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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:18 AM
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Question Is there a cost effective way to feed exclusively pre made raw?

We still have a lot of Orijen for my guys to finish up, but once theyve eaten Id really like to try switching them over to pre made raws and see how they do. Im pleased with the Orijen and they like it, but there are still a few little things that bug me. Leo has a lot of tearing and some tear stains, which frankly I find weird since hes red and I assumed the staining problem was confined to lighter dogs, but anyway, Im also really annoyed with how much Reese itches. His coat is shiny, but he has dry flaky skin and some sort of allergies, he often gets little thin spots on his back from itching. Weve switched their kibble around several times with some improvement, but now I think I owe it to my sanity and his to try raw and see if that clears it up. I really dislike raw meat, I try not to even handle it in making my own dinner, and Im just not comfortable with them eating whole bones, although I know many of you do it with success. I really like the convenience of the pre mades, and have already tried some Stella and Chewy patties and some ZP, both of which they love. We also have Primal available locally.
We have at least a months worth of kibble to work through, but then Id like to feed exclusively pre mades. Is it possible to feed all three only premades though without spending an absolute fortune?? From what I can tell it looks like it would cost us about $4 a day to do only Stella and Chewys, and Im not sure how long the 11 lb, $130 bag of ZP would last, but Id certainly hope its a few months! I havent seen prices for the Primal grinds yet as I havent gone to look at them in store. Im getting the impression though that doing only pre mades for the three of them would run me about $5 a day, which is higher than Im comfortable with. Is that accurate? I think THK would be a more affordable option, but Reese didnt like it and I found mixing it and waiting to be a bit of a hassle. Maybe theres one good one that isnt so pricey you guys can recommend that I could primarily feed, and then I can add in the others for variety? Does anyone feed just ZP and know how much it costs/day and/or how long it lasts? Id really like to give this a shot for them but I cant really justify spending $150 or more a month to feed such teeny little dogs.
Thanks in advance, that got longer than I intended
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:44 AM
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I've fed ziwi exclusively before. The 11 pound bag lasted one and a half months. I have four chi's. Their weights range from about 6-6.5 pounds for the largest chi, and the smallest at 3-3.5 pounds.
Lola (3-3.5 lbs) gets 2 tablespoons daily.
Lila (4.5-5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Maxx (6 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Lily (6-6.5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.


Ziwipeak is a fantastic food!
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reese and Miley View Post
We still have a lot of Orijen for my guys to finish up, but once theyve eaten Id really like to try switching them over to pre made raws and see how they do. Im pleased with the Orijen and they like it, but there are still a few little things that bug me. Leo has a lot of tearing and some tear stains, which frankly I find weird since hes red and I assumed the staining problem was confined to lighter dogs, but anyway, Im also really annoyed with how much Reese itches. His coat is shiny, but he has dry flaky skin and some sort of allergies, he often gets little thin spots on his back from itching. Weve switched their kibble around several times with some improvement, but now I think I owe it to my sanity and his to try raw and see if that clears it up. I really dislike raw meat, I try not to even handle it in making my own dinner, and Im just not comfortable with them eating whole bones, although I know many of you do it with success. I really like the convenience of the pre mades, and have already tried some Stella and Chewy patties and some ZP, both of which they love. We also have Primal available locally.
We have at least a months worth of kibble to work through, but then Id like to feed exclusively pre mades. Is it possible to feed all three only premades though without spending an absolute fortune?? From what I can tell it looks like it would cost us about $4 a day to do only Stella and Chewys, and Im not sure how long the 11 lb, $130 bag of ZP would last, but Id certainly hope its a few months! I havent seen prices for the Primal grinds yet as I havent gone to look at them in store. Im getting the impression though that doing only pre mades for the three of them would run me about $5 a day, which is higher than Im comfortable with. Is that accurate? I think THK would be a more affordable option, but Reese didnt like it and I found mixing it and waiting to be a bit of a hassle. Maybe theres one good one that isnt so pricey you guys can recommend that I could primarily feed, and then I can add in the others for variety? Does anyone feed just ZP and know how much it costs/day and/or how long it lasts? Id really like to give this a shot for them but I cant really justify spending $150 or more a month to feed such teeny little dogs.
Thanks in advance, that got longer than I intended
This is such a great question! You sound just like me! I've been racking my brain on which route to go. Currently my chi is eating THK which seems to be the most affordable quality food, but Midgie still scratches so I'm considering switching. I don't like raw either, but want the premade. I can't believe how expensive ZP & it just doesn't seem like enough food for them giving 2 tablespoons.
I do know that you can go to your local grocery store & look at the discounted meats (I get good deals) and add to whatever food your feeding which will make it go further. I do like THK and don't mind mixing. One batch last Midgie about 4 days.
I hope someone might have answers and come along soon. I'd like to get the ZP (11 lb). Not really sure what to do tho.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:51 AM
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What about a pre-made from a reputable company such as Hare-Today? They have some nice grinds which you could use as a base and then you could also add in some S&C and Ziwi for variety.

I haven't done a cost analysis on Hare Today but they seem pretty reasonably priced, although shipping adds up.

Here's a couple examples ....

One pound chub of ground pork with meat/bone/organs ....

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

Or ground beef chub with meat/bone/organs and tripe - which is a huge favorite -

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

Or chicken -

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

A one pound chub of meat/bone/organs is about $2.19 (depending on the meat source), so feeding this to 3 dogs who eat about 4 ounces a day (which could be a high estimate) would mean that 1 pound would last just over a day. So that would be $2.00 a day to feed them. Less than half the price you were paying earlier.

If you could do these grinds, add in the occasional ZiwiPeak and S&C for variety, and possibly add in some grocery store meats - you'd be doing very well and that would certainly give you a fair trial to see if you liked the results. Usually meat grinds are heavy on bone, so you could even buy some cheap chicken/beef at the grocery store and do several meals a week of just boneless beef/pork/chicken to stretch out your grinds. You wouldn't have to mess with organ allotment or bones - although I would suggest you add in a couple of bony meals a couple times a week for teeth and chewing/jaw health. Pork or beef ribs are fairly cheap and those are easy too without too much mess.

Would that plan work at all??
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Last edited by Brodysmom; 02-27-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 Chi's View Post
I've fed ziwi exclusively before. The 11 pound bag lasted one and a half months. I have four chi's. Their weights range from about 6-6.5 pounds for the largest chi, and the smallest at 3-3.5 pounds.
Lola (3-3.5 lbs) gets 2 tablespoons daily.
Lila (4.5-5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Maxx (6 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Lily (6-6.5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.


Ziwipeak is a fantastic food!
Thank you Lisa! Thats so helpful. Sounds like I can expect to get about 2 months out of it then, or longer with doing other stuff mixed in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodard2009 View Post
This is such a great question! You sound just like me! I've been racking my brain on which route to go. Currently my chi is eating THK which seems to be the most affordable quality food, but Midgie still scratches so I'm considering switching. I don't like raw either, but want the premade. I can't believe how expensive ZP & it just doesn't seem like enough food for them giving 2 tablespoons.
I do know that you can go to your local grocery store & look at the discounted meats (I get good deals) and add to whatever food your feeding which will make it go further. I do like THK and don't mind mixing. One batch last Midgie about 4 days.
I hope someone might have answers and come along soon. I'd like to get the ZP (11 lb). Not really sure what to do tho.
I think its been on a lot of peoples minds now with everyone getting their ZP samples! Mine went nuts for it and thought it was just the best treat, Im sure they would be thrilled to have it as a meal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodysmom View Post
What about a pre-made from a reputable company such as Hare-Today? They have some nice grinds which you could use as a base and then you could also add in some S&C and Ziwi for variety.

I haven't done a cost analysis on Hare Today but they seem pretty reasonably priced, although shipping adds up.

Here's a couple examples ....

One pound chub of ground pork with meat/bone/organs ....

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

Or ground beef chub with meat/bone/organs and tripe - which is a huge favorite -

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

Or chicken -

Hare Today, Gone Tommorow

A one pound chub of meat/bone/organs is about $2.19 (depending on the meat source), so feeding this to 3 dogs who eat about 4 ounces a day (which could be a high estimate) would mean that 1 pound would last just over a day. So that would be $2.00 a day to feed them. Less than half the price you were paying earlier.

If you could do these grinds, add in the occasional ZiwiPeak and S&C for variety, and possibly add in some grocery store meats - you'd be doing very well and that would certainly give you a fair trial to see if you liked the results. Usually meat grinds are heavy on bone, so you could even buy some cheap chicken/beef at the grocery store and do several meals a week of just boneless beef/pork/chicken to stretch out your grinds. You wouldn't have to mess with organ allotment or bones - although I would suggest you add in a couple of bony meals a couple times a week for teeth and chewing/jaw health. Pork or beef ribs are fairly cheap and those are easy too without too much mess.

Would that plan work at all??
Thank you Tracy, thats a great suggestion! Its so much fun to look at all the different grinds and see all the variety they can try. Seems like mixing up their proteins is a much more balanced and exciting way for them to eat.
I honestly dont know if I would feel comfortable giving them just plain old raw meat from the store. I know thats silly but I just have some kind of a block there, maybe I will feel differently once Ive been feeding the premades for awhile I can work my way up to "real" raw. Eggs make a good add in too right?
The woman from ZP who sent our samples recommended Primals "recreation" bones, which I guess they chew the meat off but dont eat. Have you tried them? Would I need to give them in their kennel or outside or are they "treated" somehow?
Just poking around Primals site I saw that they suggested a 24 hr fast once a week which supposedly cleanses toxins as part of a raw diet, although they said it wasnt essential. Does anyone do this?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reese and Miley View Post
Eggs make a good add in too right?
The woman from ZP who sent our samples recommended Primals "recreation" bones, which I guess they chew the meat off but dont eat. Have you tried them? Would I need to give them in their kennel or outside or are they "treated" somehow?
Just poking around Primals site I saw that they suggested a 24 hr fast once a week which supposedly cleanses toxins as part of a raw diet, although they said it wasnt essential. Does anyone do this?
Eggs are great and a simple, nutritious meal. If you are hesitant, then just scramble then a little bit so that they aren't totally raw. That might help you make the transition. The dogs won't care. However, be aware that eggs are added in towards the end of the switch over as they can cause loose stools. They are best fed with a bony meal such as a section of a chicken wing, etc.

I think that once you got going on a raw diet with some pre-mades, and some of your own add ins - I think you'd find that the diet is actually quite cheap. Shoot, we don't notice Brody's food costs at all. Half the time he just eats a chunk of whatever we're having..... If I'm making chicken, for example, I throw him a section of chicken wing and a couple bites of breast. There, he's fed. Or if I'm doing a roast or steak on the grill or whatever, I cut off a chunk for him and voila - he's got dinner. We don't even notice it.

There's some controversy over recreational bones. Raw feeders often call them 'wreck bones' because the wreck teeth. They wear down teeth because they are so hard and they can cause slab fractures. Most raw feeders with bigger dogs do NOT recommend any of the weight bearing bones such as the marrow bones, etc. you can get in the grocery store. Having said that, I think this is a case of knowing your dogs. If you have super power chewers, then pass on those rock hard weight bearing leg bones. But if your dogs aren't super power chewers, then I think that a raw marrow bone can be fine! Use at your own risk though and be aware that they can break teeth.

Pork ribs, pork neckbones, or beef ribs are a good alternative. They have some meat and the ends have cartilage and edible bone. After they work the meat off and get some good chewing time in, and they start to dry out, just throw them out.

I also like bully sticks for recreational chewing.

I don't do fasting. Some people do, but I don't recommend it for small dogs. I just don't think they need it. Some feed their large dogs a gorge meal (maybe twice what they would normally eat) and then skip feeding them for a day. It's up to you, but I don't do it at all.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 Chi's View Post
I've fed ziwi exclusively before. The 11 pound bag lasted one and a half months. I have four chi's. Their weights range from about 6-6.5 pounds for the largest chi, and the smallest at 3-3.5 pounds.
Lola (3-3.5 lbs) gets 2 tablespoons daily.
Lila (4.5-5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Maxx (6 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.
Lily (6-6.5 lbs) gets 4 tablespoons daily.


Ziwipeak is a fantastic food!
Can i just ask , is this a dry food like a biscuit (Kibble) or is it meat in a tin, just wondering as mine would be on 4 tbs a day which doesnt seem a lot or do you mix it with something, have been on a site over here and they sell it in pouches looks liked wet tinned food not sure, would also love to use it but dont know what to buy, sorry for jumping on thread here x
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:32 PM
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Alexine, ZiwiPeak is a dried produce in a bag, just like kibble. Doesn't need refrigeration, etc. It's little dime sized jerky type squares. I believe it's air dried. It is an awesome food! Very easy for boarding or traveling as you can just scoop it out of a bag like you would feed kibble. No fuss, very easy.

Some people add a little water to it and float the little squares in the liquid just so the dog ingests more liquid. Kibble and dry foods are hard on their kidneys/liver as their bodies have to process the dry food. So some people find that adding water to the ziwi helps it to digest and be processed better. This would work fine for kibble too.

I know several people here have emailed them for samples and they are good about mailing them out. At least you could try it that way before you bought it since it's expensive. But no, they don't eat much of it at all!
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