. I currently feed Supercoat Energy (26% protein, 12% fat) as the basis of my dogs' diet - though they and I supplement it with fruit, vegetables, roo tails, occasional eggs, fish etc. - and of course the cheese and other stuff they get as training treats for obedience, agility etc.)

 

A lot of working dog people I know of use Bonnie Working Dog formula, but fat content is a bit high for my guys, I think, and it only comes in very big bags. The Supercoat Energy works out about A$2.00 per kilo - and I don't use anything like the amount they sya on the packet - that's another thing you just have to work out for yourself - what works for your dogs.

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Originally posted by Tassie:

(Keeping head down below parapet because I feed primarily kibble...

There is nothing wrong with feeding kibble and no one should be afraid that they feed their dogs kibble.

 

I've read some comments in this thread and hope they are not directed at me.

 

I'd like to make it clear, again, that I feed raw because I have to. I'm also happy to answer questions people ask me. However, that doesn't mean that I'm on some sort of evangelical mission to convert people to raw. I had several people starting new threads asking me this or that about raw, so started a Q&A about the raw diet I feed.

 

All kibbles in the US meet the minimum requirements for what a dog needs, so if you (not you personally) feed your dog Ol' Roy for it's entire life, fine. That's the kind of stuff I fed Mickey.

 

Back then I didn't know about ingredients and what they meant though, or I would have fed a better quality kibble. Lots of people reading this thread have no idea what they are feeding their dog. It wasn't that long ago that I was in the same boat.

 

I'm much better at talking about BC's, their behaviors, how to train them... But if someone has a question about food then I'll help best I can to answer. If that leads to someone feeding their dog a better quality kibble, great! If it leads to them feeding their dog a raw diet, whether BARF or prey model, great! The dog's diet just improved either way.

 

It's no secret that I like what I'm seeing with raw based on the whole prey model and that this diet is my preference. But I'm not and have no desire to be a preacher about it. I didn't know I was going to be bombarded with so many questions about it to be honest, but if someone asks me a question, I should answer it. I almost regret having done so though because others feel the need to defend what they feed their dog and that's dumb. All kibble in the US offers 100% complete nutrition. Not all are the same quality, but all will keep your dog alive and in relatively good health.

 

But anyway...

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Hey Miztiki - my 'guilt' is largely my own. :rolleyes: I'm like Melanie - I'm interested in the raw feeding idea, and if I had a need, like you do with Boy, I'd certainly get off my butt and do the homework I need to do to work out a way of doing it. (Have I mentioned lately what a fantastic job I think you're doing with Boy and Fynne? Talk about going the extra mile ...! I love hearing about them doing the mad chasing thing around your beautiful yard. Isn't it fun when they do that.)

 

I certainly like my guys to have a variety of food - and luckily, they are pretty happy to try most stuff, and actively love fruit and vegetables. I still have some Granny Smith apples hanging on my tree (it's winter here now), and Fergus can still reach them, so he goes and gets his own apple from the tree, then brings it in to crunch it up. I do stop him after the second one in a row!

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Discussion is good especially when there is no bashing.

 

We all have our favorite way of feeding. Like others said, if whatever anyone is feeding works for their dog, they should be happy.

 

In the past (not this thread) we have had some holier than thou folks speaking about Raw and basically said that those of feeding kibble are not doing right by our dogs. I think this why some folks get a little touchy. I know I do.

 

My dogs do well on Canidae and I am currently trying out Solid Gold MMillenia. So I do feed a high quality kibble for $30-40 a month. My dogs just are not overfed.

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Powder Puff, if the bone (whether knuckle or raw) is hard enough to scrape off the tartar, then yes, it's hard enough to break a weakened tooth.

 

INU, I too had a dog who would only chew with her front teeth, so I experimented with a number of different style hard bones until I found one she would chew with her side teeth. It sure was frustrating at first watching this pup chew - LOL! So I understand where you're coming from.

 

Scraping teeth yourself is also an option, I've also done that. However, I recently mentioned this to my vet friend and she told me I better take something and polish the tooth where I'd scraped, or else it may cause trouble in the long run. I honestly forgot exactly what she said, but I can ask again if anyone's interested.

 

-Laura

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