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Hi, we have a 9 1/2 month old Golden named Darwin. He is about 75 lbs so far. I have been feeding him raw for the last 5 months and am just buying 5 pound chubs of Vital Essence in different types (chicken, turkey, beef and duck). It is the prey diet and the chubs are complete in nutrition with all bone, organs, meat in one. I add in things on occasion more for variety than anything else like green beans, oatmeal, coconut oil, raw eggs and currently a liquid multivitamin. I also give him raw knuckle bones and marrow bones several times a week just to satisfy his chewing urge.

I switched him to raw because he had constant ear infections, was lethargic, was becoming overweight and smelled awful. Not to mention the huge smelly poops. Since switching, he is wonderful and have had no issues.

The problem is the cost! We are spending approx $350 a month on dog food!!! What can I do to bring this cost down. I am considering going back to kibble. However, I think that would only save around $100 if buying a high quality kibble. Any thoughts?? Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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What kibble were you buying before? You might just have gone from one extreme to another. I feed 5 adult Goldens for a little under $225, not including their raw bones which are about $34 a month. I feed NutriSource Adult during the warm months and 30/20 or a mix, during the winter.

I do think that $350 a month for one dog is outrageous. You might join a raw buying club and should save some money that way if you want to continue with raw. Pre made anything is expensive!
 

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Ingrid, Now Mom to Brisby
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Where are you located and where do you buy your raw?

For your pups weight, you likely should be feeding him app. 1.5 lbs of raw, complete mix ( raw meat, fruit, veggies, bone etc) Here various vendors sell patties or tubs at an average price of a little over $4.00 lb.

Buying the pre-mix complete raw diets is/seems more expensive that combing your own raw diet, however I am wondering how you are spending $350.00/month.
 

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where the tails wag
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That is crazy expensive. I currently buy chubbs from a Blue Ridge Buffalo vendor and Top Quality Dog Food (meat, bone, organ, veggies some mixtures gave tripe & the like).

My vendors travel up and down highways once or twice a month.

My latest supply for 3 dogs (will increase to 4 when my Towhee comes home) was $175 for a month. Add in veggies, yogurt etc for perhaps another $100 (hard to tell since I eat the veggies too), so am feeding each dog for less than $100 / month or say $23 per dog per week.

Consider finding alternate sources if food, check for co-ops, raw feeding Facebook groups and similar.
 

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What kibble were you buying before? You might just have gone from one extreme to another. I feed 5 adult Goldens for a little under $225, not including their raw bones which are about $34 a month. I feed NutriSource Adult during the warm months and 30/20 or a mix, during the winter.

I do think that $350 a month for one dog is outrageous. You might join a raw buying club and should save some money that way if you want to continue with raw. Pre made anything is expensive!
Hi, he was eating Freedom Blue Buffalo grain free large breed puppy food. It was costing about $125 a month. I thought it was a good choice, but it wasn't doing him any favors. I haven't had any issues with loose stools, so I am assuming his gut would be okay to try other things. It was the ear infections and biting of feet and scratching, so something was not sitting well with him.
 

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Where are you located and where do you buy your raw?

For your pups weight, you likely should be feeding him app. 1.5 lbs of raw, complete mix ( raw meat, fruit, veggies, bone etc) Here various vendors sell patties or tubs at an average price of a little over $4.00 lb.

Buying the pre-mix complete raw diets is/seems more expensive that combing your own raw diet, however I am wondering how you are spending $350.00/month.
Hi, I live in Spokane WA and I buy from a locally owned pet store. She even gives me a 10% discount because buy a month supply at a time to save on travel. I am feeding him approx 3% of his body weight a day @ 2.5 lbs a day because he is still a puppy. He is always willing to eat and his weight is great/ borderline too thin, so I don't think feeding less is an option. The beef and chicken are $4.40/lb, the turkey is $4.60/lb and the duck (rarely fed) is $5.20/lb. I buy 12 chubs at a time and after tax its approx $300. The rest is spent on bones and treats.
 

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Seems super pricey to me as well!
I would recommend staying on raw, proof it works since he is doing so well now don't you think?
I think you can cut costs for sure...that monthly amount would not be within reach for us either. We are paying around $110 a month for premade. And we could probably even go cheaper if we wanted (premade wise). Mind you, our puppy only eats 1 pound per day. Remember you can also supplement with bones (cheaper) every so often to cut costs. Say like a chicken neck or back instead of a chub. Just a thought...
 

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Ingrid, Now Mom to Brisby
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Hi, I live in Spokane WA and I buy from a locally owned pet store. She even gives me a 10% discount because buy a month supply at a time to save on travel. I am feeding him approx 3% of his body weight a day @ 2.5 lbs a day because he is still a puppy. He is always willing to eat and his weight is great/ borderline too thin, so I don't think feeding less is an option. The beef and chicken are $4.40/lb, the turkey is $4.60/lb and the duck (rarely fed) is $5.20/lb. I buy 12 chubs at a time and after tax its approx $300. The rest is spent on bones and treats.
Your costs will go down once your pup is full grown.

You may want to take a look at some of these raw food providers:

https://www.darwinspet.com/dog-food/

DogAware.com: Raw Dog Food Co-ops and Local Groups

Alternately, you can shop supermarket weekly specials for meat, add your own fruit, vegetables and ensure that you are using a good supplement to add to your own mix like GreenMin & Soul Food both recommended by Brisby's veterinarian:

Dr. Dobias Original Products
 

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Consider making your own. 10 lb packs of chicken quarters cost me 59 cents max at the grocery store. I can get the 10 lb chubs of ground meat at walmart right now for $2 a lb. I glance over the weekly sales to see if there's any good deals on any other proteins - I can always find pork for $2/lb, sometimes for $1/lb. Pick up some organs and you've got the makings of a good raw diet. You can either feed as is or invest in a grinder (you can get one that does chicken bones for under $200).
 

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With Duke's recent diagnosis of IBD I am exploring cooked or raw options. Met with a holistic vet and decided to do Stella & Chewy's Rabbit formula. If I'm doing my calculations correctly, this will cost between $500-$600/month for one dog. I can't afford that. I'm completely overwhelmed at the idea of trying to figure out a meal plan for him to ensure he's getting the right nutrition and supplements. Where's the best place to start?
 

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where the tails wag
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If you are near a butcher you might have luck finding less expensive meat options. I don't know much about IBD but am thinking perhaps home cooked might be an option?

I used to load a crockpot of meats and vegetables, with some starchy things (potatoes, rice, barley etc on a rotating basis) and it would feed my then 2 dogs for a week.

I did move to raw so no longer crock pot meals for the dogs. Considerably less expensive than what you calculated :)

I rotated meats (chicken, beef, rabbit and fish as well as game when a store had it) with all types of vegetables and added yogurt / cottage cheese / kefir in rotation for calcium.

I am going off of memory but the big things for a homemade diet are protein, quality vegetables (cooked or pureed) and a source of calcium. Starches add bulk and calories
As do root vegetables. There are books available on preparing meals for your dogs :) rotation & variety will help.


Good luck
 

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If you are near a butcher you might have luck finding less expensive meat options. I don't know much about IBD but am thinking perhaps home cooked might be an option?



I used to load a crockpot of meats and vegetables, with some starchy things (potatoes, rice, barley etc on a rotating basis) and it would feed my then 2 dogs for a week.



I did move to raw so no longer crock pot meals for the dogs. Considerably less expensive than what you calculated :)



I rotated meats (chicken, beef, rabbit and fish as well as game when a store had it) with all types of vegetables and added yogurt / cottage cheese / kefir in rotation for calcium.



I am going off of memory but the big things for a homemade diet are protein, quality vegetables (cooked or pureed) and a source of calcium. Starches add bulk and calories

As do root vegetables. There are books available on preparing meals for your dogs :) rotation & variety will help.





Good luck


Thank you!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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With Duke's recent diagnosis of IBD I am exploring cooked or raw options. Met with a holistic vet and decided to do Stella & Chewy's Rabbit formula. If I'm doing my calculations correctly, this will cost between $500-$600/month for one dog. I can't afford that. I'm completely overwhelmed at the idea of trying to figure out a meal plan for him to ensure he's getting the right nutrition and supplements. Where's the best place to start?
Rabbit is a low-fat/high calorie food compared to beef. More importantly to some is it is a 'cool' food, and in Chinese med would be considered great for inflammatory conditions.
When I was in TN I bought all my bunnies gutted (not organs removed just the intestines) from a rabbit judge. They were usually culls for coat color he had grown out to weaning age for me.... I gave them whole to the dogs. Figured that fur was a colon cleanser plus back years prior I used to buy gutted/bladder removed rabbits from a mountain woman and I tore the labrum in my right shoulder trying to kitchen sink skin them (they were adults) which took me about 2 years to heal, and much PT. So I happened upon a rabbit show and found myself a local exhibitor who also happened to be a judge and about once a month bought all his cull babies. I paid I want to say 0.75 a pound for them gutted and bagged. I took them home and re-bagged them into 7 dog portions and froze them.

Cost saving measures (though do look up high volume bunny breeders/exhibitors) included buying chicken racks (backs and necks w some organ and meat but mostly bone by weight) and necks from a supply house in 40# boxes, and turkey necks (hen size) from same place in 15# bags.
The rest of my dogs' meats came fro more expensive sources- I bought and had processed a lamb every spring and goats every fall, and for variety, used select venison from hunting friends (though honestly that's pretty rich for a dog w IBD) and many many ducks and I shared an emu w a couple one year for meat and bone. There are resources out there, and consider some oddball meats- heart is super tough but so blood rich... tongue is also quite tough but I always figured it satisfied some primal thing in the dogs ripping it apart.
Consider buying a good grinder too- if you want to stack pre-made meals for someone else to feed (a good idea if you leave the dog home now and then). Don't ruin your kitchenaid mixer buying the grind attachment- BTDT- mine is a Kitchener from Northern Tool -https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4OVN81/ref=asc_df_B01M4OVN815247010/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01M4OVN81&linkCode=df0&hvadid=222320517270&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18304872520178208107&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012356&hvtargid=pla-378467191430 and it can grind backs and necks all day long.
 

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Rabbit is a low-fat/high calorie food compared to beef. More importantly to some is it is a 'cool' food, and in Chinese med would be considered great for inflammatory conditions.
When I was in TN I bought all my bunnies gutted (not organs removed just the intestines) from a rabbit judge. They were usually culls for coat color he had grown out to weaning age for me.... I gave them whole to the dogs. Figured that fur was a colon cleanser plus back years prior I used to buy gutted/bladder removed rabbits from a mountain woman and I tore the labrum in my right shoulder trying to kitchen sink skin them (they were adults) which took me about 2 years to heal, and much PT. So I happened upon a rabbit show and found myself a local exhibitor who also happened to be a judge and about once a month bought all his cull babies. I paid I want to say 0.75 a pound for them gutted and bagged. I took them home and re-bagged them into 7 dog portions and froze them.

Cost saving measures (though do look up high volume bunny breeders/exhibitors) included buying chicken racks (backs and necks w some organ and meat but mostly bone by weight) and necks from a supply house in 40# boxes, and turkey necks (hen size) from same place in 15# bags.
The rest of my dogs' meats came fro more expensive sources- I bought and had processed a lamb every spring and goats every fall, and for variety, used select venison from hunting friends (though honestly that's pretty rich for a dog w IBD) and many many ducks and I shared an emu w a couple one year for meat and bone. There are resources out there, and consider some oddball meats- heart is super tough but so blood rich... tongue is also quite tough but I always figured it satisfied some primal thing in the dogs ripping it apart.
Low-fat/cool/high calorie foods are what the holistic vet recommended for Duke. She thinks he would also do well with turkey or duck. He did not test well for fish (and she's anti most processed fish kibbles, etc due to contaminants in the water), lamb or pork because they are warm meets and she's looking to reduce inflammation. She also recommended sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin and squash - all of which he loves. She's big on organic because of all the pesticides, etc that get used on mainstream food and possible link to cancer. And she said I could make him smoothies with spinach and berries. I've also introduced CBD oil for him. Originally started researching it for Charlie's anxiety, but saw that it has been found to help with IBD. All of these things are very expensive, but so is going to the vet with infection/illness all the times.

Thanks for the ideas - I'm going to have to do research to find an economical way of doing this. Stella & Chewy's seemed like the perfect gift wrapped solution until I calculated the cost :)
 
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Ingrid, Now Mom to Brisby
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With Duke's recent diagnosis of IBD I am exploring cooked or raw options. Met with a holistic vet and decided to do Stella & Chewy's Rabbit formula. If I'm doing my calculations correctly, this will cost between $500-$600/month for one dog. I can't afford that. I'm completely overwhelmed at the idea of trying to figure out a meal plan for him to ensure he's getting the right nutrition and supplements. Where's the best place to start?
Jenn, here's a list of prepared raw dog foods that you can check out. It's a Facebook file, so I think you would have to be logged into FB to view it.

https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/RawFood-Final 17.pdf?token=AWyDUfJDfguSg85K0jGyypWROvztGLXHAcSkV1-NzlSJjRHEqrEMW0aWN2miUJjzYWDbyLe7WR_Fau3kpR7iQmH75SM7D0ynH2Wvun5og-rKgYMFqcOijROrZxS0HZvc2GRMVQDwqgCmWhQdvR7xzhelH3Pg70bUQqdRVM1q7aBVNw

If you have trouble opening that link, go to the Natural Dog Rearing Tips on FB and it is in the files section under: RawFood- final 17.pdf

I have never heard of a raw diet costing $500-600/month, so either it's way overpriced or something has gone askew in your calculations. Brisby's prepared raw costs me about $120/month ( not including supplements, kefir, eggs) .

Also beware of what raw diets are HPP ( high pressure processed) and which are not. HPP destroys the "live" component of the food ( one of the main benefits of feeding raw) as well as many nutrients in a raw diet. Stella & Chewies is a HPP food.

Wishing you the best of luck in finding a good raw food diet. You will be astounded in the difference it does make in the health of our dogs.
 
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Jenn, here's a list of prepared raw dog foods that you can check out. It's a Facebook file, so I think you would have to be logged into FB to view it.

https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/RawFood-Final 17.pdf?token=AWyDUfJDfguSg85K0jGyypWROvztGLXHAcSkV1-NzlSJjRHEqrEMW0aWN2miUJjzYWDbyLe7WR_Fau3kpR7iQmH75SM7D0ynH2Wvun5og-rKgYMFqcOijROrZxS0HZvc2GRMVQDwqgCmWhQdvR7xzhelH3Pg70bUQqdRVM1q7aBVNw

If you have trouble opening that link, go to the Natural Dog Rearing Tips on FB and it is in the files section under: RawFood- final 17.pdf

I have never heard of a raw diet costing $500-600/month, so either it's way overpriced or something has gone askew in your calculations. Brisby's prepared raw costs me about $120/month ( not including supplements, kefir, eggs) .

Also beware of what raw diets are HPP ( high pressure processed) and which are not. HPP destroys the "live" component of the food ( one of the main benefits of feeding raw) as well as many nutrients in a raw diet. Stella & Chewies is a HPP food.

Wishing you the best of luck in finding a good raw food diet. You will be astounded in the difference it does make in the health of our dogs.
Thanks for the information. I was calculating that Duke needs 900 calories a day. Each patty equals 70 calories. That makes 13 patties/day and there are ~32 patties in a bag which costs $40. I figured I would go through 1 bag every 2 days which equals $40*15 bags per month = $600.00. Who can afford that? I also did not realize about the HPP process. Thanks for mentioning it.
 

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Ingrid, Now Mom to Brisby
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Thanks for the information. I was calculating that Duke needs 900 calories a day. Each patty equals 70 calories. That makes 13 patties/day and there are ~32 patties in a bag which costs $40. I figured I would go through 1 bag every 2 days which equals $40*15 bags per month = $600.00. Who can afford that? I also did not realize about the HPP process. Thanks for mentioning it.
What patties are you looking at? The 8 oz frozen raw patties come in at about 400 - 430 calories per patty so you likely would only need 2 patties/day especially if you are adding other calories to the diet.

I would still recommend you looking at a non HPP food.

Here are some other options.

https://www.darwinspet.com/dog-food/

https://rawbistro.com/collections/raw-food
 

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I have used Hare Today for goat meats in years past- but she got too expensive for me to feed so many dogs.
 
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