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Raw diet....HELP!!!

Mocha's mum
November 22nd, 2006, 08:25 PM
Hello everyone. I've spent the last 45 mins or so reading different threads on this forum. I think I'm going to 'take the plunge' and start Mocha on raw. He's got some ear issues, and it's starting to make me crazy. I can't imagine how the poor little guy feels....:(

Now, do I just start 'cold turkey' so to speak, or is there an adjustment period. Mocha's been on kibble for five (good God, that long??!!) years, and I'm just worried about digestive issues....I understand that his tummy might get a little upset, but if it helps his ears, why not.

Also, I went to my local pet store, and they have pre-packaged raw food there. I think the brand is Mountain Dog something....has anyone heard of that? I watched the little propaganda video on the website, but I'm a little slow to understanding dog nutrition. I have a hard enough time with my own! On a side note, did you know that celery has a negative calorie count?? Neither did I until a few days ago....

I digress, I apologize. I understand that making your own food is better, and I don't intend on feeding Mocha the store bought stuff all the time...maybe just have a few blocks kicking around 'just in case'.

Any thoughts?? I'm terribly confused.....:crazy:

PS....all of you guys are great! I can't get over how much I didn't know about dogs, and am delighted that everyone is so supportive and caring. It's nice to know that there are people out there that love animals so much!!

November 22nd, 2006, 08:50 PM
LOL! first close your eyes, take a deeep breath... now let it out... repeat... open your eyes and here you are, surrounded by folks who have been where you are, know what it feels like, took the plunge and have never looked back since :p now we're here to help you :)

I checked out the website and their products are actually quite good (no grains or fillers), and the prices seem surprisingly affordable when you buy in bulk. I make my own ground raw mix (i posted a pictorial in this sub-forum, not sure if you saw it?...) and it comes to $0.52/lbs, but most raw feeders are happy if the average cost of the diet is $1/lbs or less.

So. First, your dog is 5 years old? how much does he weigh, what has he eaten the past few years, any allergies you know of? Mind you, some dogs are allergic to cooked meats but the raw form gives them no problems, so I guess this will be a trial-and-error process :)

Second, i encourage you to read to get better acquainted with raw feeding in general... once you know where it comes from, it's easy to draw a path to where it's going.

Third, it's ok to start with commercial raw mixes and then move over to whole pieces from the butcher and suppliers, OR yes you can switch "cold turkey" (first fast your furkid for 24 hours) by just handing over a nice juicy raw chicken leg (i recommend to remove most of the fat at first, since you don't know yet how your dog's tummy will react and fat can give cannon-butt). Some dogs have NO problems with the switch, others take a few days, others a few weeks. It always helps to give a wide-spectrum digestive enzyme at first to ease the transition, you need to get that "lazy kibble tummy" some power to digest real food, finally :D

i'm sure you have so many questions... fire away! and congratulations on wanting to feed your little wolf in dog's clothing the best diet possible, one Mother Nature built him for. I guarantee you will see major improvements from nose to tail in a few short weeks! other forum members here will no doubt share their experiences and observations with you :dog:

November 22nd, 2006, 09:11 PM
We switched our puppy over to raw when he was approximately 4.5 months old and he's 7.5 months old now and has never been healthier. Like your dog, Barkley had ear issues as well as itchy paws and loose stools. We didn't fast him when we switched to raw, although I read that it can make the transition easier, and he had nice, firm stools right from the problems whatsoever. You may want to start him on something easily digestible like chicken as opposed to beef or venison. Three days after switching to raw, Barkley's ears cleared right up and the itching completely stopped. Honestly, I haven't cleaned his ears once since we switched (3 months now) because they are spotless!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

November 22nd, 2006, 09:17 PM
I have to ditto everything TD said...

I recently enough took the plunge and am so happy that i did. Apparently luckily my dogs for the most part didnt have any adverse reactions.:pray:

I was terrified to start though... I thought for sure i would screw something up and cause more damage than good. However the dogs let you know... Its really not rocket science ( although if you were ever a label reader with your dogfood at any point you may think it is)

Just take a deep breath, and feed. My dogs have never choked (yet:fingerscr ) nor do they overly wolf the food down.. There is the odd day that Kita will "try it again" with some of her food. She hacks a little up and starts over. Little unnerving for you but perfectly natural for them.

I didnt cold turkey them over to it, the whole process started with chicken ( as Technodoll suggested) and it was a treat kinda thing, once i was reassured that they could eat it :rolleyes: ( how silly of me) then it was full force ahead.

Kita always (4 years) has had recurring yeast infections in her ears and paws, all has stopped now with the raw food.:thumbs up

To be honest, the prep of your own food is gross but SO fun! not to mention the "bargain hunting" you will start to do with the shopping. Its a wonderful hobby even, and so good for your dog!

Happy that you have decided to take the plunge... hope everything works out good for you.:fingerscr

Mocha's mum
November 22nd, 2006, 09:28 PM
Well, I am terribly excited to start him on this new diet. I think I'll fast him on Friday, and start him on Saturday...just in case.:sick:

Now that I've been reading about how bad kibble is for dogs, I feel a little embarrassed about what I've been feeding Mocha. Yikes!! Poor little Mocha's been on several different foods over the last few years due to his ear problems. However, there is about nine months that I can't account for, due to me being away with the military and the like. The last food he's been on has been a vegetarian formula from the vet (and for the life of me, I can't remember the name. I have a small tote that I store his food in, because I read somewhere that prolonged exposure to air and sunlight can alter the food). Surprise surprise, it's not helping his ears. And if his scratching is driving me crazy, I can't imagine what it's like for him. It makes me a little sick and a lot sad to think about it. And I don't think it's fair for him to always have to have prescription ear drops.....:(

Little Mokes is 20 pounds and according to the vet, shouldn't really weigh more that that (due to his IVDD), and I feed him his icky kibble twice a day (man, I want to start that diet right now!!). I'm hoping that he won't gain a lot of weight with his new diet. He shouldn't, eh? And where do I get the digestive enzyme from?

Did you watch that little video on the website? What do you think about the cod liver oil and kelp supplementation? Like I said before, I'm a bit naive about all of this....:o

Sorry for the shot gun questions! I feel like a sponge right now....wanting to soak up information! Thank you for the link, I'm going to check it out at work tomorrow and print off some information (my eyes don't like staring at a computer screen for too long).

My soon to be husband thinks I'm crazy about wanting to start this raw diet, but he's very supportive of it. He's concerned about Mocha's health as well, and is willing to try anything at this point...

November 22nd, 2006, 09:35 PM
My soon to be husband thinks I'm crazy about wanting to start this raw diet, but he's very supportive of it. He's concerned about Mocha's health as well, and is willing to try anything at this point...

Everyone I know in the "real world" thinks im completly wonky and off my rocker, but... Im not forcing them to do anything with thier pets.

My family has been quite supportive and my dad actually said " Bout time you got some smarts, what do you think all our old farm dogs ate??? We didnt even know where to buy dogfood and those dogs out lived most of todays dogs"

As humans we want everything convienient and fast,, well kibble is that, thats for sure. But look at what is actually happening to our pets?!

Makes ya think huh

November 22nd, 2006, 09:37 PM
Little Mokes is 20 pounds and according to the vet, shouldn't really weigh more that that (due to his IVDD), and I feed him his icky kibble twice a day (man, I want to start that diet right now!!). I'm hoping that he won't gain a lot of weight with his new diet. He shouldn't, eh? And where do I get the digestive enzyme from?

Did you watch that little video on the website? What do you think about the cod liver oil and kelp supplementation? Like I said before, I'm a bit naive about all of this

my first dog was named Moka and his sister was Java... :rip: kids. Back on topic, to answer your questions...

-a 20 lbs dog should eat about 4% of his body weight in food per day, split into two meals. if he gains weight, cut down on the amount of food or increase exercise.. but what is IVDD? :o oh and raw-fed dogs don't get that "doughy" look of their kibble-fed counterparts... they build muscle, not fat, unless grossly overfed

-you will find digestive enzymes in your local drugstore, in the vitamins section, just ask the pharmacist for a "broad spectrum" formula... that's the easiest solution. you might not need any at all, to be honest!

-if you're not feeding a commercial raw diet, the most supplementation you should give is an Esther-C tablet, a vitamin E capsule, and a Fish Body Oil capsule a few times per week. All these can be found in your drugstore... not sure about dosage for a 20lbs dog, better you stick with the smaller concentrations. Some raw-feeders don't give any supplements at all!

If you read through the other posts in this forum, you will get an idea of what to feed, how much, how, etc... take your time though, better to wait a few days and sponge up the knowledge, so you feel really OK if things don't go super-smooth at first. Some dogs (like mine, grr) don't take to raw right away, or at all, they look at the meat like :confused: i'm supposed to eat THIS? but most go crazy for it, little wolves that they are! LOL :queen:

Mocha's mum
November 22nd, 2006, 09:54 PM
IVDD stands for Intervertebral Disc Disease. It's a common affliction with smaller dogs with short legs and small backs (daschunds, beagles, Lhasas). What happens is at a very young age (usually less than one year), the discs in the back start to calcify, and slowly put pressure on the spinal cord. Or, it is a result of past injury. Eventually, the pressure is so great that the animal loses neurological function below the point where the disc is (accompanied by painful muscle spasm). In Mocha's case, his L4 is affected (lumbar spine). He had a flare up in the summer, and couldn't walk properly (his back legs were partially paralyzed). He wasn't allowed to jump, and I had to carry him everywhere. Luckily, meds and kennel rest cleared it up (after two and a half months), but it's a reoccuring condition, and eventually I might have to put him down :sad: But he's a resilient little guy and is determined to chase bunnies (two weeks ago), and jump on and off the bed :frustrated:

Again, I digress....:o hee hee! Maybe I'll pick up a small bottle of enzyme...just in case. It's better to have it and not need it - that's what I think, anyway.

In the mean time, I will keep absorbing information. You can never learn to much. I can't wait to start this adventure, and get Mocha on the road to a much healthier lifestyle!:D

Mocha's mum
November 23rd, 2006, 09:41 PM
Okay, I'm back again...:o

So, I've been doing a lot of reading (A LOT of reading). Am I correct to assume that the difference between the BARF (what a name!) diet and the raw/rmd/natural predator-ish diet is that the BARF includes veggies? And what do you all prefer to feed? I was thinking about just giving Mocha random pieces of meat. Well, not 'random' exactly, you know what I mean :D I'm not concerned about the bones as the meat will be raw. Or, should I grind up the meat and give him raw bones periodically?

I'm starting to feel more relaxed and sure that I am doing what is absolutely in the best interest of my little 'kid'. I've been glued to the rawfed website. I printed off pretty much the entire site and have spent the evening 'studying'! I can't wait to start!!

Thank you all for your input and advice, and for sharing your experiences. It means a great deal to me to know that I'm not alone out there! I will surely keep you posted on the trials and tribulations of the 'great switch over'!! Ha ha ha!! :crazy:

November 23rd, 2006, 09:48 PM
Mine get meat with bones. I dont usually grind up theirs because, well its time consuming and they hoover everything anyways.
typical shopping list for me...
Chicken legs with backs attached
bone in lamb cubes
ground pork
and I have gone to the pet store once and got pre ground chicken with bone in it.

Typical meal
a few chicken legs with backs
chopped liver
canned salmon ( not tuna right TD;) )
blended veggies ( they dont even notice it at all)
and hamburg.

some days they get lamb, rabbit, beaver ;) moose, deer just what ever we have frozen for them.

And for recreational chewing ( and to keep them occupied outside) they get RMB's

November 23rd, 2006, 09:49 PM
you're definitely not alone, even if not many people post, they still raw-feed their furkids :thumbs up

i would first try feeding whole raw meaty bones (+organ meats, in the recommended amounts) and if that works, you're all set! the only reason i grind my mixes is that i have fussy dogs who don't eat enough raw on their own to maintain a good weight, so i have to feed it to them (big babies....)... and the only way to do that is to use "mush". :rolleyes: