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Discussion Starter #1
I have had a heck of a time settling on a food that all three of my dogs can eat successfully.

I have a six pound, 2 year old toy poodle with an iron stomach but intolerance to chicken. I have an almost 12 pound, ten year old toy poodle that can tolerate just about any food, but he only has three teeth and they are all three canine teeth. His little gums are pretty tough now and he can gum just about anything, but I like to feed him a wet food just to make sure he's getting enough. We also have a recently rescued 12 pound, 2 year old yorkie with a very sensitive stomach. He was fed Pedigree dry food until we adopted him about 3-4 months ago and I have been trying mostly unsuccessfully to transition him to a decent food since.

A little over a month ago, the owner of the local pet food store suggested we give the yorkie Primal Raw goats milk, and try transitioning him to the Primal raw frozen food. It has been awesome. He is tolerating this food so well and his coat is amazing after only one month. We have also transitioned the poodles over to it as well and they're doing great on it. Now the pet food lady is suggesting we stop the Primal and start doing our own raw diets. I'm not so sure I want to do that. Does anyone here feed Primal? Are the health benefits of the Primal the same as feeding a home made raw diet? Is there any reason besides cost to make the switch? I'm a little squeamish and think I'd rather pay the extra money than try to do the home made raw diet. Any advice?

Diana
 

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If cost is not a factor, I would stick to the pre-made you are on. Balancing a raw diet does take some practice and with your dogs each having their own idiosyncrasies, I don't think it is worth the trouble. I am a big proponent of "If it's not broke , don't fix it!" Plus, you have small dogs, I don't think the cost of raw and pre-made would be that different because you would tend not to buy in bulk. To do raw economically, you need to be able to buy in bulk when it is on sale and freeze it. This means you need freezer space dedicated to the dogs. Then, there is getting the ratio of bone to meat correct and rotating your proteins. Nope, in your situation I would stay with the food you are using.If you want to switch things up, then try some of the other pre-made raw foods.
 

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I agree with Charmed. The only thing that I could complain about a pre made raw diet is the cost. I have heard that Stella and Chewey's source meat is better than Primal. I have access to both but feed the S&C for that reason. They cost the same. I have fed Primal and my dogs tolerated it just fine though.

Have you considered adding chicken wings? I feed them to my Poodle and my Yorkie but I do take the skin off. I started doing for the Yorkie since they are prone to pancreatitis but OF COURSE, since I do it for him I HAVE to do it for her too so here I am skinning chicken wings :( turning something that is so simple into a nasty mess *sigh* but the point is that crunching raw bones is supposedly "nature's toothbrush."

pr
 

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I agree. If cost isn't an issue, buying the premade raw is much simpler, especially if handling raw meat is unpleasant for you. I had two big dogs on a raw diet last year. I could never have afforded to buy premade raw for them--they ate something like 75 pounds of meat a month. I went to a local slaughterhouse, where I could get free heart, tongue, and organ meats, bought chicken parts for the necessary bone, and then spent hours cutting up, weighing, and packaging all that meat, ground up and froze vegetables, bought fish oil and kelp powder, and then weighed and measured it all again when I fed them. It was worth all that trouble, because they thrived on it. I switched everyone to kibble when I brought a puppy home last spring, as I didn't trust myself to get the balance right for such a young dog, but this spring I'll go back to raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You guys are great. Thanks so much. I brought up feeding this food on a yorkie forum and got a lot of flack about germs and bacteria and how risky it was - but I knew I could count on the poodle people!

I wouldn't say cost is not an issue because Primal is ridiculously expensive. Between the three dogs, they're eating about a pound of Primal per day, and it's running $30 plus per week, but I was spending at least $20 plus on kibble and canned, and I waste more than ten bucks a week on Starbucks! LOL And I am already seeing an amazing difference on the outside, especially in the yorkie. His coat has completely changed in one month. He is a rescue and we actually thought he was probably a mix because of the texture and color of his hair. It was short, dry, brittle and dull, and did not look at all like yorkie coat. I noticed yesterday when bathing him that most of that coarse black hair is gone, and he is breaking a beautiful, silky, silver coat. If the change is that obvious on the outside, it's gotta be doing good things on their insides too.

JudyD, I wouldn't say handling raw meat is unpleasant. I cook meat for my family. Its the hearts and tongues and chicken feet that make me a little squeamish. :) Also, I home cooked for our yorkie that we lost in October for several years. It was a lot of work and time spent with all the shopping, cooking, weighing, packaging it up, supplements, etc. and I am quite liking thawing those little cubes and dropping them in the bowls. I could hand them a chicken wing with no problem, and I have been thinking about doing at least that, but didn't know if I could mix feeding them the premade and still giving them the chicken wing? Would I just weigh the wing and then subtract that from the amount of Primal they get, or would it just be considered a snack and not replace a meal? Poodlerunner, I have access to Stella and Chewy's also, but my dogs prefer the frozen to the dehydrated stuff. I started then on the dehydrated and they ate it okay, but they go absolutely crazy for the frozen.

Thank you all so much for the help and reassurance!
 

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JudyD, I wouldn't say handling raw meat is unpleasant. I cook meat for my family. Its the hearts and tongues and chicken feet that make me a little squeamish. :)
I'm a nurse--nothing makes me squeamish! :biggrin1:

I'm not sure how you'd handle giving such small dogs extra chicken wings. I'd be hesitant to decrease the Primal, because it's balanced, and the chicken wing by itself isn't. I think I'd just give them a chicken wing as a treat a couple of times a week and call it good.
 

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I have a six pound, 2 year old toy poodle with an iron stomach but intolerance to chicken.

A little over a month ago, the owner of the local pet food store suggested we give .. the Primal raw frozen food. It has been awesome. He is tolerating this food so well and his coat is amazing after only one month. We have also transitioned the poodles over to it as well and they're doing great on it.

Now the pet food lady is suggesting we stop the Primal and start doing our own raw diets. Diana
How did you discover that your 2 year old toy poodle has an intolerance to chicken? It's interesting that many dogs have an intolerance to processed chicken in dog foods and kibble, but then do absolutely fine on fresh raw chicken.

If they are all doing great on Primal Raw and you can afford it, I would say great, stay on it. There are several to rotate between. I would feed it but have a Spoo and he eats too much for me to afford it.

That's interesting that the pet food lady is now suggesting doing your own. If she is the one that sells you the Primal then I would think she makes a profit on it. She must be a real believer in raw to give up her profit :)

So glad all your dogs are doing well and loving it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Actually, I should have said she has an intolerance to something in the chicken based kibble. Itchy, smelly ears that turn into infected ears. You aren't the first to say she might not be allergic to actual chicken but I haven't had the guts to try it yet. LOL We have been months upon months fighting this food battle to find something that all three dogs do well on - finally all three are thriving on the Primal frozen lamb, and I am enjoying no vet visits, no piles of puke and no runny poops. :)

I stopped by the vet this morning to weigh the yorkie. He's a rescue that we've had almost four months now. He was skinny, scrawny, dull fur and a real mess when we got him from the shelter. He has put on almost a pound on the Primal and his coat is changing so fast that the girls at the vet office were shocked when they saw him.

The pet food store lady calls herself a "rabid raw feeder"! She says she makes very little on the Primal anyway and doesn't stock it but will order it for those of us that want it. Her price is actually cheaper than the Amazon prices (for the dehydrated, they don't sell the frozen) so she's probably telling the truth. She says she makes her money on the other stuff people buy when they come in to talk to her about nutrition. Real nice lady.

I have three toy dogs, and between them they eat about a pound of the Primal per day so its not cheap to feed, but the convenience and the fact that they are all doing so well on one type of food is worth it to me for now.

Diana
 

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Regarding the raw chicken...............I give Molly raw chicken legs 2-4 times a week mainly for the benefit of her teeth (bone chewing) on those days I do cut back on her food a bit, as she tends to gain weight. I wouldn't worry about it nutritionally as raw meat is, and can be a total diet if done correctly.
The rest of her diet is a combo of dehydrated raw, canned, and kibble..........we like variety ! LOL!

P.S. I agree about chicken based kibble as I've too noticed Molly itches if she eats it, so we avoid all kibbles with chicken of any kind, including chicken fat!
 
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