Raw/BARF diet

(28 Posts)
AnnaBeginsToChange Thu 21-Mar-13 19:07:15

Following my recent Ridgeback thread, I'm looking into raw feeding of some kind. It seems so complicated. To be convinced (and I'd like to do it as it sounds great) I'd like to hear from anyone who feeds raw.

It's the practicalities that concern me most; where do you feed (small ish garden, young children running around house/garden), cost/sourcing, prep - sometimes pouring kibble and a splash of water in a bowl feels hard by the evening grin

BARF looks really complicated too.

thebestpossibletaste Thu 21-Mar-13 21:00:05

I'm just changing to feeding raw. I have found a local supplier which is much helper than buying online. I pay 40p per lb of minced meat which has bone and offal in it. Also I buy chicken wings. I feed my dog in the kitchen but have Lino down I can wash. I would shut the door to keep small children out if necessary.

mrslaughan Thu 21-Mar-13 21:19:56

We buy DAF from raw2paw - they deliver once a month

AnnaBeginsToChange Thu 21-Mar-13 21:43:59

Thanks for replying. What is DAF? Also, don't you need to wash the floor after feeding? Or I suppose you are feeding in bowls if you use mince? I was thinking all those huge meaty bones you're supposed to feed - my floor gets washed weekly fortnightly at most...

Grockle Thu 21-Mar-13 21:55:28

I try to do BARF as much as possible. If the meal is something mince-like, it goes in a bowl in the kitchen. If it is bones, I throw them outside & let GrockleDog find them. Also, when she eats bones (well, chicken bones, other bones are ok) she often brings it back up... if I leave her outside, she can bring it up then eat it again without us having to watch/ listen to dog vomit noises.

AnnaBeginsToChange Thu 21-Mar-13 22:00:20

Can you do a combination or does feeding any complete kibble type food negate the benefits of raw?

I quite like the idea of the odd (daily perhaps) raw bone, for teeth and chewing fun. Chicken vomit/so good I ate it twice scenarios; not so taken with grin

LadyDamerel Thu 21-Mar-13 22:06:06

I raw feed my 2 labs. It's not as complicated as it seems, I promise!

You're looking at feeding 1.5 to 2% of the dog's body weight over the day. I only feed once a day but you can split it into 2 or more meals.

The basic staple of my dog's diet is the Basics frozen chicken portions from Tesco. My 25kg dogs have 2 drumsticks and a thigh as their 'bone meat'.

They also have a piece of Basic white fish fillet, an egg and a spoonful of Basics plain Bio yogurt. I give them a little bit of liver or kidney a couple of times a week.

Every so often I buy heart, pigs trotters (Morrison's are great for this kind of thing), any other kind of meat, the odd tin of sardines or tuna and tripe chunks from Pets at Home and substitute them for the white fish.

I don't give veg routinely - they get the veg leftovers if there are any but that's it.

We have 1 shelf in the freezer that holds the 2 bags of fish fillets and 2 bags of chicken portions that we need for the week.

I reckon it costs about £8 − 9 a week to feed the 2 of them. We've tried the bulk delivery places and they are cheaper but we just don't have the storage capacity.

One of ours has her dinner in the kitchen, one has it in the utility room. We actually feed them straight from the freezer as it makes the meal last longer but it also makes it cleaner. Prep is as simple as open freezer, put stuff into bowl, put bowl on floor. Takes seconds!

I really recommend raw feeding. My 2 thrive on it - everyone comments on how healthy they look, what good shape they're in, how shiny their coats are and the vet commented on how little tartar there is on the 4yos teeth at her last check up. It also makes them calmer, imo as they're not chock full of additives. They also poo a LOT less, it's lighter, doesn't smell and crumbles away if you leave it.

I'd never feed kibble again, having switched.

LadyDamerel Thu 21-Mar-13 22:09:29

£8-9 a week, don't know why the formatting went funny there.

My dogs never throw up on raw food, whereas they used to bolt the kibble so quickly it often came back up.

::bleurgh::

AnnaBeginsToChange Fri 22-Mar-13 05:33:01

Wow, that sounds great, thanks. That sounds fine, I think my main concern has been a dog knawing on a great big raw bone; all the bacteria all over the floor/patio. They don't mind it from the freezer? A ridgeback I think will be 35ish kgs so maybe a similar/bit less than your 2 to feed. That sounds fine, I was worried it would be £20 a week or something.

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Mar-13 10:00:31

They can have stuff from the freezer fine - but, some dogs leave it to defrost first hmm

You're not supposed to feed dry food and raw in the same meal - but you can give them it separately. I've been giving mine chicken backs, lamb necks and what have you for a while just as treats really, I'm switching over completely to raw right now.

I'm using mince from DAF and just adding in other bits and pieces as I go - till I get into the swing of it.

There's less prep with big dogs because they can cope fine with it in big bits, lol

punter Fri 22-Mar-13 10:39:26

May I ask, can a 6 month lab puppy go onto a raw food diet or should I wait until 1 year old when he would go onto adult food anyhow? Thanks.

AnnaBeginsToChange Fri 22-Mar-13 13:18:03

I think I might go with a complete food and supplement it with bones/eggs/stuff. Would this be good? I'm worried about feeding a large breed puppy a diet lacking in something. But then, I'm worried about the crap in compete food too. Oooh...

Have a look at natural instinct puppy food the works all done for you mines been on this since 8 weeks old she's 14 weeks and still has it or DAF chicken mince which I got last week which is cheaper. I can see the difference as to why its cheaper but pup likes both so ill continue to buy both to keep costs down and mix things up

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Mar-13 14:22:58

I know people do feed raw from birth...

My puppy is 8 months, I'm switching to raw because I can't find a dry food that he'll eat and agrees with him, I put him on wainwright trays a couple of months ago because he was on crate rest and it was easier to manage - and immediately his digestion improved... But it's nearly a pound a tray and he shpuld have 4-5 a day, long term it's just not feasible.

Feeding the DAF mince alone is less - it's more on a par with dry food and of course anything I can pick up cheaply from the butcher pushes the cost down even more.

This site is great for comparing commercial foods, anything with 4 stars or higher is good quality.

It shouldn't knock anything too far off giving a bone or something as well as complete food - I mean a chicken wing must be better for them than a jumbone or a dentastik or something like that, plus you've got more leeway with a large breed just because they eat so much more altogether... A chicken wing is only the equivalent of giving my puppy a couple of biscuits of dry food really.

AnnaBeginsToChange Fri 22-Mar-13 15:59:51

Thanks a lot for the info. I will speak to some breeders too, not even booked our puppy yet, meeting first breeder this weekend!

LadyDamerel Fri 22-Mar-13 17:29:11

Our first lab was raw fed from about a year, when I read about it on here. The second one had it from the day she came home at 7 weeks. She used to have a chicken wing and took about 20 minutes to gnaw through it!

AnnaBeginsToChange Fri 22-Mar-13 18:34:04

How did you know what to do lady I feel so overwhelmed by it all. Say I come home with an 8 week old ridgeback (next year, not soon!), where do I start?

thebestpossibletaste Fri 22-Mar-13 20:16:53

sorry to hijack the thread but can I feed my 4 year old cavalier the odd raw chicken drumstick- my local supermarket doesn't have chicken wings?

LadyDamerel Sun 24-Mar-13 10:28:26

I would say so, bestpossible. Any kind of bony meat is fine for dogs, they're designed to be able to chew it. As long as you give them raw, not cooked.

Anna, I'm trying to think back to when Lab2 was a puppy. Afair, we used the 2% rule and gave her 4 meals a day, mostly chicken wings as the bony meat to start with and mince and tripe to make up the non-bony meat part, then gradually added in fish, heart, eggs, etc and larger bits of bony meat over the weeks.

You don't have to balance every single meal. It's like feeding a human, as long as it balances over the course of a week or two then it's fine. There's so much info out there and everyone has their own opinion on the 'right' way to RAW or BARF that it appears far more complicated than it actually is.

tabulahrasa Sun 24-Mar-13 11:09:24

Chicken thigh bones are a wee bit dense - so a cav might not manage to actually eat the bone, but she'll just leave that if she can't quite do it.

thebestpossibletaste Sun 24-Mar-13 11:27:50

Thanks. I did give her one thigh and she managed to eat it all. The bone won't get stuck inside her, will it?

thebestpossibletaste Sun 24-Mar-13 11:28:30

I have managed to find some chicken wings now.

tabulahrasa Sun 24-Mar-13 11:34:54

Oh no - if she ate it, that's fine.

Some people with smaller dogs say they struggle to chew up chicken thigh bones is all...my dog is currently chewing on a pig's foot, he'll never manage to eat the bone, but it'll keep him busy for a while trying.

Floralnomad Sun 24-Mar-13 12:44:27

I read somewhere that you have to be wary with chicken thighs as they have a needle bone in them which is apparently the only bone in a chicken that can cause a problem ,presumably could pierce something ? I avoid thighs for that reason .

tabulahrasa Sun 24-Mar-13 13:41:28

It depends what size your dog is really - normal tiny drumsticks are fine anyway, but thighs do have a little thin bone that could potentially be swallowed whole rather than chewed by big dogs.

Mine chews quarters fine, but I'm not sure I'd risk just a drumstick or a thigh by themselves and wings are way too small for him unless I freeze a few together.

You shouldn't be giving dogs bones that they can swallow without chewing, or might try to swallow without chewing, but that's different sizes for different dogs.

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