March 21st, 2009, 10:36 AM
How do I wean/switch to raw?
What kinds of food are good for them? Fill me right in please. I have 2 small breed puppies.
Chihuahua and Poodle.
Currently on Kibble.
Two shorthaired domestic cats. 10 months and 1 yr. On kibble.
March 21st, 2009, 11:57 AM
We started Phoebe on raw food at 7 weeks old. We started with ground chicken backs and necks, and ground turkey necks. You should add alfalfa/kelp/yeast powder and salmon/fish oil to their morning meal, and maybe an egg every other day. (Some might tell you to slightly cook the egg whites) You can also start giving them ground green lamb or beef tripe one meal a week, it's like yogurt for dogs, very important. If you add veggies, blend them almost into a paste, and just a spoonful with each meal if enough. (No onions, raisins or grapes, potatoes bust be peeled and cooked, no green sprout from the inside of the garlic clove!) A spoonful of unsweetened canned pumpkin at each meal will help with the runny poops that they will probably have for a week or two. This is natural, it's just their digestive system cleaning itself out. They might also get little bumps on their tummies for a while, like pimples, for a week or two. Once again, if this happens, it's just their body detoxifying, it will clear up. Don't give them any treats with wheat or any other grain, freeze dried liver is cheap and very appealing to them. After a while you can introduce chicken and turkey organs, ground beef with bones, beef with organs, lamb, duck, sardines or mackerel, and eventually you can give them whole chicken backs and necks, turkey necks, beef marrow bones and whatever you find at the butcher shop.
Check out :
There is a lot of great information on both of these sites, and great links to other sites. The meal calculator on Totally Raw is very useful. And the Raw Info page on Buddies Natural Pet Food site is excellent.
There are lots of variations on the raw food diet, but variety is the key to a balanced diet, and every meal doesn't have to be balanced, over the course of a week is just fine.
Raw food is the best thing you can do for your pets!
I should also add, Chihuahua or Great Dane, it doesn't matter, they all have essentially the same DNA and digestive systems, they just take different sized bites.
March 21st, 2009, 12:45 PM
Phoebespeople gave you good advice for raw-feeding dogs. For cats, things are a little different and potentially more complicated. You might want to first try just offering them some small pieces of fresh meat like chicken breast, maybe even lightly boiling it if they initially balk at raw. Cats are frequently suspicious of new foods and may not take to it right away. Sometimes it's easier to transition them to canned for a while and then slowly introduce raw, unless they're gung-ho about raw from the start.
Once they're eagerly eating meat bits as treats, you can work on increasing the amount and providing balanced meals. Unlike dogs, who do fine with the "balance over time" concept, cats should have most of their meals as nutritionally complete as possible. No more than about 10-15% of a cat's diet should be plain muscle meat. It's especially important to have the proper calcium to phosphorus ratio. If you look at how they eat in "nature", catching small birds and rodents, maybe lizards or insects depending on where they live, and eating them whole, each meal tends to contain all their required nutrients. Cats are a bit less flexible than their scavenging canine counterparts.
Some recipes and info on how to feed raw to cats can be found at these sites: