Supply of meat: local. We're open to roadkill and hunting if the opportunities present ourselves, but we've found an excellent source of goat/pork/ and lamb meat just north of town: Winns Livestock and Hatchery. Initially, we found a great source of 'meat' from a butcher about 40 minutes up the road, and still have a few butchers to call up for alternative sources... but the first butcher sold dog food in the form of ground beef (muscle and organ meat). And we've sense decided that what she needs is meat and bone. (Pocket is seen here consuming ALL of a goat neck, from the flesh to two vertebra).
Philosphy: The ground meat, along with chopped veggies and other raw human-grade meat was a great start, but we've since decided that going with the 'raw meaty bones' philosophy makes the most sense to us. I purchased the book "Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones" by Tom Lonsdale and read it cover to cover. His website, rawmeatybones.com (which i haven't visited yet) has more resources and forums, and i feel that feeding meaty bones that require Pocket to pull, chew, "floss" and gnaw makes more healthful sense than feeding already ground up meat. I still feed her chopped veggies, in season and supply her with chunks of meat, but the majority of her diet is now fed from raw meaty bones. And when we're talking meaty, we're not talking a bone with some meat on it, we're talking about a leg of critter, covered in all the good stuff and consumed down to the last swallowed bone chunk. Eating is a workout, strengthening her jaws and shoulders and cleaning her teeth all at once.
So now we have both source and philosophy down, it's time for implementation. Along with meaty goat and lamb bones (and potential pig/sheep/goat heads and other weird body parts) purchase specifically for Pocket from the local farm and butcher shops, she'll also enjoy bones from human grade food, that would otherwise be wasted or saved for stock making. I only buy whole chickens when i want chicken meat, so i have plenty of chicken carcasses coming through the kitchen. When i have plenty of homemade chicken stock on hand, i'll save the chicken frames and backs for Pocket's meals. If i need to save a few for stock making, she'll have to eat something else. If we happen to buy some bone-in red meat, i may cut off the meat for us and save her the meaty bones. "Reduced for quick sale" meat is a great option for us and her, and one can usually find gizzards and other cuts in the grocery store. Utilizing 'spare parts' or less popular/old cuts of meat, and sharing the edible portions from the meat we do purchase becomes cost effective, resourceful, and healthful for the whole family to utilize as many parts from the animals/meat we choose to eat.
Now that we've decided what philosophy and source we'll be feeding by, the proof is in the pudding: Pocket's coat is shiny and soft, her teeth are getting cleaner and her itchy ear scabs have cleared up. Are you interested in the pros and cons of a raw diet for dogs? I'd be happy to post more about my research and experience, and i'd love to hear from you if you feed your dogs/cats raw meaty bones.
Shall we continue this conversation?