We are brand new to the raw diet. We have a 60 pound shar pei pit mix that has not done well with a good grain free kibble. We have decided to give the raw diet a try. We are going through and reading posts about raw feeding, and figured we would asked some of you more experienced raw feedings for some advise. Any help would be appreciated.
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Posted 26 November 2016 - 05:57 AM
Welcome! And great for starting raw! Have you read the getting started guide at the top of the page? That will give you some ideas as well.
But for now, start with chicken. Quarters always seem to work the best. Give that a week or two and see how things go and then move on to turkey, if all goes well and do the same.
You start with the blandest, easiest to digest protein and move up as your dog adjusts.
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Posted 27 November 2016 - 01:00 PM
Welcome! Chicken quarters are usually what people choose to start with. I suggest looking for whole birds, like chicken or "game hens" (usually Cornish hen or quail). Whole birds usually include items like gizzard, heart and liver, which makes shopping a little easier. Getting a whole bird also gives you an idea of what balance to provide (the meat/bone/organ content is more balanced compared to a tray of chicken thighs). Your dog may eat around 1-2 pounds a day. You may want to start by getting about a week's worth of food (about 7 - 14 pounds), which should be easy to store in your freezer/fridge. If you decide to get food in bulk (e.g. 50+ pounds), you may want to have a freezer for just the dog food.
PMR ratios are 80% muscle meat/10% bone/10% organ. You may need to adjust these ratios slightly as each dog’s needs differ to some degree. Some people feed “balance over time” (i.e. over the course of a week), whereas others balance out the correct ratio for each meal.
At least three meats in the rotation--but more is better. Red meats are also supposed to be more nutritious. Start with one protein (whatever is readily available) and add another when you feel your dog is ready (e.g. every other day or week).
Make sure to give liver at around 5% of diet (either feed weekly or daily). This can be from any species. You may offer small amounts (e.g. bite-sized pieces) from the start and gradually build your dog up to the recommend amount.
Chicken feet (and duck, if you can find them) are a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin (for joint health).
For conventionally raised meat (like you get at the grocery store), offer some salmon oil or oily fish (e.g. mackerel) to the diet for omega-3 fatty acid to help balance the omega-6. Too much omega-6 in the diet can cause inflammation, hence the need to balance it. Grass-fed meat animals have a better omega-3/omega-6 ratio which shouldn't require supplementation.
Work Wonders by Dr. Tom Lonsdale
Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson, PhD
Canine Nutrigenomics by Dr. Jean Dodds
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