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Author Topic: Thought I'd let you in on...  (Read 991 times)
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Berner_girl
"...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:20b
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R.I.P. MT TOP's Secret Agent, C.G.C. "Kahaus"


« on: July 25, 2008, 06:28:54 PM »

what I've been discussing on the Dogster raw feeding board and a very interesting page that was recommended to me.

I have been looking at raw as an option for Kahaus (but not terribly seriously because I'm afraid my grandma would throw a hissy fit). I asked the fellow dog addicts on Dogster:

-- Do you know/believe you spend more or less on raw than kibble?

-- In light of a dog's shorter digestive system and the fact that freezing raw meat stops the reproduction of bacteria (if I remember my 6th grade home economics correctly, it does not effectively kill the bacteria), are salmonella and e-coli, etc. looming dangers for the raw-fed dog? (My grandma's objection)

-- I read a book about caring for senior dogs in which the author cautioned against switching a senior to a raw diet. (She didn't seem too keen on raw at all, actually.) Is switching to raw problematic for older dogs who are used to eating kibble?

This page was recommended to me and I have found it an interesting read so far:

http://www.rawfed.com/myths/

What do those of you who feed raw have to say to my questions? Do you think raw is a possibility for a college student who may very well be working for minimum wage?
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DigiKahaus



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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2008, 10:58:52 AM »

Honestly, with a dog of Kahaus' size. It might be a stretch but can be done. Most of us who feed raw made some initial investments up front like chest freezers and small appliances. The chest freeze allows you to buy in bulk which saves money. You could feed a staple like a small cornish hen. Here they run about $1.98 each. I usually cut one into two and Kaden gets one half one night and one half the next. Kahaus would probably need about 1 whole hen. Then you have to consider rotating foods and recipes to keep the variety going.

How well a dog does on raw depends on the dog and how well the raw food is prepared. Certain medical conditions or immune system disorder might pose a problem. Older dogs might need more time to adjust. I know a lot of people who feed raw. The biggest concern is veggies. Some dogs do very poorly with veggies and others do better.

Look at your budget and change what you can. If you can't feed raw every day, a few meals per week will offer a lot of benefit.

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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 03:52:17 PM »

Switching an older dog that has lived his life on kibble can be tough, but, it depends on the dog.  I would first try adding little tid bits of raw as a treat or into his food and see how he does with that.  After living a life where the digestive system is acclimated to kibble, any change could be tough.  At the same time, we've switched older dogs cold turkey with very minimal problems. 

As far as expenses, well, you can feed relatively cheaply when going raw depending on what you have access to and how much freezer space you have.  If the only resource you have to buy from is the grocery store, it's very unlikely you would be saving any money switching to raw.  If you have a raw co-op or a meat distributor that will carry a variety of organs, necks, backs, etc. and you have freezer space to accommodate that, you can do it all very cheaply. 

Whether you add vegetables or not depends upon your theory on what a dog truly needs, and the same goes for supplements.

The way I feed my dogs is more expensive than kibble would be (right now, I think), but, I have a special needs dog when it comes to food.  She can't have chicken and numerous other of the cheaper sources and requires a wide array of supplements to keep her going, certainly well beyond supplements most dogs get.  Without the consideration of all the supplements, if I was feeding George alone and didn't have Jillian's issues to contend with, it would definitely be more cost effective for me to feed him raw instead of kibble.  Keeping in mind, too, that I do buy in bulk and have the freezer space to be able to do so.

We have had zero problems with bacteria - ourselves and our animals.  Keep in mind that one trouble making little Schnauzer has been known to drag raw legs of something or another around my house leaving a nice trail for me to clean up.  Yes, freezing stops the reproduction of bacteria and as long as you practice the same safe handling you would when handling meat for the family, you should not have any problems.  I'll be honest and say I've gone to bed and put my arm under my pillow to be welcomed by a warm pile of chicken necks.  They had obviously been there since breakfast.  No harm done.  I didn't get sick, nor did DH.  Not to mention the fact that Jillian does like to go and hide some of her food out in the back yard just long enough to let it get good and ripe, just the way she likes it.  Never had a problem.  I handle thousands of pounds of raw meat that is going into dog food every week.  Never a problem.  Mind you, we don't use old, bacterial laden rotting meat or anything like that.

Yes, certain medical conditions and immune system disorders can pose a problem.  If you've recently had, or plan on having a full blood panel done, you will know if there are any underlying problems that you may have to consider with going raw.

I agree with Layne that if you can't feed raw every day, a few meals a week or the inclusion of something cheap like chicken necks and/or backs would be very beneficial for Kahaus.
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