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Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

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


  1. alaun

    alaun PetForums VIP

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    One of my pups has been difficult to get weight on. We've fed a mix of raw and kibble but recently I have reduced the kibble and increased the raw and oh my goodness she is looking fantastic. Her coat is glossy and she has now caught up with her sister. :thumbup:
     
  2. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Brill, thats great news!! :)
     
  3. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Can anybody supply a shopping list for a 'newbie' raw food diet household please? We simply don't know where to begin! This is fascinating, but we are simply too confused by all the conflicting information there is out there about moving to a raw diet.

    Do we simply buy whole fresh chickens and let the dogs eat the entire thing raw (I've seen this being done in many videos!)? Is frozen minced meat OK? Can dogs eat beef? I've seen several foods advertised as "contains no beef" as if this had some sort of health benefit?

    SUCH confusion here, and advice would be very much appreciated! We have recently switched to what we thought was the best dry/moist food combination we could find, but since joining this forum, our eyes have been widely opened, but our heads wildly confused by the whole issue!

    :confused:
     
  4. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Hi there! I will try and answer all your questions, but have also PMd you - if you PM me your email address I will send you an eBook as well which might be useful.

    I think when looking at a raw diet, you do really need to do a little research to decide if you can come to terms with idea - have a look at my 'the basics' post and the 'resources' posts in this thread for a good starting point.

    Once you have worked out the basics of how much your dog needs per day & week, you can feed any way you like. Some like to feed two meals a day (so obviously they have to be a bit smaller like 1/4 chicken) some feed once a day, so could be a 1/2 chicken and some feed one large meal and then one smaller meal the following day etc...so the beauty is it is really up to you and your dogs! In the beginning I would suggest starting with quarters though as they probably wouldnt know what to do with a whole chicken! lol :)

    yes you can - frozen or defrosted - however, I personally do not and would not feed mince as a regular part of the diet as the biggest benefits of raw come from eating quality whole raw foods for the teeth and gum cleaning benefits.

    Yes dogs can eat pretty much ANY meat you can think of...however, some dogs have allergies to things (although quite rare) so you would need to obviously adjust to your dog. however, many people find that the 'meat' they might be allergic too in processed foods they are not allergic to at all in fresh human grade raw meat...a prime example is my maggie who was allergic to chicken in processed foods, but when eating it raw is fine! beef WAS one of the most common food allergies in dogs but this was because it was also the MOST COMMON at one point...funnily enough, now that chicken appears to be the most common, chicken is the one that most dogs are allergic too! so i think that many that state no beef is from the old thoughts around this...

    If you are happy feeding what you are, then by all means carry on if you are happy and your dog is good on it. However, if you feel that feeding raw would actually be the best way to feed as many of us do, then have a bit more of a read and give it a go!

    I hope that helps - but ask away with any more questions :)
     
  5. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Thanks for the comprehensive reply! I haven't read much yet, as have only just joined the forum and received your email (thanks again for that), but will continue to do so.

    I'm assuming the horror stories about feeding chicken bones are total nonsense then? I'd be really nervous to see and hear them crunching on raw chicken bones, but that's probably because we've all been brainwashed to believe they are harmful? There are many videos on YouTube about this diet - it would be good to have some links to recommended videos. There are far too many for a newcomer to this diet to make sense of which are good and which are bad.

    What would you recomment we start with? A chicken or a piece of raw liver or other offal from the supermarket? I am looking forward to seeing their faces that first time!
     
  6. lozb

    lozb PetForums VIP

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    Hey Slingdash! I started feeding our Baxter raw food a while back and haven't looked back!

    We went to the vets today - I asked the vet nurse what she thought about the BARF diet... "I'd feed mine that way if I had the time" Not quite sure what she meant but I take it as a positive angle from a pro about the diet!! :rolleyes: ;)

    I've found that Baxter likes Chicken quarters, whole, he crunches away and loves them! Same with duck!
    He's not over keen on pork steaks/chops unless I chop them up for him... lazy boy!
    He loves a beef joint, takes a while for him to get through it and it helps if I cut into it first, to give him a 'head start'..
    He does like mince - I used to cook it but he prefers it raw now.
    Liver/Kidney - prefers in very small doses..
    I also give him apple, carrots, other bits of veg.
    Lamb.. he loves lamb too!

    The local butcher sells us bags of food for £2.... :thumbup:
    There was a butcher in Cromer (whilst on holiday) with bags of off-cuts for nothing! Grabbed a few bags and Baxter loved them all! Butchers will happily sell you their off-cuts, or 'dogmince' for cheap, or even for free. A local farm-shop has bones available for free too!

    Good luck, if you decide to go for it! :thumbup:
     
  7. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    I have just spoken to the rest of the family about this diet, and it was met with shrieks of horror and disbelief!!!

    "RAW meat?! WHAT???"

    "I'm not feeding our dogs raw chicken - let alone chicken bones!"

    Just two of the initial responses! :001_unsure:

    I wonder how they'd react if they could see what goes into some of the commercial foods we have fed in the past!

    I'm going to keep talking to them and showing them some of the information from this website and others, and I'd like to go to the butcher first thing in the morning to get their first meal.

    What should I ask for? I've been before and asked for any off-cuts of bone for them to chew, but if this is going to be a regular thing, then i'll need a 'shopping list'! Any tips please?
     
    #47 SlingDash, Aug 2, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  8. lozb

    lozb PetForums VIP

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    good luck with the reaction... I still get it now!
    A friend asked today 'Did you check with the vet that it was okay to feed raw'...:rolleyes:
    Okay? It's the most natural food for them to eat!
    It's not for everyone, I understand that totally :)
    First time I went in my local butchers I said 'Have you any bones/meat for my dog' He knew exactly what to give - been asked many, many times. In fact, I saw an old friend yesterday who worked at a butchers about 15 years ago and she remembered giving meat specifically for dogs!
    Check your supermarkets too - I always hit the reduced counter and stock up on bits for the freezer!

    I'm sure you'll get more advice than the little I've given you!
    xx
     
  9. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    I bet that's what happened in the 'olden days' all the time! I must ask my grandparents what they used to do. I'm guessing there was no canned meat or bags of kibble back then!

    Not at all - you've been extremely friendly and helpful - as have many other people in this great forum! I'm so glad I found it! Thank you so much and thanks to everybody else who's been so kind, helpful and supportive!

    :thumbup:
     
  10. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Scrub what I posted here before (if anybody read it). We've just been to the butcher and the supermarket and brought home a bag of goodies!

    The butcher was really friendly and helpful, and said he'd had quite a few people enquiring about the raw meat and bone diet.

    What we have is:

    Ribs (beef, I think, but could be pork)
    Pig's liver
    Beef minced meat from the supermarket

    I have just given the dogs a rib each, and they all love them! I am very concerned, though, because our big boy has just crunched his way through a whole rib, and is now starting on his second! I am sure he is swallowing huge chunks of sharp bone, and I'm starting to panic! Both bitches are still nibbling away at the meat on their bones on the lawn, and I don't think their jaws are strong enough to crunch through the bone.

    Now we need to decide what to do with this liver and the minced beef.

    Do we really just stick it in a bowl and let them eat it completely raw? Apologies if I sound overly-concerned, but this is brand new (this very morning!) to us, and we don't want to harm our beloved pack in any way.

    One more thing concerns me. This was said early on in this very topic...

    ...yet the link to dispelling common myths says you should not feed small chicken bones from places such as chicken wings!

    Still a little confused for us to know exactly what we can and cannot feed!

    --------------------------------------------------

    And now I've just seen this at the BARF UK website:

    We have just fed several pork ribs to our dogs, and have purchased a packet of raw minced beef after reading several different topics on the BARF diet!

    There is far too much conflicting information about this diet, so I think we're going to stick with the best moist/dry food combination we can find. A real shame, because we really wanted to give this a go.

    :rolleyes:
     
    #50 SlingDash, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  11. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Post removed.

    Please see previous post.
     
    #51 SlingDash, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  12. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    hi slingdash, i cant help but feel you have maybe rushed into this slightly then paniced and decided to stop!

    there is a lot of info yes, but then there is a lot of info on all sorts of things online and if you believe everything or dont check the sources, you will be just as confused as to every other decision you ever make.

    i will try and answer your questions above - but i would stongly urge you to read through the series of posts in this thread properly and check out the further resources before you go any further if you are worried.

    if you read the brief eBook i sent to you on email it answers many of your questions.

    dogs will get used to raw at different paces - and their jaws have to build up the strength if fed processed until now. as i said in my original 'basics' post it is usually good to start with one protein source and get them used to it and then add something else etc etc. if you are worried about bone start with meat only and then gradually add bone. the biggest thing is not to feed something too small - so appropriately sized for your dogs so that they cannot swallow bone whole! i.e. personally i only feed ribs in a slab of a few joined together, never one at a time as they can be swallowed the wrong way.

    I would suggest going VERY easy on the offal & liver until they are settled on raw and even then introduce VERY slowly and in TINY pieces until you know how they will react. some tolerate it immediately but for some you end with very VERY loose poops if you feed to much! remember, introduce everything gradulally, there is no rush.

    the minced beef will be fine as a meal. just put it raw into a bowl for them to the right weight.

    Yes if you read my basics post at the beginning, you will see i always suggest feeding appropriate sizes - so not a chicken wing or a small pieces like a neck on its own for a dog that is medium or large...however, what i said i do feed is the wing still ATTACHED to the breast, so it is one large chunk they have to work at and crunch up. this is why the dispelling the myths site says not to feed small bones, as yes, then they would be health hazard for anything other than the smallest dog.

    If you read through my info i have posted in the series of posts on how to feed in this thread, you will see i mention pork. in the UK it is fine to feed pork. some still choose not to. however, that is a personal choice and i do feed free-range pork meat and ribs to my dog and cats. HOWEVER, outside the UK you need to check for Aujeskys disease which pork can carry. the uk is clear of this so it is not an issue for us. you may also like to freeze pork and beef for 48 hours before defrosting and feeding which would kill any parasites. this is why it is often simpler to start with chicken and poultry as this is not a worry.

    also as i think i said to you before, unless your dog has had/shown allergies to things that contain beef previously then feeding beef shouldnt be an issue. BUT, as i have said, i would suggest introducing one protein at a time, be that chicken, pork, beef, whatever...

    I would strongly suggest that if you are interested in this way of feeding you have a thorough read of the myths site (the link is also in my signature below) and discuss these answers with your family. Also read that Tom Lonsdale book i sent to you - it is quite short, answers many of your questions and gives you all the basics.

    Of course if you happy feeding kibble and wet, then feel free, i would just hate to think you are only not feeding raw because you rushed in and have not read and considered the available info...
     
    #52 katiefranke, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  13. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    I think that's exactly what we've done! :blushing:

    It's just that we wanted to get onto this diet ASAP because it sounds like it could be the very best thing we can do for our babies, yet, at the same time, we want them to be safe. We have probably tried to read as much as possible in too short a time and have come across so many conflicting opinions and advice, that it's all been a bit overwhelming! Information overload as they say!

    Your advice has been invaluable so far, so we will heed it alone and simply concentrate on the links and information you have supplied us with for the time being. Thanks so much again for that.

    They did have their first raw meal this morning, and so far have been absolutely fine. Just been for a long walk and all poohs are normal so far! It's probably a little early to tell though.

    All dogs had a couple of pork ribs, and the two younger dogs ate virtually the whole thing (I took the smaller bits at the end off them) - the older dog simply nibbling the meat and small amount of fat that was left on them.

    Our older dog LOVED the liver and had a couple of chunks. Our little boy wouldn't touch the liver to start with, yet snaffled it up in the mixture of raw turkey and Nature Diet that we mixed it with.

    We have processed a mixture of liver, raw turkey breast and raw turkey mince (no more bones today) and mixed it with a small amount of fresh veg and a sachet of Nature Diet. We have a few Nature Diets remaining, so will gradually introduce the raw meat over the next few days while continuing to study hard!

    Thanks again for all your help - we won't give up just yet!
     
  14. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Hiya are Turkey drumsticks ok to feed?

    Thanks :)
     
  15. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    lol, thats ok! dont worry you are not alone with how you are feeling - it is scary to begin with, but i promise you, once you take the plunge and feed for literally a couple of weeks you suddenly wonder what you were so worried about!!!

    it gets easier and easier and you dont have a panic attack every time they eat something with bone in, honest! :D

    well it sounds like you are doing very well with them already anyway, so keep at it with what you are doing, just dont rush anything. take your time to read up. there are lots of different conflicting pieces of info out there - but personally i weighed them up and chose what made most logical sense to me. if there was something that particularly worried me, i asked the question on here and on the Raw Meaty Bones & rawfeeding yahoo lists (they have loads of great and knowledgeable people on there).

    good luck - you'll get there! :thumbup:
     
    SlingDash likes this.
  16. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Yep - you dont want to feed the weight bearing bones of 'large ungulates' so cows etc...but turkey is fine I would say.

    They are usually pretty massive though so would do for a couple of feeds at least for Harvey.

    I only occasionally give these to maggie and I take it off her before she gets to the end as there is usually a rather large and awkward lump of bone which I dont want her swallowing...but then I am over-protective so I am sure others just let them get on with it! lol
     
  17. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Thanks Katie.

    I have just learned about the 'reputation' button, so have sent you some 'reputation' by way of thanks - I think!

    :thumbup:
     
  18. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for that :) another stupid question, what is the average weight of a chicken thigh :eek:
     
  19. alaun

    alaun PetForums VIP

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    Hi Slingdash

    when we first started feeding raw we were pretty worried too. I had grown up with my mum telling me not to feed chicken (cooked or raw), so I have had to relearn the rules.

    We started gradually and are still on the path to full raw - which is working for us and seems to be a natural progression - and still learning as we go.

    We started by giving raw mince and tripe, and very gradually introduced chicken wings. We give cooked liver in tiny pieces as a training aid.

    Don't give up, just take it at your own pace. It is worth it in the long run. :thumbup:
     
  20. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    I am absolutely fine with feeding the raw meats, offal and large 'gnawing' bones - it's just the small bones that terrify me!

    I'm sure our little lad was swallowing whole huge chunks of bone this morning (pork rib), and I just had to take the small remaining bits off him 'just in case'. Some of them were horrendously sharp!

    He has been for a pooh since, and is fine this evening, so hopefully it will be OK.

    Feeding the first chicken wing (or was it leg??) will be panic stations - I just know it!!!

    [​IMG]
     
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