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Discussion Starter #1
How do those of you who prepare raw meals at home go about balancing nutrients? Do you use a premade vitamin supplement, base mix, or do you balance with variety over time?

Also, do you go by AAFCO, NRC, or some other set of guidelines? How do you go about calculating this?
 

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There's a lot of schools of thought on this. Many do not use NRC or AAFCO because these guidelines are specifically designed for kibble diets. Which are very different than raw because the process of making kibble removes many nutrients which then need to be added back as supplements, but bioavailability of supplements is different than whole foods. It is something that different groups of raw feeders argue about a lot.

For me, I use DIY Prey Model Raw which is modeled after the nutrients that wolves get in their diets. It is balance over time, but I try to balance daily as much as I can. It follows a 80/10/5/5 ratio guideline. 80% muscle meats, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organs like kidney, pancreas, spleen, brain. It is also necessary to add eggs and fish. The amount of bone is also adjustable because individual dogs often do best on slightly different amounts. We do around 15% bone. The most important nutrient to balance is the calcium phosphorus ratio because it is important for bone health. So that is modeled after the amount of bone in wild prey which is 5-15%. Other nutrients are provided by using a lot of variety. It is recommended to offer at least 4 different protein sources per week, and to vary bone and organ sources frequently to avoid any possible excess of particular nutrients.

The other main raw diet method is BARF which incorporates vegetables. A lot of people get very passionate arguing about whether or not they should be included which I'd like to avoid. There are different ways of achieving a healthy dog. People should do what works best for them and makes sense to them.

I feel confident in the diet I feed because Misha's breeder feeds the same and has no issue weaning dogs directly to raw and having them grow up healthy and reproduce well. In addition, there are many many dogs that have done well fed PMR diets their entire lives. So I trust that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your insight. I have been feeding some commercially available raw for a while now, but the cost is crazy and I really can’t keep it up.

I’m nervous about the variety because Groot seems to only go for red meat (beef, lamb, venison, etc). He doesn’t like turkey and is finicky with raw chicken and duck. I’m hoping if I add tripe and ground sardines mixed in that he’ll go for it, but we’ll see.

Since different proteins have different caloric values, do you vary the amount you feed based on that or do you typically just stick to a certain percentage of body weight?
 

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Thanks for your insight. I have been feeding some commercially available raw for a while now, but the cost is crazy and I really can’t keep it up.

I’m nervous about the variety because Groot seems to only go for red meat (beef, lamb, venison, etc). He doesn’t like turkey and is finicky with raw chicken and duck. I’m hoping if I add tripe and ground sardines mixed in that he’ll go for it, but we’ll see.

Since different proteins have different caloric values, do you vary the amount you feed based on that or do you typically just stick to a certain percentage of body weight?
I do the same amount, but I typically mix things so he isn't getting one meal with chicken and one with beef, but instead one meal will have chicken, beef, pork, and duck. But you can do both ways. It is recommended to do at least 50% red meat. Sometimes they will be finicky about a particular meat or organ, but they often get over it. Misha wouldn't eat poultry livers or spleen at first, but he was fine after a few weeks. We do a percentage of body weight but this is highly variable for different dogs depending on activity level and whether they are intact. So I think Misha's around 4% his body weight. But you adjust if their weight goes up or down from where you want it.

Completes are definitely very expensive. It is much easier to keep costs down with DIY. You can always use ground meat if he is finicky so you can mix it with things. You can even buy ground bone if he is bad about that. But there are support groups that have a lot of tips for dealing with finicky dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do the same amount, but I typically mix things so he isn't getting one meal with chicken and one with beef, but instead one meal will have chicken, beef, pork, and duck. But you can do both ways. It is recommended to do at least 50% red meat. Sometimes they will be finicky about a particular meat or organ, but they often get over it. Misha wouldn't eat poultry livers or spleen at first, but he was fine after a few weeks. We do a percentage of body weight but this is highly variable for different dogs depending on activity level and whether they are intact. So I think Misha's around 4% his body weight. But you adjust if their weight goes up or down from where you want it.

Completes are definitely very expensive. It is much easier to keep costs down with DIY. You can always use ground meat if he is finicky so you can mix it with things. You can even buy ground bone if he is bad about that. But there are support groups that have a lot of tips for dealing with finicky dogs.
Thank you! I just joined a raw food co-op so hopefully it all goes well. 🙏🏻
 

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Thank you! I just joined a raw food co-op so hopefully it all goes well. 🙏🏻
You are very lucky! We don't have any co-ops where I live. We do have a really great supplier but they don't have the low prices you get with co-ops. Good luck.
 
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