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Just Switched To Raw


Guest meakah
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Well, after pondering it for years and years and constantly battling soft stool and then Koda getting a random bout of explosive runs on my carpet last week...I have decided I have had enough with kibble and have done the switch. So raw feeders....welcome your newest members: Koda and Tyah. :)

 

I have done some research and have been consulting with a co-worker who has studied animal nutrition for 5 years (2 Masters degrees). Between all that, I think we are transitioning well, but I want to speak to those who have had years of experience doing this too because I am sure there is much knowledge and experience to share.

 

I switched both of them on Friday night (Nov. 19). I was told to just start with straight chicken for the first week or so so that is what I am doing. They are getting ground up chicken containing some organ content and bones. They are frozen cubes and so I thaw them out in the fridge and then mix with water. Tyah started to get a bit bunged up so I started to introduce some fiber by adding Solid Gold Seameal to each meal (I will probably end up only adding this ~twice/week once more fiber is in the diet). I also add some oil....for now I am using California Natural which I initially started giving to help add fats to Koda's diet as she was a bit thin and dull coat...not sure if I will continue to feed it on the raw diet once bottle runs out....thoughts? Today, I will be picking up some frozen ground chicken with fruit/veggies mixed in it and will be adding a bit of that mix to each meal as well...gradually introducing more fiber.

 

Does that all sound ok? What else can I add? I bought some eggs to give....how often do you give them an egg? And with the shell I am assuming? Should I be mixing rice or something with their raw meat? If so, how much? And what about fresh veggies? I read somewhere that they need to be ground up or the dog will not digest any of it....is this true? How often do you add veggies?

 

And as for how much....Koda (9.5 yrs old) could stand to gain a few pounds and so I am feeding her 3% of her body weight. Tyah is of perfect weight (she is 2.5yrs old) and so I don't want her to gain any but she is young and very active so I am feeding her 3% as well. Is that too much? Obviously in time I will know but any initial thoughts on that?

 

They are absolutely LOVING their feeding times now (twice daily) and totally nice solid stool for probably the first time ever. I will find this diet somewhat difficult as I am a vegetarian (for 19yrs now!!) but am finding it tolerable if they are frozen cubes like I am getting from a local store (they make and sell their own raw diet). So buying raw at the grocery store is gonna be tough.....but if I have specific recommendations that require little to no handling...I am game. ;) And I really cannot stand the smell of fish so I may just go for the sardines in a can that many have mentioned. How often should I add sardines?

 

Any and all info greatly appreciated!! :)

 

One other thing....I would like to switch my 2 cats (8 yrs old) to raw as well....any thoughts on that? They would just require the meat (no fruit/veggies) I would assume? With some Seameal mentioned above?

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If the dogs are getting backed up, it's because there's too much bone. Rather than adding something else, I would ease up on the amount of bone in the ground meat. Any reason why you're feeding ground instead of actual raw meaty bones, meat and organ?

 

I feed prey model, which means no rice, no other grains, no veggies. If you want to feed veggies, that's your perogative, but the basis of a raw diet is that dogs are not evolved to eat anything buy meat, especially grains so I definitely would not add grains to the diet. I do recommend a reputable fish oil supplement daily - I recommend a sardine/anchovy oil, but good quality salmon oil that does toxicity testing is okay too, do not use cod liver oil.

 

3% is very likely too much to maintain body weight. Both of mine maintain at around 2%.

 

Disregard my earlier question, I see why you are feeding ground. If that's all you can handle, I understand, but you will need to supplement with more meat and possibly more organ to balance out what is in the premade. You also will need to eventually add in other proteins. If you are up for it, I would strongly recommend feeding whole pieces of meat and raw meaty bones though. Re: fish, canned fish actually smell much more strongly than fresh, but some dogs don't like whole fresh fish. Eggs can be fed whole, but I would get them from a local source if you can where the chickens are free ranging.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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The ground frozen *should* be balanced, so if one dog is getting blocked, it may be temporary as she adjusts. More meat would be good, ground beef or skinless, boneless chicken breast might not be too repulsive for you :) Also, you can add canned pumpkin (not pie mix, just plain pumpkin).

 

3% is ok to start with, especially if you are trying to put some weight on, but keep an eye on them and you may need to cut back later. I adjust mine based on time of year, activity level. After awhile you just eyeball it :) I give sardines about once a week, as well as eggs. I don't usually give the shell, just crack an egg over their food. I also do not feed veggies, one of my dogs can't eat them.

 

As for switching your cats, good luck :) I have never convinced mine to eat raw, but I think most people who have started with the ground mix. The texture is similar to canned cat food, which makes it easier for the picky, traditional, hide-bound little monsters accept it :lol

 

The sardines will help their coats, or you could just give a squirt of salmon oil.

 

Have fun!

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Guest Swifthounds

:nod

Constipation with pre-fab raw is pretty common. I've not yet seen one that didn't have too much bone. You can rectify this by either feeding whole pieces or by simply adding in more meat.

 

 

Don't worry about being a vegatarian. There are many, many vegetarian/vegan raw feeders out there, so we've all been where you are now. Many of us now do things that would make a butcher queasy. :lol

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Guest FijiHound

At the moment my dog is close to 4% (german shepherd x) as she was terribly ill for a good while and had lost so much weight. For a good month we boosted up what we normally fed her but to no avail. She has been on a raw food diet now for over two weeks and has gained quite a bit of weight :) so will have to cut back down once her backbone gets covered with fat and flesh again :). I understand being a vege how you may not want to handle meat but its fun to watch the dogs prance at dinner because they spotted a hunk of bone or meat, they like to settle down and gnaw :) They are on beef this week so its a mixture of a meaty bone, tongue, lung and a bit of kidney BUT as gross as it sounds have you tried chicken feet yet??? I'm asking as my dog goes completely cross eyed for it, she'll pull everything out of her bowl and sulk if she doesn't get at least one in her bowl haha.

I throw in an egg twice a week...Cassie likes hers beaten and not just dumped in a bowl thank you :) and once a week we do the tin of fish - my dogs love the kind in tomato sauce if that's any help.

I don't aim to put vegetables in but if we have any scraps after dinner that gets thrown in as well.

Edited by FijiHound
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I agree on the no veggies or grains - I was planning to do it when we first started (way back when ;)) but then I did some more research and never actually did it. Eggs are lovely but do start slow as the digestive tract can take a little bit to get used to them. I'd split one between the two dogs at first and see how they do. Mine won't eat shells, so I just give them the egg, that seems to be personal preference.

 

As far as oils, I'd suggest a fish oil (just not cod liver oil) rather than the veggie based oils that you are currently giving. They are easier for their system to process when they come from fish, assuming no allergies of course.

 

For giving whole meat items, I'd recommend starting with things that don't require any cutting or prep. Chicken leg quarters are a common "first food" for raw and all you need to do is just hand them to the dog, they will do the rest. As you progress you will likely find that you get used to handling raw meat more and more, I know I can deal with lots of things now that would have totally creeped me out before.

 

Re: fish, go for the fish oil if you can't stand feeding fish. Giving grass-fed meat is another great way to up the Omega 3's but it is very expensive for most people. I wouldn't rely on canned fish as it is cooked, and on that note I find that canned fish have a much stronger smell than raw. What I normally do is get some frozen sardines or mackerel, rinse them under cold water for a couple of minutes, and hand them to the dogs. The smell is much less with them raw & frozen.

 

Good luck and welcome to the dark side. :D

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Just to answer a few, I am feeding the ground up frozen cubes due to me being a vegetarian therefore likely not being able to handle much else. I am not oppose to giving chicken backs/thighs/etc but I refuse to give it to them in the house and well....it was -36C (-33F) here last night. :( So ya....a bit limited on what I can give them at the moment until the temperature warms up a bit. And don't ask why I live here..... :blink:

 

A few have mentioned not to feed cod liver oil...why is that?

 

I think I will keep Koda at 3% and cut Tyah to 2-2.5% from what you all are saying. Thanks a bunch for that tidbit.

 

As for the eggs, I did buy them from the store this time but I do have a source for free range (and VERY WELL LOVED chickens). The only thing I was concerned about is that I have been warned about raw eggs and the risk of salmonella and I was told it was a higher risk if I get them from say a friend who likely doesn't clean them as much. Any thoughts on this? I don't normally buy eggs so I am a bit ignorant when it comes to that stuff.

 

And thanks for the tidbit about canned fish smelling more....good to know!!

And will definitely toss in some chicken feet once in a while. :P

 

Also, good to know about pre-fab diets often having too much bone content. I will surely start adding in more meat to counter that. Thanks for the advice!!

 

Thank you to all who have offered tidbits and shared wisdom!! :)

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Cod liver oil is quite high in vit A and D, just like liver. Regular fish oil on the other hand is made from the whole fish, not just the liver. The problem is that those vitamins are fat soluble, so they will build up in the body and it's possible to overdose them, unlike water soluble vitamins where the excess would just get peed out. :D And since most people want to give fish oil for the Omega 3's, you'd get a lot of those vitamins before you got a sufficient amount of the Omegas. This is also why you don't want to feed too much liver.

 

Raw eggs are fine, not really different from raw chicken when it comes to salmonella and such. I'd much rather feed free range eggs than the factory farmed stuff we get in grocery stores. The condition those factory chickens are in are way worse IMO.

 

So you think chicken feet are less gross than a chicken quarter? That is very surprising, I often feed chicken feet when I'm trying to creep out visitors. :P I definitely don't envy you the weather - stay warm! I have a cousin in the Edmonton area so I've been hearing all about it, brr.

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don't worry about things like salmonella. dogs have very short digestive tracts (compared to humans) and very strong stomach acid to digest all that raw meat & bones. They are designed to scavenge as well as hunt, and almost never have problems with stuff like salmonella.

 

can't help you on the cod liver oil, I've never given mine anything other than salmon oil.

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Guest alf7199

Chicken Feet & Chicken Leg Quarters... do you just give them the whole thing? or do you have to prep them? just buy fresh at the store?

 

I want to start supplementing raw into my pups diet and reading this thread got me more excited. Just as the previous post suggested with "easy" first foods, going with the chicken.

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With a dog the size of a greyhound, feeding chicken feet or leg quarters is a few simple steps: 1) open package, 2) hand to dog.

Yup, this is what I do, both for my 75 lb grey and my 35 lb mixed breed. No prep work required, the only thing I might do is rinse them off under the tap.

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Cod liver oil has a higher risk of having toxins due to it being made purely from the liver, that's the reason I've been told to avoid it.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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With a dog the size of a greyhound, feeding chicken feet or leg quarters is a few simple steps: 1) open package, 2) hand to dog.

 

Unless you have a prima donna like Princess Molly, who requires that large pieces like chicken quarters be cut into smaller pieces :rolleyes: (and she doesn't really much like chicken anyway :lol )

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Guest Swifthounds

Being a prima donna in my household means you voluntarily skip a meal and get to watch everyone else eat their dinner. ;) It's not the skipping that gets them , but the watching everyone else eat. The only exceptions are for those who are ill, at least age 13, or who don't have teeth.

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