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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Unhappy Are we doing right by this puppy? (raw diet)

Hey everyone, firstly some background:

Maiko is by now an 11 week old Husky/Golden retriever mix that was about 17lbs at last weigh in at the vet (last wednesday Oct 6). For about 3-4 weeks before we got him he was being started on Dog Chow (from purina I think?) 1/2 a cup in the morning and evening, and we were provided with a pretty big bag of it when he arrived.

Our family has been various degrees of raw/cooked mixed feeders and with our little guy my fiance and I wanted to start more of a prey style all raw diet, liking the results a lot of other people have had for their babies on it, and not really at all liking the "special additives" in most dog kibble . Well, in an attempt to ween him off the kibble and try to make the transition easier on him (he was already starting to have really soft poos on the kibble), we started mixing a little kibble with some raw ground beef, to see how he'd take it. Things seemed to be ok (he ended up scarfing it down and becoming houdini, making it disappear before our very eyes lol) so we started separating it a bit, feeding him kibble in the morning and his raw ground beef in the evening. After a few days, his poos were starting to get a bit weird, soft one time and a bit runny later on... After reading up some and getting advice from a few others with the same problem, everything suggested not feeding him the kibble, to just start him cold turkey and starting with chicken, as that would be the easiest.

Well it's been about a week now and from our calculations (8% of his body weight, or 2% of his adult ideal weight) he gets about 1.5lbs of food a day, 75% meat, 15% bone, and 10% liver/organs. We started on chicken as suggested and his meals are usually comprised like this, with a few variations:

Day 1:
Morning: 1/4 boneless chicken breast
1 full chicken leg (minus thigh) with skin and bone

Evening: 1/2 boneless chicken breast
1 full chicken leg (minus thigh) with skin and bone

Day 2:
Morning: 1/4 boneless chicken breast
1 full chicken leg (minus thigh) with skin and bone

Evening: 1/4 boneless chicken breast
1 full chicken leg (minus thigh) with skin and bone
1/4 beef liver (we couldn't find chicken liver)
1 small sardine, canned but in water, no salt added (what we could get at the time, and one of our friends suggested it for the omega)

The rest of the week is just flipped back and forth between day 1 and 2. It was suggested to us not to feed the beef liver every day because it was rich and he might be getting more than he needs? Same with the sardine? So we feed both every other day, just in small portions for the week.

Each meal comprises the 1.5lbs we calculated that he needs.

The results:

For the first day or 2 he seemed fine with it, chewing everything properly and his bowel movements were normal. Still soft like from the kibble though, so we weren't sure if that was normal or not. After the first 2 days he seemed to have a bit of a tummy upset and vomited one morning first some of his meal, then the butt end of the chicken leg bone. Afterwards he seemed fine and his poos were still soft. That morning that he vomited, we only fed him the boneless chicken breast, afraid of how he'd react to the bone. That evening we fed him his normal meal and he seemed fine the next day.

The day after that, Saturday I believe, he gave us a scare and mostly swallowed whole the chicken leg! He ate the meat but the bone it seemed he got tired of chewing and gulped the whole thing. We watched him and he seemed fine that night, but the next morning he vomited up some of the bone that I'm guessing he couldn't digest properly (plus the butt of the leg again), and only once. So after that my fiance' held onto the bone for him to make sure he chewed it properly and deposited the end of the leg (what usually comes back up anyway) into the trash. That seemed to work until Sunday night when he tugged the butt end of the bone out of my fiance's hand and swallowed it whole. This morning it was vomited back up in 3 pieces. This morning, we fed him his chicken breast and leg, my fiance' holding it again for him and throwing away the end of the leg.

In the meantime this weekend, his poos have been going from soft to runny... with him having a bout of constipation from Saturday night until last night (sunday, we think from the part of bone/whole bone he swallowed) then having a slightly runnier soft poo when he did finally go. This morning he just flat out had runny diarrhea. :\

I also forgot to mention that throughout his runny/soft poo switches he's had some horrific gas throught the end of the week/weekend.

The only reason we've stuck with this meal plan this long is that our friends have suggested he may be going through detox from having kibble the whole time before he came to us. But it's been about half a week - week and things seem to be getting a bit worse. The vomiting is still happening, though it is only once and when he gets the butt end of the bone swallowed, he seems fine after his morning meal, it's just the morning after the previous evening's mean when he gets the bone end by accident. and his poos have been getting runnier, as I've described in the previous paragraph. :\

Other than those two things he seems to be normal otherwise. He always has a lot of energy, though he's been eating grass more often lately. And he seems to be sleeping fine throughout the day and fully at night (as I type this he's actually napping next to me).

Are we doing right by this puppy or is there something that should be changed? I'm starting to get a bit worried that we shouldn't be giving him chicken bones after all and that we're doing some horrible things to his stomach and bowels. I hate seeing his tummy so upset. :\

Any help would be so greatly appreciated


Edit:: I also again forgot to mention... last Wednesday when he was at the vet we had him started on his vaccinations and de-worm/worm prevention. That night he seemed to get a bit of a fever (which the vet said he might get) but got more comfortable when he could sleep by our air conditioner on low. The next day he seemed his normal energetic self. That was a day before the tummy problems started. Could this all be detox? Or bone not digesting well? Or just from his first vaccine?
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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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I also forgot to mention:

Is there a way to make sure we are feeding him enough? We only feed him twice a day but he always seems like he is starving and craving food, and goes especially nuts during feeding times, barking and yelping for food. We haven't adjusted it due to these tummy problems, but is it normal for him to seem like he's that hungry? His weight seems normal (he's not over or under).
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Old October 11th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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There are a lot of very passionate raw feeders here, and I'm sure most would disagree with what I have to say, but take it as you like. Raw is probably ok for most dogs, but there are certain dogs who will not do well on it at all, and it can even be dangerous. We have one of those dogs. He's an Alaskan Malamute. He's now 7 months old, but we have battled to keep him alive and try to get him healthy. He sees a specialist who has heavily warned us against feeding raw. If your puppy has a compromised immune system, from anything that may be going on with him, raw could actually be very detrimental, even fatal (especially ground beef). Raw has a lot of bacteria and parasites. "Most" dogs with a normal immune system are able to overcome that, ours cannot. One big threat, and these will not be taken care of or "expelled" by the normal parasite treatments such as deworming are Neospora, Canine Cryptosporidium, and Canine Toxoplasmosis. These can all be spread through raw meat of an infected animal (a lot comes from beef). Again, I know a lot of people who feed raw will not agree, and that's ok! Just do your research

One thing people get very hung up on is that dogs in the wild will not forage for vegetables, grains, fruits etc., they are carnivores. While that is mostly true (wild dogs will forage for whatever they can, including gardens!), dogs have been domesticated for decades, and as such, their immune systems and digestion have adjusted as well.

Below are just a couple of links. If you search the internet and speak with an animal nutritionist (not just a vet, most aren't nearly as versed in animal nutrition as they would like people to believe), you will be given a lot of good information. Some will be biased, some not. It's up to you to make the decision. As I said, some dogs do great on raw, some do not. Most raw feeders will have you believe that all dogs benefit from it, which is just not true. Also, a lot of very prominent veterinarians and nutritionists call raw feeding a "fad" diet as there are no substantiated clinical trials to prove good or bad.

http://www.workingdogs.com/vcbarf.htm

http://dogtime.com/raw-food-diet-dangers-dogs-aaha.html

Good luck
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Last edited by Rgeurts; October 11th, 2010 at 09:45 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:19 PM
MerlinsHope MerlinsHope is offline
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he gave us a scare and mostly swallowed whole the chicken leg

This means your portions are too small, and you need to offer large pieces.

Sorry, but your diet isn't complete by any stretch of the word. You need to offer this dog a variety of meat and not only chicken and fish. Right now it's very lacking.

Please don't be put off by anti-raw folks. They actively choose to not accept , and we are all entitled to our choices. Raw is here to stay as it should have been before Dr. Ballard came up with his not-so-bright idea.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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I am not too familiar with dog nutrition as I am with cat's but if you are concerned about bacteria, you can the whole chucks of meat into boiling water for a minute to kill off samonella (SP??) or e-coli that collect on the exterior of the meat. Also, get your meat from a trusted butcher.

And lastly, I agree, don't feed previously ground meat (hamburger) as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria, unlike full roasts/chickens.

I have been feeding my cats raw for years and haven't had a problem.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlinsHope View Post
he gave us a scare and mostly swallowed whole the chicken leg

This means your portions are too small, and you need to offer large pieces.

Sorry, but your diet isn't complete by any stretch of the word. You need to offer this dog a variety of meat and not only chicken and fish. Right now it's very lacking.

Please don't be put off by anti-raw folks. They actively choose to not accept , and we are all entitled to our choices. Raw is here to stay as it should have been before Dr. Ballard came up with his not-so-bright idea.
I am by no means anti-raw, but people should be aware that it's not for everyone or every animal. Just do your research, know your pups health and make your own decisions.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Silverwolf, the very first question that always comes to my mind with puppies and diarrhea/soft stool, is have they been thoroughly de-wormed (regardless of the diet they're fed)? How often/frequent has Maiko been de-wormed and using what product? Have you had his feces tested for intestinal parasites?

Do you have a small kitchen scale? We have an electronic one and I found it most useful when I started out feeding raw over 3 years ago.

The easiest way for me to feed is to prepare meals ahead of time and freeze in individual portions (this cuts out having to weigh things daily). Our guys eat about 1.5lbs each as well. One of our girls only weighs 24lbs, adult size, and also gets the same amount so the 2% rule is only a starting point for most dogs. There's always an exception to the rule depending on the individual dog, their metabolism, and activity levels.

An example of a few days' meals that average roughly 1.5lbs that works out well for our guys:

Day 1.
Breakfast: 1/2 chicken minus the leg, thigh, and wings (two of ours do not digest these bones well and will either vomit or pass them in their stool, sometimes accompanied by blood. I feel more comfortable omitting these bones from their diets). 1 chicken heart, 1 giblet, 1 liver.

Supper: Meat cut from 1 leg and thigh, 2 tablespoons canned green tripe (can be frozen in ice cube trays).


Day 2.
Breakfast: 1lb chicken meat (no bone), 1 heart, 1 giblet, 1 liver.

Supper: 8-10 small frozen sardines

Day 3.
Breakfast: 1 chicken carcass, 1/2 lb pork.
Supper: 1/2 pork, 1 whole raw egg.

Day 4.
Breakfast: Roughly 14oz beef (both muscle and heart), 2 1/2oz beef liver and veal kidney.
Supper: Another 14oz beef, 2 tablespoons green tripe.


We have two gulpers here as well and I find it helps if you either a) hold onto one end of the meat b) take a mallet to it c) cut it into cubes. Large pieces such as 1/2 chicken and chicken carcasses, I leave whole.

If you find your pup's stool is too soft, reduce the amount of organs by a little bit or increase the amount of bone. If he's getting a little too chunky, cut back on the overall amount by a few ounces at a time. If he seems too thin to you (and your vet), increase the amount by a few ounces at a time.

Find a good butcher/poultry store. It's been my experience that you get the freshest, least expensive meat here, especially if you buy in bulk.

Some of the meats we feed:
Chicken
Beef
Pork
Frozen whole sardines and mackerel
Turkey
Duck
Bison
Quail
Rabbit
Deer
Canned green tripe (we use the Tripett brand)

The first 5 we feed most often as the others are quite costly in our area. We don't feed lamb but only because it causes explosive diarrhea for two of ours. For treats and training purposes, we also feed leftovers including pureed veggies (minus spices, cooked fat, and onions), cheese (incl. non-salted cottage cheese), and fried liver to name a few.

You may want to join a raw-feeding group (eg. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/ ), and pick up a few books http://www.dogwise.com/Browse/SubCat...atural%20Foods . One that's come highly recommended to me (just ordered it) is OPTIMAL NUTRITION - RAW AND COOKED CANINE DIETS by Monica Segal . Just remember that there are several approaches to raw feeding out there and you have to decide what is best for you and your pup but, always keeping in mind the approximate ratio of meat : bone : organs and a well-balanced variety.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 05:36 AM
MerlinsHope MerlinsHope is offline
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The frozen raw patties usually have bone in them, it's just ground up. But yes, you can get raw patties that have veggies, fruit, etc. in them and other goodies. They can be quite expensive though.

Here again, if you do this, you are subscribing to commercial foods and are at the whim of whatever goes wrong with these foods. That's not what raw is all about. It's about US making a conscious choice to feed our dogs quality, species appropriate foods. Commercial raw is no better than commercial kibble or commercial canned. Don't mislead yourselves.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 05:45 AM
MerlinsHope MerlinsHope is offline
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IF your dog has a health issue,,known or unknown,,then raw may not be the best diet for them.
What leads you to think that kibble is bacteria free? Commercial foods come with their own set of unwanted bacteria, certainly aren't free of it, I don't know why anyone thinks they are.

I'm suggesting that the dog would very likely have become sick anyways.
No one will really ever know, but it's always convenient to blame immediately tangible rather than something outside of mal practice or poor genetics.

While they do have a preservative added to it, kibble is not bacteria free.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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I'm suggesting that the dog would very likely have become sick anyways.
No one will really ever know, but it's always convenient to blame immediately tangible rather than something outside of mal practice or poor genetics.

Absolutely. I can vouch for poor genetics causing horrible health problems in humans .

While they do have a preservative added to it, kibble is not bacteria free.
Again, "proof is in the pudding", look at the recalls due to salmonella on kibble. How many pets died from the tainted wheat gluten? Unless you make your own raw, you can never be sure of what has been put in the food.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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my vet will be the first to let you know he knows nothing about nutrition and will often call me up to ask me about this or that food, to me, its all in how your dog is reacting to their feedings, Brina doesn't do well on raw...in fact, she won't even touch it which is silly because she loves her frozen soup bones! but give her a raw steak or chunk of roast and she sits looking at it. I'm on the fence on this one. but good luck and do research research research....
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Old October 15th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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my vet will be the first to let you know he knows nothing about nutrition and will often call me up to ask me about this or that food, Now that is a vet with a great attitude

I'm on the fence on this one. but good luck and do research research research....
Yes, research is so important, "knowledge is power"
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Old October 15th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MerlinsHope View Post
What leads you to think that kibble is bacteria free? Commercial foods come with their own set of unwanted bacteria, certainly aren't free of it, I don't know why anyone thinks they are.
Where in what i said did you get that i think kibble is bacteria free,,,where in what i said did i even state an opinion on kibble,,,I DID say that i too am a raw feeder..
I'm suggesting that the dog would very likely have become sick anyways.
No one will really ever know, but it's always convenient to blame immediately tangible rather than something outside of mal practice or poor genetics.

While they do have a preservative added to it, kibble is not bacteria free.
At no point did i say that it was or wasn't anytype of food that made the animal sick,,, What i did say was that if the dog already has issues,,,you know what never mind.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Silverwolf View Post

Well, in an attempt to ween him off the kibble and try to make the transition easier on him (he was already starting to have really soft poos on the kibble), we started mixing a little kibble with some raw ground beef, to see how he'd take it. Things seemed to be ok (he ended up scarfing it down and becoming houdini, making it disappear before our very eyes lol)

Raw and kibble digest at very different rates, its never a great idea to mix the two together.


so we started separating it a bit, feeding him kibble in the morning and his raw ground beef in the evening. After a few days, his poos were starting to get a bit weird, soft one time and a bit runny later on... After reading up some and getting advice from a few others with the same problem, everything suggested not feeding him the kibble, to just start him cold turkey and starting with chicken, as that would be the easiest.

A cold turkey start is the best way to do it, however had anyone suggested giving a broad spectrum digestive enzyme prior to feeding in the beginning to aid in digestion of the new diet? If not, I would recommend picking some up at your local pharmacy. I will touch on the runny poops a bit later on.

Well it's been about a week now and from our calculations (8% of his body weight, or 2% of his adult ideal weight) he gets about 1.5lbs of food a day, 75% meat, 15% bone, and 10% liver/organs. We started on chicken as suggested and his meals are usually comprised like this, with a few variations:

Here is where I suspect your runny poops are coming from, the beauty of a raw diet is it is not an exact science and it is so easy to adjust to your dogs specific needs.
Firstly, I would lower the meat amount to approx 60% and then increse your bone to 30%, runny poops mean not enough bone, solid "cement looking " poops means too much, if cement poops start, increase your offal and lower your bone. It takes a bit of tinkering around but it will work out






For the first day or 2 he seemed fine with it, chewing everything properly and his bowel movements were normal. Still soft like from the kibble though, so we weren't sure if that was normal or not. After the first 2 days he seemed to have a bit of a tummy upset and vomited one morning first some of his meal, then the butt end of the chicken leg bone.
Its not really due to stomach upset, it IS normal for them to purge and re chew their foods. Mine do it frequently, we let them re try it.


In the meantime this weekend, his poos have been going from soft to runny... with him having a bout of constipation from Saturday night until last night (sunday, we think from the part of bone/whole bone he swallowed) then having a slightly runnier soft poo when he did finally go. This morning he just flat out had runny diarrhea. :\

I also forgot to mention that throughout his runny/soft poo switches he's had some horrific gas throught the end of the week/weekend.

Gas is definately a "new to raw" side effect some dogs get, again the broad spectrum digestive enzymes will help with this.
The runny poops- constipation could be many things, imbalance in the amount of each part of the raw diet, or simply detox. Again though, with the aid of digestive enzymes this could easily clear up. But for the time being I would suggest adding a bit of canned pumpkin ( pure not pie filling) to the diet to keep bowel movements "normal"



Are we doing right by this puppy or is there something that should be changed? I'm starting to get a bit worried that we shouldn't be giving him chicken bones after all and that we're doing some horrible things to his stomach and bowels. I hate seeing his tummy so upset. :\

I would say that after reading and commenting on what is going on with your puppy, you are doing fine by your pup, just tinker around with the ratio a bit, help out with digestive abilities and keep at it. What you are experiencing is not any different from what i have experienced with my rescue cocker spaniel who had lived his entire life until arriving with us on a commercial kibble ( low low end at that) It can take several weeks for them to "get used to" a raw diet, especially with out digestive enzymes ( I really am pushing them but I think they would be very helpful for your pup)



Edit:: I also again forgot to mention... last Wednesday when he was at the vet we had him started on his vaccinations and de-worm/worm prevention. That night he seemed to get a bit of a fever (which the vet said he might get) but got more comfortable when he could sleep by our air conditioner on low. The next day he seemed his normal energetic self. That was a day before the tummy problems started. Could this all be detox? Or bone not digesting well? Or just from his first vaccine?
I despise vaccinations so naturally it would be my style to blame them, the fever I would contribute to vaccs yes. I wouldnt consider bone not digesting well. Chicken bones are extrememly soft and easily digested by dogs.



Now on a side note to the bickering about raw that has taken over this thread...
Raw theoretically is perfect for every normal healthy dog, and even for some that have certain health problems.
As for choking on bones, chipping teeth ect. My old vet and I had it out about this exact topic. I have 2 dogs with chipped teeth because of fetching sticks (one for chewing rocks) and when I asked the vet what the last impaction removal she had done was due to, her answer was socks. I then asked her if I should stop wearing and buying socks because my dog could swallow one she got extremely snippy with me.

The yay or nay for raw will go on forever and there will be no changing eithers minds on their opinion.
In this case in this thread, the OP wants to feed raw, and asked nothing about the pros and cons so I do not see why the bacterial non sense was even brought up in this thread. If there was to be a discussion or debate about raw feeding a new thread should have been started IMHO.
Thread jacking this thread has done almost nothing for the OP and I hope that they are still reading this to atleast see what advice has been offered on the topic.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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marko marko is offline
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This has indeed gone off-topic and Erikah makes a great point. We have MANY other threads on the pros and cons of raw and the OP is likely not interested in this. She's already made the choice to feed RAW as thousands of others have.
Can anyone help with her particular problem?
Thx - Marko
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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I just went back and re-read your original post and the amounts and what you're feeding,,as erykah said it is super easy to just adjust what amounts of which to achieve the perfect poop..i did notice tho that you're feeding chicken legs,,,bones and all,,now this isn't a bad thing,,what you may be having an issue with is your little one still has baby teeth so he isn't chewing the bigger leg bones thus swallowing them whole. If you can either get a meat mallet or just use a plain old hammer,,smash the bigger bones up a little more it will be easier for him to chew and digest.

Erykah's suggestion of the digestive enzymes is a good one as is the pure pumpkin. If his runs are still going on at the moment mix some pumpkin in with his food or if that isn't helping,,increase the amount of bone for a little while..If you have a chinese grocers around you most will sell you just the chicken carcass,,also a great place to get most organ meats.
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  #17  
Old January 29th, 2011, 08:10 PM
Meggin Meggin is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: B C
Posts: 8
Raw food

Hi
yes well some dog,s do not do well in the begining with raw food.
However start simple .

Ground turkey neck will give all the bone you need and enough meet.

Allow him to play with carrots and apples he will eat them. because he is so young just get the meat ground.

He will adjust well to turkey. When he is older he will love large bones for now. Grind the meet and bone.
For lose bowel Nux Vonica.

Do the simple first and progress from there he is after all a puppy. And in the wild the Dame would regurgatate. ground meet.

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