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Raw - Someone please hold my hand!

September 3rd, 2007, 12:20 PM
Hi all!

I have come out lurk mode - after reading this entire section pretty much front to back! I have been researching and asking questions all over the internet and this seems to be about the most active raw group I can find! (I just can't get into those email lists and weird formats. I'm a baby!)

I have been doing the raw thing for a little over a month and I am beyond happy with the results! Pug pug Ivy came down with demodex shortly after we got her and my research led me to raw. It also lead Ivy to a very speedy recovery! My vet was thrilled with how fast she recovered and when I discussed our new diet - she wasn't thrilled. However! She thanked me for sharing, noted it in Ivy's file and said, "It's not my thing, but clearly you are doing something right. She's thriving and growing normally - and got rid of the demodex very fast. Keep doing what you're doing!" (Whew - I was expecting an argument and an escort to the Medi-cal.) 6 year old Lab, Bear has had ongoing typical yeasty Lab ears and mystery vomitting at least once every 2 weeks. Ears are pink and pristine and he hasn't vomitted since we started. 10 year old Pug, Rudy is amazingly healthy and youthful and has always had a gorgeous coat, but you need sunglasses to look upon him now! He IS looking at dental cleaning in the near future so I am hoping the raw diet might help him avoid this! Cat Charles is the only problem child. Chicken - nope. Liver - nope. Ground beef - nope. Rabbit - nope. MACKERAL - nope! I'll keep trying with him. He's in his mid-teens somewhere (stray) and he is the only one still on Wellness kibble.

The problem with it is just my inability to RELAX! There are so many schools of thought. So many different ways of preparing, etc. Right now we are doing Urban Wolf mix with ground meat, egg shells, fish oil and sea greens. In the last few days I have finally gotten up the nerve to try RMBs for dinner. Lab, Bear is surprisingly good - he chews and chews. (Except chicken and fish - pork ribs is all that has interested him.) The Pugs are not remotely picky! But the don't chew much and that is really nerve-wracking to watch... I have given them chicken wings and pork riblets and each of them has managed - once - to get the whole thing down before Mom panics and hangs on to one end. (And of course - they are fine)

Please tell me what you think are the absolute safest RMBs! Also - should I be freezing all the meat first before preparing/feeding it?

Probably more than ya need to know... :shrug: But I appreciate any advice/reassurance you can give!

September 3rd, 2007, 02:16 PM
you know whats really worked for me?? a whole chicken. if they are a big scarfer.... do a whole turkey. with Mister, its usually mondays i guve him a whole 4-5lb chicken and let him eat what he will off of it then go fetch it and save the rest for the next day. that knocks out his 2lbs give or take over 2 days. since its so big he has to really work at it to get it apart. by the time he is to the end of it on the second day he has forgotten he needs to wolf it down. :)

another thing that may help with them... kennel feeding them. then they wont feel the other dogs will take it away??

welcome to!!! and to raw!! my vet wasnt thrilled either. we just ran some labs on one of our cats who ended up having crystals and not eating for 3-4 days.... vet couldnt believe his labs!! he said he was one of the healthiest cats he has ever seen, even after not eating a few days. i almost stuck my tongue out. it was the same vet who said they would choke on the bones.


September 3rd, 2007, 04:29 PM
also, you said your cat is on kibble? try wetting the kibble a little for a week... next week wet it a little more. after that toss in a little cooked chicken, do that for another week. the following week toss in a little MORE cooked chicken, taking away some of the kibble. slowly over the next 3 or 4 weeks see if you cant totally replace the wet kibble with cooked chicken. once he is totally off the kibble try lightly cooking the chicken(use breast WITH skin and bones. cook the side of the breast with out the bone on it, leaving the bone side raw but warm. he will need the calcium), as the weeks go by cook the chicken less and less until you are just searing the outside of it. from there see if you cant serve it totally raw. you might want to try warming it up for him. anyways, take a few months to do this. go really really slowly, you are looking to trick a cat which is worlds smarter than a dog. :)

have you tried partially cooked? warm raw? what else does he eat? have you tried veggies? organ meats? lightly cooked or warmed up organ meats? i know this sounds gross but does he catch mice? bugs? have you thought of letting him at a mouse?... i know its terrible but its NATURAL. we havent done that on purpose but i wonder sometimes if thats not what sparked their interest in the raw food- the few times they have caught mice. i read somewhere that you toss the mouse in the bath tub with a few sheets of paper/card board in the tub with it and the lock the cat in with it?? you can also get baby chicks for the same thing.


September 3rd, 2007, 04:38 PM
Thank you so much Ashley! I think I'll try to find some whole chickens or cornish hens. Somehow can't see 7 pound Ivy with a chicken bigger than she is! ;-)

I like that plan for Charles - might just work. Back in "the day" when he was a lad in Lousiana, he was quite into lizards! He's a bit arthritic and slow now and just lounges about in the sun... Oddly - he loves veggies. When I steam veggies for dinner I always make extra for the kids and he has developed a taste for carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

I'll try searing and see if that gets his attention. Thanks again!

September 3rd, 2007, 04:48 PM
:rolleyes: our cats all eat lettuce, peas, oranges, carrots, corn, peaches... heck i cant even remember all the weird stuff our cats eat. youre not alone!!!

hopefully you wont have to feed live mice/chicks more than once. if he eats it, toss out some warm bits of chicken cut up into strips in an hour or so. when i feed our cats bones i make sure they are bashed up (yep, im the bone basher!! anger management i say!!) the bones or make sure its rib bones. mine wont eat through leg bones or back or necks. the littler bones go down well though.


September 3rd, 2007, 06:26 PM
Please use caution when doing the wet kibble thing. It's fine if a cat is going to eat it within a short period of time but if you let it sit out like that all day, it becomes a major breeding ground for moisture-loving bacteria (and dry food is actually loaded with bacteria just waiting for the right environment).

Does Charles have any interest in canned food? It might be easier to make the transition to raw if you go with canned in the interim. If even that doesn't appeal to him, it might partially be due to free-feeding (I'm assuming you leave dry out all day). Try going towards more of a meal-based schedule to ensure that Charles is actually hungry come dinner-time (which is less likely if he's been snacking all day). Here are some more tips for transitioning:

September 3rd, 2007, 06:30 PM
BIG beef marrow bones are great for teeth cleaning as well as recreation. Turkey necks are superb for gnawing and chomping as the prtein in a meal ~ your cat may take to a neck quite nicely.

If you are nervous about the soft bones just do as Wanted as suggested and smash the bejeezus out of them with a meat tenderizer mallet (a hammer will do nicely as well) ~ it's very therapeutic :D

I also wonder if your cat might eat some green tripe. You can buy it canned ~ lamb and beef versions. It's very smelly and if your cat doesn't eat it ~ your dogs most certainly will. In fact that's the only thing I see missing from your diet ~ organ meats.

Jim Hall
September 3rd, 2007, 07:44 PM
good lord bone bashing. half cooked chicken.

September 3rd, 2007, 07:47 PM
Tripe - there's a thought... The dogs LOVE it. Me? Not so much. :yuck:

He was free-feeding until recently. I've had him for 10 years and until the last year or so he has been pretty sleek and svelt, but a bit of arthritis has slowed him down and he's packed on a few extra. (Happens to the best of us, eh?)

I'll check out the transition link (thank you Sugarsmom!) and try a little tripe tomorrow morning.

And as disgusting as it sounds - I think I'll try some bone-bashing for the Pugs tomorrow night. Might put my mind at ease. If not my poor vegetarian constitution.

Anything for the critters!

September 3rd, 2007, 09:46 PM
And as disgusting as it sounds - I think I'll try some bone-bashing for the Pugs tomorrow night. Might put my mind at ease. If not my poor vegetarian constitution.

imagine stupid drivers. i had some issues with it but i started imagining really dumb drivers and it made it easier.

i have some road rage issues.

some tips for bashing-

do a weeks worth at the same time.
use a towel and bash through it. it tends to splatter.
no matter how hard you try, how well you cover, it STILL splatter. so wear an ugly t-shirt... cover walls... (ug!)

i would really only worry about the bigger bones and even just cracking seems to take care of it. i rarely have to bash ALL of it. just the first bit so they can get their teeth into it.

ive never gotten my critters (even the 80lb lab mix) to eat the bigger bones like beef ribs although Mister likes to gnaw on them. :)