Raw feeding can be as easy or as complicated as you wish to make it.
Sure for many of us getting stuck into a carcass and hacking away all for the benefit of our dogs is both great fun and very satisfying. But for the newbie this can all be quite daunting.
We could also deconstruct the perfect diet scientifically and create flow charts and graphs on bone percentages, vitamins, offal content… Meal plans and supplements etc
But what is really needed???
Lets assume that you have already followed the plan to start introducing meats slowly or at least understood this concept in case your dog has lose stools from introducing too much too soon.
You need to make sure that you are feeding at least 5 different proteins. But the more variety the better!
Complete minces are great to help newbies with getting the ratios right with very little effort. But they are very expensive. You could be looking at spending £4 per day, £120 per month feeding this way!
For me that’s way way out of my price range owning 2 dogs. I don’t even spend that on my food for the month.
So how can I make it easy and affordable??
I am going to show you an example using the supplier I use called Landywoods which involves mainly minced (ground) meats with the occasional raw meaty bone. You can adapt this with different suppliers/companies just follow the same principles.
The packs of meat I buy are 454g (1lb) of Lamb, Beef, Green Tripe, Offal, Oily Fish (complete) , Chicken and Beef (20% bone), Duck (20% Bone), Pork (20% bone) and Turkey (10% Bone).
Lamb, Beef, Tripe, and Offal are all boneless with the fish being minced whole including bone, meat and organs making it complete 80/10/10.
So if you take a boneless pack, let say Beef for breakfast and a bone in pack for example Duck for dinner. Then you are going to achieve the desired bone ratio of 10%. Simple.
Its easier when you have more than one dog to cover the offal side of things but you could feed a pack of offal mince twice a week and also Oily fish twice a week.
Raw meaty bones should still be part of their diet if you can at least once a week but preferably more. There are so many benefits to RMB’s bone. Just make sure that if you feed a large meaty bone like a lambs neck for example which is around 50% bone that the next day you need just boneless mince.
The guidelines are just that. You don’t need to follow them to the letter just ensure that your dog is getting a decent variety so they are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals they need as well as a bone content around 10-15% over time your on to a winning recipe for a healthy dog.
Monday: Morning – Beef Dinner – Duck
Tuesday: Morning – Tripe Dinner – Chicken and Beef
Wednesday: Morning – Offal Dinner – Lamb Neck
Thursday: Morning – Lamb Dinner – Oily Fish
Friday: Morning – Tripe and Whole Egg Dinner – Pork
Saturday: Morning – Offal Dinner – Chicken Wings
Sunday: Morning – Turkey and Whole Egg Dinner – Oily Fish
The above is just an example of the kind of diet I’m talking about. There are tones of options you can switch around.
This diet costs under £10 per week and it couldn’t be more simple. You take the 2 bags out of the freezer the night before to defrost. Open the bag and pour into the bowl and feed. Your dog will be thriving and you wont have spent any more time or money than if you fed processed junk food.
Other money saving tips:
1) Go to your local butcher and make friends. For one week buy your weekly meat in there.
A couple of steaks, some chicken breast…. Then ask politely if they would be willing to sell you some of their bones like Lamb necks, or pork spines etc which the butchers have to pay to have removed. Offer to pay a few pound for a bag of bones which will also save them from losing money removing them.
I now have a deal with my local butcher to take 16kg of Pork and Lamb bones every week for £5!
2) Get in touch with local hunters.
There are tones of people who enjoy to hunt and there are many Facebook pages dedicated to hunting and air rifle shooting where you can talk to these people.
Many Pigeon shooters will accept 40-50p per Pigeon or swap a Pigeon for a shotgun cartridge.
There are plenty of air rifle shooters who would take £1 per Rabbit.
3) Find a local supplier.
I use Landywoods. They are about 40 minutes from my home but they are right next to a fantastic forest. So once a month I take the dogs over for a nice walk in the forest and then on the way home we go to Landywoods.
Not only does this mean I don’t have to pay £7 delivery costs but I also get 10% discount for buying on the door.
If you are not near a supplier or you don’t have the time to get to them find other raw feeders in your area and go half on the delivery. There are Raw Feeding facebook pages like ‘Raw Feeding Rebels’ and ‘Raw Feeding UK’ etc where you can find local feeders to you.