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I am considering switching to raw feeding for my almost 2 year old Husky mix and my 10 month old Akita. Neither of them are interested in their kibble and I have nearly exhausted all the 4/5 star food options, but have not been able to find one that gets the dogs excited about eating. Both the dogs only eat about 3/4 of what they should be every day. I am sure that this isn't a veterinary issue, as they both had physicals within the last month and I got them full blood work ups, in addition to fecals, to look into this issue. My vet assured me that some dogs just don't need/enjoy their food as much as expected, my dogs are not lacking in nutrients at this point.

I am still going to consider raw feeding to see if I can get them more excited about their food and work on filling them out a bit more. However, I am not sure whether my budget or spatial needs are going to make it possible for me to pursue this. I would love some advice about some of the things I am worried about.

1) About how much do you spend on raw feeding every month? I will be including veggies/fruits. I do not believe that a meat only diet is healthy for dogs and I am not interested in hearing arguments to the contrary. My budget is firmly $120, which bought me more than enough high quality kibble, although I assume that fresh ingredients are more expensive. Is raw feeding doable with this amount of money to spend?

2) How do you determine exactly how much food your dog needs?

3) Where do you find the ingredients that you need? I assume that the buying from the local "human" grocery store would not provide the volume or cost efficacy that makes raw feeding doable.

4) How do you store the food? Do you prepare food in batches? If so, for how many days or weeks do you make in advance? Do you feeze it and then thaw daily? All I have is a single freezer, and I do keep other things in there (ice cream and vodka mainly :D)

I appreciate the help! This seems like a pretty big switch to be considering and I'm not really sure where to go to begin.
 

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I don't feed veggies, no need. I did when I started because I believed that was 'right'. But the dogs didn't like them and it was really a PITA to prepare them. Also as I did more and more research I moved from the 'pro veggie' to the 'not necessary' group. I haven't fed them in over 11 years and can say my dogs are very healthy.

I do buy most of my meats from the grocery store and some from online suppliers. You can also find raw co-ops, and they normally have good prices. But I have anxiety issues that make that option not for me. I can't really tell you what I pay per month, I don't keep track. I buy food as freezer space opens up. Plus I don't feed veggies so our cost would be different anyway.

I have a 'dog freezer' out in the garage. When I lived in the apartment I had a chest freezer in the kitchen/living room area. Though I started out using the fridge freezer. The chest freezer was five cubic feet and held enough food for 3 dogs, 6 cats and 2 ferrets for a month. Now I have a larger freezer and less mouths to feed, I also keep some human food in there. And steal some animal food if needed. When I buy my meats I cut up what needs to be cut and bag everything up in varying sized bags, so I have different sizes for everyone. I pull food out the day of and let thaw or partly thaw. Vegas needs to eat frozen or he will vomit it up.

Finding the amount to feed is partly trial and error. I'm not sure the amounts to feed if you are adding veggies. I assume it's the same as a all meat diet. But you feed, normally 2-3% of the dog's ideal body weight. 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organs with half that being liver. I've found my dogs eat a bit less than recommended. Freyja is 118lbs and eats between 1 1/2lbs to 2lbs, Vegas is 65lbs and eats around 10oz and Shorty is 50lbs and eats about 6-8oz. I rarely weigh the food anymore though, I know the feed and look of what they need. And if they start to look a little chunky I cut back, if they need a bit more I up it a little. In the winter they eat less because they are less active, they also eat a bit less in the heat of summer. If we are doing a lot I sometimes have to up it a bit. I would start at 2% of their ideal body weight and raise or lower it from there.
 
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I am considering switching to raw feeding for my almost 2 year old Husky mix and my 10 month old Akita. Neither of them are interested in their kibble and I have nearly exhausted all the 4/5 star food options, but have not been able to find one that gets the dogs excited about eating. Both the dogs only eat about 3/4 of what they should be every day. I am sure that this isn't a veterinary issue, as they both had physicals within the last month and I got them full blood work ups, in addition to fecals, to look into this issue. My vet assured me that some dogs just don't need/enjoy their food as much as expected, my dogs are not lacking in nutrients at this point.

I am still going to consider raw feeding to see if I can get them more excited about their food and work on filling them out a bit more. However, I am not sure whether my budget or spatial needs are going to make it possible for me to pursue this. I would love some advice about some of the things I am worried about.

1) About how much do you spend on raw feeding every month? I will be including veggies/fruits. I do not believe that a meat only diet is healthy for dogs and I am not interested in hearing arguments to the contrary. My budget is firmly $120, which bought me more than enough high quality kibble, although I assume that fresh ingredients are more expensive. Is raw feeding doable with this amount of money to spend?

2) How do you determine exactly how much food your dog needs?

3) Where do you find the ingredients that you need? I assume that the buying from the local "human" grocery store would not provide the volume or cost efficacy that makes raw feeding doable.

4) How do you store the food? Do you prepare food in batches? If so, for how many days or weeks do you make in advance? Do you feeze it and then thaw daily? All I have is a single freezer, and I do keep other things in there (ice cream and vodka mainly :D)

I appreciate the help! This seems like a pretty big switch to be considering and I'm not really sure where to go to begin.
1) How much you spend depends on where you are, and what sources you have available. Sometimes it costs me more than other times. Meaning, that sometimes I will go several months with all free food from craigslist, and local farmers. No fruits or veggies. Dogs have no biological need for them. Raw meat/bones/organs provide all that is needed when fed in variety.

2)I don't use any percentages for feeding, I feed according to body condition. A little too heavy, less. A little too lean, more. Keep in mind, raw fed dogs are naturally leaner than kibble fed, but gain considerably more muscle tone.

3)I get my food from the grocery, and I also use craigslist for free older meats. I know a cattle farmer who has been a long time family friend. They have had two cows to be put down due to injuries over the last several months, so they gave us both of them. We butchered them ourselves and in the freezer for the dogs they went. Make friends with farmers, find butchers etc....

4)I have two large chest type deep freezers, but only one has been completely filled. You don't HAVE to freeze meat first. That is supposed to kill parasites, but parasites are going to be in the intestines mostly (with the exception of wild boar). Freezing won't kill the bacteria that's in all raw meat. It's just there regardless, and doesn't affect a healthy dog. I have have fed deer, beef and pork plenty over the years fresh, not frozen at all. Of course, if you ever butcher your own animal to feed and find liver etc that doesn't look right, just don't feed that. You can always buy smaller amounts for smaller freezers, if that's all the space you have. Just work with what you have.
 
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