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Switching from Acana to raw/homecooked diet?

January 12th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Well, these financial times are becoming pretty difficult for me as a student without a steady source of income. And every month when I go to pick up Koru's bag of Acana, I feel it harder and harder. Although I had planned on switching him to Orijen as soon as I had the funds, I've recently met a few people who feed their dog homecooked meals, and I have done a good bit of reading on raw diet as well, and I am highly considering giving one of these a try. Koru is a year and two month old, highly active, Siberian Husky. He is perfect weight and build for his age according to vets and from my experience. As of now, he eats 3 cups of Acana divided between two meals a day, and I generally will share an apple, banana or a piece of meat with him once a day, and his digestive system seems to have no problem with that. He gets between 30 mins to an hour of outdoor exercise (including a run) every day.

So, if anyone could give me some pros/cons to raw vs. cooked "people" food for dogs (what I know so far... raw pork can be iffy, grains hold little to no nutritional value, raw veggies are hard to digest if not cooked/pureed, and of course, raw meat needs to be handled very carefully to avoid contamination)
What I'd like to know is... if feeding raw, would it be recommended that I buy from a local butcher I trust and know, or from a grocery? I guess I'd assume the grocery would have stricter handling standards with their meat, but I believe the quality of the butcher's meat would be higher.
I'd also like to know what the cheapest and safest meats are to feed my dog, both raw and cooked. And if you've used other ingredients (fruits, veggies, etc) that were both cheap and benficial, please let me know.
Aaaand I have laying hens. Where could I fit eggs into his diet, and would it be okay to feed them raw? I eat my eggs very over-easy, and since I know they are coming from my small, healthy batch of hens, I trust they are safer than eggs from the grocer.
Is their any fish I could buy for him without reaching too deep into my pockets? I live in Atlantic Canada, so I have access to quite a few different kinds, but I am new to eating it myself and don't know much about anything other than their tastes. :P

And finally... the most important factor for me at the moment... is there any way I can feed my 60 lb. dog a homemade grain-free diet, whether raw or cooked, without spending more than $90 a month as I am currently spending on his Acana? If not, are there any grains that are safer and more beneficial that I could use as (shudders...) filler for the time being until my budget is less tight?

Thank you for any information you can provide me with! ^_^ I hate to switch Koru from the food he is doing so well on, but he loves his fruit and fresh meat, and if we can safely switch him to it I think it would make both him and my wallet a little happier.

Aaaand here's a picture taken a good few months ago of my boy looking gorgeous. ;P

January 12th, 2012, 09:46 AM
I've also read that adding ground eggshells and bones can be a good additional source of calcium and as long as their ground finely, safe for consumption. This would, of course, be a great money saver for me but I am not 100% on the accuracy of the info. Any advice here?

And sorry for all the questions, hahaha. I am still very on the fence about all this and I need to do what's right for my dog and at the same time, need to be able to pay rent. :P

Loki Love
January 12th, 2012, 04:19 PM
We feed prey model raw to our Loki. That means no grains, no veggies and no fruits (at least not as a regular source in his diet). I actually think that going raw is EASIER than home cooking because when you start cooking, you lose important nutrients that would normally be present in their raw form.

We buy from a variety of sources - we watch sales at the grocery stores, we have a regular butcher who can provide beef trimmings, and another butcher who has great prices on veal heart, tongue and liver/kidney.

Eggs are a great part to the diet - eggshells and all if your puppers will eat them. Loki refuses to do eggshells.. but he's also a diva.

We make it work. I'm not convinced we are saving that much money by doing raw, but Loki has a much better appetite and I know it's the best diet for him :) I can't say if you will spend more or less if you go with a raw or home cooked diet (depends on pricing in your area). I can assure you that in the beginning, it will cost more but that's only until you start knowing your prices, finding suppliers, etc. It's intimidating at first, but patience will be your best friend.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)

March 16th, 2012, 11:51 AM
I feed my dog cooked chicken mixed with canned food, rotating between wellness and TOTW. But my dog is a small breed, so I guess your dog will need much more chicken then mine. I buy bulk from costco about $2.5/lb with skin and bone. After I boiled it I remove the skin and bone.

You can find many homemade diet recipe online. Some people feed raw. I feed cooked meat because I believe it's safer and equally nutritious. Wolves eat raw dead animals. But since dogs were domesticated, humans and dogs formed a symbiotic relationship. Dogs started eating leftovers of humans cooked meat. I'm sure people who feed raw has their theory as well. It's your decision what to feed your dog. Anyway, lots of affection and playtime are the best for your dog's health :dog:

March 16th, 2012, 06:51 PM
What a "Beauty"!!!! I did home cooking for awhile, went back to Acana, I like the food. There are a lot of raw feeders here on the forum to get advice from.