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Dog Does Better on Commercial Raw Diet than Supermarket Meat...Why?

January 19th, 2007, 05:30 PM
We've noticed that our pup seems to do better on the commercial frozen raw diets than on the meat we buy at the supermarkets or butcher...any ideas why this is :confused:
What does the commercial raw diet have that butcher/supermarket meat doesn't? The ingredients in the commercial diet are the following: meat source (turkey, or chicken, or beef etc. ground up with bone in it), organ meat, some veggies and fruits, apple cider vinegar, and organic sea kelp. As we moved away from these over priced commercial diets, we started buying fresh chicken, turkey, etc from our local supermarkets and butcher at a fraction of the cost, but Barkley's poops got quite loose after we started feeding him this way. We even tried replicating the commercial diet by including veggies and fruit, sea kelp and apple cider vinegar with the supermarket/butcher meat, but it didn't make a difference. Recently we went back to the commercial raw diet to see if things would improve and they did. What am I missing here?

January 19th, 2007, 05:40 PM
He could just need some time. With the commercial diet, he may be getting a good mixture thats keeping the stools firm. Many of these commercial raw diets have a lot of bone which keeps stool firm. Try starting fresh again, like you where starting raw all over. go slow, and gradually increase in variety.

January 19th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Thanks Scott.
I precisely switched from the commercial raw to supermarket meat because I felt that the commercial raw contained too much bone and that he was not getting enough actual meat. Do you think he's getting enough meat from the commercial raw?
Also, I was under the impression that nature was perfectly balanced as far as raw feeding is concerned ie. half a chicken has the perfect balance of meat and bone. Am I wrong about this :confused:

January 19th, 2007, 08:12 PM
I think every dog is an individual and they absorb things differently. I don't feed raw, but even with kibbles, you see that some dogs do better on some foods while others end up super sick. Could be that the dog absorbs some aspects of the raw diet better and more efficiently than other parts.

January 19th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Balance is something that is obtained over a period. And doesn't have to be at each meal. In the wild, dogs would usually go for the soft stomach areas, lots of meat/organs and such, then move on to other parts as they ate the kill. I guess the rule of thumb is 80% meat, 10% organ and 10% bone. But really thats not set in stone. Some people feel the need to measure out each meal with those percentages. humbug i say. I feed organs a few times a week. Tripe a few times a week. But the majority is meat or meat with bones, IE a side of lamb, beef tail, etc. As long as you feed, a varity of meats, organs and some bone, you should be fine.

But you will also learn what works best on your dog. He may only tolerate a bit of liver without the squirts at first. Maybe add some bone with a chicken neck/back or, in my case, i add beef heart or some other meat. Just think balance over a two week period. Not each meal. You can do that, its just not needed. Whatever you feel comfortable with. :thumbs up

January 19th, 2007, 10:22 PM
Viola, yes some dogs do need more bone than others to achieve "the perfect poop" :o so how about a test... feed only skinless chicken legs for a few meals and see how that goes. chicken legs have more bone-to-meat ratio than a breast quarter, and taking off some of the skin (leave a BIT on) will help firm up things as some dogs don't tolerate as much fat as others. throw in some chicken necks if you want to boost the test... Also, loose stool is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it's temporary and not diarrhea, it's just the body dealing with things on its own time. Only time, patience and perseverance will yield you the perfect, affordable recipe :thumbs up

January 20th, 2007, 05:03 AM
Exactly. I don't look for the perfect poop. Every now and then if its loose, thats fine. As Techno stated, as long as it doesn't go for a few days as Diarrhea.

January 20th, 2007, 10:39 AM
Thanks guys.
The problem was that his stools became loose all the time and there was a 3-4 day stretch that he had diarrhea. When this was happening we were primarily feeding him chicken necks, backs, and drumsticks that we bought from our butcher, and some veggies and green tripe. We took him to the vet because of the diarrhea and he gave us a holistic remedy consisting of slippery elm which worked really well and firmed things up. Since then, we put him back on the commercial raw and he's been doing great. I don't want to keep him on the commercial raw indefinitely though because our vet told us that the meat/bone ratio is approx 50/50, which seems like an awful lot of bone to me. I still think he is not getting enough actual meat.
I know Scott suggested I start from scratch as far as the raw diet is concerned, and I think I might do just that. I know that the concept of raw is to achieve a balance over time, not at every meal, but with the commercial diet I don't think I ever could achieve that because of the high bone content. Do you think I should keep him on the commercial raw for a while and maybe add just a tablespoon of ground meat from the supermarket to increase the meat content?

January 20th, 2007, 10:44 AM
viola, is the commercial raw diet JUST chicken, or are there other meats in there?... maybe your boy needs beef, or turkey, or pork, etc and not JUST chicken... gotta figure this one out, LOL! and yes i think you could do that for a week or two, supplement the prepared patties with some ground meat to decrease the % of bone content and slowly achieve a better balance.

i find that pretty "cheap" of the petfood companies, charging a fortune for stuff that basically costs nothing (bones). you are right to want to move away from this way of feeding :thumbs up

January 20th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Hi Techno,
Yes, the commercial raw we've been feeding has only been chicken or turkey because Barkley seems to have trouble digesting other meats. We've tried lamb, pork, and beef but it gives him terrible gas which looks quite uncomfortable because he keeps panting and can't settle down into a comfortable position and he got loose stools from these meats as well. We were very careful to introduce the different meats to him gradually and in small amounts but it didn't work. We also tried giving him a digestive enzyme before we gave him these meats but that didn't work either. That's why we went back to the chicken and turkey...they seem to be the only meats he can digest without problems.
It's so ironic because I read about other raw feeders out there whose dogs have no problems digesting all kinds of meat, including organ meats and wild meat, but their dogs don't like the taste of them and the owners have to find clever ways to feed it to their dogs, like cooking the organ meats or lightly searing the meat before they eat it. Barkley on the other hand LOVES everything including raw organ meats, pork, beef, lamb, fish etc. but he can't digest them.:o He doesn't even need me to grind it up for him, he's happy to cruch his way through half a chicken on his own and he's a good chewer. Another reason I don't like the commercial raw is because he's missing out on that wonderful teeth cleaning he got when I gave him a chicken frame and he worked through it himself. The commercial raw has all the bone ground up with the meat which I don't like. Last night I gave him a rec bone so that he got some teeth cleaning action at least.

I swear, if I could find a way for him to digest different meats, he would be the happiest dog in the world :dog: because he isn't a fussy eater at all and loves every kind of meat out there!
I'll run out and buy some ground turkey or chicken at the supermarket and slowly add some of it to the commercial raw and see how he does.:fingerscr

January 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM
hmm, I'm not sure how you should deal with the digestion issue. With the raw diet, you really should feed a variety. Now if he was getting chicken organs with the chickin, thats a plus.

So help me understand. You give him half a chicken, he chomps it up, no panting. You give him some boneless beef cut into small chunks, he'll start panting?

I mentioned before, Rosco will pant after eating a beef tail, but its because hes been going at it for a good hour and is tuckered out lol. He usually burps after each meal though :p

I'd try and find a way to get at least a few different things in him. What about pork ribs? Or a whole/cut up beef heart?

I suggest going here signing up and asking them about the gas issue. there are over 7000 raw feeding members and I'm sure someone can give ya helping hand!

January 20th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Hi Scott,

Well, it's more like...crunch, chrunch, chomp, chomp, gulp it down and then a few hours later he either paces around or sits up and pants really quickly and heavily and the farts come shortly after that. There's no mistaking it...he's in obvious discomfort. If I was ever in doubt, when it was time for him to poop, the poop said it all. Like I said, he only does this after eating anything other than chicken or turkey, so I'm at a loss. I've never tried giving him beef heart because I'm afraid it will be the same as him eating just plain beef. Is beef heart somehow easier to digest than regular beef meat? If so, I'm willing to try it. I'm still weary to try pork ribs too for the same reason as above.

I don't know if the fact that he's a 9 month old pup has anything to do with it :confused: Could his digestive system be a little weak or sensitive because of his young age? I obviously want to incorporate a wider variety of meat sources into his diet because he's been on raw for approx 5 months now and 3/4 of that time has consisted only of chicken or turkey.

January 20th, 2007, 12:01 PM
Hard to say. look back at my post and sign up on the yahoo list. Losts of people with much more experience then me.

Rosco is only 9.5 months, but of course they all develope at different rates. Maybe with time the gassyness would pass? Hard to say. Ask on the yahoo group :thumbs up

January 20th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Thanks Scott. I read your post before you edited it and added the yahoo link.

January 20th, 2007, 12:42 PM
No worries, and good luck! :thumbs up