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Raw Food Diet for Dogs

You can read everything I’ve written about the raw food diet for dogs by clicking HERE!

Everyone has been really supportive of our switch and I have to say that I’m pretty excited and happy about the change.  I received a few questions that I’d like to answer…

Why are you still feeding your dogs kibble?

We chose to go for a raw + kibble blend, because (1) we’re still new to the raw food diet and this is our way of easing into the change and (2) I’m worried that my boyfriend won’t be able to handle the raw feeding – keeping kibble in the mix means that I’m not strapped to the house to make sure everyone is fed timely.

We feed raw in the morning (takes 4-6 hours to digest) and kibble in the evening (takes 10-12 hours to digest).  So they’re not mixing in their bellies.

Why haven’t you fed your dogs bones?

Because I want to be at home to monitor them when they eat bones.  I’m thankful that I didn’t just jump into bones, because I would have brought home chicken wings and turkey necks.  I’ve since learned that these are great for smaller dogs, but our dogs may gulp these down and we’d have a choking situation.  By talking to other raw diet families, I’ve been given suggestions on types of bones for our dogs.

Week One on a Raw Food Diet for Dogs…

Last Sunday, I fed the dogs chicken and turkey.  During the week, the dogs tried beef round, a veggie/sardines mixture, and the Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried and frozen raw duck  patties.  They loved it all.  I felt comfortable feeding them a variety of meats, because they eat a variety of meats in their kibble diet – we blend their Halo Pets kibble (salmon) with Natural Balance food rolls (turkey, beef, lamb).

Gayle Pruitt, author of The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and Humans, sent me a great recipe that I tried (partially, because I couldn’t find all the ingredients, like bone meal) and after that experience, I realized that we should consider a pre-made raw food diet.  I barely cook for me and my boyfriend; the idea that I could cook weekly for our dogs made my boyfriend laugh.  *eye roll*

Raw Food Diet for Dogs, Dog Food Recipe

Here’s the recipe: A Raw Meal for the Furry Kid

What We Experienced This Week…

Our three dogs have stronger stomachs than I thought.  I always thought Rodrigo had such a sensitive tummy; even the slightest change in diet drives him to eating grass like crazy to sooth his upset tummy.  Not once this week.

The only time our dogs licked their paws was to groom them after running around in the wet grass.  The obsessive licking of itchy paws didn’t happen this week.  Also, Rodrigo had a recurring rash on his lower back (2 inches away from his tailbone).  It was clearing up after each bath using the Paws on Earth Shampoo Bar, but would return a few days later, just a little.  It hasn’t made a reappearance all week long.

Our dogs’ activity level increased.  It was immediately visible with Sydney, who has been suffering from arthritis pain.  She and Rodrigo still take their Wag Lifetime Joint Care, but the new diet increased Sydney’s energy levels.  Now we have three very active dogs who are bouncing off the walls.  Yayyyy.

Our dogs are pooping 1/3 less than before.  I was cleaning their yard every other day to keep up with the poop clean up.  I waited 3 days to see if there was a difference, there was!  The poop is less smelly, firm, and smaller.

We have to cut the food up into bites they can handle, because they’re not used to ripping and tearing their food yet.  The entire process is time consuming and messy.  I still want to cook now and then, but we’ve decided to go with a pre-made option.  We chose Darwin’s Pets raw food diet delivery.  We received our first delivery Friday.

There was no aggressive eating.  I kind of expected it, because they were being introduced to raw meat and blood.  Nope, they didn’t turn into rabid beasts.  Instead, they ate up their food and looked to me for more.  They treated feeding time just like with kibble.  Rotating dishes to try out what s/he has and make sure they got to try everything.  They loved the food so much that I questioned the serving guide.  I’m an accountant by day and found myself breaking out the calculator, convinced that I added the amounts wrong, because three dogs were sitting in front of me waiting for more.

We can afford to feed three dogs a raw food + kibble mix.  Like I said, I’m an accountant, so I ran the numbers. Here’s a snapshot of a section of the spreadsheet I created.  Can you say “nerd?”

Raw Food Diet Budget

So far so good!

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