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Variety in diet

December 14th, 2006, 11:47 AM
We're having issues incorporating anything other than chicken into Barkley's raw diet. Don't get me wrong, he loves the taste of the fish and different meats, and eats it with his usual gusto, but man oh man does he ever get's enough to clear the room :yuck: We give him digestive enzymes before the meal but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Aside from the gas, he also starts panting because he's in obvious discomfort from the gas in his tummy and intestines and sometimes his poops are still firm but covered with'd think the poop was attacked by ghostbusters or something :eek:

Techno, I read that article you posted about the Raw Q's and A's, and it was very good, however I'm concerned because they say that a raw diet shouldn't be based only on chicken yet that's all that Barkley's body seems to tolerate with no issues. What do I do? Keep feeding him beef and pork and just put up with the stink or lay off of it and only feed chicken? Could it be that he is just too young and his tummy's not strong enough to deal with other richer meats? Should I lay off and wait until he's older and try again :confused:

December 14th, 2006, 12:13 PM
I'm sorry, what breed of dog is buster? I want to say boxer, but forget. How long have you been feeding raw?

Some breeds are just gasy. Bullmastiffs for example are known as a gasy breed. I know Rosco can clear a room at times lol. Hes done this on every food hes ever eatin. His brother who is on kibble has the same prob. Sometimes he'll go a few days, some days it seems hes really gasy. And I havent linked it to any one food.

As for the panting after eating, I think thats normal. Why do you think hes in discomfort? Rosco gets into his meal quite a bit. He almost seems to get a good workout while gnawing away at a beef tail or deer leg as he'll pant after a good chewfest.

Did a bit of searching on the raw group and here are a few responses to panting

Panting can be related to exertion of course; if the meals are good-
sized and the weather is warm panting might be a natural response.
I've also noticed that my dogs (retrievers) will indeed pant while
they lounge around after big meals.

Is the panting mostly in the evenings after meals? If so, this is not
uncommon. Many of us have seen it in our dogs in the early days of raw. It
has been hypothesized to be some kind of adjustment period where the dog's
body is having to work a bit harder to digest food than it's accustomed to
with kibble. The result is the dog "running a little hot" in the metabolism

That's just a theory, of course. We don't really know. I can tell you that
if your dog is experiencing this like my dog did, it will go away with time
and more experience with raw.

You just want to be aware that panting can also be a sign of discomfort, so
it's definitely a know-thy-dog situation. If he seems at all unwell, the
panting may be cause for concern. If it's only happening after meals and he
seems perfectly fine otherwise, it may just be this...whatever it is that
many of our dogs went through during the adjustment period.

My boys tend to do this if they have eaten a meal that is more work to digest. I hope that makes sense to you. For example: The other evening after the dogshad eaten a good sized pork RMB they were both panting off and on through out the evening, but it was only 72 degrees so I know they weren't overheated. It was caused by the larger meal, my guys are a GSD and a Lab and they had eaten probably a 3 to 4 pound RMB each.

This comes up from time to time and indeed, while all of mine did this in
the early days, my little terrier girl continued to do it longer than the

It seems to be just a physiological response to the body having to work
harder to digest real food than the kibble sludge sitting in their guts.
You will likely see it diminish over time as your girl's system continues to
adapt and strengthen.

I can't recall the last time I saw panting after a meal in my dogs, these

Same here. One of mine panted after eating a lot in the beginning but
doesn't anymore.

:thumbs up

December 14th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Hi Scott,
Thanks for that reply, it was very helpful :thumbs up
Who are you calling "Buster"? :p Barkley's our 8 month old Golden Retriever and we've been feeding him raw for approximately 4 months now. We originally started feeding him commercial raw diets (Healthy Paws). They were the complete patties that had meat and bone ground up along with some organ meat, fruit and veggies and apple cider vinegar. We slowly progressed to just giving him pieces of meat like chicken drumsticks, chicken backs and necks, turkey necks, pork riblets, etc.

I notice that he's only gas-ey when he eats anything other than chicken or turkey though, so I was wondering if I was doing him harm by feeding him something that he appears to have trouble digesting. I thought that he was in discomfort because the panting is usually in the evening and during the night too. He'll be sleeping in his crate and every 10 minutes or so he just shoots up into sitting position and starts panting very heavily for a few minutes and then flops back down and goes back to sleep. The first time he did this I chalked it up to some sticks he ate in the park because he threw them up in the wee hours of the morning in his crate, but he's still doing the panting thing weeks later and he hasn't eaten any sticks or thrown up.

I would like to be able to give him red meat in his diet but I don't know if it's a good idea :confused:
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

December 14th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Sorry, the name Buster just popped in my head :p

Hmm, Rosco usally does his panting right after a meal. Never a few hours later unless hes doing somthing. Sleeping, then waking up and panting doesnt sound normal to me, but I'm no expert. I would maybe ask the vet about it. If he seems normal besides that, then I wouldnt be too woried.

Personally, I would still feed a varity of meats. Barkley may just need some more time to get used to the meats.

I would also suggest joining the raw yahoo group as there are so many experienced raw feeders on there. join up, browse the older messages and see what you come up with.

December 14th, 2006, 03:47 PM
viola, yes please do join the support group scott posted the link to. you WILL get to-the-point, efficient answers from more experienced people than us (some have been raw-feeding for decades).

now for the red meat, i would just gooo slooowly. you can keep the "base" chicken or turkey (btw turkey is a richer meat than chicken), and add a BIT of lean beef meat to the meal and see how barkley fares with that. for example, a bone-in chicken breast and a small handful of lean ground beef, or a small chunk of beef heart (fat removed). pork seems to be a bit harder to digest for some dogs, lamb is quite rich, so perhaps start with beef.

for the organ meats, are you feeding any beef or pork livers/kidneys?

does he also get gassy after eating raw whole fish? again, you might want to try a main meal of chicken and a small bit of fish to check his reactions.

please keep us posted! "this too shall pass" as you adjust barkley's diet down the road :grouphug:

December 14th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Thanks Technodoll :) I hope this phase will pass.
As for organ meats, the only thing I've tried giving him are chicken livers and he loves gobbling them down but he gets VERY gassy from them. I wanted to start off slow with the organ meats because they're quite rich, so I would only give him one small liver with his meal.

The only fish I've tried giving him have been smelts but the fish market I bought them from only sold them gutted and headless, so it's not technically a "whole" raw fish, but he loved it just the same. But yup, they made him gassy too. I'm wondering if it's just taking longer for him to adjust because of the horrible problems he had while he was on kibble :confused: Maybe his gut isn't up to snuff just yet and needs a little more time...

I'll try your suggestion of giving him a little ground beef with his chicken meal and see how it goes.

By the way, we just got back from the vets for a routine check up for Barkley and the vet seemed to think that the night time panting is just his discomfort because he's probably having gas bubbles that are causing him some pain and discomfort. He wasn't too worried and said we're doing great. Barkley put on another 8 pounds in the last three weeks and now weighs 51 pounds :thumbs up Still looks lean, but boy is he beautiful :dog:

Seeing Scott's post with Roscoe eating the deer leg made me jealous ;) I wish I could give Barkley whatever meat I wanted and that he'd have no issues with it upsetting his tummy....especially since hubby's cousin just got into deer hunting and will have lots of free deer meat to share :frustrated:

:offtopic: Oh! and we finally got our chest freezer yesterday! We went right to the butcher shop we found (thanks to the link TD provided in one of her posts) and we got approx 40 lbs of meat (backs, necks, legs, etc). 40 lb box for $ that's something to get excited about :crazy:

December 14th, 2006, 07:17 PM
Congrats and best of luck. If your vet wasnt too concerned then I wouldnt be. I would check on the yahoo group and see if anyone could recommend something for the gas.