I've been feeding raw for about 12 years on and off. I thought I'd start a thread about how those of us who choose to feed raw go about making meals, how long it takes, how much it costs and the benefits and drawbacks of feeding our dogs this way.
While we have fed kibble at times, I have always seen a marked
decrease in our dogs' well being both behaviorally and physiologically. I've gone from raw to kibble and back enough times to see a very distinct and disturbing pattern. The differences are most obvious in high drive working Malinois that tend to have much more active aggression. For us, the differences we see in feeding raw v. kibble are like night and day. Not only are the dogs less prone to outbursts of aggression, they are more energetic, more focused and less hectic. The more docile pits are more energetic and the older dogs are leaner with more muscle and much less joint discomfort where we know that serious joint issues already exist. All the dogs seem more "content" and really enjoy their meals.
Here are some pix of what our dogs eat once a day early in the morning during the Spring, Summer and Fall. In winter we go to one main meal at dawn and a smaller meal during the day, usually before bedtime.
The meat is just cut up chicken with bones. We will use chicken, pork, beef, venison, fish, rabbit etc. The veggies are blended and the root veggies and leafy greens are gently steamed before blending. The veggies I make twice a week as part of steaming veggies for making my wifey's "lunchbox" that she takes to classes and they take me about 20 minutes total.
The dogs each get a chicken piece that is appropriate to their weight. The Malinois will get whole quarters and the Pits generally get a thigh or drumstick. Everything else is the same for every dog. I lay out the bowls and scoop and poor for less than 5 minutes total. The only prep is veggies. Voila.
Raw Chicken part with bone-in
soft boiled egg with shell
(alternate kidneys, sweetbreads etc)
tripe (preferably green, but any tripe (Rhumba brand) is better than nothing)
veggie mash (kale, collards, peppers, carrots, celery, lil garlic, tomato, beet, fruits, squash etc.)
local organic yogurt
goat milk or kefir
oils: I measure with a 1 oz shot glass and I usually give them 1-2 oz total of a various blend of the oils below.
extra virgin olive oil
wheat germ oil
glucosamine, chondroitin, msm supplement
That is pretty much what makes up a daily meal around here. The dogs go nuts over it. I will give each dog a chunk of meaty knuckle bone to work on once a week or once every two weeks.