Food and Insurance Qs
  • Hey guys! I have another question (it seems I'm just full of questions lately). What is your opinions on raw food and what pet insurance do you guys use? My holistic vet said it might be beneficial to start feeding both of our dogs, Kuma the shiba and Nanook the AKK, Darwin's Raw Dog Food ( They even have a special where the first 10 lbs are only $15. My everyday vet (who I've been thinking of switching) said the total opposite after Nanook had a stomach ache from eating people food my friend gave him. I currently feed a kibble mix of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Red Meat, Nature's Variety Raw Instinct, and Nutro Wild Frontier Salmon. My everyday vet said that the brands of kibble I feed are so high in protein and my dogs are so small that they can get kidney disease or pancreatitis. She wants me to switch my mix to include a food lower in protein. Obviously raw feeding 1 meal a day would increase their protein intake, which is the exact opposite my everyday vet recommends. But, the everyday vet I went to isn't that great in my opinion. I told her that Nanook is sensitive to chicken and it gives him tearing yet the prescription food she gave him (that science diet stuff) gives him really bad staining because it has chicken fat. What do you guys suggest? Kuma is very strong stomached but I could see how over his lifetime the wrong food could ruin that. I just want to do what is best for them of course.

    Follow up question, what pet insurance do you guys use? We are thinking of adding a third to our pack, but we first want to cover our two dogs insurance wise. I was looking at Healthy Paws and they seem like the best, but they don't have every breed listed that I own and plan on owning. Just shibas I think. So I'm still unsure what company would be best for a multi dog household. Thanks!
  • I'm not a vet and won't pretend to have as much knowledge as anyone in that field but I will give you my anecdotal experience.

    I feed my AA raw and she loves it. It's helped keep her lean and healthy. I do a combination of vitamins and raw meats I get from a local butcher.

    Everyone that I know, that "works" dogs competively feeds their dogs raw. Literally everyone I've ever met. Michael Ellis is big on raw, Leerburg is big on raw. There's a bunch of good information in the link below that answers a lot of questions.

  • alyssabalyssab
    Posts: 24
    I feed kibble right now but was going to look into a more raw diet. I initially had fed my kuma(lol) blue buffalo then switched to canidae and Primal. The Primal is more of a topper. I use one cube on it. On that combo he looks great and acts great on it. I've had no issues.

    I like this website:
    It was a great resource for me when i was switching around with dog food brands. It breaks down everything by ingredient and looks at protein to fat ratios. I will be using it again when I look into raw food.

    As for insurance I use nationwide their top one. I found price wise and what they offer is a lot more compared to others.

    Hope this helps
    Kuma 熊 - Hokkaido
    Post edited by alyssab at 2016-10-14 21:26:46
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Those brands of kibble you feed really aren't that high in protein, though depending on the type of raw you feed you could actually be reducing the amount of protein they get. A drumstick or steak actually has less protein in it than most kibble brands due to its moisture content. I prefer following prey model raw, this method gives you total control over what your dogs ingest and can be a lot more affordable than premade raw or even kibble. It does take a little learning of dog nutritional needs, but once you get everything balanced your dogs can be healthier than they've ever been.
  • Hi,

    We use nationwide pet insurance formally known as vpi pet. I have had it for 8 years and they are great and are reasonable on price. I like that they re inburse on well visits, vaccines, and flea and heartworm prevention, along with accidents, surgeries, cancer treatment, etc. which some other companies do not. I highly recommend pet insurance. We have never had to use it for anything other than yearly visits and prevention, but we keep in because you never know..emergencies may arise unexpectedly.

    As far as food goes I now feed acana lamb and apple kibble and supplement with primal raw nuggets. I also give them the primal raw goats milk as "Desert" after their meal which they love. Our three dogs do great on this combination. Our regular vet wanted us to switch because it was not vet recommended brands, not going to happen lol. I like to keep my dogs on a natural grainfree diet and after extensive research I am happy with my choice. Many vets promote Purina and science diet which is garbage. Then we met a new vet and she praised us for feeding what we do and how great our dogs look and how healthy they are. Needless to say we have switched doctors.
    ~Jen~ Mommy to Raiden the Kai, and Shibas Nalla & Kimba!
  • @TreySmith417 That link is very informative! Thank you! Most dogs on a raw diet are all much larger than my dogs. I wish I knew more people with small dogs that fed raw, but I just don't see it very often. A lot of the FAQs on that site have answered some of my questions though.

    @alyssab Haha I've met quite a few other Kuma's since I've got mine! I didn't realize it was such a popular Nihon Ken name! I use dog food advisor a lot, and most of the foods I feed are over 4 stars on that site. That's why I'm confused that our everyday vet thought the food we were giving was too high in protein. Since I see nationwide seems to be the top insurer I am definitely going to look into it now!

    @Calia That's an end goal for me. I'm honestly very intimidated by this whole switch to raw if I decide to do it. I'm worried I will actually make our dogs sick or not feed them the proper nutrition and they'll be missing something. I'm doing a lot of research right now, but we will see how it goes. Also, my shiba isn't protective over kibble or anything like that. But if another dog tried to take his meat, then he can get angry about it. So I would probably have to feed them separately until Kuma relaxes about getting meat.

    @shibagirl88 I like the detail you provide on the insurance! It looks better than healthy paws! I may start out my raw whole food journey this way as well. We really need to find a new everyday vet. Our holistic vet is a wonderful lady and she really gets to know her patients and customers. Our daily vet is like a conveyor belt!
  • @brennamwk There is a facebook group called raw shiba inu. You can check that out and ask questions on there if you like. I forgot to mention it in my previous post. I am still hesitant to go fully raw, my female shiba has a sensitive tummy and is doing wonderful on acana kibble. But there are many that have gone fully raw and have seen great results. Every dog is different and you just have to find the right combination for your pup. =)

    Unfortunately it's not easy to find a good vet now a days, take your time visiting the clinics before choosing and I recommend asking around your area for recommendations, that's how I found the one we have now. Best of luck on your search!
    ~Jen~ Mommy to Raiden the Kai, and Shibas Nalla & Kimba!

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