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What type of fish is safe?

cassiek
December 7th, 2009, 12:17 AM
Hi everyone-

First, like many newbies here I want to thank everyone for all the info on raw on this forum! I have been reading through it for days and it is a wonderful source of information!

I switched my three dogs to raw about three weeks ago. Initially, I was buying the frozen patties but soon found out that they are expensive and there is much cheaper ways to go raw! So I have been gradually easing into buying my own meat from the supermarket - ground beef, chicken breasts, chicken legs, etc.

A few questions... this weekend I found some Steelheat Fillet for cheap. I haven't really found alot of info about fish, except that it should be fed only once or twice a week. Has anyone else fed this type of fish and is it safe? :confused: If not, what type of fish do you normally use?

I usually give my dogs their bones in their kennels during the day when I go to work. If they are not finished it by the time I go to let them out, should I put them back in the freezer or fridge? I know they are probably fine, but like most raw newbies I am a bit paranoid :D

Lastly, where do most people usually find their organs (liver, heart etc.)? I know of one grocery store here that sells it but I imagine it's quite expensive. Do you usually get them from a local butcher?

Thanks everyone! Appreciate all the help!

rainbow
December 7th, 2009, 12:37 AM
Unfortunately I don't feed raw as living in a small town there isn't anywhere I can buy meat cheaply enough to feed my dogs. I do know that you are not supposed to feed raw salmon that is caught off the West Coast however as it can have parasites that can be fatal to dogs.

rainbow
December 7th, 2009, 12:40 AM
Here's some information about it ....

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/salmon.aspx

luckypenny
December 7th, 2009, 07:32 AM
De-boned Steelhead filet is fine to feed occasionally. (<---- ETA: Steelhead is not fine to feed! My error.)I prefer whole small fish such as mackerel and sardines though (soft bones plus they get all the organs too).

There are two things about your diet that concern me though, I hope you don't mind me pointing it out :o. Rather than ground beef, try to find huge chunks of beef that you can cut into big pieces for your dogs. For example, I feed 1 1/4 lb whole pieces to our dogs. It's much better for their teeth and gums, and contain much less surface bacteria (there's a reason why a "cook thoroughly" label is placed on packages of ground meat).

It would also seem that you're giving your guys weight bearing bones throughout the day? Those are ok for recreational chewing once every now and then but, if you've got power chewers, they can damage their teeth with them. The bone content in your dogs' meals should come from softer, easy to digest bones such as chicken carcasses (we feed half chickens minus the thighs/drumsticks...two of our guys don't digest them properly), soft pork and beef ribs, cartilage, etc. For daily recreational chewing, you can give them Kongs stuffed with cubes of raw meat and/or green tripe (not the white bleached stuff) that's been frozen overnight. Unfortunately, we can't find raw tripe here so we use the canned Trippet brand (found at most small pet supply shops).

If you can find a poultry store in your area, that would be the best place to find the cheapest and freshest chicken organs. Here's a tip: try to find poultry that's been air chilled. Water chilled poultry contains, well, lots of water and there's no point in paying for that. Before I knew the difference, I also noticed our dogs would sometimes get upset tummies from water chilled chicken as well.

cassiek
December 7th, 2009, 10:11 AM
Thanks luckypenny, I appreciate the advice! A few questions...

By huge chunks of beef do you mean like steaks? Correct me if I'm wrong, but do you mean to leave it whole and let them tear it apart? (I have been cutting it up for them)

I give them recreational bones about once a week in their crates when I leave for work. Currently, I am still feeding them mostly the frozen raw patties which I believe has the bones ground up in them... does that sound okay? As this is really expensive though (and as I do more research) I am gradually trying to use the patties less, and start giving them meat, organs from the store.

Also, when I take my dogs out of their crates, should I put their bones back in the fridge/freezer? I have two dogs that are food possessive so giving them bones in the evenings out of their crates is not an option (tried that once... never again, haha!)

Thanks!!

cassiek
December 7th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Sorry one more question, when you say mackerel and sardines... do you get them canned or can you get them fresh in the supermarket?

Do you usually find chicken carcasses in the grocery store as well? Sorry... I apologize for all the silly questions!

Sib.HuskyMom
December 7th, 2009, 03:59 PM
I'm gradually switching my boys over to raw. Right now, they mostly eat kibble during the week, and get raw on weekend. At this point in time, it's what works best for our house, but I'd like to have them on full time raw eventually.

I've been going to discount grocery stores (food basics, price chopper, etc) whenever they have good sales, to stock up.
Recently, I bought a bunch of chicken quarters (which I later cut in half) and freeze them. I've also given them some beef cubes, which they really enjoy.

However tonight, in celebration of my birthday :party:, they'll be eating fish for the first time (well, sort of - they did find a tasty fish head to eat at the cottage this summer :yuck:).

I got some frozen tilapia fillets, which are defrosting in the fridge right now. Like you, I wasn't exactly sure what kind of fish to buy. But I figured for a one-time celebration, it won't really matter regardless.
Once they're on full time raw though, and getting fish on a more regular basis, I'll definitely have to figure it out.

Sib.HuskyMom
December 7th, 2009, 04:04 PM
p.s.
I found it works really well for us if I just feed the dogs outside. Not sure how well it'll work for you if your guys are food possessive, however I find that they're so involved in crunching on their own meals, that they don't even notice each other out there. Plus, by eating in the backyard, they're able to give each other all they space they want anyway.

Then on rainy days, they eat in their crates of course.

It's really quite funny to watch them eat though, because neither of them want to touch the food with their paws. They get so super excited about eating it, but they have to get pretty creative sometimes to rip it apart by only using their mouth :laughing:

luckypenny
December 7th, 2009, 05:28 PM
By huge chunks of beef do you mean like steaks? Correct me if I'm wrong, but do you mean to leave it whole and let them tear it apart? (I have been cutting it up for them)

I order beef from a wholesale distributor (you can look ones up in your yellow pages). Some will sell to the public if you're buying large quantities (I purchase approx. 500$ per order...we feed our 3 large dogs only raw and we supplement our fosters). An example of what I order is a whole inside round. The entire solid piece weighs about 12-16lbs. I cut it up into approx 1 1/4 to 1 1/2lbs pieces. And yep, I feed it to the dogs just like that. Once a week, I may cut it into cubes if I want to add eggs and some juiced veggies. They chew and tear it apart with their teeth...well not always...our Penny has been known to swallow it whole only to throw it up....to swallow it whole...to throw it up again before she realizes she ought to chew it if she wants to keep it down :rolleyes:.

You may notice that your dogs don't chew the chunks you cut up for them. The point of feeding large pieces is so they use their teeth and jaws, just like they would if they were eating prey.

Currently, I am still feeding them mostly the frozen raw patties which I believe has the bones ground up in them... does that sound okay? As this is really expensive though (and as I do more research) I am gradually trying to use the patties less, and start giving them meat, organs from the store.

You're right, it's terribly expensive and, imo, so not worth what you're paying for. There is absolutely no reason why one should feed ground raw to their healthy dogs. I don't know about where you live but, here, the prepared ground meals for pets is not human grade and is of very poor quality. Feeding a piece of chicken with the bone and organs is much more economical and, you know exactly what you're giving your dogs. Remember, the makers of the prepared food try to do it in the cheapest way to get the best return. It's sold to the pet stores who also take their cut. Why bother giving them your money when it's more simple, healthier, and cost efficient doing it yourself.

All you have to remember...10% bone : 10% organs : 80% muscle meat. It doesn't have to be exact, just try to aim for those ratios. They should be fed about 2% of their ideal body weight. If you notice they're gaining, cut back a bit. If they're losing, increase the amount.

Also, when I take my dogs out of their crates, should I put their bones back in the fridge/freezer? I have two dogs that are food possessive so giving them bones in the evenings out of their crates is not an option (tried that once... never again, haha!)

I refreeze recreational bones only one time. If we're talking about thigh bones, our dogs normally all the bits of meat and 1/2 the marrow out of them the first time I give it to them. The next time they get it, I let it thaw a bit and push the remaining marrow to the edges so it's easier for them to get the last of it. Once there's nothing left other than the bare bone, I throw it out. Our dogs get the recreational bones in their crates as well to avoid any scuffles. Everything else we feed outdoors as they go to their own spots and don't bother each other.

Sorry one more question, when you say mackerel and sardines... do you get them canned or can you get them fresh in the supermarket?

I get them frozen in a grocery store and feed it to them frozen as well. Two of our dogs will not eat thawed fish. You can have lots of fun with frozen sardines and mackerel in the Winter time. I bury them in the snow throughout the yard and they have to "hunt" their meal :D.

Do you usually find chicken carcasses in the grocery store as well? Sorry... I apologize for all the silly questions!

Omd, I spent almost half a year asking the same questions before I began as well :laughing:. Now that I've been feeding raw over two years, I realize that it's so much simpler than what I initially thought.

I only feed chicken carcasses occasionally, usually on the days that the dogs only get meaty chunks of beef to make up for the bone proportion of their meal. I've never seen it sold at a regular grocery store. I get ours at a poultry store...sort of like a butchers but they specialize in poultry and game. I would imagine that butchers who sell chicken can also get you carcasses. I prefer to feed whole chickens cut in half. There's no need to calculate muscle/bone/organ ratios this way. For example, our guys weigh between 63 and 72lbs. For breakfast, they can get 1/2 a chicken each (minus the leg and thigh) which weighs approximately 1 1/2lbs per piece. At supper, I'll give them 1/2 a chicken liver, one heart, and 1/2 giblet each (sometimes chicken feet and/or a tablespoon or two of green tripe).

Do you have a large freezer? Cheapest way is to buy in bulk and freeze portions. Look through your yellow pages for distributors and retailers who'll offer reduced prices for large quantities. And if you have a really big freezer, find farmers in your area that sell to the public as well. Another tip, I don't recommend you say it's for your dogs. I did that once and received bad meat that our dogs got sick with :frustrated:. You can also look for raw feeding yahoo groups. There are some members that get together to order meat at bulk rates.

If you're not afraid to read any more of my novellas :o, feel free to ask as many questions as you like. That's what we're here for :).

cassiek
December 7th, 2009, 11:46 PM
Sigh, this is probably my biggest challenge when it comes to raw... I have little to no freezer space! :wall: I have a very small apartment sized freezer and of course the sad excuse for a freezer on my fridge... between my mom's homemade cooking and of course my own food, I have very little space! :wall: So buying bulk for me is not an option... I am pretty much having to purchase raw food on a bi-weekly if not weekly basis for the dogs as I don't have the space to fill up for any longer!

(I may need to invest in a stand up freezer in the near future!) :lightbulb:

P.S. Many thanks, luckypenny, for all the advice! Your great! :thumbs up

rainbow
December 8th, 2009, 12:37 AM
De-boned Steelhead filet is fine to feed occasionally.


LP, can you please explain? :confused: As far as I know, if it is from the west coast then it may have the parasites that can be fatal.

luckypenny
December 8th, 2009, 07:06 AM
LP, can you please explain? :confused: As far as I know, if it is from the west coast then it may have the parasites that can be fatal.

Cr@p :wall:. Cassiek, rainbow is correct, please don't feed the Steelhead. I don't know what I was thinking :wall:. If you already have, please keep an eye out for any symptoms whatsoever and take your dogs to the vet if you notice anything at all amiss with them.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/nov/08/salmon-steelhead-present-hazard-to-dogs/

Please read the link Rainbow posted. It provides valuable information. http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/salmon.aspx

Thank you for pointing out my terrible error rainbow, I'll go correct my original response.

cassiek
December 8th, 2009, 09:46 AM
No worries, I haven't fed any of the steelhead fillet I bought! :thumbs up I will toss it asap.

I do have one question though... the article talks about salmon poisoning disease... isn't steelhead trout? Sorry, I'm not much of a fish eater myself, so I don't know? :confused:

rainbow
December 8th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Thank you for pointing out my terrible error rainbow, I'll go correct my original response.

LP, I believe there are steelhead in the Great Lakes that are not affected by the parasite and since you are far from the west coast you likely only hear about those ones.

Since cassiek is from AB I presumed the steelhead she had would come from the west coast but it is always best to ask the store if they have not labelled where the fish was caught.

rainbow
December 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
No worries, I haven't fed any of the steelhead fillet I bought! :thumbs up I will toss it asap.

I do have one question though... the article talks about salmon poisoning disease... isn't steelhead trout? Sorry, I'm not much of a fish eater myself, so I don't know? :confused:

You don't have to toss it ....it is fine for you to eat or even cats if you have them. The parasite only affects dogs for some reason.

Steelhead are an anadromous fish which means they are in the ocean but travel up rivers/streams to spawn. They are called trout when they are in rivers but salmon when they are in the ocean.

cassiek
December 8th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Thanks for clarifying, rainbow!

Unfortunately, I am not a fish eater and I don't have a cat, but I am sure I can find a friend to give it to... thanks for the advice! :thumbs up

BenMax
December 8th, 2009, 03:48 PM
I followed LuckPenny's advice in regards to the frozen mackrel and sardines. My dogs love them and Maddox's coat is absolutely gorgeous.

Sorry LP - I have not graduated to raw yet...

angeldogs
December 8th, 2009, 05:08 PM
I feed whole mackrel i buy frozen.it's the small mackrel.jag loves it and it gone in no time.

Sib.HuskyMom
December 8th, 2009, 07:21 PM
Not to sound too dumb :rolleyes: but is Smelt the same as sardines? I saw a bag of frozen smelt in the grocery store, and they just looked like a bunch of tiny little fish.
Are they ok to give? Sorry if it's a stupid question, but aqualife is not my specialty :o

angeldogs
December 9th, 2009, 12:51 AM
I also by the big sardines from food basics.for $3 something a bag.

MerlinsHope
December 9th, 2009, 12:09 PM
You can feed your dog any kind of fish -seafoods included.
It should be frozen for at least 10 days ( hard freeze), to kill any flukes or other parasites.

Anyfish is good. You can easily deviate away from the fatty fish if you want to because the reason we feed those is for the Omega 3+6, but they are very fatty, so other types of fish a more than positive because they offer quality protein without the excess fat, so the portions would be different

Dogs only need a small amount of fatty fish, whereas they can eat copius amounts of non fatty. ( white fish, flounder, sole, cod, etc)

Please be aware that freezing will not kill the unwanted parasite in steelheads, but the parasite is only located in their heads not in the body.
It's just best to avoid that particular fish altogether.

The best place to start to learn about choosing fish is at Oceans Alive:
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521

You can learn what fish to avoid, which ones are safe, which ones you should avoid for ethical reasons.

Cheers
MM

rainbow
December 9th, 2009, 10:57 PM
You can feed your dog any kind of fish -seafoods included.
It should be frozen for at least 10 days ( hard freeze), to kill any flukes or other parasites.

Anyfish is good. You can easily deviate away from the fatty fish if you want to because the reason we feed those is for the Omega 3+6, but they are very fatty, so other types of fish a more than positive because they offer quality protein without the excess fat, so the portions would be different

Dogs only need a small amount of fatty fish, whereas they can eat copius amounts of non fatty. ( white fish, flounder, sole, cod, etc)

Please be aware that freezing will not kill the unwanted parasite in steelheads, but the parasite is only located in their heads not in the body.
It's just best to avoid that particular fish altogether.

The best place to start to learn about choosing fish is at Oceans Alive:
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521

You can learn what fish to avoid, which ones are safe, which ones you should avoid for ethical reasons.

Cheers
MM

Yes, freeze fish first and here is some great info on freezing ....

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/must_cook_salmon_for_dogs.htm



And, yes, don't feed alot of fatty fish because it can cause a thiamine (one of the B vitamins) deficiency.



MerlinsHope, please provide more information about this statement ...

Please be aware that freezing will not kill the unwanted parasite in steelheads, but the parasite is only located in their heads not in the body.
It's just best to avoid that particular fish altogether.

I would say not only steelhead (whether you call it trout or salmon) but also any anadromous fish from the West Coast needs to be frozen, as per the instructions in the link above, before feeding.

Can you please provide information about the parasite only being in the heads of these fish. We lived on the NW coast of BC of 10 yr and were always under the impression that it was the whole fish.

In fact, everyone said (including first nations people that have lived there for years) that wolves are known to only eat the heads of these fish and presumably because they "knew" better.

Etown_Chick
December 28th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Penny
your idea of tossing sardines/little frozen fishies in the snow is fabulous! Scruffy loves to play hide'n'seek with snacks, and he loves sardines. Will try that.
Also I am very jealous of those of you with space for a big freezer. Scruff and I share a small one, but we make do.

MerlinsHope
December 29th, 2009, 07:48 AM
Can you please provide information about the parasite only being in the heads of these fish. We lived on the NW coast of BC of 10 yr and were always under the impression that it was the whole fish.


What I would like to suggest is that you contact Fish and Game in the Seattle, WA area and ask that. Several years ago this was the issued warning on steel heads and I doubt much have changed. At that time the warning specifically mentioned that the parasite was located in the brain of the fish.

Please check with them
Thanks

snorklepuss
January 30th, 2010, 09:08 AM
I order beef from a wholesale distributor (you can look ones up in your yellow pages). Some will sell to the public if you're buying large quantities (I purchase approx. 500$ per order...we feed our 3 large dogs only raw and we supplement our fosters). An example of what I order is a whole inside round. The entire solid piece weighs about 12-16lbs. I cut it up into approx 1 1/4 to 1 1/2lbs pieces. And yep, I feed it to the dogs just like that. Once a week, I may cut it into cubes if I want to add eggs and some juiced veggies. They chew and tear it apart with their teeth...well not always...our Penny has been known to swallow it whole only to throw it up....to swallow it whole...to throw it up again before she realizes she ought to chew it if she wants to keep it down :rolleyes:.

You may notice that your dogs don't chew the chunks you cut up for them. The point of feeding large pieces is so they use their teeth and jaws, just like they would if they were eating prey.



You're right, it's terribly expensive and, imo, so not worth what you're paying for. There is absolutely no reason why one should feed ground raw to their healthy dogs. I don't know about where you live but, here, the prepared ground meals for pets is not human grade and is of very poor quality. Feeding a piece of chicken with the bone and organs is much more economical and, you know exactly what you're giving your dogs. Remember, the makers of the prepared food try to do it in the cheapest way to get the best return. It's sold to the pet stores who also take their cut. Why bother giving them your money when it's more simple, healthier, and cost efficient doing it yourself.

All you have to remember...10% bone : 10% organs : 80% muscle meat. It doesn't have to be exact, just try to aim for those ratios. They should be fed about 2% of their ideal body weight. If you notice they're gaining, cut back a bit. If they're losing, increase the amount.



I refreeze recreational bones only one time. If we're talking about thigh bones, our dogs normally all the bits of meat and 1/2 the marrow out of them the first time I give it to them. The next time they get it, I let it thaw a bit and push the remaining marrow to the edges so it's easier for them to get the last of it. Once there's nothing left other than the bare bone, I throw it out. Our dogs get the recreational bones in their crates as well to avoid any scuffles. Everything else we feed outdoors as they go to their own spots and don't bother each other.



I get them frozen in a grocery store and feed it to them frozen as well. Two of our dogs will not eat thawed fish. You can have lots of fun with frozen sardines and mackerel in the Winter time. I bury them in the snow throughout the yard and they have to "hunt" their meal :D.



Omd, I spent almost half a year asking the same questions before I began as well :laughing:. Now that I've been feeding raw over two years, I realize that it's so much simpler than what I initially thought.

I only feed chicken carcasses occasionally, usually on the days that the dogs only get meaty chunks of beef to make up for the bone proportion of their meal. I've never seen it sold at a regular grocery store. I get ours at a poultry store...sort of like a butchers but they specialize in poultry and game. I would imagine that butchers who sell chicken can also get you carcasses. I prefer to feed whole chickens cut in half. There's no need to calculate muscle/bone/organ ratios this way. For example, our guys weigh between 63 and 72lbs. For breakfast, they can get 1/2 a chicken each (minus the leg and thigh) which weighs approximately 1 1/2lbs per piece. At supper, I'll give them 1/2 a chicken liver, one heart, and 1/2 giblet each (sometimes chicken feet and/or a tablespoon or two of green tripe).

Do you have a large freezer? Cheapest way is to buy in bulk and freeze portions. Look through your yellow pages for distributors and retailers who'll offer reduced prices for large quantities. And if you have a really big freezer, find farmers in your area that sell to the public as well. Another tip, I don't recommend you say it's for your dogs. I did that once and received bad meat that our dogs got sick with :frustrated:. You can also look for raw feeding yahoo groups. There are some members that get together to order meat at bulk rates.

If you're not afraid to read any more of my novellas :o, feel free to ask as many questions as you like. That's what we're here for :).

OMG where were you when I started thank for the info

Sherman'sMom
June 30th, 2012, 07:52 AM
[QUOTE=luckypenny;858502]

It would also seem that you're giving your guys weight bearing bones throughout the day? Those are ok for recreational chewing once every now and then but, if you've got power chewers, they can damage their teeth with them. The bone content in your dogs' meals should come from softer, easy to digest bones such as chicken carcasses (we feed half chickens minus the thighs/drumsticks...two of our guys don't digest them properly), soft pork and beef ribs, cartilage, etc. For daily recreational chewing, you can give them Kongs stuffed with cubes of raw meat and/or green tripe (not the white bleached stuff) that's been frozen overnight. Unfortunately, we can't find raw tripe here so we use the canned Trippet brand (found at most small pet supply shops).

luckypenny,
My pet store has Raw Green Tripe frozen in approx 2" squares and packaged in 3lbs bags. only ingredient is unbleaches,uncooked frosen fresh tripe. I'm in north eastern Ontario. The tripe is from a Alberta company called K-9 choice foods inc. maybe you can try there website for a place to buy near you www.k9choicefoods.com

on a second note, anyone know if catfish is safe raw for dogs? we catch them all the time and throw them back because we don't eat them, but if I can feed them to the dog that would be an awesome cheep way to get him a whole and fresh fish source.