I have been feeding raw meat to my dogs for many years and I am happy with the results. My beagle had constant ear infections and it was costing me $100 a week at the vet. So as an experiment, I switched to just raw chicken nothing else. I started out with whole legs and backs but then bought a grinder. The beagle never had an ear infection again.
So, I started feeding my other dogs raw. I started ordering 100 pounds of ground chicken from Goffle Farms in Hawthorne and had a percentage of organ meat added. I then started ordering cow hearts and cutting them up,any meat on sale I would buy. But, I had to be a mad scientist to get them their other vitamins and minerals.
I realized this raw feeding was becoming a pain so I went with mixtures that were already ground up with veggies, oils, fruit, apple cider vinegar etc.
The high end raw food products are Oma's Pride and Bravo. They have all kinds of mixtures including raw duck, venison, elk, etc. The price can get up to $3 or $4 a pound pretty quick. I know Mike's feed and grain sells raw but I don't know the product line he carries.
I feed mine Big Dog Natural and Performance Dog because they run about $1.30 to $1.60 per pound. Most are "complete" and have to meet a standard called AAFCO to claim they are complete.
I do fine with Big Dog and I have not been to a vet in many years. Performance dog is a mixture of beef, minerals and beef trachea (which is chondroitin) so it's good for thier joints.
I know a lot of raw feeders and it's amazing how many of them own the "bully" breed of dog. Pits, English Bull Dogs, Mastiffs all seem to have skin and digestive problems. Although it does not work all the time, I can say that raw works quite well with these breeds.
There are some big time dog breeders who only feed raw also because they don't have to deal with food allergies when they sell their puppies.
I like raw because the stool amount is way smaller than a kibble fed dog. And they seem to be quite healthy.
The downside is you use a lot of bleach products to make sure everything is clean and free of bacteria.
A cheap source of fish is canned mackeral, by the way.
I also use "green tripe" which is the actual contents of a cows stomach, full of enzymes and dogs love it. I dedicate a whole garden to collard greens just for the dogs. Treats are carrots and dehydrated sweet potato.
Here are some Yahoo groups who feed raw:
- NJ BARF (bones and raw food)
- NY Raw feeders
- Ct. Raw feeders
- gotta go
- have a dog with a frisbee in his mouth looking at me