Page 1 of 4

Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 18:42
by Samdunn
With all the talk of Raw, I've been looking it. Am still sitting on the fence. Our puppy is only 12 weeks and enjoying and doing well on his kibble. Realistically, I don't have the time to source bones, meat, veg, and work out percentages of whats required ( I have 4 young children and its enough just getting home cooked meals sorted for them) so raw would only be feasible if I ordered pre- prepared stuff. How does the price of this compare with an average priced kibble ?
How much do you buy at a time?, a few weeks worth and store in freezer?. I've heard lots of pro but none of the cons, there must be some?.
Cheers for any help x

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 19:19
by AustinsMumma
Austin never ever enjoyed kibble
I always had to mix stuff in with it :roll: Even then he was still fussy

For me (just starting) I am just picking stuff up daily that I see in the supermarket
Raw chicken, beef mince, kidneys...
I always have veggies in the fridge too, so steaming a few of them or giving him leftovers isn't too much trouble!??

I am supplementing with calcium this first week too as he's not having bones yet. I am also giving him vitamin e and fish oils now and then

I think raw is just as easy as kibble
No cooking, out of the fridge, in the bowl, done :o
AND Auz eats every scrap in about 30 seconds. No exaggeration! :shock:

I shall be going to the local butchers next week to see what they have in terms of necks etc, but for now supermarket food is good enough
I'm not giving him anything I wouldn't eat myself

(oh, and the pre made stuff... I am guessing it is more expensive. Going to be. You get what you pay for)?
J xx

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 19:40
by RosieR
Our local butcher does pet mince and bones and l get chicken from the supermarket and whatever they have got in the reduced section. He get fish and fresh steamed veg and he has a kibble called Eden which is 80% meat fish and 20%veg and fruit that way l know he is getting everything he needs. Infact he eats better than us :lol: Rielly is 19 weeks.

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 21:25
by Bid
Don't forget they need 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal. It's fine to give calcium if they aren't having any bone (although how you work out how much to give I wouldn't know), but not if you feed bones, or mince that has bone in. The balance of these three things is the thing you have to get right overall (not in every meal), and too much calcium is not good for them. If you are giving eggs, then give them whole and they can get calcium from the eggshells :D

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 23:27
by Roodlepippin
I don't work out the percentages either, I just aim for lots of variety. In the first instance I don't think you can go wrong with buying a pack of the mixed minces from Nurturing by Nature and maybe a few chicken wings / bones from a local butcher and just seeing how you get on.

Once you've ascertained that your dog likes raw (and I expect he or she will!) you can fine tune it to suit yourself. I was amazed how quickly Woody took to it, but his mum and dad were raw-fed and the breeder only weaned pups onto kibble (Beta - absolute rubbish) to suit their new owners.

It does feel very strange giving your dog a raw chicken leg the first few times but if they respond well it will very quickly become the new normal and you won't look back.

I am feeding Woody the odd meal of Eden too, just as (yet more) variety and because raw can seem quite expensive if you do it the Natural Instinct / nurturing by nature way. Woody's quite big (maybe 26" to the shoulder) and I think he could probably eat 8-900g a day given the chance (he's a bit on the lean side at the mo). So you're looking at potentially £2+ a day which is more than I really wanted to spend on dog food!

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 28 Jan 2014, 23:39
by Bid
Have a look at Manifold Valley Meats - they are quite a lot cheaper and have a greater range of meats. ... -products/

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 09:34
by wobble.gob
Ozzy seems to be bored of his meals - I feed him Naturesdiet twice a day. He eats his evening meal no problem, but he normally turns his nose up at his breakfast.

He is 8 months, and has been on Naturesdiet from 10 weeks old, so I can imagine it can get boring having it everyday.

I know feeding him raw is a gradual process, but have any of had this problem before? I would like to give him a bit of a variety.

Also, just a few more questions :lol: ...

Even though his is not on a raw diet - can I still give him a raw chicken wing occassionally? Can I also give him a whole raw egg??

Thank you :D

Debs & Ozzy xx

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 09:35
by Harvey's Mum
Can't help but just wanted to say thanks for this post. I've been reading all the horror stories about kibble myself and I am trying to make some decisions myself.

I'm not sure that we can do fresh meat because we motorhome a lot and our fridge freezer in the van is barely big enough for the human food. I had a look at the Manifold Valley website and that would be a great solution - but am I the only one put off by the label 'Barf diet' ? :lol:


Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 11:35
by Roodlepippin
As far as I know - and I bow to Bid on all things diet-related! - you can give a dog raw meat, raw eggs and raw bones pretty much as you like, so yes, you can absolutely throw them a chicken wing or a marrow bone now and then if you want to see how they get on with it.

The only thing that seems to be a no-no is feeding kibble and raw in the same meal. My solution to that is to feed raw in the morning and kibble (if I'm going to) in the evening so his stomach has a long time to digest it.

I love feeding raw, Woody seems to be thriving physically (touch wood), and he definitely enjoys his food. I can't remember the last time he turned up his nose at anything. But it is definitely more of a faff than going to Pets at Home and just buying a bag of kibble and pouring it into a bowl every night.


Health - arguably better for the dog and anecdotally a lot of people on here have had significant improvements in their dog's health problems and overall condition from making the switch.

Enjoyment for the dog - Woody was very indifferent to kibble, even the good ones, whereas he so far has never shown anything less than 100% enthusiasm for raw.

Poo-picking - one of the reasons we switched from kibble is because Woody was incredibly farty (and they really stank) and seemed to have permanent diarrhoea, including bits of mucous and even blood at times. On raw he's had pretty much rock hard poo, v small quantity, often white and crumbly and not remotely offensive, and hopefully helping with the emptying of the old anal glands (sorry!) too.

Cost? Depends a lot on where you get it from. I think we are spending about £60 a month on food which for us is A LOT. But I do buy it from the expensive end of the market and I'm going to give Manifold (thanks Bid) a go in an attempt to bring the cost down.

The 'ick' factor: Depending on how realistic you are about where your own meat comes from, it can be a bit of an eye opener to have a freezer full of duck necks and lamb ribs. I can't quite bring myself to go the whole paunched rabbit / pig-trotter / half a pigs head hog (terrible pun, sorry) because its just a bit too abatoir-esque for me. The sanitized version is to buy the prepared minces with bone in which I'm now completely chilled about.

Practicalities: you need a reasonable size freezer (if you're going to buy in bulk or get it delivered in bulk) and you need to keep on top of defrosting things. In practice this means for us, having a plastic box of defrosting meat resting on top of the cooker (or in the fridge) pretty much 24/7. And if you forget to take it out in time, you'll be falling back on Naturediet packs (which are apparently good quality - Woody likes them) or kibble or scraps.

You might also find it difficult to feed raw while you're away / camping. We just followed advice on here and switched to naturesdiet while we were away, and Woody didn't mind one bit.

Mess - if you're going to do the raw meaty bones / body parts thing, you're going to need somewhere for the dog to eat them. We haven't properly cracked this yet - its no problem if it's dry and they can go in the garden. Bit more difficult if your dog has lamb ribs for dinner and it's pouring outside so they've got to eat them in the kitchen. I know Bid has 'bone blankets' but Woody has a habit of dragging whatever he's chewing off the blanket and across the floor a bit. But then, if you've got a dog, your floor is probably not exactly spotless anyway!

Lastly, you might find yourself at odds with your vet or your other dog owning friends, because in some circles, feeding raw is still considered a slightly odd and possibly risky thing to do. Personally I think vets have a vested interest in kibble (the more expensive the better) and many aren't very well informed about canine nutrition. But the looks on my friends' faces when I described unpacking three polystyrene boxes of frozen raw meat and bones was a picture! :shock:

Reading through, I seem to have come up with loads of negatives and not many positives, but the positives are massive and the niggles relatively minor - at least for us.

If you fancy trying it, why not just buy some mince & maybe a few chicken wings and see what your dog makes of them and how you feel about it?

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 11:51
by AustinsMumma
Roodlepippin, what a great post!
I enjoyed reading that

Haha, I almost balked chopping up kidneys last night :lol:

I just may take bid's tip about the 'bone blanket', sounds like a good idea

J x

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 13:44
by wobble.gob
Thats a great post, thank you for all your information.

I'm going to pop to my local pet food store (Pet Panty in Gosport) where there is an inhouse nutritionist. I am looking at getting a few packs of the Natural Instinct too see how Ozzy gets on with it.

I want Ozzy to really enjoy his meals, and obviously I want it to be as natural as possible.

I am also going to try him on a chicken wing tonight :D

Debs & Ozzy xx

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 13:58
by Samdunn
Some great info so far. We already use an Asian supermarket for most of our family meals - chicken breast, chicken wings, chicken , beef and lamb mince as it's much cheaper than supermarket so next time I'm there I'll ahi about the left over bone stuff. Might do the gentle approach and throw him some chicken wings now and again and see how he gets on with it. Will have a chat with vet, I can see where you're coming from with some having a vested interest but our vet studied in same place I did my PhD and rightly or wrongly I trust his advice to be coming from a good place.
Cheers all!

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 18:52
by Bid
I had a long chat about feeding raw with one of my vets, and asked her to check that the diet sheet I was using contained everything they needed. She said that vets are not nutritionist, and she couldn't answer the question herself (very honest of her I thought), and she consulted a nutritionist on my behalf who said it was fine). So it proves the point really, about not taking your vets opinion about diet, because they really aren't trained in nutrition.

My discussion was a result of her wanting me to give Daisy Hills joint food. I equipped myself with an analysis of the Hills food from the Dog Food Analysis website, and asked her why she wanted me to feed Daisy a food containing dried cellulose - i.e. sawdust, when I was already feeding this lovely healthy nutritionist-approved diet. Her response - it's easier!

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 19:07
by beeeerock
There are plenty of opinions out there. This article: provides what I feel is a balanced discussion of the pros and cons.

It's not a very long article and you need to read it all to get the full picture. We've elected to research the dry foods thoroughly and have settled on a brand that evidently agrees with Bodhi's digestive tract and contains all the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids etc. that are often missing or inadequate in raw diets. It probably costs us more than raw, but the cons of raw (most of which are discussed in the linked article) were enough to push us this way.

To each there own, as there really isn't a wrong answer (other than cheap RAW or KIBBLE)!

FWIW, if a vet doesn't have a clue about nutrition, you should be looking for another... it's very much part of what they SHOULD know. If your doctor prescribed cholesterol meds but didn't mention that perhaps you should reduce your consumption of A, B, and C foods, would you have any confidence in him/her?

Re: Raw food questions

Posted: 29 Jan 2014, 19:09
by Bid
beeeerock wrote: FWIW, if a vet doesn't have a clue about nutrition, you should be looking for another... it's very much part of what they SHOULD know. If your doctor prescribed cholesterol meds but didn't mention that perhaps you should reduce your consumption of A, B, and C foods, would you have any confidence in him/her?
Lol - you're missing the point, which is that nutrition in detail is not part of the vets training over here.