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Trying to keep raw feeding simple
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    I like that my dogs are healthier from eating raw, but the time spent can get out of hand!



    I like pre-made raw, but my choices in Georgia are very limitied. I can either feed Nature's Variety or Bravo.



    NV has far too many ingredients for Tasha, I think. She's been belchy and has slightly runny eyes. I've been treating w/ benedryl from time to time, but then, what's the point of trying to feed her better if she's allergic to something?



    The hit around here has been a mix of Honest Kitchen w/ raw. HK and Primal both work together - HK now endorses using Primal with their foods. So, since I can't get primal, I've picked Bravo. 



    Well, after thawing the chubs today until the outsides were soft, but the insides weren't, I sliced them up into portions with the electric knife. Fairly easy since Bravo has little ticks on the wrapper for cutting what you want. I refreeze the rest immediately.



    I put the portions into quart sized bags. Now, I can thaw a day's worth of meat at a time. 



    I'm thinking of a step further. I'm trying to think of a what to add the supplements before refreezing. This way, I take a few hours every three weeks and prep their meals, sans the HK. Then, all I need to do at meal time is make the HK and add the extra meat - supplements would already be in there. Sure, I could use a bag for each dog, but not for each dog and each meal without having hordes of bags in my freezer. Hmmmm. Must think this out. 


  • I haven't been out to pick up any of the Bon Chien food for the past few months.



    So I've been going to the market and buying Chicken Leg Quarters, Chicken Hearts & Gizzards, Beef Ribs, Beef Steaks and so forth.



    It's easy, I unwrap the packaging and toss Lynx the meat - bone and all, completely raw. No prepping had to be done, no mess, VERY simple.



    I need to make more of an effort though to seek out the nearest Meat Market / Butcher Shop, I am sure I can get the exact same products much, much, much cheaper. Also, there will be more kinds of meat available to me. I want to buy Lamb, Rabbit, Duck and some others but they are not sold at any of the grocery stores I've been to. They'd probably be very expensive too, if they were.



    Anyways, go find a Meat Market or Butcher Shop and buy "scraps" from there. It'll be very easy to do to just take the meats out of the package and toss them to your dogs.



    Any other additives you can give them separately, if they will eat it...if not then you may have to grind up the "extras" and mix it in yogurt or something similar to it that they enjoy and will eat.



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



    Good Luck!

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
    Post edited by ShikokuSpirit at 2007-08-12 05:22:46
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    Unfortunately, that won't work for my two. They'd drag the food out onto the carpet or out of their bowls. Not a healthy situation. Once it's out of their bowls, they'd bicker over it as they do marrow bones unless I supervise. I don't want to have to supervise (nor do I have that kind of time), and separating them is too much of a pain and time consuming. And grinding everything up would take a lot more time than what I do now, plus clean up.



    Oh, and Ronan the Relentless is also the most dainty eater I've ever seen. It'd take him forever to eat... it almost does now! If the pieces of his raw are too big, he doesn't eat it. Spoiled, isn't he?



     



     

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-08-13 10:16:29
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2240


    Ahi is also a very dainty eater, that must be another Shikoku thing. She is very gentle with her food, and will pull it out of the bowl and put it on the floor and "inspect" it before she will eat the rest. It's silly.


    ----


    Jen and I have always pre-packaged the pack's RAW portions. We have a food saver, we usually take one weekend day every month or so and buy all the RAW meat and package it into single servings sizes. This has always worked GREAT except for when Ahi was a puppy and for Hilo because, as puppies, they just grow too fast. I would highly recommend a food saver for this, it works very well.


     

  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    Brad,



    Another common trait! Dainty eaters.



    LOL! A Food Saver. We were given one as a gift years ago, and after sitting long enough, we gave it to my sister who badly wanted one.



    I just read that I can freeze Honest Kitchen after it has hydrated. I'm kicking around the idea of putting the four ounces each dog gets of premade raw in with their portion of HK inside a quart-sized freezer bag, along with premeasured fish-oil & Flexicose. Then, I can use a marker to write either T or R on the bag. Each bag = one meal. That said, I think I'd better start hunting Big Lots for freezer bags. All I'd have to do is thaw, mush it up, and serve. Or, I could buy reusable Glad 8oz containers. Hmmm. Need to think about this one.

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-08-13 15:10:56

  • There you go. Now you just have to remember to thaw it out, lol!



    ~~~~~~



     -puzzled- Food Saver?

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2240


    A Food Saver is just a vacuum sealer that was sold in TV infomercials. I think we got ours at Target - we got the "Pro" version and it works well! Had it for like 5 years.

  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588
    LOL! Yes, Corina - that IS my biggest problem! It's why I keep a few cans and a small bag of kibble around. I nearly forgot to pull more frozen raw last night! Doh!

  • I'm right there with you. I can't tell you the numberous times, when Lynx was a pup, that I forgot to thaw out her food. It wasn't so bad when I had her on half knibble, but when we went completely raw; It'd be dinner time and my poor puppy had to wait for her meal. It'd take at least an hour, an hour and a half to thaw while under extremely hot water!



    I made it easier on myself presently, by just buying fresh meats every few days. That way it just sits in the fridge and "ready to eat". No need to freeze, unless there's still some left on the day of its expiration.



    Try writing several notes and place them all over the house. Then when you read them, take out the food immediately for defrosting -smiles-.

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588
    <giggle> Now I just need to write myself a note to write myself a note. Yeesh. There are days I'm glad my head is attached, or I'd forget that, too!
  • MommyofNikoMommyofNiko
    Posts: 2728


    I think I have forgotten my head!



    Please excuse my ignorance but can someone give me the 101 on raw feeding?  I am trying to convince my husband to feed the dogs better.  He doesnt realize how important it is and I cant get him to buy anything "better" than Nutro! 

  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    Rachel,



     



    There are plenty of sites that claim to have the ins-outs of raw feeding. If you plan on doing it from scratch, I'd suggest finding a nutrionalist to ensure you add the right supplements. Just my opinion.



    My version is buying premade raw. I use a combination of Honest Kitchen (either Embark or Preference, both are grain free). I add a premade to that, usually Bravo w/ ground bone and organs. I add NOW 4x6 probiotics (I take them, too) which I get from a GNC store. I also add Flexicose and Seapet w/E fish oil.



    Honest Kitchen Embark is AFCO approved, while Bravo isn't. However, I can add 1/2 cup for every 1 cup dry Honest Kitchen Embark, or 1-1 or 2-1 portions of Bravo if using Preference. This makes feeding very simple, I can alternate proteins easily, never worry if their diet is nutritonally complete (it is - according to Honest Kitchen AND a canine nutritionalist who uses HK as a base for her raw feeding).



    I don't worry about my dogs accidently choking on a bone, or dragging it around the house, etc. Thaw, mix, serve.  

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-08-18 19:08:46

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