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New to Raw for my dogs

CLV
January 10th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Hello everyone,
I have 2 American Eskimo Dogs that have been having numerous problems over the past year with commercial kibble diets. To make a long story short, we have tried everything from Wellness Core Ocean, Purina Pro Plan, Fromm Salmon a la Veg, California Natural, Evo Salmon and Herring, and The Honest Kitchen with no success. I always do a very slow transition (the last one with Evo I just got up to a 50/50 switch after a month!) They always start to have diarrhea, really really bad diarrhea- waking us up 3-4x in the middle of the night to go out. The only thing that keeps them okay is Science Diet I/D, which I hate for obvious reasons. I wish it wasn't the only food that would keep them from having digestive problems. One of our pups was on I/D for several years because we just didn't have all the information we do now. I was able to switch him to Wellness Core Ocean with the other dog on Fromm for almost a year before they both spontaneously starting getting sick from their foods. (I guess if I think back it timed out during the summer when they were eating Mulberries from a tree in our neighbors yard.) Our neighbor cut the tree down, we switched to I/D for several weeks and then tried to reintroduce their food with no success.

That leaves us where we are today, almost 8 months later with no success with kibbles (and we have used some good high quality kibbles.) My husband and I are really disgusted with the ingredients in I/D and decided we just didn't want to feed it to the boys anymore. One of them is also having a lot of skin issues (Black Skin Spots, severely dry skin) while the other one is super itchy. This week we decided we wanted to try raw to see if it will help them. We tried Honest Kitchen but after a few TBS of it they were still not able to tolerate the food. So we stopped feeding it. .

This weekend they had very bad diarrhea from the EVO so I stopped them both and gave them homecooked chicken, white rice with some peas/carrots mixed in. We decided we are done with I/D and would rather deal with the inconvenience of cooking vs feeding a poor quality food. I made enough rice and veggies for the week and am planning on feeding that until they are somewhat better, at which point I want to transition to Raw.

I went to a local store and have done a lot of research online and for now, I think the commercially prepared Raw are going to be better for us. I know they are very pricey but we figured it would be an easier transition for us initially. If it becomes too expensive we can then start to give our own raw. I think this will help ensure they have a balanced diet too (since the NV and the Primal seem to have a good mix.)

I guess the question I have is if anyone thinks one is better than the other. I have read both sides and even at the store there were some who preferred one vs the other. I ended up purchasing the Primal Lamb Nuggets for now. I haven't fed it to them yet- will start next week. I chose it for 2 reasons, first it seems to have less ingredients. It didn't have eggs and flaxseed (which was in the Organic Chicken by NV.) I feel this way I can at least rule out allergy possibilities with egg or flaxseed. I also wanted to go organic and Primal states the Lamb is Hormone and Antibiotic Free (although not Organic) and all the other ingredients are Organic. I also was a bit confused about Chicken vs Lamb. I have never tried Lamb in any of their foods (even kibble.) I have read it is better for sensitive stomachs, but am not 100% sure.

I did also purchase a Leg of Lamb from Whole Foods this weekend that I boiled for the boys. I figured after the cooked Chicken from this week was done I could try the Lamb just to see how they do on it. I just am not sure if I am feeding enough of the Home Cooked Food. How do you know how much to feed. I have read 2-3% with raw- is that just meat? My boys are both about 32 lbs, so according to calculations they should get about 10oz/day- just meat or the whole mix of meat and veggies?

Sorry for all the questions. I guess I am just looking for some support and information on feeding raw. Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

Marcha
January 10th, 2010, 07:11 PM
I was wondering as I read your post - are you wanting to go for cooked meat, or raw (uncooked) in the long run?

What is the percentage of bone in the prepared food that you're buying or thinking of buying? I find that commercially prepared rawfood has a too high percentage of bone, and our dog gets chalky poo if she only has the prepared foods. So if we give her the prepared food, we also give her a slab of raw boneless meat to go with it to balance the percentage.

And yes, for adult dogs who are at a good weight, 2-3% of their body weight is right. For transitioning to raw, I'd start off with 2-3% of the weight in meat alone, not with added veggies. Then you can add veggies one by one later if you know the meat sits well.

bendyfoot
January 10th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Sounds like you've been through a lot, and really tried your best with the commercial diets...you get a gold star for persistence!!! Glad you recognize that the I/D is not the best for your pups and want a healthier diet for them.

The premade raw mixes are definitely MUCH more expensive than homemade. One thing a lot of new raw feeders tend to do (myself included) is overanalyse, over-stress and over-measure every little bit of food...raw feeding should be (and is) simple, and tailored for the individual dog. In our house, we don't really "prepare" our dogs' food: we thaw it, sometimes cut it if the portion is too large for one dog, and simply hand it over. Tonight, for example, our girls each got a big slab of boneless pork shoulder, a little handful of chicken livers, and a squirt of fish oil. Since they got no bone today, I'll probably give them chicken legs tomorrow. The basic formula for proportions is approximately 75% meat, 10% offal and 15% bone, give or take. Some dogs do better with more meat, more bone, etc...the poop says it all.

To answer your question about the "best" type of raw pre-mixed food, we have used (and still often do) use the Nature's Variety...only for the cats, though (and mostly because our oldest kitty can be suspicious about whole pieces of organs :rolleyes:). The cats seem to like it, and their stools are pretty good (but a bit chalky sometimes like a PP mentioned).

As for chicken vs. lamb....if you suspect a protein allergy/sensitivity, I would try the lamb. Chicken allergy is actually quite common and you may find the lamb, being a novel protein source, is better tolerated.

That said, any time you switch to a raw diet, even for the pups with generally strong tummies...you can expect some stomach upset (i.e. diarrhea), but it sounds like you're used to that already.

How much home-cooked food to feed? Tough to say. Even with raw, the 2-3% is only a guideline: every dog has very different caloric needs, even if they're the same breed, age, sex and size. Our 50 lb terrier mix eats the same amount as our 25 lb boston mix, for example...much more for the terrier=chubby dog, much less for the boston mix=too skinny. You must judge their daily feeds by their body condition; i.e. how the dog's body looks and feels. Google "body condition" or look here (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=59155)for ideas on how this is done. Monitor the condition every other day or so (it takes seconds once you know what you're looking for) and adjust the feeds accordingly.

Raw has done wonderful, wonderful things for our dogs, especially our medical trainwreck GSD. Happy trails! :D

luckypenny
January 10th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Considering you've tried just about every brand of kibble, including some very good ones, I was wondering if you've had your dogs' stool tested, or had them treated, for intestinal parasites?

Also, have you tried to cut back on the amount of kibble you fed? Sometimes, even a 1/4 cup too much will cause loose stools. How many times did they eat per day?

I've never fed commercially prepared raw so I can't offer you any advice there. However, when we started our guys, or any fosters, on raw, we always begin with one protein source for at least a month. Usually it's chicken as we've found that it's the easiest for them to digest. Lamb, on the other hand, we can only feed in tiny amounts. It's quite rich and not one of our dogs can eat a full meal of it without getting diarrhea. One of our dogs can not eat beef meals for more than 2-3 days in a row, and another can not eat pork for the same amount of time. Each dog is different and you'll soon find out what works for your dogs.

2-3% is the total of muscle meat, bones, and organs together. If you're going to feed raw vegetables, it should either go through a juicer or a blender in order for your dogs to absorb any nutrients. We only offer a few tablespoons weekly (time saving tip: you can prepare it ahead of time and freeze in ice cube trays, place veggie cubes in a freezer baggie and use the amounts needed). The ratio that works for us is 75-80% meat, 15% bone, and 5-10% organs. If you find after a few days your dogs' stools are very soft or runny, cut back a bit on the organs. If they are straining, constipated, or stools are white and crumbly, the bone portion should be reduced.

We have some very good threads on examples of feeding raw here. Home prepared can be quite simple and you have more control over what your dogs are getting. For example, our guys weigh on average double yours so they get approximately 1 1/2 lbs per day. The simplest and most balanced meal I feed is a half chicken each, legs and thighs removed, a heart, half giblet, and half liver. The weight and proportions of meat, bone, organs are just right.

LavenderRott
January 10th, 2010, 08:11 PM
If you are switching to a complete raw diet, your dogs need bone which means you need to feed RAW not cooked foods.

You need to do your homework well. You need a certain amount of muscle meat, a certain amount of organ meat and a certain amount of bone. Vegetables are not necessary if you are feeding the right amounts of meat and bone (or even if you are not) as dogs don't process veggies very well. That is why you feed organ meats and especially tripe.

bendyfoot
January 11th, 2010, 07:59 AM
I meant to mention, too, that you don't have to get the proportions of meat, bone, offal perfect for each individual meal. As long as you get in the required amounts over the course of 7-10 days, it ok.

CLV
January 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice. To answer a few of the questions. We do want to have them on raw long term. I am only feeding cooked right now because I don't think I know enough yet. Plus they were both having problems with the EVO a few days ago, so I thought Chicken and Rice would be good for them for a few days before I transition to raw. I also have had both of them tested several times for GI parasites. They always come back clean, so I don't think that is the problem.

I have read several sites online and looked through old posts here too, I am excited about trying the raw but nervous about it as well. Both of them are having loose stools on the cooked chicken and rice right now too. I just feel so frustrated. I don't want to stop too soon even with the cooked but it always seems the only thing that clears it up for them is I/D. This morning I gave one of them chicken and boiled potato instead of rice. I am wondering if maybe he might have a grain allergy. If I notice it is still bad, I am thinking of changing the chicken. I just don't know how long to continue feeding a single protein source or grain source until I have an answer of whether they are allergic. If they have 2-3 days of diarrhea is that enough to say this isn't working for them. They are both starving too so I want to give them more- but then they just have more diarrhea. Both of them are big time eaters too- they never really turn down anything.

I agree that preparing the raw at home will be a lot cheaper. For now though I am thinking to try the prepared just for convenience. The Bone Content says 6%. Here is the info on the food per their website.

The one we purchased was Primal Lamb:
Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Hearts, Lamb Livers, Ground Lamb Bones, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Parsley, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (source of vitamin E).
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 12%
Crude Fat (min) 10%
Crude Fiber (max) 3%
Moisture (max) 70%

Additional Product Information:
Lamb 60%
Organic Ingredients 30%
Produce 40%
Organ Meat 7%
Supplements < 1%
Bone Content 6%
CA-to-P ratio 1.14:1

WinstonsDad
January 11th, 2010, 11:38 AM
CLV,

Nearly everyone involved in your post, ( bendyfoot, luckypenny, marcha) helped or assisted me over the past month or two, in some way to get over my 'fear' or 'uncertainty' of feeding RAW.

It never crossed my mind to pay more for a 'prepared' raw diet, it was going to be a high quality kibble or RAW. I bought a chest freezer (3.5 cubic ft just for him) and the choice is now clear. I like to shop for him, it's fun to shop deals on meat to make it cheaper than kibble.

Determining allergies is one thing but keep reading, decide, then give them some nutrient-rich, raw meat.

I own a very dominant, confident, 11 month old male who was either starting fights or not walking away from them. Since feeding RAW, given a grace period of a few weeks, I can whistle which I hadn't really trained him for and he will walk away from an altercation and check in with me.

What I am trying to say is that I didn't believe it until I SAW it either but he is far more attentive, happy, satisfied, calm, healthy (skin, coat, attitude, endurance, muscles, etc.)

It was mentioned above about being new and worried about every gram, every meal...That will pass, quickly, it's part of the learning curve.

I'm not sure what else to tell you in this post that someone else hasn't but I'm on board, have a young puppy and he is doing wonderfully, better than the high quality kibble he was on, which for the first 9 months, I was very happy with......


Chris

LavenderRott
January 11th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Every time you change foods over, if you do it quickly, you should expect loose stools. If you just changed from kibble to chicken and rice a few days ago, it is much too soon to assume that your dog might be allergic to grains. If you change from rice to potatoes, just like that, then you are still going to have loose stools for a couple of days. Changing the chicken to something else isn't going to tell you anything this quickly.

CLV
January 11th, 2010, 05:29 PM
I think with time I will feel more comfortable with the raw. To tell you the truth, just cooking fresh food for them is satisfying. They are so happy at meal time and I feel like I am doing something good for them. I can't wait to see their faces when I put a raw chicken bone down! (Although I do have one that swallows things whole so I will have to figure out a better way for him.) I know some people mention giving a larger piece, but he still tends to make things into small pieces and swallow them. (I have had to pull pieces of rawhide out of his mouth that he almost choked on. I don't give either of them rawhide anymore. The older one turns into a psycho and becomes very ugly with rawhide. I am hoping he isn't the same way with raw bones- although I always separate during feeding time.) I do think I will end up buying only organic meats for them, hopefully that won't make things too expensive. I like the idea of finding whatever meats are on sale, but I want to make sure all the meats are organic (no hormones, no antibiotic, grass fed and local if possible.) It seems if I go that route- it might get expensive.

I am trying to be very patient with the switch. I know I will have to deal with loose stools for a few days during the transition, but when it is really horrible explosive diarrhea several times a night, I feel like something just isn't right. One of them (our 2 year old male Leo) definitely has some sort of allergy, we haven't been able to figure out exactly what the allergy is, but I always thought it might be either grains and/or eggs. I probably shouldn't have switched too quick but after 2.5 days of bad diarrhea I ended up changing out the white rice for boiled potato. He has been okay since (we'll see what happens later tonight.) My other one ( 6 year old male Cozzy) seems to be okay on the chicken and rice- he still has somewhat loose stools but it isn't too bad.

I will keep reading on here and other sites to get more information, but I really do appreciate everyone's advice. After all I have been through (and all THEY have been through) I just want something nutritious that works for them.

cassiek
January 12th, 2010, 01:43 AM
Welcome, CLV to pets.ca and raw! :thumbs up

As a new raw feeder myself, who has been feeding it for only 3 months or so, I can appreciate how confusing raw seems at first since I was there myself! But, I think if you stick with it you (and your dogs) will love it! :lovestruck:

I don't think there is anything wrong with starting with raw frozen patties. They are simple, easy, and though they are generally more expensive, they are kind of a nice "transition" step into what I call "real raw". :thumbs up What worked for me was gradually adding more of my own meat from farmers, grocery stores etc. while still using the patties until I became completely comfortable with the idea. I still use the patties once in awhile when I am leaving my babes with friends or family, to keep everything simple! :laughing:

I'm not sure where you are located, but I am in Alberta and regularly use Mountain Dog Food and Urban Carnivore. Both seem to work great with my dogs, and MDF actually sells bulk packs of chicken w/ bone in (so you still need to add organs and veggies or whatever extras you like) for about $1.00/lb. Urban Carnivore works well for me as they make some really different proteins (i.e. duck, rabbit etc) that work well for my little guy with allergies. I also really like Legacy, which is made out of Calgary. They are organic - antibiotic free, local etc. and this may be worth looking into for you since you mentioned you would like to feed organic (although Legacy is more expensive because it is organic!). I am not familiar with the raw companies you mentioned.

You mention your dog Leo has allergies. In my research on dog allergies, I have discovered that most dogs seem to have allergies to poultry (incl. eggs) and grains. This certainly is not true for every dog, but especially with the grains, alot of dog owners whose dogs have allergies seem to disappear entirely when they get away from all the grains in normal dog food kibble. Raw is a wonderful alternative where you eliminate the grains, and while it is usually more expensive to feed meat besides poultry (since it is usually cheapest - again, depends where you live), but I have found with the raw it is quite simple to rule out allergens in the food since it is so simple and pure! :cloud9:

As for diarrhea, it can be avoided with raw quite easily if your careful. One mistake I made was adding too much, too quick. :rolleyes: Split a tin of sardines between my kids and all three had explosive diarrhea for the next day! :frustrated: Not fun! Keep it simple, add proteins and different items slowly, and you should be okay!

Also, if you read through this BARF board there is a TON of valuable information! And you will become more comfortable with it, but it does take an initial adjustment as it is a whole new way of thinking! I bet you and your dogs will just love it though! Keep us posted.

Oh, one last thing, yes 2-3% of body weight is ideal, however this is a very broad guideline and depends on your dogs breed, activity level, current body condition etc. I think I started around 2.5% and have adjusted it accordingly and "tweaked" it... especially in the winter when me and my furkids are lazy and don't exercise much!! :laughing:

CLV
January 15th, 2010, 01:33 PM
I still haven't started the raw yet. One of my dogs is ready I think. He has been on Cooked Chicken/White Rice/Puree of Peas and Carrots and Potatoes for the past week. His stools are solid and he seems like he is doing okay. Leo on the other hand is a mess. He was having severe diarrhea a few days ago and I took away the rice substituting for mashed potatoes. A few days went by and then all of a sudden he is having severe diarrhea again. I'm not sure if he is allergic to chicken too? I gave him an Immodium today (vet had prescribed for him a while ago) because I just felt bad for him having to go so much! Since it has been 4 days on Chicken and Potatoes and he hasn't been doing too well I have him on Lamb and Potato now. I guess if he does okay on this I will know it was chicken and grain that was the allergy problem for him.

I don't want to switch things up so much, but I just can't figure out what is going on with him. He is also so hungry, I feel so bad I don't know what else to give him to fill him up.

Well one good thing came up today though. My vet was fairly supportive of the raw diet- can you believe it! I know most of them aren't so I had to post! She said that she doesn't recommend it in houses with young kids or elderly because of the risk of Salmonella to the humans- not the dogs so much. She said that the dogs are fine usually but if they give kisses etc people can be affected. She also mentioned the importance of adding some supplements like bone meal and vitamins if I am going to continue the cooked meats too.

She did say that on occasion she has seen dogs with sensitive stomachs getting bacterial infections from raw diets. I am wondering if anyone on here has ever had this happen. I obviously have 2 pups that are severely sensitive to things, so should I be worried about potential infections.

If anyone else has any advice on what I should do with my pup Leo with all the diarrhea and sensitivities to even all these cooked foods, I would appreciate any help at this point. We decided that if he can't tolerate anything through this weekend we won't have a choice but to put him back on I/D for a little while. (At least until the diarrhea clears up.)

bendyfoot
January 15th, 2010, 01:39 PM
I would be highly doubtful that a bacterial infection was the cause of the diarrhea... :2cents:

She's right about the supplementing if you continue to cook...you must include the nutrients found in bone and organ meats...plus, cooking meat destroys some of the nutrients in it...to be honest, I have no idea how to make a balanced diet using cooked meat :shrug:

White potatoes are really starchy-pretty much all sugar...I personally wouldn't be feeding it in large quantities (that or white rice). But then I don't feed any grain/veg at all, other than scraps for treats, not as a routine component of the diet. I would consider trying your poopy guy on just raw meat and bone right away...you may still have some upset for a while, but the bone can be really helpful for runny poop :2cents:

Sib.HuskyMom
January 15th, 2010, 03:59 PM
wow, there's so much great advice on here, I'm not sure what else there is for me to contribute (being an amateur raw feeder myself) :rolleyes:
There is one little tid bit I have picked up - one of my boys tends to gobble things down a little too quickly for my liking. So on days when he's getting smaller pieces of meat (like chicken wings), I serve them to him still partially frozen. Slows him right down, and so far, we've never had a problem (knock on wood!)

CLV
January 18th, 2010, 04:40 PM
I started the Primal Chicken Nuggets for one of my pups. I have given him 1 nugget in addition to his cooked chicken/rice mixture. The first day he was okay, second day he had a slimy mucous surrounding formed poop, and today he has diarrhea. (I'm certain it's related to the raw since I haven't changed anything else.) Is this normal (especially the slimy stuff?) I have read on certain sites that people do see this when they transition a dog to raw.

I don't know if it could be partially that he has been eating cooked chicken breast and rice for almost 2 weeks now- is that too much muscle meat he is getting and no bone that could be causing this.

If I do continue to do this transition very slow (which I am sure I will) should I go ahead and supplement with the bone meal? How much is a good amount to add for sensitive tummy pups? I have also heard it might be a good idea to give them probiotics when starting raw- does anyone do this? I have been giving them both 1 wafer of the NuVet Pet Tabs since they have been with me- so I am continuing to give those.

I hope I'm not doing any harm by not having any bone meal for so long, I am just trying to keep things as simple as possible so I can figure out what is making these boys sick.

bendyfoot
January 18th, 2010, 04:50 PM
You should not be feeding raw at the same time as grains (i.e. rice); they digest at different rates and can definitely cause stomach upset. If you want to do part raw, part cooked, feed cooked at one meal and raw at another meal, but not at the same time. Many, many dogs get diarrhea or soft stool for the first few days/week when they start raw; it's pretty normal.

I would actually strongly recommend that you just go 100%, "cold turkey" so to speak.

Having some bone would very likely help with the runny poop.

You may also consider a probiotic to help support good digestive function.

CLV
January 22nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
I'm pretty upset right now. It doesn't look like my older pup is tolerating the Primal nuggets. I have been giving him 1 a day for a week now. He has been getting diarrhea every time he gets one of the nuggets. I stopped the grain (rice) and was just mixing some cooked chicken and mashed potato. I did one meal with the raw added in and the next without, he always gets sick after the raw meal. I tried to up it to 1.5 nuggets for one meal and he got even more diarrhea.

I am feeling so frustrated. I know I can't continue to feed him cooked chicken and rice- I don't want to give up but he seems so sad when he is sick outside. I don't want to go back to I/D but it is the only thing right now that controls his stomach. I am thinking maybe I will have to put him on I/D for a couple of days until his stomach feels better and then possibly go to California Natural. He just can't seem to tolerate anything.

My other pup was having a lot of problems on everything too. I put him back on I/D because I couldn't take it anymore. He was so sick with frequent accidents that I just couldn't control anymore. I am thinking I have to go back to square 1 and figure out a good kibble that isn't high protein- they both don't seem to do well with higher protein.

I just thought I would update all of you. I wish I could feed raw- it would be my choice, but I don't know how long to keep going on feeding only 1 nugget /meal without any increase and constant diarrhea.

snorklepuss
January 28th, 2010, 10:52 AM
You should not be feeding raw at the same time as grains (i.e. rice); they digest at different rates and can definitely cause stomach upset. If you want to do part raw, part cooked, feed cooked at one meal and raw at another meal, but not at the same time. Many, many dogs get diarrhea or soft stool for the first few days/week when they start raw; it's pretty normal.

I would actually strongly recommend that you just go 100%, "cold turkey" so to speak.

Having some bone would very likely help with the runny poop.

You may also consider a probiotic to help support good digestive function.

I agree grains take up to 72 hours to digest from my research, and meat is pretty quick you may get some bloating if mixed grains and raw.

snorklepuss
January 28th, 2010, 11:00 AM
I'm pretty upset right now. It doesn't look like my older pup is tolerating the Primal nuggets. I have been giving him 1 a day for a week now. He has been getting diarrhea every time he gets one of the nuggets. I stopped the grain (rice) and was just mixing some cooked chicken and mashed potato. I did one meal with the raw added in and the next without, he always gets sick after the raw meal. I tried to up it to 1.5 nuggets for one meal and he got even more diarrhea.

I am feeling so frustrated. I know I can't continue to feed him cooked chicken and rice- I don't want to give up but he seems so sad when he is sick outside. I don't want to go back to I/D but it is the only thing right now that controls his stomach. I am thinking maybe I will have to put him on I/D for a couple of days until his stomach feels better and then possibly go to California Natural. He just can't seem to tolerate anything.

My other pup was having a lot of problems on everything too. I put him back on I/D because I couldn't take it anymore. He was so sick with frequent accidents that I just couldn't control anymore. I am thinking I have to go back to square 1 and figure out a good kibble that isn't high protein- they both don't seem to do well with higher protein.

I just thought I would update all of you. I wish I could feed raw- it would be my choice, but I don't know how long to keep going on feeding only 1 nugget /meal without any increase and constant diarrhea.

Absolutly simpathize, high protein foods anything over 28% my labs could not handle. The easing into the raw diet was a little stressful for us as well some were good on it quickly and some it took a full month. We absolutly stopped any poultry from the start and that seemed to help now we suppliment poultry about twice a month. And this has helped can't explain it but as they easied into the raw it took a little to get them through the runns, now they only poop about 1 every two days, and that alone is starting to worry me, its dry almost crusty though they don't seem constipated!!!! we continue to change our formula to include vegies soo eggs and apples found some german infomation on raw.

snorklepuss
January 28th, 2010, 11:02 AM
I would be highly doubtful that a bacterial infection was the cause of the diarrhea... :2cents:

She's right about the supplementing if you continue to cook...you must include the nutrients found in bone and organ meats...plus, cooking meat destroys some of the nutrients in it...to be honest, I have no idea how to make a balanced diet using cooked meat :shrug:

White potatoes are really starchy-pretty much all sugar...I personally wouldn't be feeding it in large quantities (that or white rice). But then I don't feed any grain/veg at all, other than scraps for treats, not as a routine component of the diet. I would consider trying your poopy guy on just raw meat and bone right away...you may still have some upset for a while, but the bone can be really helpful for runny poop :2cents:


And keep it completey raw no cooked or smoked bones, and go easy on the marrow even if you have to scoop it out.

snorklepuss
January 29th, 2010, 11:07 AM
Sounds like you've been through a lot, and really tried your best with the commercial diets...you get a gold star for persistence!!! Glad you recognize that the I/D is not the best for your pups and want a healthier diet for them.

The premade raw mixes are definitely MUCH more expensive than homemade. One thing a lot of new raw feeders tend to do (myself included) is overanalyse, over-stress and over-measure every little bit of food...raw feeding should be (and is) simple, and tailored for the individual dog. In our house, we don't really "prepare" our dogs' food: we thaw it, sometimes cut it if the portion is too large for one dog, and simply hand it over. Tonight, for example, our girls each got a big slab of boneless pork shoulder, a little handful of chicken livers, and a squirt of fish oil. Since they got no bone today, I'll probably give them chicken legs tomorrow. The basic formula for proportions is approximately 75% meat, 10% offal and 15% bone, give or take. Some dogs do better with more meat, more bone, etc...the poop says it all.

To answer your question about the "best" type of raw pre-mixed food, we have used (and still often do) use the Nature's Variety...only for the cats, though (and mostly because our oldest kitty can be suspicious about whole pieces of organs :rolleyes:). The cats seem to like it, and their stools are pretty good (but a bit chalky sometimes like a PP mentioned).

As for chicken vs. lamb....if you suspect a protein allergy/sensitivity, I would try the lamb. Chicken allergy is actually quite common and you may find the lamb, being a novel protein source, is better tolerated.

That said, any time you switch to a raw diet, even for the pups with generally strong tummies...you can expect some stomach upset (i.e. diarrhea), but it sounds like you're used to that already.

How much home-cooked food to feed? Tough to say. Even with raw, the 2-3% is only a guideline: every dog has very different caloric needs, even if they're the same breed, age, sex and size. Our 50 lb terrier mix eats the same amount as our 25 lb boston mix, for example...much more for the terrier=chubby dog, much less for the boston mix=too skinny. You must judge their daily feeds by their body condition; i.e. how the dog's body looks and feels. Google "body condition" or look here (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=59155)for ideas on how this is done. Monitor the condition every other day or so (it takes seconds once you know what you're looking for) and adjust the feeds accordingly.

Raw has done wonderful, wonderful things for our dogs, especially our medical trainwreck GSD. Happy trails! :D

How I appreciate your words. We have switched to raw as well wish I would have had bent your ear. May I use this particualr quote in my conversation about raw in another forum.

Cory

bendyfoot
January 29th, 2010, 11:28 AM
you may:thumbs up

snorklepuss
January 29th, 2010, 11:40 AM
you may:thumbs up

thank you, there is lots of information and miss-information and very strong opinions out there, its tough to weigh threw them.

cory

snorklepuss
January 29th, 2010, 11:44 AM
wow, there's so much great advice on here, I'm not sure what else there is for me to contribute (being an amateur raw feeder myself) :rolleyes:
There is one little tid bit I have picked up - one of my boys tends to gobble things down a little too quickly for my liking. So on days when he's getting smaller pieces of meat (like chicken wings), I serve them to him still partially frozen. Slows him right down, and so far, we've never had a problem (knock on wood!)

Yes we feed completely frozen blocks, for two reasons the gulping down and the thought that the ripping and tearing at the food GREATLY seems to help there teeth and gums, my Vet is amazed at the turn around in there teeth, though he still preaches against it because of lack of research. Hopefully with my research and everyone's lessons we can come up with our own proven recipe for success.

Cory

snorklepuss
January 31st, 2010, 08:13 AM
my dog eats a huge variety of fresh foods and veges, mainly veges and fruit, and the top of ehr list of fav foods is, BROCCOLI, she loves the stuff and after 9yrs of eating it is not dead so it didnt hurt her. she had a bad accident years ago that prevents her from eating bones, broccoli stumps are the only thing i can give her that cleans her teeth as well, and she loves the, i eat the head she eats the big stalks.

just like all food in moderation im sure its not a problem, but if the dog ate nothing but broccoli then you would have an issue.

look ppl have many theories about dogs and food, some wont feed grapes, or carrot, i feeldthe lot, its down to the individual and as long as your fell has no advers effects then i say its fine, and the best way to tell is watch his poo, if its normal hes fine and dandy.

and try a broccoli stump for a bone snack, charlie my girl says he wont regret it at all.....

and lots of fruit, my girl eats, mangos, peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, gooseberries, bananas, water melons, other melons, grapes (only seedless), oh and the list is endlessnot to mention she eats most vegies also, we also grow some produce and she often jsut helps herself in the yard. and dogs will often eat what an owner eats anyway, i once know a dingo called ringo who ate nothing but curry whcih his human ate, and he lived till he was 14yo, so use your judgement.

trust your judgement, if he is having a reaction its not good, but he sounds fine so do what you think best.



Why would you purposefully feed grapes, a known toxin, regardless of the amount given, to your dogs? How are you monitoring for adverse effects? Watching his poo? Grapes cause kidney disease and monitoring poo won't help you.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/toxi...ape_raisin.htm

Fedor
February 4th, 2010, 11:06 PM
I'm pretty upset right now. It doesn't look like my older pup is tolerating the Primal nuggets. I have been giving him 1 a day for a week now. He has been getting diarrhea every time he gets one of the nuggets. I stopped the grain (rice) and was just mixing some cooked chicken and mashed potato. I did one meal with the raw added in and the next without, he always gets sick after the raw meal. I tried to up it to 1.5 nuggets for one meal and he got even more diarrhea.
You are still mixing raw with other things... Mashed potato is a carb, I guess it's a tuber rather than a grain, but it's still a carb. Hence, it may give your dog problems just like mixing raw with kibble or anything else that digests differently than raw meat and bone.

I am not familiar with Primal nuggets, but I would recommend just going all-out raw, grocery store raw as opposed to commercially made raw. Just put a chicken quarter in front of them and see what happens. That's what I did and my pup was only 8 weeks old at the time (well, obviously it wasn't a chicken quarter, it was a chicken leg) and he's been chomping down raw food since then like a champ.

You also said you are worried about your other dog swallowing pieces that are larger than he should be swallowing. It's natural to worry about that but it seems dogs are pretty good at swallowing things... Just make sure you give them a piece that is larger than their head and that it's a bone with meat on it, not just a bare bone. They should do just fine, even if it is a bit scary to begin with. But really, they were made to eat this way.

The only time I have had an incident with swallowing was when I fed boneless chicken! I gave Fedor two BIG chunks of boneless chicken thigh. I turned away for a moment and when I turned back, they were gone! I was a little surprised but he looked OK so I turned away again for a while, putting some dishes away, and when I turned back, the two chunks of chicken were back there on his eating towel! Just ever so slightly foamy at the surface :D So he had silently regurgitated them. And these were some seriously big chunks, maybe 2.5" x 2", and he was like 10 weeks old at the time. It was funny but also taught me a lesson... If I give him boneless meat, I should cut it up with scissors.. Which, by the way, I did with those two chunks he
"spat out" after swallowing them once :dog:

Now at 16 weeks of age, Fedor regularly swallows the "knobby" bits at the end of chicken thigh bones as well as the "palm" of a chicken foot. Sometimes I take them away from him when I notice he is down to a large piece of bone with not much meat left (although the palm of the chicken foot is nicely cushioned by softer tissue) but usually if I don't interfere, he just eats the whole thing.

Good luck with your dogs and transitioning to raw. Hope their digestive issues get sorted out soon.. Give raw chicken a try and forget about the rice and mashed potato for a couple of days. Also bear in mind that there can be a "detox" phase when switching to raw.. You can probably google that for more info on what it refers to. Keep us posted!

geisha
February 5th, 2010, 03:46 PM
How about adding some digestive enzymes, or probiotics such as acidophyllis or pureed pumpkin(not the pie filling) to help with the diarrhea?

snorklepuss
February 7th, 2010, 08:51 AM
So we have our first litter of Pups that were sired by raw diet parents. What a difference the pups were almost to big but very healthy and very quiet.

Starting now to have enough evidence to move forward changeing all aspects of our dogs diet to raw completly from whelping. Though I'll have to hear some success stories.

Any body out there begin raw from 6 weeks, give or take, depending on momma.

Marcha
February 7th, 2010, 12:08 PM
These breeders feed their dogs raw:

http://www.ridgebacks.ca/index.html

Perhaps you can contact them for support, tips, information and recommendations?

snorklepuss
February 9th, 2010, 08:05 PM
These breeders feed their dogs raw:

http://www.ridgebacks.ca/index.html

Perhaps you can contact them for support, tips, information and recommendations?

Thanks you Marcha
Sonya & Cory
freespiritlabradors

Gentle Giant
February 23rd, 2010, 07:32 PM
Just so you know, not all dogs can tolerate raw food. I am friends with a naturopathic vet who supports both raw and fresh dog food and the bottom line is, the reasons why one dog can't tolerate raw food is not always understood. With that said, you should never combine raw dog food with cooked food unless your dog has a concrete stomach. From what I've read in this thread, that's exactly what you've been doing and it does not surprise me that he continues to have diarrhea. You might want to bite the bullet and change him over cold turkey to raw food using RABBIT and just whole rabbit (nothing else/Carnivora makes whole rabbit patties). Try him on this for at least 2 to 3 weeks and see how things unfold. Rabbit is expensive and is just a temporary food that you can use to get over the initial hump of raw food conversion. It is the ideal food for canines and has consistently solved many problems for exasperated owners.

MerlinsHope
March 3rd, 2010, 07:48 PM
Just so you know, not all dogs can tolerate raw food.

Actually what you're saying is exceedingly rare. The dogs who cannot tolerate raw are simply dogs who's stomachs have stopped producing the appropriate enzymes to digest raw meat. I sure agree with you about switching cold turkey. Despite what people think, there is no "detox", there is only wellness. there is no reason to wean your dog onto a raw diet. It's not at all the same like switching kibbles.

The work around for this is to feed the dog at DIFFERENT times outside of what the dog has become conditioned to. If a newbie attempts to feed raw to a dog who's traditionally used to be fed each day around the same time, the stomach becomes loaded to kibble enzymes, anticipating a load of kibble .....

In changing the feeding times, the stomach will be less primed with unwanted enzymes and have an easier time producing new enzymes needed to digest raw food. This is often why people who switch over experience dogs vomiting or having gross bouts of diarreaha.

Also, it appears that this person is feeding a commercially prepared raw "nugget'. so.. the food could be off, contain unwanted additives ( they usually do) and to all the people who said not to combine raw with other foods.. THANK YOU!

Kibble especially, is coated with rendered fats to enhance the taste. These fats are sprayed onto the kibble during production and are rather volatile.
When kibble comes into contact with any moisture, be it raw meat, blood or water, the fat almost immediately starts to grow bacteria, so please never mix the two, ( not to mention you're trying to get your dog to digest foods that are digestible in 4 hours and 8 hours) the two just don't mix.

Best of luck
MM

cassiek
March 4th, 2010, 01:09 AM
Raw is the only type of diet I have found that I can successfully feed to three dogs of different ages (ranging from 2 to 9), health issues, weights, breeds etc. largely in part I think because you can tailor the diet to each individual dog's needs (i.e. I have a dog with serious food allergies so I use all novel protein sources in his diet).

I had the best of luck switching my dogs cold turkey. No kibble, no cooked food, just straight switched to raw. I had some runny stools at 1st, but was able to adjust the diet accordingly to get perfect stools. Something else I found that helped was introducing new proteins very, very gradually. Being new I was excited and eager to try everything at once... bad idea! Much better to gradually introduce the dogs system to one protein at a time.

The beauty of raw is that it allows you great flexibility. It may take some time to figure out what works best for your dog, but I guarantee it will be worth it in the end! My one gal does awesome on chicken backs/necks, quarters, livers/hearts etc. straight out of the grocery store/butcher/farmer etc. whereas my other two do much better with the patties. It takes some time, but well worth it in the end! :thumbs up