This will not be short
We started feeding mid-March 2014 to our then 6 month old boxer puppy Maximus raw shortly after realizing he would not touch his kibble, no matter what 'topper' we would put on it. We were planning on waiting to switch until we moved out of our apartment but decided to run head-on into raw after a week or so of "researching" raw feeding. He did/does not have any health issues we thought that raw could fix, just wanted a more healthy option for our only son
Before raw pics - perfectly good looking pup! Right?
In short, I read through many, many websites for info and help, "tried" it out with a whole bunch of skinless boneless chicken breasts, and then suffered for the next two weeks with on/off diarrhea and solid poop. During this time and until we got things under control did our once healthy weight looking pup looked skeletal for nearly a month. He weighed around ~45 lbs for nearly a month-month and a half (he was 6 mo old starting out).It was most likely a combo from him still growing taller, diarrhea, stress, and eating lower than what we should have (to prevent overfeeding or too much too soon). I was extremely worried this would effect his growth. However, it was only after a couple days of diarrhea when STARTING did I find the site and learn my mistakes and made every effort to fix them. At 8 months old he now weighs a healthy ~60 lbs.
Skinny b days
(notice the muscle mass already starting to grow in his front legs!)
and then a couple of weeks later, smooth intros to new proteins...
last couple weeks in transition - what a difference!
lean green fighting machine!!! ok maybe not the last part
1 - not feeding enough bone in pieces
2 - overfeeding
3 - giving "rawhides" and other not natural treats
4 - read through multiple websites with raw feeding info, which usually have conflicting info
5 - leaving skin on in begining
and throughout transition...
6 - feeding organ meat w/o bone
7 - developing (but currently fighting!) a picky eater; he only wants beef!
all thesse mistakes lead to every kind of poop: mucuos/runny/watery/squirting/black/crumbly
After the rough two weeks of getting that one solid poop week on chicken, it was smooth sailing from there
CHANGES WE NOTICED (good and bad)
- coat. his coat was always soft since he never lost that puppy fur, but it was noticeably SHINY after getting settled in. EVERYONE compliments on how beautiful his coat is
- energy;seems balanced ever since we got him he was always mellow ESPECIALLY for a boxer but he had crazy puppy energy aka zoomies and since the switch he has only raced around the house twice, in comparison to every day. he can still play for a while at the dog park though!
- so much more playful! (correlates w/energy but w/e). he used to NEVER play by himself. now all he does at home when hes not sleepng/eating is playing with all his toys
- smaller, less smelly poops (although certain things have an odor, ie whole fish)
- goopy eyes. not as HUGE as before, however they're still there first thing in the morning
- no more stinky breath! only after eating fish
- muscle growth/lean body!! yes he's a puppy and hasn't quite filled out yet/in that lanky phase but has an awesome chest/legs and VERY strong neck (he isn't fixed btw, certainly contributing to that growth)
- shedding. don't know if it's the season/becoming older but increased shedding has been noticed. not necessarily bad/good
- separation anxiety: has a sorta mild severe-ish case. hates being alone period, drools excessively, and would fight us getting into his crate (not to mention all the times he had broken out of his crate and scratched at the windows and pooped everywehre etc) he still drools and occasionally fights us, but now he's not extremely upset when going in the crate, more of an, annoyed emotion on his face. all that mental simulation from chewing bones is de-stressing him????
- weird behavior: after EVERY meal he rubs his face into A BED (yes, dog and human beds both)
THINGS NOT DIFFERENT
- teeth (he IS a puppy, so all that kibble hadn't done any damage..yet)
- gas (he usually farts, kinda a sign he has to poop, and boxers are known to be very gassy )
- pickiness! last week into transition he lost the taste for chicken, but after some "tough Love" he is getting back to eating chicken. he was picky on kibble also
I hope everyone trying to get into raw/doing research/simply curious finds this useful! Of course every dog is unique but this was our story