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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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New, have Q's!

Ok I own a 4 year old Rottweiler (101 pounds) , 2 1/2 year old Pit (65 pounds)and a 10 month old Dogue de Bordeaux (115 at the moment!)

Can anyone tell me the costs of feeding 3 giants! LOL! I know I spend $70 on 96 pounds of dog food that lasts me rougly 3 weeks, not to mention $70=lots of poo scoopin'! Our rottweiler is not in the best of healty and has a bad front leg and bad hips! Our pit had a broken leg and has a metal plate and 6 screws in his leg and has good days and bad days as far as his play and our 10 month of Dogue (french Mastiff) has skin issues. So I have been told that raw could benifit all 3 boys! I just need to start the research and thought I would start here!
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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just to make clear, all 3 boys are rescues!

I also had another question. I know they say to feed fresh meat, but does that mean that it cant be in the freezer for awhile???? I mean I have deer meat from two years ago still in my freezer and was wondering if that would be of any benifit??? Or should I just get new stuff at the market. I know that you have to offer variety, I wouln't be feeding just deer~!
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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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Welcome to the forum rdobbie23. That's a lot of dog you have

Not sure about the deer meat but IMO , 2 years is a lot. you will find lots of infos in the food section here.

oh and ... we will need pics of the fuzzbutts before we can give you anymore informations.

just kidding ... but still , pics would be appreciated
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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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So long as the meat doesn't have freezer burn, it should be fine. You aren't going to feed it all at once, you are going to feed more then just meat so you should be ok.

Before you make the switch - start looking around for cooperative butchers and see if there is a raw food co-op in your area. Some of the things that you should feed - green tripe, for example - can be hard to get a hold of and unavailable at your local grocery store. The larger variety of meat you can get a hold of, the better off you are.

With three large dogs, you might consider investing in at least one large freezer. You are going to want to buy in bulk when you can.

Keeping your dogs lean (not emaciated, just healthily lean) will help with their joint issues. You should be able to FEEL ribs without digging through a layer of fat.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Meat that has been frozen is just fine. As is meat that has freezer burn. Freezer burn does not effect the nutritional make up of the meat but rather
just changes the texture. For us humans the texture of freezer burnt meat is icky, but for dogs - they love it. I know a few people who have fed meat that was frozen for over 10 years. Dogs loved it.

General rule for rawfeeding is 2-3% of their ideal weight per day. The general ratio most rawfeeders gun for is 80% meat,10% edible bone and 10% organ meat. Pretty simple.

Assuming your dogs stated weights are ideal you'll be feeding about 5.5 lbs of food a day. Although bigger dogs tend to need even less than the 2%. I pretty much refuse to spend more than a $1 per pound. And I probably average about $0.79/lb for my dogs and cats. If you were able to do the same you'd be looking at $130 ish per month. Raw feeding can be cheaper than the premium kibbles, but its not exactly free either ) Where you live will factor greatly into the price though. If you hunt or know hunters, you'll be able to source a lot of food for free, which could for sure keep the costs down.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:23 PM
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Feeding 3 lbs of just meat a day I was spending about $90 a month. My bones were free though because they came from deer. I was getting rolls of ground turkey (not the optimum but cheapest meat I could find) for .99 a lb. Plus I was adding in scrap deer meat and stuff. If you can find a butcher that keeps cheap meat and organ on hand it can be cheaper, but none of them around here did that.

Raw could get very expensive for you if you can't find access to cheap cuts of meat and bone. It really depends on where you live and what you can find.

Getting meat from hunters is the most cost efficient idea (the ones that just hunt antlers give the meat away usually...though, you may have to butcher it yourself, dunno how you would feel about that...). A lot of hunters, even the ones that eat what they take, just discard the ribs, which are a really good source of bone (they're pretty soft and chew up easily) and I'm sure you would have no trouble finding someone to give you some. The legs are also fine as they are smaller and less hard than on something like a cow.
You may be able to find whole rabbits, but just about all rabbit hunters eat what they catch. Sometimes you can find whole rabbits for sale pretty cheap though.

Whole chickens are a pretty good thing because they are often on sale really cheap and the meat-bone ratio is about what you'd want anyway. Most of them also come with some gizzard and liver which is good to feed.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:16 AM
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All three of my boys are rescues. I used to work for a vet about 3 years ago. Chance was my frist rescue and we got him at 4 months of age, Axle was a about 4 weeks old when I got him. Hoss came to me just 3 weeks ago and was a surender cause his mom and dad were going through a nasty divorce, and he is just too sweet to place him anywhere but here, and so I have decided to stop doing rescue work at this time since my house is FULL with 3 large boys!


This is Hoss, my 10 month old male Dogue de Bordeaux


This is Axle, my 2 1/2 year old male pitty


And this is Chance, my 3 1/2 year old male Rottie

Last edited by rdobbie23; March 23rd, 2010 at 10:33 AM.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:29 AM
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OK now I have another question.... is this going to give them G.I. upset to start with?! Like Do I need to start this on a Friday night and hope and pray they can adjust by monday so I dont come into a newly decorated house of stench!?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:37 AM
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It really depends on the dog.

Royce, a collie, we always fed meat scraps even while eating kibble mainly and he never had any issues. When I switched him to raw completely he never had any stomach upset whatsoever.

Walnut can't eat raw because even a bit of raw meat makes her throw up and gives her diarrhea. Lean meat that's been frozen directly from a fresh killed deer does it too her too. So I never even tried to switch her to raw. I especially wouldn't after our HGE scare where she nearly died (not from feeding raw meat, so don't get freaked out! It was just kind of a random thing).
I think some dogs with stomach issues may not have the correct bacteria in their stomach to deal with raw feeding. Just like people, dogs can have odd stomach problems. Most dogs may have a little upset at first but will get over it just fine.

Your dogs may have some upset at first or they may not. It really just depends on the individual.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Thanks!

Is there a good meat to start them out with? Like should I try to add a bit of ground beef to their kibble, (I know they say you aren't supposed to feed them at the same time cause they digest at different rates) but just wondering what others would recommend as how to introduce it!
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:39 PM
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Try a breakfast of raw and then kibble for dinner. Start one kind of meat at a time so that you can see how they're dealing with tthat kind of meat.

That said, we went cold turkey with our pup, and didn't have any trouble. The only thing she gets the runs from are too much marrow, raw egg and yoghurt.

We do give her one day a week where she gets kibble (a no-grains kind of kibble) so that she will be comfortable with that when we are unable to give her raw. For instance, one week per year we go camping on an island where fresh meat is stupidly expensive, even for human consumption, and storing raw for a week in a cool-box just won't work. That one day a week she is also with my husband at work, and raw won't cut it in the office.

We get 50lbs of heart from the butcher, who orders in a box and then saws it into roughly 1 lb chunks while it's still frozen. We get raw bones from friends, and occasionally we get full carcasses or part carcasses from a friend who is a ranger who deals with occasional road-kill. Another local butcher started to sell 'soup bones' with a bit more meat on it, turkey and chicken backs and necks, occasional pig legs, and such because we have a fairly large raw community in our area. He needs to watch it because the FDA has pretty strict rules about what goes and what needs to be 'destroyed', but as long as some kind of recipe calls for a specific part of animal, he can put it out.

We also go through the local flyers each week to see what's on sale where, and go get a bunch of that if it's the right price.

As for when to start - try a long weekend (Easter is coming up), on the first day of that weekend or something?

And some people with multiple dogs find it helps to feed each dog in a different area so that there's no competition around it.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:44 PM
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Hi there-

I have a DDB, and a Rottie but instead of a pittie, I have a brindle English Bulldog. It sounds like our dogs could be book ends for one another
Aren't Dogue De Bordeaux's special? I have such an incredible bond with my guy...
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Macomom! Love it! DDB's are def. a breed of thier own, porr Hoss is as dumb as a doorbell, but I love him to peices. The drool I could do without, my curtains get decorated often after drinking water, but he's def. a Momma's boy!

I don't or have not seen many DDB's that are the light color like Hoss. He is solid also, no white on him at all. He is a rescue, so I guess he could have a smidgen of something else in him, but he's def. a dogue de bordeaux. The under bite and all are to a T

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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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rdobbie, oh. my. goodness. If all three of your dogs go missing... it wasn't me they are too cute for words... Chance is just beautiful and bless your heart for bringing them into your home! We need more people like you in the world.

Best way to introduce raw is to start slow. I changed all 3 of mine over cold turkey, and they adjusted fairly well. It did take a few months for them to adjust entirely, so don't be surprised if it does take some time. Only "disaster" I had with my kids was about two weeks into it when I started adding too many different proteins at once and I came home to... well nevermind haha, let's just say... NOT pretty!

I started with poultry (mainly because its cheap here!), and now 6 months later they have also had beef, lamb, elk, bison, rabbit, deer, and pork. I still use alot of poultry as the staple in their diet, mainly because its cheap around here, but I like to switch it up and offer them variety by adding in beef etc. my little fella eats all novel proteins (i.e. rabbit etc.) as he has severe food allergies. For my big gal, I like to give her chicken quarters, backs & necks, livers etc. I can usually pick them up for less than $1.50/lb (which is my max) at any day of the week in the grocery store.

The cost of raw really depends... it can be expensive if you are buying all your meat from a grocery store or a pet store that sells raw frozen patties. If you know any hunters, butchers, etc. that will help you cut down on costs. You can also do little things like make your own veg mixes (if you choose to add vegs to their diet - not everyone does, and that is fine). Some people also feed 1/2 kibble and 1/2 raw. I started doing it about 2 weeks ago, as it cuts down on my cost, plus I just don't have the freezer space to take advantage of acquiring large quantities of meat Just remember if you continue to feed kibble don't feed it at the same time as raw, as it will cause some stomach upsets.

Good luck with the switch! Oh, and having three large dogs you will surely enjoy the reduction in poop! Dogs on raw have smaller poops as the body digests more than it does on kibble... plus the feces usually turns a white chalky color after some time and will disintegrate!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:20 AM
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Less poo?!!! Awsome! I fill up a 5 gallon bucket twice a week! well almost fill it!

I was going to start with ground beef, but it looks as though most start with chicken?! So I may have to rethink my game plan

I have had lots of people say that they want my dogs! (Thanks, I love them too!) But if you can get in the gate to get them....you deserve them Although the pit would probably jump the fence for a car ride! (I ment that in a loving jokeingly way) They are good guard boys though!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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Wow,you have 3 beautiful very powerful dogs,love the brown/white coloring of your pittie
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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What beautiful pups you have

IMO, raw is always better than processed food. , however I really can't give you any advice on dogs, though. One thing I stay FAR away from for my cats (I make homemade raw for them) is previously ground meat. I has greater chances of having e-coli in it than solid meat.

On a side note: I don't understand why people get the ears cropped . I think dogs look much better not
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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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The only dogs I do not like with natural ears is the Doberman...they look like a starved rottweiler.....I owned one, her name was Saber, she died at the age of 6 from cancer
This is Kujo (the cat I had) and Saber my Dobie that passed 5 years ago.



Ok so on this ground beef thing, is it a no no to feed ground beef? I ask this cause I have fed my dogs raw ground beef many times before!!!!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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You can feed ground beef, just not as a staple. The bones are important and ground beef doesn't have any. Toss in a couple of chicken legs or thighs.

Love the cropped ears on the dobermans even though I don't think that dobermans look like starved rottweilers.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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I did my first intro to raw meat last night!

The rottie and pit wolfed down the turkey, the Dogue was a little hesitant and then didn't feel so hot. I think he didn't feel too good, he kept going to lay in his crate by himself..... not like him, he's a 10 month old pup that must be kin to the energizer bunny! LOL But he is fine this morning! So step two is tonight....we shall see!
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Old March 27th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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But I just saw the pics of your dogs, rdobbie!!!! All I can say is

Such beautiful babies!!!!

Bowing out now, though, because I know very little about raw feeding

Back to our regularly scheduled topic...
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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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rdobbie23 - I tried a meal of raw last night for my guy too. He got a frozen chicken neck and after eating, he wasn't himself the rest of the night either. He seemed really restless and this morning he was lazing about all morning. Seemed fine by this afternoon and there were no bad side effects. I just gave him another chicken neck and I'll see how he does. I wonder why both our dogs were acting differently? Think it was the whole digesting raw food?
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Old March 29th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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My Dogue doesn't act himself, and lays in his kennel, I gave bones for the first time last night and the pit laid in his kennel too....but they all were back t themselves within a few hours. I dont know why they act like they don't feel good no diarrhea or anything, that is as of yet!.....they didn't want to go out this morinng due to horrible down pours, but we will see.

Just to let you all know, not that you really care....but! Ok so I found chicken leg quarters at 44 cents a pound this weekend , so I got 40 pounds of chicken! Gave bones for the first time last night, and it went great! No fighting over food, and they all did great....took the pit a matter of seconds to crunch it all up and the Dogue licked it forever! LOL He's not very bright, but I love the boofer! I was just excited and had to share with someone!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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If you eat The Bird at Christmas, then you know that turkey is very rich and makes you ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...feel like undoing your top button and stretching out. Same for the doggies.

Hard, gnawing bones are more difficult to digest. Don't be surprized if you have hard, chalky poop. All that calcium is good for them.

Don't forget eggs, egg shells, fish (heads and all) and scraps.

Some may find this gross (if so don't look ) but I not only scrape plates directly into the garbage disposal (aka Bridie's food bowl ) I will often take vegetable peel, past-their-best-before-date limp veggies and fruit, cooked meat bones etc. and throw them into the soup pot for the makings of broth which I then use in home-made treats. Just remove the nasty stuff like onions first.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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If I were to give the boys a quarter chicken leg daily, is that too much bone? I would feed intestines, and other meats also, but just wonder if that is too much bone to offer it every day?!

(Dont forget I have large dogs)
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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rdobbie, IMO a chicken quarter should be fine for your boys. I have a 50 lb Boxer and a good majority of her diet is chicken - especially chicken quarters. I like them because she has to work to chew it, versus a chicken leg which she can almost swallow whole, haha!

Brynn at 50 lbs gets roughly 16 oz. of raw a day, so quite often I will give her a chicken quarter in the morning that is around 12 oz, and give the rest as organs (liver is her fave!). Remember, to provide some variety. I.e. I give Brynn turkey necks, chicken necks and backs, beef etc. for some change.

Also, remember you don't need to give organs everyday, just try to balance it out over time (I aim for a week). Some of the chicken quarters I buy still have the kidneys attached which is a perk!

I also like the bone to meat ratio in the chicken quarters, I think your boys will love em!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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We have a GSD and a chicken leg quarter, back attached, with some fish/organs can be one meal, maybe with a bit of fish as well. For a smaller 50lb dog, just one quarter should be good.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 06:17 AM
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Thanks guys! I have not tried to introduce anything else just yet, cause we did have some tummy upset issues the other night. I just started Friday......
I give them kibble in the AM and then a chicken quarter in the PM. I did give the little pitty just plain chicken strips with no bones since he was having the diarrhea with a little bit of white rice cooked in chicken broth. He seems to be feeling much better today though!

I figured this weekend I would introduce the chicken hearts and gizzards then the following weekend try the necks and so on??? Does this sound ok?!
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Old April 1st, 2010, 12:51 PM
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OK, so now my boys have been on 1/2 kibble and 1/2 raw diet (kibble in the AM and raw in the PM) Two of the 3 dogs has diarrhea. Should I just switch 100% to raw and get it all over with?! I mean IDK.

Also someone posted that they though that the leg bone was harder to digest and more prone to splinter???? Is this so, cause I give my boys chicken quarters for thier dinners and that includes the leg bone
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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:33 PM
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If you mean my comment on bones, I'm actually referring more to recreational bones with big hunks of meat, marrow, fat etc. like shanks, hocks (aka RMB's). Good for a meal once a week in my house. I let my two gnaw them right down and toss them only when they are gnawing off sharp bits (which can be as long as a whole 15 minutes ). Chicken bones are generally quite soft. If I've raw bones which I think are a tad too hard and sharp which I want to give them to eat (not just clean their toofies on!) I'll run them through either the food processor or grinder.

If everyone has cannonbutt, there's no point in trying to turn the clock back imho. I would let their tum-tumms rest for a 24 day. Then try a meal of a small amount of raw mixed with potato or rice or bread and move forward with raw 100%.

No possibility of a reaction to chicken causing the diarrhea?
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