How to Feed Raw Food Diet on a Budget

Hi Nora,
We have limited financial resources, don’t feed supplements, feed kibble with an occasional egg, drizzle of olive oil, or leftovers from the stock pot or juicer, or kefir from raw milk.   I see your point that combining those foods intentionally won’t improve their digestibility.   I’m considering purchasing chicken backs by the 40 pound case as a meat/bone resource, but they will be from conventionally raised chicken… and I’m sure that means GMO corn and antibiotics.  I can’t picture myself buying grassfed meats for my animals in addition to my human kids – just not enough money for everyone to eat well. We adopted a puppy that we thought was Lab/Coon Hound  and then discovered later that there was another breed – American Bulldog.  She’s huge.  Well over 100#, much larger than our other Black Lab/ Coon Hound female.   I’m hoping to learn more about how to feed both of them on a Raw Dog Food Diet on a Budget, healthy diet in place of, or to supplement their commercial kibble.  Thank you for your help.

Dear Diane,

Thanks for visiting my site.

Feeding a raw food diet for dogs to big dogs is a challenge financially, but if you want to do it properly, the methods explained in my booklet offer the least expensive options.  I’m not aware of anyone else in the raw feeding world who is offering owners effective ways to manage the cost of feeding their dogs properly.  All of the ‘experts’ advise things like feeding expensive meats, oils and supplements, and they are mostly ignorant about certain characteristics of dogs that give us opportunities to cut costs in ways that will only help them stay healthier.

If I were going to eat meat myself, I’d buy grass fed.  Trying to feed large dogs grass fed meats is another matter, and it’s entirely unnecessary.  We can accomplish much more just by buying cheap conventional meats that can be trimmed, like poultry.  Fat is the problem, because that is where the toxins that were fed to the animal are stored primarily.  Unfortunately that means backs and necks are out, because a great deal of the fat on them is not trimmable.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t options that are almost as cheap.  For big dogs, one great food is turkey legs.  They can be very large so often some of the muscle has to be trimmed off to make them balanced.  But they have hard bone, very little fat, require practically no preparation and can be had as cheaply as $1.30/lb if you buy in bulk.

The most beneficial cost-saving feeding practice of all is something that I’ve never even heard mentioned by anyone else, and holds by far the most potential return in the area of improved health:  ‘UNDERfeeding’.  This can take many forms including smaller daily feedings or feeding only on alternating days.  Yes, that means feeding your dog only every other day.  Owners that use this strategy find that their dogs get much more energetic and healthy, almost regardless of what they feed.  Even vets know that dogs who are kept very lean do not get sick.  I’m not talking about skinny senior dogs in the wasting stages of disease.  I’m talking about dogs who are kept lean their entire lives.  They not only live longer, they enjoy a higher level of health and much less sickness at all stages of life.  Some dogs are genetically lean, so leanness isn’t the only indicator that a dog is healthy.  We can be assured that if a dog is NOT lean, disease is being formed in the body even if it’s not showing yet.

Alternate-day feeding or similar practices combined with aspects of my mono-rotational program can make raw feeding affordable for anyone who can afford to feed a pet at all.  Take away disease-causing and useless regular vaccination and having a pet becomes even more affordable.  And we haven’t even gotten to all the vet visits you won’t be paying for.  Even overfed or mis-fed raw dogs make regular trips to the vet, so just raw feeding doesn’t prevent all problems.  It has to be done properly, and that is not complicated or difficult.  In fact, feeding in the best possible way is actually CHEAPER and MUCH EASIER than almost everyone who raw feeds or advocates raw feeding makes it.

I hope this is helpful.  Thanks again for emailing and best of luck as you try to do right by your dogs.

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