A raw home made diet must include bone that can be consumed. While some meals may be meat only (like a beef kidney dinner for example), the overall diet must have meat with bone soft enough for the Sheltie to crush and swallow.
This would be a “raw meaty bone” for dinner, gone in a few minutes:
Add a variety of meats to a home made diet:
Part of a home made dog food diet includes bones for recreational chewing:
This is an example of a raw meaty bone used for hours of recreational chewing and cleaning teeth:
Finding a local butcher or slaughter house is a godsend. You can get all sorts of stuff that the normal grocery stores don't carry anymore. More and more of them are becoming familiar with the “crazy people” that buy for a raw food diet. You are not alone.
The main bulk of the chicken I buy is from one of the warehouse grocery stores. The price is usually around 99 cents / lb. That is a better price than some dry commercial foods.
General rule of thumb is about 2-4% of your Sheltie’s IDEAL weight, depending on how active and the age is. Not what she weighs now, but what she should weigh. Because Shetland Sheepdogs have a very wide range of sizes / heights, the typical 25lb average may not apply to your pup.
Feel around where the ribs should be. If you have to press really hard to feel the ribs, the Sheltie is overweight. If you can play a tune on the ribs, it is underweight. So guess a few pounds higher or lower than what s/he weighs now to figure out the ideal weight. Let’s say your Sheltie's ideal weight is about 30 lbs….
2% is 30 lbs x 0.02 = 0.6 lbs or 0.6 lbs x 16 oz = about 10 oz per day
4% is 30 lbs x -.04 = 1.2 lbs or 1.2 lbs x 16 oz = about 19.2 oz per day
PLEASE, just approximate. Don’t spend the day carving chunks of meat to be exact!!! A little more a little less will not kill them. If you think I weigh each and every chicken thigh I feed, you are mistaken. I approximate.
It's easy once you let go of the idea of absolute precision.
As you go along, continue to feel your Sheltie’s ribs periodically and adjust the amount fed based on how the weight is at the time. If you think this is a difficult part of a home made dog food diet, consider that you should be doing this REGARDLESS of what you feed them. Never blindly give your dog the same amount of food day in and day out without evaluating the effectiveness of what you are doing.
Personally, I think the hardest part of feeding home made dog food is making the decision to start.