rockinmama....good for you! We just recently made the switch from kibble (regular dog food) to a raw diet (BARF-inspired). BARF stands for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Something interesting....dogs share 98.9% of their DNA with wolves. How well do you think wolves would do on commercial dogfood?? Similar to the incentives that doctors receive for prescribing different drugs..........the dog food industry is BIG business and they've conditioned most vets (pardon me if there are any vet mamas here....do not want to make hasty generalizations) to spout the benefits of kibble.
We feed our 2 1/2 year old boxer 1 pound of raw chicken necks in the AM and one pound at night. At night, he gets a cup of veggie mash; which usually contains a veggie (sweet potatoes this week), some offal (organ meats, like beef kidney) and some kefir or yoghurt. I keep that in a sealable glass bowl in the fridge and scoop it out each night on top of his chicken necks. IF you are choosing to do grains or rice.....PLEASE soak them overnight in something like kefir, yoghurt or whey. The grains that wolves would get in the wild are sparse......for example, by eating the stomach of a prey animal who eats grains. The grains would have already been partially digested and that's how they are best tolerated. By soaking them, you avoid having to cook them AND make them much more absorbable for your dog. Less fuss, less muss for you! AND...with kefir or yoghurt, they get beneficial probiotics too
I buy 10 pound packages of chicken necks at Yokes Fresh Market (any supermarket will do)...for 37 cents a pound. That's 50 pounds of dog food for under $20.00.
Also, today....I asked the guy at the fresh fish counter what they do with "old" fish. He said after 3 or 4 days...they just throw them out. (I'm referring to whole fish) I asked if I could have them or buy them at a reduced price.........he thinks I"ll be able to, he just wanted to ask his boss.... so...there's another resource for you to explore. YES...you can give your doggy a whole fish!!!
One VERY VERY important caution.......never, ever give him cooked bones. Cooked bones will splinter and cause big problems...unlike raw ones.
Good luck to you and bon appetit to your doggy!