Hello! I am new to the forum and am thinking about feeding raw so I came here with a bundle of questions! I have a Papillon who will soon be 5 years old. He's a rescue, so he's pretty large for a Papillon (almost 12 inches at the shoulder and about 12 pounds). He's very energetic and can go forever on walks, but he also likes to cuddle. When I'm not home, he spends his time chewing raw cow knuckles or rawhide and I noticed how much he LOVES the knuckle bones so I would like to look into feeding him strictly raw. However, I do have a lot of questions that I was hoping I could get firsthand answers to!
What would the general cost of raw per month be for a dog his size?
-I am a college student on a limited budget.
-He currently eats 1/2 cup kibble per day although he often goes a day or a day and a half without eating--he's a little strange!
How much would I need to feed him every day?
-Is it based strictly on weight, or does it vary by the quality/type of meat?
Should I feed him once or twice a day?
-He currently eats only in the evening because he would never eat breakfast anyways.
How can I make sure that I am varying his diet enough?
What are the effects of feeding him a diet that doesn't vary enough?
-Will it hurt him if, for example, if I can only find chicken, fish, pork, and beef to feed him?
Are vegetables necessary?
-He's anti vegetable, I think--he won't even eat carrots!
Should I supplement the diet with a multivitamin?
-I know that good diets shouldn't need supplementation, but I worry that he might miss out on some nutrients.
What can I feed in place of raw if we are camping or traveling?
Does the meat need to be ground for him to eat it?
-I know some people grind the meat for their dogs.
Will he be able to eat all the little bones in the meat or will I have to take them out so he won't choke?
-For example, all the little ribs in chicken and bones in fish.
What kind of training treats can be used when a dog is eating raw?
-Again, my weird little dog won't eat carrots! Lol!
That's all I can think of for now! Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I want to feed him the best and I keep hearing all these miracle stories about raw. It makes sense to me so I'd like to give it a shot, but I don't know if it is doable, yet. Come summertime, we hike, camp, and travel a LOT and so raw could make that very difficult. I am curious to know if there is a system that I could follow which would ensure he is getting the appropriate balance of vitamins, minerals, and just overall nutrients. I would feel awful if I hurt him by feeding raw wrong which is part of the reason I've never looked into it before. But he loves those raw knuckles for sure and I can see his little doggy heart in paradise if I were to feed him all raw, so I'd really like to learn more about it!