too old for BARF diet?

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too old for BARF diet?

Postby VinR1 » Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:04 pm

Ive been reading on here a lot about the BARF diet and Im very interested. I know I could scan every other thread to find my answers but Id rather just ask and get some straight replys.

BTW, Athos weighs 50lbs and is 10 months old (Ive been telling people hes 7-8 months until I saw his registration papers... oops)

anyway, is he too old to begin the BARF diet?
does it really reduce the dog smell and reduce shedding??
is it really cheaper than commercial foods?? those of you that use this diet, what is your rough monthly cost per dog??
what are other benefits and negative effects if any??
where can I go or where can I order the ingredients?

THANKS
Vin
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Postby barbponys » Fri Apr 02, 2004 12:07 am

Ok Vin,
First off.......No he's not to old to start. I started when one of my Boxers was 4 1/2, I had to feed raw due to her allergies. She took about a month to detox from all the poop in her system, it was intense! Her breath stunk, her stools, her body, she was oily, her hair was dry and brittle, her eyes weeped and she shed like a demon. After that month, almost to the day she was absolutely gorgeous. She barely shed, no smell and her stools were small, dark and had little odor. That was back in '96. All my dogs since have eaten raw, half or all. It's not cheap on the front end, we go through about 2 1/2 lbs of meat a day, the pug eats straight raw and the pit and cat eat half and half. We feed primarily beef since the pug is allergic to everything but beef, some fish and venison. The key is not to make it too complicated, after 8 years I don't really follow any strict rules except sanitation. I feed liver, heart, muscle meat(lean), veggie mix, raw bones, some dairy, eggs.......pretty much whatever catches my fancy. I have yet to find anything they won't eat, except rutabega. NONE of the dogs like it. The savings is in the long run, the medical is almost nill. I had paid my vets mortgage and financed his vacations for years prior to feeding raw. He thought I didn't like him anymore I saw him so rarely after. My pit has been in 3 times in her 7 1/2 yrs for injuries. My pug has seen him 4 times in 5 years. The dogs are disgustingly healthy and with the bones I don't even have to have dentals done on them. The last dental I had to pay for was for a rescue that had rotting teeth when I got him. It takes a little time for them to develop the enzymes to digest raw, about a week. Yogurt goes a long way to helping with that.
As to monthly cost? That depends entirely on how you decide to go. I buy from the grocery store, lower grade cuts, flat iron steaks, chuck, nothing ground. I pay anywhere from 1.10 to 2.00 a pound. We go through about 16 pounds a week and we get about $20 in veggies and it lasts about 2 weeks. Hope this helps.

Pat
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Postby jmann4 » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:09 am

Great stuff Barb.

I would like to add that during hunting season for Deer, Turkey, Squirrel, and Fowl it get's cheaper.

I feed my dogs Turkey during Spring as I hunt for Turkey and usually take two large males each season. This meat is then ground up and used as burger for my dogs. I give them the necks and backs right when I'm cleaning the bird.

Same with Deer, I rarely hunt Deer anymore but I have friends who do and always come by with 4-8 lbs of good burger or steaks. I give most to the dogs.

If you don't hunt you might want to build up some contacts that do. Trophy hunter's are your best source for free meat. They usually donate it to shelters or give it to their friends.
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Postby barbponys » Fri Apr 02, 2004 12:33 pm

Vin,
I do have one hard rule that I never break. I don't ever feed pork. It's hard for them to digest and with the potential of trichinosis I don't even consider it. Since I don't feed anything cooked, especially bones, it's not an option ...............ever.

jmann,
That's great advice for a source of venison. The dogs do very well on it the few times I've had access. Thanks.

Pat
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Postby VinR1 » Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:32 pm

thanks for the advice!!

our local grocery store has a section at the end of the meat counter where they sell out of date meat for cheap.. is this ok??

also, I heard chicken bones splinter and could cause injurys. Is this true and what bones should I allow him to chew on??

I have some venison and beef steaks in the freezer that are slightly freezer burnt... if I defrost them, is that ok too??

lastly, how much (lbs) should I feed him a day and how often??

THANKS
VinR1
 

Postby barbponys » Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:31 pm

Vin,
Out of date is fine as long as it isn't bad. As far as how much to feed that also depends on the dog. My Pit gets about 3/4 of a pound a day, she gets dry in the morning, raw at night and she's 70#. You kinda have to see how it goes. When you first start their capacity is greater since they are making up for what they have been missing. I feed twice a day and eye the amounts, I really go by the size of the serving and how fast I'm going through the meat. Not exact I know but I have developed a good eye after so many years.

Chicken bones are fine if they are RAW. Cooking them makes them brittle and that's when you run into perferations and impactions. That goes for ANY kind of bone. They tend to shatter so I avoid heat of any kind.

Freezer burnt as in old(a yr)? or poorly wrapped. I don't know that red meat is much of a problem but chicken and fish I wouldn't keep longer than 6 months. I hope this helps some.

Pat
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Postby HugABull1 » Sat Apr 03, 2004 12:47 pm

Good advice here. Also, you can do raw cheap if you look around. I feed my three an entirely raw diet for about $40/month (for all three of them!)

I feed beef bones which I get from a small local meat cutting place (my family and our friends used to take our cattle there, so I know the quality of meat that goes through the place), I get 50lbs for 5 bucks. For muscle meat, I feed ground beef (from the supermarket), which I mix with veggie mash. During winter veggies are my most expensive thing - come summer I'll shop at the farmer's markets and roadside stands which will give me more variety (and organic!) plus be cheaper. I mix in offal that I pick up either at a butcher or the supermarket, and I feed frozen smelts as a treat which happens to get fish into them! The supplements I use are kelp, halibut oil, plain yogurt, and apple cider vinegar.

Angel was already a year and a half when I started on BARF, Gage was 10 weeks old. Angel's demodex finally cleared up, her cyst on her back shrank, and she sheds WAY less than she used to. All my dogs look great, fart less, poop less (and it's not as stinky), and are all around healthier!
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