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My Voyage into Raw Feeding

Discussion in 'Dog Discussion' started by CanineAthletes, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. CanineAthletes

    CanineAthletes RSS Feed

    Eight years ago, raw feeding was a mystery to me. I had heard about this way of feeding but had been programmed for well over a decade to believe that dogs were supposed to eat kibble. Raw feeding was very different from anything I had known. I had inquired with a couple of my long-time dog mentors as to their thoughts on the raw feeding phenomena which was gaining popularity. They all dismissed it as being no better for your dog than kibble. They warned me of the risks associated with feeding raw. They would tell me raw is not balanced. They would tell me dogs can get sick from salmonella poisoning. It’s too expensive they would tell me. I listened to them mainly because when you are used to doing something, it’s easier to stick with what’s comfortable. Humans in general resist change. At this point in time, I was no different. I was intrigued by the idea of feeding raw. The logic made sense. It aligned with the way I viewed human nutrition. I’m a firm believer that health is derived from real whole foods. Processed and convenience foods are bad for the body, especially long-term.

    I started out feeding the old Sportsman’s Choice dog food from Sam’s Club back in the mid 1990’s. I believe they stopped making it or changed the formula which led me to start buying Diamond brand dog food by the pallet from Tractor Supply. Everything was business as usual, until it wasn’t. Out of the blue I had two dogs die randomly in the same week, and a third dog was looking terrible. One of the dogs that died was at my mother’s house. It was very strange, but there was one common denominator. They all were eating the same dog food. It was at that moment that I decided that I was done trusting a label on a bag of dog food to tell me what my dogs were eating.

    I am regularly asked what I feed my dogs. To the dismay of many, there are no secret formulas or supplements. When I first started, I religiously followed the diet outlined in the Pit Bull Bible by California Jack (John A. Koerner). I would weigh everything and I would never leave out an ingredient. As time has passed I have developed my own way of feeding. It is predominately based on the diet of California Jack’s. In my diet you will not find measurements, because I do not measure my dogs’ food. I simply adjust the amount of food I feed based on the size of the dog, their age, activity level and overall appearance. If the dog is looking a little lean, I simply add more food. If the dog is looking a little heavy, the dog will get less food until he is where I would like him.

    • Raw chicken quarter with the skin and bone (sometimes they get chicken breasts with skin and bone)
    • Chicken hearts & gizzards
    • Chicken livers (only twice a week)
    • (1) Par boiled egg
    • (1) Tablespoon of yogurt (not fat free)
    • (1) Teaspoon of oil

    As you will see, there is nothing special or over the top with my dogs’ daily maintenance feed. It is basic, yet provides all that the dog needs in order to thrive. A common mistake I notice some raw feeders make is by going over the top with what they feed. They want to do the best that they can for their dogs and in doing so they get extra creative with their raw meals. In many cases, this causes more harm than good. As an example, there seems to be a fad among raw feeders to feed a variety of exotic ingredients every day. While variety is good, consistency is also needed. It’s important to find that balance. Less is sometimes more in life, and I think feeding our dogs is one of those cases. The above diet is a general guideline as to how I feed. In the winter months when I have access to venison scraps the dogs will get venison meat and bones supplemented into their meals. I like to rotate my oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 100% Pure Wheat Germ Oil, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Leftover Oil from Cooking, etc. Variety to the diet is good. Just try not to go overboard. Try not to over-complicate it. If you want to substitute beef liver in place of chicken liver for a few weeks, cool. If you want to substitute beef in place of the chicken for a few weeks, no problem. One thing I do not like, and I see and hear too often are people who try to feed raw the lazy way. Meaning, they give their dogs a chicken quarter a day and say they are feeding raw. This is not ideal. The dog surely needs more in terms of nutrients and vitamins than what can be derived from only a single leg quarter. Do not do that. Take the extra time and add your organ meats and the rest of the basic ingredients.

    I’ll close this article by saying that experience has taught me that neither dogs nor humans were meant to eat processed foods. It is not up for debate with me. If you are a die-hard kibble feeder, more power to you. However, you will never convince me that kibble is healthier for dogs because it is simply not true. I’ve seen such a transformation in my dogs’ health and longevity from changing their diets. Good luck and if you have any specific questions feel free to hit me up or comment. I’ll do my best to help. If you want to have a debate over kibble versus raw, save your time because I’m not interested.

    Continue reading...
    dnnyvkng, ETRaven, Finito and 2 others like this.

    SOULDOG Top Dog

    What's your opinion on feeding a dog with kidney problems/failure ... Raw or prescribed kibble ?
  3. Soze the killer

    Soze the killer Top Dog

    Brilliant article by canine athlete's!!!.....when I feed daily I do the same that is mix it up!...I'm working on a plan now how to feed raw in a keep...any tips canine athlete's?? I'd really appreciate it....by the way have u all read the barf diet by Dr Billinghurst??its awesome!! I read it years ago and still read it now!!if any one doesn't understand raw feeding it's a must have!!!please read it...SOLEDOG the author of the book I have just mentions says if your dog has bad kidneys raw pork with more veg in his diet(pulped)is beneficial.. I'm not at home but when I get back I will have a look what else he Say's is good for a dog with bad kidneys.....awesome article by canine athlete's!...
    Finito likes this.
  4. smt232

    smt232 Pup

    Hey CanineAthletes, where do you source all of the chicken? From a butcher or just a grocery store? How much do you spend feeding this way vs kibble?
    Thanks for the post!
  5. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    How many times a day do you feed in this diet? I have been considering trying this out!
  6. slim12

    slim12 CH Dog Staff Member

    Great article. I too have fed up and down the gambit over the years. Mine is now a mixed raw and bag food diet.

    I have met/exchanged forum posts with maybe only 3 or four that think the kibble is healthier. I doubt there is much debate left as to which one is healthier or better. For me, actually there is no debate.

    The next big kicker is cost. Believe it or not, if someone has the time and the willingness to go the extra mile feeding raw can be cheaper. It takes storage space and the extra money to stock up when the deals pop up. Access to some free stuff helps too. But it can be a little cheaper to be go the better route.

    What usually ends up killing the raw feeding efforts is convenience. Feeding raw is ten times more inconvenient than feeding from a bag, maybe a hundred times. Feeding raw is easy with one dog and then gets harder and harder as the number of dogs being fed increases. The time and effort is usually what kills the raw feeding for most.

    Again, great article and absolutely spot on.

  7. Mr.Revolution

    Mr.Revolution CH Dog

    I can't speak for canine athletes but I get a 40 pound case of leg quarters cost me $18, gizzards I get 5lbs for $8 I think. Hearts and livers not much more or less. So as slim said cheaper than premium brands like orijen which is what I used b4 I switched only raw
    ETRaven likes this.
  8. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    DO y
    Do you feed once or twice a day?
  9. Soze the killer

    Soze the killer Top Dog

    Raw.with vitamin B complex..perhaps two small meals daily.
  10. Soze the killer

    Soze the killer Top Dog

    When switching spred the meals out for over a week or so(twice daily)then cut down to one meal a day.
  11. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    Thank you friend! I appreciate the advice! Mr. Momo is allergic to something, he keeps breaking out on his belly so I am hoping that a switch to raw will help. I have to calculate and see if I can afford it!
    ETRaven and Soze the killer like this.
  12. Soze the killer

    Soze the killer Top Dog

    I get about 15 kg of chicken carcass for £5.of a chicken factory.I get my offal (kidney, liver,hart,of beef, lamb,pork)from the supermarket! As its very clean offal...I also gat the fruit and veg from the supermarket!... Most offal is about £2 a kg...plus what ever scraps u can get of the butcher.do all this,and its cheaper and healthier for the dogs.But as slim Say's, its time consuming and you need storage. Lol my freezer is all ways full of dog stuff rather then human stuff......
  13. Soze the killer

    Soze the killer Top Dog

    What do you feed Mr Momo at the min??and how old is he??...by the way dogs can still be allergic to some raw food stuffs...if you do switch to raw just go strait from whatever you r feeding now to raw.start of on chicken or lamb and after a week or so start giving every thing,and any thing(raw of course)..what ever u do onece your dog has switched to raw,make sure u mix it up!!(variety is the spice of life,and mixing the raw diet is very healthy for the dog!)....hope this helps;)........
    Finito likes this.
  14. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    He is now getting Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream (he used to get the one with bison and venison but I switched to see if it would help his skin) and he is 4 and half years old.
  15. smt232

    smt232 Pup

    Taste of the Wild here also. Always interested in raw as every dog I've seen on a raw diet looks great but the bagged kibble is so convenient. Thanks everyone for the info.
  16. Mr.Revolution

    Mr.Revolution CH Dog

    I feed once a day and add a tsp of dried sea kelp and diatomaceous earth
    SMD760 likes this.
  17. SMD760

    SMD760 Big Dog

    Thank you!
  18. started feeding raw beginning of 2000 , never looked back , only thing I added about ten twelve years ago is I added a carbo source
    Soze the killer likes this.
  19. try an elimination diet on raw
    SMD760 and Soze the killer like this.
  20. phoenix walk

    phoenix walk Big Dog

    The thing to remember is your feeding a dog. You don’t need to buy human grade meat. Freezer burnt meat is just as nutritious and can be gotten real cheap or free sometimes , freezer is a must if you want to make your feed cheap
    slim12 and SMD760 like this.

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