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Raw food vs home cooked?

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  


Member Since
03/21/2012
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 7, '13 8:56pm PST 
Hello,

What do you think raw vs home cooked? What's better? What's the potential problems with either? I have a beagle(6 years) with a heart murmur, which would be better for her probably? I also have a lab (12.5 years) with minor skin problems, which would probably be better for her as well? I also have a husky(9 years) and a pit bull (6 years) who are in very good health.

If you have any incite on either diets please share whether it's knowledge or website.
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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 8:18am PST 
I think most people here would agree that in an ideal world, raw is bestsmile Personally, I just can't do it for a variety of reasons. I think some people have challenges when their raw fed dogs are being left in someone else care. I have considered home cooked but I guess I am just too lazy laugh out loud I am considering making my own dog treats though, because Bunny has food intolerances. Personally, I feed a high quality grain free kibble and am quite happy with my choicesmile The dogs do get healthy people food as treats as well..
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 5:10pm PST 
What do you think raw vs home cooked? What's better?

I will always feed raw if possible.

What's the potential problems with either?

Raw: Requires a lot of research to do it safely and correctly. Requires quite a bit of variety to balance without supplementing. There is a bacteria risk involved in handling raw foods, although this is easily negated it is an issue for some people. There is risk from eating bones, although when done properly most of us consider those risks no greater than the elevated risks of feeding kibble (aspiration, bloat).

Homecooked: Requires a lot of research, or a really reliable source of recipes to do it correctly. Requires supplementation, specifically with calcium which can be tricky to figure out. Requires some sort of fiber, which can be problematic for some dogs. Cooking meals is time consuming. I found my homecooking costs higher than raw, since you can't buy much bone-in meat when you're cooking it, but this will vary by region.

I have a beagle(6 years) with a heart murmur, which would be better for her probably?

Raw. Taurine has been found to stall the progression of heart problems. Taurine is a fragile amino acid found almost exclusively in meat, and is easily damaged by heat. Of course if raw is not an option, it is possible to buy taurine supplements. Supplementation may be necessary to reach a therapeutic dose of taurine even on raw.

I also have a lab (12.5 years) with minor skin problems, which would probably be better for her as well? I also have a husky(9 years) and a pit bull (6 years) who are in very good health.

I'd say raw for skin problems, on two points - there will be less in a raw diet for an allergic dog to react to, and many dogs who react to cooked meats will not react to the same meats raw. Doesn't always work that way, but it can help.
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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 11:37am PST 
If a dog is allergic to a cooked protein, then they'll be allergic to that same protein when raw. Probably more so since the protein isn't at all denatured.

I feed cooked so there's no risk to my dogs' health. They have the same issues your dogs do.
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Ammo

1290016
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 3:41pm PST 
JMPO, but for a senior dog, I would most definitely go with home cooked. Even with the younger dog with a known heart condition, HC would be my first choice. I've read many times that raw its the best way to go with a dogs diet and agree, but it is not a good idea to start a dog whose immunity is compromised(allergy and skin issues) on a raw diet.
I believe if the dog is already healthy, then switching to raw should not be a problem, but at this point in their lives, HC would probably be safer and easier for their systems to adjust.

Even changing to HC, you will see alot of positive changes.

It doesn't have to be a hassle to feed HC, there are some excellent pre-mixes available now, The Honest Kitchen Preference, and Grandma Lucy's Pure Vita grain free are two that come to mind of the top of my head. Very easy to mix with water and your choice of meat. And you don't have to jump on the "supplement search merry-go-round" with them either.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 3:59pm PST 
Have to disagree about allergies and raw. I kept my mouth shut when a very ill very tiny dogster decided raw was the way to go a couple years ago as I thought as you do - just too much for a sick dog to handle. That tiny dog was able to drop most of her meds and thrived on raw. Still a bit outside my comfort zone to suggest it but raw probably is better for most dogs, even sick ones. Would take a very delicate touch to switch a sick dog to raw though as it is so high in fat and low in bulk.

I wonder if part of the cooked versus raw is really cooked kibble versus raw. Sassy ate chicken and rice kibble her whole life but when I switched to cooking chicken and rice I found an unexpected benefit. Her life long anal sac backups nearly completely went away. Poor thing got sick of incredulous me checking her perfectly health rear end all the time!
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 5:03pm PST 
Unless a dog has severe digestive illness or an inability to handle bacteria, there is no physical reason they can not be on a raw diet. Allergies, skin problems, heart problems... These things are not reasons to rule out raw. In fact, they're reasons many people start raw. Even many digestive issues turn out to be helped or eliminated by raw, it's just a matter of knowing the risks and transitioning safely.

Cooking changes the chemical structure of foods, so yes, a dog can be allergic to the cooked form and not the raw form. Technically the reverse could be true as well, but so far I've never heard of it happening. Some dogs are allergic to both, but there are a good number of dogs in the Dogster raw forum who can eat any raw protein despite allergies to the same protein cooked.
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Max

Did you say- 'dinner time'???-
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 13, '13 9:48am PST 
Honestly, I think this is going to come down to a personal choice, what you feel most comfortable with. And remember, if you start out with one and decide to change, that's fine too, just do it slowly.

I agree with one of the other posters, unless there is a health condition that will prohibit your dog from handling bacteria from raw food, then RAW is a viable option. For me, my dog has had numerous bacterial infections, and he has IBS and Colitis, so RAW is not something I'm willing to try at this time. Max is on a home cooked diet, and doing very well. He has certain food intolerance's, like Chicken and Salmon, all of which I found via process of elimination.

I strongly suggest you research both RAW and homemade diets, and decide for yourself which you are most comfortable with. I read numerous websites (this is a good one... http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjhomemade1.html) and books, such as Lew Olsen's Raw and Natural Nutrition for dogs: The Definitive guide to homemade meals, which gives info on both. Lew also has a yahoo group and I have been able to ask questions when necessary.

I'm sure you will make the right choice for your dogs, and don't worry, you can do it. It does seem overwhelming at first, but once you have all the information you need and have a meal plan, over time it will get easier. I make a batch of Max's food once a week, and thaw as I need it, it's super easy now. Best of luck, happy to provide any help I can.
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Kolbe

Where can I run- today?
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 13, '13 10:05am PST 
If a dog is allergic to a cooked protein, then they'll be allergic to that same protein when raw. Probably more so since the protein isn't at all denatured.

Not true. Many dogs in the raw forum are living examples of not being able to handle something in a cooked form but totally fine with it in a raw form.

I think both are good, but just different.
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Mervyn

Bigger is Better
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 14, '13 12:54am PST 
That’s an easy one. Raw is much better. Home cooked diets are way too difficult to balance. The best thing for your dog would be an organic prey model raw diet. I recommend using Only Natural Pet HW Protect Herbal Formula for your dogs, especially your Beagle with the heart murmur, instead of traditional and toxic heartworm prevention methods. As far as your Labrador Retriever with skin issues, I recommend Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Canine Vitamins Plus. I feed an organic prey model raw diet to Mervyn and I couldn’t be happier.
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