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Old 03-09-2012, 05:29 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is online now
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Default Premade raw brands

So the girls are going back on raw. A few reasons the main being they seem to put on weight on kibble really easily and I just like the idea of raw better. They were on raw a while then I moved then we put them on kibble. Lately they've had a wide variety of kibble brands and canned food and the occasional raw or raw bone. (They have iron stomachs lol)

So for now I'm going to do premade for many of their meals. Eventually I want to do full on raw but that's not in the cards right now.

The feed store here has a lot more options for raw than the old store where they just sold primal and then a local butcher's blend supplement.

Here's the options-

-primal- they've been on this before and did well but this place only had the duck formula in stock
-Stella and Chewys- know nothing about that one.
-Bravo -ditto
- Nature's Variety Instinct- I think I recall something about the rabbit formula being bad. Is that right?
- and then a brand I can't remember but it came in red foil looking boxes. I'm going to try to look it up in a minute.

They also had a couple dehydrated raw. I know they had Stella and Chewy's dehydrated raw. No Honest Kitchen. I don't remember the other brands.

So thoughts on what you would use? Anyone used the brands?
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:31 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Stella and Chewys is what many ferret owners use. That's really all I know
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:55 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Northwest Naturals also does premade raw and in really awesome bar form so it's way easier to store/use!
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:56 PM
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I can chime in tonight when I am home if nobody else writes a big ass post before that, lol.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:08 PM
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I've used Nature's Variety before, while traveling and once when I had a petsitter care for the dogs for a week when I was out of town. They did well on it and liked it but they've never been on it for more than a week at a time. The rabbit variety wasn't for sale where I purchased it so I don't know anything about that.

I've also ordered and used Honest Kitchen while traveling. I bought a few of the 10lb boxes. Again they all liked it and ate it well, and didn't have any problems.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:29 PM
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Primal - High quality product, good company, great reviews, some organic ingredients. It can be a bit pricey, though, and they're making some changes that are pushing the prices up even higher. It still shouldn't be too terribly bad since I doubt the paps eat much.

Stella & Chewy's - High quality product, good company, great reviews, some organic ingredients. Also pretty pricey. But once again, it shouldn't be too bad since you're feeding small dogs.

Bravo - Lower quality product, a company I don't personally trust, mixed reviews. It is your more affordable option, but IMO there's a reason it's so affordable.

Nature's Variety Instinct - I go back and forth with them. We carried their product for quite a while and had no issues with it. There was some drama with their rabbit coming from China. But more importantly, they had a couple of recalls on their frozen chicken products, and I was extremely displeased with they way they handled it, underhanded and evasive... And then they got pissy when we wanted to be open and honest about the issues with our customers. So we will no longer carry the product. That being said, we never saw any problems with the products, and we had great reviews from customers back when we carried it.

If you wanted to try something new, you might check and see if they can get Vital Essentials in for you. They're a newer product that we brought in, and I've been really pleased with it so far. It's affordable and seems to be good quality. However, they don't have a big variety. They only have beef or chicken. But they add green tripe to their beef formula, which makes it a big seller because dogs go crazy for it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:59 PM
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I think any of those would work fine, none are what I'd consider "low quality". You may also want to check into smaller, local raw food companies and see if there's any in your area. They usually have better prices than the national brands and many will be as good or better quality.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:24 PM
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I've used all four brands, and I've sold all four brands. Here are the pros and cons (in my opinion) of each:

Bravo
Pros: Cost - at least in my area, Bravo is the cheapest premade raw by far. They have a tonof different lines/formulas (complete formulas, boneless formulas, some with just organs, some with just meat/organs/bones, etc), so you can really customize your dogs diet. They also have some novel protein sources (ostrich, elk) for dogs with allergies. Not really on the raw aspect...but their treats and chews are AWESOME.
Cons: As a company, they're not super forthcoming with information on sourcing of ingredients, processing, etc. Every rep I've ever worked with has been really good, though. Most of their products come in chub form, which is a pain to thaw and portion, especially if you're feeding small dogs.

Primal
Pros: The company uses super high quality ingredients from small sources - they try not to do the factory farm thing. They use a lot of organic ingredients, too. Every single person I've ever dealt with at Primal has been AWESOME. I personally know the current sales rep, and she's great. They had a recall about a year ago, and dealt with it extremely well.
Cons: Cost - this is by far the most expensive food we carry. They also don't participate in any of our rewards (like buy 10 get 1 free) programs. Their meat too veggies ratios vary from formula to formula, and some have way too many veggies in my opinion. The beef formula is 60% meat, 40% veggies, for example.

Natures Variety Instinct
Pros: They're fairly cost-effective. They send out lots of coupons and often do frequent buyer programs, which cuts the cost significantly. They also make kibble and canned foodss, so easy to rotate with. They have a very nice program for employees, so this is the raw that I feed the majority of the time. Their products are 95% meat, 5% veggies.
Cons: They are getting to be a larger company, and some of their products are in Petco. Their formulas often use multiple sources of protein, so not great for dogs with allergies.

Stella & Chewys
Pros: They're based in Wisconsin, so they're quite local for us. I believe they're still ran by the people that started the company - they've stayed small. All their formulas are the same price, so you don't feel compelled to feed one protein source just because its the cheapest. They also follow the 95% meat, 5% veggies ratio. They have a great freeze-dried line, which I use often!
Cons: They currently only have five formulas, the least of all four companies. They don't use a lot of novel proteins. That's really all I've got as far as cons go!

I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of stuff (PWCorgi...can you think of anything else?), but let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
Northwest Naturals also does premade raw and in really awesome bar form so it's way easier to store/use!
Frodo does fantastic on the Northwest Naturals. To be honest I don't know a whole lot about the company, the ratios, etc. but I came into about 20# of it for free, so I wasn't going to say no! lol
Their nuggets would probably be great for smaller guys like your paps, though I've only used the bars. Love the bars.
I would ask the feed store if they can special order NN for you.

Quote:
You may also want to check into smaller, local raw food companies and see if there's any in your area.
THIS! We have a local place that sources all the ingredients locally and it is SO much cheaper than the premades that we have. For example: NV Rabbit 3# is $23 and sourced from China; local pet deli is $23.95 for 5# and sourced right here in MN. If I pay for raw (I can get most of mine free from work), that is where I go.

I heard a rumor that Nature's Variety uses a much larger percentage of bone than other raw companies, but I took it with a grain of salt considering the source (another company's rep).

I would honestly feed any of them and not worry for a second Why not mix them? Just grab a bag of whatever they have when you go in.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:52 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is online now
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How do you go about finding local places? This is the only feed store I know of in the area that carries any kind of raw.

Thanks for all the suggestions/feedback! The nice thing about having two little dogs is that cost is not a factor in this. I just want the best quality company and products.

My plan is to mix them, PW and then mix in 'real' raw too. I grabbed a bag of the Primal duck to start off with since the girls have been on that before and done well. And the feed store gave me a free sample bag of the Stella and Chewy's chicken so I am going to feed that too.

The one thing about the stella and chewy's is that the feeding recommendation on the bag says for a 5 lb dog they recommend 3 patties a day. That seems absolutely insane. Their patties are not as big as some I see but definitely bigger than the 1 oz Primal nuggets. Primal recommends 2 nuggets a day for a 5 lb dog. My guys were eating 2.5 a day each when they were on it. So I am feeling like the Stella and Chewys is telling me to feed way too much. Judging on size I would have thought to start with 1-1.5 patties a day on it. Thoughts?
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