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chicken backs gsd puppy pmr butcher cuts

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#1
Ravena

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Hi guys,

We have a 5mo gsd pup who I want to get started on pmr. 

She's a fairly finicky eater (typical shep) with the 'good' kibble we've had her on, but more and more lately we've been dealing with skin allergies/super itchy skin, and I know from my previous pups that its a long and expensive road.

I've never fed raw before but a couple of my neighbors recommended it, so I've visited my local butcher to scout things out.
He can order me chicken backs in 40lb packs (@85c/lb), and will cut this up into 4lb pieces, but it's all packed together in a big slab of meat - I'm not sure if this is suitable/usual? Or if I should try to find individual cuts - I've never bought backs before!

 

I know the butcher frequently sells the slabs to other pmr feeders.  I put in a request for one slab for next week, to give me time to pick up a chest freezer for the garage.

 

Not sure where to get quarters from, as he's the only local butcher and his quarters are $4/lb!

Also, is it necessary to fast a puppy for the full 24hours? She tends to start retching/vomiting bile if she has an empty stomach for 12+ hours.

 

TIA for any help!


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#2
GimMom

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Welcome! Kibble was the reason I switched my dog to PMR, he's a Bugg (Boston/Pug), and was prone to horrible, chronic ear infections, Yeasty and smelly and he scratched them bloody. He didn't find relief until he stopped kibble and we tried raw and a month later, I haven't had to clean his ears once, And that was going from DAILY cleaning!

 

Have to you checked out the How to Get Started? It was what I read when I first tried PMR and it's my cheat sheet when I'm unsure of whether I'm doing it right/what comes next.  http://preymodelraw....el-raw-diet-r19

 

And there is a LOT of people here willing to answer any questions you have. I believe you don't want to fast a puppy more than 12 hours when transitioning to raw. The hunger pukes (yellow bile pukes) are because his stomach will be used to being full all the time because kibble is digested slower, where raw is digested quickly and used quickly by the dog.

 

Go for the slab, if he's willing to break it down for you that's awesome. But it's not hard and PreyModelRaw and others here will tell you how to do that (there's even a few videos in the picture/video section). That's a great price, I get chicken backs for like 0.79 a pound. Chicken leg quarters, you can get about 4 to a bag for $5 here at the grocery store. You just have to hunt for the deals


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#3
Prey Model Raw

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Welcome! Glad you're starting raw with your pup!

Start with backs and eventually you'll find other deals for meat in your area- especially since you have other raw feeders who are local.

I would fast your pup at least 12 hours before starting raw. Since she has a history of being finicky, you may need to use a little tough love on her in the beginning.

Keep us posted!
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#4
naturalfeddogs

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Welcome! You are making a great decision on switching to raw! I know it's the best thing I ever did for my dogs.


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#5
Ravena

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Welcome! Kibble was the reason I switched my dog to PMR, he's a Bugg (Boston/Pug), and was prone to horrible, chronic ear infections, Yeasty and smelly and he scratched them bloody. He didn't find relief until he stopped kibble and we tried raw and a month later, I haven't had to clean his ears once, And that was going from DAILY cleaning!

 

Your pup must make the most amazing noises - a Bugg! Never heard of the mix before.  My girls' ears aren't too bad, but she does get a little stinky and extremely itchy on her belly, flanks and especially under elbows.

 

Thanks so much for all the advice guys - I picked up some chicken quarters yesterday (can't get the backs in until next tuesday after looking at 5 different suppliers, but I want her off that frickin' kibble now) and am aiming for 1.5lb of meat per day - split into three meals as she's still 19w.  She's 43lb already, and her father was huge (103!), so I'm expecting her to be pretty big (she is ALL paws and ears) - am aiming for a 70-75lb adult weight. 

 

Fasted her for 12hours, then fed her 0.7lb of chicken with a good piece of bone this morning, and after a few seconds of "what the heck?" she went to town.  I held it for a little while but she was really good about chewing and not bolting.  Cut most of the skin off, left some on.   Happy pup, although our cats were seriously indignant when she didn't share.

 

My SO took a video: http://instagram.com/p/d15HYcJnW1/#

 

Fingers crossed her allergies will die down after a few weeks.  Looking forward to meat deal hunting!


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#6
SuperPug

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Your pup must make the most amazing noises - a Bugg! Never heard of the mix before.  My girls' ears aren't too bad, but she does get a little stinky and extremely itchy on her belly, flanks and especially under elbows.

 

Is the skin in that area a grey to grey-ish color? If so, she's probably suffering from some yeasty issues. My pug, to this very day,(about 5 months on raw now) still suffers slight issues from yeast. I've been controlling what she eats and drying her off with a hair dryer(when she gets wet) as much as possible. Once it gets set into them, it's a pain in the rear, but it will soon die off and you'll be left with a happy dog :)

 

But if it's not grey in appearance, she might be suffering from some environmental allergies. Which some dogs get better on a raw diet, others need allergy medication to help ease the issues they have.



#7
Ravena

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It's usually a brighter pink than the rest of her skin, and occasionally scabs up from the scratching, so I try to keep her claws trimmed regularly to avoid serious scrapes.

 

My main culprit apart from diet is likely the grass at the local parks and around the house - so many chemicals put on it to keep it green (we're in San Diego).  Doesn't help that it's been ridiculously hot lately.  We try to keep her off it, since there's plenty of sandy trails around, but her main socialising is done at the local park where a bunch of dog owners meet.
We bathed her today in an anti-itch oatmeal shampoo and dried her with the hairdryer on cool. 

 

During her first flare-up vet just prescribed oral steroids without an examination - our usual vet was away on vacation, and they worked while they lasted, as does benadryl, but while I'll do anything to have her happy and comfortable, hopefully I can find a non-medication way around the allergies.

 

She just had her second meal, and it's so awesome to see her so excited over food! She couldn't wait for me to portion it, dancing around like a mad thing. 


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#8
GimMom

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Your pup must make the most amazing noises - a Bugg! Never heard of the mix before.  My girls' ears aren't too bad, but she does get a little stinky and extremely itchy on her belly, flanks and especially under elbows.

 

Thanks so much for all the advice guys - I picked up some chicken quarters yesterday (can't get the backs in until next tuesday after looking at 5 different suppliers, but I want her off that frickin' kibble now) and am aiming for 1.5lb of meat per day - split into three meals as she's still 19w.  She's 43lb already, and her father was huge (103!), so I'm expecting her to be pretty big (she is ALL paws and ears) - am aiming for a 70-75lb adult weight. 

 

Fasted her for 12hours, then fed her 0.7lb of chicken with a good piece of bone this morning, and after a few seconds of "what the heck?" she went to town.  I held it for a little while but she was really good about chewing and not bolting.  Cut most of the skin off, left some on.   Happy pup, although our cats were seriously indignant when she didn't share.

 

My SO took a video: http://instagram.com/p/d15HYcJnW1/#

 

Fingers crossed her allergies will die down after a few weeks.  Looking forward to meat deal hunting!

 

Your pup must make the most amazing noises - a Bugg! Never heard of the mix before.  My girls' ears aren't too bad, but she does get a little stinky and extremely itchy on her belly, flanks and especially under elbows.

 

Thanks so much for all the advice guys - I picked up some chicken quarters yesterday (can't get the backs in until next tuesday after looking at 5 different suppliers, but I want her off that frickin' kibble now) and am aiming for 1.5lb of meat per day - split into three meals as she's still 19w.  She's 43lb already, and her father was huge (103!), so I'm expecting her to be pretty big (she is ALL paws and ears) - am aiming for a 70-75lb adult weight. 

 

Fasted her for 12hours, then fed her 0.7lb of chicken with a good piece of bone this morning, and after a few seconds of "what the heck?" she went to town.  I held it for a little while but she was really good about chewing and not bolting.  Cut most of the skin off, left some on.   Happy pup, although our cats were seriously indignant when she didn't share.

 

My SO took a video: http://instagram.com/p/d15HYcJnW1/#

 

Fingers crossed her allergies will die down after a few weeks.  Looking forward to meat deal hunting!

He makes the most ridiculous noises. But it's mostly Pug snorting. He snores louder than my boyfriend sometimes, too. 

 

Once Gimli tasted the first drumstick I gave him, it was all over for kibble. I actually held the half cup of kibble I had left over from the last bag near his nose the other day, and he walked away. Even he knows he's getting much better food now.

 

My cats are still a work in progress. Cats can be stubborn when it comes to raw, so when I am FINALLY successful, I will be THRILLED. Josie isn't too picky, but Dori is and I am now resolute on starting the next kitty we get on raw right at 8 weeks so I don't have to deal with mature cats being princesses :P

 

Gimli's ears were only pink when he scratched, otherwise they were the usual greyish/brownish colour and very raw. Now I swab his ears once in a while to check for anything, and every single time, they come up spotless. And his ears got better before the drops arrived in the mail (Zymox Otic w/ hydrocortisone), I think it was a couple days into the raw diet and his ears were already improving, albeit full recovery took a while because his case was just awful. 

 

I notice Gimli licks his paws after walking in the park and now I'm wondering if any stuff they use on the grass there is irritating them. The most annoying part of public parks is when people eat picnic lunches there, and leave cooked chicken bones on the ground. My eyesight sucks, and the dog can ALWAYS spot them before I do, so it's a pain to have to wrestle it from his mouth. I'm still working on training him to "leave it!" I just wish people weren't so ignorant in parks and didn't throw their trash everywhere. It's just gross seeing bones and other garbage all over the place when I'm respectful enough to pick up poop. /rant]

 

Glad your pooper is enjoying raw!



#9
Swinn

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Hey Ravena,

GSD's are more inclined to have a genetic predisposition called IGa deficiency (or immunoglobulin A deficiency) and are more prone to "gut allergies", bacterial infections etc. -- this can be found in the Merck Vet Manual if anyone is interested. For reasons I'm not clear on, they don't make as much IGa as other breeds. Because of this they can be more intolerant of environmental and food related issues. Probiotics help to stimulate IGa production so feeding raw green tripe is a great idea for GSD pups. For those that can't tolerate tripe a supplement may be in order (or kefir - which has more beneficial strains of bacteria/yeast than yogurt). Chicken, eggs, legumes (such as green beans), garlic and some other foods have a specific protein in them that, in susceptible pets (and people) trigger an IGa reaction. When the body can't make enough IGa to keep up with the demands put on it, symptoms begin to show.

Not all GSD's will, obviously, have this issue but it does seem to be pretty common. Trying to avoid all chemicals, as you are doing, seems like a very wise idea with GSD's especially. Also, if you suspect a food (even one that has been eaten for some time) may be causing a reaction I think it is a good idea to eliminate that food until it can be determined for sure that it is not causing an issue.

I am intolerant of dairy products and my scalp will get itchy to the point that I make it bleed in my sleep. Oatmeal shampoos are okay but tea tree based shampoos REALLY REALLY help me.. Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree castile soap is the correct ph for a dogs' skin.

She is really a cute puppy!!!!
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#10
Ravena

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He makes the most ridiculous noises. But it's mostly Pug snorting. He snores louder than my boyfriend sometimes, too. 
 
Once Gimli tasted the first drumstick I gave him, it was all over for kibble. I actually held the half cup of kibble I had left over from the last bag near his nose the other day, and he walked away. Even he knows he's getting much better food now.
 
My cats are still a work in progress. Cats can be stubborn when it comes to raw, so when I am FINALLY successful, I will be THRILLED. Josie isn't too picky, but Dori is and I am now resolute on starting the next kitty we get on raw right at 8 weeks so I don't have to deal with mature cats being princesses :P
 
Gimli's ears were only pink when he scratched, otherwise they were the usual greyish/brownish colour and very raw. Now I swab his ears once in a while to check for anything, and every single time, they come up spotless. And his ears got better before the drops arrived in the mail (Zymox Otic w/ hydrocortisone), I think it was a couple days into the raw diet and his ears were already improving, albeit full recovery took a while because his case was just awful. 
 
I notice Gimli licks his paws after walking in the park and now I'm wondering if any stuff they use on the grass there is irritating them. The most annoying part of public parks is when people eat picnic lunches there, and leave cooked chicken bones on the ground. My eyesight sucks, and the dog can ALWAYS spot them before I do, so it's a pain to have to wrestle it from his mouth. I'm still working on training him to "leave it!" I just wish people weren't so ignorant in parks and didn't throw their trash everywhere. It's just gross seeing bones and other garbage all over the place when I'm respectful enough to pick up poop. /rant]
 
Glad your pooper is enjoying raw!


We're on day 3 and she LOVES her mealtimes. Dances into the kitchen everytime she sees me pick up her puppy gate (she still has a tendency to want to drag off her prize onto the carpet :)

Our cats actually adore raw chicken since I always gave them raw cut offs when I made stir fry. They're obnoxiously healthy on their kibble right now but once I've transitioned Nova I'd love to try switching their food.
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#11
Ravena

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Hey Ravena,GSD's are more inclined to have a genetic predisposition called IGa deficiency (or immunoglobulin A deficiency) and are more prone to "gut allergies", bacterial infections etc. -- this can be found in the Merck Vet Manual if anyone is interested. For reasons I'm not clear on, they don't make as much IGa as other breeds. Because of this they can be more intolerant of environmental and food related issues. Probiotics help to stimulate IGa production so feeding raw green tripe is a great idea for GSD pups. For those that can't tolerate tripe a supplement may be in order (or kefir - which has more beneficial strains of bacteria/yeast than yogurt). Chicken, eggs, legumes (such as green beans), garlic and some other foods have a specific protein in them that, in susceptible pets (and people) trigger an IGa reaction. When the body can't make enough IGa to keep up with the demands put on it, symptoms begin to show.Not all GSD's will, obviously, have this issue but it does seem to be pretty common. Trying to avoid all chemicals, as you are doing, seems like a very wise idea with GSD's especially. Also, if you suspect a food (even one that has been eaten for some time) may be causing a reaction I think it is a good idea to eliminate that food until it can be determined for sure that it is not causing an issue.I am intolerant of dairy products and my scalp will get itchy to the point that I make it bleed in my sleep. Oatmeal shampoos are okay but tea tree based shampoos REALLY REALLY help me.. Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree castile soap is the correct ph for a dogs' skin.She is really a cute puppy!!!!


Thanks! I'm pretty fond of her ;)

She loves her chicken so far, crunching her bones happily, but she's still very miserable with her skin issues. She scratches at her flanks and underarms like crazy and is starting to make raw spots again. I added a probiotic to her diet to see if that will help. There's just so many things it could be that I don't know where to start - dust mites, detergent I clean her bedding with, grass and outdoor allergens, shampoo, cats, diet etc.

I really hope it's not chicken, since that's the main meat in the starter program but I'm not sure whether to keep going with the chicken transition or switch faster to adding turkey.

Currently she's pooping once a day, very small compared to the epic kibble poops of old! And keeps its shape but is relatively soft still. Added a bit more bone today.

I just feel so bad for her, I have eczema so I know how awful it is to be itchy. She wakes up at night just to scratch (her crate is by my bed so it wakes me too, but I feel so bad for her it doesn't matter). Any advice on how to start eliminating possible culprits?

#12
Prey Model Raw

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Are you trimming fat and skin off before feeding chicken?

#13
lauren43

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Those are backs? They are very meaty (the ones I end up with here are pretty boney)..I'd like to see them look more like yours. It will probably take a month to see any real results from the transition.

Your dog is adorable. One of these days I'll have a GSD of my own (though my dream breed list is getting really long, I'll have to have 4 dogs at a time for the rest of my life.)

#14
Iorveth

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When ordering in bulk, big slabs of meat are normal. It's all thrown in together and frozen. I have a cooler that I put the box in to thaw. I leave the top open so it doesn't keep it cold and then, over a couple of days, I go see what is thawed enough to be pulled off and package it as it thaws. 


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#15
Ravena

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Are you trimming fat and skin off before feeding chicken?

 

I did at first after reading an article on pmr that advised this for sensitive dogs.  I now give her skin-on after 4 days without digestive upset, but I cut any large bulky pieces of skin off.  Is this wrong

 

When ordering in bulk, big slabs of meat are normal. It's all thrown in together and frozen. I have a cooler that I put the box in to thaw. I leave the top open so it doesn't keep it cold and then, over a couple of days, I go see what is thawed enough to be pulled off and package it as it thaws.

 

Thanks for the advice, we bought a chest freezer to store the extra meat for our girl, glad its pretty normal.

 

Those are backs? They are very meaty (the ones I end up with here are pretty boney)..I'd like to see them look more like yours. It will probably take a month to see any real results from the transition.

Your dog is adorable. One of these days I'll have a GSD of my own (though my dream breed list is getting really long, I'll have to have 4 dogs at a time for the rest of my life.)

 

Nope these are leg quarters - I couldn't get backs anywhere except the butcher, and he couldn't get them in until tuesday.  I wanted to get her off the kibble asap.  I remove the small sharp bone on the leg piece but otherwise she's been happily crunching them down.

 

Thanks! My last gsd died of cancer and I was heartbroken, but I love the breed, they're just brilliant dogs. I know what you mean about the dream dog list :)


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#16
GimMom

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We're on day 3 and she LOVES her mealtimes. Dances into the kitchen everytime she sees me pick up her puppy gate (she still has a tendency to want to drag off her prize onto the carpet :)

Our cats actually adore raw chicken since I always gave them raw cut offs when I made stir fry. They're obnoxiously healthy on their kibble right now but once I've transitioned Nova I'd love to try switching their food.

Gimli will whine if I don't feed him. I usually wait until he stops, and put down the kitty food first. He actually seems to chill at that point and then I finally put his down. He will wolf it down in less than 5 minutes, unless it's a turkey neck. They usually take a little longer.

 

Dori (Manx) has been off and on. Sometimes, she'll eat the pieces of chicken or heart I mix in, sometimes not. Josie usually finishes it. She's been pretty good about accepting meat, but I can tell it's definitely going to take a while to transition them fully. I'll be patient!



#17
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Start leaving more and more skin and fat on as long as she handles it until you don't have anything left to cut off.

The idea is that you don't ever have to trim skin and fat off. Fats are a crucial part of a raw diet because it maintains healthy skin and coat as well as fat is their main source of energy
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#18
Ravena

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Start leaving more and more skin and fat on as long as she handles it until you don't have anything left to cut off.

The idea is that you don't ever have to trim skin and fat off. Fats are a crucial part of a raw diet because it maintains healthy skin and coat as well as fat is their main source of energy

 

Started giving her skin and fat now we've had good solid poops for 5 days, she doesn't seem to be having any sensitivity gut-wise.

 

Question about chicken leg quarters - I've been giving them to her with the small sharp bone that lies along the thigh bone removed - but she frequently strips the bones and then has a sharp-ended thigh bone left.  She has crunched them up and spat out small splinter which I remove - but should she eat the thigh bone at all if it so easily breaks into sharp shards?



#19
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Started giving her skin and fat now we've had good solid poops for 5 days, she doesn't seem to be having any sensitivity gut-wise.

 

Question about chicken leg quarters - I've been giving them to her with the small sharp bone that lies along the thigh bone removed - but she frequently strips the bones and then has a sharp-ended thigh bone left.  She has crunched them up and spat out small splinter which I remove - but should she eat the thigh bone at all if it so easily breaks into sharp shards?

 

I have never taken any of the bones out of chicken leg quarters before. I just hand them out whole and have never had an issue with sharp bone pieces in the five years of feeding raw meaty bones. 

 

When I first started raw feeding, the bones made me nervous as well, but over time I saw that my girls handled them just fine. I don't even think about it anymore...so it's normal to feel a little worried about it but after time you'll learn that there's nothing to worry about, and that their bodies are designed specifically to handle bones. 


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#20
Ravena

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I have never taken any of the bones out of chicken leg quarters before. I just hand them out whole and have never had an issue with sharp bone pieces in the five years of feeding raw meaty bones. 

 

When I first started raw feeding, the bones made me nervous as well, but over time I saw that my girls handled them just fine. I don't even think about it anymore...so it's normal to feel a little worried about it but after time you'll learn that there's nothing to worry about, and that their bodies are designed specifically to handle bones. 

 

Followed your advice and have had no problems, worries are pretty much gone now re: bones.

 

However her allergies are getting horrific - she's scratching/chewing fur off her belly and legs, and she is one miserable puppy.  We've tried a dozen topical treatments (one at a time to see if results happen), and various allergy meds and nothing seems to be helping.

Took her to the vet 2 days ago and he checked and eliminated all nasty things such as mange/scabies/flea infestation/yeast/ears/anal glands - all healthy.  He didn't prescribe anything since I told him I want to avoid steroids/cortisone, but its getting to the point where she can't sleep at night (and since her crate in the bedroom, us as well).  She sleeps fine during the day, on her large bed in her pen - perhaps the crate (wire/open sided, but in a corner of the room) is making things worse?

 

Since her previous kibble was chicken based and she itched on that, would it be ok to try her on turkey a little early, perhaps switching her to full turkey for a bit?  I want to rule out chicken allergies, even though I know it could be environmental. 

Her stools have been fantastic (small, hard, correct color) , the only difference I notice is she's drinking a lot less on raw than kibble, which makes sense I assume since its wet and not dry food? Her coat where she doesn't itch, teeth and eyes are great.







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