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Raw Meat, Antibiotics, Health Issues

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12 replies to this topic

#1
soho

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I agree wholeheartedly in raw IF the meat is wholesome, meaning untortured, uninjected, ...which isnt the case if its to be affordable. I have an 8 lb Chihuahua so I will put in the effort but those with large dogs how can you afford it? I'd like to hear that you don't worry so much about it since kibble is even more questionable and disgusting. Anyone just not sort about the grade of the meat?

Anyone sear it and grind the bones up good? Vitamix would powder it....

Thanks for your replies

Soho
Bambi's dedicated mom
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#2
Erica

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I'm pretty sure every raw feeder would love to have all natural, grass fed, USDA select etc etc etc meat but yes that is very expensive, even for human consumption (at least in our house)

 

Simply put, any raw meat is better than kibble. Because...it's just plain ol meat. No other crap added to it.  We feed grocery store meat and we avoid any "injected with a solution" meat which is mostly pork/turkey but any meat can be, you should avoid these because they only upset the tummy. Unless the packaging clearly says grass fed then the only thing you should worry about is your pup getting the proper omegas, which they can get through fish oil supplements.

 

 

And, technically Max is a "large" dog even though he's only 60 lbs and although the price per month fluctuates because I bought 150 lb+ last month and only about 50 lb this month (since we had so much leftover from last month) but for people who have huger dogs or multiple dogs it's really quite easy once you explore your options. Set a budget or goal when buying ie I try to avoid spending more than 1.50/lb for any meat, including beef. Look for sources of cheap meat like grocery stores in lower income neighborhoods/reduced meat/manager's special/holiday specials, ethnic stores, finding a co-op in your area, asking your friends/family for freezer burned meat, posting ads in craigslist for free unwanted meat, etc etc etc.

 

Searing is mainly only done if you're feeding prey model raw because you have a picky eater and should only be done temporarily until your pup will eat w/e it is you're searing. Grinding the bones is a BARF method of feeding bones. That's just extra time and money IMO (and also getting/buying a grinder is expensive), plus it cancels out the dental benefit of chewing raw meaty bones.


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#3
Prey Model Raw

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I do a lot of butchering myself to provide meat I wouldn't necessarily be able to afford to buy outright.

I alternate these better meats with lower quality store bought stuff.

My dogs are healthy and I'm happy and not broke. I'm satisfied.
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#4
naturalfeddogs

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No grinding bones here.When you do, you lose the dental benefits, as well as the mental benefits of chewing.

 

Also, no searing here either. The more you cook, the more nutrients you lose. 


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#5
Prey Model Raw

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We have a Weston 22 grinder that we've used to grind food for the cats and when we were weaning our Great Dane puppies to raw food. Other than that we don't grind food for our dogs. 



#6
flossboss

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My dogs would definitely be sad if I ground up their bones.  They LOVE chewing on them, parading around with them (so very proud...as if they killed it themselves....LOL!) and burying them (rare but does happen).  Their teeth became white again and their gums a healthy light pink once we switched to raw.  Bad breath is a thing of the past, too. I  wouldn't trade this for the world!  



#7
Iorveth

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I only ever ground bones when my older dog just wasn't feeling up to eating a complex meal. In warm weather, he would go days just picking at his food so I would give in and just give him something easy to eat. He'd been like this since he was young. He just did not cope with heat well and he just did not feel like eating when it took too much effort. 

Otherwise, no. No grinding. 

As far as the lives the meat animal they are eating lived? I don't think about it too much. I hate it and hate the fact that most of what we feed is grocery store bought meat coming from animals who led awful lives, but that's how I can afford to feed them raw. Instead of dwelling on what I am feeding them, I put that focus into the future. I plan to eventually be able to greatly reduce the amount of grocery store meat they eat. My husband and I plan to buy property and raise meat animals ourselves. Will we ever be 100% off of grocery store meat? Who knows, but we can always aim for that.



#8
LiterateGriffin

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How do I afford it, with my 70 lb dog?

Well, it's like this:

We get paid twice a month. Before switching, I would go to the pet store on Payday. I would drop around $200 on pet food. (We fed Orijen kibble and Blue Wilderness canned.) I also got her "chicken chips" -- a single-ingredient meat treat made in USA -- my local pet-shop worked directly with the manufacturer, and my dog loved (s) 'em.


Then, I did the math on raw.

For her body weight, she needs to eat 1.5-2 lbs meat/day. * 30 days in a month, call it 60 lbs of meat. If I pay $3/lb on average for meat (I actually find pork and poultry for MUCH less than that, but we're saying "on average") that means I pay -- roughly -- $180 month to feed her. HALF what I was paying on commercial.

 

That's the theory

The truth is we swtiched her on May 15, when I spent $145, buying out sale-priced meats at IGA. (NOTE: We also had some large meat-shipments coming in for the household, in the same timeframe, including boneless chicken breast and pork ribs., so that DOES affect things.) That was in May... A month and a half later, I'm about to have to buy more food FOR HER.  (We still have plenty of chicken, but I need to get her more turkey and beef, as well as organs. I may pick up some pork, too, so we have some pork besides ribs.) 

So reality, we come out even FURTHER ahead than my original "in theory".

Except for the chicken-quarters, there's nothing I feed my dog that I wouldn't feed my family. (The chicken quarters are sometimes poorly plucked, and I don't care for feathers in my teeth. Or chicken skin in general, really.)  Well, that's going to change soon, when I start giving her some feet to chew on. ;) But I bargain-shop for my meat. I buy on sale and stock up. I buy bulk -- warehouse stores, Zaycon, etc. (I think link-sharing is pretty limited, here. I have a referal-link for Zaycon, if anyone wants it -- I get a small kickback if you order, like $1 credit. But I care less about that than folks knowing a resource. They hold "events" where you can get, say, a 40 lb case of butterflied chicken breasts for $1.69-$1.99/lb, among other things. We love the quality of the meat, and have been ordering from them for 3 years.) I shop Costco, and I buy large, whole, vacuum-packed cuts of meat. (I'll buy a WHOLE rib-eye, and cut it into steaks.) Not necessarily for the dog, but for all of us. I shop restaurant supply houses for large cuts, too, when possible. (I used to be able to get REALLY nice steak -- including rib-eye -- for under $6/lb, that way.) 

That's how I shop for my household, and how I shop for my dog is pretty similar. I try to keep my "price-point" for her meat at below $3.99/lb. The most expensive thing I've bought for her so far is some ox-tail that came in at just that.... In the same shopping cart as $0.59 chicken and $0.89 pork and turkey. Oh, I also fed her a local grass-fed cube steak, but I'd only paid $5.99/lb for that, and it wasn't big enough to feed the family. (It came as part of a "beef share", and none of the humans were going to eat it.) 

Can I afford to feed her ONLY locally raised, non-"factory" animals? No. Can't afford to feed my kids that, either. Is eating an unprocessed diet (for humans OR dogs) WAY better than one of mostly processed foods? HECK yes. 

My goal is always for the least-harm option. To use my kids for an example, "backyard" chicken might be their ideal meat, but store-bought chicken that I cook up myself is a WHOLE lot better for them than McNuggets. 

Same for my Isis. And the very, VERY best commercial food is still the equivalent of "McNuggets", in this case.

(And no, I don't cook anything for her. And chomping bones -- and getting to that delicious marrow in the middle -- is one of the JOYS of raw-eating that I can't dream of taking away from my Isis-girl....)



#9
Iorveth

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On the topic of price, I was feeding an older, 63 lb dog who got about 2 lbs per day, a 70-75 lb dog and a 60 lb dog 2-3 lbs per day depending on what the meat was, both of whom are young, high energy, and have wicked fast metabolisms. That meant that I was feeding between 6 and 8 lbs of meat per day. The oldest one passed on two weeks ago today so I am down to feeding two, but I have spent the past 4 years feeding three dogs a raw diet on an income that is nothing to brag about. 

If we fed kibble, we would be feeding something like what LiterateGriffin fed her dog. I can't even imagine trying to pay for all that kibble. As it happens, we made the jump from one dog on Pedigree to two dogs on raw since we started raw the day we brought home our Bluetick as a puppy so we did see a price increase from what we were used to, but we skipped the "kibble upgrade" process that a lot of people seem to go through first. 

We do make $1/lb our goal since we do know of good places to order in bulk. I think we average about $2/lb. We keep an eye on the sale meats that are about to hit their "best by" date as well as any buy one get one free deals. Of course, even if it's on sale, we still make sure it's suitable for the dogs so no enhanced meats despite a low price. The bulk orders do save a lot of money in the end. Last month we spent almost nothing on dog food because we spent quite a bit the month before on a few bulk orders. Buying what we bought in bulk would have cost us more if we'd just been buying what we need every few days.

You do learn tricks. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. It's just one more stop during my other errands. 



#10
LiterateGriffin

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no enhanced meats despite a low price. 

 

Yup, yup, yup.

 

Spent $0.10/more lb for chicken quarters, because I wasn't buying the enhanced ones... (Not saying that's the average price dif, saying that's what it was for me, that particular day.) 

Both our animals (Adult dog, and then-kitten) were shelter-adopts... We started in kibble initially because I was intimidated to start raw with such a big dog, vastly over-estimating how much she'd need. But we weaned both onto "the good kibble" as soon as they came home with us. 



#11
Iorveth

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I researched raw for several months before starting it with my dogs so I can totally understand being intimidated by it. It's a big leap from just scooping nuggets out of a bag and it takes a while and some panic to realize it isn't that difficult.


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#12
lovemyboys88

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We actually took several years to decide. We had seen a guy with a blue pit and she was BEAUTIFUL!! We him hawed about it forbawhile and until i saw a raw feeder on instagram who was a foster for a pitbull rescue. The dogs wrre in beautiful shape and she said to check out this forum with questions. I was nervous that it would be tough, or they wouldnt take to it. But we switched and the rest is history. Best decision we have ever made for our doggies!
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#13
Iorveth

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I mostly decided to look into it because kibble was just so dang boring. Raw just made so much more sense to me. Buck isn't always in peak condition because he's a Nervous Nellie who drops weight when the butterflies aren't bright enough or the birds don't sing loud enough, but otherwise, he is in nice condition. Iorveth is my little powerhouse. People are shocked to find out he is 60 lbs because he is the size of a 40 lb dog. He is just super dense and packed with muscle. I should see if I can post a photo of him up on his back legs one day. He is so muscular that his back muscles leave an indent where his spine is. We describe his legs as "pit bull thighs". Just an absolute powerhouse of a dog.






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