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-   -   My dog too small for BARF? (

amasa February 4th, 2012 12:55 AM

My dog too small for BARF?
Hello all,

I've been trying to feed my dog the raw diet for a little while now, but I dont know what to do because all the ideal RMBs (chicken necks, wings, backs, etc) are too hard for him to eat. Ive watched him, and he tries really hard, and I can hear his teeth trying to chew/break/eat the bone but he just cant eat them. He takes like 45 minutes trying to eat it and afterwards the bones are cleaned off but he cant eat the bones themselves. Is it really supposed to be that hard for dogs? Im assuming its because my dog is tiny and everything he's trying to eat is bigger than him but maybe Im wrong and everyone else's dog has this hard of a time? The only bones he's been able to eat are cornish hen, but even then, he can only eat the softer bones.

My dog is a little poodle. He just made 3 pounds now, and he is about 6 months old.

Its really frustrating, because I love my little dog so much and I want him to eat healthy which is why I switched him over to raw. It just seemed healthy and made sense to me, but RMBs are such a big part of the diet that I dont know what to do if he cant eat them. Cornish hen is the smallest animal that Ive tried with him. There were other small birds at the butcher that I go to like squab and some other birds that I cant remember, but they were sooooo expensive and they were only a little smaller than the cornish hen. Luckily, that butcher also sort of caters to raw feeders. They sell "dog" food separate -same grade of meat as human food, but just with bones like coarse ground chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc and other specialty wild stuff like even kangaroo. So Ive been feeding that as well, hoping it will sort of help make up for the RMBs hes not able to eat, but I kind of think its not enough. I dont know for sure, since I dont know the exact ratio of bone to meat in the coarse ground stuff I get, but I just thought I would be on the safe side.

So I was thinking to add some extra calcium to his diet. Like some kind of powdered calcium (because I think he would prefer powder to me shoving my hand/fingers down his throat to give him tablets) to his non RMB food like his cottage cheese. I found this on Amazon


but I was sort of hoping to find something not fishy.... since he wasnt into the sardines I gave him and other reviewers said that it smells really fishy. But also you have to add water to it and I just wanted a powder or something that I could add to his food. There were also some chews that I saw but they seemed to have a whole bunch of extra stuff in them and while I was thinking to get him a multivitamin too I just thought I would see if I could just get a separate calcium thing. I read powdered eggshells are good and I am already feeding him raw pastured eggs once a week but Im not really a big egg eater (since I want more of the eggshells for powder but not the egg). Do you think it is safe to up the egg number to twice a week? On other forums Ive seen people say they give their dogs 2 a week but my dog is so small I wasnt sure if that was too much for him. And does anyone have some kind of calcium supplement that they use that isnt fishy and works well for them? Or if anyone has any other tips on how I might make up the deficiency from the lack of bones I would greatly appreciate that too. Thank you so much all!

Choochi February 22nd, 2012 01:23 PM

Aww poor guy.. yeah at that size I'm not surprised he's having issues chewing the bones. You could try chicken wings, or chicken ribs (buy a full carcas and divide it yourself). Otherwise, especially since he's so small and would be really cheap to feed, I would opt for a pre made ground raw mix such as Tollden Farms. It includes meat, organs, bones, veggies, is already balance and the bones are double ground so a dog this size will have no issues in eating this and getting full nutritional benefits.

Love4himies February 22nd, 2012 01:49 PM

That is a pretty small dog. Have you considered grinding? I know that won't clean the teeth, but you could give him some cornish hen bones for treats, rather than have him trying to chew through bones at every meal.

mhikl February 28th, 2012 04:06 PM

How Jack the Ripper Might Have Fed His Puppy
Amas, go crazy with the rolling pin, the chicken carcass, not the pup. Put towel over the carcass sos not to splash a fine mess as you do the deed. Be relentless but put a smile on your face as you tie into the beast as I find I actually get angry being too determined in my attack.

I do the same with chicken necks and they stay together with the bones all broken and then I hand feed my corgi. I hold the neck with a piece of cloth as the neck is easily yanked out of my hand by my dog. The dog then naturally starts to use her side back teeth to grind and break up the neck. My exuberant Corgi (Im being polite) has learned to be quite gentle with my fingers and never bites or hurts them. (Handing a neck over in one piece to Sadie and she does a few chomps and the non-pounded neck is gone in a blink and she is still hungry.)

Feeding by hand also has made my Sadie realise I am connected with her food. I think she used to worship the dog bowl more than me. Now, and shes just turned 11,
she is more loving with the affirmation that I am Lord of the Food Rations.

Cut up heart and steak so the grain is easier for her to pull apart as you hold the little but long pieces for her to pull apart (or tenderise with the meat tenderising hammer). Skin or have the butcher skin the liver first and then the long pieces you hold will be easier for your pet to tear apart. You can just chop it up but the time with the dog makes the ritual so much more personal.

I dry my egg shells and then grind them. I then just mix the powder with low fat hamburger and a tiny bit of Braggs cider vinegar (good enzymes Ive read). Also check out salmon for your little guy. It is not as smelly as some fish and the bones will be easily chewed on. Again, attack with the rolling pin, rolling fashion, over sliced pieces between waxed paper or cellophane. You can do this to a whole fish and then freeze in little packages. Do this trick for all your foods to save time over the long run.

Do a lot of chopping with actual meat and chicken skin parts. I always add a little water (half cup for 28 lb Sadie) and a few drops (half tsp) of the cider to her chopped meals.

Remember to cook the egg whites as they are more easily digested this way. I believe they not be healthy otherwise. The yolks are best raw.

I suspect you will eventually be able to just feed your pet from the bowl once he has learned what to do. I remember the first time I gave a chicken foot to Sadie. She sniffed, she played, she tossed it around. Then I took to tormenting it on the cutting board with the back body of the knife sharpener and once Sadie saw a few tears in the skin were evident, she proved to be the little carnivore I had come to love.

I suspect heart is the perfect meat for dogs and it is usual fairly cheap and packed with nutrition. Liver, tripe, lung and intestine and smashed up neck and back bones; your little guy will be in his glory. And hey, youll be in prime condition should some creepy purse snatcher ever try to catch you off guard.

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