Ready made raw feeds

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Lotsaquestions
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Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:05 am

Hey all,

I currently free feed Merlin 60/40 dry food because a) he relaxed with food down all day and b) he got stressed around raw food so we couldn't free feed that. However, he now eats his dry food at set times by his own choosing which he never liked doing as a puppy, and he isn't stressed at all around raw food. Because of that, and that no matter what dry food we try and get he never really enjoys it all that much, we are thinking of swapping into set meal times of raw feeding, a bone in the morning and a complete meal in the evening in his kongs.

I know a few of you feed raw, and I was wondering which brand does the best complete frozen raw foods? He enjoys his duck necks from nature's menu and I know they have little nuggets available, but before we took the plunge I wanted to set my feelers out for the best that isn't going to break our bank account into little tiny pieces.

JudyN
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by JudyN » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:45 pm

Nutriment is excellent, and Nature's Menu is good too. Nutriment is expensive, but with a small dog it's not going to push up your food bills too much.

Having said that, 'complete' raw meals didn't work well for Jasper - possibly they were a bit to rich in offal for him - and if Merlin is the same, it's harder to tweak a complete food. What is it that makes you want a complete raw rather than DIY? Is it the convenience, or are you wary of being able to balance it yourself?
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

JudyN
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by JudyN » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:49 pm

Oh, I think companies like DAF and Albion do complete mixes. Again, they didn't seem to work for J, and the quality didn't look as good as where I get his food from. But the mince I get from them I'd happily cook up for myself if I was desperate, and I'm sure DAF and Albion meat is a lot better than what goes into most kibbles. If I was on a tight budget I'd happily use them.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:03 pm

Its to make sure its balanced since I am new to raw feeding, I don't want to overdo or underdo something especially since his belly has been up and down since neutering. Down the line I might experiment with 'recipes' but for now I just want an easy transition.

We bought some Nature's Menu to see how he does, only two packs. If it doesn't agree with him I'll give nutriment a go. He loved it and kept trying to reach the kitchen side as it was thawing which was adorable :P. He has also left three lumps of it in his bowl and ate it at a steady pace so its a relief that he isn't stressing out about it, despite it being raw. The protein amount is only 16% which confuses me though, since I was told 30%+ is what he needs in his dry food.

I will have to find some healthy dry sweeties for his wobblers now though since I can't very well shove in raw food. I did make a salmon cake cut into small balls before which might do the trick for that!

JudyN
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by JudyN » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:44 pm

The protein seems low because it's based on 'wet' weight - there's a lot of water in there too. If you dehydrated raw meat, the percentage protein would shoot right up.

30% protein in dry food seems quite high - is that because he's still considered a puppy? But I believe there's a lot of guff spoken about the right amount and type of protein in dog food. The difficulty is working out what is the guff and what actually has some evidence behind it :wink:

In an ideal world I'd dig out my dehydrator and make lots of healthy dried treats but I'm too idle so Jasper generally gets a grain-free kibble, along with leftover pizza crusts, chicken (OH overestimated amounts over Xmas) and so on. Oh, and leftover Stilton rind... I'm going to regret it if he gets too much of that in one go :mrgreen:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Shalista
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Shalista » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:51 pm

not to toot my own horn but about a year ago i ran a series for a few months about DIY raw meals. I was still pretty new at the time but it was kind of fun documenting my learning curve. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22597

Bax was switched to raw because of colitis (we rushed him to the vet christmas eve just GUSHING blood out of his back end) and no kibble could keep the blood and mucus down. i switched him to raw and hes had perfect, regular stool ever since. his gut has been very forgiving of my tinkering (more veg, less, pumpkin or no, organs more or less) the only interesting thing ive noticed is that after to much bone his poops come out white and hard but even then he doesnt strain unusually.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:20 am

Thanks Shalista! I'll have a look. I think it'll be cheaper and easier in the long run if I find a good mix to just make & freeze.

@Judy I was told that because of his activity level and age that 30-35% protein was what he needed, but I even checked the puppy version of nature's menu which is low protein which had me stumped. I know raw fed dogs are supposed to be healthy and active!

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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by JudyN » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:11 am

If you rehydrated kibble to the same level as raw, its protein content would plummet. This article https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2017 ... n-protein/ suggests that raw diets tend to work out as 45% protein after excluding the water from the calculation, which is the figure you should go by when comparing it to kibble. But as the article points out, it's the quality of protein that is important, not the percentage.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Nettle » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:31 am

Regarding the huge amount of guff and dud information - reflect that there is not one single mammal kept in a natural state that weans onto different food from the adult. They eat exactly the same, just more of it.

Much 'information' we get is derived from stock-rearing, where the animal has to grow abnormally fast and put on lots of weight for the human food market. It doesn't matter to that market if such fast growth causes health issues - but if puppies grow too fast, they can damage their bones and tendons.

I feed puppies to appetite, and find they quite naturally stop when full (this may not be the case with labradors! :lol: ).

And do I understand you are free feeding? If so, change to mealtimes. Free feeding is really stressful to some dogs. Makes training and exercising harder as well.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Lotsaquestions
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am

We've swapped over to mealtimes now since he's happy with that, but as a puppy he got stressed with set mealtimes. He was actually alot calmer with free feeding and only ate what he needed. I have no idea why he was like this, but we stuck with set mealtimes for a few weeks when we got him home and he would starve himself and then get wound up over food, eating everything quickly and guarding anything. Then on walks he was full scavanger and got wound up over food there too. He just didn't like eating alot in one go. He came from a home where there was food always down so it might have been just what he was used to. I think his mum, dad and sister are still being free fed there!

We decided one day to just leave it down and he was so much calmer about all foods after that when he could freely go back and have a munch when he needed, then eventually he got into a routine himself of when he wanted to eat (just after his morning walk and then again at about 6ish after his evening one) which is what we're doing now.

Right now he has dry food down freely and we're giving raw at set mealtimes (duck neck in the morning after his training boiled chicken, main meal in the evening) incase he got stressed again. He hasn't touched his dry food since getting raw last night, but he knows its there. Eventually we'll take the dry away, since I doubt he'll eat it when he knows better is on offer anyway :lol:

Nice to know the protein is about right. So far his morning poos have been amazing (yes weird thing to say about poo!) but they've been the most solid they've been for weeks, his energy also hasn't dipped. He managed to sneak up on a squirrel and touched it with his paw, then proceeded to spend the next 30mins in hunt mode sprinting after every fluffy and feathery thing he could find. This was after 2 hours of playing / fetching / swimming / sniffing so he definately hasn't lost his energy :lol:

If all stays as good as it is now, I think I'll raw feed any future pups I have... Unless I get another nutter who hates dinnertime >.<.

ZaraD
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by ZaraD » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:14 am

Just thought I'd give you the name of another complete food Poppy's picnic they dog bulk buys so if your dog does like it , it can come out cheaper. My step mom ( the one who owns a Scottish terrier, westie and Skye terrier) feeds it to her dogs and they love it and it's really good quality :D

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:01 am

Might have to give another food a try anyway, since he turned his nose up at his raw last night... Not sure if its a stomach upset from the dead bird he chewed on or not, since he went on to munch on the dry in his wobbler. He adored it the night before... Picky little... One of the downsides of doing alot of counter conditioning with food means he'll happily bring a dead thing to me in exchange for nommies. He followed me around with it dangling in his mouth then dropped it at my feet *wretch*. He then found a hedghog, but luckily he decided against rolling on its prickles :roll:

So Nutriment, Poppy's Picnic and Albion I like the look of to try next if he doesn't eat his dinner tonight.

ZaraD
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by ZaraD » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:11 am

Lotsaquestions wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:01 am
Might have to give another food a try anyway, since he turned his nose up at his raw last night... Not sure if its a stomach upset from the dead bird he chewed on or not, since he went on to munch on the dry in his wobbler. He adored it the night before... Picky little... One of the downsides of doing alot of counter conditioning with food means he'll happily bring a dead thing to me in exchange for nommies. He followed me around with it dangling in his mouth then dropped it at my feet *wretch*. He then found a hedghog, but luckily he decided against rolling on its prickles :roll:

So Nutriment, Poppy's Picnic and Albion I like the look of to try next if he doesn't eat his dinner tonight.
My step mom used to feed nature's menu but it was the country hunter tins and after about a month 2 of her dogs stopped eating it. So she tried Poppy's picnic and she's had no problems always eager to eat there food :D they been fed it months now.

My mom's westie once ate part of a decaying badger that was left at the road side near were they walk :shock: she was ill for a few days after the vet just said it will pass and it did. So could be the dead bird.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by Lotsaquestions » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:06 pm

Well he's turned his nose up at his raw dinner again, but is eating literally anything else perfectly fine so I know his stomach is ok. Maybe he just doesn't like duck... I have another bag to give a go! I have a feeling I might need to give Poppy's Picnic a go.

JudyN
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Re: Ready made raw feeds

Post by JudyN » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:04 pm

I have heard that flash-frying raw food can tempt a dog to eat it and if it works, you can then heat it less and less each time. Could just be worth a try before dumping the bag.

Could it be temperature related? If you're feeding it straight from the fridge he might not like it being cold. Possibly, if you poured some boiling water on it it would both release the smells in a similar way to flash-frying and bring it to a temperature he prefers (obviously you'd check for hot spots).

Again, it'd be better to find something he likes without having to faff, but rather than it go to waste....
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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