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Changing a protein source...

JanM
February 9th, 2009, 12:50 PM
is it important when changing say, from ground beef to organ meats, or organ meats to say chicken, to mix the meats and slowly introduce the new meat?

I was under the impression that with meats it wouldn't matter but I'd like other opinions before I make a change..

Thanks for your help!

bendyfoot
February 9th, 2009, 01:07 PM
Do you mean, when adding new sources of protein or organs (you don't mean that you're switching from exclusively meat to exclusively organ)? Most folks say that it's good to stick with a single protein source (for meat and for organs) for a few weeks. Chicken is pretty safe for most. Then try offering small amounts of other sources of food over a period of time and monitor stool.

Now, my dogs were given a variety of foods (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish) right off the bat, and had no trouble. My only caution would be to not feed too much raw organs in a single sitting too soon...it's pretty rich and can cause stomach upset.

JanM
February 9th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the info, bendyfoot - Bobby can't handle raw so that isn't an issue but I've been adding a few pieces of heart to his beef instead of just changing from beef to heart so I was wondering what others do. His digestive system is "delicate" to say the least so I want to be as careful as I can!

and yes, eventually I do want him to have just organ meats for a short while..

bendyfoot
February 9th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Ok, so it sounds like you're feeding all meat one day, then all organ the next? Or considering doing it this way? I did some of that at first, but found that too much organ in one day would cause diahhrea. What I do with organ/offal is chop up and freeze a bunch of little pieces of different things (usually 1/2 liver, 1/4 green tripe and 1/4 whatever else, kidney, heart, tongue, gizzard etc). Then I give a few peices of whatever I grab out of their bag (it's all weighed for each dog) at dinner time. They get a little mix every night, not too much all at one sitting.

bendyfoot
February 9th, 2009, 02:03 PM
ok reread your post...why is it that you want to feed all organ for a stretch of time?

JanM
February 9th, 2009, 02:24 PM
ok reread your post...why is it that you want to feed all organ for a stretch of time?

Because Bobby needs the additional nutrients in organ meats - and they are his very favourite food too! On reading your post, it looks like it might be an idea to do beef at one meal and organ the next - or just keep mixing so he gets the organ meats - hmmm - since he is doing well with the mix, perhaps I'll just keep it at that...

TeriM
February 9th, 2009, 02:27 PM
I would agree to use an organ/meat blend :thumbs up.

I also find with Riley that he doesn't do well when I mix two types of meat in each meal so you might want to watch for that with the organs as well.

bendyfoot
February 9th, 2009, 02:32 PM
One of the beauties of feeding raw is that there are no real hard and fast rules, except for proportions (meat/bone/offal ratio), which are a bit flexible too. If your guy is able to manage meals of just meat, just organ or a mix, I say do whatever works best for him and for you. The poops will never lie, and I think that's as good an indicator as any. As long as they get the meat/bone/offal they need over the course of a week or two, do what works.

SuperWanda
February 9th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I'm glad you posted this question as I have wondered the same thing.

I also have a dog with a sensitive tummy and have always thought that you should only feed no more than 10% organ meat during a meal?

So, for example I have been combining chicken, chicken heart and a small amount of chicken liver for a few meals.

Next few meals might be beef with a small portion of beef liver and beef kidney.

This sometimes does cause a runny stool in my sensitive dog so maybe I should feed chicken for a longer period of time before switching to a different type of meat.

bendyfoot
February 9th, 2009, 06:25 PM
The general rule of thumb is 10-15-75 percent of organ-bone-meat of the dog's total intake over the course of 7-10 days. We spread that percent organ out over small daily portions, which usually is the easiest on tummies, but others choose to feed larger amounts over just a few meals. As long as the total organ intake overall is about 10 percent, you're good.

JanM
February 9th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the info! So far Bobby is doing well on the mix so I'm going to keep it like this..

SuperWanda
February 10th, 2009, 06:05 PM
So - if you are feeding a week with beef can you switch to chicken just like that? Or, should you introduce the chicken slowly to the beef until the change is made? (Just as you would when you introduce a new dry food?)

Maybe my dog is too sensitive because I find the variety sometimes disagrees with her. Perhaps I should just stick with one protein but I thought variety was better.

I guess it may just depend on the dog?

JanM
February 10th, 2009, 08:35 PM
So - if you are feeding a week with beef can you switch to chicken just like that? Or, should you introduce the chicken slowly to the beef until the change is made? (Just as you would when you introduce a new dry food?)

Maybe my dog is too sensitive because I find the variety sometimes disagrees with her. Perhaps I should just stick with one protein but I thought variety was better.

I guess it may just depend on the dog?

I, too, used to think variety would be better - but Bobby's system obviously didn't agree! I started with the mix of heart into his beef and since he is doing well, I'm sticking with it. When I give him chicken, which should be next week - I'm going to do the same - add the chicken to the beef (instead of the organ meat) so he will only get a little of the "new" protein instead of a complete change at once.

Good luck!