Feeding Raw on a Budget: A Review of Raw Paws Pet Food
Greener Grass or Feeding Raw
How many times have you thought to yourself,
“If I had small dogs, ____ would be so much easier?”
Fill in the blank with any number of words, and the sentence rings true.
Travel, cleaning, laundry, feeding raw food, and if I’m being honest, the word LIFE has also been uttered a time or two.
[READ: Life Lessons: What I Learned from an iPad, Flip Flops, and Two Big Dogs]
A glass-half-full perspective tells me that travel complexities and the volume of cleaning and laundry with big dogs aren’t obstacles after all. They are “opportunities” for me to demonstrate ingenuity, resourcefulness, determination, and, let’s face it, patience.
Nevermore are these qualities put to the test than when I am feeding a raw diet to two Mastiffs on a budget.A glass-half-full perspective tells me that travel complexities and the volume of cleaning and laundry with big dogs aren’t obstacles after all. They are “opportunities” for me to demonstrate ingenuity, resourcefulness, determination, and, let’s face it, patience.
Raw Paws Pet Food sent me a bag of Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties for Dogs in exchange for my honest review. In this post, there are affiliate links from which I may receive a small compensation. There is NO ADDED COST to you should you use these links.
Top 5 Cost-Cutting Tips for Feeding Raw to Big Dogs
1. Find a Great Source
One of the common myths about feeding raw to big dogs is that it just can’t be done on a budget. I suppose there is a modicum of truth to that if you are buying your meat from your local grocery store.
Don’t do that.
With so many more dog owners choosing a natural diet for their dogs, sourcing options for feeding raw are within reach for 95% of us. (5% variance given to homesteaders in rural Alaska who don’t need to “buy” their raw food anyway.)
While many raw feeders can source food locally through a raw food co-op, online retailers like Raw Paws Pet Food are making feeding raw even easier and cost-effective for big dog owners. They do this by offering bulk deals on high-quality raw food with free shipping.
2. Get a Calculator – Don’t Overfeed
One of the quickest paths to the poor house while feeding raw to big dogs is by overfeeding them. I speak truth through experience, unfortunately.
[READ: Feeding Giant Breed Puppies for Dummies – The Protein Myth & More]
My Sulley has, what some (veterinarians) might call, a weight problem. The combination of a post-neuter slower metabolism, him stealing food from Junior, and me feeding too much, poor Sulley has been left with a sausage belly the size of Porkopolis!
What is a Big Dog Mom to do when her big dog is too big?
The obvious answer to this rhetorical question is to feed less. The benefit of less food is two-fold: better health and a cost-savings while feeding raw.
Using a raw food calculator is one of the best, and easiest ways, to ensure you are feeding the right amount. Here are a few of the great calculators that I have found that I can recommend:
Perfectly Rawsome Raw Feeding Calculators
In addition to using a calculator, use this Big Dog Mom rule of thumb:
Proper weight for a big dog is one with no visible ribs or rolls.In addition to using a calculator, use this Big Dog Mom rule of thumb: Proper weight for a big dog is one with no visible ribs or rolls.
3. Be Creative
In contrast to a daily diet of dry kibble, feeding raw requires that you put your thinking cap on once in a while.
Whether this is in sourcing your meat, or in balancing your dog’s meals, thinking outside the box will yield better health and cost savings.
Raw Paws Pet Food recognizes the importance of providing quality raw food at an economical price and has numerous options for adding variety to the balance of your dog’s diet.
I have had the pleasure of reviewing two of their products, Beef Esophagus Jerky Chews (Feeding the Way Nature Intended), and the Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties. Both products are grain-free, gluten-free, with no added hormones or preservatives and are made here in the USA.
The bulk of Sulley’s and Junior’s raw diet is made up of whole raw that I buy through my co-op, but I like to supplement with new proteins and ingredients to add variety and excitement.
Loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals, and sourced from cows raised on USDA inspected, family farms, the Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties contain a perfect blend of beef, tripe, trachea, and finely ground bone, supplying a nutritious and delicious addition to an otherwise routine raw or kibble diet.
Check out this video I made of Sulley and Junior experiencing the Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties for the first time.
While these patties would not make an economical choice to feed alone given the number of patties necessary for a big dog like Sulley or Junior, they do make a fantastic, easy to feed supplement.
4. Look for Deals and Discounts
One of the best ways that I have found to cut costs of feeding raw is to look for discounts and deals.
I do this by buying in bulk through a raw food co-op or taking advantage of sales and discounts through an online retailer like Raw Paws Pet Food. If you are open to them, deals can be found.
With every click to the Raw Paws Pet Food homepage, you will find sales and discounts being offered. Every Wednesday one of their products is discounted 40-50%.
This week it is the, you guessed it, Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties which are 50% off through Friday.
Recognizing most of you, like me, are very cost-conscious, I wanted to give you enough notice about this sale so that you could take advantage of it.
5. Feeding Raw with Perspective
Perhaps this is my way of justifying a slightly more involved dietary choice for my big dogs. But I believe one of the most important aspects of feeding raw is keeping in mind the investment you are making in your dog’s health.
Whether this is in the form of healthier skin and coat, boosted immune system, improved digestion, or just the substantially smaller poops to pick up, the benefits of feeding raw abound.
I am not going to belabor this point, as I have covered the benefits of feeding raw in several previous posts. (READ: Raw Dog Food: The Myths, Facts, and Future of Raw Feeding for Dogs, Raw Food: A Decision Every Big Dog Owner Should Weigh.)
However, a quick application of this mindset shift using the Endurance Blend Complete Beef Patties as an example is the addition of trachea. The trachea is an organ that naturally contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which help the body produce new cartilage to promote joint health and function. While great for dogs of all sizes, glucosamine, and chondroitin are particularly beneficial for large and giant breed dogs.
Because I don’t normally feed trachea, I consider these Endurance Patties to be an investment in added nutritional balance for Sulley and Junior.
Big Dog Mom’s Take on Feeding Raw
Yes, life would be simpler if I had small dogs.
Travel, cleaning, laundry, and feeding raw would be less expensive, complex and time-consuming.
But with ingenuity, resourcefulness, dedication, and a whole lot of patience, feeding raw to big dogs is not only possible, but it can also be accomplished without breaking the bank.With ingenuity, resourcefulness, dedication, and a whole lot of patience, feeding raw to big dogs is not only possible, it can be accomplished without breaking the bank.
Impressed with the video. I can see you have tow big fans of the Endurance food!
Aww, thank you! My daughter is 12 and is still learning how to keep the phone still and not put her fingers over the camera. In spite of those challenges, I think it turned out well. Hopefully we were able to show how much the boys really do love these Raw Paws beef patties!
Hi, I have been feeding raw to one of my Mastiffs and it has been the best thing for his digestive problems. My question is have there been any recalls on the Raw Paws pet food? I would love to feed raw to all three of my Mastiffs but I am having trouble finding good sources to find their foods. Thanks, Janelle
Thank you so much for your comment and question, Janelle! I am not sure about Raw Paws. While I have not heard of any recalls, this would be a question for one of their customer support folks. Secondly, I would absolutely consider Raw Paws as a supplement to your Mastiff’s diet, however, with three giant dogs, feeding just this as their entire diet will be pricey. I would encourage you to find a local source for whole raw – usually a raw food co-op or meat market. I don’t know where you live, but I’m happy to help you track down local options for whole raw. Just message me.