23 November 2007 @ 08:46 pm
Okay its going to be one of "those" posts.

We've been feeding our dogs Nutro lamb and rice small bites (or something similar, the name might not be exact) which is a mid-grade dog food. our budget is really tight but I'd like to feed them something else tha tis a little bit better than Nutro. I priced Innova and it was too expensive :( SO, my question is, what do you feed your dogs? and I guess cats if you have them?
NH: Pets: Three Pupsxsaltyx on November 24th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
The Costco brand of dog food is actually rated pretty high in the dog food rating scales, as the first ingredients are meat. I'm thinking about switching my dogs over. I think it's about $10 less per bag than Nutro and rated higher.
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
WHOA, that rocks!
NHxsaltyx on November 24th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
I know! I don't have a Costco membership, but I think I am going to join so that I can switch my pups over for their next bag. We go through two big bags/month, so it will save us quite a lot of money! We currently feed Nutro Natural Choice large breed. :)

I couldn't find the link to that one dog food rating chart thing, but I looked it up about a month ago when I thought about switching foods.
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
i was reading dogfoodanalysis.com its pretty snooty :-p

we DO have a costco membership, but we don't go through that much food!
NHxsaltyx on November 24th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
I can't find the website that I'm looking for, but there are a few websites that give you the ability to "rate" foods based on their ingredients, so you can always look up the nutrition info for the Costco brand (Kirkland) and whatever else and compare?
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
yea! there is one that starts with 100 and you add and subtract for different types of ingredients
Tiffanyiftherainstops on November 24th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
i feed canidae chicken and rice
Joannamiss_upsetter on November 24th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
I use dick van patten's natural balance. Supposedly, it does not have "adequate meat content", but Bella seems to love it...except for the potato and duck!
LaDiablaladiabla on November 24th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
canidae is the best food for its price I think

I feed Seamus Natures Variety Natural Instinct and Big Bear gets Solid Gold Holistic Blendz. Both are much pricier though. I also do raw food with them as well.

My cats eat Felidae. Both Canidae and Felidae are all life stage foods as well.
Amber: I love my Bostonchancepuppeh on November 24th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Ashton has Royal Canin for Bulldogs. It's a little pricey, but he likes it.
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 24th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
Ours eats a raw diet.
Cheaper and has a ridiculous amount of health benefits!!
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC)
from what I've been reading to do it properly it isnt cheap, what do you feed them exactly?
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 24th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
It's not cheap if you walk into your corner store and expect to find everything that you need to do it... you will pay for the easy access to it all.

We get alot of our meat from Ethnic stores and meat is not only cheaper, but more in stock of weirder things. Different Organ Meats and bones that you aren't able to find elsewhere. You can also check real butchers, alot of times they can order in 40lbs of chicken necks or backs for you... and usually for a ridiculously small amount seeing as how long it will feed your animal.

Chicken thighs work out great for size and ease of ability to measure out... and then chicken or calf livers... thats the fall back staple. So anything else we get is rotated three times a week with a staple of chicken (After a month of straight chicken to get them introduced to it).

It's more a process of seeing what your dogs like to eat. Our BT doesn't like lamb and is sensitive to a straight Turkey meal, so if we feed him turkey it's as half a meal.
... but our lab eats most things... as long as she doesn't get it on her face while eating it (she's a lady apparently).

With our BT, we do cut all the meat off the bone and feed it to him in strips, and then he will eat the bone... his teeth are fine, and they get rave reviews from the docs... so I'm not worried about him needing to "tear the flesh from the bone" like a wild animal does.

It does require alot of leg work... knowing which grocery stores will carry a cows heart (which you just cube up like it was jello essentially) and after a month or so about being squeamish over weird cold animal parts... you get over it. Once you start to see the health differences, it's hard to ever consider going back to kibble.

And the bonus is that their poop turns to dust in 2 days and you don't have to pick it up. We don't ever clean our yard anymore... it just all blows away. It's awesome. Theres just hardly any by-products from their food, so their body consumes it all.
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
i live in BFE so that might be a problem :)
know all your enemies: dublinkelliee on November 25th, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
i tried feeding dublin raw but he didn't understand it... it was all rubbery and he is used to crunchy. i might have to toss the meat in a blender for him, or just cut it into smaller pieces and toss the whole bone in the bowl with them, or give it afterwards as a "treat". dublin has great perfectly white teeth (no tartar whatsoever!) from constantly chewing on nylabones so i'm also not too concerned about him needing to tear the flesh from the bone.

do you have any good websites that you recommend that explain how you put it all together? like what proportion should be veggies/offal/meat/bones? i'd like to get that all sorted out and once i get the hang of it, i'd like to maybe start my own made-to-order raw food diet to sell locally... i found a few websites but since there are so many, i'd like to see what you recommend.
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 25th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
There are of websites... and there are two schools of thought on the issue. One school believes that there should be veggies in there as well... since we have all read veggies on packages of kibble, many people think that to be good for your dog.
Truth of the matter is if your dog doesn't chew through each individual cell... all plant matter just comes out as waste.

So myself like the majority believe that dogs should eat in this ratio: 2% of their body weight a day, and of that 2% they should each 80% muscle meat/skin/fat (with the majority being muscle meat), 10% bone and 10% organ meats (liver works well, although my dogs won't go near it unless it's frozen. We use shears and cut them up into little bits, put them on parchment paper and freeze them... throw them all in a ziplock and dole them out as treats. They go CRAZY!)
To start you'll want a scale. After a bit you won't really need it as the proportion and the weight will come naturally to you.

They will have crazy poo for up to a two week period when you transition from kibble to raw, so don't worry... start worrying if that doesn't level out after two weeks though. (you can always email me to rae.sarah@gmail) You will become a poo expert (gross but true) as it's the instant judge on your ratios being correct... if it comes out a bit white and super dry... they are getting too much bone... if it comes out liquid they aren't getting enough bone... OR they ate some meat that contains alot of blood... for instance if y ou chop up beef heart which we do alot since it's an easy one to find in alot of grocery stores... poo comes out runny and dark, but we know the ratio is still correct.

Think of the process as what a dog in the wild would eat. Which is why I don't feed veggies. Wolves/dogs in the wild only eat plants to self medicate when they are sick... so I just think it's best to stay away.

The best place to start is the rawfeeding group on yahoo. You'll have to join... and when you do don't register for every email...register for them once a day otherwise your inbox will be FLOODED. There is everyone from the old hat to feeding raw (most breeders feed raw) and the new kids as well, so there will be all kinds of questions and things proposed from other people that's good to read just to get your own wheels turning.

The first two weeks you will feed nothing but chicken. Start there. They need a constant steady diet that doesn't change so they get the hang of things and it becomes a routine. You won't be able to leave kibble down during this process so it's an all or nothing type deal. Reason for it is raw meat takes about 4 hours to digest in a dogs system, kibble takes more like 8 hours to digest and it will cause a rotting smell in your dog (burbs, farts, breath in general... not pretty).

They WILL eat... even if they don't do it for two meals straight, they will eventually eat. And then they will want to eat your hand too. Alot of people just give their dogs a while turkey wing and let them go sit outside and eat it... so it takes them a bit longer to chew through it, but with our Boston because their mouths are so ridiculously large and their throats are so small... we found that he was trying to eat pieces that were too big for him and would choke, or have to eat something puke it up, chew it again... until it got small enough it stayed down. Which... is SO gross to watch... so we just save him the pain of it all.
The easiest part of chicken to start with is chicken thighs. You want them bone in (which is cheaper)(some people get meat and bones seperately like chicken backs or necks, and that's just fine, but bone out meat is usually more expensive... so it's just up to you how you want to work it out).... and then cut out the bone, the meat should be cold but not frozen (otherwise it will lower the temperature of a Boston since they are so little) and cut up the meat bits into little pieces. We cut ours into 1" chunks-ish as our BT doesn't like to actually chew the meat... so that way I know it will be easier for his stomach to digest.
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 25th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
We feed ours 4oz at each meal, which is usually 1 chicken thigh, plus several liver treats throughout the day. We also feed ours twice a day instead of once a day... most raw feeders only feed them once a day, but with the BT stomach being so little, sometimes he won't eat two meals at once (cause we tried for awhile).
Feed them the chicken, then the bone, and we cut off as much meat as possible from the bone so it's easier for their short teeth to snap.... and we do give him the whole bone at once, any smaller and he could just swallow the whole thing without chewing and thats just problems all over the place. (ps read into how to do the doggie himlec (sp) we haven't had to use it, but there have been a few times that I thought I was going to have to)

Start here: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/
Here's different things you can feed, I know it's a list... but still there are animal parts I never think to order. You can also ask your butcher to order you specific things, and in a small town they will usually do it... when we lived in the boonies they took a check from me first and held it so they weren't ordering it in and me not picking it up. http://www.rawfeddogs.net/Recipes

Let me know if you have any more questions!
know all your enemies: dublinkelliee on November 25th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
do you think i could grind the bones into a powder (or buy a bone powder?) instead of having him chomp them? he's huge on gulping so i'm just worried that he'll snap off a big chunk and swallow it whole. i read something about bone powder and eggshell powder on one website. he chews pretty much non stop whenever i'm around so i don't know if it's 100% necessary to use whole bones instead of bone powder. but if i must use whole raw bones, a girl i work with at a doggie day care teaches the doggie heimlich and cpr so i might have to ask her to go over it with me.

also about the veggies, one site i looked at said they couldn't digest whole veggies, but if you put them through a juicer it breaks down the cell wall and its digestible that way? i might do some veggies just in case. plus dublin is a little overweight so i think that would help keep the bulk of the food up and reduce his size. i'll probably start off with no veggies for the first month or two to see what his poop should look like (and to get him used to the raw meat), then slowly add in a little veggie pulp to see if it looks like they are being digested or if they are just going straight through him. from there i'll figure out which camp i'm in, i guess.

i think eventually i'm going to have to invest in a large freezer.

thanks for all your help!

sorry for clogging your post sarakenobi!
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 25th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
The livers and organ meats will provide all the things he needs in his diet. The plants will only put him over the top with nutrients... so unless you talk to a specialist on the issue, I don't reccomend it in the slightest. It just seems like a waste of time to me.

I wouldn't suggest grinding bones.... it will take him a few weeks to get the hang of it, you can start him on chicken feet even, those are super soft.... but my dogs aren't fans, so best of luck with them. After a few weeks of it, ours did get the hang of it and now knows how to take a bone and chomp it correctly.
Bone powder or ground bones seems like a waste of time since it's already a process that takes a bit to get under your belt. Just give him larger bones than not, when you cut them up they try to just swallow them.

Some people start out with bones holding them and letting their dogs chew on them.
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 24th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
also! is your name Sarah Rae? Im Sara Rae :)
Sarah Raesarahrae on November 24th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah I am Sarah Rae... one for my grandmother and one for my grandfather. I was grateful I didn't get named Polly like my other grandmother haha.

PS... if you buy in bulk, you really only have to make a drive every few months... if you spend one day a month packaging it all up into individual servings, it's really no big deal and it's all said and done ahead of time. When we lived in BFE we bought about 3 months at a go, so we were only making a run to pick up large orders 4 times a year.
know all your enemieskelliee on November 24th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
canidae! you can usually find it for about the same price as nutro.
The Girl in the Self Imposed Box: sleepy fizzyelisabat on November 24th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
I was feeding Fizzy Innova Evo. But I'm currently stuck without a car in a small town, so I'm feeding him Blue Buffalo cause the bus goes by Petsmart and that's the highest quality food they carry. Since he's just one little dog, it wasn't too expensive to feed him Innova Evo. I only had to buy a bag of food once every month or 2.
Marian: Necklacegym17mar on November 24th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
I switched Misty monster to science diet for sensitive stomachs.
It's like $5 for a 5 pound bag
Blogging Mollypegeen on November 30th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
I just buy my little guy Iams "Mini Chunks for Small Breeds" because that's what my mum always bought for her Bostons. Her vet insists that it may cost more (and I'm pretty broke), but will be less expensive in the long run because there's less corn for them to process so their poops are smaller and they have more energy.
Sara Raesarakenobi on November 30th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
I've never heard good things about Iams!