Raw Pet Food

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    Cold Feet...

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    RoughCollies

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    Join date : 2009-02-17
    Age : 30
    Location : New York

    Cold Feet...

    Post  RoughCollies on Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:56 pm

    I've been delaying this for YEARS. We had a foster that was on a terrible and joke of a "raw" diet a couple of years ago and I had a horrible time with it. I had just been researching RAW at the time and had planned on switching my then two dogs over but changed my mind.

    Basically, they had been feeding him Chicken Quarters. That's it. Nothing else at all. And he wouldn't eat them whole. We had to chop them. With no real good way of doing so, it became an extremely large chore. He was a 100lb very young and active GSD. We tried adding other meats and he refused them. Was too used to his yummy chicken. I'd spend half my day every Sunday with a huge knife and a huge cutting board whacking away at those chicken quarters. Cutting bone, I decided, was not fun. I vowed then to never feed my dogs a raw diet.

    However, I'd never actually given up wanting to do it properly with my crew. I now have four dogs. Two female Collies(ages 5 and 2), a male Collie(8 months) and a female GSD(4) that I would be switching.

    The thing is, I'm still very nervous about processing it. Do I have to cut up bones again? I'm not an overly strong person and my hubby is a truck driver who is rarely home. I simply do not want to spend hours chopping meat for four large dogs.

    However, I want to try them on it. Always have. I have read and read and read. What I am looking for, I suppose is advice on how to prepare it. Give me a rough example of what you feed in a week to your dogs, please. And, how you feed it.

    I want to do this. I don't want one bad experience to ruin it for me, but I can't seem to get past that. I don't mind spending a while once a week preparing a weeks worth of food. No worries there. It's the chopping. Even my hubby had a hard time with it.

    I've also read about doing it on and off. As in kibble four days and raw the other three. Is that a good way for both the dogs and I to transition?

    Any advice is appreciated. We're ready to give this a shot.
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    Kelly
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    Location : London, Ontario

    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  Kelly on Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:14 pm

    My mom has a GSD now, we have a chi and til recently had an older mutt. The way we transitioned them was... just give them meat.

    I think your old baby had you well trained! LOL Dogs are able to chew, and eat many meats. Dogs will NOT starve themselves, and it's up to you to draw the line in the sand as to what you are and are not willing to do for them.

    My advice would be to get a whole whack of things on sale, and just start feeding. Post an add on your local Craigslist/etc looking for free meat (we have a helpful sticky at the top of both cat and dog section detailing what to say).

    Don't give up, they may puke, they may get the runs, they may do FINE and have NO problems! Won't know til you try! I do hear that larger dogs are actually easier than smaller dogs (and cats!), because they can eat larger bones (ribs, etc) of cheaper meat (beef).

    I'm sorry if you were looking for a specific meal plan idea, I know that those can be a life saver, but I do believe you can start with some chicken legs for a week or so, then add in some beef (like stewing beef/roast etc). Keep adding new stuff every week or two until you have a good rotation and then start adding in organs (liver, kidney, etc). This is usually the advice I feel most comfortable giving, and the one that seems less stressful for most newbies. It would take your dogs a while to start having any "complications" from lack of organ meats (and this advice would only take maybe 2 mths tops before you add it into their diet).

    (P.S. Where are the pictures?! scratch Laughing )


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    Heather

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    Age : 30
    Location : O'Fallon, MO

    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  Heather on Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:40 pm

    I'll echo everything Kelly said cause she's so smart. It won't do you any good to have a meal plan of what others feed because you need to start out with one protein source and slowly add a new one in each week or however long it takes for stools to normalize. A raw diet is really tailored to the individual dog. The amounts, type of meat, frequency, bone amount, will all reflect what your dogs do best with. The general guide is 2-3% of the ideal adult weight fed per day. If fed once a day it allows for a more challenging meal and slows dogs who gulp down. Don't cut anything for your dogs. Chicken bones are completely edible for collies- your other dog had you wrapped around his finger. I've heard of healthy dogs going 7 days without food because they wanted catering to and the owners were sick of it. After the hunger strike (believe me it's harder on us than the dog) there was never another issue at meal time.


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    Kelly
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    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  Kelly on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:24 am

    Why, Heather.. *head swells* Razz

    Any news, RoughCollies? I know your dogs from the bird forum, and would love to see them here too. Smile


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    RoughCollies

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    Join date : 2009-02-17
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    Location : New York

    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  RoughCollies on Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:02 pm

    I just have a very hard time giving my dogs chicken bones. I know that they chew/digest them differently then cooked bones but it's like very strong teachings over so many years telling me no. I need a push. I bought a nice cut up chicken and everything and then chickened (pun intended Wink ) out. I give them raw meat all the time. Just not bones. Why is it so hard to get past what you know to be an incorrect issue like this?

    Anyway, onto the pics. Sorry I took so long to get back on here. I haven't been online too much this week.

    Mason, 8 month old male collie.


    Dixie, 2 year old female collie.


    Faith, 5 year old female collie.


    Dakota, 4 year old female GSD.
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    RoughCollies

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    Join date : 2009-02-17
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    Location : New York

    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  RoughCollies on Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:59 pm

    One more question... Where do you find is the best place to get meat?
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    Kelly
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    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  Kelly on Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:25 pm

    Such gorgeous dogs! *swoon*

    On the bones, if my 5 lb chihuahua can handle a chicken leg, I think your dogs should be fine. Wink Remember that your dogs are no different than the wolves in zoos, and although there is ALWAYS a risk with bones, the risk is so minimal. How many dogs have your heard about choking on RAW bones? None. Cooked bones kill, raw bones do not.

    It is definately hard to get over the "bones = die", but they have the teeth MEANT to crush bones.. and eventually, the sound will make you happy instead of cringe.

    On the "where to find meat", I would post in the appropriate section. We have a sticky about posting on your local Craigslist/Kijiji and you can also try and find butchers or hobby breeders in your area to inquire about stock.


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    Timothea

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    Location : Kitchener Ontario

    Re: Cold Feet...

    Post  Timothea on Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:10 pm

    The easiest and safest bones to start with for big dogs are chicken necks, if you can find them. Dogs used to kibble tend to gulp their food, so you may need to feed necks, and backs too, for a few times to get them used to chewing their food again. Chicken quarters are more appropriate, as there is more meat and less bone, but you just want to get over the hurdle of NO BONES! right?

    Chicken bones are softer than most other bones out there, (barring squirrel or rabbit) so while you hear crunching going on, they don't take a lot of work. So you want to feed chicken for a few weeks, then you can add a different protein. Just remember when you were introducing cereal to an infant. Use the regular one till you are settled into it, then introduce the new one (pork say?) and see how things go on the two proteins for a while. Some dogs have a problem with pork though, so make sure it's not seasoned pork if yours seem to.

    Lamb is a favourite and easy to digest, but expensive, so if you find a good deal, snap it up. I buy it in bulk, and eat half, so that Charlotte (my dog) gets a variety of meats. You ideally would feed some chicken, some turkey, some lamb, some pork, some beef, some bison, some venison, you get the drift. LOTS of different protein sources, so less chance of developing allergies.

    You also want to look at proportions of meat to bone to organs. You can't ONLY feed meat. Bones are good for teeth and bone building, organs are full of nutrients, and fat is good for healthy skin eyes and brains. What you want to strive for is 80%meat, 10%bone, and the rest made up of organs and viscera of which half should be liver. You don't need to balance every meal, we don't eat a balanced meal every time, so why should our dogs?

    I give organ once a week, and liver every other time. I know if I'm feeding appropriately by looking at my dog's poops: if she is straining and it's coming out dusty and white, she needs more organ, and less bone. If it's runny, less organ and more bone (and sometimes cut back on the pork) Perfect is an easily passed stool that turns white after a few days. (my neighbours must love me, I don't pick up daily for this reason.)

    Now, my dog eats a lot, more than most dogs her size, because she is so active. Weekly we'll go through the equivalent of two turkey necks, a beef roast, a whole chicken or two, four pigs feet, a beef kidney and a lamb shank, as well as about a cup of tripe (that one I feed when I have it) She weighs about 55 pounds, I think.

    How do I know she's getting enough? If she starts getting bony, I feed her a little more. If she starts getting a little fleshy, I would feed a little less.

    With regard to feeding kibble and raw to transition, some dogs are fine with it, but some dogs aren't. There is evidence that most kibbles are very indigestible, and so they sit in the intestines longer than raw. Raw is so easily processed, and most of it is used, that there's not a huge problem, but your dog might get sick if the kibble isn't eliminated before the raw gets stuck behind it. There are bacteria in raw meats, which isn't a problem unless it sits around in the system too long waiting to be eliminated, which sometimes happens with kibble. If you do decide to feed both, either feed them mixed together, so the raw can digest before the kibble has a chance to, or feed the kibble after the raw and fast your dogs afterwards, fine if you only feed once a day to switch them up, if they tolerate it.

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