any other raw feeders out there?

NinapearlJanuary 14, 2011

i started all 3 of my danes on raw food over the past month. they are all doing well, loving this new way of eating and so far, everything seems to be agreeing with them better than i ever could have imagined.

my bentley started a little over a month ago. he is now eating chicken, turkey and as of yesterday, pork.

my swee' pea started about 3 weeks ago. she is eating chicken and turkey.

my ashley, senior girl, started about 2 weeks ago. she has had nothing but chicken so far but this weekend, i will add turkey to her meals.

all 3 dogs have more energy than ever and their coats feel like velvet. just wondering if anybody else is feeding a raw diet and if so, how it's going for you and your dog(s). :)

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The dog is still on kibble but the cats are eating raw. All 4 cats are doing well and their coats are glistening. Especially the black ones.
Do you supplement the meat with anything? The cats are getting ground turkey mixed with Feline Instincts powder. It has bone meal for calcium and all the other stuff they need. I have been thinking of switching the dog but haven't really looked into it that much.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 6:58AM
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i am not supplementing at this point. switching a dog to raw takes 2-3 months to get everything lined out. once they are all used to pork for a couple of weeks, i will add beef, then fish, then organ meats. the organ meats *should* provide all of the vitamins and minerals they will need. after they have been eating a couple of meals per week with organ meat added, i will take them all to the vet for blood work to make sure they aren't missing anything. at that time, i will know if i need to add any sort of supplement.

my senior girl does take flexicose for arthritis and my other female dane takes proin for incontinence issues but that's it as far as anything other than raw meat.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 7:32AM
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Very interesting. I have heard,of course, of the raw diet before but do not know much about it. I just can't get over giving dogs the chicken bones.....but they say that raw they are fine.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:38AM
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Good for you ninapearl!! BTW, your furbabies are beautiful!
I've been rawfeeding for 7 years now and have had great success with it. The only supplementation I do is digestive enzymes ( my sharpei has a very sensitive GI but even when digestives are missed, she's just more gassy), fish oil for both ( my ridgeback is 12 and has some arthritis, but it has not progressed from observation) and another joint support supplement ( Petco joint support III, one of the best more comprehensive and affordable supps I have found for this), again for her aging larger frame.
It sounds like you have done your homework on transitioning. Just an FYI, if you want to include organ meat a little sooner without risking cannon butt ( go easy with the liver in the beginning!), beef hearts are a great way to go. They serve as both a muscle meal and an organ meat. As a matter of fact, beef hearts are one of my staple muscle meals. Once you get a nice variety going, you really should not have to supplement with much else in the way of vitamins and minerals..once you get all the foods introduced it's a matter of balance over time. Variety in the diet gives them everything they need. BTW, fish is another "cannon butt" launcher in the beginning if not careful. Not sure if you plan to do canned or fresh fish, but beware that the canned varieties carry alot of salt.
In case you have not found the resource yet, yahoo has a great rawfeeding group forum. It was a great help to me when I got started. Congrats on switching! I have never regretted it and my girls are thriving!!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 9:30AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I don't feed raw, but I have home cooked for my dog(s) and cat for the past 4 years. I'd never go back to commercial food.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:45AM
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forster, that was a concern for me but after reading, studying for the past few months and talking to other raw feeders, i was convinced raw chicken bones wouldn't be a problem. even my vet supports raw feeding. the way i understand it, the digestive juices break down bone very quickly and it turns to mush in no time.

ladybugfruit, thanks for your input and for the encouragement. yes, i know the richness of organ meat and fish can cause cannon butt (LOVE that term! LOL) so i plan to go easy at first and will add in small amounts just once or twice a week. thanks for the suggestion of beef hearts, i will definitely pick some up. had a butcher recently GIVE me 3 nice sized bags of beef kidney because it had a little freezer burn.

because fish will probably be just a one-meal-per-week thing, i will most likely feed them fresh fish.

i will check out the yahoo group! thanks.

and i gotta say, all 3 of my dogs' coats are just so awesome! i swear, they glow in the dark and i am seriously considering sunglasses so i don't go blind! LOL

bentley had his first meal of pork rib tips last night...see how he shines?

even my senior girl has taken to raw like a duck to water. took her a couple of days to figure out it was ok to eat off the floor!

i can hardly keep my hands off of pea. she is SO soft! good thing she loves being petted!

thanks again for your input! i'm still learning so every little bit helps. :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 12:58PM
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GREAT pics!!! LOL, I see they have their, as we call them in our house, chicken Ridgeback, Sadie will spend hours licking the last micromolecule of chicken ( ribs, etc) bits off the towels after dinner every night.
Yup, lots of great benefits!! FWIW spedigrees, I cooked for my dogs for years before switching to raw. My girls have never known kibble as part of their diet.
Ninapearls, hopefully you won't have to do this, but my girls turned their noses up at raw fish, so we do "cheat" a little in that department ( also, the sharpei has a hard time digesting it for some reason, but hey, sensitive GI) and I lightly steam the fish..seems to do the trick.
If you ever do eggs, that is the other "cannon butt" culprit, so beware there too. Look forward to hearing your progress!! Please keep us updated! :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 5:10PM
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thanks again, i am making notes of all of your tips! nothing like getting advice from an experienced raw feeder. :)

LOL, chicken towels...good one! i debated for a while about starting my senior dane so she's about 10 days or so behind the other two. when i started pea and bentley, i picked up one of those vinyl tablecloths and just cut it in two pieces. nice, it just wipes clean and i can disinfect it.

i am also amazed at how little water my dogs are drinking! i have a fountain for them that i used to have to fill every 3 days or so. now, it's more like once per week!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:53PM
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If you aren't planning to feed any veggies (I don't) consider adding green tripe to the diet. Fresh Tripe (as well as lots of other hormone free raw foods) is available at 'A Place for Paws' in Ohio. They may be short on Vitamin C (Ester C is best), Vitamin E, and selenium. Agree with the earlier poster who suggested Omega 3s, they won't get enough from just the meat. At least 1000mg a day (from fish oil not from flax). Good for joints, heart, skin and coat. Also glucosamine/chondroitin is important regardless of what diet you feed.

Have you read any books on raw diet? The problem with learning just from others is that we can easily learn the wrong things too :) Ian Billinghurst, Kymythy Schultz have good books that will help. An easy one to start with is Carina Beth MacDonald's 'Raw Dog Food: Make it easy for You and Your Dog.'

The other thought I had looking at your pics, is you may want to provide 'eating beds' so that your tall dogs can lay down and be comfy while they eat. Just put the bowls on the floor in front of the beds and have them already in the down position when you bring their food. Ask for a sit and lay down on the bed if you make them 'work for food.' I use the flat but comfy memory foam beds and cover with terry bath sheets for ease of cleaning, though they only need washing about 2x a week.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Place For Paws

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:55AM
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I feed my working line/schutzhund GSD a locally made commercial raw food. It comes in cases of 30-1# chubs (looks like grocery store bulk sausage). She weighs 70lbs and eats 1# daily, split into two feedings. A couple of times a week I supplement with raw meaty bones to help keep her teeth clean. I just chuck a couple of raw chicken legs or thighs outside for her, too messy otherwise. She looks awesome, nice and lean. The BEST part is that she digests almost everything, she leaves nice small compact droppings, not big mushy grain-filler piles!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 1:26PM
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when i was doing my research, i looked online at several different pre-made raw diets but the expense was astronomical. i live in the boonies and my options are pretty limited.

pea had her first meal of pork rib tips last night. she was in hog heaven (pardon the pun!). she went to bed at 7 p.m. and is still sleeping like a rock!

oh yeah, besides the wonderful change in their coats and their eagerness at mealtime, and their pearly white teeth, the BEST thing about raw is the small poops. with 3 great danes, i am especially lovin' that part!! :)

my senior girl (ashley will be 10 this summer) is finally getting the hang of it. for the first week or more, i was having to hold onto the chicken quarter she was eating so she could get a good grip with her teeth. last night, she had a turkey neck and thigh and ate it all by herself. **happy dance**!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 7:36AM
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Tournant, are you using Farmore per chance?
Ninapearl, the small poop thing is great! Also, they decompose pretty quickly as well. I still have to do some scooping, but not much.
I caught that you gave you sweet senior girl a turkey neck...turkey is awesome, but you might want to veer away from necks with your Danes....they can choke any large breed because of the shape!! We stick with turkey legs here with my Ridgeback, but pretty much any other part is good.
So glad to hear Ashley is catching on. We had a beagle that ate raw a big part of her life and my poor girl just had bad genetics in the teeth department ( only dog I still had to get her teeth brushed on raw, never have had to with the others), she only had maybe 13/14 teeth left and she STILL did great with the rawfeeding. took her a little longer and we "helped" her a bit but she pretty much did it on her own.
So happy to hear that it's going well!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:17AM
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my dogs either go down in the woods or out in the alfalfa field to do their business so i rarely find poop in the yard. now, when i do, it's usually a couple of days old and i just step on it and it crumbles into the ground. i'm hoping this will help to grow some grass on this sand next summer! :D

thanks for the heads-up about the turkey necks. ashley is very careful to chew everything up really well. i recently got a 30# box of turkey necks from a butcher shop. i swear, they are as big as fence posts! it takes the dogs a while to chomp through them but they sure do love them. :)

in another week or 10 days, i will be ready to add beef to their menus.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Ladybugfruit I feed this, it is made locally and I can p/u from their shop to bypass distributors and save $.

Here is a link that might be useful: K-9 Kraving

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 12:21PM
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Awesomeness on the not having to pick up poop in the yard! I rarely do because it decomposes so fast. LOL, I do make a quick walk thru when the kids are going to be over, just in case there are any "fresh"logs :).
Good to hear Ashley is a thorough girls are not, so we don't do the necks here ( my sharpei makes the most horrendous noises when eating, but never a single problem), but fence posts, wow, I need your butcher!
Glad to hear things are going so well. I think it's so sweet that you were holding Ashley's grub for her while adjusting. it's so funny because my sharpei ( Tasha) is SO picky when it comes to new foods ( if I find something fun on sale) that I generally have to hold the "new" food for her sometimes still. My girl does not like her routine disturbed. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 12:24PM
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oh yes, heaven forbid we should do anything to upset their routines! LOL

a couple of times, ashley has become a little frustrated when she can't get a good hold on a chunk of meat. she has walked away and just looked at me like "how the heck am i s'posed to eat that thing??" that's when i pick it up and hold it for her as i don't want her to get discouraged. she's getting a turkey drumstick for supper so i will probably be on the floor with her for 15 minutes. LOL

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:45PM
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LOL, since you have an older girl, something I do for Tasha
(she was having a hard time with the tendons in the turkey legs), I cut the tendons where there is not makes it easier to get a good start on it. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 7:09PM
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my mother would be aghast if she could see me sitting on the floor holding raw meat for my dog! LOL

ashley got the turkey leg down just fine. my vet is gonna be so impressed with all of the dogs' sparkly clean teeth! :D

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 6:29AM
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i have added pork to pea's meals and she really loves it. ashley is now eating chicken and turkey and i will add pork to her meals in another week or so.

i finally broke down yesterday and bought a deep freeze. it was delivered today so now, all of my frozen dog meals are in one place instead of 3 different places. time to hit some more sales!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 4:40PM
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LOL, yeah, one of the best things that happened when we moved is we got a second frig and freezer!! Makes things so much easier! Pork makes for some happy girls here too!! LOL, did you notice if they slept more after "turkey night?" My girls turn into puppy sloths!
Thought I would share a few pics of my girls at dinner time and their rituals! Enjoy! :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 5:34PM
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those are GREAT pictures!!! those look like some happy, happy dogs!

yes, i do notice that after a turkey meal, all 3 of mine get very sleepy. sometimes, i have to wake them up to go out for one more pee before bed. they usually eat around 6 p.m. and my final pee call is 9 p.m.

put your sunglasses on before you look at these pictures...all 3 dogs' coats are SO soft and shiny but bentley's shows up best in pics. it was a cloudy day and i didn't use my flash and just look at him!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:18PM
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