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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what RAW diets are being used by Dobie owners & Why???

What are some of the pro's & Con's, Cost and effects on the dogs???

This info would be helpful In school we didnt learn much about it and the vet I work for isn't a fan so I need some advice with people who have experiences :)
 

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I don't feed raw to my dobermans currently, but I've been thinking about transitioning them to raw when we get back from vacation next month (would be a pain to do it now because of boarding). There is a raw dog food company here that I will use should I decide to go the raw route. You have to buy in bulk, but it seems to be much more cost effective than doing premade or buying from a grocery store. I am just not entirely sure how much more it will cost for raw as opposed to their kibble, so that is a factor. They already cost a considerable amount to feed in kibble and are doing well on it, so if raw is a lot more, I might not be able to justify it. And I don't want to do half raw and half kibble with them as their systems are quite sensitive.

When I fed Dance (my Toller) raw in the past I ended up just getting a lot of her stuff at the grocery store due to lack of freezer space. But I get a discount on premade raw now, so that is what I am going to do for her in the new year until I decide if the dobes will be switched to raw as well. And if I switch them over as well, then of course Dance will then eat raw from the same raw company. She doesn't eat much so premade is cost effective enough for her right now, but it isn't at all cost effective for as much as the Dobes would need to eat for a quality premade food.

The reason I am thinking of going to raw is that I get concerned over how many cases of tainted kibble I hear about. I feel that raw is safer in that aspect. I also like that you can control exactly what gets put into your dog's body, and the smaller stools and digestability factor is a bonus as well. I feel raw feeding is safer for breeds prone to bloat, as there is no kibble sitting in the gut. Raw digests at a quicker rate than kibble generally, and the fact that my dogs can eat and still throw up a pretty intact looking meal 8 hours later does bug me about kibble. I would think that the kibble would be better digested after that amount of time.

Other than that, I really have not noticed any other differences in dogs fed raw vs. a kibble they do well on. Dance had slightly better breath on raw in the past than she does on kibble, but otherwise nothing is different. Coat is just as nice, weight is good, energy is the same, etc.
 
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I feed a prey model diet (roughly 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ). I switched to raw 2 years ago, because my boy had a staph infection that just would not stay gone. In addition, he was stinky (really strong dog smell) and kind of greasy, and he was losing hair. (yes we did a Thyroid panel - MSU, and complete bloodwork). Anyway, switched to raw and within a week the smell was gone, within 2 weeks the staph was completely gone.

Pros - good health, no doggie odor, no stinky doberfarts, no bad breath, clean teeth
Cons - the 2 hours a month I spend cutting and bagging his meals into individual portions.
Cost - about the same as a high quality commercial kibble (i.e. - EVO)

I purchase some things from My Pet Carnivore, on sale at the local groceries and ethnic stores, as well as local butchers, and meat processors.

My Vet was not a fan either, however, we run Chem Panels on Wheeler every 6 months just to make sure everything is where it should be. After 2 years, my Vet has changed his opinion.
 

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I have switched to raw a few weeks ago. Did it once before a couple years ago but it was very hard for me to keep up without a dedicated freezer. Once I bought a dedicated freezer for the dogs, it is way easier. I buy in bulk a couple 100lbs at a time and simply pull out what I need every couple days. Thaw out over night in the kitchen sink, divide, feed, and put left over portions in the fridge. Doing things like this, the convenience factor is pretty much on par with kibble and I can certainly keep the costs down to same as or less then premium kibble. For the amounts that I am feeding, I figured if I can keep the meat prices under about $1.60/lb I am on par with what it used to cost me to feed Orijen/Go Naturals both of which worked out to about $1/cup. I can easily achieve that sticking to beef and chicken, any thing a bit more exotic (lamb, duck, rabbit, etc) and the cost goes up to closer to $2/lb.

It's very hard to compete with those prices if you decide to shop at a local grocery store (at least here). We have a number of pre made frozen raw diets on the market and some of them are reasonably priced, but it's cheaper for me to buy in bulk from suppliers.

I feel MUCH better about the quality of the food my dogs are eating, I am a strong believer that fresh is always much better then any thing processed, same applies to people. Their poops are pretty much a 1/3 if not 1/4 of what they used to be on Orijen and Honest Kitchen. Their teeth are sparkling white, no bad breath, great coats. They were always pretty high energy so it's hard to say if they have more of it, but most people I know who have switched mentioned their dogs became more lively.

One of the tipping factors for me, aside from hearing all the benefits from others and from reading, I have first hand watched a number of my clients who switched their dogs to raw over the last few years and the results are always reliably amazing, especially if the dog was switched from crappy kibble. A number of them had health issues like digestion and allergies, skin issues, various things, all went away when the dog went to raw. Not only the problems went away, but over all the dogs just looked and acted better. I have one client who adopted a lab with a number of issues, they put him on raw, the dog is now almost 8 and looks and acts like 2.
 

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I feed Nature's Variety premade raw patties to Swilly.

Convenience is amazing, they come in packs of 12 and I switch between chicken and bison.

A little pricey but no mess whatsoever. If I could afford to feed it to all three of them I would. So much less poop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have switched to raw a few weeks ago. Did it once before a couple years ago but it was very hard for me to keep up without a dedicated freezer. Once I bought a dedicated freezer for the dogs, it is way easier. I buy in bulk a couple 100lbs at a time and simply pull out what I need every couple days. Thaw out over night in the kitchen sink, divide, feed, and put left over portions in the fridge. Doing things like this, the convenience factor is pretty much on par with kibble and I can certainly keep the costs down to same as or less then premium kibble. For the amounts that I am feeding, I figured if I can keep the meat prices under about $1.60/lb I am on par with what it used to cost me to feed Orijen/Go Naturals both of which worked out to about $1/cup. I can easily achieve that sticking to beef and chicken, any thing a bit more exotic (lamb, duck, rabbit, etc) and the cost goes up to closer to $2/lb.

It's very hard to compete with those prices if you decide to shop at a local grocery store (at least here). We have a number of pre made frozen raw diets on the market and some of them are reasonably priced, but it's cheaper for me to buy in bulk from suppliers.

I feel MUCH better about the quality of the food my dogs are eating, I am a strong believer that fresh is always much better then any thing processed, same applies to people. Their poops are pretty much a 1/3 if not 1/4 of what they used to be on Orijen and Honest Kitchen. Their teeth are sparkling white, no bad breath, great coats. They were always pretty high energy so it's hard to say if they have more of it, but most people I know who have switched mentioned their dogs became more lively.

One of the tipping factors for me, aside from hearing all the benefits from others and from reading, I have first hand watched a number of my clients who switched their dogs to raw over the last few years and the results are always reliably amazing, especially if the dog was switched from crappy kibble. A number of them had health issues like digestion and allergies, skin issues, various things, all went away when the dog went to raw. Not only the problems went away, but over all the dogs just looked and acted better. I have one client who adopted a lab with a number of issues, they put him on raw, the dog is now almost 8 and looks and acts like 2.

Do you use any supplements or just Meat/Bones/Organ/Veggie Type mix?

Your comments is very helpful everyone :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been feeding raw for several years and my dogs thrive on it. Most important thing is research the diet before you commit to it. I researched for almost a year before making the switch.

I get food from farmers as well as the hunters in my family. Some items I purchase at specialty markets.

http://www.dobermantalk.com/food-feeding/235-raw-feeding-faq.html
The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

A great book to read: Dr. Tom Lonsdale, "Work Wonders". He also has a website: Raw Meaty Bones


I read the two links you had posted and found them very helpful! I am a vet tech and I am slowly learning about holistics and amazed at the things they don't tech you in school. My husband is a hunter and wild game would be very convenient for us, I am wondering what wild game you feed and how long do you freeze / how do you prepare it to avoid bacteria. Also do you feed wild liver or kidneys?
 

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I feed a variety of foods. These are hunted by my father; rabbit, duck, venison, elk, pheasant. My dad does his own processing of the meats. Just about every part of the animal is consumed, to include liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys. Most wild game should be frozen for at least 24 hours before feeding. I have so much in my freezer that it's usually a few weeks before I get to it.

I have a 4 seasons room that I turned into my dog feeding room. It includes my freezer chest, stainless steel chefs prep table. I buy freezer bags, cleanup supplies, nitrile gloves in bulk. I also have separate knives for the dogs stuff. Nothing touches the people food or is in my kitchen :)

Once you determine your food supplier(s) and what items you will feed, it's not difficult to start the process.


I read the two links you had posted and found them very helpful! I am a vet tech and I am slowly learning about holistics and amazed at the things they don't tech you in school. My husband is a hunter and wild game would be very convenient for us, I am wondering what wild game you feed and how long do you freeze / how do you prepare it to avoid bacteria. Also do you feed wild liver or kidneys?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good to know! we have Tones of duck & goose in our freezer that will never get used! Thanks for the info
 

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I am almost to my 4th week of feeding raw to a very allergic dog. I finally gave up on all the high quality kibble, my last bet was switching to Orijen fish, and it sickened me to spend that much money on bagged dog food..... Zeus is still only eating whole chickens, whole turkeys, sardines, and we are now adding in a bit of beef.

I get all my chicken and turkey for $.59-$.99 lb., I also just recently bought two 7 lb. pork roasts for about $5.50 a piece on sale. I buy 1, 10lb bag of chicken leg quarters a week currently as his base for $5.90, while I am adding in more food. (my boy is oversized and 95lbs, so I feed quite a bit a day). I realize it will get slightly more expensive, but the local grocery store has discount meats DAILY (that are about to expire) and I can always buy whole chickens for $.89/pound. The biggest thing is to buy when you can, when you see sales, and throw it in the freezer!

So far the benefits I've seen are 1. Shiny teeth! 2. Less skin itching 3. More energy 4. Less smell! 5. No doggy breath 6. His farts make noise, but no smell again!

Disadvantage: it is not as easy to do as just buying a bag of dog food, and can get pricey if your feeding 3 lbs or so a day, but overall I feel MUCH better spending money $3/day on 3-4lbs of pure solid real MEAT rather than 3 cups of dry kibble.
 

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Raw

I feed my dogs half raw/half kibble. They do AWESOME with it...plus my raw food is>>>
FREE...
I just go to my local butcher and get his scrap meat. Its good because its scraps of different animals...Moose,elk,deer,antelope,bison and beef.
Variety is good more natural.
I keep kibble in the diet to add the chicken w glucosamine and fish oils with omega's. Also they get consistency from the kibble and if I ever run out of meat I can always get kibble.
Cut my food bill in half and the dogs love it.
 

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My vet was skeptical when I first told him but told me as long as I had researched and feel comfortable with the proper ratios to go ahead and lets see how they do. When he came back just by looking at them, without the blood work or anything yet, just visible inspection, he was literally wowing. Jordan had cut weight and Jubes is packed with muscle, both with beautiful "shiny" coats. He kept saying, "shiny", I just had to laugh. He told me 6 months earlier that Jordan may need his teeth cleaned but during our followup he said his teeth look perfect, "amazing" and he asked if all I did was change their diet. Then, I showed him my cats teeth where the proof was really in the pudding. After he got their lab work back and all came back within normal ranges, he was really impressed and I was glad he was at least willing to give it a try without me having to defend my feeding choices.

I find feeding raw not much harder than feeding kibble with a little preparation and not much more expensive, sometimes cheaper. I can go to the international supermarket for my "rare" finds and I may go twice a year. These are usually my "treat meals" and I stock up on beef heart because it's much cheaper there. During the winter I get deer remnants and just cut chunks from the carcass and bag up into portions. This is usually pleanty to get me through the year for organs and liver. For the meats, I get what's on sale or what's given to me. If I receive a lot of boneless meats I run and grab bags of the 10 lb chicken quarters, which are bone heavy and mix that in for their portion of bone. 10% is really not a lot of bone requirement.

I find it easy and kind of fun. I have learned way more about deer anatomy than I care to admit and when I don't know what is what, I feed it and count it as muscle.

I try to fed fish a couple times a month at least and get a lot of fresh/frozen fish from fisherman friends, again free.

I spent years researching this diet and scared out of my mind to try it. After pets started dying and I myself got a bad bag of TOTW that was overcooked and my dogs wouldn't eat, I decided to sit down, work out the numbers and realized I was way overthinking it. Do the math, judge by body shape whether they need more or less than 2% of body weight and voila. I have no regrets. My dogs look great, are healthy and they love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My vet was skeptical when I first told him but told me as long as I had researched and feel comfortable with the proper ratios to go ahead and lets see how they do. When he came back just by looking at them, without the blood work or anything yet, just visible inspection, he was literally wowing. Jordan had cut weight and Jubes is packed with muscle, both with beautiful "shiny" coats. He kept saying, "shiny", I just had to laugh. He told me 6 months earlier that Jordan may need his teeth cleaned but during our followup he said his teeth look perfect, "amazing" and he asked if all I did was change their diet. Then, I showed him my cats teeth where the proof was really in the pudding. After he got their lab work back and all came back within normal ranges, he was really impressed and I was glad he was at least willing to give it a try without me having to defend my feeding choices.


I find feeding raw not much harder than feeding kibble with a little preparation and not much more expensive, sometimes cheaper. I can go to the international supermarket for my "rare" finds and I may go twice a year. These are usually my "treat meals" and I stock up on beef heart because it's much cheaper there. During the winter I get deer remnants and just cut chunks from the carcass and bag up into portions. This is usually pleanty to get me through the year for organs and liver. For the meats, I get what's on sale or what's given to me. If I receive a lot of boneless meats I run and grab bags of the 10 lb chicken quarters, which are bone heavy and mix that in for their portion of bone. 10% is really not a lot of bone requirement.

I find it easy and kind of fun. I have learned way more about deer anatomy than I care to admit and when I don't know what is what, I feed it and count it as muscle.

I try to fed fish a couple times a month at least and get a lot of fresh/frozen fish from fisherman friends, again free.

I spent years researching this diet and scared out of my mind to try it. After pets started dying and I myself got a bad bag of TOTW that was overcooked and my dogs wouldn't eat, I decided to sit down, work out the numbers and realized I was way overthinking it. Do the math, judge by body shape whether they need more or less than 2% of body weight and voila. I have no regrets. My dogs look great, are healthy and they love it.


Wow your comments are really assuring, I was kind of surprised to not have any support from the vet I work for about my curiosity about basic holistic feeding/healing.... than I realized if dogs didn't have problems he would be out of business! Hahaha that's probably not the case but I am glad that you guys are taking the time to answer my questions. Very Much appreciated!
 

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Prey model raw, just meat, bones and organs. They also get fish oil capsules and glucoasime/msm etc.
 

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I started raw feeding approx 2yrs or so ago. When first starting they smell different. I have been told they were detoxining. I noticed more energy especially in my oldest girl, Tippy. They no longer smell like a stinky dog, lost fat built more muscle, their coats are much nicer (Tippy has allergies so sometimes her back is not so good) and their teeth are pealy white! The vet really noticed this at our check up this past yr. Asked if I had been brushing their teeth. Told him remember I switched to raw.

I purchased a chest freezer for them and they get the top freezer and bottom portion of the back fridge. I purchase in bulk. Actually just finished separating about 140lbs. Plus one lady at my work gives me deer meat! She is so sweet! I get my meat from a meat distributor. You should check you meat to make sure it isnt enhanced or atleast purchase the lowest enhanced meat as possible. I am not as adamant as samandmacksmom. I do it in the kitchen and use our utensils. Then clean up. In the begining I found it quite gross and didnt really care to touch the meat. Now I am about elbow deep in it and it doesnt bother me at all.

I feed 80%meat, 10% bone & 10% organ(5%liver & 5%other organs.) The only thing I supplement with is Omega 3 fish oil. I have a hard time finding fish but have fed a few times. We just got a boat and all I can think is I cant wait to feed them to the dogs. Everything I see now is dog food!

Adara, that is a beautiful pic!
 

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I'm heading into year 5 of my raw feeding journey. I buy all my meat at the grocery store, on sale. I also get venison from hunters. I weigh and bag up the meat and freeze. I feed a pound of organ meat, heart, and another meat each morning for breakfast. I feed a 1 pound bone meal at night of either Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Venison, Pork, Fish or what ever else comes our way. I also feed sardines, tripe and eggs in the morning, rotating them. I would never again feed kibble. I would home cook if my dog couldn't eat Raw. It's really easy and very rewarding. My 22 month old Monty is in perfect health and condition. My boy Petey that I lost to DCM in August, loved his meals. I enjoyed seeing him so happy eating all the goodies I provided for him. Petey also got fresh pig ears, cow hooves, pigs feet, chicken feet and marrow bones. Monty just buries these so I no longer buy them. They were purchased at a ethnic store.
 

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Everything I see now is dog food!
Bwahahaha!!! I was on the phone very early one morning with my friend (and raw feeding book author) when she was taking her dog to the vet. I hear honking and a thud... a deer has leapt over the hood of her car, and crashed into the side of a truck that was in the lane next to hers. The first thing she says is that she is late and doesn't have time to stop, but that she could give me directions...

Yup, everything is food!
 

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Bwahahaha!!! I was on the phone very early one morning with my friend (and raw feeding book author) when she was taking her dog to the vet. I hear honking and a thud... a deer has leapt over the hood of her car, and crashed into the side of a truck that was in the lane next to hers. The first thing she says is that she is late and doesn't have time to stop, but that she could give me directions...

Yup, everything is food!
Yup....this is what I do too!!! I've gotten road kill! A friend hit a deer, got the tag from the police, called us and we took it to our butcher, $50 to grind up and bag. I will do this again when my stash runs out.
 
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