Hi everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum. So many here seem to have been feeding raw successfully for a long time and I appreciate your expertise.
I started feeding raw about a month ago to my three little dogs. I have an old fella named Jose`. He's a Chihuahua mix and loves to eat. He's obsessed. The first time I gave him a thigh, I think he must have swallowed the bone whole because since then he hasn't been able to chew up any bones. He sort of gnaws on them but he is missing a lot of teeth so I let him fiddle with it and then eventually, toss it. So, mostly I've been feeding him Nature's Variety raw and sometimes my own mixture but add a couple pinches of ground up egg shell. Do I need to get some bone meal? And how in the world does one know how much to give?
I have also two toy Poodles, Maurice a little over 4 lbs and Matisse, about 7 lbs. (He's the one in my avatar) They seem to be doing fine. I did not start correctly and fast them or go for a whole week with just chicken. But anyhow, with some adjusting, their poo seems to be pretty good most of the time.
Here's some of what I've been feeding. Perhaps you can weigh in and offer some wisdom.
Every other day, I give the Poodles a chicken thigh or wing. (with the thigh, I must cut off some meat because it's too much) They're very
small dogs. They go in their crates on a towel and I can hear them crushing the bone. They totally enjoy this and are barracudas. I tried a pork country style spare rib but it seems too sharp and hard so no more of those for bones.
My home made ground mixes include ground beef, turkey, pork, chopped up lamb or gizzards and hearts. (I read that gizzards don't count as an organ because they're not rich enough in those nutrients that other organs have) I put the gizzard and heart mixture (with veggies) in ice cube trays and will give at some meals one of those cubes for each dog and the equivalent of another meat mixture because perhaps the gizzards and hearts are very rich. (?)
In my ground meat mixes here's an example of what I've included: (steamed gently till tender and run through my Vita Mix) Carrots, celery, green beans or broccoli, spinach or kale, some slices of yams, pumpkin, blue berries, banana, small amount of organ meat. (I try to make it 10% but not sure if I'm doing the math right) I know that liver should not be more than 50% of the 10% and now have finally located some tongue and kidneys. Eggs, shells included that I put through my Vita Mix. (about 4 or 5 to a lb+ of meat) When I pour in the veggies, I'd say that soupy mixture of veggies takes up about a good half of the meat itself, volume wise. I'm paranoid about them missing out on some minerals and vitamins. The raw eggs and veggies mixed in with the meat makes a very loose mixture. But it works I guess. Maybe I should cook the eggs?
I open a can of sardines once or twice a week or salmon. Other meals, I squirt a fish oil capsule in their food...not every meal. I'm worried about not getting enough iodine in their food.
Sometimes I don't make up a pre-made mixture but instead feed chunks. For instance, I cut up some lamb I got on sale. Very small chuncks. Then I make up some vegetable mixture as described above and put into ice cube trays. Some meals might be some lamb and a cube of veggie mixture. If there's no egg or bone for calcium, I'll take a pinch of powdered egg shells material that I've ground up in my Vita Mix after boiling the shells. (That's from eggs I use for myself and I save the shells, boil and grind up) Sometimes a spoonful of Greek yogurt goes on top.
So, any words of advice? I've probably forgotten and left something out. I did buy a bigger freezer which I need and am waiting for it's arrival to go back and get some yummy intestines and stomach from one of those big international stores. Wouldn't those things be a good addition? They even had uterus from a cow, I think it was. And goat meat, kangaroo, alligator, frog legs, chicken and duck feet, brains, you name it. Eeek! Good thing I'm not overly squeamish. lol. Thanks in advance.