Why I Feed Both Premade Raw and Homemade Raw to My Dog
20 April, 2016
by Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging
Our dogs started out on a premade raw diet. I ordered raw meals from a local company that ships across the country. When I transitioned to making raw meals at home, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment – I’M A RAW FEEDER! Today, two years later, I feed both premade and homemade raw to my dogs.
Pros of Premade Raw Diets for Dogs
- 100% Balanced (if you’re buying from a quality brand)
- Protein Variety
Variety is key in a raw diet, because each protein offers different nutrients. I buy premade to provide my dogs proteins that I’m unable to source on my own. Many premade raw diets come in easy to serve packages, making feeding raw easy and clean.
One of the many worries new raw feeders have is taken care of by the brand; premade raw comes 100% balanced.
Cons of Premade Raw Diets for Dogs
- Requires Storage (do you have extra freezer space?)
- Questionable Sourcing
- Mystery Ingredients
With the growing popularity of raw feeding, there are tons of new brands jumping into the market. And there are a few that use proprietary (aka mystery) ingredients in their meals. One benefit of feeding raw is knowing exactly what my dogs are eating and I’m not down with brands who sell Mystery Raw Meals.
Another thing we have to be wary of is the meat source. Sadly, there are a few raw brands that are selling 4D meat (diseased, dying, down, and disabled). This isn’t something that we want our dogs eating.
Pros of Homemade Raw Diets for Dogs
- Less Expensive
- Control What Your Dog Consumes
- Super Easy (for some)
Cons of Homemade Raw Diets for Dogs
- Balancing Can Be Challenging
Each weekend, I mix up the week’s raw meals for my dogs. Making my own raw meals requires me to source all of the ingredients, create a balanced diet, and store meat that I buy in bulk. It sounds overwhelming, but once you get into a routine, it becomes less complicated.
Why I Feed Both Premade and Homemade Raw Food
75% of our dogs’ raw diet is homemade raw: turkey, duck, rabbit, venison, and emu. These are proteins I can order through our local raw food co-op. The other 25% of my dogs’ raw diet is premade raw and includes fish, pork, beef, and green beef tripe. I order premade raw, because…
- I’m nervous about sourcing and feeding raw fish and pork, so I buy from a reputable brand.
- Beef is expensive and I get a discount through a local raw food company; I also order green beef tripe through this brand.
I’m always on the lookout for more sources to help me transition away from the cost of feeding premade raw; it’s not always easy, but it’s not impossible either.
About the Author: Kimberly Gauthier is the blogger behind Keep the Tail Wagging, a blog about raw feeding, dog supplements, and raising littermates. Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of littermates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run and explore. Kimberly is the author of two e-books on raw feeding; Raw Feeding from A to Z and A Quick Start Guide to Raw Feeding. Rodrigo, Sydney, Scout and Zoey are all herding mix dogs, including Blue Heeler, Border Collie, Catahoula, Australian Shepherd, and Labrador (a lover, not a herder).