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Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by katiefranke, Jul 11, 2010.


  1. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    big thumbs up to EBT and oveione :thumbup: :thumbup: sounds like you are doing a great job :)

    ask away with any questions!
     
  2. princesssaskia

    princesssaskia PetForums Junior

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    WOW what a fantastic thread - many thanks to Katie for all the useful info

    I made the switch to RAW a few yrs ago, following years of skin probs with my bull terriers - Ive never looked back and they have never looked better!

    I just wanted to add a few points - and welcome any comments or advice i might receive in return!

    Firstly, for all of you new to RAW, and posting on this thread, you are not alone in your fears/concerns, but as others have rightly replied all dogs are individuals and adjust in their own time and to different foods. Also I have found that im always learning, I read as much as i can all the time and listen to others experiences - yes sometimes the info is conflicting, but you have to find your own path through it all - whatever works best for you and your mutts - never be afraid to make informed changes to your RAW diet plan - I have altered mine many times and now have something my dogs and i are really comfortable with. Let the health of your dog be the guide - learn what is 'normal' and be vigilant for any change from that state. If your dog is a good weight, with healthy coat, clear eyes, white teeth, good breath, minimum 'gas', good energy levels and a happy disposition then its :thumbup:

    The main point I wanted to make was that although Katie has mentioned free range meats a few times, I personally prefer to feed only organic meats as far as possible. Even meat deemed fit for human consumption is, in my opinion, still tainted with growth hormones and antibiotics and if, as in the case of our dogs, a diet is comprised predominantly of meat and bones, then I would prefer said meat and bones to be as free of chemicals/hormones as poss. Obviously cost is an issue (im not rich by any stretch!!!!!) but I have found that I can get organic free range lamb liver, heart and kidney, chicken liver and chicken wings and carcasses VERY reasonably priced (50p per carcass) ordering direct from organic farms. I get mine from Ensors in Gloucestershire - they even deliver for free. 1 carcass feeds both my bull terrier and my collie for 1 meal.

    The other point I wanted to make - and aimed at people like EBT - is that not all dogs can tolerate 100% all meat meals. My beautiful bullie did fine for the first year but then developed horrible lumps all over her body - my fab homeopath friend helped sort her out and we worked out that it was because of a proliferation of undigested protein in her body. Cutting the amount of meat right down was obviously the answer, however this left my baby hungry, so I bulk her meals out with organic pasta, rice, muesli or ryvitta plus some cooked or blended veg. I feed 2 meals a day, one of meat and one of meat and bones (as katie has recommended) but my ratios are probably 60% meat or meat/bones, 25% rice/pasta/muesli or ryvitta and 15% veg/fruit. I also add offal and eggs twice a week as well as supplements like a spoonful of organic honey, probiotic yoghurt, flax oil, nuts and seeds

    Finally a word on fish. Not sure if everyone has a local market (we lucky to live in a cotswold village with farmers market weekly) with a 'fish man' who sells fresh fish out the back of his van? Anyway, I cach him toward the end of the market, when he usually has a big bag of 'trimmings' and I get them for FREE !!!!! includes a whole variety of fish bits, heads, tails etc - I also feed tinned pilchards and sardines if I miss the fish man!

    Happy to share my dog menu (yes I have an anally devised fully detailed weekly menu taped to my fridge - which amuses everyone who visits!!!!!) just pm me if you are interested in seeing it

    Thanks for hearing me out and cant wait to read your replies xxxxxxxxxxx
     
  3. EBT

    EBT PetForums Junior

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    My 10 month EBT had a few small lumps/spots on his legs which have started clearing up now since the new diet. Maybe a coincidence but least they're going. I'll definitely keep an eye on their skin though thanks, common problem with bullies.
    You say you have a bully, is it an English or Staff? Always glad to hear from a fellow English Bully owner!
     
  4. Sam1309

    Sam1309 PetForums VIP

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    hey, if you could post your menu's up here i think it would benefit many people including myself
     
  5. princesssaskia

    princesssaskia PetForums Junior

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    This is exactly why a natural diet is so good. All of the Bull terrier breeds have sensitive immune systems and are easily upset, more often than not this shows up in the skin first, with hair loss, rashes, lumps and bumps. Many people find these are eliminated after switching to a RAW diet - this is exactly how I was introduced to it

    My baby is an English Bully by the way 'Princess Saskia' aka 'Crystal'!

    I feel I ought to elaborate on my 'not all dogs can tolerate a 100% meat' point a little..............

    What I have found is that feeding free range and/or organic RAW high grade protein is so good that, in some cases, it can be too good - thus leading to problems like the proliferation of undigested protein that my bully had (resulting in an outbreak of lumps all over her back as her body tried desperately to rid itself of the undigested protein which had turned toxic in her system)

    It may be that if your dog is older, or fairly inactive - as EBT will know our bullies are VERY lazy despite their 'moments of madness' mine is only a year old but sleeps way more than the collie pup I also have which is VERY high energy - then you need to feed less meat and instead bulk out the meals with potato, rice, pasta or cereals. alternatively you can cook the meat which reduces its richness somewhat

    I will post later with my doggies weekly menu, as requested xxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  6. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Hi princesssaskia - sorry haven't been online much this week as on leave! But just checked in. welcome to the thread :D

    would be interesting if you could elaborate on this condition some more, as a couple of other people mentioned this to me and said it was very specific to the EBT breed which I found interesting - one actually said it was not the breed but was common in white dogs?

    they said very similar to you but couldn't really provide any further info at the time. I have been researching canine digestion for some time now to understand how best to modify the raw diet to suit, and in my research I have read numerous papers, veterinary manuals and such like on canine biochemistry to understand the functions and reactions within the body produced by protein/fat/carbs etc...and I haven't come across anything to explain the 'build up of undigested protein' UNLESS there is an underlying health issue or other deficiency which means that the correct processes cannot occur within the body to digest and utilise the protein...?

    Of course vegetables/plants also contain proteins, but they are not the highly available/digestible proteins with complete amino acid chains found in animals - so do you find that vegetable proteins are not the ones that cause a build up? - it is interesting as these do not contain all the amino acids needed, so I wonder if it is something related to a particular amino acid/s?

    ----------

    After speaking to the others, I actually discussed this with my vet (pro-raw, holistic vet), as I am always trying to find as much info as possible to ensure I modify my pets' diets in line with the best info I have, and he also said he has seen this himself, but that it was due to an underlying condition in the dog which was already present, rather than the diet itself - and as such, as per any health condition, the diet should be modified to suit...

    But he was also very swift to point out that he especially wouldn't add grains into the diet, as grains are even harder for a dog to process, regardless of whether they are organic/whole grains etc, and so could possibly exaccerbate issues in many cases - especially those with sensitivities. Also this would not deal with the underlying issue. He instead suggested playing around with the levels of proteins within the animal sources (rather than opt for plant proteins) - so maybe reduce meat content slightly but add in cheese and more fish as this is lower in protein than the meats but still an animal protein. The different meats have different protein contents, so levels can be adjusted without resorting to non-animal sources. Apparently if this doesnt help, fruit should be added, as this is much more digestible than veg or grains. Failing that, dark green, leafy veg with a low GI should be added...

    This all seemed very interesting and did fit with what I had researched so far indepenently, however, as per most conversations with vets, it was rather short and sweet and so he unfortunately didn't elaborate any further and I didn't get time to ask any more questions...!

    I guess this might be an example of where it is definitely a case of weighing up individual circumstances, history, health conditions etc of the dog to decide what is best for their particular diet.

    ----------

    PS: the reason I go for free-range is because our local butcher gets the meat from certain farms which I have checked out as to their practices (they are anti-biotic and hormone free) and they eat a species appropriate diet... However, as far as I understand it, organic doesn't automatically mean they were grass-fed etc - but means organic ingredients for their feed...which could of course be grass-fed for cattle, but if not then it would mean a lack of omega 3 etc...although looking at your supplier above it looks brill, so a good organic source :)

    I also like wild game, as I feel that this is pretty much as good as you can get with regards to appropriate sources for their diet.

    I think the key is to always check out the sources of the meat, what they are fed, how they are treated, if anything is added to their feed etc, no matter what it is advertised to be.

    Thanks for suggesting your own suppliers, I am sure that will be very handy for people reading the thread :thumbup:
     
    #186 katiefranke, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  7. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Got my new freezer delivered yesterday :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
    Was just going to get a little tabletop one but then decided on one thats about 3x bigger lol
    It has a 102 litre capacity , not sure if thats gross or net but i'm sure it's more than big enough for 2 small dogs :)
    It's actually in our bedroom on top of a chest of drawers as it couldn't go anywhere else lol
    Just glad i don't have to worry about how much food i order now :D

    Can't believe it's been 3 1/2 weeks since they started, gone so fast! :eek:
     
  8. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    lol!! the things we do for our animals!! :rolleyes: :eek:
     
  9. Sam1309

    Sam1309 PetForums VIP

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    quick question

    i have a smple menu for bear.

    he's to have 100g of mince on one day along with other sutff but not to have that same kind of mince for another few days... how do i cute the frozen block up as it comes frozen from the supplier??
     
  10. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    sorry not too sure as I dont feed the minces :confused: but am guessing maybe try some sort of poultry shears which might cut through it?

    or you could bash it with a rolling pin while in its pack and then get out what you need?

    failing all that, a lot of the commercial raw suppliers actually do free-flow minces, so that you can pour out what you need rather than it coming in a big block... :)
     
  11. Sam1309

    Sam1309 PetForums VIP

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    this had crossed my mind, but the mince is from a local supplier, the chickens and other animals are less than 5 miles from my house and i have seen the living conditions and am happy with them.
     
  12. Jasper's Bloke

    Jasper's Bloke PetForums VIP

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    Just a quick query, I know that people have said before about feeding whole fish and I have just filleted a couple of sea bass for my tea, so am I ok to give the remaining carcass to the dog. He loves fish and was going crazy while I was working on it, but I am a little worried about the small bones. Is it just a case of close supervision?
     
  13. Jasper's Bloke

    Jasper's Bloke PetForums VIP

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    A meat cleaver and a sturdy chopping board should do the trick, but watch those fingers otherwise Bear will be getting a little too much meat!
     
  14. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    ah ok - that sounds good :)

    As it is all local then, you could do a bit of digging and see if you could pick it up before it is frozen directly from the source? You could then reportion and freeze at home?

    how much do the blocks come in? could you defrost and it lasts a couple of days...or is there too much?

    Yep, its just like any other meat - there are funny little bones in fish, but if you can give in whole chunks and you supervise, it should be fine :thumbsup:
     
    #194 katiefranke, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  15. princesssaskia

    princesssaskia PetForums Junior

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    Hi Katie

    Fab reply to my post - thanks

    I dont profess to be an expert, indeed I am only really starting out on my journey of natural feeding and holistic healing - though I am studying hard!

    Basically all I can say is that when Crystal was a young pup I was feeding her predominantly raw meat and bones (with only token bits of veg/grain) she grew strong and healthy and maintained a nice weight - she had perfect skn, teeth and coat and I was really happy. Then when she got to about a year she started to develop these lumps, you could see them beneath her fur, especially in bright light and they were positioned on her throat, all over her back and down her hind legs. She was also grazing LOADS on plants and grass whenever she got the chance. My homeopath friend told me that I should have reduced her meat intake as her growth was slowing down and that basically I had been feeding her to bursting point on rich meat and bones. She said her organs were trying to expel the protein that had been undigested and turned 'toxic' in her system, hence the lumps. She said she needed fiber to help re-balance he, thats why she was eating loads of plants - but these in turn were exacerbating the problem as the plant protein (especially in RAW form) was not right for her either. She recommended I put her on 4x a day tablets of the homeopathic remedy 'Arsenicum Album' (30c) and fed her cooked chicken, loads of fiber and minimal or no veg. I dd this for 2 months and she improved greatly after just 1 week. I then followed this up with 2x a day tablets of the remedy 'Silicea' (30c) and gradually started to reintroduce her old diet - be it with changes to portion sizes and component percentages. She is looking amazing at the moment. I find all this so interesting, thats why I am now studying myself, as I want to learn and understand more.

    I have found through my reading so far that the subject of all meat/bones Vs grain & veg is very controversial. I do think owners need to make their own minds up based on their knowledge thus far and tailored to their animals. Personally I feed only small amounts of pasta or rice as fillers, or ryvitta, oat crackers or muesli. The veg I feed is predominantly green leafy and is always steamed and fed in small smounts, simulating the stomach contents of the prey animals they would eat in wild.

    Both my girls and my old staffie x ridgeback look fab on this diet and I have come to the conclusion that whatever some people feel about grain - dogs would consume this in the wild (via stomach contents of prey) and Im not feeding it in the quantities that pet manufacturers do!!!!!!

    Anyway, got to sign off now and eat my tea! but I will be back to post my menu later xxxxx
     
  16. LeeM018

    LeeM018 PetForums Member

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    What a fascinating thread! I'm currently planning on feeding my inbound pup on Nature Diet....but every time I read this thread I become more and more tempted to try raw!

    I may settle on a half and half as I'm a little bit paranoid about stories I've read with regards to dogs acquiring 'wild' temperaments due to diets overly high in protein. Please feel free to extinguish my layman fears at your leisure :D
     
  17. princesssaskia

    princesssaskia PetForums Junior

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    Hi Guys

    As promised, attached to this post is my weekly doggie menu (i hope!)

    Just wanted to make a few points. This menu is very much a guide for me, generally I stick to it but its no sweat if I mix days up, or miss bits out if not available to me that day. I also add appropriate table scraps most days. So long as my dogs diet is balanced over the space of a month its all good.

    I feed both my girls this diet. 'Lexi' a 7mnth Collie X Terrier and 'Crystal' my 1yr 3mnths English Bull Terrier. Generally they eat the same amount but I tend to favour Crystal with the Bones (as English Bulls have a greater need for calcium than most dogs) and Lexi the Meat (as she is VERY high energy and still growing fast) Obviously you should tailor portion sizes to the Breed/Build/Age/Activity Levels of your own dog.

    All my Chicken and Organ Meats is free range organic, the rabbit is wild and the fish fresh where poss. I usually lightly cook the lamb and beef, only cos its not organic

    In addition I feed my own all natural parasite/flea remedies daily. For flea management I mix equal amounts of nutritional (non active) yeast with garlic granules and add 1tsp to the evening feed. For parasite control I mix Pumpkin seeds, Cayenne Pepper, Coconut (finely ground & unsweetened), Freshly ground Cloves, Thyme, Sage & Wormwood powder, again I feed a tsp of this mix to each dog once a day (sometimes less)

    Finally, the veg patty's mentioned in my menu plan are kept in my freezer on standby and fed only when I have a lack of appropriate table scraps (I eat veggie 5/6 days a week, so most of my scraps substitute for the veg patties - if I leave anything on my plate that is!!!!!!). To make the veg patties, I buy bulk seasonal veg from supermarkets, grow some myself, or scrounge off other growers, I also plunder the hedgerows - selecting plants/herbs for their medicinal properties or those that are likely to be eaten by prey animals like rabbits). I chop and lightly steam everything I have collected, divide into single serving pattys and freeze. The patty's are a mix of any of the following:

    • Sweet potato
    • Butternut squash
    • Spinach
    • Banana
    • Apple
    • Mushrooms
    • Avocado
    • Beetroot
    • Plums/Damsons/Greengages
    • Blackberries / Elderberries
    • Kale
    • Carrot
    • Celery
    • Ginger
    • Herbs - rosemary/parsley/thyme/basil/coriander/oregano/chives/sage
    • Cress
    • Dandelion
    • Nettle
    • Clover
    • Courgette
    • Lentils
    • Mixed beans
    • Lettuce
    • Peppers
    • Fennel
    • Papaya
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Hey, just a quick question...

    Wondering if anyone can tell me how long i should freeze pork for to make sure it's safe from parasites etc?
    Got some meaty pork ribs on thursday which have been in the freezer since, but thought i remembered reading somewhere to freeze pork for 3 weeks to kill the worms/parasites whatever?
    Just want to check before i give any , don't plan on feeding them for a couple of weeks yet though as their just getting used to lamb first :p
     
  19. Sam1309

    Sam1309 PetForums VIP

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    off tomorrow to get my minces etc etc
     
  20. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    hey everyone! sorry not been online much as been away, but im back now :D

    Hi LeeM018, good for you to consider feeding raw, but I promise you, it doesnt turn them 'wild'!!! lol :) this is something of an old wive's tale...
    Some food for though here ;) Myths About Raw: Will raw meat make my dog bloodthirsty?

    Blobbet freezing times vary dependant on who you ask! I try and do it for 3 weeks, but must admit I am not particularly religious on this and haven't had any issues. :) - some just say 48 hours at -20C...
     
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