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Home cookin' decisions...

Prin
December 6th, 2005, 02:06 AM
Ok, so I know that the next best thing to good kibble is home cooking or feeding raw. The idea of cooking a meal for the family and setting aside a portion of carefully selected stuff mixed is a nice idea, but I don't feel I can make it work.

I have a horrible routine-keeping ability. Aside from being in school some days for 13 hours and coming home at 10PM, some days I don't get to eat at all and others I'll eat at weird times, so the whole preparing it for me and for the doggy wouldn't work. The other thing is on a student's budget, it's hard to have a wad of cash to buy stuff in bulk. I was supposed to buy a half an organic cow 3 years ago and I still haven't ever had the chance to because I never have $300 handy, even though in the long run it would be cheaper than buying bits individually.

So I'm asking, what is the routine for feeding raw/home cooked? It obviously involves more prep, planning and shopping than scooping out of a bag, right? So can somebody explain a day in the life for me? I figured I would ask since there appears to be more home cookers than ever...:)

RaYne
December 6th, 2005, 09:08 AM
I'm not sure if you've been to this site. But it talks about raw.. preparing.. how long it takes to get a meal ready ect.. It also shows how to figure out how much meat to feed. And how much you'll need weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

http://www.rawdogranch.com/rawdiet.htm

I'm seriously considering going this route since no kibble I've bought agree's with Bubba tummy. I was worried about cost. But if it comes down to it I can just buy enough to last until next payday. This way I don't have to spend alot at one time. I think we are going to give it a try starting January.

LavenderRott
December 6th, 2005, 10:15 AM
When I fed Chase raw food, I found that the easiest way was to spend one day on preparing food and packaging for the week. Then it would go in the freezer and a couple of days worth could be pulled out at the time.

At the time, I had a friend who also fed raw and she got her meat from a supplier. This meant that I had access to cases of meat at very reasonable prices. Of course, if they ever use luminal in the bathroom in my old trailer, they will think someone was murder as beef hearts make a HUGE mess when you thaw them.

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 10:29 AM
OK here are the basics (bringing it down to KISS)

-have enough freezer space to store bulk stuff, ideally a small chest freezer bought 2nd hand or found on freecycle.org (hey it's christmas soon, what a nice gift, LOL! can cost $200 if you shop around)

-AMGA on Jeanne-Mance sells you a 35 pound case of meaty chicken backs for $8, that will go a long way!

-call around for butchers to find a good souce of beef hearts, muscle meats & organs. i have one where the hearts and kidneys are $1/pound.

-watch the flyers for store sales and buy when it's cheap (.69/pound chicken legs at IGA, for example, or whole grain-fed turkeys for .99/pound, nice pork roasts for .89/pound...)

-a dog will typically eat 2-3% of its body weight of food per day. So a 50 pound dog would eat between 1-1.5 pounds, which is about 2 chicken legs on the high end. or 2-3 chicken frames + some beef heart, for example.

-the dollar store has great sardines packed in water 2 for $1, and buy tuna when it's 2 or 3 for $1 (stock up!) and pay max .99 for a can of salmon.

-feed eggs! cheap 100% assimilable tasty protein!

-feed only what is on sale and you have a bargain. Our 110 lbs dog costs us about $80/month to feed and i supplement with a lot of canned fish & some holistic kibble. I could pare it down to $60 if i was very careful.

-the only supplement you will need is Fish Body Oil for Omega-3's, you can get a big bottle of that on sale at Walmart or pharmacies for like $6, give a capsule about 3 times/week for lustrous coat.

-if budget is tight, supplement the bones, meats & organs with oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, human meal leftovers when you have them... whatever is on hand at the moment.

-balance over time is the key to this diet's success, and remember that vets bills are usually non-existant over the life of the dog... less or non-existant allergies, no dental cleanings, strong immune system, less baths needed, a LOT less poop cleanup, etc...

-it takes a little practice to get into a routine and you will have to spend some time preparing once or twice per month (for example, deboning a big turkey & bagging for freezer... the wings & leg bones can be too hard for dogs but the neck & back/ribs are fine... the meat goes to the dog & the bones go for soup stock, LOL)

-dogs do NOT need fruits or veggies, so no pulping and cooking and messy stuff.

-open fridge, take chicken, hand to dog... yep, really easy for us busy people, LOL!

i'll be happy to guide you along the way. i'm a phone call away and it's not even long distance, ha ha!

:highfive:

LavenderRott
December 6th, 2005, 10:35 AM
Sounds about right.

I fed fruits and veggies instead of pasta though. And we added a glucosomine and chondrotin supplement as I was feeding a senior dog with some arthritis.

Oh, and eggs can go in the dish whole. The shells are great for the dogs. I usually just tossed them in the dish.

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 10:52 AM
ya gotta tailor the diet to what your dog likes of course, and if they have speciel needs... dakotah is a carb addict (he could live on bread and peanut butter or spaghetti alone!) but obviously that is not a good thing for dogs or humans (i tend to ignore that for myself though, LOL). he hates fruits & veggies so i gave up trying to sneak them in his food, and it's reassuring to know dogs don't *need* them for optimum health... i know grains should be avoided, too, but he just will not eat enough RMB's to cover all his caloric needs so supplementing with carbs makes sense for him.

once you get into it, hard to go back to bagged food only - it's fun and challenging to find those sales AND if you know someone who buys in bulk, splitting a case of goodies makes sense financially and space-wise.

LavenderRott
December 6th, 2005, 11:02 AM
I was taught that fruits and veggies were important to a proper balanced diet. My Chase was not a picky girl though and would eat anything put in her dish. When we started, she had a weight problem, so she got green beans with her meat. As she got slimmer, the things we added spanned the veggie world. The only things off limits were onions! (I am sure she would have eaten them though.) She got chicken livers and yogurt with ever meal also. Her favorite was tripe, of course. That stuff just stinks.

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 11:10 AM
mmm... green tripe.... i have only smelled the canned stuff and nearly passed out, for my own mental health i've decided to pass on the raw offerings! LOL :yuck:

the fruits n'veggies debate is an old one amongst raw feeders... for every Pro argument you will find a Con... have you been to the raw myth site yet? covers just about everything and is nicely backed up by scientific data... enough to convince little ol'me, anyways, that my dog can do well without fruits and veggies. I cannot, but then again i am not a carnivore!

http://rawfed.com/myths/

Here is the info on greens, from this site:

MYTH: WOLVES EAT THE STOMACH CONTENTS OF THEIR PREY.

This is false! Wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their prey. Only if the prey is small enough (like the size of a rabbit) will they eat the stomach contents, which just happen to get consumed along with the entire animal. Otherwise, wolves will shake out the stomach contents of their large herbivorous prey before sometimes eating the stomach wall. The following quotations are taken from L. David Mech's 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Mech (and the others who contributed to this book) is considered the world's leading wolf biologist, and this book is a compilation of 350 collective years of research, experiments, and careful field observations. These quotes are taken from chapter 4, The Wolf as a Carnivore.

"Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and...consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]...is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site." (pg.123, emphasis added)

"To grow and maintain their own bodies, wolves need to ingest all the major parts of their herbivorous prey, except the plants in the digestive system." (pg.124, emphasis added).

From the mouths of the wolf experts themselves, who have observed countless numbers of kills: wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their large prey, and are carnivorous animals. For more information on wolves and their feeding habits, please visit the Hunting and Meals site at www.kerwoodwolf.com (look under the 'Lots of Wolf Information' link).

LavenderRott
December 6th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the info.

Chase has passed away and DH hates the sound of crunching bones, so my current little 6 pound pom is eating Canidae.

I will bookmark the site though so that next time I have a big dog and want to go with raw feeding, I can do more research.

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 11:31 AM
so sorry to hear about Chase :sorry:

little guy is at the rainbow bridge now, RIP.

and nice chatting with you btw :pawprint:

Prin
December 6th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Thanks for all your input!

Ok... So if 110lbs is $80, then 90+60 lbs is... $109.09 per month... That's getting a bit steep... Right now I'm paying probably around $80 for the Wolf King (a $67 bag lasts a few days more than 3 weeks...). And I'd need 3 to 4.5lbs of food a day for them both... That's a lot of meat!

When I get out of school and have more time and more of a salary, I'll be definitely rethinking this. I don't think it's feasable to spend more than 10% of my monthly budget on my babies and still continue to survive (ahh the joys of going back to school.. sigh..). Until then, I think I have to become more desensitized to slicing and dicing our beefy friends...:eek:

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 02:17 PM
prin, you obviously love and care for your furkids enormously, you are a GREAT parent and don't change what you are doing now if it's all you *can* do financially (hey you could be feeding them Ol'Roy and saving lots of $!), good to know you will keep researching the raw food alternative and jump in, when you can...

some people say they are feeding their large dogs raw on $30 or $40/month, i suppose that's feasible if they use lots of chicken backs (super cheap) and veggies and home-cooked grains, however that's not the diet i feed dakotah - which is why it costs more. however i am not the most savvy shopper and could be doing better, budget-wise, if i gave it a serious go.

anyways that's just me, when we get another dog next year you can bet we will NOT be spending $160/mth on dog food!!! gonna trim it down to about $60 per dog and they will still eat steak! LOL

Prin
December 6th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Well, I know for me, Solid Gold ends up cheaper than the Euk we were feeding a few years ago. We went to the vet at least once a month either because of Jemma's ears or Boo's bacterial overgrowth (from his chicken intolerance). Boo used to get 8 pills a day for that. Now, we go to the vet when they need their check-ups and that's it. It's a huge difference.

Boo used to throw up every night from anxiety too, which wasn't helped by the fact that the old food used to go through him so quickly that his belly was empty most of the time. I think we've had 2 or 3 anxiety attacks this year, which is unbelievable because we moved and changed everything.

They also get just a bit more than half of the amount of Euk they used to get, which is just nuts. 87lb Boo gets 2.5 cups a day and 57lb Jemma gets 2. Not much for bigger doggies.

But until I have the means to feed better, I'll still be the kibble vigilante...:D

technodoll
December 6th, 2005, 02:49 PM
we need the kibble vigilante!! want a partner? :angel: