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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:23 PM
darc-brittany darc-brittany is offline
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Exclamation New to raw, any tips?

Hello everyone,

I have a five and half month old Siberian Husky. Currently he weighs in at 37.1lbs. I made the quick jump over to raw yesterday after what seems to have been a horrible spell of diarrhea that was caused by allergies in his commercial dog food, Merrick's.

I've informed myself a little bit about dog nutrition and what is good and bad for them over the past 6 or 7 months, reading up what I can. Hence, going with Merrick's, higher quality brand that he seemed to enjoy but one day just started to have a really bad reaction to it. After a few days of his stool still being loose, I started researching about other means of feeding (I've read up on the BARF diet before, I was considering it when we first got him but the price tag had me worried). However, after seeing him have loose stools for 4-5 days, I figured any amount of money was worth it to see him healthy again (I know dogs have random fits of diarrhea from time to time, he has had those, but this time it was completely different. It seemed like the more he ate, the sicker he got).

I decided that I would fast him for 24 hours to get all the toxins out of his body before going ahead with BARF. Once it hit 24 hours I gave him a raw chicken leg (something that I thought would be plenty big for him), but to my surprise he swallowed the whole thing! I didn't even have time to grab the end of it to make sure he chewed it. I'm not sure if this is normal for dogs of his size? I know a lot of bigger dogs tend to do that, but is that something I should be worried about? He had no trouble downing it, but it scared the crap out of me. I'm just worried that if he keeps at it like that he'll have gastric problems when he gets bigger. So does anyone have any suggestions for that? I've read up that some people hold the bone so that the dog has no choice but to chew on it. Anyways, so that was that nightmare over with, I'm tempted to grind up the bones after witnessing such an event. I gave him another chicken leg a little later on, just the meat (no bone). I read that the ratio for bones to meet should be somewhere around 10% to 75%-85%, is that correct? Later on that night I gave him his 40% of body intake of steamed vegetables (I know a lot of people say they aren't needed but he goes crazy for them and devours them like crazy).

So that's all that I've given him so far. I know it's not the right amount but everywhere I seemed to read said to start them off slowly on the raw diet, not to overload them. Plenty of places said to just feed them chicken necks/turkey necks for the first few days before introducing anything else. I'm just wondering if anyone had any simple recipes or tips? I've gathered a few of them here and there but I'm new at this so I'd like some other people's inputs that are experienced in raw diets. How much bones should be fed in the run of a week? I know some people mention that they only feed one bone to their dog once every three days. I'm also wondering about supplements as well. I read that a lot of people add in supplements to their dogs food. I'm unsure of what the ratios are and I wouldn't want to under-do it or over-do it. That's pretty well all I wanted to know, thanks for reading!
P.S. - After just one day on the diet, there's already an IMMENSE improvement in his stool. I'm shocked at how fast it works, I know I read that it sometimes clears it up instantly, but I'm still really shocked that it worked that fast. Glad that I switched over, he seems a lot happier now to, ha.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 02:15 AM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Hi darc-brittany

Welcome to pets.ca and the raw diet! Kudos to you for switching your Siberian Husky over to raw... I am sure you will be more than impressed and happy with the results! (P.S. When do we get to see pics of your baby? )

First tip I would give (from personal experience) is go slow! You have it right... you don't want to overload them with too many things at once. I made the mistake of splitting a tin of sardines between the three of my dogs all at once, instead of gradually introducing it, and they all had explosive diarrhea everywhere! Ugh!

Raw really should not cost you a fortune... especially if you have a hunter or butcher in the family, or a local farm source nearby. I pick up a lot of my meat at the grocery store but I pick it up when it has been discounted anywhere from 30-50% as it's going to expire within the next few days. I bring it home, individually saran wrap each piece, and throw it in the freezer. I try to keep my price less than $2.00/lb... preferably less than $1.50. Chicken is cheapest where I live, so my kids eat mainly chicken with some turkey. I try to switch it up and add in some beef, elk, duck or whatever else I can to give them variety. Keep an eye out for specials... sometimes stores put pork, beef, etc. on sale for cheap and that's when you want to stock up.

You can also go with ready made raw, buying frozen patties from your local raw pet store. I used these alot when I first started until I became more comfortable with figuring out my own percentages. This may or may not be something you want to look in to. While it generally is more expensive than buying your own meat, do your research... I can purchase ground chicken w/ bone in from Mountain Dog Food in Edmonton (no organs or anything - still need to add those) for $0.99/lb. I tend to use these when I am leaving the dogs with friends or family to make things easier! Personally, I prefer actual hunks of meats attached to the bones as I feel it benefits the dogs teeth and jaw muscles better as they actually have to work at it!

Oh, and the chicken bone is TOTALLY normal so don't fret! Dog's actually should consume some bone! In fact all my dogs will usually devour their entire meal (bones and all!). I freaked out when I first started and my girl Brynn devoured a chicken leg whole! But no worries! Your pup, given his size, would probably be better with larger hunks of meat though... you could try chicken quarters or even an entire chicken. Quite often I can pick up a whole chicken pretty cheap. It is about 3 lbs, so it will feed my girl for about 3 days (she eats approx. 1.1 lbs/day) so I simply give it to her in the morning, let her eat about 1/3 of it then take it away (she is not impressed, haha!). I like the whole chickens as I feel it gives them a good variety (legs, necks, backs, thighs, wings, etc. plus they usually have the organs still attached!). The other option you have to slow down a fast gulper is to give them the meat still frozen or partially frozen. I do this sometimes as it also entertains them for awhile!

As for ratios... you really need to play with things a bit and alot of it will be trial and error as you find out what your dog can handle, how the poops look etc. Read through this BARF forum as well, I did when I first started and it has a ton of valuable info! Each diet will be different for each dog (I have 3 dogs = 3 different diets), but here's what I generally follow for my girl Brynn to give you an idea:

She is 45 lbs so at 2.5% of her bodyweight that = 18 ounces/per DAY total (or 1.1 lbs). I give her 60% raw meat (10.8 ounces), and 2X a week I give her a raw egg. I give her 10-15% raw bone (usually this comes w/ her meal). Don't forget organ meat. I give 10% organs (1.8 ounces), I give it 3X a week 2X chicken liver and 1X another organ. The rest I give are "others" for ex. I give them a meal of tripe once a week, some yogurt sometimes, etc. Remember, you don't need to have the diet perfectly porportioned everyday, I generally try to balance it out over the week. And remember, everyone does thing differently. Some add veggies, some don't. Play around with things. As for supplements... I am still debating on this. Part of me thinks that if formulated properly, the diet should provide adequate vitamins etc. but I tend to be a bit over-paranoid. Kelp & alfalfa used together provide every vitamin required, but I'm still trying to figure out what the exact amounts required are so as not to over or under supplement.

The poops will tell you alot everything! White and chalky = too much bone, so you need to reduce the amount of bone.

Hope this helps!! I found what helped me was to write out a sheet of some general %'s I try to aim for over time... (With 3 dogs its impossible to remember all the details for all of them - haha!). Best of luck!!! I guarantee your dog will love it... mine almost bowl me over every morning trying to scramble to the kitchen to get breakfast haha!!
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My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

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Old January 22nd, 2010, 02:35 AM
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Marcha Marcha is offline
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I had to smile at eating the whole leg - Bodhi will occasionally do that too. So we give her leg AND thigh together. Too big to gulp down.

You've got a pup, so you're going to want to give a bit more than 2% of the dog's weight (Cassiek is talking about adult ratio). When Bo was between 5 and 6 months old, we gave her roughly 7% of her body weight, split up over three meals of 2%, and if she was still hungry at the end of that third meal, she'd get the last 1%. But it's all give or take - we don't have a scale at hand. Just eye-balling it, really. She's now 8 months, and 80 lbs, and we're going for 5-6%. We started adjusting it down when she stopped eating her entire meal. But then again, she's still got growth-spurt days when she can't get enough food, so we increase it for the day.

The other day we got 10 lbs of pork roast for $10. Chopped it up into 4 big chunks. Bodhi LOVES the larger pieces that she can really work at. She'll wolf down the patties if we have those, but she takes her time with the large chunks. She's also a LOT more mellow after she's had something to sink her teeth into than if she inhaled something that was pre-ground. Just something to consider as you decide on what to feed your sweet guy.

Also, the ratios of bone to offal to muscle... don't sweat that too much. It's not an exact science, just a guideline. It doesn't have to be on a day by day basis either. See that your dog gets that per week. It's easier that way. As you get to know your pup's needs and likes and dislikes, you can start to mix and match more. For now - just take it easy, go one kind of meat at a time so that you're sure it's working for him...

A final note - something he likes or dislikes now, might change a few months down the line. Bodhi hasn't wanted frozen meats since the beginning, but lately she's actually not too bothered by it. So keep an open mind about what is happening, don't write anything in stone, and enjoy the process of finding yummy foods for your pup and getting to know him ever so much better than you would on kibble.

Do we get to see pics of your fella? Pretty please?
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 05:09 PM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Thanks, Marcha for bringing up a few points I missed.

As your babe is still a pup, you will need to feed him more than what an adult would. The 2-3% is for adult dogs, 7-8% would required for a puppy.

Another good point Marcha brought up is you might find larger hunks of meat work better for you than ground up patties. I find with Brynn the same thing... I have tried her on the ground patties and she gulps them way too fast, so I prefer to give her a hunk of meat with bone attached that she actually has to work at (plus it keeps her entertained for longer!!).

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My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:02 AM
darc-brittany darc-brittany is offline
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Thanks so much for all the info guys! Of course I have a million other questions to ask.

Kira's been on the raw diet since Tuesday and he's doing so well! He has yet to have a loose stool, all his meat poops have been tiny (funny to see how tiny they are for the first time), he also can't wait for me to put his dish down, ha. I know he was never excited when he was having kibble, I can understand why... Anyways, I've only been feeding him chicken legs (with the bones), some boneless thighs and breasts to get his meat ratio to bones up, and some cooked carrots/broccoli that's all mashed up (since I know dogs have problems digesting raw ones due to the cellular walls). He seems to be doing well on it, I'm slowly increasing the amount of meat from 2% (don't want him to have an overload). Today I think I will attempt to feed him some liver along with his chicken.

I know some dogs do not like the taste of liver (from what I've gathered from around the forum), does anyone have any tips on how to trick them into liking it? (I'm assuming he won't, but hopefully he will). I've read that people stick it under the chicken skin and that seems to work. Anything else? Also, I assume it's really rich on a dog's stomach the first try, does anyone have any suggestion on a safe amount to feed him when introducing it?

Marcha, I know that you mentioned that if the leg was too small for him to feed him a leg and a thigh together, my only concern is that I read there is one bone in the thigh that can be pretty sharp (even when it isn't cooked). Does anyone know anything about that? I have no idea where I read it, but that's one of the reasons why I haven't given him a boned thigh yet.

As for feeding him a whole chicken, they cost too much at the stores, all the meat does really (I've been lucky to pick up some cheap stuff a few times, that's it though). I don't really know of too many places here, Moncton, NB that sell meat. My boyfriend knows a friend that goes to a meat shop so we are going to check that out today. Other than that, the whole raw feeding doesn't seem to be really big out here.

Thanks for mentioning to a feed a puppy more (makes sense since they are still growing), I know a read somewhere that it's fine up to 10% but that might be a little much for my puppy. Huskies don't seem to be the biggest eaters, hence him being so scrawny. Which brings me to my next question, I assume it's easier for dogs to put on weight when their on raw over kibble, correct? I know Kira would barely touch his kibble so I think it's correct for him. I'd like him to gain a few pounds and I'm just wondering if anyone knows some recipes? I came across one called Satin's balls which seems to be really popular but I don't like the fact that it includes cereals.. or ground beef. I know some people feed it to their dogs, it's cheap but me and my boyfriend just don't like the idea of feeding him that. I know you could substitute something, but I have no idea what.

Starch, some people feed their dogs potatoes, I haven't done enough research into this to know if starch is good for them or not. I know too much of it for us is bad, but I assume anything in large amounts can be. I do know that when I was first looking into diets when I first got Kira, some source said that sweet potatoes are the only potatoes that are good for dogs. Anyone know if that is true? Because I see a lot of people saying they feed their dogs potatoes (don't specify what kind though).

I'm almost done, I promise. Eggs. From what I gather it is safe to feed them, shell and all, to your dog. I take it that the shells don't hurt them, but I did read that too much raw egg whites can be potentially dangerous. So on average, what's a safe number of eggs to feed your dog a week? I think I read 3 somewhere. Is there any difference between white and brown eggs?

Okay, last question. Since my dog is now a chicken eater, I'm concerned about him licking me... I'm a total hygiene freak. I just don't want to end up getting salmonella poisoning. Is there a time frame in which it's safe for the dog to lick you after consuming chicken?

Please let me know! Thank you so much!!

Oh, and I don't have any really recent pics of my baby so I'll give you one of when he was really young. Later today I'll snap up some pics of him and post them for you guys x3

Don't worry, that's not the most recent pic that I have of him, only one I have on this computer at the moment (mine died two weeks ago).
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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:19 AM
snorklepuss snorklepuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darc-brittany View Post
Hello everyone,

I have a five and half month old Siberian Husky. Currently he weighs in at 37.1lbs. I made the quick jump over to raw yesterday after what seems to have been a horrible spell of diarrhea that was caused by allergies in his commercial dog food, Merrick's.

I've informed myself a little bit about dog nutrition and what is good and bad for them over the past 6 or 7 months, reading up what I can. Hence, going with Merrick's, higher quality brand that he seemed to enjoy but one day just started to have a really bad reaction to it. After a few days of his stool still being loose, I started researching about other means of feeding (I've read up on the BARF diet before, I was considering it when we first got him but the price tag had me worried). However, after seeing him have loose stools for 4-5 days, I figured any amount of money was worth it to see him healthy again (I know dogs have random fits of diarrhea from time to time, he has had those, but this time it was completely different. It seemed like the more he ate, the sicker he got).

I decided that I would fast him for 24 hours to get all the toxins out of his body before going ahead with BARF. Once it hit 24 hours I gave him a raw chicken leg (something that I thought would be plenty big for him), but to my surprise he swallowed the whole thing! I didn't even have time to grab the end of it to make sure he chewed it. I'm not sure if this is normal for dogs of his size? I know a lot of bigger dogs tend to do that, but is that something I should be worried about? He had no trouble downing it, but it scared the crap out of me. I'm just worried that if he keeps at it like that he'll have gastric problems when he gets bigger. So does anyone have any suggestions for that? I've read up that some people hold the bone so that the dog has no choice but to chew on it. Anyways, so that was that nightmare over with, I'm tempted to grind up the bones after witnessing such an event. I gave him another chicken leg a little later on, just the meat (no bone). I read that the ratio for bones to meet should be somewhere around 10% to 75%-85%, is that correct? Later on that night I gave him his 40% of body intake of steamed vegetables (I know a lot of people say they aren't needed but he goes crazy for them and devours them like crazy).

So that's all that I've given him so far. I know it's not the right amount but everywhere I seemed to read said to start them off slowly on the raw diet, not to overload them. Plenty of places said to just feed them chicken necks/turkey necks for the first few days before introducing anything else. I'm just wondering if anyone had any simple recipes or tips? I've gathered a few of them here and there but I'm new at this so I'd like some other people's inputs that are experienced in raw diets. How much bones should be fed in the run of a week? I know some people mention that they only feed one bone to their dog once every three days. I'm also wondering about supplements as well. I read that a lot of people add in supplements to their dogs food. I'm unsure of what the ratios are and I wouldn't want to under-do it or over-do it. That's pretty well all I wanted to know, thanks for reading!
P.S. - After just one day on the diet, there's already an IMMENSE improvement in his stool. I'm shocked at how fast it works, I know I read that it sometimes clears it up instantly, but I'm still really shocked that it worked that fast. Glad that I switched over, he seems a lot happier now to, ha.

Very nice story with good resaults. I also did my research on raw and started on fox red lab on it becasue of the same reasons. My dog as well has had and continues to show UNBELEIVABLE resaults. We to worrie about supplements and because there is little research on the barf diet but HUGE amounts of research on engineered kibble based foods the biasis is almost un-imaginable. My dogs all receive raw uncooked bones every two days this equates to perfectly clean white teeth. Our raw diet I purchase in 30 pound frozen blocks and cut into two pound blocks. The blocks contain about 45% meat, 40% fat 6% tripe and little blood and less that 5% organs. I know it sounds gross but its frozen and the dogs seems to do just fine on it. They've all gained weight beautiful coats good spirits, don't seem to become more aggressive, poops have went from 3 a day to 1 maybe 2 every two days. We fed raw carrots as a de-wormer but research from Germany shows this may be incorrect so back to the books.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:04 AM
snorklepuss snorklepuss is offline
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raw for puppies

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.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 09:38 PM
Gentle Giant Gentle Giant is offline
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Raw Fed Puppy

Yep, I've raised a raw fed puppy from 7.5 weeks onwards. It was really brought on by the fact that my pup was offended by the fact that I was feeding the other 6 month old pup raw dog food. The breeder wanted me to feed the new pup kibble, but I decided that the torture my poor puppy had to endure while watching the other pup eat raw was a little too much to handle. I am a whole prey feeder so I feed very few fruits and even fewer vegetables unless it's mixed in as stomach content in the tripe. A few berries and botanicals are included 3 or 4 times per week to make up for any nutritional shortcomings found in farm-raised animals. But for the most part they are exclusively whole prey fed and are absolutely thriving. These are show dogs so they need to pass clearances on hips, eyes, heart and elbows. So far, we have clearances on both eyes and heart and optional prelim clearances on the female for shoulders and elbows. Due for other clearances in March and August. I think any puppy fed raw properly from the get go will have the best chance at a happy, healthy life.

Another quick note - I never had any problems feeding raw bones, but always made sure they weren't weight baring (except for a knuckle bone now and again - monitored always). Diarrhea was a non-issue. Diarrhea was a major issue with my female as a puppy when I had her on kibble. I've had dogs since 1978 and I can honestly say that a raw fed dog is an entirely different breed of animal. I think the biggest difference is the lack of smell and the fact that I rarely need to brush my dogs and yet they still look amazing - how's that for lazy dog ownership. The little extra money and time that I put into raw food pays back 10 fold in so many other ways.
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