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Cram April 26th, 2007 05:21 PM

Thinking of going RAW...
So I'm thinking of going with RAW for Helix- no particular reason, other than I want to try it out for him because I think he may do very well on it! I want to keep him flexible though, and so I would like to do 1/4 kibble (Orijen) per day- just for his morning meal- and the rest RAW.

BTW he is an Alaskan Klee Kai- he is 6 months old right now, and will be about 14 or 15 lbs at his adult weight. He's pretty much full grown now at around 11 lbs- he'll just fill out a bit more.

So here's the plan:

I estimate 2.5% of his adult body weight for raw (the rest will be kibble) so 150 g per day. This can be decreased as he gets older and needs less, or if he simply can't eat it all :)

One meal per day:

90 g fresh raw meat and bone (chicken thighs, backs or raw meaty bones from beef, bison, vension or lamb- whatever is available and on sale)

15 g organ meat (liver, kidney , heart, tripe from various species)

15 g fish (canned or fresh/ frozen- he loves fish and i know he'll enjoy it for every meal)

30 g veggie, fruit and egg mix (I really want to add veggies - I'm going to blend them with eggs and their shells into a mash- probably with the organ meat and fish too, and then just allot the necessary amount into ziploc bags with the meat/ bone and freeze on a per meal basis)

Now, what am I missing? Does he need supplements of any kind? Should I add more or less of one thing? Should I worry about the amount of bone or calcium he is getting? Let me know what you think!

Scott_B April 27th, 2007 01:56 PM

Well, first i think you should have posted this in the Raw section ;) :p

Second. Your menu looks fine. I'm not a fan of mixing raw & kibble. But thats just me. I mean your partialy feeding raw, so why not go all out?

Your menu may need some tweaking as you go. But overall your making raw more complicated then it needs to be. No one meal needs that much variety. Today for example, Rosco had two mackerel. Tomorrow he'll get a beef heart. The next day, maybe half a duck. Day after that, maybe beef tongue. Variety over time is all you need.

Your way of adding this amount and that amount to find some perfect balance is fine, and wont hurt him, its just not needed. But some people feel more comfortable if they believe they are offereing a complete & balanced meal each time. Thats someting the pet food companies came up with ;)

Cram April 27th, 2007 05:04 PM

Thanks- sorry I didn't even realize there was a RAW forum until after I posted this, and I didn't want to double post it....

I know I'm being anal, but as a scientist I simply have to make sure I know that my dog is getting everything he needs, at least at first. Once I get more comfortable with everything I'll probably get rid of the kibble all together and not plan everything in so much detail. I just want to give it a shot for a while and see how both Helix and I like it. :)

Lukka'sma April 27th, 2007 05:35 PM

Good luck Helix, I hope the raw food works out for you.
There certainly seems to be a couple of very knowledgeable raw feeders on this forum Cram so no doubt you will get all the help and info you need to make this choice work for your dog.

Scott_B April 27th, 2007 06:27 PM

But you can be certain. Feed a variety of meats over time. Thats all they need.

The whole "perfect complet & balance" is kibble talk lol

Like i said, it wont hurt to do it your way. Just know that your doing it for your own peace of mind.

SuperWanda April 29th, 2007 08:58 PM

There was an article in our Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday about this very topic. I will cut and paste it:

Raw rah, or boo?
Two city veterinarians go paw-to-paw over the benefits and risks of a raw food pet diet.
By Cheryl Binning
THE recent scare over tainted pet food has caused some concerned pet owners to search out alternatives to commercial dog and cat food. One of the more popular -- and controversial -- pet diets involves raw meats.
Uncooked meat is typically purchased from specialty pet food stores that sell whole carcasses that have been ground up into tiny bits and frozen in buckets or sold as patties. Pet owners may also buy meat directly from butchers and other meat suppliers. Proponents of this diet say raw meat contains many natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are removed during the cooking process and that dogs and cats fed uncooked meat have shinier coats, better teeth and overall improved health.
But the majority of the veterinarian community has not supported the raw food trend. Many veterinarians say scientific evidence has not proven any health benefits from this diet, and they express concern over the safety of handling and feeding raw meat.
Before making any changes to your pet's diet, it is a good idea to get all the facts. So I asked two veterinarians, one who recommends raw food diets and one who doesn't, to weigh in on the debate. Their discussion may help you make an informed choice.
Benefits of a raw food diet, by Dr. Lea Stogdale, Aesops Veterinary Care:
Raw food can be an excellent choice for your dog or cat. After all, these pets developed by eating raw animals, and their digestion has not changed. Their temperament, size and colour have been altered by selection, but their physiology has not been altered by domestication. The closest our city pets can come to their natural food is a balanced and complete raw food diet.
To do this safely for yourself and your pet, the meat must be handled in the same careful, safe manner that you handle meat for your own consumption. The meat should be human-grade quality, thawed in the refrigerator, and eaten by the pet within half an hour of being put in the dish. This keeps the food safe from developing significant E. coli and salmonella levels (the stomach acid of cats and dogs kills most bacteria).
If the raw food is handled safely, and the diet is complete and balanced, there is no reason why an animal would become sick. Thus far, there have been no reports of human illness as a result of feeding raw food to pets.
The raw meat needs to have some ground-up vegetables added, as well as some supplements. These include calcium citrate and a multivitamin-mineral mixture. The actual recipe and supplements will vary with the individual dog or cat, depending on age, activity level, body condition and any medical problems and should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Pets that particularly benefit from a raw diet include those with poor coats, who lack energy or have allergies (scratching or recurrent ear infections), are underweight or obese, and those with chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea, constipation, cancer, heart or kidney disease.
Risks of a raw food diet, by Dr. Ron Worb, Anderson Animal Hospital:
The vast majority of veterinarians do not feel comfortable recommending a raw meat diet for pets. This is in accordance with the position taken jointly by both the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Their November 2006 position paper states: "There is evidence of potential health risks, for pets fed raw meat-based diets, and for humans in contact with such pets." (See [url][/url].
Unfortunately, although there are anecdotal claims, there is little scientific evidence to support the safety or effectiveness of these diets. There are now multiple peer-reviewed studies documenting potential risks for both pets and people from pets eating raw foods. Bacterial pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli are present in both raw meat and in the pet's stool. The bacteria are a source of potentially significant infection to people and to pets. There is a higher risk of human infections if pets on these raw meat diets are in contact with people who have compromised immune function, including very young children.
Pets eating raw bones are at higher risk for developing intestinal blockage or punctures, constipation and fractured teeth that may require major surgery. Veterinarians and pet owners are not able to guarantee they are feeding a complete and balanced diet without a very specific nutrient analysis performed by a nutritionist. Independent analysis of some commercial brands of raw meat diets has been performed. These diets did not live up to the pet food companies' own nutritional claims. In some of these cases, the calcium and phosphorous levels have been too high and the protein levels lower than the label stated. These imbalances can cause serious health problems. With the present data available, it is clear the risks of feeding raw meat greatly outweighs any perceived benefits.

technodoll April 29th, 2007 09:11 PM

[QUOTE]Many veterinarians say scientific evidence has not proven any health benefits from this diet,[/QUOTE]

he he heheheeh :D i guess millions years of evolution is not really scientific is it? nor are the current millions of animals on this planet eating raw, species-appropriate diets :D these vets crack me up, they really do! :laughing:

Cram April 30th, 2007 12:24 AM

I'm not too concerned about the bacteria thing- I'm a microbiologist by training and I know a little bit about safe food handling :) (My cats are named Sam and Ella). I also don't pick up dog poop with my bare hands and I wash may hands thoroughly after cleaning up any sort of dog feces. My little pup is quite clean and the low levels of bacteria that *could* be excreted will not likely hurt me- and we have no small children to worry about. So that's not a concern for me..

However, my biggest thing is keeping it all balanced, but I do agree with the others that as long as it balances over time, it'll be fine. If you feed the same nutrient deficient kibble, home cooked or raw meal for years of course your pet is going to suffer! That's why it's so important to change protein sources, and add organs and bones into a raw diet (and possibly some supplements). I also think that veggies add some nutritional benefits, so I will add them, but other don't and their dogs do just fine. Plus, we are keeping Helix on 1/2 kibble or so (grain free, Orijen) so if there is something lacking, hopefully the kibble will make up for it. i also worry somewhat about the intestinal blockage thing, but Helix handled his first two chicken thighs like a pro! He crunched them up and I'm sure there won't be any problems.

We mostly wanted to give it a shot because we think he'll enjoy his food. I think fresh meat should be an important part of his diet because there is a big difference between raw food and cooked food and I want to give him the best chance possible of having a long and healthy life with us. If it doesn't seem to be working out very well, I have no problems going back to kibble. Thanks for the info though!

SuperWanda April 30th, 2007 10:14 AM

Your welcome!

There was also a picture at the top of the article of two cats enjoying a dish of raw food - right beside that a dish of kibble which they weren't touching.

I add a lot of fresh foods in with my Orijen but, for whatever reason, have not tried raw meats. I just don't know if I would beable to figure it all out!One of my dogs hardly chews anything so I feel I would always be worrying about the bones as well. But, I certainly see the benefits to it if you know how to go about it.

Good luck with the research!

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