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How much does a raw diet cost?

August 13th, 2005, 12:30 PM
I'm just wondering if maybe I did the math wrong, but supposedly, according to a raw supplement (sort of powder you add to raw to add nutrients) for my two doggies, I would have to feed 1.7kg of meat a day. That's CRAZY expensive. Is it really that much?

How many lbs/kg of meat per lb of doggy?

I have about 150lbs of doggy to feed on a student budget. I just don't think it's financially possible...

August 13th, 2005, 02:42 PM
Know what Prin

There are so many different variations on what is deamed to be the 'best' raw or home cooked diet for dogs.

I do not measure the amount of food I give Sadie. I make sure she has enough protein carbs and veggies as well as some supplementals.

I don't follow anything to a 'T' I really don't see the need or use for it.
We as humans should be doing better at our own diets but every body type is different with us and with dogs. As long as the meal is nutritious and healthy, thats the main thing! :D

August 13th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Like Luba says, every dog is different. Some need more food, some need less. With big, active dogs like you have, they *may* eat about what you calculated but they may need less. You can adjust as you go. Rawfeeders are also very resourceful, and we seek out deals from butchers and right from the farms themselves. This saves alot. If you buy everything from doggie rawfood companies, it can get expensive. The trade off for that is that it all come prepackaged and there is no cutting/separating to do.

August 13th, 2005, 07:51 PM
My danes eat about 3lbs each per day, divided into 2 meals. Lucas is about 165 lbs and Zaire is 115 lbs. When Lucas was between 10 months through 1.5 he ate about 5 lbs a day, but as he's gotten older and more sedentary he needs less food.

I find it soooooooo much cheaper to feed a raw diet than it did to feed a premium kibble.

August 13th, 2005, 10:13 PM
I find it soooooooo much cheaper to feed a raw diet than it did to feed a premium kibble.

k. I have heard many people say this, please explain. How is it cheaper? Is that because you have an awesome deal with your butcher, or can it be cheaper for anyone?

August 14th, 2005, 01:33 AM
I too would love to hear how you're finding it cheaper than premuim kibble!!!! Hopefully there's a way that I'll be able to keep this up once we have more than one dog in our household. My g-shepherd is on the raw diet (but I've been buying it for the past 2 years as I just don't have the time to prepare it myself anymore), so she gets healthy paws & pets4life. I recently calculated that I spend about CDN$250 a month just on her food alone..... Not cheap! She's also 11 years old so clearly she doesn't need a large quantity of food anymore.

Please tell! I am considering starting to make my own food again. I used to do this (I cooked it before) but between work and studies I just couldn't find the time. Hopefully things will settle down a little more and I can resume doing it! Oh and btw, when you mix your own, do you ensure that the meat is hormone free or do you just get "regular" meat?

August 14th, 2005, 08:35 AM
With my old dog, I found that raw food was cheaper then buying commercial dog food. Mostly because she had a mixture of dry and wet and would most often refuse to eat it, so it went to waste. On the raw diet she ate everything and was of course so much healthier.

Also, like someone else mentioned, if you can find a local butcher (or farmer)they will often give you the scraps that humans don't eat but that dog's enjoy.

Also, you don't need to feed as much raw food as you may think (in comparison to kibble).

I found that on the raw diet, we had a lot of the veggies in the house anyway and it stopped us from wasting them; again, the dog was okay with eating the stalk of the brocoli so it really made us stop wasting the little bits.

But like I've said before, the health benfits from switching to raw were more then worth it.

I never kept an exact tally of how much the raw food was costing but in general I would guesstimate that I spent anywhere from $50-$100 a month.

Meat free of all those icky's is great if you can get your hands on it! Unfortunatley, I only know one local farmer and he doesn't have too much to spare so I just bought my stuff at the grocery store.

August 14th, 2005, 11:02 AM
k. I have heard many people say this, please explain. How is it cheaper? Is that because you have an awesome deal with your butcher, or can it be cheaper for anyone?

To be honest, I don't find it cheaper. For me, it's a bit more than a premium kibble. I do know raw feeders who are very resourceful and get all their meat straight from the farm, buy it in bulk and separate it and package it all themselves. It's great to join a raw feeding yahoo list, such as which is a list for people looking for and supplying meat for raw diets. Also, I really reccommend the list for educational purposes.

For me, I'm not big on buying in bulk and separating (I don't even eat meat myself, lol), sometimes I can get Chris to do it for me, but not always. So paying more for the prepackaged stuff is worth it for me. Saves on time and the "ew factor".

I used to flip flop and do kibble, raw, kibble, raw based on how much extra cash we had at the time. But since we found out Uncle Monty has cancer, we went 100% raw. I am so happy we did, I really believe it has made a difference. He is more alive and active than ever, he acts like a puppy. Pretty good for a senior dog with Lymphoma going through chemotherapy.

August 14th, 2005, 11:33 AM
I do find it more expensive then just some kibble but I look at the long run how it benefits her health :D

August 14th, 2005, 11:40 AM
I do find it more expensive then just some kibble but I look at the long run how it benefits her health

and I never have to brush their teeth! lol

August 14th, 2005, 07:28 PM
I would need at least 3 bags of kibble a month for my two. And at roughly $60 a bag we're looking at $180.00 per month.

I get a case of chicken carcasses a week for $3.00 a box.

I go to a slaughterhouse for my tripe and get @ 120 lbs (finished product after I throw away all the fat) for $10 - $20 total!

- I could buy it in a fancy package all chopped up for $2.99 and up from the Raw food retailers. I can also go to a slaughterhouse closer to home and get it frozen cut up in blocks for $0.49 per lb. But I don't want to feed my dogs all the fat that's in there so I prefer to get it fresh out of the cow and clean out all the fat and chop into bite size pieces and portion it out for my freezer myself. It's a bit of work but the savings make it worth it and my dogs looooooooove tripe! :) I usually go 3 or 4 times a year and fill up a couple of shelves of my freezer

I buy an organ mix from them as well that they prepare for dogs which is $0.25 / lb

I buy turkey backs or necks when they're on special ie. under $0.99

I get lamb occaisonally through a friend for $0.99 / lb

I get ground beef from Farmer Al's at usually $0.69 / lb for a 10 lb bag. (it's always between $0.69 - $0.99 /lb for regular)
I'll buy pork riblets and Oxtail there as well when it's on special for $0.99 / lb

I get canned Mackrell for $.85 - $.99 a can at Food Basics or No Frills.

I haven't done a veggie goop in quite a while. I HATE doing veggies! So I've been buying this HUGE bag of frozen veggies from Fortino's for $6.47 and this lasts me about 2 months.

I feed oatmeal with most breakfasts (not with Tripe though) and a big bag last's me a couple of months.

The most expensive thing for me is the supplements. But I don't usually run out of them all at the same time so it's $10 here or $20.00 there every few months to resupply.

I figure I spend about $50 - $60 per month to feed 2 danes.

August 14th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Oh!! and knuckle bones I get free from the friendly butchers at Fortino's!

August 14th, 2005, 07:47 PM
wow. cool!

So that answers my question, the idea is to go directly to butchers, slaughterhouses, etc.

I will look into this, Daniac, thanks for the cool ideas. I don't know why I wouldn't think to give my dog those "cuts" of meat, so to speak, probably because we "turn our noses" up at them ourselves--he heh no pun intended.

Tripe eh?? The cheapest things I could fin in the grocery store were chicken livers @3-4 bucks a pound, so now you know why I was mistaken.

Talk about barkin' up the wrong tree!!!! ;)

Thanks for the info, I'll re-investigate!! :)

August 14th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Oooooh Daniac, how close are you to MTL? Close enough for me to take a drive to some of your suppliers on a Sunday afternoon? :)

August 14th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Oooooh Daniac, how close are you to MTL? Close enough for me to take a drive to some of your suppliers on a Sunday afternoon? :)

Hahaha, think I'm a little far for ya! I'm in Hamilton and most of my suppliers are here or to the west of me.

There is a place in Pickering (?) that my friend get's the lamb, turkey and other ground stuff from. I'm going to have to get it together and go out myself and stock up on some lamb. This is the ONLY reasonable source for lamb I've found.

twinmommy, It took me quite a while to find my suppliers. When I was living in Toronto and had to rely on St. Lawrence Market I was paying more to feed my dogs.

I'm still looking for a source for venison. Been looking for a few years now, but none of my friends or their friends hunt.

August 14th, 2005, 08:55 PM
Crap, lol! I find it's hard to find suppliers in Qc. I'm also shy to approach them, which doesn't help. :o

August 14th, 2005, 09:26 PM
I was thinking you were in Hamilton---those prices alone should have given it away!!

Still, you have a good point about finding suppliers.
I raw fed only for a few months, but had to stop ($$$$$) but I was going to the grocery store and Costco.(duh) ;)

BoxerRescue, I'm not shy!! If I make any good contacts, we'll share, o.k.???!!

August 14th, 2005, 09:38 PM
BoxerRescue, I'm not shy!! If I make any good contacts, we'll share, o.k.???!!

Sounds like a deal! I can go pick stuff up and find places. I think I just have social anxieties, lol.

I'm looking for places now, how big is your freezer???

August 14th, 2005, 09:39 PM
I'd go broke if I had to rely on Grocery stores or Costco for food! Ditto for feeding a prepared raw diet. Mind you if I had a small breed dog I probably would just for the convenience of it.

There must be a few chicken processing places out there that you can get carcasses from. Have you looked in the yellowpages? That's what I did when I moved out here, and searche for poultry - wholesale and meat packers.

Chinese grocers are also GREAT for getting good deals. When I first moved here I used to go to one near my house for chicken. They charged $5.00 a box (@ 25lbs) but they started putting less and less in the box over time and I found a new chicken processor that give me FULL boxes for $3.00.

You just have to shop around and talk to other raw feeders to find good deals.

August 14th, 2005, 09:46 PM
This was a post on my raw feeding suppliers list a little while ago, I haven't checked it out yet but I will soon.

"Boucherie Levinoff
2021, rue Frontenac (corner Ontario)
Montréal, QC H2K 2Z2
Closed on Sundays.

Specialising in beef and pork, they also have chicken. Beef heart &
kidneys .99/pound, they have lungs and liver too. You buy the whole
slab of animal and they cut it like you want. Better to call 2 days
ahead for big orders. Plus if you buy large quantities you can bargain.
Got boneless pork roast for $2/pound (26 lb bag).

Speak to Michel and he'll set you up - good luck!"

August 14th, 2005, 10:42 PM
Thanks for all the great ideas :D

August 14th, 2005, 10:54 PM
I have a friend whose parents own a farm and offered my a half a cow (all cut into pieces) for $300... Is that a good deal?

Now I know how people can afford it. I don't think my freezer is big enough... Thanks for the extensive info Daniac! :)

August 15th, 2005, 06:00 AM
I am no expert as I have never fed RAW, probably never will but I do read with interest everything that comes across my message boards in regards to feeding RAW. I read this a few months ago and it does make a lot of sense to me so I thought I would share it with you since I notice that many feed a lot of chicken.

It comes from the Canadian Golden REtrievers web site and discusses dogs that eat soil while on RAW.

August 15th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Prin, how many pounds would that be???

Copperbelle, thanks for the link. It is very true that too many people get stuck in a chicken rut. Variety is key to a raw diet. Red meats, offal, tripe, poultry, fowl, is all important.