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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a little concerned that weeks after the first pet food recalls, a natural pet food company is now involved - the one I buy. I'm worred that more and more foods may be revealed as having the poisons...<br><br>
In light of this, I'm wondering how hard or healthy it would be for me to make my own pet food. I believe there is debate over whether or not pets need meat... I'm a veggie but don't mind feeding it to the pets. We have four pets (2 dogs, 2 cats) and I hate to change their diets. But I'm toying with making their food.<br><br>
Does anyone do this? How? What are the ingredients you use and how do you store it without having to make a fresh batch every day/week? Is it cheaper or more expensive than storebought food? (We usually buy one of the more expensive brands.)<br><br>
TIA!
 

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I don't have any answers, but I am curious myself. My dogs' and cats' food has NOT been recalled, but all of a sudden both dogs and one of the cats are throwing up. Hmmmm. I am yanking their food and going to homemade ASAP.<br><br>
I've heard it's hard to keep up with their nutritional needs for long, so I am subscribing to hear how people respond.
 

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I feed a "homemade" diet and it's not only easy but it is quite cost effective!<br><br>
The ingredients:<br>
Raw Meat<br>
Raw Bones<br>
Raw Organs<br><br>
The "recipe":<br>
Go to store<br>
Buy raw meat, bones & organs<br>
Put selection on ground for dog/cat<br>
Put away any leftovers and feed tomorrow<br><br>
Easy!! It really isn't hard at all to keep up with the nutritional needs - all of what they need is provided by nature and all you need to do is feed it! You don't want' to get in a rut of feeding chicken a lot (my dog get's chicken less than 1x per month) or any other protein source.<br><br>
Amount to feed is based on dog's ideal adult weight. Feed 2%-5% of that. Usually start with about 2% and see how the dog does and increase/decrease from there. Feed 80% meat/10% bone/10% organ (5% being liver and the remaining 5% other organs). Feed whole if you can and always feed big.<br><br>
A wonderful resource is the Yahoo rawfeeding group:<br><br><a href="http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/" target="_blank">http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/</a><br><br>
Here are some sites to check out:<br><br><a href="http://rawfed.com/" target="_blank">http://rawfed.com/</a><br><a href="http://www.rawfeddogs.net/" target="_blank">http://www.rawfeddogs.net/</a><br><a href="http://www.rawlearning.com/" target="_blank">http://www.rawlearning.com/</a><br><a href="http://www.rawfedcats.org/" target="_blank">http://www.rawfedcats.org/</a><br><a href="http://www.rawmeatybones.com/" target="_blank">http://www.rawmeatybones.com/</a><br><br>
And the video at:<br><a href="http://drdomore.com/" target="_blank">http://drdomore.com/</a>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br>
We switched our dog to a raw diet in March. He is doing very well and it is not complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! I didn't realize this was being done! I love the idea except for the MEAT part! I mean, I've heard that pets need meat but it's hard to imagine me, a vegetarian, buying a LOT of meat (4 pets) and feeding it to them raw! Organs, bones, etc... it kinda creeps me out! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">:<br><br>
I wonder if it's better from an environmental perspective? On the one hand, it doesn't use all the energy of processing and canning/bagging the food. But I'm sure meat packing uses a fair amt of energy too. And the packaging is usually not recyclable. I will have to look for organic meat. Maybe the meat counter will have some cuttings or something in the back that they'll sell, stuff they would normally throw out. Then I'd be reducing waste going to the landfill!<br><br>
Interesting... I'll have to check out the yahoo sites. Thanks everyone! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I understand it may creep you out but raw meat is the healthiest and most natural diet for dogs and cats.
 

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It was easy switching our dog to raw. We were going to give it a 30 day trial but before 30 days made up our mind that this was the way to feed our dog. I've found that an equal weight of meat vs. the same weight of kibble goes a lot farther. It seems to satisfy him more. He is digesting better and pooping less. We are also buying the less processed meat parts.<br>
Some people who feed raw are able to buy locally raised meat or get meat from hunters. That probably has less of an impact environmentally than cooked or factory processed foods that are transported all over the country.<br><br>
It's something to consider.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jencat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7900522"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wonder if it's better from an environmental perspective? On the one hand, it doesn't use all the energy of processing and canning/bagging the food. But I'm sure meat packing uses a fair amt of energy too. And the packaging is usually not recyclable. I will have to look for organic meat. Maybe the meat counter will have some cuttings or something in the back that they'll sell, stuff they would normally throw out. Then I'd be reducing waste going to the landfill!</div>
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I had the same concerns. Around here, I've been able to find many butchers who take scraps and grind them into "dog food." They sell it pretty cheap, and I feel less bad about it, since it's more likely that this type of scrap would otherwise be thrown out. And it's local, of course. Actually, the place that I buy from only deals with organic/pastured animals. Now, this is ground, and some people say that ground is definitely not as good as feeding whole. But it's much cheaper, and I was feeling VERY guilty when I was going to the store and buying 20 lbs of chicken thighs at a time, kwim?<br>
The other thing I buy is chicken breast bones.<br>
The stuff I buy is packaged in bulk- so I get about 40 lbs and it's packaged in either just the bottom of a cardboard box, or in one big plastic wrap.<br><br>
Anyways, good luck!<br>
Oh, and if you want to reduce the amount of meat that you feed your dogs, you can add in mushed veggies, too. I don't think it should be more than 10% if their diet, but it would help, kwim?
 

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I know my dogs would love raw meat, especially when they smell it cooking and the wraps in the trash. My question is this, my one boxer is having mange and is going through natural treatment right now. One of the websites mentioned not feeding raw food to a dog with low immune system which my boxer does have that allows her to have mange. What does everyone think about that?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jencat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7917150"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">CrunchyCate - how are your pets? Are they still throwing up?</div>
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No, they seem to be doing better! I have been cooking (too nervous about raw foods) for them the last few days. They have been loving it! I have never seen my dogs (Lab and Beagle) dance around at dinner time before. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I'm just having the hardest time switching my cats to raw--it's like they're beyond uninterested. Is it just a matter of them getting hungry enough to want it? I've been feeding innova kibble and cans and trying to supplement with bits of different raw meat but except for the choice trimming of my steak they just won't go there! I've read quite a bit on a raw diet over the past month or so and the advice seems to range from handing them a chunk of raw animal to some pretty complex vitamin/mineral/veggie/raw meat recipes but so far mine don't want ANY of it!<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Mindy
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DeepLakeSwimmer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7924363"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm just having the hardest time switching my cats to raw--it's like they're beyond uninterested. Is it just a matter of them getting hungry enough to want it? I've been feeding innova kibble and cans and trying to supplement with bits of different raw meat but except for the choice trimming of my steak they just won't go there! I've read quite a bit on a raw diet over the past month or so and the advice seems to range from handing them a chunk of raw animal to some pretty complex vitamin/mineral/veggie/raw meat recipes but so far mine don't want ANY of it!<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Mindy</div>
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I could get the dogs eating anything. I can't get my cats to eat anything but dry food. They won't even touch tuna. I think I am out-of-luck when it comes to giving the cats anything but dry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I am right there with you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
DeepLake Swimmer - did you look at the web pages christyb recommended? i noticed the cat page gives some advice for transitioning. I know one of the things they mentioned was starting with small pieces and presenting it on a plate (don't remember why...)<br><br>
We experimented last night by buying some beef and letting the dogs and cats try it. They were all interested and ate some... But it seems like it could get expensive. I need to find a butcher who sells cuts and things for cheap. However, I'd love to find organic b/c I've heard that some chemical is put on beef to make it look red like that... Not to mention the antibiotics, etc. in non-organic meat.<br><br>
I'm also a little worried about the cats who (probably b/c they've eaten processed food for so long) don't have a lot of teeth left. They've been pulled by the vet. So I'm wondering if I have to cut theirs up small since they can't really chew tough food.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DeepLakeSwimmer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7924363"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm just having the hardest time switching my cats to raw--it's like they're beyond uninterested. Is it just a matter of them getting hungry enough to want it? I've been feeding innova kibble and cans and trying to supplement with bits of different raw meat but except for the choice trimming of my steak they just won't go there! I've read quite a bit on a raw diet over the past month or so and the advice seems to range from handing them a chunk of raw animal to some pretty complex vitamin/mineral/veggie/raw meat recipes but so far mine don't want ANY of it!<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Mindy</div>
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We had to get all kibble completely gone from the premises before my mom's cat would even try the raw. If she could smell her kitty-crack she would refuse everything else. (Carbs are addictive!)
 

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I was always told that bones were dangerous to little dogs. Not true?<br><br>
I have been wondering about switching my dogs from dry food to real food for awhile now...
 

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Cooked bones are dangerous to all dogs - little or small.<br><br>
It is recommended to not feed beef bones because they are so dense they can cause tooth fractures that eventually lead to broken teeth.<br><br>
Other than that, have at it!<br><br>
I would highly recommend joining the Yahoo rawfeeding group to help you along the way:<br><br><a href="http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/" target="_blank">http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/</a><br><br>
Many people on the group have small dogs and can help you from a personal experience stand point and the archives are wonderful!<br><br>
Good Luck,<br>
Christy
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm thinking of calling my vet first before pursuing a raw diet any further. Last night I decided to do some more research and checked a trusted organization to see if they had any information posted on the raw feeding. Have you guys ever heard of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT? <a href="http://www.bestfriends.org" target="_blank">http://www.bestfriends.org</a> If you have not heard of them you should check out their web page. They are an amazing rescue group responsible for much of the care and reconciliation of pets after Hurricane Katrina and they also shipped a bunch of pets out of Lebanon recently.<br><br>
Anyhoo, they have a Members Forum where people can post questions, etc., (like MDC) and people will share advice (including the Best Friends vets). There was a long article posted by one of the Best Friends vets essentially "debunking" the myths of BARF (bones and raw foods) diet <a href="http://65.205.160.196/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=12618&sessionID={F73411CB-4397-4223-AA62-A85985F35FD0}" target="_blank">http://65.205.160.196/idealbb/view.a...-A85985F35FD0}</a> - (see about the 12th response down). I am not advocating for or against, just thought it might be worthwhile for those of us considering changing our pet's diets to check out arguments both for and against the raw diets. When I originally posted, I was visualizing *cooking* foods for my pets. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> While I'm intrigued about the raw diets, I'm also a little concerned. (I realize my vet may be "encouraged" to promote processed pet food but at the same time, I trust her to care about my pets and give me good advice.)<br><br>
It becomes a matter of doing all the research and going with what you feel is right according to your own heart and mind. As for me, it seems like possibly even though a raw diet is "natural" and what dogs and cats originally did in the wild, I'm not sure it's what's best for them in this day and age. It's for this same reason I don't let my cats outside very much.<br><br>
If you're thinking about going to a raw diet, just make sure to check out research/advocacy on both sides of the issue.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jencat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7929682"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm thinking of calling my vet first before pursuing a raw diet any further....<br><br>
If you're thinking about going to a raw diet, just make sure to check out research/advocacy on both sides of the issue.</div>
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I completely agree that you should research both sides before making a decision. But about calling your vet - most vets receive little to no training about dietary things. If you want to talk to someone informed, see if there is a holistic vet in your area.<br><br>
I fed my border collie raw for awhile (several years ago) and he loved it. But I was nervous about whether it was a balanced diet or not and I just could not keep any weight on him!<br><br>
If you're looking for a quality kibble, Canidae has stated on their website that none of their ingredients are imported.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jencat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7897606"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I believe there is debate over whether or not pets need meat... I'm a veggie but don't mind feeding it to the pets. We have four pets (2 dogs, 2 cats) and I hate to change their diets. But I'm toying with making their food.</div>
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There is no debate. Dogs and cats need meat in their diet. To feed them a vegetarian diet would be cruel.<br><br>
If you do decide to make your own food Christyb posted some great links for more information. I agree with her that its very easy!
 
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