Here at Of Pit Bulls and Patience, we've been blown away by the effects of a raw diet on the dogs. However, every dog is different. A raw diet is not a miracle cure, but if kibble of the highest quality is still not working for your dog, you may want to consider it.
Parker and Skye, at one time or another, have been on: Blue Wilderness, California Natural, Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul, Holistic Select, Nature's Variety Prairie and Instinct, Newman's Own Organics, Taste of the Wild, and Wellness. I may have missed a few in there...
Some foods gave them tummy trouble, others Parker would ignore completely, and some gave Skye a case of the baldies.
After a few weeks on a raw diet, I've noticed: Shiny, healthy coats on both dogs; better breath and cleaner teeth; FANTASTIC poop; excitement for meal time; better body condition (especially for Parker the Pudge); and less tearing and stains from Parker's eyes.
To be fair, there have been a few small drawbacks. Parker's little beard needs to be brushed after each meal to get any gunk out. Both dogs are like little hoarders and want to take the meaty goodness elsewhere to eat in secret. This has been tough to stop- I don't want raw chicken on the dog beds or carpet (obviously). Now Parker goes in a crate and Skye eats in a corner of the kitchen so that I can wipe things down after each meal.
|Check out my buns. You know you want to.|
So what do I feed them? Where do I buy it?
I generally buy a whole chicken when I go grocery shopping and cut it into meal portions. Half goes into the freezer, half into the fridge. Chicken is usually dinner because crunching the bones is more of a workout and helps Skye get some of the evening crazy out of her system. This week there was a great deal on whole turkey, so Skye is getting turkey and Parker is getting chicken.
As for breakfast, I like to switch things up. I have a few chubs that are already balanced nutritionally and come in a few forms that I can't afford at the store. I usually buy lamb and beef. Then I got a coupon to try Nature's Variety Bison patties- those were a big hit. I have a box of Honest Kitchen (which I don't love- it smells like baby puke) that I keep in the car. If I stay late at work, I feed them this.
Really, it isn't all that hard. I stopped trying to weigh each portion to make sure it was 2% of their body weight (the general raw feeding rule). I aim for balance over time: within a given week, both dogs should be getting the right mix of muscle meat, bone, and organ. If they look too thin, I'll feed bigger portions, and vice versa. This is great for Skye, because her weight fluctuates very quickly depending on how much exercise/training we're doing.
|It looks like snow, but it's just ice. Sad day.|
So how is the cost?
For both dogs, I'm saving money overall. I shop deals and I'm looking into buying from a raw dealer who makes deliveries close to here, so I expect to save even more money that way. I pick up their food when I go grocery shopping, which means several small purchases instead of one big monthly spending. We were spending about $50 every 3 weeks for kibble. I'm not saving much with the raw food, but the benefits of this diet are totally worth it for us.
Basically? We like it. We really like it.