The most affordable raw dog food is typically the kind you make yourself. One of my tips is to take advantage of your grocery store’s deals on whole turkeys after the holidays. The same goes for chickens if your dog can eat chicken.
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Buy Whole Raw Turkeys On Sale
Once the holiday season is over, the big birds are on sale for $10-$15 less than their original price tags.
I can find 13 pounders between $15-$18, which leaves me with 9 lb of useable muscle meat, raw meaty bones, and secreting organs. That translates to $1.60-$2.00/lb of meat.
Talk about a great deal!
In comparison, ground raw turkey from raw dog food brands and retailers costs between $4-$7/lb.
If you have a designated freezer for your pup’s raw dog food, you can really stock up and freeze several birds.
Affordable Raw Dog Food: A Whole Turkey Averages 9 Lbs Of Useable Meat
On average, I can get 9 lbs of useable meat out of a whole turkey:
3 lbs 8 oz muscle meat (breasts/heart/gizzards).
5 lbs raw meaty bones (2 wings, 2 thighs, 1 neck).
3 oz secreting organs (liver).
Good to know: Hearts & gizzards count towards muscle meat in raw feeding. Only secreting organs like liver, kidneys, brains, spleen, thymus, pancreas, testicles, & ovaries fall into the (secreting) organ category.
If you’re interested in learning more about organs in raw feeding, check out my blog post Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 2: Organs.
Whole Turkey: Which Parts Not To Feed Your Dog
I get rid of most of the turkey skin because it’s simply too fatty and can cause pancreatitis if fed in excess.
Additionally, I also don’t feed the carcass. However, I use it to make bone broth.
Whole Turkey Meal Prep Is Less Than An Hour For One Bird
It takes me about 45 minutes to take one whole turkey apart. That includes putting the useable meat into food storage containers, throwing out the skin and cleaning my counters, knife, and cutting board with hot soapy water.
I personally feed my pups Missy, Buzz, and Wally the raw meaty bones whole.
But you can also grind the bones and/or the meat for your pups. That’s a good idea if they’re used to eating ground raw dog food, or if their teeth are in poor health and therefore can’t eat raw meaty bones and larger cuts of meat.
If they have the tendency to gulp raw meaty bones down whole, you can hold one end of the turkey neck or wing and let them chew on the other end.
Bonus: This doesn’t just slow them down, it also teaches polite behavior around food when humans are touching it.
You can find meat grinders on Amazon that are able to grind chicken leg quarters and turkey necks for $500-700.
In my opinion, it’s time well invested since I can save $30 on the original price tags.
Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!