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Does anyone reed raw, prey or BARF?


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My Lucky has allergies and has not responded well to anything the vet has done thus far.  Allergy shots can take a long time to have any effect.  I'm praying Apoquel becomes available in April as promised by the manufacturer.  Since there is no good test for food allergies other than a food trial, I've been doing a lot of experimenting.  I think I've narrowed down some suspects, but they seem to be in every food out there.  I've always fed grain-free, but they still usually contain things such as rice, flax and potato or sweet potato.  Any form of rice and sweet potato for sure are on my "probably allergic to" list.  Therefore, I am looking into raw feeding.


Prey model just does not seem very doable for me.  One, I can't source whole meats other than through a grocery store (full of sodium solutions and residual antibiotics, so don't want to use).  As, expensive as grocery store food is, looking into pastured meat is waaaaaay too expensive to consider even for myself and my husband, let alone the dogs.  The only bulk grass-fed meats sold specifically for pets that I can find come as ground and frozen, which prey model seems to be very much against.  Feeding large on-the-bone meats seems like a good choice for large dogs, but not really practicle for cairns unless you're always feeding chicken or turkey, which is not a balanced diet.


Most premade BARF diets still include too many carbs and fillers that I don't believe dogs need.  That said, I disagree with the prey raw people about never feeding them fruits or veggies.  I do believe they opportunistically feed on those things even in the wild.  I know my two dogs do raid the garden and eat tomatoes, beans, berries, etc.  Perhaps they don't get all the nutrients they could from eating them, but they sure do like them.  We fenced in the garden with chicken wire last year, but they just dug and squirmed their way under it to get into the garden to snack.   I am considering making my own BARF diet with a small amount of pureed fruits/veggies and using such as treats as well, but I'm still afraid of it not being balanced enough.


Third choice is raw ground frozen and/or freeze dried/dehydrated foods.  These are all 5-star rated and most don't contain ingredients that I feel may be contributing to his allergy problems.  However, they are horribly expensive.  While I've always bought 5-star kibbles that weren't exactly cheap in the world of dog foods, the raw dried or frozen "complete" or balanced foods sold commercially would cost double or triple what i currently spend on kibble.


Anyone facing the same issues or feeding one of these ways with their Cairns?  Any advice?  Where are you getting your food?  What kinds of prices are you paying?  I've been on some other forums where they're talking about how it's so much cheaper because they get these great deals from butchers.  I have not found that to be true near me.  Even in the boonies by our cabin where we've been most of this past year, the local butcher shop up here gets his meats from the same distrbutors as the grocery stores.  No organ meats, no "waste" or offal products they'll sell on the cheap. 

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Peggy just ran the numbers on our last bulk order of frozen ground raw chubs and vegetable tubs. Averaging among the various proteins available, for us it boiled down to $1.61 per dog per day.

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