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1St Time Raw Fooder - 2 Dogs, 2 Different Needs?


Guest AndyK
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Hello

 

After a long time of putting it off and making excuses, I now want to get my two greys on a raw food diet. I've done a lot of reading online and I feel like I understand the basics, but could use some input from you lovely people on a couple of queries.

 

We have two greys - Billy (6, no health issues apart from he's had quite a few teeth out), and Misty (13years 3 months).

Misty is on Metacam for her arthirtis and is also given YuMove.

 

Both dogs (I'm not proud to say this) have always had a kibble/tinned diet. This is (soon to be was!) c1.5-2 cups kibble mixed with wet food, twice a day.

 

Now, here's the (potential) problem - Misty. Firstly I want to ask, is changing a diet so late in life an issue? I know that sounds odd given I'd be drastically improving the quality of her food.

2nd thing - more significant - I'm waiting for full test results next week but she's recently had blood and urine tests done which are showing early signs of kidney disease. Now, I'm assuming the vet's suggestion will be a renal diet, something like Royal Canin. I've got no qualms about giving her better food but I would much, much prefer it to be in the form of raw food, not some hugely overpriced kibble/standard stuff.

 

I've confused the hell out of myself reading so many things about whether the low protein diet is needed for kidney issues or not, to the point where I'm scared to get started on raw food in case I do it wrong!

 

So I'd love input about whether I would need to adjust her diet from a 'normal' raw food one? And also will I need to be giving Billy different meals?

 

Hope that all makes sense, and thanks in advance

 

Andy(and Billy and Misty)

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I don't see any issue in changing Misty's diet because of her age, as you said, you would be improving it! However, if she does have kidney disease, that may be another issue. In the early stages, the higher quality protein of a raw diet can actually help, but as the disease progresses, she would really need to be on a low protein diet. You may want to go to some of the kidney disease boards (hopefully someone here will have links) and look into a home cooked diet for her. Better than kibble, but you can make something that doesn't stress her kidneys.

 

Welcome to the dark side :)

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In the early stages, the higher quality protein of a raw diet can actually help, but as the disease progresses, she would really need to be on a low protein diet.

:nod

 

As you said, there seems to be a lot of conflicting ideas out there, but I don't think early stage kidney problems need major protein restriction. IMO feeding proteins that are high in moisture (raw meat is about 80% moisture, kibble is around 10%) and of high biological value is more important. If your dog has the beginnings of kidney failure, you should change some things from a regular raw diet. Most importantly will be to reduce phosphorus, which is found in bone and in a lot of dairy products (cottage cheese, etc.). So...a lower bone, or boneless diet (with calcium supplement) is ideal. A lot of people also substitute higher levels of carbohydrates (cooked sweet potato, rice, pasta, veggies, etc.) into the diet to add calories without adding phosphorus (up to about half of the diet). Also, be careful of too many organ meats as they can also contain phosphorus...you still need to feed them, but don't go overboard on things like liver. I have heard that raw green tripe is a great food for kidney dogs. You can also do a cooked diet, or add high quality mix-ins which may be easier or you. There are some good resources out there for homemade kidney diets.

 

I have fed raw for over 15 years to multiple ages, breeds, etc. and have never had an issue switching. It just depends on your dog and monitoring how their health is as you go.

 

As an aside, I am guessing that your vet is aware that greyhound creatinine runs high? Do you have the numbers for the creatinine and BUN?

Edited by RedHead
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MY 4 yr old Greyhound is on a raw diet since I adopted him 2 yrs ago and has a gorgeous coat and teeth. More to answer your question on your older dog, my 12 1/2 yr old GSD is also on raw and two vets I see always comment on how young she looks. I started her on raw about 6-7 yrs ago because of a condition she has called EPI and it was the first time her stool was formed although she does need enzymes.

Most vets won't support you with a raw diet but some will. I've read the controversy on low or high protein re: kidney disease and see that most come down on the side that a low protein diet does not help. I think the best quality diet is what will help health issues. You could try one meal raw and another meal kibble. I like a link dogaware.com, many good articles.

I fed Science Diet years ago ( my vet said it was best for my dog) to one of my dogs who had sever allergies. I wish I had known about raw then because I believe he wouldn't have had all the issues he had. Cancer of a toe, siezures and in the end kidney failure. Yes it might of happened anyway but I don't believe it. I also have a new vet.

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thanks all for input so far, much appreciated

 

Spoke to vet today, to complicate things a bit, it's also looking like glomerular disease, which is to do with kidney filtration and meaning she's losing loads of protein, hence the recent weight loss.

Vet is totally cool with me going raw (phew) - said that in this instance, due to the fact she's losing so much protein, I shouldn't reduce it like if it was just the kidney disease.

I.e. Misty will need good quantities of high quality protein - she's said chicken/turkey/lamb.

 

Also said to not give much bone to avoid phosphrous, and use veg/fruit for fibre stuff.

 

So, got myself a 100litre freezer coming tomorrow so tons of room.

 

Was going to to a bulk order for chicken or turkey mince, however I naively hadn't realised this has bone in. So now I'm utterly confused about what to use for the bulk of her diet - any ideas?

thanks!

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You can still use the bone-in mince, just mix it with other non bone stuff. My dogs get about 1/2 ground turkey necks, wings, & drums and 1/2 ground beef (no bone) plus some supplements for trace elements. You could use, say 1/4 or 1/3 mince, 1/3 ground meat (no bone) and 1/3 cooked veggies, green tripe, whatever Misty likes. Just remember, the veggies have to be cooked (mushy). Or, you can do just boneless ground meat, veggies, and add calcium.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Johberry

You can still use the bone-in mince, just mix it with other non bone stuff. My dogs get about 1/2 ground turkey necks, wings, & drums and 1/2 ground beef (no bone) plus some supplements for trace elements. You could use, say 1/4 or 1/3 mince, 1/3 ground meat (no bone) and 1/3 cooked veggies, green tripe, whatever Misty likes. Just remember, the veggies have to be cooked (mushy). Or, you can do just boneless ground meat, veggies, and add calcium.

I don't mean to hijack the thread but am very curious where you got your meat grinder? I don't know the first thing about preparing a grind myself and am having some difficulty finding the proper tools. Right now we feed a commerically prepared bone-in mince with chunks of meat sometimes for dinner, but am curious about grinding our own meat. Thanks in advance!

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You can generally purchase meat grinders in the $100-$200 range that will grind raw meaty bones. If you google "meat grinders" you will get a ton of hits, but the brands I have always heard about from raw dog food forums are Maverick and Northern Tools (the cheaper option). That was many years ago though, there are probably more options out there now.

 

I highly recommend DVM Karen Becker's book "Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats" if you are going to be making your own recipe. Easy to follow and simple, but also one of the few raw diet books that has a dietary analysis as well to ensure your diet is complete.

 

(btw you do not necessarily need a meat grinder in order to make your own food) :)

Edited by RedHead
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Guest Johberry

Thanks, RedHead. I had been looking into raw diets long before we adopted our first greyhound a few months ago. Ideally, I'd like to give a modified prey model diet. Sourcing quality meat, buying in bulk and acquiring proper storage are my main issues (ha ha, which I guess encompasses every thing). A ground mince with chunks of raw meat isn't my first choice but am making do for now. Our hound is getting raw lamb for dinner (it's only been two weeks) and am letting him adjust before I move on to another protein source. I suppose I, too, am over-thinking things but would like to be diligent with feeding the best nutrition I can without breaking the bank. The Raw Food Basics thread has been immensely helpful, and I love reading new threads on raw diets. I'll look into that book as well. Thanks again! :)

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Guest Lillypad

You will get lots of great advice from members here that are feeding a raw diet. I just want to congratulate you on a very wise choice of diet for your hound. I have been feeding a raw diet for over a year now and love the fact that my hound has great digestive, teeth, energy, skin and coat. When on kibble she had a bladder infection which cost us dearly in anguish and expense. I thought I could do better for her by feeding a species appropriate diet. Call it coincidence or not, but she has not had a bladder infection or any health issues for that matter since switching.

Congratulations on deciding to feed a raw diet. You are doing the very best for your canine friend.

Edited by Lillypad
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Guest Lillypad
https://www.facebook.com/groups/rawfeedingcarnivores This group has some great literature on the protein and kidney disease controversy. I do not have the means to feed the whole prey method that they endorse but I do like their knowledge on many of the myths and misinformation regarding how to feed a raw diet. Perhaps you will find information there that is helpful.
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Guest Johberry

You will get lots of great advice from members here that are feeding a raw diet. I just want to congratulate you on a very wise choice of diet for your hound. I have been feeding a raw diet for over a year now and love the fact that my hound has great digestive, teeth, energy, skin and coat. When on kibble she had a bladder infection which cost us dearly in anguish and expense. I thought I could do better for her by feeding a species appropriate diet. Call it coincidence or not, but she has not had a bladder infection or any health issues for that matter since switching.

Congratulations on deciding to feed a raw diet. You are doing the very best for your canine friend.

I love that feeding raw has cleared up your hound's health issues! For now we're doing half raw but look forward to doing it 100% eventually. One issue we've experienced is feeding RMBs. We live in an apartment on the first floor and have no yard so feeding as such is tricky. I've tried sheets on the kitchen floor and feeding in the crate, but he always wants to pick it up and go somewhere else. I've noticed he hasn't learned to eat lying down nor does he use his paws despite being encouraged (he likes to stand and his front legs shake, probably arthritis, so it looks quite uncomfortable). Any tips or tricks on getting a hound to stay in his "place" when eating bony meals such as a rack of pork ribs?? We do have a patio with concrete, so should we try to feed bones outdoors there? I'm curious as to how other apartment dwellers feed. Thank you in advance for any input. :) Edited by Johberry
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Guest Lillypad

The subject of Raw Meaty Bones can be controversial. Some members have had no problems but IMO weight bearing bones are an accident waiting to happen. They can cause teeth to break and jaws to crack. There MUST be a great amount of meat on the bone and when the dog starts to get near the actual bone I take it from the dog, by trading up. Pork rack ribs (as you mentioned) are an excellent meal choice. As for bone, I feed only, brisket, chicken, turkey as well as rabbit and pork rib bones. Never femur or weight bearing bones from large livestock. The facebook sight I mentioned above has many files that explain how to trade up and why RMB can be a hazard. In the warmer weather April to November I feed out doors. I will also put her coat on to send her out of doors as well. I would much prefer feeding out side, much less work for me. When the weather is very cold I feed in the kitchen on a sheet. My girl tried only once or twice to carry her food off, I told her no and redirected her to the sheet. She is now quite content to eat in her "spot". I think he will learn to lie down when he is comfortable, there is not much you can do to encourage that. Does he know the down command, you could ask for that first and then give him his food. If he gets up ask again and reward with small piece of meaty meat from your hand. You see, I am at a loss because our girl transitioned with no challenges at all. If the weather is comfortable I don`t see any reason why you could not feed outside on your patio. Hopefully, other members will have some good tips. Happy feeding, I am sure your hound enjoys his meals.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Johberry

Thanks for all the good advice and encouragement, Lillypad. I'll try feeding the pork ribs/turkey necks/etc outside on our patio for next time. Right now we're making do with a commercially-prepared grind (meat, bone mix) until I can find a good coop or source affordable good meats. Trying to feed him grassfed, hormone-free meat but that gets pretty expensive. I envy those of you in areas where there are butchers who specialize in raw meat/bones for pets. The search continues! He does love dinnertime as that's when he gets his raw meal. Sometimes DBF comments the hound eats better than we do. :)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You said you have a crate, why not just close the door? Thats what I do on raw night in my house as two of my four want to take their raw over to their comfy beds to eat. I close the crate door and they all eat in peace in their separate crates.

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Sorry I am a little late getting back to this :) When I first started feeding RMBs ( I only do turkey or duck necks and pork ribs) I would put down an old towel for them to eat on. Most of my dogs got the hint, but Molly the stubborn Princess kept picking up her turkey neck and moving it. I just followed her and put the towel down in her new spot until she gave up and ate it on the towel :rolleyes: Then you just toss the towel in the wash. I picked up a bunch of cheap old towels at Goodwill.

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Guest Johberry

Sorry I am a little late getting back to this :) When I first started feeding RMBs ( I only do turkey or duck necks and pork ribs) I would put down an old towel for them to eat on. Most of my dogs got the hint, but Molly the stubborn Princess kept picking up her turkey neck and moving it. I just followed her and put the towel down in her new spot until she gave up and ate it on the towel :rolleyes: Then you just toss the towel in the wash. I picked up a bunch of cheap old towels at Goodwill.

Our Enzo sounds just like your Molly! I have an old sheet I use and put his porkribs on it for him to eat but he always takes it to the carpeted living room. Now I'm thinking it's because the bedsheet obviously isn't cushioned enough on top of the hard wood-laminate flooring area where we feed him. I'll try using an old towel and be persistent so he too will perhaps "give up" and stay on it. We had tried his crate and removed his bedding but he still seemed cramped and was sliding around...also, it was still a pain to clean. I'll stick to the towel idea in the kitchen and see how that pans out, if not, I'll try outside on our patio even though the floor of it is concrete. Thanks for the ideas. :)
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