After playing the food game I have given in.  My dogs have made it clear that they do not like dry or canned dog food.  I was at my wits end when I decided to try raw and low and behold they love it.  In the year and 4 months I have had them, this is the first time that I have fed them and they have gone to their bowls and eaten all of their food and licked the bowl clean and asked for more.

My question is what's the most economical raw food on the market these days? 

Becasue of where we live the only raw food sold near me is Natures Variety Raw, which they love.  But one $35 bag only gets me 6 days of meals, as they get 1 cup in the AM and 1 cup in the PM...and they still ask for more before bed.  

 Any help would be appreciated!



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Your local butcher

Commercially prepared raw would be the safest way to go considering a home made diet that is balanced is very hard to achieve. I feed Franklin raw in the morning and kibble at night. He gets Nature's Variety rawbites mixed with The Honest Kitchen. The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated raw and it goes a long way. A 10 pound box of it will rehydrate to 40 pounds of food so it lasts forever. He only gets 1/4 cup rawbites and 1/4 cup honest kitchen in the am. Make sure to keep a close eye on their weight. You may find 1 cup is WAAAAAAY too much. That was one reason I quit feeding homemade raw, the portion size for Franklin was TINY and he would eat it in seconds and beg for more but feeding more would cause major weight gain. I currently make his mixture and put it in a kong so it keeps him busy longer so he feels like he is getting more.  If you don't have a large freezer to store bulk meats and bone, then feeding raw will likely end up costing a lot more than kibble. Talk to a holistic vet (or your vet if they are open minded about raw diets) and have them help you formulate a diet plan.

Rachel, the Nature's Variety kibble with freeze dried raw is called Rawboost if that is the direction you are interested in going.

Butcher or grocery store. Find other people in your area that also feed raw. buy meat in bulk and invest in a freezer... I have ~70lbs of raw frozen food that will last me until april

Company in Seattle, Darwin's.  THey deliver frozen to our door.  I wouldn't call it economical, but they also ship frozen, and if yoy have a big freezer, that might be doable.  You might look for a similar outfit nearer to you.

I spend less on feeding Teddy Darwin's than I do feeding three cats ProPlan. I am also spending less than when I was feeding Teddy kibble. In my case, it is definitely more economical, even with having to buy a small freezer to keep the food in. I would so switch my cats to Darwin's but one will not eat anything other than ProPlan and it makes no sense to feed them two separate foods.

I feed Django Nature's Variety Raw too, and yes-very pricey, with some yogurt, banana, apple, carrots, pumpkin, or frozen peas. I'm not sure it's a good idea to feed raw with processed or cooked because from what I've read, they digest each food differently...any thoughts? I too have been trying to consider more affordable options-I don't feel confident that raw on my own will give the right nutritional balance. Django has had a few parasite issues but apparently many dogs do but it goes unnoticed and oftentimes clears up naturally.

Thanks for all the advice! I have heard not to mix raw with dry kibble as the issue of the raw digesting faster than the dry kibble. I'm still trying to figure it all out. They love their raw and at least with pecto I get a $5 coupon every month thanks to their pals card. I have looked into other mail order raw food companies and they are all more expensive, which defeats the purpose of switching.

My breeder fed her pups Nature's Variety Raw Bites mixed with Instinct kibble, and I was happy to continue feeding Casey that.  Sure it's pricey, but I used to make homemade raw food for my 2 previous cats a few years ago and it was very time consuming, so I feel high quality food and convenience of pre-packaged raw is worth it.   Plus with it being so nutritionally dense, you may find that you won't have to feed as much.  Or as others have stated, you could supplement with fruit, veggies, or lean meats to use less food.

As far as mixing goes, I haven't found solid scientific evidence that mixing raw with kibble is bad.  Raw food information websites will say not to while other articles will say it's fine, so it's really your call as to what you're comfortable with. Casey hasn't had any digestive issues (except for the 1 day of diarrhea after he was tested positive for Giardia) so I don't plan on changing his diet unless something comes up.  We travel out of town every so often and if transporting/storing raw food may not be an option, it's nice that he can transition to kibble for a few days and be fine.  


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