While we were traveling, I could not feed Cici raw dog food. For a time when we were camping up in Mendocino, I gave her raw scraps from the kind folks at the Harvest Market but now that we’re not traveling, well, we went away last weekend, but I have slowly been introducing raw food to her again. Cici LOVES it. She gets really excited and drooling for her food.
Recently, I tried two different brands. I used to feed her Nature’s Variety patties, which were available to us when we lived in Gardnerville, NV. Here, there is more variety and options. At Pet Food Express, the gal suggested that I try Stella & Chewy’s, more expensive but organic meats so I did and it was fine. Did not last as long as I would have liked. Gave Cici only two patties a day. I was told to give her 12 a day which was way too costly. I combined kibble and the two patties for her meals.
Then I tried Darwin’s who is having a special on the first order, $15 for several pounds of raw food. Although Cici loved it and BIG PLUS, they deliver the food straight to your home or office, it comes in a 2 lb. bag. When you defrost it, you have to defrost the entire bag. I did not want to feed her all of the food at one time. Plus, it was messy to deal with and I did not enjoy the smell. And the food costs about $100 a month. Nature’s Variety and Stella & Chewy’s cost about $20 for 32-48 patties which last about 2-3 weeks. The patties can be easily defrosted, are easy to deal with and do not smell.
Some brands offer an amazing variety of meats from bison, elk and venison to duck, lamb and turkey. Many offer organic, free range, 100% Grain and Gluten Free and grass fed meat and some offer fresh tripe (which Cici loves). Along with the meat and bones, the food usually contains organs such as livers, hearts and gizzards and vegetables and fruits such as organic squash, kale, broccoli, carrots, beans, cranberry, celery, beets, apple, probiotics, flax seed, oils and herbs such as parsley and seaweed such as kelp. Sounds tasty, huh.
There are other raw food brands such as PrimalPet and NaturesMenu which can be bought at your local retailer, online and even Amazon.
Some companies also offer freeze dried patties and dehydrated as well as meat jerky treats. Some treats: Organic Bison, Beef, Chicken, Beef Liver, Chicken Liver and Organic Sweet Potato.
I suggest that you speak with your vet about changing your dog’s diet, do research, conduct a cost comparison, adhere to what your own dog’s likes and needs are, and also check out what is available to you locally. It is also wise to find out how many patties of raw food it is recommended that your pet eat a day (which factors into the cost). You can make the best choice once you find out what all of your options are and educate yourself.
People can also make homemade raw food but to me that seems like a very challenging and difficult process to get all of the essential ingredients together plus safety issues. But if you are up for it, that is another way to feed your dog what is called the BARF (Bones and Raw Food) diet. Never EVER feed raw meat from the regular supermarket/grocery store though. Only use Organic Meat from Whole Foods or somewhere.
Up until the mid 1920’s, dogs and cats ate as nature intended. Cats hunted mice and birds, but dogs, found prey to eat and foraged and ate whatever presented itself.
Dogs are carnivores, eaters of raw meat, by nature. Their systems were designed to extract the maximum benefits from meat in its raw state. Once meat is processed under very hot temperatures during canning or palletizing, amino acids and enzymes are de-activated. Amino acids are crucial in a diet because they are the organic molecules that compose the building blocks of proteins that make up most of the cells of the body. Active enzymes are also absolutely necessary because they are protein substances produced in living cells that help break down food so that it can be digested and absorbed by the body. Without amino acids and active enzymes, food cannot be digested properly and then, no matter what claims the nutritional statements make, the nutritional values are NOT being adequately delivered to the animals’ body.
In a natural setting dogs will fill out their diet with the seasonal consumption of wild food stuffs, everything from vegetables to nuts, berries, and even the occasional cricket. These naturally foraged items all have a place in their natural nutrition, but no one has ever spotted a dog or cat dragging down an ear of corn or a head of wheat in the field and eating it.
more info on BARF
there are all kinds of videos on youtube from companies touting their raw dog food, people grinding meat, as well as people letting their dogs eat raw chicken, turkey legs, wings and other meat. Most seem either too boring, complicated, gross or perhaps even unsafe… the one below is easy, fun and provides information about feeding dogs grass fed meat. Watch the dog eat a raw steak, yum.