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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this site and new to owning a doberman. I was wondering if I could get people's opinion on a raw food diet. Right now we are feeding our doberman and german shepherd blue buffalo but have heard about raw diets and are considering switching them over. I was wondering if anyone had their dog on a complete raw diet, what benefits and disadvantages would be, and what kinds of things you feed your dog on that kind of diet. Thanks in advance for your help! There are just so many choices and I figured what better of a place than to ask the experts :)
 

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Got mutt?
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There are lots of raw feeder on here. You can look through the food and feeding section for threads. I don't feed raw, myself, because it just doesn't fit my faimlies lifestyle. Some days, my animals are lucky to get (high quality) kibble thrown at them. :)
 

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Your question might be too large to be fully answered here... I would suggest some books (I like Carina MacDonald's Raw Dog Food: Make It Easy For You and Your Dog) and maybe joining a raw feeding list (I like RAW-lite : RAW-lite).

I have been feeding exclusively raw to dogs and mostly raw to my cat for over ten years. My animals eat what carnivores are designed to eat and (most importantly!) I KNOW what they are eating. I feed about half whole ground animals (beef, mutton, turkey, goat, etc.) and half parts and pieces. I supplement some (mostly, for my currect animals) for joint health plus some "just in case" supplements (fish oil, kelp, etc.). For most of the time I have raw fed, I did about 10% Cuisinarted veggies and fruits... I am not doing so right now, but think may it be a beneficial thing.

It can be more expensive to feed raw, but not necessarily... it depends on how you feed. It is initially confusing as you work through your learning, but then it gets easy. You have to remember to thaw dinner, and you'll want to get a dedicated dog food freezer.

Dogs are very flexible animals, but they are carnivores who are really designed to eat meat, bones and organ... I think it just plain makes sense to feed them what they evolved to eat.
 

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I am new to this site and new to owning a doberman. I was wondering if I could get people's opinion on a raw food diet. Right now we are feeding our doberman and german shepherd blue buffalo but have heard about raw diets and are considering switching them over. I was wondering if anyone had their dog on a complete raw diet, what benefits and disadvantages would be, and what kinds of things you feed your dog on that kind of diet. Thanks in advance for your help! There are just so many choices and I figured what better of a place than to ask the experts :)
You will find a lot of information here on DT on raw feeding. I found the information at these links to be very helpful: LEARN ABOUT RAWFEEDING, RAW FEEDING YAHOO GROUP

To answer your question, briefly. I feed an entirely raw diet. Roughly 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ, half of which being Liver.

The advantages IMO are first, my boy had a staph infection (skin) that would clear up with antibiotics, but kept coming back once the antibiotics were stopped. I switched to a raw diet and the staph infection cleared up within a week and never came back.
No doggie odor, no doggie breath, super clean teeth, fabulous coat, excellent health.

Then only disadvantage IMO is that it does take a bit more time than putting kibble in the bowl. Once a month, I cut up and package individual meals for 30 days and that takes me a couple of hours. Once that is done it is simply a matter of opening a baggie and dumping into bowl.

When starting raw you should start with one protein source and feed only meat/bone for 3 weeks or so. Chicken quarters work great, they provide a bit more bone than needed, but that helps keeps stools firm. After about 3 weeks you begin to add small amounts of additional protein sources as well as organ meat, very gradually.

My boy has been on a raw diet for 2+ years now. I feed chicken, beef, bison, fish, duck, muskrat, lamb, goat, rabbit, turkey, deer, elk, pork as well as things like tripe, turkey necks, chicken feet.

Variety is essential to provide necessary nutrients. I do not feed vegetables, fruit or grains except as occasional treats. I do give 1000mg fish oil caps daily.

Because I do feed a raw diet and was initially concerned about meeting the necessary nutritional requirements, I have had blood work done every 6 months. In every case blood work has come back absolutely perfect. After having done the bloodwork 5 times in 2.5 years, it will not be done just once a year when Wheeler goes in for his annual vet check.

I also have a 15 week old puppy that I started on raw at 8 weeks of age and she is thriving on it!

Initially, it can be a bit overwhelming, but if you go slow and don't overthink, it really is quite easy once you get going.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for everyones input! I have been reading up on the raw diet and getting a little worried that I wont be able to handle it, but hearing what you have had to say makes me feel better that i can eventually handle it. thanks for the extra resources as well! they will help me a ton while figuring everything out.

I do have a question though, right now, feeding out two dogs bagged food, we are spending about $110 a month. I know it will vary by what kind of meat and things we give them, but will the price differ at all, i.e. go up or down?
 

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From what I've heard, if you're in a good area for it raw is actually cheaper.

I feed kibble right now because I live in a tiny town and raw is expensive due to the area. When I move back to a major city I will be feeding raw. Some major cities have co-ops for raw feeders.
 
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