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Starting Raw But Have Some Questions


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#1
Samson5261

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Hi I joined this forum because I have been researching raw diets for awhile now. I have found a lot of information out there about this and it can all be quite confusing. I have found this site extremely helpful. I first started researching after my pup Rocky (9 month GSD/Hound) lost interest in his kibble. I tried multiple brands and flavors and after three days he just lost interest in it. He also throws up a lot and after doing some research and a trip to the vet I believe its because his system does not like kibble. I worried about his health especially since he is still growing and this led me to looking into other foods, which led me to raw! lol

 

While doing my research I found that most places I find say to get the meat from a butcher. Is it ok to get meat from my local grocery store? We don't really have butchers around here and the closet one is a good hour drive so it would be easier if I could buy from the local store.

 

Also about how much should I start out feeding Rocky? He weighs about 50lbs right now and I am kind of confused about the percentage to feed him(I suck at math). I also currently give him about 2 eggs a week, with his kibble is it ok to continue with this or should I stop? We are also in training right now so should I use a different kind of treat as a reward so the transition is a complete one and if so what should I use instead?

 

I am hoping to make the switch next week after pay day and I get the meat so will be posting about that then! I am excited to take this step to a better life for my boy and since I love to show him off here is a picture of him(hopefully it will show up lol)

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#2
naturalfeddogs

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Welcome! Great to have you! Dogs aren't designed for dry, processed cooked kibble which is probably why it isn't agreeing with him. Grocery store meats are fine, just look for the less enhanced ones. By that I mean look for no more than 75 mg of sodium. Sodium can cause digestive issues. Getting meat from butchers is usually cheaper, and you can get it in bulk. 

 

First, no more kibble. Just go straight into raw. The two digest at different rates and again, can cause digestive upset. Start with the blandest, easiest to digest protein, which is bone in chicken. Backs or quarters, either that you are able to easily find. Stay with that, and nothing else for the next week and a half to two weeks. Once poops all are going well, move on to turkey and do the same. Then if you can find any, duck. Once going through those you start pork, deer if you can find it and beef. Organs won't come in until two or three months at least. They are the richest, most nutrient dense and fed too soon or too much you risk cannon butt. 

 

You can add some eggs in there, but not right now. Wait until you are a few proteins in first.

 

I am no good at math either! Don't worry. I have always fed according to body weight. If weight is dropping to much, increase. If weight is jumping on too fast, I back off. Your dogs activity level is a good guage as well. At least it has been for me. One that is less active and lays around more generally won't have to eat as much as one who is high energy and burning it all off. Those may need more. 


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#3
Samson5261

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I will continue to look for a butcher, someone I know may know of one so I will just keep asking around! Is lamb a OK protein to feed? It is found a lot in my local grocery stores. I feel that rocky should have more weight on him honestly and I think he is thinner than what he should be due to him not wanting to eat his food!
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#4
Iorveth

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If you have an iPod or iPhone or something that can support the app, I found a great one for percentages. It's called "Raw Dog". You'll know it when you see it. The image is of a brown dog's mouth eating a steak and holding a sign that has "kibble" with a slash through it. It's wonderful because it IS designed around the 80% meat/10%bones/10% organs. The app does split the organs into 5% liver and 5% other. 

You input your dog's weight and choose the percentage of his body weight you want to feed. 2% is a good place to start and, once he's a little further in, you can up it to whatever percentage seems to work best for him. My guys all eat at least 3% because they have high metabolisms I wish I had. 

Anyhow, once you've input those two things, it will tell you how many pounds/ounces of meat you should be feeding to get exactly the 80%, how many lbs/oz of bone to get the 10%, how many oz of liver to get the 5%, and how many oz of other organs to get the other 5%. Of course, I don't weigh out how much bone and how much meat they get each day but it is really helpful as far as how many oz of organs they should be getting as well as how much total to feed them to stay at the percentage you have chosen to feed them. It helped me a TON when trying to figure out the amount of organs they should be getting since I'm terrible at math as well. 

You may find, later down the road that even an hour drive is worth it if you have the room to bring home bulk orders of meat. I once drove to over an hour to get a huge cooler-full of beef fat. That was 2 years ago and we still have some left. Totally worth it as we feed beef heart that has been completely trimmed of fat, leading to a need to supplement it with an outside source of fat. 

If you have an extra freezer, that drive can be made once every few months if you're able to buy in bulk. 

We do feed quite a bit of grocery store meat. One day we will be able to feed all grass fed, home raised meat but, until then, grocery store meat can't be avoided. Like NFD said, it's perfectly fine as long as you make sure things aren't enhanced. That can cause all sorts of issues that aren't worth dealing with. 


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#5
naturalfeddogs

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I will continue to look for a butcher, someone I know may know of one so I will just keep asking around! Is lamb a OK protein to feed? It is found a lot in my local grocery stores. I feel that rocky should have more weight on him honestly and I think he is thinner than what he should be due to him not wanting to eat his food!

Lamb is great to feed, but it's a rich red meat that doesn't get fed for about six or eight weeks in. Too soon and you risk digestive upset. 

 

If you do find some at a good price, it doesn't hurt to go ahead and start to stock up for later.


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#6
TRDmom

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Welcome and congrats on going raw! :)

 

For your dog's weight, about one pound per day is a good starting point. As others have said, you may need to feed less or more depending on your dog's activity level and metabolism. Body condition/weight is the best indicator on whether you're feeding the ideal amount. 

 

I buy meat from the grocery store. I can find a 10 pound back of chicken quarters from $7-10, depending on the store (walmart is the cheapest in my area). I HIGHLY recommend getting freezer bags and separating the quarters (one per bag) before placing them in the freezer. I made the mistake one time of throwing the 10 pound bag in the freezer, thinking I would separate later--bad idea! Never did that again! hehe

 

I feed my boy chicken, duck (usually feet or hearts), turkey, lamb, and beef. Rabbit will be added shortly (we're "dry" right now). I am also trying to get some deer! Maybe I need to take up bow hunting?? :P Goat is another meat I want, but probably would eat it all myself. 

 

Take a look at the following link, if you haven't seen it already. It is a good description of what some dogs experience while transitioning to raw meat diets (particularly the pictures in the first post). 

http://preymodelraw....ry-through-raw/



#7
Iorveth

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TRDmom, are the bags red? If so, a lot of us have bought those before :) We don't anymore since, if we're feeding chicken, half a chicken is perfect for Dude, a whole chicken is a gorge meal for Buck, and Iorveth's belly just doesn't tolerate chicken well (outside of just a few bites). With the two big boys who get chicken, we were able to buy multiple bags and thaw a whole bag at a time since it was gone before it could even get close to going bad. They're also great thrown in the oven with butter and herbs on them! We ate the dog food pretty often... And it was delicious!  :stuff:  I should buy some more of those quarters. They made for a great meal for all of us although theirs were much easier to "prepare".

Here, we feed some chicken, turkey, duck, sardines, and cornish game hens with lots of beef heart, beef, and pork. We feed things like lamb and rabbit when we can find it for a reasonable price as well as things we can periodically get through our co-op like elk, deer, and emu. I have also fed guinea pigs before. 



#8
Samson5261

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So I asked around for a butcher today at work and found one I'm going to go talk to! I did get attacked by a few people when I explained why ibwas looking for a butcher. I was told that going raw would make him viscious and he would start randomly attacking people and animals. Was also told that he would end up either choking or having a sharp shard rip his insides open. That he was not a wild animal and this diet would kill him!

I don't care what they say and I am still doing this! I'm just gonna have to watch who I talk to about it I guess!

#9
TRDmom

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 We ate the dog food pretty often... And it was delicious!  :stuff:

 

LOL :lol:


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#10
TRDmom

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So I asked around for a butcher today at work and found one I'm going to go talk to! I did get attacked by a few people when I explained why ibwas looking for a butcher. I was told that going raw would make him viscious and he would start randomly attacking people and animals. Was also told that he would end up either choking or having a sharp shard rip his insides open. That he was not a wild animal and this diet would kill him!

I don't care what they say and I am still doing this! I'm just gonna have to watch who I talk to about it I guess!

 

Wow! How rude of those people. Please file all of that in the 'old wives tales' bin and keep going! :thumbsu:



#11
Prey Model Raw

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Welcome to the group! Don't hesitate to ask any and all questions! And keep us posted on your journey!

#12
Samson5261

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Wow! How rude of those people. Please file all of that in the 'old wives tales' bin and keep going! :thumbsu:


That was my thought! They do many things with their dogs that I do not agree on but I do not attack them and basically call them stupid for doing it! I think a lot of the problem is my age. Since I am only 23 and they are much older than me they view me as young and dumb! I will show them though with the results! Lol
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#13
Iorveth

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So I asked around for a butcher today at work and found one I'm going to go talk to! I did get attacked by a few people when I explained why ibwas looking for a butcher. I was told that going raw would make him viscious and he would start randomly attacking people and animals. Was also told that he would end up either choking or having a sharp shard rip his insides open. That he was not a wild animal and this diet would kill him!

I don't care what they say and I am still doing this! I'm just gonna have to watch who I talk to about it I guess!

 

I have been lucky in that I have yet (knock on wood) to have someone tell me this to my face but DH and I were just having a conversation about that the other day. How that line of thought just boggles my mind. I can't even explain how much it confuses and baffles me. There just aren't words. By their logic, horses and cattle shouldn't be eating grass and hay. They should be eating only processed alfalfa pellets. Barn cats should not be eating mice and other pests. They should only be eating cat kibble and canned food. 

How a person can think that dogs are SUPPOSED to eat something man made... How they can think that ANY animal out there doesn't have a natural food source... It actually frustrates me because there are no words to convey just how much this frustrates and confuses me. 

A lot of raw feeders hear that kind of nonsense. I just seem to live in an area where people don't seem to often judge someone on that kind of thing and, frankly, other than a man from 4 years ago who asked me if I thought it was a little barbaric, I haven't had a whole lot of negativity. Most people actually would like me to point them in the right direction, to give them a better kibble option, or just want to know a little more about what I do and why I feed that way. I have a raw feeding vet we just happened to come across in the base vet, both our past and current landlords think raw feeding is neat (the current one has started adding in raw treats for her cat although he IS a magnificent rabbit hunter), and we live in an area where raw seems to be fairly common. I have no doubt that, the next time we go visit family and friends in California, we'll get negative feedback on it though. 

Don't worry about those people. You'll get used to people thinking it's bad, especially since you know it's not. 



#14
Iorveth

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That was my thought! They do many things with their dogs that I do not agree on but I do not attack them and basically call them stupid for doing it! I think a lot of the problem is my age. Since I am only 23 and they are much older than me they view me as young and dumb! I will show them though with the results! Lol

 

I find the same thing happening to me. Our neighbors allow their small dogs to run loose and, while their dogs do stay around the houses rather than wander down the long driveway to the road, they do poop in other people's yards, including ours. My issue with it is that we don't let ours poop in other people's yard and, should it happen, we are with the dogs so we see that it happened and clean it up. I don't want our landlord (who is also our neighbor) to think OUR dogs are pooping all over the place and we aren't picking it up. Other people feed terrible, terrible kibbles or leave them confined to a tiny backyard 24/7 or use flexi-leads, etc. Most of them are things I used to do but, the difference is that I have researched it and know better now but they won't bother to do any research about the animal they own. 

As a result, when I try to help people who ask for it, they tend to blow me off because I am younger than them, therefore, I don't know any better (then why ask for my advice in the first place, right? I think they just want to hear someone agree with them and think I will). I'm not much older than you. I'm in my mid-20s somewhere... 24 or 25, I think. So people see this young person rather than someone who has done the work required to give them the educated answer they heard come out of my mouth.



#15
Samson5261

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I find the same thing happening to me. Our neighbors allow their small dogs to run loose and, while their dogs do stay around the houses rather than wander down the long driveway to the road, they do poop in other people's yards, including ours. My issue with it is that we don't let ours poop in other people's yard and, should it happen, we are with the dogs so we see that it happened and clean it up. I don't want our landlord (who is also our neighbor) to think OUR dogs are pooping all over the place and we aren't picking it up. Other people feed terrible, terrible kibbles or leave them confined to a tiny backyard 24/7 or use flexi-leads, etc. Most of them are things I used to do but, the difference is that I have researched it and know better now but they won't bother to do any research about the animal they own.

As a result, when I try to help people who ask for it, they tend to blow me off because I am younger than them, therefore, I don't know any better (then why ask for my advice in the first place, right? I think they just want to hear someone agree with them and think I will). I'm not much older than you. I'm in my mid-20s somewhere... 24 or 25, I think. So people see this young person rather than someone who has done the work required to give them the educated answer they heard come out of my mouth.

I'm really big on research! My mom is always saying that I will research something to death lol. I would rather know what I'm getting into than go into it blind! Sadly the person who sits behind me at work is the one who says it will turn him viscious! Its really starting to irritate me and I told him its a good thing he's my dog and not yours than huh! That shut him up! Lol

I went and priced meat at a few different places yesterday and I'm getting our deep freeze ready! I'm super excited for Friday so I can start his new diet!

#16
Iorveth

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I'm really big on research! My mom is always saying that I will research something to death lol. I would rather know what I'm getting into than go into it blind! Sadly the person who sits behind me at work is the one who says it will turn him viscious! Its really starting to irritate me and I told him its a good thing he's my dog and not yours than huh! That shut him up! Lol

I went and priced meat at a few different places yesterday and I'm getting our deep freeze ready! I'm super excited for Friday so I can start his new diet!

 

I do what I can to get people to research things before they do them if it's something like getting a dog breed they have never owned (or any pet they've never owned). If it's living or dangerous, I am all for research before bringing it home so you know how to properly care for/handle it. 

That's really unfortunate. I just can't understand it. I think it comes from the old chicken and sheep killers. The whole thing back then was that once a dog started going after sheep or chickens, it had to be killed because it wouldn't stop. Nowadays, we just don't let our dogs run loose to let their prey drive get the best of them and get them into trouble with our own or other people's livestock as well as train them to leave livestock alone. Of course, no dog is perfect and they all have that instinct (especially certain breeds) but a good foundation in leaving livestock alone can go a long way. 



#17
Samson5261

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I do what I can to get people to research things before they do them if it's something like getting a dog breed they have never owned (or any pet they've never owned). If it's living or dangerous, I am all for research before bringing it home so you know how to properly care for/handle it.

That's really unfortunate. I just can't understand it. I think it comes from the old chicken and sheep killers. The whole thing back then was that once a dog started going after sheep or chickens, it had to be killed because it wouldn't stop. Nowadays, we just don't let our dogs run loose to let their prey drive get the best of them and get them into trouble with our own or other people's livestock as well as train them to leave livestock alone. Of course, no dog is perfect and they all have that instinct (especially certain breeds) but a good foundation in leaving livestock alone can go a long way.


He use to have a saint Bernard that they fed raw chicken and he got aggressive after they started feeding him raw. I bet there was other behavior problems than that. I have met his dogs and they have no manners and he has no control over them!

#18
Iorveth

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Some dogs can develop some food aggression when they first start raw and it's typically because they are suddenly getting this high value food. They aren't perfect, after all. Dude got a little snippy at first when, on kibble, he was a dog that would happily eat a meal with my fingers in his bowl, just so happy someone was there with him. However, once he adjusted to the fact that it was a normal thing and with a few corrections to let him know that his behavior was unacceptable, he went back to his normal, happy self and anyone could walk up to him and take a turkey neck right out of his mouth and you'd get the same, goofy, "Hi! I'm so happy to see you!" reaction from him he's always given. He just needed to be reminded that he needs to be respectful and reassured that nothing was going to take that new thing away from him.

 

However, if you've got no control over your dog and he doesn't respect you in the first place, how could you expect him to behave appropriately when you suddenly give him something like a raw meal?


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#19
Samson5261

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So we have been on the new raw diet for a week tomorrow! It has gone good so far with no problems what so ever. He has yet to turn into a ravenous beast with the hunger for raw meat lol :lol:! I did have to increase his amount a little bit because he was maintaining the weight he was at but I wanted him to gain some because he was already to thin. Other than that I am loving this diet so far. Already I can tell a difference in how soft and shiny his coat is!

 

I do have some questions though :)

 

Can I feed turkey and chicken wings?

What is the best way to feed more than one dog a raw diet? My mom is thinking about switching her two to raw also. We can't feed them inside and I am worried they may resource guard if we feed on the back porch where they are outside together all day.

 

Any helpful hints are welcome! Thank You :thumbsu:



#20
Samson5261

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Also my moms dogs are still on kibble and they are fed in the living room. We can not move their food into another room. Rocky is sneaking the kibble from their bowls. He is not as bad now then he was when we first started raw. Is this just because the amount of food he gets is less or just habit? Should I be worried that he has managed to get some kibble? It's not much maybe four to five pieces.




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