Recommendations for Beginning Raw Feeding (from RAW feeding)
1. You`ll want to start with 2-3% of your dog's (or puppy's) ESTIMATED IDEAL ADULT Weight. *** That is, per day. Its important to judge each puppy as an individual, taking their own parents and adult sibs as a guideline. Write each estimated weight down on a simple chart, if you must, to keep the pups sorted out in your head. **** Tweak with more meat if your dog gets a bit skinny, a bit less if your dog gets 'fluffy' over the space of a few weeks. **** This means, that the above "formula" is only a BEGINNING place. You will need to learn how to tweak/adjust meal amounts, not by the numbers, but by evaluating each pup's unique response to what and how much you are feeding - their appearance and condition by feeling their hipbones, backbones and ribs - and adjust daily amounts up or down, as needed to keep them in lean condition while they are growing. You can do this every day, or every week, or even every meal, as needed. Weight Chart http://tinyurl.com/kofvskq **** You might start out by weighing your dog, and weighing her meals; but most don`t continue once they get more comfortable and more experienced feeding raw. **** Again, this means to LOOK and FEEL of your dogs/pups frequently, and judge by their appearance and condition, how much each needs. Weighing isn't really necessary, but for newbies, a beginning - conservative - "formula" is offered, to allow for a consistent starting off point for all. As you're learning, fixing Cannon Butt is not as easy as avoiding it in the first place. Most experienced raw feeders don't weigh or measure at all, and simply 'ballpark' meal parts and depend on knowing their dog to judge when to add more, and when to cut back. Too much food overall, too much fat, too much new meat, too much variety at first, and enhanced meats, can all cause Cannon Butt. Too much bone can cause 'fossil poops'; hard, whitish, or sandy and crumbly, just too much bone. We call all this Operator Error, or Newbie Fervor. Its entirely fixable. **** Tiny, toy, pregnant, puppies or very active dogs might need as much as 4 -5% or more - very large, giant, overweight or couch potato dogs might need less than 2% to maintain. **** Different breeds tend to have different levels of metabolism, requiring more or less food on average. BUT, you take that into consideration, and judge each dog by their response to how much you are feeding. You always adjust to the individual dog's needs at any given time during their lifetime. **** 2. Ditch the kibble or canned, there’s been plenty of discussion on this list about why processed foods and raw don't mix; just let it suffice that your dog can reap the benefits of raw faster and more completely if you donate the kibble to your local shelter asap. A species appropriate raw whole prey model diet doesn’t include kibble. Or veggies, grains, carbs, dairy, fruits or tons of supps. Or, for the most part, ground meats. No need for w/rec/k bones either. And, your dog may be less motivated to make the change if he can smell that kibble!
To continue; 3. Offer at least 2 meals a day to start with. (3 meals for a pup under 6 - 7 months old, 4 for a pup under 4 mo, or for tiny dogs or for older giant pups 2 meals a day after 6 months old 1 meal a day after 9-12 months old) Feeding once a day (or even less often) can be a great feeding plan for a dog, but often not at first; too much new food at a meal can cause digestive upset. Feed as large a portion as you can for the size of the meal. No little pieces or cut up, 'bite sized' or bony chunks. **** This will allow for the dog's digestive system to adjust. Puppies need as much food when they are small, as they will as adults. Since they are much smaller, and their stomachs are smaller, divide the daily amount into as many meals as each puppy needs for complete digestion and to not overload the stomach. That too, can lead to Cannon Butt. Some large to giant breed puppies might even need more meals a day than in the general guideline, until they reach a size and digestive ability that can accommodate the amounts needed to be fed. **** Dogs need to tear into their food and shear hunks off to swallow and crunch bone for physical, mental and dental health. They don`t chew or eat the way we do - their jaws aren't designed to move from side to side, just up and down - their digestion begins in their stomachs, not in their mouths. So swallowing big hunks of meat and bone is fine. If it fits, its OK. **** Clear on this? Bigger parts are always better. Dogs and pups also need the emotional satisfactions and satiety that come from interacting with big awkward and engaging hunks o meat. **** If it isn't happy in the stomach, the dog will hork it up, and re-eat it, so it will go down and stay down the 2nd or 3rd time. Its all good, that`s the way dogs are. **** This is NOT to mean that this should be happening at every meal. Dogs that consistently gulp or 'wolf down' their meals, or try to swallow them whole, often have a learned or innate behavioral component driving this. Sure, dogs don't chew, they rip, tear, crunch, slime chomp and swallow, but frantic eating or resource guarding behavior means that the environment needs to be adapted to help the dog feel calmer and safer during mealtimes. Feeding Big Food, bigger than the dog's head, and teaching Trading UP can help a hasty eater to slow down. **** And; 4. Feed a little less at each meal at first than you think you should. Too much new food over the course of a day or two can cause digestive upset, too. Some dogs are, or learn to be, self-regulators. That means, no matter how much food you offer them, or how often, they will only eat as much as they need. *** A variation of feeding meal sized parts can be to offer Big Food, say a whole chicken, and let a dog or pup eat of it until you judge they have eaten a meal's worth. Then, you Trade Up for a yummy treat, and put the chicken away until the next mealtime. 5. Stay with one new meat for at least a week, maybe two. You want the dog to be showing you that he is well adjusted to the new meat before adding in new stuff. Take it slow; add only one new meat every week or two. **** There is NO hard and fast timeline "rule" to feed the introductory meat. Some dogs or pups may adjust very quickly, some need a lot of time. Look to each dog's output - 'good' poops, as evidenced by firm or even soft but formed poops, not runny or fossil poops or hard nuggets - will tel you if you need to adjust further or can move on to the next step, or new meat. **** 6. You can switch to a new meat by just serving it at the next meal, and all the meals after that for a week or so, or you can add a bite or two of the new meat in with the 'old' meat, gradually adding more new and less 'old' over several days, until you are feeding all new and no 'old'. **** The conservative way, the 'safe' way, is of course, to add in small bits and bites of one new meat at a time to a well tolerated meat meal. This allows for the dog's GIT to adjust gradually. When you are adding in bits of a new meat, cut back on the overall meal amount to compensate. **** Pups tend to acclimate much more quickly to variety in their diet. Whatever works for your own dog. 7. Boneless meals tend to produce loose, even runny poops. A judicious amount of bone in a newbie dog's meal will tend to firm things up. There will be less poop overall; raw is much more digestible, and less goes to waste. Poops will be less frequent also, for the same reason. **** Never feed bare bones. Never feed beef or the bones of bison, elk, or moose, as these critters have very dense bones that will break teeth. Deer sized critters will have more edible bone, except for the lower leg bones. https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/recreational-bones/10150697067146360 You will want to feed bone in meals until you can gain experience in feeding raw, and can judge what the dog/pup needs. Often, new to raw dogs and pups need a bit more bone at first to ease the adjustment, and some bone in every meal, so the new to raw feeder doesn't freak out over loose poops. You won't be feeding the 5% liver and 5% other organs at least until you have successfully introduced a few new meats, so 80-85% meatymeat and 15-20% bone at first is reasonable. You do NOT want to only feed such small bony parts as necks, wings, backs as meals. These are much too bony, and choking and abrasion hazards when fed by themselves. Chicken is pretty bony overall, - about 27 - 32 %, depending on the type of bird - so feeding through the whole chicken, especially using the bone in breasts, and maybe leaving off the wings completely (make soup or broth or Buffalo Wings for the fam) would further reduce bone content. https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/-of-bone-in-chicken-and-nutrients-and-other-stuffs/10150176692356360 Hearts and gizzards are fed as meat, so you can certainly add them in to any meal to 'meaty it up'. You can also offer as treats, either cut up or whole as is appropriate for the dog's size. Fridge Dried treats can be easily made and used for training treats; https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/ntombi-a-peters-fridge-dried-treats-photo-tutorial/10151661851366360 **** Bone adds bulk, so sloppy poops can be firmed up by some (don't go overboard!) bone at each meal at first. Too much bone and your dog can get " fossil" poops that are dry, whitish and crumbly. 8. Chicken is often recommended as the first meat to be introduced for several reasons: its cheap, easy to obtain, has easily consumed and digested bones, is easy to cut into different meal sized portions, is bland, you can trim visible fat and skin if you need to tweak, you can even take out bone if you need to, most dogs will eat it and its pretty bland. **** https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/-of-bone-in-chicken-and-nutrients-and-other-stuffs/10150176692356360 Deboning a chicken leg http://www.5min.com/Video/De-Boning-Chicken-Legs-Method-1-84003232 http://www.5min.com/Video/De-Boning-Chicken-Legs-Method-2-85458684 **** Read the labels on the chicken before you buy; don't get any that say its enhanced with flavoring/seasonings, tenderizing additives or salt/sugar/broth injected. Some dogs get itchy or vomit or get true diarrhea from enhancements. Whole chickens are the best to start with, ime. Cut into portion sizes with kitchen shears, as needed. **** Whether your dog gets obvious symptoms or distress from enhanced meats or not, bottom line is that enhancements aren't healthy - for them or us. https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/enhancements-side-effects-and-what-to-look-for-us/10150500734526360 **** 9. Some newbie dogs vomit or poop bone bits. There is an adjustment period, so you want some bone in most meals at first, but too much bone may not be digested and the dog will just hork it up or poop it out. NPs, its just the dog's way of saying "Too much right now, no thanks." *** This is a sign to back off the bone. Every dog and pup will adjust to eating raw, bone included, at their own individual pace. BUT, BBV - Bone Bits Vomit - or undigested bone in poop is a sign that you are feeding too much bone, either for the dog's current abilities, or for any dog. 10% bone is needed for proper nourishment, that's all. A small amount more might be 'needed' for scoopable poops, if that is important to you. Every dog will have its own level of 'good' for bone in the feeding plan, and feeding too much bone will not only lead to painful poops, constipation or even blockage or impaction, but robs the dog of enough meat for proper nutrition. ****
10. Some dogs will get the Bile Vomits or Bone Bits Bile Vomits (BV or BBBV) when new to raw simply because their schedules or routines of eating have been changed.
When a dog adjusts to raw, his gastric 'juices' become much more acid, to better digest the raw meat and bone. If he's expecting a meal at a certain time, the juices start flowing in anticipation of getting a meal. When the meal doesn't happen, the dog often will hork up the yellowish, foamyish bile, with or without bones.
Sometimes they hork up BBBV because raw digests faster than kibble, the tummy is empty, so it must be time to eat. NP for the dog, he's gotten rid of the irritation. He may react as if he feels bad, just because you are upset that he did it on your new comforter, or on the white carpet.
11. A lot of dogs don't drink as much water or as frequently when switched to all raw, all the time. Raw has a pretty high water content and most dogs are forced by dry as dust kibble to over drink water to compensate in order for their bodies to process it. If only fed raw, you don't need to coax your dog to drink more water or even broth, just offer plenty of fresh water, he'll drink when he needs it.
12. True diarrhea is not just loose, runny or sloppy poops. It is frequent, liquid or watery explosions of poo that a dog cannot 'hold back'.
True diarrhea is caused by disease or parasites. The occasional loose poops, or "Cannon Butt" even over a few days, that comes from feeding a few too many boneless meals or introing too much of a new meat or feeding too much organ at one whack, is not diarrhea. ~~~
13. The general rule of thumb for feeding raw is: 80% meat (muscle, fat, skin, connective tissue and such muscular organs as heart, tongue and gizzard) 10% EDIBLE bone (not all bone that is served must be consumed) and 10% organs (3-5% of this is liver, the rest is as much variety as you can find and afford) This is not an immutable 'daily requirement'. *** This approximates the edible portions of the 'average' prey animal. **** "Balance Over Time", over weeks and months is one of the raw feeding maxims. ; ) If you feed true whole prey, that is; entire animals at a time, then the meat to bone to organ ratios are 'perfect' for that creature. Whatever parts your dog can eat of is right for him. In the wild, wolves will eat off a large animal carcass for days, and each wolf gets different parts. If times are hard, they will consume the entire critter, including skin, fur, less 'choice' parts and will even crack the hard long bones to get to the marrow, even hunt small prey, like rabbits, mice or birds. If pickin's are plentiful, they will eat the easiest and choice parts, and then move on. **** We want to feed our dogs as if prey is plentiful, and easy pickin's. We do not want to approximate hard times; lack of available or primary evolutionary prey. **** Because of variances in size, age, personality, life experiences, structure and dental ability, a particular dog will be able to consume, or not: all or part or some or a little bone from any particular animal. The exception to this is most beef bones, and the weight bearing bones of large ruminants - too dense - these are tooth breakers and can cause early wear. **** https://www.facebook.com/.../10150697067146360 Gnawing on beef bones, and other dense bones from large herbivores, especially when bare, cause microfractures that lead to damaged teeth and loss later in life; dead teeth, abnormal wear, abscesses, chipped teeth, and slab fractures. **** It can take time to develop raw sources, feed what you can find in your region and afford. THE Lis List - a compilation of 43 creative ideas for sourcing raw - can help; https://www.facebook.com/.../10150176213351360 In addition, our affiliated CFS - Carnivore Feed Supplier - groups can help you to network between other raw feeders, vendors, hunters and directly with farmers and others who raise and also sell meat cuts, parts, and whole prey; https://www.facebook.com/notes/raw-feeding-rf/carnivore-feed-supplier-groups/10150249230056360 Created specifically for networking between vendors and raw feeders - and between raw feeders as well - and to keep the high volume main groups clear of advertising and clutter. USA http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118405634857097 14. Organs - don't try to add a lot of organs or organ variety at first. An easy way to satisfy the human need to "Do it all, right now!", is to toss the gizzards and heart you get with your whole chickens in with a bonier meal, a little piece at a meal. **** To clarify, hearts and gizzards are meat. **** Heart and gizzards are organs, but should be fed as meatymeat. The liver can be cut up into teensy bits, and fed a tiny bit at a time with a meal. This will allow you to feed organs, but shouldn't cause runny stools. If it does, stop feeding it and freeze those parts for later on down the line. **** Muscular organs are fed as meat. Heart, tongue, gizzards, trachea, esophagus, uteri, pizzle, tripe, lung, intestines, all are fed as meat. Wait until you have successfully introduced several new meats before introducing liver. There's no rush, let the dog show you that he's ready. As with any new meats, add in a tiny bit to a well tolerated meal. Then, wait and see if there is any fall out from adding it in. There's no need to feed a lot of any organ at a time, or to feed entire meals of any organ. **** A partial list of organs, so I don't forget to look for variety; liver, salivary glands, spleen, sweetbread (thymus & pancreas), kidneys, ovaries, testes, brain. "Offal" - viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal often considered inedible by humans, but great dog food! Offal can fall into either meatymeat or organ categories. **** "Offal" is a term we don't use on Raw Feeding, simply because it means different parts to people in different countries, even parts of the same country and different cultures and ethnicities, and even family traditions. ****
15.SEBP - Slippery Elm Bark Powder. This is a good innocuous herb that soothes the stomach and digestive system. If you feel you need to intervene when your dog has loose poops or constipation, this is the way to go. SEBP is used to treat diarrhea, constipation, enteritis, colitis & irritations of the stomach.Its used to soothe, protect & lubricate mucous membranes. Also, can be used to relieve the discomforts of kennel cough & other types of bronchitis.
http://fiascofarm.com/herbs/supplements dot htm
I have used 1 Tsp - 1 Tbl of SEBP to 8 - 12 oz of ground or chopped chicken. Mix together and shape enough meatballs for several days, and freeze them. They thaw quickly. For small dogs, divide in 1/2 ounce meatballs, for large to giant dogs, 1 ounce meatballs. Feed 1 with each meal. Or, fast for a day, (not for pups, fast for just a meal or two) offer plenty of water. Feed SEBP meatballs 3-4 times throughout the day.
Feed smaller, more frequent meals for several days after, gradually increasing the meals and decreasing the SEBP meatballs. You will often see an increase in mucousy poops with SEBP, this is part of the way it soothes
the digestive system, and the dog's body will do the same sometimes even without SEBP. You can also mix it with meat broth and feed it whenever you fast/rest the dog's digestive tract. And you can dust meat with SEBP when there's digestive upset. SEBP is not for long term or preventative use, as its possible that it could interfere with nutrient assimilation. Better to identify what you're doing, or not doing, that is causing the problem(s); learn to know your dog's particular needs, and to get to the bottom of any continuing issue(s), identify and resolve them, than to continually use SEBP to mask it.
16. You can feed pretty much any animal or animal part that your dog will eat,and that won't break the bank. : Common grocery store variety suffices for some; chicken, turkey, pork, beef, lamb, fish, rabbit. Others can obtain at a reasonable price, and feed; goat, venison, emu, ostrich, bison, buffalo, elk, mutton, mice, rats, guinea hen, quail, bear (bear? ), the list goes on and on.
17. If you must supplement, you can add Salmon or Fish Body oil, either in caps or liquid. It adds Omega 3 fatty acids to the diet, to balance out the O6s, which supermarket meats are high in.
Make sure it doesn't have any plant based oils, like soy, in there. Build up the dog's bowel tolerance gradually to a maintenance dosage.
This is just a guideline. You do not need to follow it word for word. Good luck!! Kari